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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes its really rough having a dog that was previously abused. When I adopted Apollo they didn't tell me that he was previously beaten, so I kinda got into this situation without knowing what I was getting into. Does anyone elses on this board have a dog that was previously abused? If so I'd love to talk to you. I'm not trying to whine or say "poor me" but sometimes dealing with Apollo's traumatic past can be challenging and frustrating. I love him very much and I would never give up on him. Just looking for support in dealing with my dog's special needs. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Does anyone know of any good chat rooms/forums/etc that specialize in abused/neglected dogs? I'd really like to be able to talk to people with dogs like apollo, to see how they handle similar problems. Not that I don't like you all-you're great! I just think it'd be helpful to get some tips specific to Apollo's situation, ya know?
 

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I don't right off hand, but have you checked out the Yahoo groups? They have email groups for just about anything.
 

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Luckily Merlin hasnt been abused (although he acts like I dont feed him). ::)

I have been following your posts since you joined up, right from the start, getting advice on lil Apollo as soon as he came into your care. I just wanted to say that Apollo has the best mum/owner he possibly could have. You really care about him, I know, and that shows. It shows in your posts where you ask questions, and take all advice on board, and end up solving whatever it is. I think Apollo loves you to pieces, and will do whatever he can to please you, I'm sure, certainly with your help, he will be the best dog anyone would ever wish to have.
:angel: :angel: :angel:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you so much for those kind words! I am absolutely honored that you feel that way. Aw shucks, im just doing what I feel is the right thing lol (blushing).

I feel bad posting this, i'm not trying to complain about apollo or ask for sympathy (for me OR him) I just want to be able to have access to the best resouces so that I can help him. I've never had an abused animal before. Dealing with them can be tricky. For example he's terrified of toys. Like how do you deal with that? ya know? People who own dogs that haven't been previously abused sometimes don't know how to answer those types of questions. I hope I can find a place or heck, even anothe person on this board. That can help me out with my special needs pup.
 

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I think you have to start slow..small toys..don't force them on him..do what I do with my birds when I buy my skitterish ones new toys..I play with them myself..it's the old.."I want what mommy has" thing.
As for being abused..it's going to take longer for Apollo to trust you..than say a puppy you have from the first few weeks. It's alot of patience, love, doing things together. And very gentle training.
I don't think there's any quick fix..just time!!! Hope this helps..personally, I think you're doing and trying to do the best for him..just keep up the love and hopefully in time..he'll find out...he can trust you.
Jackie



Apollopuppy said:
Thank you so much for those kind words! I am absolutely honored that you feel that way. Aw shucks, im just doing what I feel is the right thing lol (blushing).

I feel bad posting this, i'm not trying to complain about apollo or ask for sympathy (for me OR him) I just want to be able to have access to the best resouces so that I can help him. I've never had an abused animal before. Dealing with them can be tricky. For example he's terrified of toys. Like how do you deal with that? ya know? People who own dogs that haven't been previously abused sometimes don't know how to answer those types of questions. I hope I can find a place or heck, even anothe person on this board. That can help me out with my special needs pup.
 

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I can't say conclusively for sure that Yeller was abused, but I'm pretty postive. I never saw it, so I can't confirm it, ya know what I mean? We got her at 6months of age. We learned very quickly that if she did something wrong, she would flee to the furthest corner of the yard, or house. I have potty mouth, and I learned that the F word would make her cower and run for cover. My dad and I figured out that by showing her a fist and saying "You want some of this?" would elicit the same sort of response. She's still really "sensitive", I don't think we will ever break that out of her. (btw, the fist thing is now a game we play. It took her a while to relax, but now she loves it, she knows she's getting a full body "fist" massage when I do that to her)

We just took it slow with her. Really slow. I think that's all you can do. There's no sense in forcing any issues - if he's afraid of toys, don't try to force him to play. I would just leave them scattered about the room so he gets used to them being in the same room as him all the time. After that, I'd move their positions. But I wouldn't be trying to get him to play with them until he's really comfortable. I'm no expert, but I think that you have to keep anything you do with him super positive. If he doesn't want his collar on, leave him - don't force the walk issue, wait a bit, then retry. I know that doesn't always work with time tables and what not, but you owe it to him to go slow. I'm sure he already feels 110% more trusting and comfortable with you guys. You are doing a good job so far.
 

