Q: I am thinking about taking in a rescued 11-month old dog who is terrified of everything. He was abused and I believe he was kept in a crate all the time. He is afraid to the point he just wants to bolt, non-stop. He cowers in the kennel, and he shakes from head to toe. He runs to people for security though, and tries to latch on to someone, and crawls in their laps to hide.

 I was thinking of adopting this dog, but want to do what’s right, and I have so many concerns. I worry about my current dog, who also has a history of fear issues and if it will create more fear in the house seeing a dog so panicked. I also worry about this dog, and if my dog being fearful will be not be a good influence, whereas a more confident dog could help him. I also worry about myself, if I can handle the emotional part of having a dog like this and if he can be somewhat normal. Thanks so much for your insight; I just don’t know what to do for him.

A: I’m sorry to hear of this poor dog’s situation. If you were to help him, a professional, POSITIVE trainer would have to be hired to help you. From what you write, you will never get this dog to be “Lassie” friendly, but certainly improvement is possible. Medication may be needed to help get him to the point where he can begin to relax as the behavior modification program takes hold.

Your situation sounds like it would add a lot more stress to your household if you adopt this dog. A professional, competent trainer would be able to tell you if the rescue and your own dog would get along but it doesn’t sound promising. Unless you have the skills, time, money and emotional commitment necessary to raise this dog, while supporting your dog at the same time, I would not suggest bringing him into your home.

Obviously your heart is in the right place and I would continue to network with friends, co-workers, neighbors and family members to see if someone else can adopt the rescue.

I sincerely wish you well!