New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?
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Thread: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

  1. #1
    Junior Member irvol's Avatar
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    New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    Hi everyone. We just rescued a dog and could use some input. He is mixed breed, maybe 9 months old or a bit older. His background, he was picked up off the street, he had been shot in the leg. He had surgery to remove the BBs probably about a month ago, was fostered for a few weeks, then put up for adoption.

    For obvious reasons he is pretty skittish. We have another dog, he is 9. They are indifferent to each other at the moment. Max, the 9 year old isn't thrilled. I know this will take time. The new one is quiet, has a pretty good temperament, wags his tail when he sees us and is pretty submissive to the older dog.

    The new guy, Bruno, never wants to get off the couch in the spare room. We know he has some discomfort in his leg where he was shot. My vet did some tests today (still waiting on results, they aren't sure if he has an infection in his leg) and put him on pain meds. I mean he never wants to move. He does not want to come be with the rest of the family. He doesn't want to go out. We literally have to pick him up put him on the floor and guide him out the door. He constantly trys to turn and run back to the couch. Once we get him out, He tries to jump on the couch on the patio, when we get him off that he runs out does his thing wants in immediately and runs back to the couch. Occasionally we pick him up and shut him out of the spare room and make him come out and join the rest of the family, so he comes in the living room, jumps on the couch there and wont move. I hate having to push him off the couch to get him to do anything. He only drinks those time I force him to get up and he has to pass his water bowl. He is happy to play with toys as long as he is laying on the couch or in a dog bed. If he gets started (like by the sound of the recliner closing) he bolts and runs to a dog bed in the kitchen if he can't get into the spare room.

    I know he has to adjust to his new home and family, we have only had him a few days, and he needs to heal but in the mean time, do I let him stay alone in a room by himself and give him time to adjust or do I force him to come join the family? And any thoughts on how to get him to be ok with being leashed and taken outside would be appreciated. His foster mom said she walked him every day on the leash but here he doesn't even want to go outside. I want to give him time to adjust but at the same time I don't want to foster his wanting to be alone.

    Thanks for reading.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    I would not force him to come to you. Does he take treats from you? If he has been walked on leash before you got him I think you just have to give him more time, a few days is not very long. The one rescue Poodle I have, it took her weeks before she would come near me on her own. She had been raised in a box stall with no socialization at all, just fed and she was almost two years old. It took her over a year before I could get a wag out of her tail but she has come along fast since, just with me though, panics with strangers.

    Your dog will not be as bad as he is younger but still needs lots of time and patience. He feels safe on his "couch" like mine always hid in a crate because she felt safe in there. Lots of treats and talking to but not forcing him to come to you.

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    Junior Member irvol's Avatar
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    He does take treats and food from us. And he does wag his tail when we talk to him and he loves to be pet. He just stays on the couch. Do you think we should go in to the room he is in and talk and pet him or should we wait around for him to come to us?

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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by irvol View Post
    He does take treats and food from us. And he does wag his tail when we talk to him and he loves to be pet. He just stays on the couch. Do you think we should go in to the room he is in and talk and pet him or should we wait around for him to come to us?
    I would think it's probably good to go in and pet/talk to him in the room for a while. Then decrease it, and hopefully he will miss it and join the family for it. Just my 2 cents, I'm no expert.

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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    This dog finds the safest place to be is the couch. So he wants to be on the couch.

    I have known dogs that do the same with a crate. I know of one dog that spent most of her life hiding in her door open crate. She had (genetically based) nerve and confidence issues and, finally, at age 8 she was euthanized. Neither love nor money was going to get her to a happy place and (in that case) it was a kindness.

    You could try putting a crate in the area where people gather and see if you can get him to choose that over the couch.

    You might over come these fears and you may not and you and the dog may always be battling them. The bottom line is a dog cannot live on the couch. The dog must function enough to leave the couch to go to the bathroom outside and to eat.

    You could try Nothing In Life is Free where no food is fed in a bowl and all food comes from you and comes from you in other parts of the house. If he won't leave the couch for food then he does not eat. It sounds mean but, in the end, it may allow the dog to associate leaving the couch with a stronger positive statement. If he is REALLY hungry and NEEDS to eat to live and finds that food comes from you and that you will be other places in the house you could start building confidence in you and positive associations. As the situation gets better you could take this outside etc.

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    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    I would not force him to do anything at this point, except the basic necessities, like eat, drink, and go to the bathroom.

    It sounds like the couch is the only place he feels safe, so let him stay feeling safe. I think eventually he will learn that being off the couch is also safe. If you do need to get him off the couch, try luring with tasty treats instead of pushing/pulling/shoving.
    <a href=http://s876.photobucket.com/user/jenelleswitzer/media/Tellier%20-%20Dogs_zpsidzysuwq.jpg.html target=_blank><img src=http://i876.photobucket.com/albums/ab325/jenelleswitzer/Tellier%20-%20Dogs_zpsidzysuwq.jpg border=0 alt= /></a>
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    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    I agree, you don't really want to force him to do anything at this point, especially after only a few days. It can take a new dog from the best circumstances a few months to adjust to a new family and a new home.

    Instead of pushing and shoving, use tasty treats to get him to do things. Take things slow. Use the very best treats to lure him outside to go potty, reward him handsomely, and then if he feels he needs to return to his safe place, let him. You might try getting him a crate so he has a den instead of camping on the couch. Just leave the door open.

    At least with my dog, I've found that forcing him to do anything usually results in the thing taking longer to accomplish. Take baby steps and use really awesome treats, like deli meat, and encourage and praise any little bit of progress!

