How Can I Help A Stray Dog?

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  1. quotations profile image89
    quotationsposted 14 years ago

    I hope someone can help me with this.

    I have a stray dog that comes into my backyard occasionally. He looks really pathetic, and underfed.

    I have put food out for him in the backyard, and I have noticed him come in the early morning or late at night to eat it. I would like to take him in but he will not let me approach him. Even though he is obviously very hungry, he runs away. He seems terrified of humans and even the slightest noise spooks him. I guess he has been abused.

    My backyard borders on a large wooded area and a river, so it is easy for him to run away into the bush.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I could gain his confidence and hopefully "catch" him. I would be willing to take him in as a pet.

    I do not want to call animal control, because where I live they will quickly kill him at the pound. Even if I am able to buy him from the pound before they put him to sleep, the conditions there are so deplorable that many dogs die of diseases they pick up there.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    1. bhowell profile image66
      bhowellposted 14 years agoin reply to this
      1. Lady Guinevere profile image74
        Lady Guinevereposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        It's just going to take alot of time and patience on your part.  The more he sees you the better he will get to know that you mean no harm.  Try sitting down and offering him some food.  Put it about 3 feet or maybe more away from you and don't look right at him.

    2. apeksha profile image65
      apekshaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The 1st thing I would like to say is you are very kind person and pet lover so you are doing such a fantastic work for that stray dog.

      The only way to get him in is you watch when he comes to eat food at your home and then every day at morn and evening you give nice food to him like non-vegetarian food as I saw they love to eat that. So he would return every day to eat and then you try to call him with soft words so that he may feel kindness and you will not hurt him so. Or if you have another pet dog you order him to be friend of that stray dog that will be more easy.
      You would be his friend soon.
      post here if you succeed.Best luck.


  2. Misha profile image63
    Mishaposted 14 years ago

    I'm afraid there is no fast and easy way to do so. It will take time, and looks like a long time before this dog will trust you. I would just continue to feed him for now, making sure my odors are present close to the food, and try to openly approach him time to time, making sure he can smell  me before he can hear or see me...

    I may be wrong of course, this is just a common sense, and I hope our dog experts will chime in smile

    1. GeneralHowitzer profile image70
      GeneralHowitzerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Nice tip there Misha, aside from that of course you must not approach the dog straight to you, You must be at sides when appearing to the dog, (because the dog feels he is threatened when your infront of him).

      1. apeksha profile image65
        apekshaposted 13 years agoin reply to this


        1. Lady Guinevere profile image74
          Lady Guinevereposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Don't look them straight in the eyes either.  Look at them like from the corner of yur vision.  Looking a dog straight in the eyes is a sign of aggression to them.

  3. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    Yes there is a way that you can get the dog.  Call your Animal Welfare Society or Spay Today Shelter and they will rent your traps for you to get the dog.  Also try feeding it canned food.  If it is so bad then start with puppie food.  Do you plan on keeping the dog or you just want put it up for adoption?  Go to my hub about spaying and neutering and see the information that google and others have put on there.  You can get the nuber for Spay Today there as well.
    Good Luck and I hope that dog gets a good home with someone who will take good care of it.

  4. quotations profile image89
    quotationsposted 14 years ago

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I would be willing to keep the dog if it can adapt to living indoors. I would not be able to keep it in a backyard doghouse in the winter because the winters where I live are extremely cold. So if it is too wild to live indoors I will try to find an adoptive home for him farther south where the climate is better.

    I will let you know if I manage to convince him to let me help him.

