abused dog behavior

Five abused dog behavior traits to recognize

Unfortunately, it is more than common to see more and more cases of animal abuse around us. In this article, we will review five abused dog behavior traits you should be able to recognize and act upon.

There are different types of animal abuse: neglect, punishment, torture, etc. However, all of them have left a mark in the behavior and even in the genetics of your dogs. A continuous situation of fear and stress can affect an animal excessively, thus altering its genetic code and also affecting its offspring making them more predisposed to suffer from stress, anxiety and fear.

In the following paragraphs, we will talk about 5 signs that clearly indicate a dog has been mistreated. If you have an adopted dog, this can help you understand a lot about his personality and behavior.

fearful dog

If a dog has been abused, he is likely to show any or all of these 5 signals:

1. An abused dog will inhibit his behavior

Dogs that have been mistreated and over-punished tend to inhibit their behavior in concrete situations, especially in those that are stressful or embarrassing for them. This implies that, although they have curiosity for their environment and for people, they often do not show the willingness to interact for fear of the possible consequences.

In order to improve this aspect, it is recommended to make efforts to maintain good mental stimulation of the dog, either through intelligence games or through learning new commands and tricks. It is important to stress that you should always follow a progressive routine, which will gradually increase throughout the rehabilitation. You should never stress the animal too much over the introduction of new stimulants.

You should start with very simple activities, which you should repeat frequently, until he is comfortable enough to start other more complex ones. Scent games are a good exercise to develop smell and research.

behavior traits of an abused dog

2. Abused dog behavior : he will be more fearful

Many people claim that a dog has been abused when they notice fear-related behaviors. However, just because a dog is afraid of people does not necessarily mean that he has been mistreated. These could be problems associated with socialization, bad experience, or excessive confinement.

However, when you see that your dog is scared as soon as you pick up a broom in your hand, when you grab the newspaper, or when you raise your hand towards him, you may think he has been abused.

3. Trauma, injuries and general lack of care

An abused dog behavior is often characterized by trauma, pain and physical injury. However, as we mentioned in the introduction, there are other forms of violence, such as neglect.

People who suffer from Noah’s syndrome, for example, keep their animals in deplorable living conditions, conducive to the development of many diseases, poor body condition and the presence of parasites in their coat. Those who suffer from Noah’s syndrome don’t realize that they are mistreating an animal because of the disease they have, an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Depression and sadness in a dog

4. Depression and sadness

Sometimes dogs that have been abused suffer from depression. In these cases it is usual not to see the dog playing, you will also see him listless and with a very weak urge to move, run or walk. It is very important to know the 5 freedoms of animal welfare in order to provide your dog with a comfortable and adequate lifestyle.

5. Abused dog behavior shows little social interaction

Dogs are animals that live in a symbiotic relationship with human beings. That is, both species participating in this relationship derive benefits. They maintain a behavior of affiliation with people due to their social needs, which are other than those which they can benefit from their relationship with other dogs and animals.

When you realize that the bond is deficient in a owner-dog relationship, you must ask yourself whether, due to a case of animal abuse, the dog’s capacity for attachment and trust has not been affected. Although abused dogs are more likely to suffer from fear, aggression can also be an indicator of an abused dog.

dog showing signs of injuries

Abused dog behavior : How certain can you be?

Although a dog shows these 5 symptoms of an abused dog, it cannot be guaranteed with absolute certainty that a dog has been abused because as we have explained, socialization or a case of sensory deprivation syndrome could very well have caused something similar to an abused dog behavior.

In any cases, if you suspect that a dog has been the victim of abuse, it is always advisable to call a professional to help you manage the various behavioral problems that your canine friend may encounter and assist in improving his well-being as well as his relationship with people.

QnA Section

What are all of the signs of an abused dog?

Can an abused dog be aggressive forever?

We’re getting a staffordshire bull terrier that was abused ?

Video Corner


3 thoughts on “Five abused dog behavior traits to recognize”

  1. Nitai Betty Matlock

    Hi Dr. Thanks for staring. My name is Nitái and my dogs name is Valentino . I rescue Valentino x 8 months ago from a person who had no time for him and she complained that he was destroying her home . Per previous owner his x 3 years old. Valentino suffered from separation anxiety and must be in a dog cage if I need to leave home for a couple of hours. He as destroy x2 wire cage!.destroying several items in my home including chewing up electrical wires. I walk him x2 daily. On weekends I walk him on the beach..I give him hugs. He doesn’t know how to play with toys or other dogs. By the way he never had vaccines or he was not neutered i took care of that. My question is how do I help him.i would really like to leave him out whenever I leave my home.

    1. With all dog training issues, the key is to start small and progress gradually. In this case, I would leave him in the house alone for 15 minutes and come back, If your dog has not destroyed anything, then reward him. Keep going until he associates good behavior when you are away. Then extend your absence to 30 minutes and so on and so forth. Good luck!

Leave a Comment