Abused Dog Behavior

An abused dog will display a specific behavior and can be more problematic to train. An abused dog has trust issues and may become overly aggressive. The dog can be trained, but patience is required, so that you can gain his trust.

Fearful Behavior

A dog that has been abused may display a fearful behavior, and you will notice that he is startled whenever you raise your voice or make a sudden move. This is due to the fact that he assumes you will hit him and he is afraid. Dogs typically don't react well to noises, but an abused dog may have an unpredictable reaction when hearing loud noises, fireworks or ambulance sirens.

Hiding Behavior

An abused dog may often be found hiding in a place he considers safe. This behavior may be triggered by fear. The dog will be afraid of being hurt or beaten again, so he prefers to hide.

Aggressive Behavior

Some abused dogs may become overly aggressive, as they will try to defend themselves whenever they identify a possible threat. An abused dog may attack people or other canines. There is, however, a factor that triggers this behavior and it will differ from dog to dog, depending on what makes him fearful. The triggers may include:

  • A sudden gesture
  • Raising your hand
  • Raising your voice at the dog or other people
  • Touching the dog in a wounded or scarred area
  • The use of different objects (bats or even tennis rackets)
  • A word or tone of voice used by the former owner

You can identify the trigger of aggressiveness in your dog when you see him start to growl or bark. Try avoiding the objects, gestures or words that make your dog aggressive.

Lack of Trust

An abused dog will not trust people, as he suspects all people may try to hurt him, so he won't be friendly and he won't seek attention. You may not be able to pat him or groom him. You will have to train the dog to trust you.

How to Train an Abused Dog

An abused dog will require special training, which will make him trust the new owner. If you have adopted an abused dog, you will have to offer him a peaceful environment and you will have to move slowly and carefully around him. Use a gentle tone of voice when you give orders to your dog.

A behavioral trainer will be needed, but you will have to be part of the training sessions, as you will have to gain the trust of the pet. Treats and verbal praises are necessary. You will have to have a lot of patience with your pet, but you should know that an abused dog can be trained. The period of time required for training may vary according to the dog's age and the amount of time he has been abused.