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Old 02-26-2014, 11:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
matthewm11
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 149
Default New rescue, still shellshocked; how can I encourage him to get comfortable?

I have a three year old GSD/husky x and life circumstances have afforded me the time and resources to add a second dog, something I had wanted to do when Indiana, my current dog was at least two.
I had been calling breeders, talking to owners and researching online about what bloodline would be best suited for my needs. (I'm a single, active 34 male not looking to compete or show but wanted a medium drive dog) Everyone had a different suggestion.
I had also been perusing rescues and city shelters. I went to a shelter to check out some adorable 4 month old pb gsd pups but instead felt an instinct connection with a one year old red sable reverse mask male. He was listed as a mix but despite the rarer color he seems all gsd to me in terms of structure, gait, head shape and temperament.
His name is Rocky and he was skin and bones with a bad case of kennel cough and has been a little traumitized by his experience in the shelter and probably whatever he went through before.
Rocky instantly bonded with me and won't leave my side. He is a very sweet dog and I don't see any indication of genetic nerve or fear issues. He is low energy and I have noticed almost no prey drive yet. He and Indiana share my home peacefully but Rocky doesnt know how to play. Off leash at a park he will be my shadow ignoring Indy's attempts to play.
My question is how are some ways I can encourage rocky to play a little and build drive while he adjusts. I know GSDs especially can have a tough time adapting to new enviroments so I accept I may have a very different dog on my hands in a month or so. The encouraging thing is that while clingy he doesn't display fear or nerve issues in any situations he is aloof to other people and alert but not fearful in proximity to other dogs.
I would assume due to sable color and body structure (smaller, thinner, less angulation, has a little of that DDR blockhead thing going on) he is a wworking line gsd so once rocky gets settled and comfortable I am prepared for the possibility of a high drive high energy high maintnence companion
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