So you have acquired an abused dog. Every time you go near or try to pet it, the dog growls, snaps, nips or bites.
You have to get a muzzle for training purposes. No the muzzle won’t be a lifetime commitment. The training should take from three days to a week.
Put the muzzle on the dog. Use the leash to secure the dog in a secluded area of your living space away from everyday traffic. Only take the muzzle off for food or water, then put if back on.
For the first day make it a point to occasionally go to the dog and gingerly pet it. Yes, the dog will be skittish and act like it is attacking but just continue to pet and speak softly to it calling it by the name you have decided to give it. Keep these sessions to about five minutes or so. This will teach the dog that you are not going to hurt it and the dog will slowly learn to associate your presence and hand with kindness.
After the dog has stopped cowering and snapping everytime you go near is the time to slowly introduce it to other household members if any. Don’t do this in a rush, do one person one day. When the animal has learned to accept you and the second member, then you can gradually introduce another.
When the dog has learned to accept everyone who lives there. Keep the muzzle on but now secure the dog in an area that gets a lot of traffic from everyone.
Every time someone goes by the dog, they must stop, talk softly, pet the dog and make a fuss over the animal. You’ll begin to notice a difference in the pet. Instead of cringing, growling and snapping the dog will begin looking forward to human contact and interaction.
When the pet starts looking forward to everyone making a fuss over it, this is the time you can take the muzzle off.
If the dog reverts for any reason, put the muzzle back on and go through the process again.