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Thread: How to tell if a bully has been abused

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    Potty Trainer riuthamus's Avatar
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    Default How to tell if a bully has been abused

    I have had plenty of dogs in my life so I can rather spot an abused animal, but I am not sure if this is just normal behavior or what.

    We got a new bulldog (not drogo) last week and upon arrival into our home she was very timid. We have kept the two seperated and she has her own toys and other such things, but she often cowers and runs to her kennel when we come near. She is much older than Drogo was when we got him (she is 15 weeks old) so she has picked up some habits and probably had some anxiety since she is not with the other puppies/mother/father. Are these signs of distress? or is it part of previous abuse?

    Thanks for any and all help you guys can provide.

    For now, we have been very slow with her and she seems to be coming around. She has started to actually eat now and plays with chew toys. She still cowers and tries to escape when you first arrive into the room, but after a quick sniff and a pat on the back she turns into a normal dog.

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    Honestly I don't have any experience w/rescues, but I will tag some members who have… I really hope she wasn't abused

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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    Potty Trainer riuthamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    I hope she was not either, but I cant help but feel like it is the case. Either way we love her just as much. I will be posting pictures and videos in a bit! So happy to have two babies as our family now! We are a big ol happy bully family! LOL!

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    Could be that she hasn't had a lot of hands on from human owners. I had one that vet put on meds so I could introduce things that are normal daily things to her. Spoke to previous owner back then and she said no she had lots of hands on. As time went on she got better and felt more secure with her surroundings. My vet said he felt she had not had a whole lot of people experience and as a puppy he said that is vital if they are going to go be with a human. She turned out to be a fantastic dog but it took time. I can't remember the med she was put on but it helped calm her down so we could get aquainted with her and she could see we were not going to hurt her or the things around her will not hurt her either. She had me a basket case when this first happened. Wow, I had been around many many dogs but never one that was a puppy yet showing fear. I noticed it initially with the owners who had brought her to me, and when I ask they said it was from the drive to my home which very well could have been the truth. I don't know.

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    Awww, that poor baby.

    that is EXACTLY how Ruthie was when we first got her and i'm sorry to say this, but our Ruthie was abused. She was almost a year old when we got her. Oh she was so timid and submissive. she would cower and hide her face for the first few months we got her. Even now after having her for 5 years, there are things we just know we can't do with her because of her abuse.
    Give her time and patience to learn to trust you. Her crate is like her "safe spot" so let her run there. She will come around in time. We thought we would never be able to get rid of Ruthie's crate, and we have!

    We let Ruthie have her space to cower and run away. We wouldn't touch her and talked to her calmly and let her come around on her own terms. Keeping her and Drogo is smart for now, they can learn about each other and then when her confidence is built you can bring them together. she's still learning her surroundings to time and patience will be key.

    Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions.

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    I am no expert but this is my opinion due to our own personal story: we have two bulldogs, Lola is 9 months Floyd is almost 8 months. We got them both at 7 weeks, and 7 weeks apart from the same breeder. They share the same dad different moms. I have a few issues with my breeder but I have no doubt that he treats his dogs with love as does the women that works with him. Our dogs couldn't have arrived with more different personalities. Lola from day one has been so social with humans and other dogs and even cats. She has always loved attention and affection from whomever will give it to her. Floyd on the other hand does not like loud noises, small children, most men, almost all dogs,cats, birds or anything else that moves. He barks at absolutley everything thats there and some things that are not there. He is very attached to myself and Lola but the 3 of us were together every second of everyday. He now loves my husband and kids but they had to earn his trust which took time. I don't in anyway think he was abused I think he just has a different personality, one filled with anxiety. I think animals are the same as humans we are born with our personalities already there. My 2 children couldn't be more opposite although being raised the same way , but that's a whole different story...lol

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    Thank you guys for the quick responses.

    I will certainly have to take a different approach with this one. We got drogo when he was young almost 8 weeks. He had to trust in us to survive so it was natural and he just does whatever we tell him. This new dog is like a wild one! The breeder seems to have left them to their own devices and I assume (not fully sure here) that our new pup had to fend off the other puppies for the first few weeks of her life. I am almost certain some of this is due to anxiety but just wanted to be certain. I cant teach her the same way I did with drogo. I was firm and strong with him and often we had our little sparing bouts! (the time he chewed my ear nearly off ... oh that was a sad day! lol) The hard part will be for me to be soft and caring with her but still be strong and alpha with Drogo. Drogo requires that and often will not listen unless you command him. Thanks for the comments guys and thanks for the help! Love this place!

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    Quote Originally Posted by riuthamus View Post
    Thank you guys for the quick responses.

    I will certainly have to take a different approach with this one. We got drogo when he was young almost 8 weeks. He had to trust in us to survive so it was natural and he just does whatever we tell him. This new dog is like a wild one! The breeder seems to have left them to their own devices and I assume (not fully sure here) that our new pup had to fend off the other puppies for the first few weeks of her life. I am almost certain some of this is due to anxiety but just wanted to be certain. I cant teach her the same way I did with drogo. I was firm and strong with him and often we had our little sparing bouts! (the time he chewed my ear nearly off ... oh that was a sad day! lol) The hard part will be for me to be soft and caring with her but still be strong and alpha with Drogo. Drogo requires that and often will not listen unless you command him. Thanks for the comments guys and thanks for the help! Love this place!
    i can understand that. With Ruthie we had to be soft, loving and calm. She is so good now and listens to us and is a perfect angel and really never does anything wrong. when we got brutus....he broke the mold. We had to be firm, strong, assertive. He's wild. It is night and day with those two at our house too!

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    I have a 5 mo old puppy and googled what to expect from a 10wk, 11wk old puppy etc... just to see their developmental stages. Although I never noticed mine go through a terribly fearful stage it was noted that they can go through several fearful stages as they grow and develop. Hopefully she wasn't abused....that is so sad to think that people would do such a thing to a defenseless animal.
    Happiness is looking at your dogs face...and forgetting all your problems

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    Perhaps she is just not used to human touch so that is something foreign to her. I truly hoped that she was not abused. People can be very cruel. If you no longer can care for an animal, just turn to rescue.

    I admire what you did for rescuing this animal. I am glad she found you.
    Hug your bully today

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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    Wellie was 13 months when he was re-homed to us but he wasn't abused. The boy loves everyone and can't stand not being the center of attention. He's my big goofy baby.

    Blue was 8 weeks and we got him from a breeder. He's my problem "child". He was never abused, in fact, he was completely spoiled.. but he's scared to death of nearly everything and decided he doesn't like strangers touching him.
    I've had people ask if he was abused.

    Most pups will have an adjustment period. Many won't eat much if at all the first few days -that can last a little while, while others may cower, and still others may react perfectly normal. It can just be a personality thing...
    I'm just saying I wouldn't assume she was abused, unless there's a reason to think so..

    If the approach you're using now is working, I would just keep doing what you're doing .. Good luck and keep us updated.


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    Default Re: How to tell if a bully has been abused

    All of these things make perfect sense. I am glad that it might just be a personality trait. The reason I thought abuse is she is very inquisitive on anything but males. When I walk into the room she runs away, but the wife doesnt seem to have the same problem. She is warming up though as today is the second day with her and I have been alone with her all day today. She is very smart though (dont tell Drogo I said this but 100% smarter than him). I was leading her to her crate for her afternoon nap and she realized what I was doing (did this before yesterday) and she turned right around and went down to speak with Drogo! Lmao

    Having two of them has been a trip and I hope most of you guys are right its just a personality thing. Thanks again

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