Winning the Trust and Affection of an Abused Dog

It is a very sad state of affairs that so many animals are constantly abused by people.  We see ads from the ASPCA everyday on television.  Many of us see these poor creatures homeless and afraid. Many times, we will adopted a pet that has been through terrible trauma and I applaud anyone who adopts these animals.  With this great commitment also comes patience, understanding and new level of building  lost trust.

If you have a new dog who has been down a long dark road, it’s not difficult just very time consuming to win this guy’s trust.  So, let’s go over some things that will help you and him down a new road of trust.

When interacting with a dog of abuse, you might want to kneel down or crouch so you are on the same level as he is.  This takes the fear of your height and dominance over him out of the picture.  Always, always talk in a cheerful, low, loving voice.  Loud and frustrated shrieks will send him into terror believing that you are going to strike him at any minute.

Also, try calling him to you instead of you going to him. Keep in mind, giving him the option to come to you alleviates the fear that you are approaching him to strike him.  Also, praise him a lot when he attempts to come to you, even when he stops  short of getting to you.  He’s still in a fear mode.  He wants to come to you but doesn’t know what to expect when he gets there.  Even if he only makes it half way, lay down a treat close to him and comfort him with your warm gentle voice.

When approaching your dog for praise, stay clear of his head for now.  Many times dogs are hit in the face and on their heads and this is a scary area for them.  Try petting under his chin or his chest – palms up.  One, these two areas are calming spots on a dog and 2 your hand is in a least threatening position.

If he pulls away, let him!  Speak gently letting him know it’s ok.  With each encounter, he will become more trusting and will start letting you pet him for a longer period of time.  Keep touching sessions short, just a few minutes until he starts showing signs that it’s ok to continue.

As trust grows, you will know when it’s ok to scratch his ears and even gently place your hands on his face.  I paid the original owners of Molly to take her away from abuse.  She was face slapped constantly, at first Molly would cower at the sight of my hands.  Now she lets me place my hands on her face and pet her head and ears.  I want her to always trust my hands so allowing me this stage is wonderful and each time I do, it’s assuring her that nothing hurtful comes out of this action.

I do not recommend very small children interacting with an abused dog in the beginning. Children are very loud, energetic and can appear to be a threat to a frightened abused pup.

A dog that has been abused, in time, will become your very best friend.  These dogs know they have been saved, they have someone who loves and cares for them.  Just give them all the patience and understanding you can to get to that level.

Praises and Blessings to All of You that are Willing to give these dear souls a second chance!

Here are some sites for you to learn more about caring for abused dogs and some wonderful sites for adopting abused dogs.  I hope this article has been helpful and interesting.  I welcome your comments.

Training Abused Dogs

The Real Pit Bull

Adopting an Abused Dog

Dogs 4 Life

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