You have decided – surely after careful consideration – to give a frightened dog from animal welfare a new home.
Perhaps it will be the first real home of this animal in its life and with that you have taken on an additional and great responsibility.
Here I would like to give you a few small suggestions and aids for your new housemate, which may help both the dog and you to settle in to the new environment.
You have brought in an animal that you probably know little or nothing about. A dog is by no means a soulless being without feelings, feelings and fears. A dog is a rather extremely emotional being with the ability to link bad experiences and also to implement the links, which is often rated negatively, without questioning the reasons more precisely and examining them.
Very often negative connections lead to fears that can be understood, tolerated and, under favorable circumstances, can be reduced or eliminated over time.
Please help your new housemate with the necessary love, your full understanding and your trust, to be able to settle in in peace and to be able to bring fears under control for yourself.
Your dog became what people made of him! Please remember – before you take on a scared dog – that you will take on a great deal of responsibility. Please also keep in mind that your animal may never be “normal”. There are dogs that take many years to lead a reasonably normal life!
We do not want to talk you out of a decision that you may have already made, but we would like to point out that fearful dogs or “real” scared dogs need a lot of tact, a lot of love and understanding and an enormous amount of tolerance.
With patience and love, you will eventually – sometimes faster, sometimes after a long time – have a dog that is absolutely unique. Unique in every respect. A scared dog, who has once built up trust, will accompany you in unbreakable love and loyalty as long as the common path is. Every effort on your part will be rewarded a thousandfold and you can be sure of the endless gratitude and love of your animal!
The first steps before your dog can move into his new home
Please pay special attention and a few good thoughts to the selection of your dog’s future resting place.
Your animal will probably have lived in a kennel and that alone among other members of the same species in a fixed association. Now – alone with you – the animal must be able to orientate itself on everything new in peace. Please offer your dog a cozy spot in
In the form of a dog pillow, a kudde, or a cozy and padded blanket.
Please make sure that the berth is as secured as possible to the “rear”. That means: The animal can be sure that nobody can approach from the back area and that this area does not have to be “observed” by the animal. So a place in a corner or on a wall is certainly more comfortable in the beginning than a place to lie in the middle of the room.
Please choose the place so that your dog has a good overview. So e.g. can see who is entering the room and who has to walk past the berth.
The place should be warm (not too hot on the heater) and draft-proof!
Sometimes it is also the case with dogs from animal welfare that they choose their own place. Please make sure that your animal lies down in exactly the same place again and again and, if in doubt, set up the resting place at this place. Your dog will thank you!
Please spend the first few nights near the animal! If the berth is in your living room, please just sleep on the couch for the first few days and create an initial basis of trust for the animal. Side effect: you know when the dog has to go out, is thirsty, or feels uncomfortable.
But you can also set up a second resting place in the bedroom in a quiet corner. Do not worry! You will develop “mother’s ears” and will always notice at night when your dog is restless or even reports!
The dog is here! Controlled ignorance – a first step towards more trust!
I’m sure you are over the moon! Your dog is finally here and moved in!
Please internalize now that your animal may have come a very long way and traveled a long way. Insecurity, fears and an uncomfortable feeling are only completely normal.
Please ensure that your dog can “arrive” in peace.
That means in the first few days: no visitors, lots of rest and no great excitement. Later on, friends and other family members will be able to get to know the new housemates in peace.
Your dog will now learn and develop its new rhythm of life.
The moment will come when your pet will love you dearly, but that also takes time and … trust.
Please do not bother the animal during the first few days by touching and stroking it a lot. If necessary, the dog must be safely showered and given a small beauty regimen. But even that has to wait in case of doubt until the dog has gained a little more confidence.
The magic word of the first time was “ignorance”. This does not mean that you leave your dog behind, but simply that you follow a normal daily routine as far as possible and always watch the animal out of the corner of your eye. During this time you will learn a lot from, with and about your dog!
A dog that is not always “showered” with affectionate gestures, words and looks can determine the speed for itself at which it can get used to the new place and the new people. Dogs learn a lot through pure observation. Even if we think that the animal is asleep, it is mostly in the role of observer and sees and hears everything very precisely that is happening in the environment. This is a very positive learning effect and helps and contributes to the fact that your animal can reduce fears.
IMPORTANT!!! During the acclimatization phase, and especially with anxious dogs, always make sure that the dog can never escape through a door when you leave the house / apartment alone! The dog might also be able to pull down a door handle! So please always pay close attention!
You go out
If you have your own garden, the animal should only be able to get out there for the first few days. Please secure the garden very carefully in advance! Animal welfare dogs are true “escape kings””! High and secure fencing is extremely important. It’s also possible that the dog will dig its way out! So always put on a towline in the garden! Please pay special attention to garden gates! If visitors come and the gate accidentally stays open, the dog has the opportunity to flee and it will probably use it too !!! Never leave the animal unobserved in the garden for the first time!
Please only go outside the garden with complete safety equipment. That means: harness, leash, collar and leash!
A scared dog can slip out of a harness in a split second by taking a sudden step backwards!
You should get your dog used to wearing a harness from day one.
Please do not use cheap items! Get advice from a specialist zoo store before the dog comes to you. In the case of cheap articles, hooks and fasteners are often made of such poor material that they break or hooks / eyes bend open!
Basic security for the dog means: put on harness. Put on the collar (please do not stop), hook the leash to the collar and keep it in your hand. Hook a second normal line on the back hook of the harness and then attach it securely to your own belt! In principle, please also use the tow leash if the dog is to run with a little more freedom in a secure place. To do this, the animal should already be sent to you
be used to. And the rule here is always: hold the end of the towline tight, or better attach it to the belt! Even if you should fall, the dog cannot run away!
