Author Topic: hand feeding rescue dog  (Read 1610 times)

Deena L.

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hand feeding rescue dog
« on: November 22, 2014, 09:03:28 AM »
Friend just got a tiny Pap/mix from the local rescue.  The family has been working to connect with him for a month with no progress.  I met with them last night for the first time as I will be dog sitting while they take a vacation over Thanksgiving.  The dog is 9 months old, pulled from a high kill shelter in LA with no history.  To me it acts like a puppy mill dog - hides in crate and runs and hides if not on leash.  So sad.

Can anyone find the notes for Sharon's Handfeeding Protocol?  I think it might really help this family and this little dog.  Any other advice welcome.

Deena Lavine, OR
Jenny and Magic retired at Elite in Everything!  Amber baby dog in training
Deena, who runs with Jenny and Magic

TheQuestKnight

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2014, 06:32:42 AM »
Hi Deena.....................

I can't recall Sharon's program; but I'm pretty sure that it just started with hand feeding the dog without the dog needing to do ANYTHING to get the food; but it doesn't sound as though this dog will get that close.

OK, we just adopted a very frightened little dachsie mix from an animal welfare league 8 months ago that was a court-ordered seizure from a filthy trailer owned by a hoarder......................

From our experiences with our current Katie, FWIW, here's my suggestion.  First, AVOID direct eye contact with the dog, since a "strong eye" can be interpreted as a threat/challenge by many dogs that don't know and TRUST you.  Second, when you smile, keep your lips CLOSED....................do NOT show any teeth...................again, that can be interpreted as a threat/challenge.

Keep your body language SOFT & ROUNDED..................just like a SHY girl would at her first dance.  When you do look at the dog, use side-way glances and look away quickly......................just like the shy girl would.  Take treats and just toss them out AWAY from you at a good distance, perhaps 6 feet or more, where the dog can get them without feeling threatened......................and do NOT praise with ANY enthusiasm, since any BIG display of ANY emotion can be SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Do everything that you can to watch from your peripheral vision..........................and if you are physically able, sit on the floor, so you don't appear as threatening as you would appear if you were standing.

Do NOT reach for the dog...........................that can interpreted by the dog as a threat.  Basically, IGNORE the dog........................chances are that the dog will approach you from BEHIND to check you out and "scent" you.............................let it and don't really react very much!!!!!!!!  Let the dog initiate any and all contact!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

..................and most importantly, AT THIS TIME, don't be concerned if  the dog has accidents in the house......................just clean them up and don't say a word.....................just let/take the dog outside to see if it has anything more to do.  Likewise, if the dog bites/nips....................at most, pull back your body part a LITTLE and "yip" like a tiny puppy..................like a Pap PUPPY....................the idea is to get the dog to THINK about it's action........................NOT to be frightened by humans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, keep in mind, that you do NOT want to do ANYTHING that encourages the dog to begin to bond with YOU.  You're only the "temporary caretaker".  All that you really want to do is provide the dog with a little, tiny, start on a foundation of trust of people............................and pass on your successes to the dog's owner to continue.

I certainly do NOT mean to offend anyone; but I can't help but wonder why anyone would adopt a dog with only a month to work with it before leaving it in the care of someone else so they could take a vacation??????????????????  It would seem to me that in this case, the new dog should take precedence over ANY familial committments/obligations.  JMHO, though.........................

Best wishes for success!!!!!!!!!!  I don't envy you your task; but as long as you keep it all in perspective, you'll do fine!

Al, Barb, Pelli & Katie   

Friend just got a tiny Pap/mix from the local rescue.  The family has been working to connect with him for a month with no progress.  I met with them last night for the first time as I will be dog sitting while they take a vacation over Thanksgiving.  The dog is 9 months old, pulled from a high kill shelter in LA with no history.  To me it acts like a puppy mill dog - hides in crate and runs and hides if not on leash.  So sad.

Can anyone find the notes for Sharon's Handfeeding Protocol?  I think it might really help this family and this little dog.  Any other advice welcome.

Deena Lavine, OR
Jenny and Magic retired at Elite in Everything!  Amber baby dog in training
Castle Camelot: Al, Barb, Dred, Gael & Pellinore . . . and from The Bridge Grill & Pub,  Kali, Flurry, Promise, Chico, Romulus, Trix and Tony.

