I don’t know what has been done to this dog, but he’s a mess. On the plus side, he was clearly born with a stable enough temperament because although he’s incredibly stressed, he’s not shown any aggression towards me. He just drops to the ground in posture of submission – I don’t know if he expects to get beaten or if he’s just learned to be very submissive. He pants heavily all the time and drools, which is certainly stress related, even just putting a lead on him causes him stress.
Once he’s on a leash he’s quite well-behaved, but he pays no attention to you. It’s as if humans don’t exist for him – he doesn’t make eye contact, he doesn’t enjoy being patted or scratched and the most voluntary contact he’ll make is a quick sniff of your hand. Otherwise he seems to find it easy to just pretend you’re not there – he ignores your voice, whistles, conversation – all the things which capture most dog’s attention.
He is very reliant on other dogs. If he doesn’t have another dog near him he gets more and more stressed. He can be crated as long as there’s a dog next to him, which in most cases in Lenny. Lenny is so easy going and dog social that Galahad relaxes a little bit in his company. If there’s not another dog near him, Galahad starts biting into the wire of his crate or run.
I’d guess that he’s spent a lot of time with another dog for company and limited human interaction – I’m wondering if he’s been bought as a guard dog and just left alone apart from food and water? I do know he went into the pound very underweight and he’s got quite a lot of scarring on his ears from fly strike. That does tend to argue that he’s not been a dog who has experienced much care in his life. The ranger at the pound put a lot of effort into getting Galahad up to a decent weight, so he’s in good condition now.
So far all I’ve done with him is take him for a short walk in the morning, crate him and night and leave him in a run during the day. I’m hoping that a routine and quiet will help him relax a bit and start to feel secure enough to start to bond a bit with me. He really needs more exercise than he’s getting, but I’m quite sure that if I let him run free I’d never catch him again.
I’m going to give him a week or so to see if his stress levels reduce a bit and then get some expert assistance with his rehabilitation. How far he can come and how rehomable he’ll be is up in the air at the moment.