Does it sound awful? Yes – it is at least very cumbersome, but absolutely necessary! Over time, there will be less and less backup that you will need. But whoever has tried to catch an escaped fear dog will only be able to underline all of the points mentioned here.
It would be nice if you had a collar for your new housemate on which your telephone number can be seen clearly. In this way, the dog (should it have run away) can at least be assigned from a certain distance using the telephone number and you can receive a notification.
Snap, threaten, break away from fear and Co.
You have now decided to take in a scared dog, or even a scared dog. A great and wonderful task lies ahead of you. There are, however, a few things to note that I will now try to explain to you.
Your animal has a certain range of possibilities to communicate with us humans. Animals “talk” to each other much more effortlessly. We humans often do not have a perfect command of “doggy” and therefore do not understand our dogs immediately, or only with a little practice. If you are patient and watch your dog a lot, you will quickly learn his “language” too.
But since it could take a while until then and you may not have had that much practice in “doggy”, we would like to give you a few little tips on the way, especially with regard to anxious dogs.
Every scared dog is different in its behavior! There is absolutely no pattern by which fears show up. Rather, it is in the nature of the animal and in the way it has created connections, how and in what way fears show up.
Growling is basically not aggression! Rather, it’s communication! Your animal would like to tell you: Please don’t get so close to me! Please leave a little distance so that I can observe and assess you. Or: I am insecure and currently feel threatened by you, because I don’t know what you will do now. Or: I don’t feel well and I don’t trust you yet! Please keep your distance!
If your new housemate growls at you in the first few days, please ignore this behavior! No sharp “NO” commands. Maybe a few reassuring words from a distance. Growling is uncertainty and fear! Give your dog the opportunity to arrive correctly and to withdraw if necessary. Only when the animal can correctly assess situations with you and your family will it become safer and will no longer growl. Trust is the magic word here too! Please always radiate security. Insecurity and fear on your part also unsettle the animal! You now need a stable and reliable partner!
It will be a lot more problematic if your dog shows you the full dentition or even snaps it off!
However, I am assuming two factors at this point:
You won’t get such an animal with us! Or:
You will only get such an animal from us if you can prove that you can deal with such a situation adequately and have experience with fear-aggressive dogs!
The following situation is more likely to arise with a frightened dog: Whenever the animal feels cornered, it makes a puddle, sometimes a heap, under itself.
Please don’t make a fuss of this situation. Above all, don’t scold or complain. Even if it might not be the best: Just quietly eliminate the mishap and ignore the situation completely.
You should take the animal out regularly anyway so that it can loosen. So these little mishaps will be less and again the same applies here: Once the dog has gained confidence, this situation will be over. Indeed! Very anxious dogs can take a long time to stop being scared. Patience! Patience! Patience!
With a fearful dog, please avoid crowds, cities and roads with a lot of noise and traffic, especially at the beginning. Allow the animal to get used to it! Many of these dogs have never owned a toy in their life, let alone encountered noise, cars and crowds! You must and will learn! Dogs are extremely capable of learning and if you manage to create a pleasant and positive connection with all new experiences for your animal, then it will learn all the faster!
Stressful behavior and anxiety
An anxious dog shows increased stress through heavy panting, or uncontrollably great thirst.
There are very good homeopathic remedies such as Bach flowers, which give the animal some relief and help to overcome fears.
If you are very thirsty, you can limit the amount you drink in the evening so that the dog does not have to constantly pee at night and can also relax.
Please pay attention to whether the large amounts of drinking regulate themselves after a few days. If this is not the case, please have a vet check whether the thyroid values are correct and whether there is no diabetes.
It is often the case with scared dogs that the thyroid values increase for a short time after a major adjustment. This is not a concern and usually regulates itself again without the administration of medication!
A couple of final notes
Have you taken over a scared dog, or at least a very scared animal? Please always remember what may have happened to this animal!
His trust in people no longer exists or is completely broken.
You have now made it your business to give your dog a new, beautiful and dignified life.
You have big plans and only if you approach this task with endless love, patience and trust will you be successful. If you are willing to engage with your dog, learn to learn and practice patience, and be humble with your pet, then you will succeed in what may at first seem impossible at times.
If you give yourself the chance to learn first, your animal will learn and grow with you too!
You will experience moments of greatest sorrow. In return you will get to know many moments of greatest joy. You will be delighted to see your pet’s progress and with each passing day you will become more of an unbeatable team.
You may need staying power. Possibly even a very, very long breath. But: every effort is worth it!
You will quickly be able to see what scares your dog, what he shrinks from, what he likes and what he thinks is bad. If you bow to it and slowly introduce your animal to all innovations – with patience and love – then you will experience a small miracle!
Nothing is more beautiful than when a scared dog awakens from its rigidity. You will then have a very happy, hilarious and probably cuddly dog. The moment will come when your animal will be looking for and finding new challenges quite voluntarily. In the beginning, this can be the acceptance of a toy, a stranger’s hand caressing it, or just enjoying a sunbath on a meadow. What now seems small to us is an incredibly great thing for you and your dog, an endless adventure!
I wish you a happy and instructive time with your new companion. You can also enjoy the not always easy early days. Later, when everything is “normal”, you will think back to that time with a smile.
Don’t just give your pet the chance to learn. No! Take this great opportunity to learn and grow with and on your animal. You will never have more experience than with a dog that other people may not call “normal””. For you, this animal will always be a unique, wonderful and very special being: your very own dog!
Have fun in your life together!