Are Rescue dogs depressed? The Ultimate Guide

Make the dog see yourself as a friend.

It’s pretty sure that this canine has been abused by the previous owner. So, this newly adopted dog may seem sad and depressed because it has trust issues with humans.

Chances are, this innocent canine might be thinking you are the same as the previous owner. Give him a specific space, maybe a crate or specific room, just to help him recover.

Lay on the floor nearby the dog and read a book or browse on social media. Essentially you wanna make him comfortable around your presence.

Make sure to speak to her with kind words. They cannot understand your words for sure. However, she can realize that you’re such a kind human being with the tone and heartfeltness.

Observe her body language.

Do the above offering treats activity at least for three days while progressing at the speed of a tortoise.

If you did the above #1 and #2 activities correctly, this rescue dog wouldn’t seem to be sad or depressed, at least to some extent.

So, observing her body language and letting her guide your activities is the very next step.

She should be comfortable with your presence at this stage, or maybe she let you touch her. Whenever she comes to you voluntarily and lies nearby, start talking nicely while offering yummy treats.

If she allows you, consider petting areas like the back and side. But, be mindful to stay away from sensitive areas like the mouth, under the chin, ears, tails, head, and paws.

Why does a rescue dog seem sad and depressed?

Before we start, thank you for being such a great human being, and congratulations on your new pup.

Generally, newly adopted canines aren’t in perfect mental health as well as physical health as they’ve gone through so many troubles during their lifetime.

So, without any further ado, let’s head over to the 7 possible reasons. Please note that one or more reasons may influence this behavior.

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They can smell what humans cannot see, so they help search for the living in the rubble of a building. But all theyve been finding lately are the dead.

Like their human counterparts, these search dogs are feeling the frustration of so many lives destroyed. The pervasive scent of death here has caused these dogs, trained to find signs of life, to become depressed.

So depressed that their handlers have had to stage successes to keep up the dogs spirits.

Firefighters bury themselves among the rubble to allow the dogs to “find” them. The animals respond with a frenzy of barking and digging until the person, alive and well, is recovered. A dog that locates someone who is dead will quietly raise a paw or tap at the ground.

“You can definitely see the enthusiasm in the dogs when they get a live scent,” said Annie Lerum, a rescue worker from Santa Rosa, Calif., who has raised and trained her 9-year-old German shepherd, Colter, almost since birth.

“The more experienced the dog, the better they maintain themselves. But they certainly do get down with so much dead scent in there.”

Cindy Sears of Metro-Dade Fire Rescue, which sent three dogs and 56 people here, has felt it, too. “The dogs are pretty amazing, but they do get depressed,” she said. “We have to enact some live finds just to keep their spirits up.”

More than 20 dogs from around the country were brought to Oklahoma City to assist in the rescue and recovery effort since a bomb ripped apart the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19.

For the dogs, search and rescue is a game _ a canine hide-and-seek _ where they are rewarded with a toy or a piece of hot dog for uncovering someone alive.

But with the rising number of dead, the animals are getting nervous and edgy, said Ed Beban, a firefighter with the New York City Fire Department, which brought four dogs here.

Search dogs have played key roles in locating the survivors and victims of nearly every recent major disaster: the World Trade Center bombing and earthquakes that shook Mexico City in 1985 and southern California last year.

An elite team of rescue dogs from Switzerland was among the first to arrive on the scene when an earthquake struck Kobe, Japan, in January.

The Swiss Emergency Rescue Dog Association, with 100 dogs and 650 handlers, is recognized as the best in the world for rescuing people under rubble, mud or snow.

In the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has a disaster response network that includes 25 dogs.

Search dogs of all varieties _ German shepherds, Labradors, Dobermans and golden retrievers _ begin training when they are puppies and bond with their handlers.

Lerum said Colter sleeps at the foot of her bed and tags along when she does her grocery shopping. But Colters interaction with other humans is limited.

“The dogs have difficulty dealing with people unless theyre buried,” she said. “It sounds strange, but that is what theyre used to.”

The process of preparing a dog for disaster work can take as little as three years for an exceptional dog to as many as six years for a slower learner, Lerum said.

“You cant just sit the dog down in front of a videotape and say, “This is what youre supposed to do, ” she said.

To maneuver through the wreckage of a bombed-out building or one that has been struck by an earthquake, the animals train in stone quarries and demolition sites and on seesaws and ladders.

They learn to pick up the scent of death, using what is commonly referred to as “body in a bottle,” a chemical that simulates the odor of a decomposing body.

The chemical is too subtle for a human to detect, but is easier for trainers to use. Up until a few years ago, body parts were used.

In Oklahoma City, the dogs work the same 12 hour shifts as their handlers. After each shift, the dogs are taken for a walk, washed down and brought in to sleep.

Passers-by have questioned the seeming frivolity of tossing a ball or Frisbee with dogs while so much human suffering goes on. Play time, though, is key to keeping up the animals spirits.

The dogs sleep near their masters in large rooms at the citys Myriad Convention Center, a few blocks from the bomb site.

To make sure the animals receive proper care, Oklahoma City officials have set up a mobile veterinarian unit, with surgical capabilities, to treat injured dogs. A veterinarian is on call 24 hours a day.

Despite the dangerous work, only a handful of dogs have received injuries at the site, all of them minor. Lerums dog, Colter, suffered cuts to his front right paw when he slipped on some glass. Several of the dogs on Bebans crew have been injured too, one requiring stitches after the animal fell down a crevice in the rubble.

The search dogs gained national attention when a call was sent out for protective booties to keep the animals from injuring their paws on glass shards and metal.

One of the hundreds of people who responded to the call for help was 25-year-old Scott Orr of Oklahoma City, who, with his wife, Amy, brought dozens of dog biscuits, bandages and antibiotic cream to the scene.

“This was the one thing that struck us as something we could do,” said Orr, who felt the blast at his apartment more than 2 miles away. “What can I say? Were dog people.”

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