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Romanian Rescue Dog scared of Humans without Dogs!

Discussion in 'Dog Rescue and Adoption' started by Dog_Crazy_1980, Aug 15, 2019 at 11:29 PM.


  1. Dog_Crazy_1980

    Dog_Crazy_1980 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    I joined this forum to get some reassurance and advice about our 7 month old Puppy, originally born in Romania, who we rescued from a UK shelter just under 3 weeks ago.

    He's our 2nd Dog together but our 1st rescue and we were prepared for him to be wary of strangers or even other dogs to start with, but he's bizarrely fine with anyone who approaches with another Dog and will quite happily play with them, but he barks his head off or cowers away and hides from anyone not accompanied by a canine companion!!

    Has anyone else experienced this or anything similar?

    I suppose it makes sense that he's used to living with dogs, as I think he was born in a rescue centre in Romania and then came to one over here and this is his first home environment, but we don't understand why he's so afraid of people *only* if they don't have a Dog!

    He's met our friends that have dogs and gets on well with them, but he's still reluctant to let our Parents and other friends near him! He also barks incessantly at our Neighbours if he can see or hear them in the Garden and it's becoming a bit of a problem, so we'd like to do what we can to help him.

    Any ideas or suggestions?!
     
  2. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    Ahh,your boy sounds lovely,pretty typical of a Rommie dog and lucky to have found you.From my experience,I think it would be fair to say that these dogs previous experiences are so difficult,and often so traumatic,that they have to make sense of their world from a different perspective to what most of us have experienced until we encounter them at first hand.If he was born in a centre in Romania,your dog would,I suspect,have missed out on any opportunity to become socialised in the way that he should have.Even the rescues run by the best rescuers (and many of them aren't),are over stretched and under resourced.They are often feed and kept safe from the dangers of the streets but little else.Do you know which Romanian rescue he came from and how long he was in a UK rescue before he came to you?
    It sounds like he's a bright boy,not being biased but my dog,Maci,is as bright as a button and it seems that many of the Rommies are too (think it's almost in bred in them to survive).I guess he's seen that humans around other dogs ie being feed and treated with kindness in the shelter,have been ok but that other people can be wicked (maybe almost an instinct he was born with).I always think it's almost in these dogs dna to mistrust,the cruelty is appalling and incredibly wide spread.If so,or for whatever reason,it's great that your boy is ok with other dogs and their people.
    As for others,it's very,very early days.Maybe try and slow down,it will pay dividends in the long run.I'd ask people not to look at your dog,or speak to him,or approach him in any way,unless he's entirely comfortable with it.If not,it's for their sake,not his.You'll probably find that when he can relax,because he isn't having unwanted and scary attention forced on him,he'll come round much quicker.
    I'll finish later,have to go out now!
     
  3. Dog_Crazy_1980

    Dog_Crazy_1980 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you! We know he was seen by a Vet, Stefan Aurelian, who works with a spay and neuter charity in Romania (his name was on Buddy's pet passport and we looked him up). We also know he was brought over with his Brother and Sister, which is why we think he was probably born in a shelter, or taken there soon afterwards, rather than found as a stray, but he was in Romania for 4 months, so anything could have happened during that time; the all-important Puppy imprinting stage, so any traumatic experiences would of course be firmly ingrained in his memory.

    You could well be right about people with Dogs being considered trustworthy and great advice on the eye contact thing, Cesar Milan is one of my favourite Dog Behaviourists and I should get people to observe the no touch, no talk, no eye contact rule! Unfortunately, people want to make a fuss of him, so he feels cornered and wees!

    Thank you for the encouraging words and advice! So many people on here are saying they've had Rommies for years and they do adjust I just need to be patient!
     
  4. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    You're welcome,sorry I had to break off,we were leaving to come to Wales.Here now,Maci's all comfy and it's raining cats and dogs!
    I'll start by saying that Caesar Millan has been pretty much discredited for outdated and harsh methods,so please be aware of the need to use positive training /reinforcement with your dog,did you keep his name,Buddy?We kept Maci's name,it was all he came with.
    Yes,protect him from attention /affection from people that he isn't ready for.We did with Maci,my family,who had always had dogs,were pretty horrified but they knew that I meant business,so went along with it.I didn't let anyone see him initially,but then took him for a very quick visit,just walked through,really.When,and only when Maci was ready,we stayed a few minutes and built on this as he got more comfortable with it.He became best friends over time and now he adores his wider family and is adored by them.A really beautiful,deep bond that looked impossible when he was a scared dog who was ready to lash out and protect himself if needed.Please take it at your dogs pace and I promise you,the result is well worth waiting for.After six plus years,Maci can still be uncertain of people he doesn't know.That's not a problem,he has enough positive people who are lucky enough to be in his life and I will always protect him from the rest.
    As for be unsure about walking in urban street walking,I wonder what his past has taught him about this?Maci was very reactive to people and other dogs,he still can be.Having had to survive for 7/8years on the streets,it's totally understandable that he finds the streets stressful.I always protect him from situations that he finds difficult,he has progressed so much by keeping him in his comfort zone and helping him to expand it.There are people on df who can give very good advice /info about how stress inhibits a dog from going forward.
    So,to summarise,take it slowly,do it positively (ditch Caesar Millan),you need to win your dogs confidence not dominate him and enjoy the journey.Honestly,I've been there and it is the most rewarding thing.All the best and if you have a picture of Buddy (?) I'd love to see him.
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  5. Dog_Crazy_1980

    Dog_Crazy_1980 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks! Yes, he's gradually learning to trust my Parents. We went for a visit today and he has a lovely comfy bed there, so he can retreat to his safe place when he wants to and he's gradually getting closer to them to take treats, or have a ruffle behind the ears.

    We did change his name from the one he was given at the Rescue Centre, as they didn't really use it since he was so young and only there ~6 weeks and hadn't learnt recall yet anyway.

    We've found that he's great with people that have other Dogs and he loves playing with them, so this seems like a good place to start introducing him to more Humans. He had a wonderful time on his walk today and we went to a Pub that loves Dogs afterwards and he met quite a few Dogs around his own age. It was like a Puppy Party. He really came out of himself.

    Thank you again for the encouragement. He's definitely making good progress and everyone we've spoken to said he's doing brilliantly for his age and given his background and that we've only had him 3 weeks, so I'll just keep being patient!

    There's a photo in my profile pic but here's a bigger one xx
     

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  6. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    It sounds like he's doing brilliantly,well done.It sounds like he's going to have a fun filled life with you.It's worth taking things at his pace and keep building on where he's at.
    He's obviously a friendly dog at heart,with the potential to make friends and take new experiences on board.Be careful you don't expose him to too much too soon,even if he seems to be coping with it.
    Thanks for the picture,he's beautiful.I love the one ear up one down.
     
    Dog_Crazy_1980 likes this.
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