As many of you know, I recently adopted a rescue dog. She is 10 years old and has dealt with a lot of trauma.
In an effort to stop tagging people in the Lounge thread, I decided to make a thread dedicated to this.
A lot of misconceptions were made about Blue. I don’t think this was malicious or neglect, she just didn’t have a lot of time with the adoption rep nor the foster family. The foster family also had a doggy door, so her being house trained/potty trained never occurred to them because she would always go outside.
On top of the trauma and lack of being house trained, she was also heartworm positive. Fortunately today there is treatment. It took two months. Two months of not being allowed outside or taken on walks. Blue is a cattle dog mix, which I am learning is a very active and rambunctious breed lol.
Needless to say: She was furious.
As of February 7th, her heartworm treatment has been completed.
The behavior side effects of her abuse, neglect, and mistreatment are beyond evident after spending three months with her. She is often scared still with loud noises. Sudden movements cause her to cower physically and break mentally. Initially, it took her several months, often an hour or so, before she would recover. Now, months later (we got her in November), it takes her a couple of seconds. I was surprised by her growth and really underestimated it until I began really reflecting on it.
She also walks up to us regularly, asking for pets or trying to coax us into taking her outside. Before we would have to approach, leash, and take her where we wanted: The crate, the couch, the backyard, etc.
One of the things over the last few days that came as a huge shock is how vocal she is. This started around the time her heartworm treatment was complete (which is when we started going on long walks/jogs). She will “huff” in her crate sometimes at night, escalating into a bark if we don’t shush her. She’ll “whine” when she yawns or when she wants to go outside. If she’s done eating and we haven’t taken her out of her crate, she’ll bark. I like to think this is a comfort thing, and now she’s okay making noises at us?
Tl;Dr – She never used to approach us, never made a peep, and when startled would take up to an hour to come out of hiding. Now she comes up all the time, nudging with her noise or licking our hands, knees, or elbows (), and when startled she’ll shake it off and keep trucking. Exercise has helped, I think. That and a better attitude when dealing with her.
Appreciate all of you giving me tips, advice, and encouragement throughout the last week or so. This is one of the more difficult things I’ve done.
- Find the root cause for barking at night. My wife and I think if we walk her at night and burn off some energy that’ll help.
- Get her mentally stimulated. She doesn’t engage with tennis balls, rope, cat toys, dog toys, squeaky things, nothing My wife is admittedly better at training her, but I am better about the schedule.
- Work on potty training. We’ve limited our “backyard time” to four times per day. Hopefully this will help with using the restroom at the appropriate time.
- Better Crate training? She doesn’t like being left in the crate. Once she’s potty trained this won’t be an issue.