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Old 11-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #41 (permalink)
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It doesn't harm a dog to learn to be on it's own, either. At some point it will have to be "by itself", and while you are in the house is a good way to start.

That said, when we adopted an adult GSD, we crated him right in the front room. It worked just fine.

The shut down is not a "set in stone" formula. Just like any tool it can be tailor made to the situation and the dog.

Some dogs don't need it. Others - can't settle into a home without it.
To write it off completely because you didn't like one part, makes no sense.
Besides, some dogs do need that much "down time", it all depends on the dog.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #42 (permalink)
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From the first link:

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Imagine it from the dog’s point of view. He might like you, but he doesn’t know you yet. He’s facing new people, new routines, and new rules all at once. He’s stressed, and every additional challenge adds to the stress. Just like a human, our dog may react by becoming defensive and short-tempered, or fearful and shy.

You can make this transition easier on him by taking things slowly, and simplifying the introduction process. We call this the “Two Week Shutdown”. During these first weeks, avoid unnecessary stressors while the dog settles in, keep everything positive, and take it slowly.

Limit introductions to immediate family and caregivers. He doesn’t need to meet your neighbours, your friends, and other animals yet.
Avoid long, overstimulating walks. If you have a yard, use that for outside time. Your dog will manage just fine with minimal exercise for this period.
Set him up to succeed. That means avoiding complicated training and socializing situations for now. Celebrating his successes together and avoiding harsh corrections will strengthen your bond.
Use a crate. It will be a safe haven for him in a time of uncertainty. It also keeps him isolated from other pets, and helps him make good choices like NOT peeing inside or destroying your shoes.
Set up a simple and consistent routine from the start. Regular mealtimes, calm leadership, and clear, fair rules will help your new pet get his bearings.
Every dog is different. Some might jump right in to your life with enthusiasm. Young pups sometimes handle things more easily than older dogs. A very timid or very reactive dog may need extra care, or one coming into a dramatically new environment (e.g., a former yard dog moving into a condo). But any new dog, especially one coming out of a chaotic shelter environment, will go through an adjustment period.

So slow it down! It will make for a better “honeymoon period” and save you both a lot of stress down the road.
How could that possibly be harmful?
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:52 PM   #43 (permalink)
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I think some people see the 2 week shut down as a form of sensory deprivation torture like those that cause Stockholm Syndrome.

Every dog is different and some may not need this, and others a variation of it. I have had Benny since a pup and occasionally when he got real amped up over things going on in the house would crate him and put a sheet over the crate. This gave him a chance to calm himself down without isolating him
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I think the thing people need to remember is just like people not all dogs are alike. That two week shutdown from what I can find was created for the Bully breeds which have totally different personalitites than Shepherds...
Two Week Shut Down from a GSD rescue site
http://www.bigdogsbighearts.com/2_week_shutdown0001.pdf
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:11 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Michelle is right, it works for any and all breeds.
Plus I find it vastly interesting that we intro'ed all new fosters into our home just like this - for their safety and our own dog's safety...no matter what the breed...before we knew it was a "method"!

Anyone who has brought a foster or adopted dog home and had things go south immediately has done it.
Or they brought the dog back to the shelter, hardly a viable option, IMO, unless things were really bad. Instead of tempting fate, we integrate them the same way and it rarely fails.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:24 PM   #46 (permalink)
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So essentially the "two week shut down" is the same thing that I would do with a new puppy. Makes sense to me.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:38 PM   #47 (permalink)
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So we took 6 MONTHS of just us and our family. We mostly did not have folks over, but if we did Mason was crated in another room with the door closed. He is SUPER friendly and well adjusted and I still insisted that it be all about us, our home and our expectations. I wanted there to be no doubt in his mind how our home works. We are now branching out to organized classes (we did home training, hikes, etc- just the focus was always new dog and family only) and other people entering our world. I think I have a pretty happy, well adjusted dog. Beast had the same 6 month focus period and it served him well too. My kids were even younger then....Girl was 2 when he arrived. It takes time consistency and commitment but the payoff is very worth it!
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Originally Posted by shepherdmom View Post
From the two week shutdown posted here: "I crate the dog in a room by itself if possible.(Believe me, dogs are sensory animals, they know more than you think without seeing it)".

^^^^ This right here is what I have a problem with. I absolutely think avoiding stressful situations for the first two weeks is a good idea but I don't agree with crating the dog by itself.
I do, if the household is noisy and busy.
Even a dog needs some peace and quiet.

When Hans was a little puppy I always crated him somewhere else for his naps, otherwise he wouldn't get the good, deep sleep he needed.
This isn't about isolating the dog, it is about giving him some breathing room.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:36 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
From the first link:
How could that possibly be harmful?
I had one trainer tell me it was a terrible thing to do to a shepherd, so when I adopted Tasha I asked the rescue to comment on the two week shut down... Not only was their expert kind enough to answer me in a long email but also comment on it in a blog post. From the Sticky Dog Blog..

"PS. I have seen a protocol called a "two week shutdown" several websites promote. Some rescues insist on it for all adopters. There seems to be some debate over it's worth. Some people swear by it, some people swear at it.

I don't see the benefit in any form of isolation, the feeling of abandonment and separation from the pack is probably in my view one of the most painful and emotionally punishing ways to distress a dog, a pack animal.
Do not isolate the dog in the back yard, or the laundry room, or the spare bedroom either. Spend loving time growing your new dog to be the best he can be."
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:43 PM   #49 (permalink)
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hmmmm...I see the point in what you are saying, shepherdmom, and don't disagree. But I don't think there is a single thing I've ever learned that I didn't modify to some extent.

The dog is supposed to be watching what is going on in the house, out playing with the owner...just not overwhelmed with new experiences like other animals, new places, training, etc. That allows the dog to chill out a bit and bond with the owner. So if you don't like the "isolation" part, why not set up a crate in the area that everyone is in AND one in a quiet room so the dog can have down time if need be?
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:44 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I guess the expert doesn't believe in teaching the dog to be OK with alone time.
I think it is important for the dog to be OK by himself. Separation anxiety is not pleasant, and if the dog can't handle separation, that's a sign that he needs more of it.

There have been times when we absolutely could not come home and Hans had to spend time alone, and it was nice to find him sleeping and content when we returned. I contrast this with my parents' dogs who treated them to a screeching whine fest when they would return.

We can probably go around and around on this. I remember similar discussions on parenting boards by people who advocated attachment parenting and those who felt it was important for the child to learn to self soothe.

No one budged on their POV there, either
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Last edited by Sunflowers; 11-23-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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