Unfortunately, many Boxers who end up in shelters have been physically or emotionally abused or neglected. With the holiday season being one of the most popular times to adopt a Boxer, it is important that you understand how to care for your new adopted pet and help him adjust if he has a history of being abused. Signs of abuse include:
- Physical damage, such as broken bones, lacerations, bruises, burns, or cuts.
- Shyness or fear, including hiding or running from people.
- Malnutrition or showing desperation for food.
- Aggression when someone attempts to come near him or touch him.
- Parasite infestations, such as fleas or ticks.
The types of cruelty that your rescued Boxer may have endured could be unimaginable, so it’s important to take things very slowly when you bring him home. You have done a wonderful deed by saving your Boxer, but you must realize that he is going to take much more time to adjust than another dog.
An abused Boxer will likely be apprehensive, distrustful of humans, or lacking confidence. It is your job to remain patient and kind as you help your new family member get accustomed to his new life.
The following steps will help you transform your mistreated rescue into the happy, healthy, and lively Boxer that he deserves to be:
- Remain consistent with commands and routines.
- Speak softly.
- Give lots of treats when training him or getting him accustomed to a routine.
- Introduce him to a healthy diet with regular feeding times.
- Do not force anything, coax him instead.
- Do not put your face in his.
- Do not leave him with strangers if you’re going to be gone for a period of time until he is properly introduced to them.
- Do not fight or yell with other people in front of him.
- Socialize him gradually.
- Never play rough.
- Never push him aside harshly or with your foot.
- Never grab him suddenly.
- Never chase him if he is outside as he may interpret this behavior as a threat and run away.
- Keep a close eye on him when going in and out of the front door to prevent him from taking off.
- Educate children on how to interact with him.
- Allow him to sleep in your bedroom.
- Keep an identification tag on him at all times.
Following these steps will help your Boxer to make the quickest possible transition into his new home. Additionally, you will build up his confidence which is the gateway for the two of you to bond.
Always remember that your abused Boxer’s horrifying past does not have to define his future. You will be shocked at how your love, kindness, and compassion can completely transform your rescue into a healed, happy, loving, and grateful dog.
If you suspect that any dog is being abused or neglected, you can report it to the Pet-Abuse.com website which has a local page for Philadelphia. In addition, the website provides a list of suspects who are accused of dog brutality. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) has humane society police officers (HSPOs) who are sworn to work in counties across the state, and who assist local police departments in enforcing anti-cruelty laws. Obviously if you see a person in the act of abusing a dog, don’t hesitate to call the police.