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I found a dog.

Posted by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 11:30 AM
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Last Saturday I found a dog in my yard that we took in. The dog seems so afraid of humans. We barely get to pet it because it cowers down in the corner or runs away. Any suggestions on what we could do to make it not do this.

BTW the dog looks like its only 2 to 3 monts old and it ran around the neighboorhood for a week before we got it.

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 11:30 AM
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marshsmom
by Group Owner on Apr. 1, 2010 at 11:50 AM

For starters I would ignore the dog and give him a chance to acclimate to the new surroundings.  It's probably feral which is why it is scared.  Once it settles down a bit I would start by sitting on the floor with some treats, spread the treats around you and let the dog come up as his own pace.  Don't look at him or talk to him until he seems calm about being closer to you.  Eventaully you can try to hand feed him and just continue to slowely work with him like this until you earn his trust.  I would suggest working with him intensly so you can try to get him leash trained quickly.  This will enable you to get him out and start socializing him, otherwise he will be used to you and your family but will still have fear issues outside of your home and family. 

Some things to remember while you working with him.  A fearful dog will utilize a fight or flight mechanism.  This means if he is scared and can't get away he will likely bite, so try not to corner him, always make sure he can move away from you and into a comfort zone.  Usually once a dog like this bites it learns that biting is very effective at making people leave him alone and he will bite sooner the next time and so on....the next thing you know you have an aggressive dog.  You would probably benefit from reading up on dog behavior, Stanley Coren has some good books. 

I have a dog who was feral, I got her as a puppy and she was incredibly fearful.  She is now 6 years old and while she will probably always have some fear issues, she is a very well adjusted dog and one of the most loyal dogs I've ever owned.  She has never behaved aggressively and I worked with her in effort to not only subdue her fears but also avoid her ever feeling the need to become aggressive.  When I got her she was one of many dogs in my home, and I was single and lived alone.  She is now a family dog, sharing her home with me, my husband and a 2 year old boy, as well as another small breed dog and a cat.  Just goes to show, that a feral dog can be tamed and become a great family pet.  It just takes a lot of dedication and work.

dlock25
by Member on Apr. 1, 2010 at 11:57 AM

At one point the dog was owned by someone. When we found it the dog had a coller on it but no tags. He plays with my dog all day log and doesn't seem to show any type of aggression. (If he did we would have to get rid of him because of the kids). We already put him on a leash and he seems to do just fine on it. I just don't know it the fear is because he was out on his own for a while or if it was because someone beat him.

marshsmom
by Group Owner on Apr. 1, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Oh, I see.  From your OP I had a vision of a dog that wouldn't let you anywhere near it, lol.   I would still suggest working slowly with him.  When he demonstrates a fearful behavior ignore him and allow him the opportunity to get back to a comfort zone.   Sit on the floor with treats like I said before.  The fact that he is trusting of your dog can help you build his trust in you.  One thing that can really help is walking on leash.  Take your dog along with you and the puppy.  I still recommend reading about dog behavior, it can really help you to communicate with him and help you understand his communication to you.  Time and patience is key, don't push him too hard or too fast and never let him feel cornered.  Again, the fight or flight mechanism is important.  While he has never shown aggression a dog who is scared and cornered can become aggressive, so just make sure he always has an out.

Quoting dlock25:

At one point the dog was owned by someone. When we found it the dog had a coller on it but no tags. He plays with my dog all day log and doesn't seem to show any type of aggression. (If he did we would have to get rid of him because of the kids). We already put him on a leash and he seems to do just fine on it. I just don't know it the fear is because he was out on his own for a while or if it was because someone beat him.


powow65
by on Apr. 18, 2010 at 11:06 AM

my opinion is.. give it time. when my family were moving, i found a cute white (sheperd or a husky) but it didnt do well (the ptty training) wasnt going well so my aunt took it to a shelter. 

   :(  That was i think 7 or 8 years ago.  it was a cute female dog, nice coat.

but give the puppy some time alone... do you have a empty room the puppy can stay in until it's ready to come out of.

thats all i could think of.

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