At her work my wife, Rosemary. in early July began feeding
a stray German Shephers mix, male dog, and for the next 3 weeks it came and went as it was ultra people shy and would run after eating the food she left for it. She missed it for several days in a row in mid-July, and discovered it has been picked up and was being held by Animal Control. At the end of its hold time, in order to prevent its being euthanized we adopted it and we are now caring for it at our home. We are in process of re-homing him, and I would like your opinion about his behavior
as I have observed it as I am concerned that his lack of nourishment while he was stray.
He is very people phobic. He will avoid us but will approach his food bowl when we back away. If we wait until he settles indoors on the floor and approach him on hands and knees, he will alert and prepare to run, but will one time out of three remain to let us get close enough to pet him and place a collar or halter for walking
Then when walking leash is in place he will not move very easily. He simply lies there — limp sack of potatoes. If he does walk he will only cover a few feet before lying down once again. He will carry this routine down the street until we actually have to pick him up and carry him home if we don’t want to spend hours doing his “walk a few feet — lie down” routine.
He will bark at our approach both indoors and outdoors when we walk around the house and yard — day or night. Barking persists for a few minutes and then he will run around the house and hide in shrubs. If we sit in patio or come inside he will come around us and even lie down near us until we rise at which time he gets up and runs to a distance of about 15 feet. He enters and exits the house via doggie doors excessively during this “escape and return” routine.
When he does allow us to pet, he goes into “malaise” mode and will simply lie still. His leg muscles
flinch noticeably when we touch is upper leg or paw
area. He does not make eye
contact during petting, ear
scratching. He is not aggressive — no snarling, growing at all. He is not food-possessive. He mingles with our other three dogs without any aggressiveness. He does not play
or respond to the dogs playing. I have noticed he does not show a “happy tail” wag when we our voice tone signals praise of play/walk time. He is indifferent to tasty treats
He appears to be about 10 months old. We had him neutered, got his rabies, distemper
as part of the adoption process during week of August 12. He weighs 25 lbs., dramatically under weight for his breed/age. Can you address the question: Would his being on the run during month 10 and perhaps 9 of his life, and his being under nourished have damaged his mental, emotional development? To what extent would it have affected development of nervous and muscle systems, brain
and internal organs?