Sharon Nelson

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2014, 07:24:25 PM »
Friend just got a tiny Pap/mix from the local rescue.  The family has been working to connect with him for a month with no progress.  I met with them last night for the first time as I will be dog sitting while they take a vacation over Thanksgiving.  The dog is 9 months old, pulled from a high kill shelter in LA with no history.  To me it acts like a puppy mill dog - hides in crate and runs and hides if not on leash.  So sad.

Can anyone find the notes for Sharon's Handfeeding Protocol?  I think it might really help this family and this little dog.  Any other advice welcome.

Deena Lavine, OR
Jenny and Magic retired at Elite in Everything!  Amber baby dog in training

The first step is to put the dog in a pen..... ideally a low uncovered pen.  The lower the height of the pen, the better, as long as the dog can't climb out.  Do not make eye contact and don't try to interact with the fearful dog.  If possible, put in a litter pan in the pen.  Most dogs will instinctually use a litter pan with no training.  Don't talk to the dog and don't let others talk to the dog, especially if they want to talk in a submissive baby talk.

Put the pen in a room where you would routinely walk past many times in a day.  You can put in a half crate with a soft bed if you want, but do not put in a crate where they can "get away and hide".  They need to realize that there is nothing to hide from.  If they can run into a crate then they have successfully "escaped" the fearful thing.

If necessary, put another barrier around the fearful dog's pen so household dogs can't continually go sniff or give an evil eye to the fearful dog.

Walk past the pen many times a day and drop a piece of food as you walk by... do not slow down or make eye contact or interact, just drop food in the half of the pen where the dog is and keep going.  Don't talk, don't try to pet, don't interact.

After a couple days, the dog will perk up as you come in their direction.... continue what you are doing but be sure to drop the food a bit further away from the dog so that they must walk forward to get it..... still don't slow down until the dog is easily moving forward in the pen as you approach.  Once the dog is easily moving their ears forward (even if it is forward and back) then slow as you reach the pen, count to 2 and drop the food in the pen near where you are and move on.  Don't try to push forward and talk to the dog and try to interact. 

Very soon the dog should be moving to the edge of the pen and looking forward to the food coming.  When that is happening, as you walk to the pen, stop, and without looking "at" the dog, softly (not baby talk) say "good boy/girl" and drop the food.  Count to 2 and move on.

When you reach the point that the dog has eaten the food before you can count to 2, then stay there and keep talking softly and drop another piece of food.  Do not go past 3 pieces of food.

When the dog is eating three pieces of food easily, then from then on bend over and place the food in the pen and move on at first.  Repeat as above until the dog will eat three pieces of food while you talk softly in place.

At that stage, the dog should be at a point where they might jump up on the pen when they see you approaching.  Don't push!  A little patience at these stages will pay off big time in the life of the dog.  You want this dog to mentally be begging for you to come and interact with them.  At this time, you haven't been petting the dog or trying to pick the dog up and coddle it.

Hopefully the dog uses the litter pan so you can easily clean up after the dog without having to take the dog outside to potty.

With my broken tailbone, I am limited to how long I can sit at a computer.  Follow the above and write again when you are at the stage of feeding three pieces of food and talking to the dog and the dog isn't running away or backing up.  That should take 2-5 days.  I will then go to the next stages!

Sharon
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LeeAnne McAdam

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 09:16:40 PM »
Excellent written explanation, Sharon!  You should keep that to accompany your videos on the seminar list.  Just sayin'...

And hoping for quick healing of that tailbone!
Lee Anne

Sharon Nelson

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2014, 11:01:49 PM »
Is anything helping?

Sharon
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Deena L.

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 07:48:12 AM »
We are making progress! Day 3 and the family is gone on vacation.  Foxy no longer runs when I come into the room.  Hunger is a wonderful motivator.  He still will not come to me, but is starting to follow my movements with a soft eye!  I am keeping my voice soft and not staring or leaning in just yet.  Waiting for him to come to my side of the pen before dropping the chunk of food.  Thanks so much Sharon, you are saving this little dog with this plan.  I hope your tail bone is getting better.
Deena 
Deena, who runs with Jenny and Magic

TheQuestKnight

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2014, 08:24:32 AM »
Hi Deena,

Al here.............again. 

WOW!  Sharon's protocol is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One thing that I neglected to mention in my original post was that when we adopted Katie, I had our Pelli and our late Gael with me to help me evaluate the potential new addition.  Katie was terrified of me..................and just about anything outside of her small run in the NOISY shelter..................she even snarled and barked at Pelli; but Gael "intrigued" her.............................and both Pelli and Gael reacted as if to say "Bring her home, we got this!".