  5. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    Any dog can be adaptive to living indoors as long as they get the proper excersize.  To get this dog might take a few weeks, depending on how his former owners treated him and how long he has been outside.  When you feed it, stay outside around the food bowl but give it some space..  It will eventually learn to trust you.  Oh and if he/she comes to you put your hand out to it gentley with palms open and let it sniff you first.  If it backs away tell it that is fine and that it is OK. This is very important to gain it's trust first.  Just keep doing that until the dog feels it is safe enough that it will come to you--maybe a few days or a week.  Do you have a deck or porch or someplace that you can keep him in until he gets acqainted with you?  I would not suggest getting a crate right now--that would scare the dog.  If you have someplace that you could maybe put a child gate on and let hium stay in that for a bit--that would workl out for the both of you.  Do you know what breed of dog it is?  Does it have long or short hair and is the hair flat or furry?  Is it a male or female and does it have a tag or collar on it?  Did you start with the puppy food yet.  Be patient with the dog  he has been through a rough time.  I will be writing on the story that happened to us with a stray dog who decided his name was going to be Duke in a few days.  Keep me posted on your progress, please....

  6. quotations profile image89
    quotationsposted 14 years ago

    Thanks Lady Guinevere for the additional tips.

    One of the problems I have in gaining its trust is that although it will let me watch him from a window when he eats (it is a he, with short white and grey hair. Not sure what kind of dog) he will run as as soon as I open the back door.

    I have tried going out the front door and then walking around the side of the house to get into the backyard while he is there. I spoke to him as I approached from around the corner, saying reassuring things as I didn't want to just appear from behind the house and frighten him. However, this just caused him to run away.

    He paused when he was about 100 yards away and looked back, and I tried to entice him to come but he got frightened and ran away.

    I will try some of the things you and Misha suggested.

    I think he has been on his own for a long time. I first saw him in May. He looks half starved and I have never seen an animal eat dog food so hungrily and yet so fearfully. Perhaps he thinks that he is stealing the dog food, and does not realize it is for him.

    Incidentally, the reason he first came into my backyard is that I have a habit of feeding a flock of Ravens. They just love dry dog food and have come to expect that I feed them regularly at breakfast, lunch and supper. If I have forgotten to feed them, and am sitting down to my own meal, the ravens will often come to the window and make loud squacking noises to remind me.

    Anyway, one day they had not eaten all of the food that I had left on the ground and the dog came and ate the scraps. Since then I have been leaving extra food out for him, and also putting it where the ravens aren't used to eating it so that they leave some for him.

    I just hope that I am able to rescue this dog before winter comes, because if he is still outside when it gets cold here, he will not last long.

  7. Lissie profile image66
    Lissieposted 14 years ago

    That's so sad: its awful what humans do to dogs and I think you are wonderful to try and save this poor dog.  How long before it gets cold? Would it be worth putting some sort of shelter for him near the bush - which he might start to use when he gets desparate? Youve had some good advice here but try to talk to a decent local vet too and see what there advice is

  8. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    When Duke came to us (still working on that story becasue my computer crashes evertime I want to ad another photo) I talked to a Vet adn all the could tell me was put Bacon Grease on his food--he would only eat that once and then we tried several other things that the Vets told us.  I was in a pet grooming store trying to find him a soft pay toy and ask the owner what to do and she told me to take it down to a puppy state--no matter how old the dog was.  So I would also ask a pet groomer and they could also give you some advice.  One other thing that I just thought of--you can rent traps for dogs from the Human Society and such places.  The one we have here is like you put the full price of the trap down and then when you give it back they give the money back to you--so to ensure they do gt their traps back.  This way you could put him in an enclosed area--but be careful with that becasue if he has been afraid for so long he might bite you in fear.  If he has been out so long it might take about a month or two to gain his trust--but you will---trust me on this--you will becasue it doesn't seem like he has much of a choice but to eventually trust you.  Some of the best dogs come from those who have been strays.  They really do like peole, just that people sometimes don't like them...I just don't get it either!
    Do keep us posted!

  9. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    I published the story about my dog Duke and you can get some advice and information from that.  It is simply named DUKE.

  10. profile image0
    RFoxposted 14 years ago

    Keep feeding him.

