Any thoughts on neglect recovery?

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holisticmom
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Any thoughts on neglect recovery?

Post by holisticmom »

Ok. Sparkle, the girl who is adopting us 8) , is 3. She was in a shelter for almost two months after being found as a stray.
It looks as if she was underfed as a puppy--her ears are average sized for an adult Britt, but she's about the size overall of a six-month puppy. My concerns are:
1. what can be done about her bone strength? I picked her up and she felt so fragile.
2. improving muscle tone--she's able to walk on her back legs, but again, she feels frail.
3. She's a bit of a diva, and a bit of an alpha, but affectionate and cuddly. When I met her in person yesterday, she gave me a very thorough nose washing. What psychological issues do I need to watch for? 8)
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Canned Ice
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Re: Any thoughts on neglect recovery?

Post by Canned Ice »

As the owner of a previously-neglected pupper with lots of current psychological issues, I'd watch for signs of separation anxiety once she bonds with you. I'd start her out with a structured routine from day one so she can quickly become secure in her new home. NILIF works wonders for pushy and for nervous insecure dogs as well. If she can sit, have her sit for food, treats, cuddles, etc. It'll help her adjust very well because she will soon learn you are the giver of good things!
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holisticmom
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Re: Any thoughts on neglect recovery?

Post by holisticmom »

Thanks, Canned Ice!
We're--oh, I (remember, Holistic Dad really doesn't want a dog :wink: ) am going to get her furry little butt signed up for obedience classes, too. Did I mention that Sparkle figured our what drinking fountains are for at the vet's she was taken to after she got pulled? And that she can walk on her back legs?
The point of [dog guardianship] is to open oneself to becoming partly a dog...Edward Hoagland

Barb Wright
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Re: Any thoughts on neglect recovery?

Post by Barb Wright »

holisticmom wrote:... My concerns are: 1. what can be done about her bone strength? I picked her up and she felt so fragile.
If she is three years old there is not much that you can do about her actual structure...what you see is what you get. Is it possible they are wrong about her age???
holisticmom wrote: 2. improving muscle tone--she's able to walk on her back legs, but again, she feels frail.
The best and most nutritious diet you can feed, plus an escalating exercise program, is the only way to get improving muscle tone, muscle strength, physical stamina. This will take time because it sounds like she has a lot of catching up to do physically. I personally would opt for a raw diet, but if you don't want to do that you will need to find the highest quality foods available...no grain and high, high meat content. It is amazing how the body can make a recovery from long time deprivation if the right nutrients are given :)

holisticmom wrote: 3. She's a bit of a diva, and a bit of an alpha, but affectionate and cuddly. When I met her in person yesterday, she gave me a very thorough nose washing. What psychological issues do I need to watch for? 8)
I think once you get her home, get her on a optimum diet, give her security and direction, that you will have a far different dog emerge :D I'm really looking forward to seeing how Ms. Sparkle earns her name and learns to shine under your care :D :D

P.S. Just wanted to add....protein from MEAT is what dogs need the most. Other sources of protein such as vegetable or grain sources just don't do it for dogs :!: The most productive nutrients for dogs comes from MEAT and ANIMAL FAT SOURCES. The canine species are survivors, and as such make do with whatever they can get.....but, to offer the highest and most productive nutrients, animal sources serve dogs best :D Just had to get that out there :D
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Re: Any thoughts on neglect recovery?

Post by Lisa »

I second what Barb and Candice have said - NILIF and good nutrition and exercise.

Every dog is different, but the things I'd watch out for are separation anxiety and counter surfing/getting in to the trash. If she's used to having to scrounge for food, she may do it even when she's being fed regular meals. You might be able to reduce that by feeding her 2 or 3 smaller meals a day, so she feels less like she has to go hunting for food. (then again, she's a Britt, which usually means she's more than willing to eat double her weight in food, just because).

Obedience is always a great idea, but give her a couple of weeks to settle in first.

She sounds a lot like a foster I had a few years ago, named Sally Mae. I affectionately called her "Sally Monster." She was about 2 or 3 years old, and very, very tiny. She could jump up on the kitchen counters, walk on her back legs, was very timid about new things, but had attitude to spare. She was a neglect case, and I fostered her for a couple of months before finding her a home. Sally did wonderfully with clicker training and NILIF. She learned to not be scared of new things, and learned that I was in charge of the house, not her.
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Re: Any thoughts on neglect recovery?

Post by AuntieMom »

Trapper is higher maintenance than any dog we have ever. He has thyroid issues along with the neglect in his past.

I can tell you the #1 thing we did wrong and the #1 thing we did right.
#1 Wrong: I wish we would have socialized Trapper more when he first came to us so he was used to people coming into our home without the fear they were going to hurt him.
#1 Right: As soon as we realized he had problems, we treated his issues holistically - we had bloodwork done by the vet, we consulted a pet psychic and we worked on training.
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