Ok - I swore to ya'll that I never would - but today hubby and I adopted TWO chocolate labs. They were in horrible conditions. No shelter, no solid ground (all mud), and no owner. The owner moved off and left the dogs 6 weeks ago. His neighbor has been feeding the dogs and was in the process of placing them in a shelter. We got them before they ever made it to the shelter. The neighbor whom I spoke with said that yesterday, she went out to feed them and they were covered in frost because they had no where to go for shelter. Very sad.
One of the dogs (Percy) is 1 1/2 years old and very friendly there. The other (Piper) is 3 y/o and VERY timid. He will not even come close to us. My husband managed to get a leash on him (to get him to our truck) and the dog freaked! He ran under a deck and began spazzing. He smacked his head into the deck VERY hard. Both of his eyes are now blood red - literally. It was a HARD hit. Needless to say - we got him home.
Piper does not seem agressive in any way - just very wary of humans. We have tried coaxing him to us with food and such but nothing works. He is scared to come in the house. He seems to show alot of dependancy on Percy - like thats his only friend in the world. We cannot get within 10 ft. of him at this point.
What is the best approach to take to get this dog use to us? Or is it even possible at this point due to his age? I really am clueless when it comes to the bahavior things. Any suggestions?
By the way - we have 3 cats that we have not introduced to the dogs yet, if that makes a difference.
These pics were taken in the yard where the dogs were - as I said, they never made it to the shelter. You can see the conditions they were in - look at the mud in Percy's pic. The little red house you see in the pic has no bottom. There was mud and water all inside of it - just like you see on the ground. The ENTIRE yard was like that. There was trash strowed everywhere - I guess where the dogs got hungry before anyone realized the man had moved. The saddest part - he moved 4 houses down the road! His neighbor found him and asked him about the dogs and he said he just didn't want them anymore - so he left them.
***Edited By: Ansy1 on 12/3/2004 6:52:16 PM*** Reason: dvfxfgxcfv
Good for you. Let me offer this one piece of advice. When I adopted Lady, the greyhound, she was taken care of but had minimal human contact and was very timid. I was advised to not make sudden movements or anything to scare her and to let her come to us on her own, then big amounts of praise. It has taken time, but she is finally coming around. Hope this helps. Congratualtions.
Ansy1, sounds like you've saved them from terrible conditions. Getting Piper to come to you make take a while. If he won't come in, you can go out and interact with Percy, and maybe Piper will become less stressed and curious of you. If possible, bring Percy indoors, leave the door open, and see if Piper again becomes curious. Maybe leave food by the open door. Just some thoughts. Best of luck and let us know how it's going.
Heh... well I am SO glad you decided to "go back on your word" on THIS one! Those two are so sweet- gorgeous dogs! And urgh... I can't stand it when people dump their pets at the pound because they're moving and were too lazy to make appropriate plans... but to not even BOTHER? What scum.
Thanks for having a heart, Ansy- it will be worth it. He'll take some time- but be calm and patient, don't do anything sudden or loud or unpredictable- and he WILL come around! And with most labs... FOOD will win the fight. :)
I adopted a chow chow a few years ago and she was very scared of people. It took 6 mo. before she trusted me.
I made a point to have time and space where it was just me and her. I just did a lot of soothing talk and had a lot of tasty treats. Let him come to you. Don't force Piper into coming to you or trying to touch him before he's ready. Depending on how people shy he is or how abused he was will depend on how soon he will come to trust you. If you try to rush the process, he may even become more fearful and become a fear biter.
After Piper has become to trust you then you should start to socialize him with other people. My chow came to trust me exclusively, but she never came to trust other people.
I think it's great that you adopted these poor dogs. It can be a challenge when dealing with fearful dogs. Time and a lot of patience.
It's just the first day. You will need to give it time. The others have given good tips, no threatening/sudden movements and let Piper come to you. He will, it's just all so strange for him, poor thing. Don't try to force it. Is he fenced in your garden now with some shelter from the weather?
We are Winnie's 3rd owners and she was okay with us but super skittish around strangers, even snapping at their hands and barking/jumping on them if they tried to pet her. After 5 months of constant cuddles and love, she is a changed dog. I took her out last night when I met a friend for drinks and there were a bunch of guys next to us. She kept going up to each one of them for a pet, and if they stopped, she would just look at them with her big brown eyes. Three months go, this would not have happened.
I feel so sorry for Piper. It's really a sad world when people don't even have one ounce of compassion for their dog. So irresponsible! Keep us posted Ansy. I hope you manage to get some sleep tonight.
***Edited By: Jan on 12/4/2004 2:55:10 AM*** Reason: got dog names confused
oh, ansy1, you are Soooo cool. i wish i had some fabulous advice for you, especially regarding assimilating the cats and dogs, but i don't. all i have to write(however trite) is you make the world a better place and Best Of Luck to your family and your new dogs.
Thanks for the tips everyone. Percy is inside, laying on eht rug at the foot of our bed - like he owns the place. He seems so happy not to be laying in mud tonight. It's a nice feeling to know we took these dogs from that place.
Piper hasn't came inside yet and we decided to wait until tomorrow to try again. I can tell he is freaked out by his new surroundings. He is fenced in our back yard with a dog house and plenty of straw to lay on. We placed food and water out but he doesn't seem interested.
Oh, that's just great that you saved those two! by the way, the link doesn't work for me. =( Were you the one who wanted to buy a golden from a breeder or something? I'm glad you didn't now! Rescue's deserve a chance.
