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Old 03-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rescued GSD and need advice/direction

12/19/11 My friend called to tell me about a 4 yo female GSD who's owner died 2 months earlier. The dog was about to be put down. I had just lost one of my 3 dogs and 1 of my 3 horses 2 weeks prior to cancer/old age and I had room. I've never had a GSD. When I met Shelby the next day I found out that she was NEVER socialized with other people or animals and lived alone in the country with her female owner. Where she was the day I met her there were multiple dogs, cats and children. She was pacing in a circle. My husband and I decided to take her and give her a chance. The next day I took her to my vet, we started her on prozac and I bought a thundershirt. The first week was tough for her and us. We've made huge advances and daily I am AMAZED at how smart she is and how much I have come to adore her. The problems we are trying to correctly solve are she's obsessed with me, barks at my husband but does warm up to him. Barks at any and everyone that comes near our house, front door or backyard. I can't get her to go outside unless I am there. If I leave the backyard she will start pacing and then jump the fence. She and the other 2 dogs are great friends but still I have to be there. I have emailed 2 recommended trainers in my area with my story but they have not responded. On 4/2 she is schedule to be spayed. On 6/1 she will go back to the vet to re-evaluate the prozac. I've been reading, researching and asking any and everyone I can about GSDs. Any advice out there?
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thank you for taking this girl in! I think about what could happen to my dog if I were to pass before her, and I would be so unhappy with my family if they did not keep her/find her a good home. Just way too sad for this girl and you come along to make for a happy ending. (hopefully) You really are an angel for persisiting those difficult first weeks.

Keep trying to find a good trainer, I think that is your best bet.

While I was looking for a good trainer I read tons of books on animal behavior and communication. There are a lot of really good books out there, Patricia Mcconnel 'The other end of the leash' comes to mind, Turid Rugaas Others may have suggestions on books and behavior solutions.

Please be careful with her that she doesn't get in a bad situation if she were to become fearful and pass her theshold. Is she crate trained?

Some more experienced people will soon come on with advice, I just wanted to thank you for taking this girl in and wish you luck! The people on this board are very helpful, I'm sure someone will be on shortly with suggestions, or have already as it takes me forever to post. LOL
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Update to my 12/19/11 post. 13 months have come and gone and Shelby is doing better than I could ever have imagined. She no longer barks at or runs from my husband. She is off the prozac now and almost all of her anxiety issues are gone. We exercise and do tracking (learned from Shuzthund videos) at least 5 days a week. I've lost weight and she's gained MUSCLE. She now loves to sit in the backyard whether I am there or not and no longer jumps the fence. I read any and all books and watch every video I can get my hands on so we can continue to be the team we've become. Right now we are working on patience and calming down. Just started introducing her to my horse. Not the best introduction but we are working on it. She barks at him and nipped him 3 times on the back leg. He's very calm and doesn't mind dogs so I feel confident that soon Shelby will be running along side when I'm riding, which would be great exercise for her and her high energy.

Any further advice from GSD owners always appreciated!!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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kudos to you for your patience and training) Good job, I love hearing progress reports especially when they are as positive as yours
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdanli View Post
Update to my 12/19/11 post. 13 months have come and gone and Shelby is doing better than I could ever have imagined. She no longer barks at or runs from my husband. She is off the prozac now and almost all of her anxiety issues are gone. We exercise and do tracking (learned from Shuzthund videos) at least 5 days a week. I've lost weight and she's gained MUSCLE. She now loves to sit in the backyard whether I am there or not and no longer jumps the fence. I read any and all books and watch every video I can get my hands on so we can continue to be the team we've become. Right now we are working on patience and calming down. Just started introducing her to my horse. Not the best introduction but we are working on it. She barks at him and nipped him 3 times on the back leg. He's very calm and doesn't mind dogs so I feel confident that soon Shelby will be running along side when I'm riding, which would be great exercise for her and her high energy.

Any further advice from GSD owners always appreciated!!!
That's great. I love it when people who posted in the past come back with updates. Really enjoyed hearing your story. Be careful if your dog is nipping the horse. My mare killed the vet's dogs. One well aimed kick. Horrible experience for all of us. I think the patience you've shown is exactly the right method for working with this girl.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So glad you updated everyone! It is wonderful to hear about all of your progress. It sounds like you have a wonderful "teammate" and companion! I wish you all the best as you tackle your next set of training goals... I have no doubt you will have success!
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