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Thread: Help me with Sadie!!!

  1. #1
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    Default Help me with Sadie!!!

    Hi to all the Cavalier experts out there. I just rescued my first Cavalier. She was rescued from a puppy mill by Hearts United for Animals in Auburn, NE. She was 6 months old when they rescued her and I got her when she was 7 1/2 months old. From all that I have read out Cavaliers, they are loving, lap dogs. Well, I think after 6 months of the brutal enviornment she was in, she is emotionally damaged. She is scared of humans, we cannot approach her without her running away. She will come up to me but I can only pet her with one hand, if I reach for her with both, she runs. We are also having a really hard time house training her. I do have two other rescues, a lab and a pom, whom she loves to death. Her and the lab play and I think she has adopted her as her surrogate mom. The funny thing is, when we go to bed at night, all three of them sleep with us, she turns into this cuddly, kissy, puppy. She has like two personalities. She also goes balistic when she is on a leash.

    I need some advice. I realize this is going to take time, but will I ever have that lovable dog that I read about? All we want to do is let her know that she will never be hurt again.

  2. #2
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    Hi and welcome to the board.

    First of all, well done for taking in Sadie & for wanting to help her become 'normal'

    How long have you had her with you? It can take an awful long time for them to settle down and become trusting - some never ever trust fully and who can blame them?

    If she doesn't like two hands then just use one! If she was a puppy mill dog then it's probably fiar to say taht she feels more comfortable in the dark - many are kept in quite dark environments

    She probably will become loving in her own good time but it does all take time and with some rescues a lot longer than others.

    As for the housetraining, have you had her checked for UTI's? Is she peeing, pooping or both? I would just be really consistent and keep putting her out every hour or so for a toilet break - go with her and stay with her. Give treats when she does her toilets outside and also heap praise on her.

    Be quiet with her and go gently and take very slow baby steps, remember, she has probably seen more horrors in those 6mths at the puppy mill than you've ever seen in your life

    Were your other dogs mill rescues too? Mill rescues are an extremely different kettle of fish to the average rescue dog. If I can help in any way just holler!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for taking on this rescue girl. As you are discovering, puppy farm dogs can have far greater issues than a lot of other rescue dogs -- not always, but many take a long time, and some never fully, recover from this experience. Most dogs do gradually recover but they need a LOT of time and patience. It's great that you have the other two dogs because most rescues of this type find it much easier to learn to relate to other dogs first and she will learn from the other two that you are OK to approach.

    Please have a read through the links I have on rescue dogs and advice on owning or fostering, at the top of this rescue forum. These should greatly help.

    In general -- from the sound of it, you are probably pushinbg her faster than she is ready for and expecting more normal dog behaviour than she is capable of at this time. Housetraining may be be a big challenge. And not all puppy mill dogs ever totally get housetraining. Just be kind, consistent, try to never let there be an accident by always getting her outside so that she is set up for success and rewards, never, ever failure. You need to train her as if she is a puppy, with no knowledge at all of going outside. As she has spent her life going in a cage she has little to no concept of keeping a den clean and this can make housetraining very hard -- just be prepared that this may be tough for you to address. Or she may just start to 'get it' and do fine.

    Try her on a soft harness -- this is much more comfortable than trying to walk a mill dog (or any cavalier) on a collar and lead. Walking may also take a long time. There's advice in the links I think on how to get a rescue dog comfortable with a harness and lead (eg let her come and sniff them and leave them around the area she plays in so that they are not alein to her and smell 'normal' to her after a while. Let her wear just the harness while inside and without the lead being attached. After a week or so of gradually increasing the time she has it on, then try the lead for a few minutes and gradually work up). She likely doesn't really need walking, so try playing with her or just letting her play with the other dogs in the garden for the time being as you get her used to the harness and lead; and don;t try to rush her into something totally alien to her such as walks, until she trusts you and the harness/lead a bit more.

