How do I help a mourning, obese dog get better?

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How do I help a mourning, obese dog get better?

This is a discussion on How do I help a mourning, obese dog get better? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I know the title sounds crazy, but the whole situation is such a mess I don't even know where to start, so I'll try to ...

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Old 08-25-2017, 08:30 PM
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Unhappy How do I help a mourning, obese dog get better?

I know the title sounds crazy, but the whole situation is such a mess I don't even know where to start, so I'll try to be as clear as possible...

A relative recently passed away and in their will they left their house and dog to their son. However, the son did not want the dog and asked us to keep it since we already have a dog ourselves. We were glad to accept and a week ago, two-year-old female Schnauzer Lola was nicely packed in a dog cage and flewn halfway across the country to us. She is a friendly and tranquil ball of love, but...emphasis on BALL.

When she arrived we found out that she was severely overweight, borderline obese; and also severely depressed: Lola was bought as a companion for a very sick man and thus lived all her life laying in bed with him, only leaving his side to be fed and go potty (a nurse took care of our relative and the dog), so she got no exercise ever. We took her to the vet for a general checkup and thankfully, there were no health problems yet, however he did warn us that she was in serious need of a diet and excercise if we wanted her to stay healthy. We tried to follow his advice and that's when we discovered how severe her problems really are :
For starters, the change in lifestyle seems to have been too much for her. She spent the first two days crying incessantly and holed up behind the washing machine. Whenever she sees a bed, she jumps on it, sniffing and searching incessantly. When she doesn't find her master on it, she just lays down whimpering (it breaks our hearts so much). She seems to oscillate between eating too much and nothing at all. And while our male dog, Pika (a 1-yr-old poodle, neutered) has been friendly and welcoming to her, she mostly keeps to herself inside her hiding place. Yesterday we tried taking her out for a walk but she got scared of the outside and threw herself to the floor whining like she was being murdered. She is not agressive by any means and instantly cuddles up to whoever gets close to her, but if we can't get her to stop being so afraid of everything, how are we supposed to help her lose weight?!?! though I also understand that, on top suddenly losing all your life and being taken to a strange place, suddenly being placed in a weight-losing regimen might be too much for a poor dog.

I know dog psychology is not exactly an easy-to-understand subject, but if anyone has any tips on how we could make this whole transition easier for Lola, I'd be very thankful.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:03 PM
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I've also taken on a four year old dog who has lived her life in a boarding facility- a property, so not caged, but has never had a dollar or lead and is overwhelmed by traffic, leads etc. so some similarities. No luck at all with walking on already, but I have found that she will walk with me (very closely) in an enclosed dog park. I've decided to delay the lead until she is more settled and gradually introduce it. She's not food oriented so treats don't work, only my attention, which is probably your main strategy too.
Do you have a Yard? Perhaps laps of the yard might be less intimidating? I'll be interested in what other people suggest.


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Old 08-28-2017, 05:56 AM
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poor thing. that is allot of change all at once. just one of those events can traumatise a dog terribly. And to have to go through 3 traumas at the same time must just be so horrible.
first I would say lots of patience. Dog mourning I think is something we understand very little about. (have you watched the movie Hachico?)
Just try and comfort her. show her you are a safe space. Build her trust and show her that she can love you and will get love back in return.
concentrate on those things first. then you can focus on the exercise later. with the diet, build a routine. Feed her the same amount at the same time every day. if she wants more, don't give in. If she does not want to eat, see if you cant hand feed her.
Let us know how it works out!
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:01 AM
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I don't have any better advice than already given. I also wonder if you have a yard? Just following you around doing odd jobs will start her moving without her thinking she is on an exercise regime! Lots and laughter with her. Tickle her and love her. She will be ok.. keep us updated and write her a diary. She will thank you one day!
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