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Old 09-22-2006, 08:12 AM
gfox06 gfox06 is offline
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Default rescued dog 9-18-06 Help!

Hi,
My name is Gretchen and I joined this site today. I own a Shih Tzu named Buddy. Buddy will turn 2 in October, he is a male. We have been intirested in getting another for quite sometime. I have been watching the internet for a Shih Tzu that needed a home (a rescue), for months. Last Sunday I found an ad for a female, in our state. I called and we picked her up last Monday. We were told by the groomer that rescued her that she was 2 years old, that she had been raised by a woman who is an alcoholic, she was left in a cage inside for long periods of time with a bag of food thrown in with her. She was left for as long as a week at a time. The groomer said it took her 3 days to cut her hair because it was so matted they could not use clippers on her. She is cut very short so she does not look much like a Shih Tzu right now, even her face is extremely short. Is there a good way of getting an estimate of her age? The groomer said she was 2 but my husband is convinced she is older because she has white around her snout and mouth. She is 95% black, she has white and brindle on her chest, paws and around her snout. I have read that the color on the nose is not a good determinator of a dogs age because some dogs are born with the coloring and others get very prematurely. Are there any things I can look for that might let us know if she is around 2 or if she is older than that? Another thing is that she has never been around children. She has been great with my kids unless they are behind her and they go to pet her and she has snapped. She does not bite, just warn. She also cower when any one but me goes to pet her. We have a Lab that was a rescue from abuse but we had no problems with her, she was only 4 months old when we got her though. Buddy and Sidney (our newest dog) get along o.k.. Buddy is weary of her and tends to run from her but he has not been socialized with any other dogs except for our Lab and she tends to ignore him, where Sidney tries to play with him. Over the past 5 days Buddy seems to be gaining more trust from her and is letting her get closer. If any one can offer any advice on the do's and dont's when training an abused dog I would appreciate it. I want her to know that she can't snap or growel, but I want to make sure I teach her the right way with out scaring her or making it worse.
Thank you,
Gretchen

Last edited by gfox06; 09-22-2006 at 08:29 AM. Reason: did not get to finish
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:12 AM
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rij73 rij73 is offline
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Hi there... I think the only way to estimate the age at all closely is to have the vet look at her teeth. You should be taking her to the vet anyway ASAP to check on her overall health.

When petting a dog that might have been abused, never pet on top of the head. Don't bend down over the dog. You need to crouch in front of or next to the dog and scratch under the chin, on the chest, or on the side towards the front... never the back half of the body. That will be easier on the dog as she won't feel that she is being dominated or threatened.

I think if the dog snaps, you need to say NO very firmly and then ignore the dog for a few minutes. That's the first thing to try, I believe...

Good luck!
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