Hi. I had posted a topic in regular dog talk here and got a few responses but figured maybe more would be able to give me advice here. I adopted/rescued this little girl in front of a feeders supply sunday night so we haven't had her here that long, a little less than a week. Anyway this poor little girl has really low self confidence and I want to increase this in her. It has been pretty apparent from the start that she has been hit alot. She is very hand shy especially when coming towards her face. She has gotten alot better with me but is especially scared of men. She urinates often when my fiance has anything to do with her and gives a low cry. I have 4 children and am gradually aclimating her to them. I never press her when I can see she is showing the slightest bit of discomfort. She is crated in another room when the children are being 'busy'. The last few days I have noticed another very disturbing thing. She can't seem to bark at all. Her mouth opens and she throws back her head as if to howl almost and the most pathetic sounds come from her. It often sounds like someone with extremely bad laryngitis. It's horrible. I have never heard any dog sound this way. She was a 'cash cow' in her previous 'home'- a breeder. I don't know that she went through anything there but she certainly isn't like our dogs ever were. For one thing my babies were never scared of our hands. I want to try my hand at agility courses with her but want to make certain this should be okay. This did wonders for my min pins self confidence and she became wonderful at it. I don't know if this would be too much for this little one though. I just want to do something for her to help 'heal' her. She is very sweet and actually played (somewhat) with a toy last night. I was estatic about this and think she knew/felt it as her little nub of a tail couldn't stop wagging along with her whole bottom. It saddens me to no end though because when she does wag or get excited it's as if she immediately thinks something bad will happen as she will tuck that nub and lower her head, pin back her ears, and lower herself down low. I think if she could she would sink into the floor... If anyone has anything to contribute to help this little one I would greatly appreciate it. I am trying but want the absolute best for this little doll. Thanks.
For the barking thing, may be she was debarked, were they remove the voice box a dog can still bark but it is very quiet and does sound like laryngitis. Many large kennels will do this to keep NOISE down. For the shy thing I would NOT crate her (leave the door open so if she wants to go in there on her own she will) only when needed let her be in the room with the kids and where there is action and, Chances are she was probably constantly crated anyway, IGNORE her shyness do not try to baby her or cuddle her when she is being shy as this is like rewarding her for behavior. Instead make everything happy and exciting for her by acting like you are so excited to see her, if she slinks away let her come around at her own pace she will when she feels comfortable. I would also FIND her FAVORITE food like hot dogs. lunch meat, I like to use frozen bil jac dog food I thaw it and use it for treats the DOGS LOVE IT!!! IT smells really good and contains chicken liver which dogs love, also you can use real chicken liver too fried up and given as a treat, but anyway feed her good stuff FROM YOUR HANDS, thus hands bring good things and this will help with the being afraid of hands things, also make sure your husband does this too, try to get you husband to talk in a HAPPY VOICE towards her, usually it is the harshness and firmness of men that fearful dogs are afraid of. Be sure to NOT REWARD her fearful behavior in any way, get her to come to you for treats. If I can think of anything else I will let you know. God Bless you for helping this little girl and giving her a good home. The agility would be great but start slow and find a favorite toy that only gets used for these games:) If you can get her to play tug that is a great confindence builder as well.
She was definatly debarked, we see alot of puppy mill dogs that way in rescue. It is a really weird sound, but you will get used to it.
Confidence comes with time. Breeze.... had some excellent suggestions. Also consider getting her into an obediance class. Try to find one you and your husband can attend, it will strengthen that bond, and help her out. Agility can come, but much later down the road.
Right now alot of things are very scary for her. New home, lots of noises, unknonw people, etc. Take it one day at a time, and don't baby her. Sit on the floor and allow her to come over. Esp. you husband. Have a couple of good treats to hand her when she does. it will take time, so I suggest doing this where the tv is so you can watch tv on the floor and just ignore her til she comes over. When she does, stay calm and low key, tell her good girl and give her a treat. Sometimes the high pitched happy excited voice can be scary as well. Stay low key and calm, tell her good girl in a "normal" voice.
When the kids are playing, allow her to decide if she wants to run away or not. Allow her to have her crate for comfort is she wants to go in it. She may just hide somewhere close by, and that is not a bad thing. It will get her used to the sounds of your playing kids.
Nothing is going to happen overnight. It could take a year or more for her to become a "normal" dog if she ever does. "cash cow" and puppy mill dogs do carry alot of baggage with them.
Thank both of you for your replies/help. MooMoo (my daughter named her) seems to be perking up at times and then retreats again. She started eating finally last night but I did notice that she gulps when she does eat as if she doesn't know if it will last. I am guessing this is from living with many dogs before. She has scars on her little body from being attacked by their larger dogs. I did notice today that she stiffens up quickly upon seeing a larger dog and when it got closer she began 'vocalizing'- murmuring like sounds, low growls... I was estatic to see her eat though. She hadn't eaten since being here and I was beginning to worry. She has drank since she came but the breakthrough in eating was good to see. Another breakthrough came today and most would probably see this as nothing but I was estatic. My youngest son came outside while I was trying to get her to do her business and she actually hurried to him and then jumped up with her front paws on him asking for attention. She immediately shrunk when he went to pet her but for a split second though I saw the dog she yearns to be! While writing this my youngest daughter ran over to her and laid her upper body on Moo and Moo kissed her. That was all but in my eyes so huge! Each milestone although maybe just a pebble in the long process is heartwarming to me and brings tears to my eyes. I can see how hard this all is for her and it makes me want to protect her forever and ever. I have volunteered at many shelters but never have I been around a dog in this shape emotionally. She has a beautiful soul and to know that in her short life (not even 2 years of age) she has been subjected to this life. I wish I could erase it for her. I can't help but cry and feel such pain knowing that she has been so mistreated by someone, someone like me. As a supposedly 'superior species' some of us sure do a horrible, stomach turning job of proving this. I am angry and sickened to know that there are other little babies like MooMoo out there whom haven't been rescued yet and are still living like she did. Heck one of her puppies from her last litter was being used to replace her.... That poor baby.... My heart is very heavy and I feel burdened to help all these babies but at the moment I do good keeping my family going, fur and non fur. I just can't fathom what kind of person could use a dog up like this and do things that only MooMoo knows. Part of me wishes she could tell me her story but there is another part of me that says I know enough and am not sure I could handle anymore. I feel like I met a monster last Sunday night at that pet store and she sure was presented all nice, in a package- a disguise. Under that disguise was an evil that in the end I am glad I encountered. I had always heard about these people but had never had the firsthand experience and it never sunk in as much as it has now. I am sorry that it took little Moo to bring this home.
To all those of you in rescue whom see doggies like Moo often and care enough to bring them around, I commend you. Thank you on her and the others like her behalf.
in poodle rescue right now, we have 2 girls who came from a puppy mill that was shut down. We will probably never be able to place them, as they do not respond to people at all, and will run at the drop of the hat. We have had them almost 1yr (they are around 3yrs) and the one will finally come over to be pet. The other will lick your finger, but that is as close as she will get to you. They are very happy dogs with themselves, play, and carry on. It is sad they were treated so bad.
On the other note, it is great that you will take the time to work with this girl. She may be aggressive to big dogs her whole life, because of the past experiances. Keep that in mind, and don't allow her to fail. Understand she is who she is.
On the eating thing, it is possible she had to grab what she could. There is a bowl called a "break fast bowl". It has nubs in it to keep a dog from eating to fast. The are realitivly cheap, and maybe worth looking into.