Can anyone have any suggestions on how to tame a wild puppy?

Greece
January 14, 2013 11:52am CST
Has anyone ever taken a puppy from a dog that has been running wild for a long time and tried to domesticate the puppy? I have rescued two such puppies but it is proving very difficult to tame them. One is quiet and submissive but frightened and the other is barking and growling and terrified. We have managed to put collars on them to help us catch them but it is proving a daunting task.
3 people like this
11 responses
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
19 Jan 13
You will need lots of time, patience and the ability to be consistent. I did a bit of looking and I found this site, I hope it is of help to you: http://cynography.blogspot.com.au/2009/02/taming-wild-beast.html
• Greece
20 Jan 13
Thank you MsTickle, that was a very good blogspot you gave me. I have read it through and there were some good tips in it. We were doing a few things wrong so this article was very helpful. Our ferals are puppies so they should not be so difficult as dogs to tame. Today we have moved a little closer, the puppies sniffed my husband's hands! That is progress!
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@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
20 Jan 13
Thanks, I hoped there would be a little something to be gained. That's wonderful news...it must have been an exciting moment. Any step forward, no matter how small, is fabulous. You are good people to be doing this.
• Greece
28 Jan 13
An update on the puppies. The puppies are getting more confident now. Billy, the smallest, was the first to dare to take bisuits from our hands, now Teddy is also doing the same thing. Billy will tolerate a lead as long as he does the driving and he is getting friendly with the other dogs through the wire. If someone wanted him he could go now because he has lost most of his fear of people, although he is still a little apprehensive. Teddy still has some way to come but he is given the freedom now to run outside his enclosure with his brother and they both love that. Teddy will not move if a lead is put on him, he is still afraid of it and very cautious. He still barks in frustration when getting a little treat requires taking it from our hands but eventually he dares to do it.
@dragon54u (31605)
• United States
15 Jan 13
My experience with animals who are wild or scared of people is that if you ignore them and go about your business, occasionally speaking softly to them in a friendly voice, they will warm up to you and lose their fear. You can't have other people around like visitors or it's nearly impossible to get through to them. Putting collars on them probably scared the crap out of them so you have to teach them that your hands won't hurt them once they come to trust you. This takes time, I don't know how much time you have but if you can ignore them and let them come to you that's the best method I have found.
• Greece
15 Jan 13
They don't seem to have minded the collars at all, which is surprising. If we ignore them I am afraid they will never get used to us.
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@dragon54u (31605)
• United States
15 Jan 13
I did not mean ignore them completely, you have to keep talking to them. Approach every so often or sit near them but don't block any escape routes. Sit on the floor and read, be accessible but not aggressive. I've found that usually works well. What I meant was not to approach them and they'll eventually approach you.
• United States
15 Jan 13
You got your hands full with these two pups. I would sit down when coming around these pups. What "cupcakes" is saying is correct. And don't really give eye to eye contact as yet as it means a challenge, even though they are pups. The one that is quiet, submissive, and frightened might be more of a threat than the other one actually. That one sounds like she might be a fear biter if not handled correctly. Take your time with her and don't push her. She needs to feel completely safe and not backed into a corner...poor baby. Like everyone basically said here..treats, talking quietly to her/him and walking away. Let the pup come to you eventually. The other one is just as scared, but is more aggressive..not good either. I still say take your time and don't push it. Talk quietly, sit down, no eye to eye, just leave treats and sort of ignore them. This way you pose no threat. This is what the mother has taught both of them and it will take time to teach them otherwise....fear biters are the one's they put down unless they are taught no one is here to hurt them. How old are they now?
• Greece
15 Jan 13
We think around 10 weeks. The largest aggressive one is a biter but I am sure it is out of fear, although his mother was a biter. I know eye to eye is a threat but I can't get down on my belly to do this anyway! The pups come to the gate now but when we open it they run to the kennel. As you say, it is going to take time.
• United States
15 Jan 13
Eye to eye does not mean getting down on your belly, ...I just mean don't stare at them if they're looking at you...not yet. I just meant when you're feeding them, sit down and do this...you are less of a threat then and do not look so huge.
