I was always pretty sure Kirby had been abused based on his behavior but today pretty much verified that for me. I haven't really worked on "down" with him, mostly wanting to get his "sit", "stay", and "come" more solid since those are commands I use regularly. Well today I called him over and asked for "down" and his response was completely unexpected. He actually bolted away about halfway across the room and when I called wouldn't come to me. So I got some treats and asked again with treats in my hand and again he bolted and it took about 5 mintues of encouraging to get him to come. When he did come he crawled over on his belly and he was trembling. I tried working with him a bit and haven't been all that successful. He won't take treats now and he is a real chow hound. I guess I need to come up with a new "down" command since this one clearly won't work. Since doing this he has been sitting as far away from me as possible and will slink over with his ears down if I call him :-( We had a short play session to hopefully put this out of his mind but he is now sitting alone in the hallway looking sad and scared. I'd really like to find whoever had him before I did and throw him/her in front of a train. I have had issues with "sit" as well but they weren't as severe and he was so skittish when I first got him I suspected he was undersocialized or abused. One day I tried to get him off the couch and he wouldn't go so I took his collar to gently pull him off and teach him the word "off" and as I touched his collar he screamed bloody murder. He yelps when you try to restrain him in any way (like for nail clipping or for the vet) and at first any time you touched his collar. He now lets me touch his collar without yelping but he gets very tense. His reaction the first time I asked for "down" was WAY more severe than in the video. Even so after I turned off the camera it took me a good 5 minutes to get him to come over for petting and treats. Usually if I tell him "good boy" he gets reassured and will come over but not this time.
This has nothing to do with Kirby, so I am sorry, but Beth, your post about the broom reminds me so much of the old 'Wonderful World of Disney' movie ..."Little Dog Lost"...features a corgi named Taffy that's terrified of a broom. Very happy ending though, of course.
That is so sad :( But hopefully he will soon forget his past life and learn that you are there to help him and make him as happy as he can be.
It kind of makes me thankful for Scout's former owners. In her case it was just neglect. She's scarred of some things like plastic bottles and plastic balls (thinking some not so nice people in the neighborhood probably threw stuff at her) and she's too cautious about new things to ever run through an agility course.
But because I was the first person to really put time into her, she is so bonded to me now. She'll kind of listen to others if it is in her best interest and I reinforce it, but really she just wants her mommy. I hope it doesn't take too long for Kirby to come to the same realization that she did. When he does, you will surely have a friend for life.
I don't even want to know what they did to him, a throwing in front of a train is not enough! Poopdeck is very sensitive, if I tell him he is a bad boy with a firm voice, he gets Yoda ears and trots off to his crate. I have only spanked him maybe twice and that was for eating Almond Rocha out of the litter box. I am so glad Kirby found a good Mom!
in addition to his behavior I have found a line of bumps on the ribs on his left side that the vet thinks may be healed fractures. I just felt them recently and had my vet at school take a look at them today. Its definitely a bone abnormality and you can feel a small dent and then a bump across about 4-5 ribs. He doesn't have this on his right side and Franklin's ribs are totally smooth. Of course the only way to confirm this would be with x-rays but I don't really care to know for sure what it is. He freaks out so much when you try to examine or restrain him that I would never put him through that just to satisfy my curiousity. I know that sometimes a dog that is shy or not socialized may show many of the same traits but so many things are popping up that are consistent with abuse or mistreatment. Doesn't really matter what the cause of his behavior is since whether it is abuse or just a personality quirk I will likely be addressing it in the same way, just trying to build his confidence and trust in me.
Poor little guy. The Dalmatian I had long ago had been beaten too. He would flinch and try to hide when I picked up a comb. Took some time and love but he turned into the most trusting and trustworthy dog I have ever had. I'm sure you'll win Kirby over too!
Keep working on it and your doing a good job of taking care of him
Poor guy! At least you can take comfort in the fact that he's now with a great mom who will make him whole again. =) Keep up the good hard work, I know it takes a while but the day will come when his past will just be a distant and fading memory to him!
Oh man that is so sad, he is a darling though and im sure youll have him trusting humans before long with your tender love and care...
Poor little feller! Just keep working with him. It's all about trust and will take quite awhile.