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Behavior Mod.

Training an Abused Dog

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Many times people end up with an adult or even an older puppy that has been abused by the previous owner. Dog lovers have such a big heart for all dogs, and especially these poor canines who have suffered at the hands of idiots, that we go out of our way to find them a good home, or bring them into our homes. This is admirable, but can lead to a daunting task when you begin training an abused dog. These dogs are going to very wary of humans and possibly show aggression towards you so always use patience and never force the dog to do anything.

You must earn the trust of an abused dog before meaningful training can begin. Have a leash, collar, treats, and training clicker on hand. These will be your primary tools when training an abused dog.

Begin by earning the trust of the dog. Sit down on the floor or out in the yard and give the dog a command word to come to you. It can be a word like here or come. The dog will usually ignore this command, so using a gentle and calm tone repeat the command . If the dog looks your way toss him a treat. If he shows an interest in coming to you but hesitates toss another treat. When he does come to you give him a treat and speak in a happy, reassuring tone of voice telling him “good boy”.

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  1. Avatar Of Pam Counter



    I rescued a 3yr.old Bichon Frise,raised by hoarders.,she does not like collars,leash and being picked up …she will come to me for attention I do not demand it.. But we have a long way to go..HELP

  2. Avatar Of Lisa



    I was looking for a play mate for my big staffy who is 12 month old we found an add an I called a women answerd an said she would bring a pup to me I said cool okay so she brings the pup I was jaw droppin shocked they brought a small staffy skin an bone biten all over swellings infections so I took the pup didnt pay her and shoved her out the door took him to the vets and he only weighted 5.5 riddled with worms 10 days worth of antibiotics and painkillers his poor nose had been broke his little feet were bleeding he had been attacked by other dogs starved and abused by his owner he had no energy hes face is scared then the next shocking thing becouse he was starved most of his life hes growth has been stunted hes actually 6/7 months old not 12/13weeks shock wasnt the work he wont grow now hell stay small im glad I see the add cos this little fella wouldn of made it hes just finishing his antibiotics he put on 1kilo in a week and is becoming trusting of my family hes a joy can’t belived people could be this cruel dexter is a wounderfull boy who just wanted love a home an decent food we ant sure nor is the vets if hel pull completly throw or will his life be cut short due to abuse but for now hes gonna be treated the best he can be and he deserves it

  3. Avatar Of Ski Wood

    Ski Wood


    When my children were very young we took in a young dog which had been born on a farm and not socialized. The people he went to shouted at him and hit him when he did something ‘wrong’ so he would snap and try to bite first. I was a bit worried how to comunicate with him but our 4 year old collie cross dog was brilliant and just knew the new dog was for him to play with. When the abused dog wanted to stop the games he made a funny noise and the collie would stop. I started to make them same noise when the abused dog went to snap and praised him when he stopped. In less than a week he stopped snapping at people and over the next 19 years he overcame the rest of his issues and was a great dog

  4. I rescued 2 GSD, one family surrender and one abused and starved. I never knew that when I bent toward her it signaled abuse was coming. She always cowers, still, I have had her 9 yrs.

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