    Cook rice and boiled hamburger meat with the fat drained off (this will be easy on his stomach).
    Do this on a day when you have lots of time. Take the food outside at a time when he would normally approach the house. Put the food bowl down and then take a seat within viewing distance of the bowl but far enough away that the dog will not feel threatened. Bring a book with you and focus on nothing but the book. Wait and be patient!

    You may have to repeat this several times before he feels comfortable coming close to eat with you there but persevere. Then if he does come to eat just completely ignore him. Make no eye contact or sudden movements and don't try to speak to him.

    Sit on the ground or as low to the ground as possible (this will make you appear less threatening).

    What you have to do is show you are not a threat to him. By sitting low to the ground, ignoring him while he eats and being quiet and still you will slowly earn his trust. If he comes to sniff you eventually just let him and don't try to talk to him at first.

    Once he appears on a consistent basis and eats all the food with you sitting there and begins to linger and maybe sniff you, then you can start to talk to him in a very gentle, slow, quiet voice. Do this while still looking at your book or magazine. Don't make eye contact or try to pet him. (Eye contact is considered an aggressive move in the dog world.)
    Just whisper to him in a nice tone of voice and when it's time to go inside, move slowly and deliberately so you don't frighten him.

    Once he is comfortable around you and seems to respond to your voice and seems calmer, then you can place treats from your hand onto the ground and see if he will take it. If he starts to eat the treats from the ground, then put your hand flat on the ground with the treat on top and let him take it from you. Do this many, many times.

    Buy a comfortable dog bed and put it outside with the food for him to lay on.

    If you're getting the idea that this is a slow process it will be. You don't know the history of this dog or what it's been through, so complete patience and many hours of waiting for him to come to you are in order.
    You have to let him dictate how fast the process goes. If you try to push him to trust to it will have the opposite effect.

    And I must disagree with Lady Guinevere on using a trap. If you want to surrender him to the SPCA then you can use a trap but if you trap the dog it will NEVER trust you again.
    Being captive in a trap is a traumatic experience for animals, especially animals with trust issues. And while it is necessary in certain circumstances for the safety of the animal, you should be aware that trapping will destroy any faith this dog has in you.

    Remember most dogs don't like the dog catcher! This is because being caught is a scary experience for a dog. They don't understand you're helping them, they just feel fear.

    If you take your time and the dog doesn't trust you enough by the winter for you to be able to give it proper shelter then you should call your local vet and have the experts catch the dog for it's own safety.

    Giving food is the key!!!

    And it's great to hear you're trying so hard to help this dog. It's wonderful to see. big_smile

    (I worked in Veterinary hospitals for years and this advice comes from my experience with strays.)

    Good luck!

    Also remember to be careful. This dog may never had its Rabies vaccination!

  11. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    I just made a recipe for my Outdoor cats and it would be appropriate for a stray dog too.  It is for preparation for winter months and if you can't get him then this might help him to survive until you can.  It will put weight on him, but that is what he needs.  You can also add extra vitamins to it too.  You can also use Turkey or Beef for the Chicken or a mix of all of them.

    High Protein Cat Food
    Preparation for and throughout winter
    (start in September)
    1   -Chicken Leg Quarter—Skin Included
    2 Eggs   -Boiled in shell for 30 seconds and then beaten
    2 TBLS   -High Calorie Oil or Butter or Bacon Grease
    1/2 Cup   -Whole Milk or Concentrated Milk
    3 TBLS   -Baby Rice Cereal or Cream Of Wheat

    Take off all meat and skin from bones while still warm.  Add All Ingredients to Blender and blend until chicken is in small (pea sized) chunks.

    If you have to refrigerate it then next time you feed it to them heat it until warm-if in the winter.

