Puppy (New Member)
My Pyr rescue dog... scared and shy.
Well this is my first post and right off the bat, I'm a proud Pyr owner! My wife and I have two Doxies that we've had since pups, but we also have two rescue dogs ( a Chipin and now a Pyr) that as many of you know, usually come with a little bit of baggage.
We've had our Pyr for 3 days now and although he's ADORABLE, he's the shyest giant I've ever met. He seems to have opened up a little to my wife but for the past 3 days, this boy just looks depressed.
His story as we've been told is that he's 3, and up until rescue, he was outside and virtually ignored.
For most of the time he's been in our house, he stays right at the back door. He will look at us if we are at a distance, but if we approach him he looks away with ears down, laying down with his head on the floor. It doesn't matter how fun or soft the tone of our voice is, we can't get a rise out of him. His ears don't even perk at all.
If we leave him be, he will wander a little bit around the kitchen but as soon as he realizes we're coming near at all... he's right back to the back door in this cowering position.
So I realize it's only been 3 days and he probably just needs to warm up to us, but what's concerning me is he barely drinks water and has eaten only once. We've yet to see him have a bowel movement and this big guy only weighs 75lbs.
We've seen a little glimmer of hope because when he hears my wife's voice, his ears actually perk for a second, but for me or my son, he almost looks like he's scared of us and his tail has remained between his legs since he arrived.
Any thoughts? It could be that time will fix this, I'm just concerned that he's not drinking/eating enough.
Flock Guardian (Moderator)
Puppy (New Member)
Thanks Terry! Can you believe we can't get him to take a treat? We've tried every treat we have for the other dogs... as well as some cooked chicken and even cheese!
Who says no to cheese? LOL
I'm so glad I saw your post and I hope I can help out a little. My husband and adopted Snow, last January. She came from the same situation, bought to breed, left on a chain with no shelter etc. First and most importantly please have patience and dont give up! This type of situation takes lots of time and very small steps. Our dog was a year and a half when we first brought her home. She was terrified of coming in to the house, of people, things in general , and to this day still most people and we have to gradually introduce new items into our house. She is absoultly worth the effort! Loving and so protective of our family now that she has crossed that bridge of trust. The drinking and eating should be a concern if it is nothing. To this day, Snow will not drink plain water from a bowl in the house. I found a stone top of a bird bath works outside, and I supplement with canned chicken water diluted with water, and some chicken (or Tune), with the idea of gradually cutting back to just water or close. They will always want to be outside and going to the door probably will not change. As far as gaining her trust, dont look her in the eyes and quietly move around the house going about your own business and sitting still with a dried chicken strip nearby on the floor may help. If she walks by you try gradually petting her but not trying to keep her there or confine her. You can only imagine what the dog was subject to. Also mine was scared when eating. Like something was going to take her food or attack her. She has really improved, but it has taken almost a year. We also put extra water in her food. I hope this helps out some.
Old Dawg (Senior Member)
As someone who has done rescue, it will take time.
One of my dogs took two years to come out of her shell, and you would not know it is the same dog
This dog had its trust of humans broken. It wont be fixed in a week.
Be gentle, dont push to dog to do what it does not want to do. Do you have a large crate? I have a feeling he will like the safety of a confined area, just leave the door open. When you give offer him a treat, put it in front of him and walk away.
IN time he WILL see you are there to help him, and it will pay off. Keep at it.
Flock Guardian (Moderator)
Hi Wammy welcome aboard and thanks for rescuing that boy.
Here are a couple of things that work for us when we get a new foster in:
One try approaching him and just sitting quietly as near to him as you can without him getting uncomfortable. Slowly work your way closer, but, don't try petting him ... you are just establishing your presence. Take as long as it takes, don't rush it.
For food try just small bites a few at a time again don't rush it. I will boil a chicken breast and then use the water to make some spaghetti noodles or oatmeal and offer it to him. He may only take one or two bites at a time, but, eventually he will come around. If he reacts positively to your wife have her try offering him a bite or two. I am talking about hand feeding here then placing it in a bowl. Feed him by the back door where he appears to be the most comfortable. There are several recipes for "Satin Balls" on this board and on the internet. Pick one of them and try some of those. Make sure he has fresh water in a bowl of his own placed by the back door where he likes to hang out. When I make the chicken and spaghetti I will not drain the pasta just leave the leftover chicken juice in the bowl with the pasta.
Try and do these when it is quiet in the house. Even if that means you have to stay up after everybody has gone to bed and get up early so that you or your wife have some quiet time with him. It may take him a couple of weeks to get comfortable enough to start eating "regular".
For the water have you tried giving him water outside or out of several different types of containers? Does your water have a lot of chlorine in it? I have found that filtering the water with one of the pitcher type of filters works well with dogs from somewhere else; too.
As a mature dog it is normal for him to be quiet (not real playful) and it sounds like he is trying to observe the family and learn the routines. These guys also like to lay in doorways where they can't be snuck up on and can watch everything going on.
How does he act outside and how does he interact with the family outside?
Hope some of this helps and good luck with him.
--Tutores Cavere --
Old Dawg (Senior Member)
Patience, patience, patience. I would rather have a shy rescue, than an angry one. Having other dogs in the pack will be of great help. Your pyr can pick up cues from the other dogs that you being around is a GOOD thing. I also agree with the advice, just be near, and be soft and quiet, and do it frequently, and regularly. (children around shy dogs should always use their "inside voice" with them untill the dog is good and used to the little people) The dog learns that you come around like clockwork, it will be something for him to start to build structure and dependance on. (this comming from a breed that is well known for their INdependance!) Good luck.
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx
Old Dawg (Senior Member)
Wow, okay, you are going to have to step back, WAAAY back and let this dog take some time to get his bearings. The best thing you can do for him right now is to let him be. Ignoring would be a great idea. He's very scared, and forcing attention on him is creating more stress. All he knows is he's scared of humans, and these humans keep on following him and crowding around him and challenging him by looking at him directly and straight in his eyes. He's trying so hard to tell these humans he means no harm and doesn't want to fight by looking away from them and making himself as small and insignificant as possible. But it's not working because the humans keep coming back and so he's even more scared as he's sure that one of them is going to attack him anytime now. That is what's going on in the dog's mind.
Leaving him alone takes away a lot of stress for him. Even approaching him sideways with no eye contact can be stressful for some of the very shy ones. While he may be just laying there by the back door, he's paying attention to what you are doing. Dogs have a wider visual span, so he can see you even if his head is not turned toward you, and he can hear and smell you. As he realizes none of you are intent on hurting him, he will slowly gain confidence and the curiosity to want to investigate you. If he's already showing some response to your wife, let her build the relationship with him right now and you and your son back off completely. I know you very much want to do him good and want him to understand he's safe now. But you must remember to communicate with him in ways that dogs can understand and respect what he's telling you right now.
No telling what it's been through. Probably super stressed, our foster pyr didn't do much of anything for several days, you could tell it was just scared.
Wow! Great advice here. We don't have a rescued Pyr but just want to say how amazing and helpful everyone is on this board.
My heart breaks for your rescue..whatever he must have went through must have been awful. But thank you for giving him a forever home. Patience pays great rewards as a Pyr owner. Best wishes to you and your family.