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Retraining sadie after being rescued from a breeding farm

  1. #1

    Retraining sadie after being rescued from a breeding farm

    Rescued Sadie a 4 year old german shepherd 4 weeks ago. She is completely withdrawn and is slowly getting a little better. We don't know much history but it seems as if she spent most of her life in a crate and has had no socialization. She is perfectly housebroken, and after we determined that, re we were able to get her out of the crate and she now lays in her bed and is free to move around the house. She still won't move out of the kitchen and family room though. Did finally get her tail out from between her legs. I think she'll come back from her past life but we keep her crate available as her safe place. If a stranger comes in she'll head for the crate and usually pee a little or sometime a little poop. Any suggestions on socialization techniques.
    We are retired and are both home most days. This is our 5th german shepherd.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Hi- I have found that it takes a long time- six months, nine months, a year- before a traumatized dog's real personality can come out. Yes, there are significant steps along the way. But it takes so long that I have forgotten it was happening in the background, and then one day I realize- hey, who is this absolutely wonderful dog in my house?

    "Hi, who are you?"

    "I'm the dog that was inside the dog you brought home last year."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Hello and welcome to the forum. You're very kind for rescuing Sadie and giving her a loving home, I admire you for that. It does sound like she's getting better slowly, which it really good to hear. She must have gone through so much abuse and neglect, I agree with DogForce, it will take time and that is to be expected.

    I think it's okay if she limits herself to the kitchen and family room for now, she has to feel secure and it's only been four weeks since she's been with you. Nice that you're retired, that will make her that much more confident if you're not having to be gone for hours at work every day. Perfectly normal for her to head for a safe spot like the crate if a stranger approaches.

    I think if you have a calm and quiet friend or neighbor, it would be good if they came over for a short visit and just chatted with you and kind of ignored Sadie. Once the dog sees that things are calm, nobody is there to harm her, she may decide to come out of her crate and observe what's going on. The visit can end with no petting of Sadie or even looking at her.

    Then, if your friend comes over again, you may see slow progress in Sadie's fear of the stranger, hopefully to the point, after numerous visits, of letting your friend give her a treat and maybe pet her. After each visit, assure Sadie that she was a good girl and has nothing to worry about. Good luck with your new girl.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire
    Several years ago I took in a german shepherd that had been badly abused. All she knew was a crate and was afraid of everything. I set up a crate for her and left the door open then ignored her. If I spoke to her she'd run back and hide in the crate. This went on for a little while, I"d feed her, give her water, walk her and talk to her, eventually adding petting to her and still she wanted the crate, I mostly ignored her, Then she'd peek out to see what I was doing, if I spoke or looked at her she'd run back in the crate, then she started coming out where I was and staying out longer and longer, then she gave up the crate altogether and was by my side all the time.

    She didn't know how to play, didn't know what toys were.. I had another shepherd at the time and I started taking them both out together in the woods. At first she's just sit there beside me but didn't take long and she was running in the woods with my other dog and starting learning how to be a dog. From there things progressed quickly. She looked forward to her run in the woods every day. She got very bonded to me. She wanted to be with just me, if I took her any place she'd get so nervous when we got out of the car she'd throw up and start to shake, That was the end of trying to socialize her. She was content to just be with me.

    Unfortunately I lost her to cancer a few years later. With me she had the life she had never known as a younger dog. I don't regret taking her and I'd do it again. My advice to you is let her be, don't force yourself on her, let her com to you in her own time, she'll come around, just be patient with her, show her some attention on her terms. Once she comes out of her shell and realize you are a good person she will love you unconditionally. She will never be a normal typical shepherd but that's ok. Just accept her for what she is, love her, do things with her when she's ready, she will blossom into a fine companion.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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