  12. TravelMonkey profile image60
    TravelMonkeyposted 14 years ago

    nice recipe lady smile

  13. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    Well it came out too spupy so I have adjusted it a bit and here is the new one:
    Recipe for High Protein Cat Food, Preparation For And Throughout Winter Months
    High Protein Cat Food

    Preparation for and throughout winter

    (start in September)

    1 -Chicken Leg Quarter-Skin Included (you can also use Turkey, Fish or Beef or a mix of them)

    2 cups of water or Chicken Broth to boil chicken in.(add this liquid to the other ingredients)

    3 teaspoons of.Garlic Powder or 2 cloves of fresh Garlic chopped or 1 TBLS of minced Garlic with Juice.

    1 Eggs -Boiled in shell for 30 seconds and then beaten, not to frothy

    2 TBLS -High Calorie Oil or Butter or Bacon Grease

    1/4 Cup -Whole Milk or Concentrated Milk

    3 TBLS -Baby Rice Cereal or Cream Of Wheat

    Boil the chicken in 2 cups of water for about 1/2 hour. Take off all meat and skin from bones while still warm. Add All Ingredients to Blender and blend for 10 seconds.

    If you have to refrigerate it then next time you feed it to them heat it until warm-if in the winter.

    Yoo can also add Catnip to this.

    Dogs will wnt more meat in theirs and they will also like the cat nip too.  It calms their tummy --same with cats for some reason.  It acts differently when cats eat it versus when they roll in it.

  14. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    What is up with the Dog?  Is he still coming to your place and has he gotten any closer or better?  It's been awhile since we have heard from you!

  15. Lea^ profile image60
    Lea^posted 14 years ago

    I agree that rice is easy on the stomach, yet be sure it is white rice.
    I learned the hard way that brown rice is not tolerated. sad
    Chicken is a good choice as well; my husband and I were able to lure our
    Buddy in with chicken. I would suggest getting advice from a trusted Vet as to
    what to feed him as well. I have been told to keep catnip away from dogs so
    please check this out with a Vet. There is a similar product for dogs (Dognip).
    You may want to see if moving the food in closer to the house gets the dog to
    move closer. If you see he is not eating, move it back out until he is ready to
    come closer to the house. It will indicate his trust level if he is willing to come
    closer to get food.
    I agree it could be a very slow process and am happy to see your committment to
    this animal.
    We love the Dog Whisperer and the show broadcasts on the Geographic channel.
    Cesar Milan is an awesome animal behaviorist and his techniques may help.
    He trains people how to relate to dogs and the key he works to bring home is calm assertiveness. Calmness lets the dog know he can trust you to be a good pack leader.
    It is so wonderful to hear of your concern for this dog. You must have a loving, open heart
    and he will hopefully come to realize that he needs you real soon.
    Hang in there, take some deep breaths and keep us posted.

  16. profile image0
    shinujohn2008posted 14 years ago

    It is a nice Thing. But,first of all you have take an Anti-Rabies Injection. Then contact with a Veterinary hospital to give the treatment to dogs because most of them are infected. Stray dogs are usually killed,because, they become harmful to people.

    Two months back a stray dog with in 4 hours bited 65 people.

  17. Lady Guinevere profile image74
    Lady Guinevereposted 14 years ago

    You can also do the Raw Food feeding.  Raw Chicken is best.  Don't give a dog any Pork.  If you need a stie that explains Raw Feeding here is a good one:

  18. judy jones profile image59
    judy jonesposted 14 years ago

    I have found a young female puppy about 5 months old now. Someone dropped her off at an old church on a country road that not to maney people use. The first day I saw here she was eating something dead as soon as she saw me she ran under the church I went home which is a mile from there and got her some food and water for a couple of weeks she wouldn;t come out until I would leave. I started just sitting on the ground and toss some lunch meat toward her and she would come and get it each day she would get closer to me she is now eating out of my hand but still can't reach up to pet her as it scares her. she jumps at any little noise. I will walk around and she will follow behind me. I sit up there with her for an hour sometimes longer everyday and she will sit right beside me and if I don't talk to her she will bark at me. I hate to have to leave her but still can't pet her just touch her on the nose some. When I drive up to feed her she runs out to greet me and when I have to leave she will sit there and wacth me till I'm out of sight. I just hope and pray nothing will happen to her till I can bring her home with me. Does anyone know what else I can do? I've done fell in love with her and I have three other dogs, one cat and three horses. Please keep your fingers crossed for me. The pic of the dog is her I call her Little Girl.

