Free Dog Training Tips for Puppy Mill Dog Behavior Problems

By: David Codr

Published Date: October 12, 2018

Puppy Mill Dog Behavior Problems

During this Omaha dog psychology session, we assisted 8-year-old German Shepherd Sam in overcoming her fear of approaching humans, stemming from typical puppy mill dog behavior problems, as she had spent her entire life in such conditions.

I was asked to help with what seemed like Separation Anxiety. When I arrived, I discovered that Sam didn’t know any commands. Her guardian was at a loss to teach her any since she was such a fearful dog. It took quite a while for the dog to relax and not compulsively move away from her.

What Behavioral Problems can Puppy Mill Dogs Develop?

Rescued dogs often exhibit severe anxiety and trust issues, typical of puppy mill dog behavior problems.

Dogs from puppy mills often develop behavioral issues due to lack of stimulation, isolation, and poor socialization. These can include compulsive behaviors such as spinning, pacing, chewing, or barking, which are ways to cope with stress. They may also exhibit heightened phobias, fears, sensitivity to touch, aggression, anxiety, and difficulties with potty training.

It’s heartbreaking to witness how puppy mill dogs’ spirits are shattered by years of neglect and abuse. Confined to tiny cages, they live in constant fear, denied basic freedoms like exercise and relief. No dog should endure such cruelty. Avoid buying from pet stores to stop supporting these inhumane practices.

Combating Puppy Mill Dog Behavior Problems

Early in the session we worked on teaching Sam to go to the dog bed. This is a great exercise and handy cue to have available. Since Sam spends most of her time on the couch, if a guest visits and sits there, Sam wont have a comfortable / familiar place to go. Training a dog to go to the dog bed can help them build a positive association as the dog gets all kinds of treats for going to the bed.

I used soft body language and a number of dog behavior tricks to help Sam feel relaxed and comfortable. I knew I was making progress when she took a few treats from me. The guardian said she never takes treats from people she doesn’t know well.

To help Sam learn to trust people, she needs practice with those who understand it’s better to give her space than to pet her right away.

I filmed a demonstration to show the guardian how to help a scared dog feel comfortable around people. This way, others can learn what to do.

As you can see in the training video above, working on puppy mill dog behavior problems takes a lot of patience, compassion, and kindness. Remember to respect the dog’s space, work on building their confidence, and don’t try not to pet them too soon. We’re working at the dog’s speed and we don’t want to overwhelm them.

Rehabilitating a Rescued Puppy Mill Dog

Helping a dog get over a fear of people is one of the most rewarding things any dog behavior expert gets to do. You know you are making a major improvement in the dog’s quality of life as a fear of people is something that impacts the dog every day.

Teaching a dog to trust humans is all about setting the dog up for success. Meeting outside can be a great first step as the distractions can help the dog avoid focusing on its fear of humans. Taking the dog for a walk with the new human can also pay off big time as dogs get over fears by literally moving forward.

The physical damage can be shocking, but the psychological toll is even greater. Adopting a puppy mill survivor requires a special person willing to accept and love them. Rescue begins the journey, but true rehabilitation hinges on a dedicated, loving family.

I gained the trust of a rescued puppy mill dog using dog psychology and positive reinforcement. I believe the owner can help her get over her fear of new people.

To help the guardian remember all the positive dog training tips I shared in this in-home dog training session, we filmed a roadmap to success video.

Need Help with a Rescued Puppy Mill Dog? Click Here to Book Your Session Now
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This post was written by: David Codr