Help needed with craigslist byb rescue - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Help needed with craigslist byb rescue

So I rescued Duke after I saw an ad for an AKC registered 2 year old male GSD. That was all the info listed. It turned out that a woman was trying to set up a puppy mill and her neighbors shot the other dogs for wandering on to their property so she was dumping the last one.

He has a great temperament with people and dogs alike. Not aggressive or fearful of either. He is really just a giant 2 year old puppy who I'm guessing was never taught anything and never lived in a house. He was hesitant to even enter my house, and once inside was pacing around quite a bit like he wasn't supposed to be in there.

So here is the Good:
1. Like I said he has been very good with everyone he has met so far, which has only been the two roommates and our landlord. No barking/lunging/growling or anything just wagging tail and new person excitement.
2. Not reactive to the dogs in the yards next to us. His demeanor is all play. Even with the other dog going crazy at first, his hair went down fairly quickly and he was just wagging his tail and looking back at me like "dude when do I get to go play?"
3. Very quick learner, it only took him a little while hanging outside to realize that jumping like a crazy person gets you ignored, and sitting in front of someone gets you pets and praise.

The not so good:
1. He is still jumping, although not nearly as much as before. Now they are more excited jumps I guess? Usually when going outside he won't jump on people just in the air. I still would like to train him out of this because he is so big. He weighs about 100 pounds
2. He is very mouthy, walking around the house if your hands are at your sides his mouth will almost always be on them. He never even closes his mouth, and it's only on the hands, but this definitely needs to stop.
3. He has absolutely zero interest in toys. I've tried squeeky tennis balls, tug ropes, the toys with a water bottle inside. Heck he barely had interest in a meat bone until I held onto it for him to chew. Do you think he never had toys and doesn't know how to play with them?

And the different:
1. He will only eat if I hand feed him now. He ate in his crate perfectly fine the first night. Didn't eat the following morning, and ate fine the next couple days eating parts of his meals out of a kong in the crate. But the past 2 days he just walks away from the bowl unless I hand feed him. Is there anything to this?
2. We're still in the "two week shutdown" period and during his inside, out of kennel time he will often go lay down at the end of the hall out of site. Is he trying to get away from me or am I reading in to it to much?

Overall I've only had him for 6 days so I'm not expecting rin tin tin obviously. I guess I just want reassurance that I'm not on the fast track to screwing up this boy. Right now we're doing NILIF, although not sure how diligent the roommates are on that. Currently in the middle of doing a shutdown with him, we go out every 2 hours or so and we run around since he has zero interest in toys, and I work on leash manners with him since he pulls like a t-rex. The only other thing I can think to mention is an incident with the landlord where he mouthed his ankles as he was walking around the house. Sorry for the long post, I haven't had a GSD since I was a kid and I really want the best for this guy!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 05:12 PM
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Welcome aboard. I would look at these links so you don't create problems for your self down the line.
Leerburg | Dog Parks: Why They Are A Bad Idea
Leerburg | Who Pets Your Puppy or Dog

I've not done the two week shut down myself though I believe in it and think it would have helped me avoid some "issues" that I had later on.Others can chime in but here is a link:
I just got a rescued dog – what do I do? | stickydogblog

The hand think you can start teaching uh or no and offer a treat.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 05:24 PM
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Grats on yer boy. Any pictures yet? Some dogs just aren't into toys; some doegs will start playing with them after they see other do so (sort of an "I don't want it but I don't want you to have it" thing) some just get more playful as they get comfortable. The fact that he is already reducing jumping shows you're handling that they right way.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 05:59 PM
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going to lay down at the door is probably just from the idea that he is more comfortable outside than in. (It may take a while).
Why does him holding your hand (with his mouth) "got to stop."? If you think it must -- You could ask for an alternative behavior - perhaps offer to hold one end of the tug and him the other when he does this. That way if he wants to hold hands, he can go get the tug for you.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 06:44 PM
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I'm not seeing a problem with him eating from your hand, right now. USE THAT! Make him work for his food through obedience.

IMO, he's probably mouthing your hand from habit and to get attention. Get your hands in the air when he does that and walk away not saying a word. he will learn that doing that gets him the opposite quickly.

Jumping - teach him an incompatible behavior like sitting.

I don't see any red flags in your posts and sounds like you are doing everything right. just give him a little while to settle in.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 06:57 PM
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first you need to start formal training. imho, long walks are bond building and will help your new fur friend relax. sounds like a great temperament, just don't want to start any bad habits.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 07:03 PM
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You have gotten some great advice. Sounds like you are off to a good start with him. And yes - we demand pictures. LOL!

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so quick update and a little more info. Most important, a friend of mine came over while we were in the back yard and duke walked up to him, sniffed then started growling and lunging and barking, I barely got a hold of his collar. I realize this is probably my fault for not doing a proper introduction. So I put him in his kennel and gave him a kong to chill out for awhile. After about 20 min if my friend even gets up off the couch he starts growling and barking. I even put a blanket over the kennel to help calm him down more but he's still growling and barking every once in awhile. What should I do as far as introducing him to strangers? Does he need to stay crated for now if a new person comes over so he can see they're not a threat?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:08 PM
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I would avoid expecting him to interact with strangers until he has acclimated to his new home, you've gotten to know him better and he has bonded to you. Right now he is extremely stressed, completely out of his element and away from anything he finds comfortable and familiar, and doesn't yet have enough of a relationship with you to trust you and follow your lead when it comes to how to interact with visitors. You've had him 6 days. That is no where near enough time yet for him to adjust and bond, or for his true personality to really surface. Depending on his temperament and past experience it might take 6 weeks. It might take 6 months. Until he's fully adjusted and bonded to you and the two of you have a strong relationship and one where he will cue off you on how to react, avoid situations that could be problematic.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:14 PM
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It takes some dogs a while to settle and their true nature to show. Whatever you see the first 3 weeks are likely not it or not all of it. Once a dog settles they normally become more playful if they aren't already, this includes becoming more food and toy motivated and possibly more aggressive as well (ie. territorial usually comes later). Having a dog to show him will help him if you have friends with good stable dogs that he can learn from. I think one month is usually a good time when you will see more of himself come through.

Unless the dog is underweight I wouldn't fuss too much about his eating habits. Not sure if it has to be with the kind of food you're feeding too.

Initially I'd suggest to make the dog comfortable and feeling safe. I wouldn't expect too much more than that nor assume how he's like the first couple days is how he really is... just watch all his actions carefully for the first few months even if you think he's ok around dogs/kids/people right now. It's too early to tell anything from just 6 days.

Just some thoughts based on my fostering experience.
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