  19. Eternal Evolution profile image71
    Eternal Evolutionposted 13 years ago

    I'm glad ur trying to help the poor guy. A lot of ppl drop dogs where i live, i usuly take them in and foster them and find a good hom,e for them. i love dogs, if i had the money i would keep every one that i find. I hope he learns to trust you, it will take time but if ur patien he'll come around. Good luck and best of wishes.

    1. Purple Perl profile image52
      Purple Perlposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Good For You,Eternal Evolution.You have a heart of gold:)

  20. KT pdx profile image69
    KT pdxposted 13 years ago

    Just was reading this and saw Lady Guinevere's recipe.  Please DO NOT feed cats garlic!  It is toxic to them.

    RFox's post in this thread has the best advice:  stay low, focus on something else other than the dog, and just spend time around him (but not actually with him, just focused on something else).  Garden, read, work on a project, etc., but don't look at him.  Eye contact is scary and domineering to animals, as is human height.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on all the animals!

    1. Lady Guinevere profile image74
      Lady Guinevereposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      That is what I was told too--that Garlic is toxic.  The thing with that is---I have 7 outdoor cats and 5 indoor cats and a dog and I fed them garlic everyday for 6 months and they are still well and alive and running around like they should.  I don't know if it is the amount or what it is that makes it toxic, but all my animals are fine.  I heard that it was in the onion family and onions are toxic to animals as well, but mine have eaten onions and no sign of death or dying.  Chocolate is supposed to kill a dog too, but I have had several family members that have told me that their dog had eaten a whole bag of hershy's kisses and the only thing that he did afterwards was groan of an over full stomach.  He didnt die either and others has said the same things.  So I really don't know what is up with that claim or claims.

      1. KT pdx profile image69
        KT pdxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Hmm...I've seen cats being brought in to our vet three times this year with garlic toxicity.  That's just waiting in the front room for our cats' appointments.  So maybe it is the amount, and those particular cats got over their amount of it.  Milk chocolate isn't as toxic to pets as dark chocolate.  Two family pets (my husband's cousin's dogs) got really sick from eating chocolate, but my mom had a dog when she was young who ate a whole box from underneath the Christmas tree and didn't get sick.

        1. Lady Guinevere profile image74
          Lady Guinevereposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          You know it could be just like people--what works for one doesn't always work for all.  Now I fed my kittens and cats milk and later found out that that is poison too, but only had ONE kitten get really sick after drinking it.  I mean as soon as he ingested it he went and threw up the entire contents of his stomach and I could swear whatere there was in his tail too.  So I don't feed him milk at all.
          BTW, I used Garlic Powder, not fresh Garlic amd I think it is said to use "AGED" Garlic and not fresh.  That could be the big difference in how the animal processes it---or not.

          1. KT pdx profile image69
            KT pdxposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            The no-milk thing is because some cats are lactose-intolerant, not because it's an actual poison.  I thought that about milk, too, until one of my friends who's a vet tech told me differently.  Now all our cats are allowed to have cheese and other milk products, which they absolutely love!  No lactose-intolerance here among our five and our fosters.  smile

            1. Lady Guinevere profile image74
              Lady Guinevereposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Yeah the rest of the cats love it and lap it up and love cheese and everything else, hust not the one -- Houdini

  21. Purple Perl profile image52
    Purple Perlposted 13 years ago

    Well it is 12 months ago,since you asked this question,quotations. May I know how successful you were in befriending the dog you began to feed. I do hope he is with you because you seem a perfect animal


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