View Full Version : Problems with Abusive Past: HELP!

07-06-2005, 10:00 PM
I recently adopted a 10-month-old border collie from my local humane society, where I also happen to volunteer. For the past two weeks, my other border collie has been steadily growing more friendly with our new little guy, which has helped his confidence.

However, when we adopted him, we were told that he came from another agency and that he had worked on a farm... well, sort of. He chose not to herd the livestock, which resulted in him being given up. When we spoke to the behaviorists, we were told that he most likely experienced either physical or verbal abuse. He was very friendly with my dad when he first met him, but once we got home, he wanted NOTHING to do with my father. He attached himself to me and my mother (mostly me). Whenever my father gets near, he runs away. My father just tried to take him for a walk and he panicked. He flailed, ran in circles, and finally lay flat on his belly, watching my dad with wide eyes, expecting a blow. This breaks my dad's heart, since he proposed the idea od a second dog.

It's only been two weeks, but we need to start some sort of healing process. Can anyone help me with this? Some sort of training or therapy? Maybe something my father can do different so our new boy doesn't see him as the second evil farmer?

I'm desperate for help, or even a referral to someone who might have answers.

07-07-2005, 07:06 PM
It sounds to me like your dad has nothing but love for your new dog friend, and I hope the two of them can soon develope a relationship. He may never be as close to your dad as he is to you and your mother, but still can learn to trust him.

Is it possible for you dad to be the one who feeds the dogs for awhile? And perhaps hand feed them? He may also need to just be a quiet presence around the dog for awhile to let the dog know he's not a threat, etc.

I think he probably needs to watch how he approaches the dog. Not from above or in a strong stance or posture. And perhaps always with a treat in his hand?

These are just some suggestions that come to my mind. And are certainly not from a trainer. :) Is there someone in your area who is an Animal Communicator or Animal Therapist? As crazy as that sounds. :wink:

07-14-2005, 12:14 AM
Juanita gave you excellent advice - having your dad handle his feeding would help in a big way!!

07-14-2005, 09:25 AM
Yup, also when your dad approaches the dog, have him approach from the side so that his front is not facing the front of the dog, which is more of an dominate stance. When he bends down to pet her or put on a leash, have him bend at the knees instead of at the waist. Bending at the waist and hovering over a dog is another dominate stance. Your dad can also raise the dog's self esteem and its place in the heirarchy by petting the dog under the chin and the chest. All these tricks helped my dog who had a submissive-urination problem when I first adopted her.

10-02-2005, 04:48 PM
:wink: But is that not a bit risky?