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My husband and I just adopted a dog from a local shelter. He was to be euthenized on the 19th and so we decided to adopt him. He is super sweet and gentle and very quiet, but we are already having problems with him. We know he was abused by his actions (he cowers when I deiscipline my son, when we raise our voicee, or raise our hands over his head for any reason or the leash). Which is one more reason we want to give him a loving home. Our problem is this... he will not come out of our small kitchen without puutting a leash on him and taking him out, he refuses to budge when I call him or try to get him to come close to us unless we are sitting on the floor, and when he is in the room with us he sits as far away as possible or in a corner. Ut generally he sits in the kitchen next to the back door where he can't see us and we can't see him, making no noise, which concernes me. Ut since he was comfortable there we let him sleep in the kitchen for the night, and immediately after we walked away he started getting in the trash and scratching at the walls, so, in fear of him being scareed of his new surroundings, we put him in our large crate with a blanket and when I woke up this morning he had completely destroyed the blanket and was cowering. We did not scold him, just cleaned it up and went back to sleep. Im not used to destructive dogs, all the dogs I've had are very well behaved. But he will not listen to us and im not sure what to do. Any suggestions? He is a chocolate lab/rott mix 2 yrs old. And before you say its in a labs nature I have an 8 yr old full bred chocolate lab that is absolutelly the most well behaved dog ever (although super hyper)
 

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I have never adopted a previously abused dog before but from what I have read on these forums, the trick is to take it slooooow. Don't force any petting or anything like that (not that you are now, just thought I would mention). Just sit on the floor well away from him and just talk to him gently. Have a few treats in your hand, and if he wants to come and take one, let him. Do this with every member of your household. It will take time, but this will help show him that you are your family have good intentions and will not hurt him. Every time he comes to you, praise him.

Him tearing up the blanket in the crate almost sounds like anxiety. Maybe he had bad crate experiences before and he was scared it was going to happen again since he was put in a crate. You can also train him to be okay with crates. During a time where you are just hanging around (if you are potty training make sure you don't take your eye off him!) let him explore the crate on his own. If you are watching TV quietly it helps because I think they feel pressure if you are just staring at them. Find a way to keep the crate door open, like with a small door stop or something. Lastly, put some little treats in there. If you want, you can show him you are putting a treat in there, but just let him explore on his own. Once he is okay going into the crate without hesitation for treats, close the door for five seconds. If he does not cry or whine, give him a treat WHILE still in the crate. If you give it to him after, he will associate coming OUT of the crate with happy times, not being IN the crate. Increase the time slowly. I did this with my yorkie and she does not cry at all any more in her crate. She will now go in there on her own of she wants a quiet napping place.

For the kitchen,
Every time he leaves the kitchen, leash or no leash, I would give him a treat. Eventually he will want to leave the kitchen on his own for a treat once he knows nothing scary is going to happen when he leaves the room. Treats happen.

This is MUCH easier said than done, but I would try to keep voices at talking level. Try to not lift your hand over him until he trusts you either. Come from below. He probably also sits in the corner very quietly because in his previous home (if you can even call it that) that is what kept him safe. He couldn't be abused if he wasn't seen or heard. I would recommend using no corrections on this dog, only positive reinforcement. For example, don't punish if he tinkles inside. Rather, show him that if he pees outside treats and happy times happen.

It sounds like this dog has been through a lot. He is finally in a safe home, but he doesn't know that yet. It will take a while for him to trust, but it can happen. Just keep up praise and treats and let HIM decide when he wants human attention. So far pretty much the only attention he got was negative so he doesn't really know there is "good" attention.

I wish you luck and send you prayers. It always warms my heart when an abused dog set to be euthanized get another chance at like. Kudos to you.
 

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Slow down. Let him get comfortable. Every time you force him to do something you are setting him back. Just let him watch and figure things out. He may be a very different dog in a couple of weeks.

When I bring in a new dog, I crate/playpen the dog for a couple of weeks. That way, there is no pressure put on the new dog. They can just figure out how the house works, watch me and my other dogs, and shake off the transitional stress. Really, you have no idea who a new dog is for a couple of weeks. The destructiveness is likely stress. The cowering may be too. It may have nothing to do with abuse and everything to do with strangers (to the dog) acting out.

I don't like to be near an emotional stranger, but I don't mind the emotional ups and downs within my circle of friends and family.

Take it slowly. Things will likely work out. Give the dog space and let him reveal who he is and what he needs.

Good for you for adopting.
 

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Thank you for saving his life.

That's totally normal behavior, really, given his past. Kabota wouldn't get off the couch except to go outside for the first 2 weeks we had him. It's been 2 months now, and he's still hesitant about wandering around the house. He just isn't used to that freedom (he was crated 24/7 for at least 2 years), and it scares him.

Loud voices scare Kabota, though we are desensitizing him to that. Raised arms freaked him out at first. He still has to "hide" behind a bush or in tall grass to poop. I suspect he was punished severely for pooping inside the house, and took that to mean pooping in front of humans was the bad thing he did.

Kabota cannot be crated. At all. Even a small room freaks him out. Not even the vet who did the surgeries for the rescue could crate him. He freaked out so much, they were afraid he would hurt himself and kept him in the employee breakroom instead. For 5 days.

This is all normal. I just let him go at his own pace and treat him for EVERYTHING. Oh, hey, did you come into the kitchen? Have a treat! Did you come find me while I was folding laundry? Have a treat! Did you pick up your toy on your own? Have a treat!

I don't punish him at all. I redirect and train, but his reactions even to a casual use of the word "bad" are so extreme, we don't even say "bad" at all anymore, not even in conversation. Fortunately, Kabota isn't that much trouble. He'll chew things he shouldn't, but that merely results in things getting kinda damp. He's not a power chewer at all.

Really, it's mostly just patience and time. He'll adjust. You can't force him into it.
 
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