Congrats on your new additions. You've done a good thing. I would try to spend some time around Piper without paying attention to him so that he can observe you without feeling like he's being observed. I suggest avoiding eye contact so that he won't feel like you're threatening him. Yawning and blinking a lot may help as well because they are pacifying gestures dogs give to each other.
You may also want to play with / pet Percy in front of him so that he can see you not attacking his brother. If you keep bringing him food and water and don't put pressure on him, he'll start to relax.
I just got Piper to come up and eat a hot dog out of my hand! (guess thats his weakness...lol). He let me pet his face while he slurped it out of my hand.
He distanced himself after that. He chooses to lay on the cold ground instead of going in his dog house. I guess it's because the ground is all he is use to. I've noticed that he is scared of small spaces. He wont walk in the space between our vehicles or any other place (like one of our porches) where there is furniture or things that create a small space. We left the door open to see if he'd come in - he just stands about 5 feet from the door and whines. I know he wants to come in with Percy but he's just too scared. Well anyway....I guess the hot dog was progress...lol
BTW - Percy is eating all this attention up. We keep playing with him in front of Piper to try and show Piper that we wont hurt him and Percy is just licking and wagging his tail.....it's so funny.
Thank you ALL for your input. After our failed adoption with Elvis I thought I'd never let my heart get caught up in another rescue dog....but I did....and now I'm so glad that I did. If nothing else, I know that one of these dogs will sleep in a nice warm bed tonight.
Protodog - you made a great point that we hadn't even caught. We had noticed that when we made eye contact he shunned away. I never even thought about him being threatened. Thanks for telling me that.
We've had company over tonight and hubby and I haven't got to talk much but when they left he told me that the owner actually showed up when he went to look at the dogs early this morning (he went before I did). He said that Piper would not go to the owner either and that when Piper ran from him the man screamed and Piper instantle fell to the ground and rolled on his back with his paws in the air. This is easily a 100 lb dog. Is this a sign of fear?
Hubby also asked him a few questions about the dogs and why they had no shelter. The owner replied - "they are Labs. They like the cold. They only require shelter when its 8 degrees or less outside." We also noticed that there were hundreds of beer bottles that was in the strewn trash in the yard. Obviously, the dogs had an alcoholic for an owner. I'm just so glad that things worked out so that we could get these dogs. We lost a Choc. Lab just over a year ago - it was my husbands dog - and we have never gotten over it. It's almost like a miracle that these dogs ended up with us as chocolates have always been our breed of choice. I guess the Lord really does work in mysterious ways!
***Edited By: Ansy1 on 12/4/2004 1:01:19 AM*** Reason: asdfsdfsd
Get a large crate and put the timid dog in it. Let him be at the side of the couch, move him to the side of the bed when you sleep, the kitchen when you cook. Graduate the dog to a tied leash, on couch legs, bedposts,etc. You may also have a submissive pee problem, move slow and ignore. The dog is used to being ignored, increase the social pressure in degrees.
Sorry I got the dog names confused, have edited now. Rolling on his back is a sign of submission. It seems quite obvious that the owner physically abused them. It's sad that they were treated so badly, especially Piper who had to endure 1.5 years longer then Percy.
I'm curious if Piper is more scared of your husband than he is of you. Reason I ask is that Winnie's previous owner had two older teenaged boys whom I think teased her a lot, so for a long time Winnie would bark at any strange MAN that came to visit us, but she would run up to women and children wagging her tail.
If Winnie does something wrong and I raise my voice, she will be startled but will not roll over onto her back. You have a long road ahead of you Ansy, but I'm so so glad that these two dogs have a chance at a wonderful life with you and your DH.
Ansy1, glad that you made a little progress with Piper. A hotdog is a start. It sounds as if the previous owner had enough antifreeze in his system that he should have stayed outside when above 8 degrees. What a joke! Piper could be intimidated by your husband due to the previous owner.
Did you see my Spoodle explanation: Short for Standard Poodle. Toodle will be my shorthand for Toy Poodle. If I had mini's I guess I would call them Moodle's. Half Poodle/Half Cow. (LOL)
Best of luck with your new family members, and remember to have patience. Piper will come around, but he's had 3 years of fear.
~~If I had mini's I guess I would call them Moodle's. Half Poodle/Half Cow. (LOL) ~~
That was just too funny...lol! Thanks for the clarification ltlgto......I had just seen a Spoodle website once and thought it was some kind of a mix.....and it turned out to be English Cockers.....thought maybe you had a secret side that we didn't know about...lol
The only diference I've noticed when Piper see's me vs. my husband is that he barks when he first see's my husband. Other than that - he still seems like he wants so badly to come to us for some attention. I think that when this dog finally does come around he'll make a wonderful companion. I think he is yearning for someone to trust.
Percy stayed inside all last night and never once used the bathroom! We let him out before bedtime and after we got up. Both times he used the bathroom outside - nothing in the house. This dod seems so thankful and eager to please. He was introduced to the cats and there was absolutely no problem. I think he could care less about any other animal at this point - he's just glad to be warm. He doesn't jump on the kids, furniture or anything and is not hyper at all. Percy is just a wonderfully behaved dog. This makes me wonder if he may have been treated decently with his owner? How could you end up with 2 dogs who have turned out so differently from the same owner? I'm really curious about that.
Those poor dogs. Bless you for giving them a loving home. The poor things.... it took my dog a long time to get used to her new home after being rescued from a laboratory. It takes patience and tender loving care.