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Thread: rescue dog depression?

  1. #1

    Unhappy rescue dog depression?

    Hello everyone! I am new to this site- I have been looking for answers for my 5 year old golden mix. We adopted her from a rescue group 7 weeks ago and have seen little change with her. She seems constantly down in the dumps and doesnt want to be around my husband and I. Her favorite place is under the table and under our bed. She loves her food and treats and seems to be happiest when we feed her. She has been to the vet several times and has blood work tests done-- nothing is wrong with her. We give her lots of love, but are not really getting much back from her. Is this typricall for a rescue dog? We dont know her history so it has been very hard. Should we ask the vet about prozac? We have no experience and wanting to badly to make her happy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Waltham, MA, USA
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    36,528
    Quote Originally Posted by goldenrescue View Post
    Hello everyone! I am new to this site- I have been looking for answers for my 5 year old golden mix. We adopted her from a rescue group 7 weeks ago and have seen little change with her. She seems constantly down in the dumps and doesnt want to be around my husband and I. Her favorite place is under the table and under our bed. She loves her food and treats and seems to be happiest when we feed her. She has been to the vet several times and has blood work tests done-- nothing is wrong with her. We give her lots of love, but are not really getting much back from her. Is this typricall for a rescue dog? We dont know her history so it has been very hard. Should we ask the vet about prozac? We have no experience and wanting to badly to make her happy.
    It has just been 7 weeks, and as you do not know much about her background, I would not resort to Prozac or other medications just yet. She is still getting used to being a loved dog, and this could be a very new experience for her. How is she on walks? Definitely interact with her as much as you can, and I bet a year from now you will have a happy, more secure dog.

    Find what gets her attention - toys that move, or squeak, or even try bringing her to a park where she can interact with other dogs, and see if that perks her up, or scares her more ...

    Do you have any other animals?

    Bless you for going the rescue route - some dogs are untouched by previous experiences, but some can take a while to get over bad experiences.

    Longer walks every day, and pay attention to what interests her. Break treats into small pieces so you can give them more often with our worrying about her weight. And if you get a chance, give her a little bellyrub from me! Sit with her and read to her, do lots of quiet, calm interactions with her, and you will see progress!
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,830
    See if you can get more of her background from the rescue. At this point, that would be very helpful for us to guide you.

    I agree with Karen, take her for walks, take a bag of treats with you. Small, high value treats. I use cut up hot dog (one hot dog make 68+ treats), cut up Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese, and boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast. Praise and treat her for anything for now: walking, sniffing, and of course 'going.' If she looks up at you, praise and treat.

    Do you have any friends with a dog about her age / size? Try a doggie play date.

    Try to get her interested in some toys. Maybe you will have to rub a bit of some yummy food on one or 2 to get her started.

    I agree with Karen, this is not the time to seek medications. This is behavioral. It sounds like she has never learned to 'be a dog.' The rescue I volunteered with was very specific that for these rescues, they had to go to a home which already had a socialized dog living there. Seeing another dog interact with humans was key and showed behaviors they can emulate. She does sound like she needs this! So play dates, walks at parks where there are other dog walkers, need to be on your list.

    Her behavior is not 'because she is a rescue,' but rather, due to her background. Let us know what the rescue can tell you about where she came from before being in their group. Also, did the rescue have her in a foster home? What can the foster parent tell you about how she was there? Ask, ask, ASK! LOL
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    394
    I heard recently that you should plan on one month for each year of the dog's age, for it to completely adjust. In this case, it may take her 5 months to fully adjust to your home. Be patient with her, love on her, and watch the transformation!
    Owned by one silly Springer Spaniel, with pawprints on my heart left by many other pets!


    Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go, and then do it. --Ann Landers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    3,245
    Obviously you love your new dog. I've never gotten a dog from a rescue group BUT in a way I did rescue a homeless stray (see Annie below) that came to us in the country. I'm sure she had been thrown away and on her own for several months. She was very skinny, covered in ticks and fleas, very shy and skittish and I think mistreated. She was afraid but yet she wanted to be around people somewhat plus she was very hungry. She used to go to the other side of the yard when any man (delivery UPS or whoever) came on the premises. It probably took a year before she didn't act very afraid or shy. She still will not go up to strangers but will watch from a distance. She will not eat when we are there but as soon as we go inside she eats. We gave her lots of praise and still do and she loves her Cheerio treats. All in all it has been worth it to have Annie. She is such a good patient dog and she's great with the little dogs. We've had Annie about 8 years now

    I'm trying to say to give your dog time and be kind and patient with her.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rhode Island; USA
    Posts
    16,830
    I thought of this thread and want to share what an online friend of mine posted about her puppy mill rescue, Betsy. Betsy is a bichon.

    I just wanted to say a few things I've been thinking about recently. I never wanted a Bichon, I never liked small dogs and thought they were all yappy little things with bad attitudes.
    I never really got engaged with Betsy's training until about 2 years ago. Until that point, Betsy was a sweet dog; but she didn't really understand anything. She was your typical Puppy Mill pup, reserved and quiet. She could do basic obedience of course but she wasn't really 'switched on' and didn't know how to interact with other people.
    I was at an Agility show and I heard someone say 'It's only a Bichon, what can you do with that?' That was it! The next day, I took Betsy out by herself and really started to build foundations and bond with her - in the way I had with my other dog, but not with her.
    All I can say is how much I regret wasting 3 years letting her sit in the background! She is like a sponge when it comes to learning new things! But she is not easy! It takes a lot of repetition and hard work, but we are getting somewhere! She has come on in leaps and bounds (Literally) in Agility; is learning new tricks all the time and I feel so much more connected with her!
    I love watching her come out of shell! I love my little Marshmallow, and all her strange quirks!
    So, don't waste another second! Get out there walk your dog, play ball, teach them a trick, join a class! You won't regret it!


    I hope this gives you some ideas as well.
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

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