More and more pet lovers these days are opening their hearts and homes to special-needs pets, including troubled dogs with behavior challenges resulting from:
- Rough treatment
- Poor or no socialization
- Having been banished to the garage, backyard, kennel or barn
These dogs arrive at their new homes fearful of people in general or one gender in particular; fearful of being in the house or confined in a room in the house; even fearful of human hands.
What adoptive parents of troubled dogs must understand is getting their pet to come around will be a slow process requiring patience and consistency.
According to Lee Livingwood, an animal behavior consultant and greyhound rescue expert interviewed for the USAToday.com article, "It's a marathon not a sprint.”
Backsliding is to be expected – often when you least expect it. Don’t assume the progress you’ve made is all for nothing when your dog suddenly slips back into an old behavior. It’s a temporary relapse. Remain patient and consistent, letting your pet set the pace. Within a short time you’ll both be back on track, moving forward.