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My last lab Tucson had been abused before I got her. I knew this when I adopted her but did not know how bad it had been until much later. The rescue I got her from was not helpful, only offering to take her back. I finally got help from the local Golden Retriever Rescue group and hired a trainer who dealt with abused goldens. That helped some but for the rest of her life Tucson was mistrustful of men going so far as to try and attack them if they approached. Once you gained her trust though she was the typical lab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The shelter where I adopted Apollo told me "He's your problem now" when I called to ask for advice on dealing with abused dogs. I wasn't too thrilled.
 

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I walk the local shelter at least weekly (for various reasons) but I also like to take the dogs for a brief walk to get them out of the kennel. It's amazing how many (almost every single one, actually) will cowar when I hold my hand up, palm forward, over their heads. I do this among other things to see how they would react, and it's unfortunate that I see it in all breeds, big and small.

There are a lot of stupid people out there that apparently think hitting a dog is acceptable. They are idiots. With as much money and energy that is put into neutering and spaying to control the dog/cat population (with little effect), I wonder if starting a similar campaign publicizing the positive (correct) ways to treat and teach dogs would result in more families keeping their dogs because they behave better, instead of dumping the dogs when they can't deal with their bad behaviors anymore. Then they become someone else's "problem".

Off my soap box now.....

My hat is off to you. And I, like many others on this forum, praise and encourage you. I really believe it will get better, but I do know it takes a long time for a dog who is naturally conditionable to be reconditioned. My dad brought home a neglected/abused dog once when I was really young. I remember we had him a long long time, but it was hard at first.
 

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We got Lucy from the LowCountry Lab Rescue. Lucy had been abused and neglected before we had gotten her. Someone had dumped her on the side of the road after she had had her puppies. They kept the puppies. :'( If they had never been such @ss holes though I wouldn't have her now so I can't complain I guess. She's better with us. At first she would take a while to warm up to someone. 2 years later you wouldn't know that. As soon as you walk in the door, whether she knows you or not, she's practically a 66 pound lap dog. ::) She still runs and hides if dh raises his voice though. Usually straight to me as if to guard me. But if there's a flyswatter in sight anywhere she's off and behind the couch or in the corner. It's not as bad as it used to be now. The first time it took all 5 of us to talk her out from the corner behind our living room chair. I felt so bad for her. At that point in time I wanted to bad to hurt the guy that did that to her. She's so sweet and loving. But like I said....if he had been the perfect owner then I wouldn't have her now. I just hope he doesn't have any other ones still in his possession. :'(
It's taken 2 years and a lot of love and patience. (and learning to live with flies in the house.... ;D) It's like one day they just wake up and realize that you're not like the old family was. And life is all right in the world. (to them anyway.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It really is helpful to hear another person's experiences. Im sorry for what happened to Lucy.

Apollo was beaten as a VERY young puppy, I don't know how someone could do it! Apollo has the weirdest phobias:

1. The spanish language-I hate to say it, but I believe his previous owners might have been hispanic. If you say a spanish word he doesn't freak, but if he hears people speaking to each other in spanish he pees himself.

2. Toys-yes, his old owner actually beat a puppy (apollo) with toys. What type of sick a-hole does that????

3. Water- I don't' think anyone threw him into the water or anything, I think he's just never been around it much.

4. Loud noises- im sure this stems from his early abuse

5. Until recently, seperation from us (ie he's at home, we are at work)

6. Being touched on the nose (this problem is corrected)

7. Being touched on the collar (he pee's himself and then lays in his own urine. He does that alot)

8. Jumping into cars- (fixed this too)

9. Raising your hands near him

10. Choke chains-guess who used this improperly on him? Thats right, his SOAB first owners!

These are just a FEW of Apollo's phobias. However he loves to chase bikes, he LOVES children, he loves other dogs, and ADORES bunnies, ferrets, hamsters, etc lol...labradork!
 
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