Results 1 to 9 of 9

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 She is completely withdrawn and is slowly getting a little better.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
    Posts
    1,862
    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
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    13,377
    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
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,505
    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

  5. #5
    You could try to introduce your dog to the guests and other dogs with positive reinforcement. But make sure he is controlled and understands your commands. You could start with building a bond with your new pup, then induct him to socialize with visitors at home and strangers in outdoor. At their first meeting, you should stand between your dog and the guest, and tell your guest not to communicate and have eye contact with him. They should keep a relatively far distance at first. If your dog calms down, your guest can throw some treats to him with other gestures and communication. If he eats them without fear, the guest can slowly walk nearer to your him and continue to feed him. Repeat these steps, your dog will gradually know this is a rewarded process and reduce his alert.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,505
    that is bad advice Coco, you don't want her to subject her to strangers and other dogs until she has had time to decompress and goes to strangers on her own. If you try to force things on her that she isn't ready for she may snap and/or bite if she feels threatened. The last thing you want to make is a fear bitter. Let her be, she'll come around in her own time.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    13,377
    Quote Originally Posted by linda2147 View Post
    that is bad advice Coco, you don't want her to subject her to strangers and other dogs until she has had time to decompress and goes to strangers on her own. If you try to force things on her that she isn't ready for she may snap and/or bite if she feels threatened. The last thing you want to make is a fear bitter. Let her be, she'll come around in her own time.
    Good advice Linda, I agree, let her be and she will come around when the time is right for her.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,505
    I think people mean well but forcing her to interact with strangers and other animals is a disaster waiting to happen. The dog will never adjust and be so stressed that she'll wind up at the pound or worse
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  9. #9
    We are Koda's third owner. We got him when he was 6 months, a very shy dog who had been abused. We took him to the experts in our area for doggy day care to meet and understand how to behave with other dogs. The groomer had to pick him up and carry him into the shop, lol. Today he happily goes to get groomed, and yesterday after a year of our ownership, he let a perfect stranger pet him instead of attempting to avoid his touch. It just takes time. But as Linda said no forcing him. The trainers told us that to do so would result in a fear biter.

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

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-29-2018, 02:01 PM
  2. Retraining Help
    By maryjohess in forum Dog Training and Behavior
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-14-2017, 08:41 AM
  3. Training/Retraining dog to eliminate at night
    By Pups in forum Dog Training and Behavior
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-13-2016, 08:29 AM
  4. Breeding
    By knpappa3253 in forum Dog Health and Nutrition
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-28-2016, 08:20 PM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-01-2014, 04:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Family & Health Forums: Senior Forums - Health Forum