  10. #8
    Junior Member irvol's Avatar
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    Thank you for all your suggestions. He is fine taking a tasty treat on the couch but I cant lure him off with one. Picking him up and moving him is the only way so far. Tasty treats have helped make progress in going out to the yard. And today for the first time he came to me while I was making his breakfast. He was already up but I think its progress. He may have a torn acl so that may be adding to him not wanting to move around alot but I do find him prowling on his own when i turn out the lights. The rescue said he was crate trained but i tried it and he panicked big time after a few hours so i let him out and confined him to one room.

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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    You haven't had him very long, he's in a new place, he's sore and uncertain. Right now, the couch is his "safe place"
    What I would do, it get some yummy treats and sit on the floor and ignore him. After a little while, toss a cookie on the floor near the couch, so if he wants the cookie, he has to move. When he gets off the couch, reward him (YES! cookie) Do that until he gets off the couch fairly quickly. Then hold the treat in your hand until he comes to you. (YES! cookie!)
    Don't force anything. But when he does do something you want/like, say YES, and reward that behavior.
    It may take a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months until he becomes really comfortable in his new life.
    Be patient and consistent, he'll come around.
    Good luck!

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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    He has pain this is his way telling you, if he's young normally a young dog doesn't keep still.. If vet put him on Tramadol?? Studies have shown Tramadol has limited pain relief,
    https://www.americanveterinarian.com...uAd2zr8DM2UU_U

    He needs time to gain trust, never yell, hit or force him etc sounds like old owner has been awful to dog, also he might have been trained to stay on the couch??but I think its Bad pain, make him come for his treats, his dinner, get him into a strict routine dogs love routine they feel safe when they know what's happening.. walk him same time, not a long walk stay & walk the same route, make your voice very happy higher pitched when calling him want him to play etc
    When you touch his leg does he flinch, or look at the leg?? work out does he have pain??, Id say he does, a friend of mine was shot in his leg above knee & he said it was a awful burning feeling in his leg...

  13. #11
    Junior Member irvol's Avatar
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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    He is not on Tramadol. Its whatever they are calling Rimadol these days. He has come along during this week. He is off the couch now and then and pulling toys out of the basket and playing on the floor but if a person walks in the room, 9 times out of 10 he goes for the couch. We are working on a routine. I haven't really been taking him on too many walks as he is afraid to leave the yard and I am concerned until I find out exactly what condition his leg is in. You can touch his leg, he doesn't flinch. He puts some weight on it but not full weight. As long as he goes slow he can manage the 3 stairs to go outside. Its taking a lot of treats and positive reinforcement.

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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    Sounds like he has been taught to "STAY on the Couch"
    as soon as you come into room & he goes on couch tell him No, Come On, lest play & get the toy he had then throw it, run over get the toy thru it run with it give it to him say "PLAY" COME ON PLAY then thru the toy get him out thru the house into the yard run & be a nut a happy nut & play act really happy "Come ON PLAY" throw the ball to someone to show him how to share & play..
    He needs a very friendly dog to show him what he should be doing. Do you know someone who has a confident playful very HAPPY dog who can visit even if your dog stays on his couch & he watches the other dog play, get rewards, get cuddles & kisses, he need to be shown its "OK" he wont get into trouble if he isn't on the couch.. If you have the money or join F/B group that has a Animal Behaviourist who can help him, he does need TIME to re learn & not always run back to couch as if he's bad/naughty..
    I rescued a 2yr old very very skinny Boxer & was told she needs to go to Puppy School if we adopt her she has NO Confidence?? I thought What no confidence, she had to learn to play, its OK to be happy, walk up to another dog say "HELLO" & not be passive..
    Walks when he is more confident cause you don't want him to met a wrong dog who scares him, he needs very positive dogs, happy dogs in his life so he see what he should be doing then 1 yr later you'll have a very positive boy who will walk up to people hold his head up high & say "Hello" maybe shake hands...
    I'd be teaching him words, Key Words, Sit, Stay, Come On, Walkies, Wee/Toilet=treat, Bed time & he sleeps in a dog bed, his new dogs bed in a safe warm/cool place, even if his bed cam see out window or door to watch life go by NO couch for bed time sleeps, get the couch out of his life, if you can couch is when everyone watches TV as a family..

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    Senior Member crysania's Avatar
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    Re: New Rescue Doesn't Want To Do Anything. Any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by irvol View Post
    Thank you for all your suggestions. He is fine taking a tasty treat on the couch but I cant lure him off with one. Picking him up and moving him is the only way so far. Tasty treats have helped make progress in going out to the yard. And today for the first time he came to me while I was making his breakfast. He was already up but I think its progress. He may have a torn acl so that may be adding to him not wanting to move around alot but I do find him prowling on his own when i turn out the lights. The rescue said he was crate trained but i tried it and he panicked big time after a few hours so i let him out and confined him to one room.
    Honestly this sounds like GREAT progress. You haven't had him long and he's starting to get more comfortable. Give him some time. My older dog was nervous about crossing thresholds and getting on couches. She finally overcame that as she got more comfortable with us and wanted to be with us. My younger dog COULD NOT SETTLE. Like at all. He was GO GO GO GO GO until he collapsed into a puddle. It took him about a month to get up on the couch and fall asleep.

    All rescues have an adjustment period. Some are nervous and timid, lack confidence. Some are crazy and don't know how to settle. You just have to give it time. MOST will come around and start to trust more, or de-stress enough to settle.

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