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My recent GSP rescue. Need advice

  1. #1

    My recent GSP rescue. Need advice

    I have rescued a German Short haired Pointer about 3 weeks ago. She was beaten, neglected, and malnourished when I got her. We've already got her weight and energy up a good bit, up to date on all shots and vaccines, as well as dewormed.

    She seems to be pretty used to her new home. Things have went pretty well and she is so smart that is amazing to me. I felt like we made some really good strides towards her not being so timid. I mean she was coming around really well. I just feel like we have some bad relapses and I don't know why. Such as today, I tried leaving her outside. The weather was great and I have a huge fenced yard with a big covered patio. I left her out there with plenty of food and water. When I came home, she was scared to come up to me. So I guess I somehow unintentionally made "outside" a negative place? I don't know.

    This is the first time she has been like this around me. She is terrified of other people. Mostly guys ( I'm a guy BTW). I took her to work the other day to get her around some people and she hid in my office the whole time. Didn't want anything to do with other people. I really just don't know how to go about solving this issue. I typically make her "face her fears". The one thing she was terrified of more than anything was a guitar. When she got here and I picked up the guitar, she took off!!!! So I tried shutting the door and playing a little and approaching her with it so she could realize it wouldn't hurt her. That's just an example.

    I don't know if thats the proper method of doing this or not. However, it doesn't seem to be very effective. If anybody has any advice or tips please let me know. She was also in heat when I rescued her so we are coming out of that right now. I don't know if that is helpful information or not. I will include a couple of pics. ANY advice whether it be rescuing a dog or any breed specific information is very much appreciated. I know we have a long road ahead of us. I just don't want to be doing the wrong thing and not realize it.

    The first pic is when I got her and the rest are pics I have taken over the course of the past couple of weeks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by lxV2xl View Post
    I don't know why all those photos posted sideways. Sorry
    IMG_1822.jpgIMG_1990.jpgIMG_1960.jpgIMG_1825.jpgIMG_1842.jpg

  3. #3
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    Hello, and welcome to Pet Forums! First I have to commend you for rescuing this sweet girl, she looks so thin, and I'm sure she's been through a lot...you're very kind.

    Having her three weeks is not a long time at all. With all she's been through, abused, beaten, starved, etc., it will take quite awhile for her to trust people and feel secure again. First of all, she has to start with you. It will take baby-steps to get her where she needs to be, and you will have to understand and have a lot of patience with her...but it will be worth it, and she's so deserving of a second chance.

    You have to realize that when you pick up your guitar, she views it as an object. It likely looks similar to something she's been beaten with. When you make fast movements, with or without the guitar, she will automatically have a fear of being hurt...it will take a long time for her to trust, and overcome that. That can be expected, and is normal.

    She still needs very badly to feel secure with you and in your home. In my opinion you're moving too fast with her, that will backfire on you. Now that you know she's not comfortable outside in the yard, you have to arrange things so she can stay indoors, and feel safe and secure. Someday in the distant future, she'll know she's not going to be harmed, and you'll be able to leave her outdoors for a few hours.

    If she's terrified of people, bringing her to work is absolutely the worst thing you can do. She's not only around a bunch of strange people, but she's in a strange building with strange noises...I'm surprised she didn't really freak out, poor thing.

    I recommend you slow way down, for her sake. Just have one friend over, one that is mellow and quiet, and just spend some time talking or watching TV in the house with her and the friend. Once she warms up to him, you can add another person...but don't force it, don't push her, let her take her time to approach someone when she feels confident enough to do so.

    Being in heat may be making things even worse for her, as she is now very hormonal. Believe me, she's very happy to be in a loving home, but she has major issues to overcome before you can treat her like a dog that has no abuse in their history. I had two friends with German Shorthair Pointers, one was black and white, and the female looked a lot like your girl. They're great dog, very active and loving.

    Have patience with her, and she'll make a wonderful friend. Please don't push too hard, it will take time for her to feel secure, safe and confident.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Northern Alabama
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    She is a beautiful dog, and it is sad to see how terribly thin she was in the first picture. It looks like she is already starting to gain weight and looks much better.
    You can see the worry in her face, poor little girl . I have had an abused dog before, too, and sometimes, it takes them a long time to get over it, just like it does people who have abuse in their past. Some things, she may never get over.
    I had an Afghan Hound, and he had been abused by the kennel cleaner. He was absolutely terrified of brooms, and even after he got over everything else, he never liked it, and left the room when I was sweeping the floor, for the rest of his life. I don't know how he was originally, but most Afghans are pretty happy go lucky dogs, so I think they must have really traumatized poor Stanley.
    I agree with everything that Alpha says, just keep on loving her, don't try to force things, and she will get better.
    She may have been afraid to come up to you in the yard from so,etching that happened to her before, or she may have thought she was going to be taken to the office with you again, which was terrifying for her.
    It is wonderful that you took her, and she looks like she is going to make a wonderful devoted dog for you once she is not so afraid all the time.

  5. #5
    Good dogs, give her plenty of time to adjust and she'll be your best friend.

  6. #6
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    Just echoing what Alpha said. You're methods are good, but they'll need to be done slower. Foreign introductions to a lot of new things- scents, sights and even interactions can overwhelm dogs like people. They could either shine out and excel at it but such is a rare case, especially for dogs who have been abused. Imagine yourself living in a close confined space, with almost no human interaction, then someone coaxes you to go out and see the world and leaves you there alone.

    I understand that you are working... so I'm assuming that you can't leave her inside your house during the hours that you're at the office. If this is the case, you might as well get her a crate. A crate can serve as her den or safe place. If she gets accustomed to sleeping in her crate every night, you could move it outside during the days and take it in at night.

    I forgot to mention about dogs in heat. It makes them more sensitive to their surroundings. They could even end up fighting with other dogs simply because their hormones are going crazy.

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

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