Dog Behaviors of Abused Dogs
What to do with the Dog Behaviors of Abused Dogs?
Abused Dogs Have a Greater Tendency to Perform Certain Behaviors
There are 12 behavioral characteristics, 8 of which are known to be among the most common reasons people relinquish their dogs to animal shelters.
These eight traits and behaviors include:
- Fearful on stairs
- Attachment, attention-seeking
- Rolling in feces
- Fear or aggression toward other dogs or people they don’t know.
- Continuous not stopping barking
- Repetitive behaviors such as hoarding, digging, sucking pillows or running in circles.
Dogs reacting fearfulness towards unfamiliar is closely coupled with aggression toward them and is related mainly to abused dogs often motivated by fear.
Abuse can create fear, and fear may develop aggression as a consequence.
- Dog abuse, as a reaction to fear
- Injury, as a reaction to pain
- Trauma, as a reaction to a negative past experience
- Brain damage, as an involuntary physical reaction
- Genetic history, as a reaction to a learned behavior in the past
- Loneliness feeling, as a reaction to fear
- Lack of socialization, as a reaction to fear
- Body language, like raising the hand
- Sudden movements and gestures that can be identified as aggression by the dog.
- Voice tone (yelling at other people or the dog)
- Using commands used before by the former owner that created a previous trauma.
- Petting, hitting or Touching a sensible or wounded area in the dog’s body.
- Objects like tennis rackets or ball bats can be associated with a threat by the dog.
Some Behaviors Can Be Both a Result and Risk Factor for Abuse
Most of the time there is lack of information about a new dog (personality and behavior) and certain unknown dog behaviors can be risk factors for abuse.
- Continues barking can create stress or anxiety and the increased risk for a dog to be abused.
- Dogs that are not potty trained may cause discomfort to the new owners with the risk to be abused.
- Some dogs with an energetic personality may create stress to some members of the family.
Dogs with those type of behaviors are more often abused and it can wear different faces including:
- Active, like Physical Attacks or punishment
- Passive, like Neglect or indifference.
Examples of Abuse
- Depriving a young dog of its mother through too early weaning
- Keeping the dog most of the time isolated outside and away from his/her human family
- Keeping him/her chained or in a kennel, cage or crate for long periods of time
- Different forms of verbal or physical punishment, like yelling or hitting causing high or chronic levels of stress or pain.
- Lack of proper care in feeding, grooming, and attending to health needs
- Partial or complete social isolation
Something to take in consideration is the age of the dog when the abuse occurs.
Depending on how old the dog was at the time the trauma was caused it can affect him for the rest of his life, even if the dog is relocated to a new home.
But let’s be positive! As humans, traumatized dogs can improve with the right treatment, training, and support.
You can also read Dog behaviors of Traumatized Dogs
Safe and secure environment for a Previously Abused dog
- Changes will not happen overnight
- Be aware that it will not be a complete turnaround in him/her trust level or behavior
It takes time to heal an abused dog and to make him/her feel less fearful.
Like humans, dogs that are emotionally hurt will take their time to develop trust again.
But with the right advice, knowledge, commitment, and hard work a pet that was abused in the past can be turned into a healthier, happier and the sweetest dog ever.
You can find it on Amazon with this link.
General Guidelines for Creating a Safe Environment for abused dogs
- Make the dog feel loved and needed
- Communicate all commands in a clear way so your dog can understand you.
- Do not force anything under any circumstances
- Allow the dog to adapt to the new family and life at his/her own pace.
- Provide a safe place where he/she can be alone such as a crate or kennel.
- Get a dog bed where your dog can feel comfortable with their own private place to rest.
- Create opportunities for the dog to be successful and build confidence.
- Provide stress-free routines for feeding, walking and play time.
(Read the post Dog Beds 101: Everything you need to know)
There is an excellent book for behavior training recommended for abused dogs:
But it’s essential to feel hopeful! Because progress in your dog’s life is possible and there’s nothing more gratifying.