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Old 06-24-2010, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tips on Interacting with a Traumatized Beagle

Hi All,

New member and owner here and I just want to ask for a few tips regarding my dog Fobby.

He's a rescue (his story here: New Beagle Owner Saying Hi!). Apparently before he was put into the shelter Fobby came from a breeder who abused him and let him go.

Fobby is not sociable when meeting strangers, when I visited him at the foster home, all the Beagles were playing with me except Fobby who hid under the table. He won't bark or show aggressiveness towards me but he also wouldn't interact much... he's really introverted. The vet and foster caretaker say Fobby's behaviors are not what you would expect from a beagle probably due to his troubled past.

He's staying at the vet right now and this week I've been visiting him every day to take him out on walks. When Fobby sees me he can recognize me and seems pleased for me to take him out and about. However he whimpers when he sees me and was very restless in his crate waiting for me to take him out. I know this is not a good way to interact because he will think whimpering and being antsy would result in a nice walk outside, so I will take some caution with that from now on.

When I take him out on walks he is energetic and often walking in a faster speed than I am pulling at the leash. When he's walking he wags his tail but when we stop even though he would settle down pretty quick his tail wagging would stop. Fobby is also very unresponsive with me calling him and wouldn't look at me for more than 3 seconds.

Not a big deal at all for me right now because all I want for him to be healthy and I can wait to train him when he comes home with me. But during my visits this coming week are there any things I should watch out for (behavior wise) and things I can do to help us bond making our master-pet relationship easier down the road?
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sophie also came from an abusive situation and had a lot of the same behaviors. The whimpering and restlessness are a sign that Fobby really wants to be with you. When you take him home, there are a few things that you can do. We made sure that Sophie had a place of her own - a bed or a crate always left open will do - and when she is in her 'place' no one bothers her. Direct eye contact is threatening to a dog - he will not look you in the eye because he is afraid. When you call his name, have a treat in your hand that he can see. When he comes, tell him what a wonderful dog he is! Use his name constantly when you talk to him in a happy voice. It sounds like you are doing well - it is hard work but really worth it!
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Honestly it just takes time. Molly is my 2nd dog that has been rescued from an abusive situation. She has improved about 80% in 2 years. We basically left her on her own to adjust and get used to us. Of course she warmed up to our dogs faster than humans. She is still terrified of strangers, especially men. I find that if visitors ignore her, she will come out on her own. About a year ago my husband took her to an obedience class. She was scared during class but worked well with him at home.

P.S. Thank you for rescuing Fobby!
Mom to Molly, Vazzle and Oliver. HUG YOUR HOUNDS!
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Every time I read this poem it brings a tear to my eyes. Thank you for being Fobby's angel!

Once I was a lonely dog,
Just looking for a home.
I had no place to go,
No one to call my own.
I wandered up and down the streets,
in rain in heat and snow.
I ate what ever I could find,
I was always on the go.
My skin would itch, my feet were sore,
My body ached with pain.
And no one stopped to give a pat
Or a gently say my name.
I never saw a loving glance,
I was always on the run.
For people thought that hurting me
was really lots of fun.
And then one day I heard a voice
So gentle, kind and sweet,
And arms so soft reached down to me
And took me off my feet.
“No one again will hurt you”
Was whispered in my ear.
“You’ll have a home to call your own
where you will know no fear,”
“You will be dry, you will be warm,
you’ll have enough to eat”
“And rest assured that when you sleep,
your dreams will all be sweet.”
I was afraid I must admit,
I’ve lived so long in fear.
I can’t remember when I let
A human come so near.
And as she tended to my wounds
And bathed and brushed my fur
She told me ‘bout the rescue group
And what it meant to her.
She said, ”We are a circle,
A line that never ends.”
“And in the center there is you
protected by new friends.”
“And all around you are
the ones that check the pounds,
And those that share their home
after you’ve been found.”
“And all the other folk
are searching near and far.”
“To find the perfect home for you,
where you can be a star”.
She said, “There is a family,
that’s waiting patiently,
and pretty soon we’ll find them,
just you wait and see.”
“And then they’ll join our circle
they’ll help to make it grow,
so there’ll be room for more like you,
who have no place to go.”
I waited very patiently,
The days they came and went.
Today’s the day I thought,
my family will be sent.
Then just when I began to think
It wasn’t meant to be,
there were people standing there
just gazing down at me.
I knew them in a heart beat,
I could tell they felt it too.
They said, “We have been waiting
for a special dog like you.”
Now every night I say a prayer
to all the Gods that be.
“Thank you for the life I live
and all you’ve given me.”
“But most of all protect the dogs
in the pound and on the street.”
“And send a Rescue Person
to lift them off their feet.”
Arlene Pace
September 18, 1998
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, geez, thanks for making me all weepy. =)
What was I thinking???
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I can only tell you what helped us with Sadie. Patience and more patience. Every time we tried to push Sadie out of her comfort zone we took a step back. We have a long way to go but she has come so far. Daily walks, puzzles that she has to work at to get treats and lots of praise for good behavior. Thinking out of the box to get past fears and bad behavior. Good luck with your boy.

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Fobby's home!!!

His gum only healed somewhat and the vet said it's better for him to stop taking antibiotics and let him live a normal life and see if his immune system will take care of the rest. I took him home last night but he likes to hide under the desk or other furnitures...

Since he has teeth problems he wouldn't touch any of the chew toys or anything that involves him using his mouth... so right now I'm trying to figure out how to play with him when we are in doors.

I've uploaded a couple of pix in my album, he's just so incredibly adorable it'll take time but I will do my best to bring him back to um...'beagle' form.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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patience, love and understanding.
it can take a while to overcome the fear of abuse but just from your description it is obvious that your dog craves your companionship and it is just the fear that holds him back.
your doing a wonderful thing and it wont be long before you are rewarded
with a loving, happy companion.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So glad he is home! I checked out your pics and that one waiting for his treats is sooo cute!
All you really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.
Lucy Van Pelt
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Your pics are wonderful! He is such a cute dog.
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