Where Do We Start? Traumatized Dog Rehabilitation

Does your new rescue greet strangers with growls, barks and lunges?

Here's what I learned in my Ph D working with dogs with PTSD.


New to the home rescues are reeling from disorientation and they need adjustment time. Think of it from a canine brain's point of view; even the smell and sound of a new home is threatening. A dog feeling nervous in a new home isn't yet able to relax enough to welcome strangers into his new digs.

To ease the adjustment, give your new dog a two week settle in time before you show him off to the neighbors. He's still learning that the ding of the microwave isn't a signal to run and hide.


When he's ready to see strangers come through your front door - do him a favor. Put him away in a comfortable room or outside in the yard. Now, he's at a safe distance from which to gather 'intel' about the intruder. He'll assess the newcomer from a distance. (yes, he can do that from behind a closed door) He'll hear the voice, smell if they wear deodorant (or should) guess how tall they are and figure out which gender they are, all from behind a door.


Now, after ten minute or so, when he greets the new person 'up close and personal,' he's more relaxed. He's done the doggie equivalent of looking  up someone online before you meet them. He's more likely to be grinning and wagging then barking and swearing.


Love to the dogs,

Auntie Sue

Sue Myles