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Understanding Dog Abuse

Dogs are one of the most wonderful pets you can add to a home. Not only do they show a lot of affection, but they can also be therapeutic for children with issues. Dogs should be loved and treated well, but as we all know that is not always the case. There are over 12,000 cases of animal abuse in the abuse database. Of that amount you will find that more than half is usually dog abuse. We may feel badly about the dog abuse that has been inflicted, but if you are considering going to a rescue shelter to adopt one of these dogs you have to be prepared for certain ramifications.

Dog abuse even though it is physical can have lasting psychological effects on the dog. We will explore some of the psychological effects for dogs that have been abused below. First dog abuse is usually considered to be yelling, screaming, hitting, or injuring the dog in some way. This means that most often dogs who have suffered abuse will have at least some type of psychological effect from verbal abuse and may also have physical damage. In some cases physical damage can actually leave the dog handicapped for the rest of its life or at least with severe health problems.

When adopting an abused dog you have to be prepared to Dogs are one of the most wonderful pets you can add to a home. Not only do they show a lot of affection, but they can also be therapeutic for children with issues. Dogs should be loved and treated well, but as we all know that is not always the case. There are over 12,000 cases of animal abuse in the abuse database. Of that amount you will find that more than half is usually dog abuse. We may feel badly about the dog abuse that has been inflicted, but if you are considering going to a rescue shelter to adopt one of these dogs you have to be prepared for certain ramifications.

Dog abuse even though it is physical can have lasting psychological effects on the dog. We will explore some of the psychological effects for dogs that have been abused below. First dog abuse is usually considered to be yelling, screaming, hitting, or injuring the dog in some way. This means that most often dogs who have suffered abuse will have at least some type of psychological effect from verbal abuse and may also have physical damage. In some cases physical damage can actually leave the dog handicapped for the rest of its life or at least with severe health problems. When adopting an abused dog you have to be prepared to take care of all aspects, especially the health issues they may have.

So, if you feel you are prepared for the physical demands of the dog care needed for abused dogs let's look at psychological effects. Psychological effects generally present themselves as shy or aggressive behaviors. The behavior of the dog may also be extremely destructive to your physical property. Let's look at the shy behaviors first.

In most cases the dog will shy away from being touched or petted. They will hide under beds, in closets, or other spaces they feel you will not notice them in order to keep them from being harmed as that is what they were trained to recognize as human behavior. In some cases the dog may latch onto one person of the household. Typically if the dog has been abused by a male they will be extremely shy and will not approach or be in the same room when a male is present. It is the same if the abuser was a woman.

In some cases the dog may stay in the room, but they will not allow the gender of the person to pet them unless they are sitting down. For an example a German Shepherd mix was abused. The history is unclear, but it was plain to see the dog was abused by the behavior of avoiding any large man in the room unless they were sitting down. Only then would the dog hesitantly approach to be petted, even though the dog had been in the vicinity of this person for several months. Aggression is another way to show the effects of abuse. In most cases the dog will snarl at anyone who tries to approach and they may even attack.

In this case of abuse or psychological break it is best to have the dog enter a training course to be rehabilitated. Dogs that have psychological issues can have a behavior therapy that will re- teach them proper behavior. It will also help them to overcome their fears.

Lastly when discussing dog abuse we need to look at destructive behavior. Some dogs may not display destructive behavior right away in a new home. It may take time to come to the forefront. In the same example as above a dog began to slowly destroy things around the home. In one instance the dog actually broke through the backdoor.

Part of the problem was that the dog needed attention during the day that the owners were not supplying, but the other part was the actual abuse. They needed to show destructive behavior in the hopes that they would get any attention and that it would be several hours worth of that attention good or bad. Again therapy is needed as well as a more active roll.

Gerry Ronson has been working with dogs for twenty years and now writes for the website dog training.



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