Many dogs rescued from a shelter or from the streets were abused at some point in their lives. It’s a sad fact, but when adopting an abused dog what must we consider?
Find out how the dog was abused
When adopting an abused dog you must find out as much as you can from the shelter. They may not have all the answers, but the more information you can find out the better.
The dog may have been abused physically, by neglect, taken from their mother too young, confined in a cage, or chained up with little food or water.
Maybe their grooming and health needs were not tended to, or they may have been yelled for reasons they couldn’t understand.
Even if the dog is taken into a wonderful, nurturing home, the past abuse may stay with him unless you are willing to put in a great deal of effort to retrain and help him.
In this article, we will discuss how you can determine the signs of abuse, along with advice on how to deal with it.
How to tell if a dog has been abused
An abused dog may exhibit the following traits:
- Withdrawn and depressed.
- Distrustful of humans.
- The dog may cower in a corner.
- They may be hyper-vigilant.
- They may tend to isolate themselves.
- Extreme separation anxiety.
If your dog was previously abused, you cannot expect an overnight miracle due to your loving kindness.
It will take some time to see changes. You will need patience and dedication. Lots of it.
How to help an adopted abused dog
Here are some things you can do to help your adopted dog recover from his previous abuse:
- Provide a stable and calm place to live.
- Make him feel loved and communicate clearly.
- Do not force anything on him.
- Provide him with his own safe place to be alone if he needs it.
- Protect him from things that he fears
- Spend quiet time daily and speak in low tones
When your dog seems ready, use a method that combines desensitisation with counter-conditioning.
This can be achieved by gradually introducing things that bother your dog but always under your close supervision. Speaking with a local canine behaviourist will really help you figure out the best way to see your adopted dog back to the happy pet they should’ve been.
With proper training techniques and patience, your dog can learn to become confident and more self-assured!
Adopting an abused dog takes effort, but it’s also highly rewarding. After all, they deserve second chances at a happy life, don’t they?