    Check that your body language isn't scaring her. Approaching a dog and leaning over her, reaching towards her, looking directly at her are all things that dogs read as potential challenges or threats, especially for an undersocialised dog. Hands reaching toward her in her past probably meant manhandling or being hit, being thrown into different cages or into a room to be mated, never kindness. To get her used to you, use treats to reward her for coming to you, squat or kneel down, don't look directly at her, hold out treats quietly, let her come sniff at you and take the treats; don't try to reach for her or pet her, just quietly praise.

    I recommend getting the manual on working with shy dogs from www.deesdogs.com too.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #4
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    We got Sadie on the 27th of September. She isn't peeing in the house, only pooping. She is in our kitchen during the day while we are gone. I felt this is better than a small kennel. She is kept in by two baby gates. She seems OK with it. She does not potty at all when in the kitchen, but after I let her out, she goes outside and then comes in and within 5-10 minutes, she has pooped on the carpet. I am thinking about some personalized puppy training with a behavioralist. What do think of that? She is just soooo cute, I hate to not be able to hold her and love her. I have wanted a Cavalier for ever and I felt she really needed us. My other dogs are rescues, but not from puppy mills. My lab was in a home that felt she should live in a small kennel and be shocked with a collar when she got to rowdy. When we got her, 7 years ago, at 8 months old, she would cower in the corner, but within no time, she was fine and is the best dog i have ever had. My pom was rescued from Hearts United also, but her reason for being there was because her previous owner thought she was too needy. Hello... She has a heart problem and does need some extra care. She is 8. We got her when she was 6 1/2. If I knew how to post pictures on this, I would send you a picture.

  5. #5
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    You need to go out and stay out with her til she does her poops. You also need to be with her and within reaching distance so she never, ever has the opportunity to go on a carpet (this is the puppy approach -- she has too much freedom if she has the chance to go on the carpet!). I recommend buying Shirlee Kalstone's classic book on housetraining as a guide. I wouldn't really advise crate training as an approach for a dog that has spent its life so far in a cage or kennel, though. She's doing pretty well if she mostly goes outdoors. It can take just as long to housetrain an adult as a puppy -- several months of consistent work.

    Also on dog/human body language see:

    http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/bod...einvaders.html

    Be very careful in the type of behaviouralist you get -- be sure they are a rewards-based, not corrections based trainer. APDT-certified trainers almost always take a gentle rewards based approach.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #6
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    Sadie:

    Excuse me for going off-topic, but did you give Sadie her name, or was that the name UHA gave her? The reason I ask is because I alerted UHA to a puppy mill auction in my area. They came and rescued 50+ dogs and posted them and a description of the auction on their website. Since I couldn't adopt one, I chose one as a "buddy" (like a sponsor) and see that she was recently adopted. I know that a few members here and on another cavalier board sponsored the other cavs from that auction. Wouldn't it be a wild coincidence if.....nah...couldn't be.

    Good luck with Sadie. I'm sure she needs a lot of TLC and will be worth every bit you give her!

  7. #7
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    We named her Sadie. On the HUA website, she was Sable. Her mother was Shayln and sister was Sierra. They also were adopted and both have had to have knee surgery. We adopted Sadie the day she went on the web site. I do believe that you are the wonderful women who helped save all these sweet pups.

  8. #8
    Mic Guest

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    Awww...I remember that Sable/Sadie was adopted very quickly. I'm so glad to learn that she's got such a loving new family. I am Shalyn's buddy; Sadie's mom. She looked so sad in her photo, and when I read about her desperate condition, I felt compelled to help her somehow.

    Thanks for giving Sadie the loving home she was meant to have. Good luck and post some pics if you get a chance.

  9. #9
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    I know this has nothing to do with me but I completely got goosebumps reading about your stories. What a small world, huh?
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  10. #10
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    Me too Glad Sadie now has a loving forever home
    Kirsty
    Merlin and Oakleys Mum (Merlin -Male/B&T/5 years, Oakley - Male/Ruby/3.5years)

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