My father-in-law lost his 16 year old chocolate lab last year. He recently (1 week ago) replaced him with a 3 year old lab. This poor little girl was for sale because she "wasn't a good mother to her puppies". he really couldn't get that much information other than she didn't want to take care of her puppies. He went to look at her and she was outside in a small cage. He loves chocolate labs and I think fell in love with her instantly. The problem is she is afraid of him. He goes to pet her and she ducks down. I am afraid she was beat by the previous owners. She has adjusted to life inside. She is doing really well with the house training. My father-in-law has been sleeping on the couch next to her because she barked the entire first night. He is retired so he is home all day with her. He has so much love to give, but she is very shy and afraid. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas on how to help her adjust. He also wants to get her fixed soon. How long should he wait? Should he let her get more adjusted first? thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.
Afraid, as in lowering her head, cowering when he reaches to pet her? This is not neccesarily a sign she was beat. They can be totally unsicalized and have the same reaction. We acquired a Pug years ago who had lived in a wire bottom puppy cage since she was born. She had never been handled and never touched an actual floor. She would do a Bambi on ice moved when set on the floor, and head would lower to the ground of you went to reach to pet her. She was never hit, just never handled, etc. She got over most things in time, she still, after 4 years would lower her head if you reach over her, have him reach under and pet her chest rather than the top of her head.
When I imagine being on the ground as they are, a large human towering over them and then reaching down at them, it would be scary. Take it slow, in time she will learn to trust.
My son has a female golden retriever and I have her sister. I babysit his dog when he works and she is very skittish and afraid of everything. She suffered a little trauma as a puppy first chewing on some pills where she had to have her stomach pumped and then both of the girls got very very sick (the vet thinks it was Parvo, but couldn't diagnose it) Bailie my dog was only ill for 2 days, but Lexi after starting life with a pumped stomach and then she got the worst of the sickness was in the hospital for 4 days, and fears were there that she wouldnt make it. I visited her daily so she knew we cared but I tend to think all that trauma had quite an impact on her. All we do is constantly reassure her. I talk to the girls like they understand me and most of the time they do. And they both communicate with me with barking and actions. So after this long story, just be patient and loving, sleeping next to her has to really be good for her. Both dogs are healthy now and we are so grateful God let us keep Lexi alive. good luck happy new year.
Thanks guys...LPN yes, she cowers down when you even look at her. I know she is in the absolute best home, I told him it will take time. He is a very patient man so I know he will keep working with her. I just feel bad. She was propably a puppy machine and had no interaction with anyone. I feel for her.
My advice for your father-in law is to back off a bit, and almost ignore the dog, (not in a mean way,just letting her know she's safe,but not making a huge fuss of her) I would have him speak to her quietly, and calmly, but not overwhelm her with attention and affection, just yet. Let her come to him, in her own time, which will not be long. I would advise him to take her for good walks, if she is leash trained, and if not just put a collar on her, and wait for a bit to leash train her.If he wants her to come to him, ask him to get down on her level, by sitting on the couch, or squatting down on the floor. The one thing that most dogs will fall for is food, and he can use treats to make her feel a little more comfortable, as a reward for coming and sitting beside him, with out cowering, etc, but he should wait a bit, and make it look as though the treat is random. I would not spay her yet. It's too soon after her move, and will undo any progress he has made with her. Perhaps the former owner can tell him when her last heat cycle was, and hopefully it was just over.Once she is settled in his home I would advise him to socialize her with other people, and other dogs as much as possible. Perhaps an obedience class would be a good idea, as well. Wish him luck, I'm sure she will soon realize she is well loved, and safe in her new home.
Your Dad sounds like a wonderful and caring man and I applaud him. I agree it will take time for his new friend to come around, just as it took time for her to become the way she is. With kindness and good care, I will bet she comes around and makes a good companion for him. Three cheers for your Dad and there is a place in heaven for him.
IPN, You too are going to heaven! I was so happy to hear of your Puggy rescue. Poor little thing. I have Pug Dogs so that story touched my heart. I will always wonder who these ******* people are that treat dogs this way. They will not be going to heaven.
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read!! Groucho Marx
Lucy my bully was abused from the start. The vets were able to help her physically however emotionally it was a struggle. At three months she would literally cower in the corner to me, noises, even plastic bags.
I was told early by a trainer friend of mine that a strict routine would do wonders and boy did she know what she was talking about. I was lucky enough that she was able to come to work with me everyday. I leashed her to my desk and simply went about my daily routine while she would lay there terrified of all the faxes, rings, etc. I do everything in my life pretty repetitive so by including her in this even with food and bathroom breaks and play times it really helped established a comfort level that she had lacked before. (I even tried "puppy prozac" and that truly did help for a bit, proof for us was that she was able to get balls that rolled under desks, but then eventually she really didn't need it anymore.)
An added bonus was that everyone in our construction office greeted her daily with a pat and some treats (carrots/liver). At first she was in the corner then its like it clicked and she realized that no one in our "office" pack was going to hurt her. Once she started to feel more comfortable I was able to work up to tricks, then an obedience class, and then agility. Even today she is not completely comfortable around new commers (especially men) but if they toss her a ball or give her a treat shes all wags.
The best advice I can give your father in law is routine, love, time, and treats.
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Thanks everyone...It has been a couple of weeks. Emma was still barking all night long...so now she sleeps next to their bed..lol..I knew that would happen. She was even afraid of the toys. It was like she never had any. She literally looked at them and didn't know what to do. She is starting to warm up to my mother-in-law. She is still shy around my father-in-law. I know it will take time. He is the one home with her all day. I know she just has to establish trust with him. He is so patient and is so happy to have her. Thanks for all the wishes. I will keep updates coming....
I got a boxer from a kennel she had not been bred, she was a year and a half old and very strange to any other dog we had ever had.. She would run to her bed that I had beside my bed anytime she got nervous.. she never had a name, nor a toy,,, the first toy I got her was just a soft yellow bone, she took it straight to her bed and never put her teeth on it... She is very cat like and lovable but when new people come in now she meets them, smells them, and accepts them.. when she first started her warm up it was me... I believe it is the womans voice that they do not fear.. but now five years later she desires my husbands attention just as much as mine.. (she does not give kisses though) also she had never had a collar on, but the strange thing is she wants one her, I think she thinks it means she belongs... She has had puppies and the best mom you ever seen........ this last litter is her last I hate it for her because she loves having children .. My advise to you is just keep touching her gently but let her do her thing until she settles in completely .. which may take a while,,, I know that she will love you eternely when shen get there but it take her longer...