Ultimately Tramatized & Terrified


New Member
2 year old neutered red Dachshund named Puddy. His owner died and a family member tried to take him in. When she gave him a temperament test with his food he snapped at her. She's pregnant and fears having him around her future baby.

She surrendered Puddy just a few hours ago to Robyn a private rescuer who runs rescue on a small scale out of her home.

Upon time to meet and transfer Puddy he rode up in the car in the husband's lap. When Robyn approached to get Puddy he climbed fiercely up the husband's back to get away from Robyn and even nipped at her.

They were able to get him into a crate, but he was so terrified he defecated all over the crate and himself during the trip to Robyn's.

Upon arrival at Robyn's she tried to transfer him to a larger clean crate with his blanket in it. He cowered in the back of the crate and Robyn tried to get a leash around him at which time he bit her. She was finally able to get the leash around him to lead him out of the cage, but he started doing an alligator death roll with the leash and got himself so tangled that it was cutting his oxygen off. He wasn't going down without a fight. All the while he was biting at Robyn. He is now in a clean larger crate with his blanket and food and water. She has him in her laundry room in the crate away from the other rescue dogs.

Robyn is at a loss as to what to do to win this dog's trust and relieve his anxiety. Poor baby's world has been turned upside down and he seems very sensitive. She doesn't know if releasing him into a cage with other dogs would be helpful or harmful at this point.

Any advice on how to relieve his anxiety and win him over to let him know he is safe and loved?


New Member
Time is going to be a big factor. Suddenly losing your owners (through death, surrender, or any other way) is super rough on them! Think of a small child being given away to strangers. It also might be hard on him if he's never been crated...suddenly there's new people and they're putting him in a box.

I know one good way, if they feel comfortable getting close, is to put peanut butter or something else yummy on the tip of their finger...let him sniff it first and see if he'll lick it off. Then, he might be a bit more trusting since they gave him a treat! From there you can move to hand-feeding. Obviously, this gets down to the root needs of life - food. If this new person is feeding him directly, maybe he will feel a bit more comfortable.

I hope they can find a way to help him. He must be so scared :(


New Member
Puddy is so pitiful. He won't come out of the back of his crate and he hasn't eaten anything yet.

Robyn tried putting peanut butter on her finger and offering it to him, but instead of being interested in the peanut butter he growled and sliced her finger open. He did get the peanut butter off of her finger as a treat for biting her.

We've never encountered a dog that we couldn't win over. We are at a loss as to what to do for this little fellow. His world has been turned upside down and he is such a scared baby.


Alberta Region Moderator
Here's the thing. you cannot force a opetrified dog to do anything! You have to let them choose.

The absolute best way to help a dog like this is to go in the room with his meals. PLace his food on the floor, then go sit on the floor a ways away with a book. Don't look at him, try to touch him or anything that might be seen as a threat. Spend a half hour or so reading out loud to him, then get up and leave, leaving his food for him to eat later. you may want to try canned food, or raw, or something extremely palatable and smelly. Do this several times a day or more. When he starts eating when you're around, then move the food closer and closer to you. Eventually you can start handing him treats instead of using meals, and hopefully, before too long, he'll be looking forward to your visits, and be more willing to come out and explore.


New Member
I'm sad to say that Robyn didn't have the patience to allow Puddy to warm up to her at his own pace. :(

She forced him out of his kennel and forced a harness on him since he didn't do well with a leash around his neck. She didn't do this without paying a price. He ate her hands up during the process.

Puddy now goes everywhere Robyn goes. She first took him for a ride to the store. At first Puddy laid in the passenger floorboard. Then Robyn made him get in the passenger seat and soon after he was riding in her lap.

He is bonding to Robyn, but he is still head-shy. Anything that comes at his face or over his head gets a snap from him.

He is sleeping in the bed with Robyn and she takes him everywhere she goes. She works at a kennel where she hopes to socialize him with other people and dogs. There is a guy at the kennel who she says works with the dogs in a way that Deafdogs suggested. He will go in the dogs room and sit and talk to the dog until the dog decides to come to him.

My fear in all this is that the underlying problem with Puddy has not been addressed and that when Robyn adopts him out he will go through this trauma all over again.:confused:


New Member
it's just gonna take time.

i recently adopted a mix where the foster mom and the rescue listed her as scared of new things and new places.

we had a meet and greet with my mix at local dog park. they didnt actually interface but that was a good sign that they werent fighting.

the day the foster mom delivered her, it was like night and day. she was warm to me and my mix was very warm to her.

at the dog park, she would bark and run away from the women who tried to pet her. about a week, she has learned that the women just want to pet her and do no harm to her.

now she would jump up to the benches were i am sitting and another woman is sitting. then she would let the woman pet her.

also, she now will come up to this one other woman and let her pet her, where as before she would run away.

i only have had her for 3 weeks now.

i know a few more weeks and months, she would realized that no one is there to hurt her and just want to give her love...

good luck to your Puddy....


New Member
This might be a case where it is better to have him put down. It seems harsh but it is also harsh to let him live in constant fear and anxiety every day. Who would want to live out their days scared of everything. He must have some bad experiences with whoever raised him. In that case the behavior can't be fixed. If he is a danger to people and himself putting him down might be the best option if it doesn't get any better.


New Member
Not a fan of putting him down. It sounds like Robyn is his new best friend. My daughter has one that is fearful, and has been all his life. The best thing that has ever happened to him is as he aged he is deaf. He can't hear all the things that could scare him. My daughter has taken time to socialize him, and keep him from situations that she knows excite him. He has managed very well for 13 years and going strong. he loves her and all of the extended fam, and all the rest of the dogs. I hope Puddy gets better. Fingers crossed.