dealing with a rescue that has a history of physical abuse

I would appreciate any feedback or help regarding my little Gryffin.


I rescued Gryffin who is an 8 year old corgi from someone that works at my vets office.  I lost my 12 year old female corgi to cancer very suddenly in late July.  A short time after I lost Annie, the worker talked to me about possibly taking little Gryffin from her and see if he would get along with my male corgi Jake.  They are both pretty easy going neutered males.


Gryffin has a past histoy of physical abuse ( hitting him in the face and kicking him)  he was rescued by the owner I got him from.  She has 3 other corgis that were fighting with him and physically injuring him, stealing his food etc.  She said he did a lot of pacing and never seemed to relax.  I told her we can see if Jake and him would get along on a trial basis.


Luckily they get along beautifully.  They play well together, sleep together no food aggression.  It has been wonderful.


However on a few occasions, I will be petting Gryffin and he will yelp like I really hurt him, growl at me and then run away. He wants nothing to do with me when this happens and will run in to his crate and hide in the back corner. 


He is for the most part very affecionate with his corgi kisses, loves to be near me and will snuggle up with me, He will lay by me for a awhile but then sits up suddenly, like he just can't relax 100%.


I have always tried to be extra gentle with him because of his history and have really fallen in love with the little guy.


He was very head shy at first but he now will let me pet him on the head.  I would greatly appreciate any pointers or feedback.  I really want his twilight years to be wonderful for him.

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Comment by Bev Levy on October 20, 2012 at 5:36pm

Sounds as if you are making his life so much better. Just remain patient and do not take his fearful actions personally. He will get over things much quicker if you can not respond to his fears. He needs a calm, matter of fact attitude when he has flashbacks. You are doing a wonderful thing!

Comment by Diane on October 20, 2012 at 3:31pm

I would think it will hopefully get better as he gets more used to you and the environment and gains trust in you... We had similar issues with Chewey

 We don't know anything about his background (other than he was picked up running loose), but he would definitely flinch if you moved quickly over his head and had something in your hand.  If we touched him when he was sleeping he was always very startled and would wake up growling... He was ok as soon as he realized  that it was one of us but he definitely woke up like he didn't know where he was.     Not sure if that was left over from when he on his own or what, or if he'd ever get over that one.   He got over both things, it just took awhile for him to be ok with being touched when he was sleeping....

The only thing that he hasn't gotten over is his fear of loud bangs (fireworks, guns, etc).  If it's not too loud he'll just go hide under the bed or behind the toilet but if it really startles him he'll pee and then hide/shake... poor guy ;-<  Although a  lot of dogs don't like those types of loud noises so who knows the cause of that.   I don't think he'll ever get over that one so we're just careful.

Comment by Jane Christensen on October 20, 2012 at 2:56pm

My rescues are still very sensitive to loud voices or arguing...and will find a safe corner.

Comment by Jane Christensen on October 20, 2012 at 2:54pm

You might want to also post this under discussions to get some more replies.  We never know exactly what may be setting off the fear. I have 3 rescues and Teddy is extra sensitive to his ripped ears(dog fights...puppy mill dog:() He has gotten so much better but once in awhile I don't know if they forget, have a flashback or are just sensitive. For years when Wiley, Jackson(Jennifer Markley now has) and Teddy would hear a truck they'd get excited...I think they knew it was feeding time. Since we don't know we can just do the best we can and it sounds like you are bring very sensitive to his needs! Time does help but something may never be forgotten. Just keep doing what you are and love him! He will do the best he can in return. Good luck and "thanks" for giving him a good home:)

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