How Patience and a Little Socialization Saved a Scared Pup's Life
Don't let your dog be stunted by social issues.
The dog's Animal Control record stated he was a stray -- a dachshund so scared he would growl and nip any male that tried to touch him. We could only assume he was beaten by a man and felt he had to defend himself. No one wanted a seemingly hopeless dog with severe social issues.
Sure, dogs like this poor dachshund can be more work, but all it takes is a little patience and love. Just like people, some dogs are born to be social. Some aren't. Some have a tragic event happen that carries major repercussions, or some just do not like to be social. Here is the rest of this dachshund's story:
The dachshund went to his first foster home not long after being picked up by a local pet rescue group, and seemed to do well. His foster family named him Baxter. This family cared for Baxter until a husband and wife adopted him. However, the husband was so eager to befriend the dog that Baxter almost bit him several times. No matter how many times the rescue group advised the husband to be patient with the dog, he continued to rush Baxter into bonding. Finally, the husband decided he didn’t want to try anymore and said, “Give him back, I don’t want him in my house.”
The rescue took him back, but that very night, he made a break for it. It took 15 to 20 people from the pet rescue to finally locate little Baxter, who was found hiding in a corner. When his rescuer reached down to pick him up, he bit her. Instead of getting upset with him, she understood that he did it out of fear.
After that, I became his foster parent and I made a point to be especially patient, allowing Baxter to come to me on his time. He had a severe trust issue and he needed to be absolutely sure he could trust me before he let his guard down. It took an entire day before he came around, and once he did, he was the most wonderful dog. However, in public, he would still hide between my legs, even during walks.
I would take my dog Kaiah and Baxter to the dog park often and also look for dog-friendly events. With time and patience, the little guy started to come around. Within two weeks, he was playing with Kaiah and actually approaching people to be pet at Happy Tails Dog Park.
We found a gentleman and his children who were interested in Baxter. That was a true test. The family already had a dachshund; the rescue felt it was worth a shot.
The gentleman followed the advice of letting Baxter approach him on the dog's own terms, and within a week, Baxter was attached to the daughter and actually greeting the gentleman at the door. He was also running and playing with the other dachshund.
Baxter was officially adopted and now acts like a dog. He chases squirrels, plays with his adopted brother dachshund named Rico and walks around with his tail wagging. He's even a frequent visitor at many of Dunedin's dog-friendly establishments, including Dunedin House of Beer, Rosie’s Tavern, Eddie's Bar, Skip's Bar and Grill and the Dunedin Brewery.
And just think, Baxter was going to be put to sleep. Dogs, just like people, have many different types of social issues. Would you put your child to sleep if he or she took a little longer to trust people? Next week, I will explain more on how tell if your dog has social issues and how you can help your dog overcome them.
If Baxter can do it, so can your dog.