Only two years old at time of
purchase, Dalton, now DJ, was terrified of people and reacted defensively
whenever anyone came near him. Luckily, he found his way to a foster home with
people who had a lot of experience with dogs who have "issues."
His foster mom tells us:
"[This] picture of DJ belly down [on the floor], was taken the day I got
him. The first three times I tried to touch him, he proceeded to go crazy and
try to eat me. This picture was about eight hours later, when he finally stayed
still, didnt attempt to bite and let me touch him. From there on he made
no more attempts to bite.
"He is progressing well,
loves the pack walk each morning with my dogs (anywhere from 4-6 dogs). He gets
a massage each day by myself or my husband; touch is coming easier but he still
would rather not have it.
"I know he behaves the
way he does because of no confidence; hence I dont want to coddle the
behavior he is exhibiting. The massage is deep and somewhat firm, not soft like
being petted. I want to touch him like another dog would.
"Dogs usually melt when I
do this and want more and more and more. DJ is not to that point. The cringing
he did initially was pitiful. His skin still crawls slightly when you start but
he relaxes eventually. He needs my confidence to relax; the firm touch seems to
let him know Ive got everything covered -- Im in control.
"Most of his day is spent
kenneled, not because the door is closed (its not) but because
thats where he is most comfortable. He does play bows with my dogs and
will play with the smaller ones. He adores my labs
they pay no attention
to him whatsoever. They are calm assertive energy that he admires. He will be
neutered soon, and we will keep moving forward. Hes taught me a lot and I
hope I have brought some comfort to his life. "
For more information on
rehabilitating puppy mill survivors, please see:
Puppy Mill Survivors: A Guide to
Caring for Unsocialized Mill Dogs .
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