Personality-wise, Gael was pretty much like Katie when we first adopted Gael.........................so perhaps that was the first "connection".............................and Gael was soooooooooooooo the "nuturing Mommy" type..............and she pretty much took Katie "under her wing".  Gael lived 6 months with Katie.....................and taught Katie soooooooooooooooooooooooo much simply by providing Katie with example after example of how good girls behave..................................and providing appropriate "Momma dog" corrections when Katie needed them.

Katie was...............and still is playful; but at first.......................about the only play that she understood was rough-housing with another dog...............................enter Pelli, our 8 year old male.  Pelli had seemingly been longing for younger playmate that he could play with.........................and "bear-style wrasslin'" was right "up his alley".............................and as "big brothers" are prone to do, they DO protect their baby sister! <G>

Our challenge was that Katie HATED a crate.........................and would cry, whine, howl, bark, etc. whenever she was in one............................she wanted to curl up under or beside whatever chair I was in; but she really didn't want to be touched or handled..............................

By-and-large, Pelli and Gael did most of Katie's training for the first month or so..............................and as we've done before with a few of our previous challening rescue kids, we let our alpha male and alpha female do the bulk of the "house acclimation" training...............................we just provided food, water and went about our day, acknowledged the new kid when s/he asked for our attention........................and basically let the new kid "tag along" and observe how our other walked on leashes, played games, etc............................

It has been my experience that each dog has it own unique set of challenges; but we've also found that providing the new kid with PLENTY of CALM time in which to explore it's new environment in it's own way AND at it's own pace is crucial...............................and I can NOT over-state just how critically important it has been to have a stable pack that knows what to do when a new dog is introduced.

..........................and as Sharon inquired yesterday, is anything helping/working???

Best Wishes,

Hugs & wags,

Al, Barb, Pelli & Katie
Castle Camelot: Al, Barb, Dred, Gael & Pellinore . . . and from The Bridge Grill & Pub,  Kali, Flurry, Promise, Chico, Romulus, Trix and Tony.

Sharon Nelson

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2014, 12:40:16 PM »
We are making progress! Day 3 and the family is gone on vacation.  Foxy no longer runs when I come into the room.  Hunger is a wonderful motivator.  He still will not come to me, but is starting to follow my movements with a soft eye!  I am keeping my voice soft and not staring or leaning in just yet.  Waiting for him to come to my side of the pen before dropping the chunk of food.  Thanks so much Sharon, you are saving this little dog with this plan.  I hope your tail bone is getting better.
Deena

I am hoping that you get some upward movement towards you "before" you do any reaching at all.  The upwards could be a lifting of the front feet in anticipation of the treats or jumping up on the side of the pen.  Let him reach towards you before you do any reaching towards him!

Sharon
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LeeAnne McAdam

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2014, 12:55:45 PM »
Following along here to see how things go.  So happy to hear that things are progressing.  Your effort in explaining those small but so critically important details is really appreciated, Sharon!
Lee Anne

Deena L.

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2014, 07:27:57 AM »
Great news, Foxy is putting his front feet up on the pen and not leaving until his is sure I am done dropping food.  What do I do next?  He runs still when I reach in to remove the litter pan (great idea, he is using it)...  I was so happy with his progress yesterday, it was hard to drop the food and not try and hand feed.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Deena
Deena, who runs with Jenny and Magic

Deena L.

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2014, 07:54:04 AM »
Yesterday was my last day with Foxy.  His new family got home last night.  He had grown so much in such a short time, I hope they continue to work with him.  Yesterday before I left, I sat down in the pen and hand fed him!  He even wagged his tail when I walked into the room.  Thank you to everyone for the support!  Thank you to Sharon for the steps to follow to get a connection with this little dog.
Deena
Deena, who runs with Jenny and Magic

LeeAnne McAdam

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2014, 12:04:28 PM »
Great job, Deena.  Must've been a nice time for Foxy to have you there. 
Lee Anne

cheyaut

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 03:04:00 AM »
It makes me so happy to hear they aren't giving up on this poor little dog :) And you did amazing work while you watched him.

If they have a facebook account, there is a FB group called "Fearful Dogs" they could join :)
Jessi Zamboni

Sharon, AZ

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Re: hand feeding rescue dog
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2014, 11:53:30 AM »
Man, I want you babysitting MY dogs!  Lovely job, lucky pup!  Sharon, AZ