My pup is about 4.5 years old. I adopted him at 3. He came to me fully house broken. He can “sit” for a treat. Go into his “cage” without resistance or a fight (I only do this when the maintenance men are going to be coming around the apartment complex). He never chews on anything that isn’t his. He sleeps all night at my side. He understands what I want when I say it somehow. Me and him are the best of friends. He loves to cuddle. He is at my side all the time and if he isn’t it takes less than a “come here, boy” to get him there. I kind of think this dog picked me rather than the other way around.

There’s a problem tho. While he ABSOLUTELY loves me. He doesn’t much care for humans in general. I think in his previous life he was beaten into submission. I think that’s why he listens so well.

When I have company I have to tell them to completely ignore him. Everyone’s first instinct is to get in his face and immediately put their hands on him… but there is something about hands that set him off. He is terrified of them. And his fear manifests itself as aggression. He growls AND WILL BITE YOU if you come near him with those hands without his consent. His consent, by the way, is him coming to you (while you ignore him) and if he licks your face, you are golden! Commence petting! And really it doesn’t take too much for him to warm up to people. But if you approach him before that lick in the face… he will NEVER like you. EVER.

This is the first time I’ve dealt with these kind of issues. I don’t really know how to help him.

When it’s just me, we are perfect in our bubble. But I can’t ask anyone to dog sit for me. He likes my mom and my best friend, thank goodness. Or I’d never be able to leave town without him. He is VERY selective with whom he trusts.

I recently got him a thundershirt and this seems to help his anxiety a bit. But I don’t think it helps in the way of human relations much. Which is my primary worry. Next I will try those pheromone collars.

I tried to board him over thanksgiving with his vet. They called 2 hours later saying they couldn’t do it. THE VET COULDN’T HANDLE MY PUP! This poor, messed up, traumatized, 20 pound pup. You would think they were trained in these areas. That was a mess of a day trying to scramble to workout a plan B while not being late for my flight. Talk about stressful!

I’m not sure there’s much I can do. I think I’ll buy him a muzzle and take him to the dog park – in hopes he just needs socialization. Well that sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? People won’t wanna see that as they bring their own pups in. Maybe if I get one from the Cesar Millan collection.


Maybe that would lighten the anxiety of my fellow dog park goers.

Any have any suggestions for my perfect-for-me damaged-rescue?



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