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Our family recently adopted a 7 month old male bully that has spent his short life in a cage at a puppy mill approx 2 weeks ago. Jethro is doing well considering his lack of socialization and basic training skills. We have had experience with the pit breed, having had 2 red nose babies that were awesome family pets. After they passed away from old age, we knew we wanted to bring another into our lives. Jethro shows obvious signs of cage living, he can't climb or descend stairs, will lay as if he were confined, and has some slight deformities of his paws due to the wire bottoms of his shelter. The vet has given him a clean bill of health, he has gotten his vaccinations and will be neutered within the next few months. We have not had an animal before that did not behave like a typical puppy!! He is VERY timid, he does maintain eye contact and shows happiness when we pay attention to him and seems to want to interact with our jack russell (even though she doesn't want too!). Although sometimes it appears that when we are speaking to him he doesn't realize that we are, he just sits there a looks at us and if his back is turned there is no response at all. We are really just working on trust and potty breaks. We have eliminated the crate for now and are working on just getting into the habit of using the outdoors as the bathroom. I guess my real problem is knowing how to interact with him, how to train him and how to acclimate him the best I can into our home, because it is obviously very different than the typical animal. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Awww poor guy! I'm glad to hear that you've taken him in to give him a second chance! We've taken in several rescues over the years, and they always seem to know what you've done for them. It will probably take a while to get him used to human interaction, but just give him time. Do not force him to do anything that he's uncomfortable with, if he's timid than he may lash out to protect himself and somebody could be hurt in the process (which is not specific to his breed, any scared dog will react in that way.) Associate all people with positive things, scratch under his chin (I've heard it helps with confidence, but I don't really know how true it is lol) give him treats if he comes to you when you call, or if he sits, or if he potties outside... or just because. lol Do not yell at him for any reason, that doesn't really help with anything he's probably already forgotten what he's in trouble for by the time you react anyways.

I'd love to see some pictures of him!
 

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My nana rescued an adult pug from a puppy mill. She had spent her few years in a cage producing babies. It took her a LONG time to get used to people. She liked my nana and that was it for quite a few months. Just be patient. My nana didn't use a crate with her either, just made her a bed. Since you have a pup, you could make a space for it in a part of your home(To avoid accidents) baby gate of part of the kitchen or bedroom or bathroom as the puppy's space. Leave like a kong frozen with peanut butter as a toy while you're gone.

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