• India
15 Jan 13
Take a puppy training class in your area and might be interested to have a chat with puppy trainer itself. Just try for training on internet or you local human society.You can also ask your local vet if possible. Try your maximum to gain his trust, might be with rewards.It might take lots of patience, persistence from your end to train a wild dog.But with their trust it becomes much simpler.Good Luck.
• Greece
15 Jan 13
There are no puppy training classes around here. We could make use of our other dogs as good examples but the puppies have fleas and a skin problem which we are treating but which is infectious. So the dogs cannot socialise at present and also two of our dogs are pretty rough. We have one very friendly little soul and she will help when the dogs are better.
@urbandekay (18312)
15 Jan 13
Unfortunately, you do not say how old the puppies are. Dogs separated from their mother and litter mates prior to 8 weeks do not learn the social skills they need, those skills we utilise in training them Although socialised dogs should be trained with reward with these pups a different method must be employed. Mother dogs discipline their pups, biting their ears to reprimand them, you may find that a light pinch on the pups ears may prove effective means of curtailing undesired behaviour. all the best, urban
@urbandekay (18312)
15 Jan 13
However it sounds like your first task is to instil a little confidence in them. Speak to them keeping you voice low and soft, men's voices being deeper are generally better, encourage them to take food from your hand and stroke them while the eat, till they are used to getting handled. all the best, urban
@cupkitties (7036)
• United States
14 Jan 13
I've dealt with a few wild cats, but no pups. You wanna win any animals heart, feed their tummies. I like the tips given by the other posters. Oh and this is something I learned on some dog training show , but get eye level with the pups when communicating to them.. Remember we are giants to them. Get some cheese or bits of dog treat and make them eat out of your hand, Soon you can pet them because they'll associate your hands with something good.
• Greece
15 Jan 13
The puppies love cat biscuits and one will eat out of my hand and when he does I stroke him under his chin and lift his face up to mine. He looks a little more confident then. I saw a trainer on TV say that lifting their heads and their tails gives them a good feeling but neither of our puppies have much in the way of tails.
• United States
14 Jan 13
That will prove to be difficult, but maybe you can earn their trust with treats. Like they get praise and treats for the behavior you want. Sometimes if you concentrate more on one puppy while in the presence if the other puppy, then one pup learns that good things come from humans. I've never tamed wild dogs but I have tamed feral cats. I used to be the one all the stray cats came to for food. At first they were skittish. Then one by one they all came to trust me. I let them into my home and litter trained them. They came in and out. I got them fixed. I had 4 cats in all that were once feral that I let into my house. The rest just came for food and visits. I sat out in my wheelchair back then for hours enjoying the air and the cats.
• Greece
15 Jan 13
It must be much harder to train feral cats than puppies. I admire you for managing. Dogs have the herd instinct and want to be part of a group but cats are loners. Getting them fixed I expect means getting them neutered. That is the kindest thing we can do for stray animals and it saves them fighting and getting hurt and filling the place with kittens. I love cats too, maybe a little more than dogs because cats come by choice, dogs I think want to have a master and be part of a pack - they have an instinct for it. When my cat chooses to join me I always take it as a privilege!
@mariaperalta (19096)
• Mexico
14 Jan 13
my little tootsie was very wild when I got her 12 years ago. My ex trained her not to be. He tied her up a few days, and gave her treats. He told her to sit and things. he rewarded her when she did them. If she was jumppy. he tied her back up. Did this like a week and she slowly calmed down. Really worked on her. Try it. Take care..
• Greece
15 Jan 13
We do give both the dogs cat biscuit treats which they enjoy and one will take from my hand. I will continue working with these pups, thanks for the encouragement.
@nitinnair89 (2895)
• India
28 Jan 13
Oh my. You are becoming a REAL Pokemon Master here. LOL. Maybe those puppies are frightened by people or maybe they have a kind of fear in them in mixing up. A vet can help i guess. Wish you luck. I love puppies.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
15 Jan 13
I think what you have to do is to get them to trust you. In that, you have to get them to come to you first rather then you go to them. Maybe leave some of their favorite treat out and just sit there so they get used to you. That might help. It will take time as they are still wild and are not used to domestication and probably think you will harm them.
@GreenMoo (11842)
15 Jan 13
No suggestions I'm afraid other than patience. Good luck!