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Old 04-30-2014, 12:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice on a new to us 10 mo German Shepherd

Greeting to all of the German Shepard owners. I just wanted to introduce myself and say that we are quite excited about getting a new German Shepherd tomorrow. This will not be our first by any means, both my wife and I have owned Shepherds for many years. However this shepherd is going to be a little different than most we have gotten. He isn't a rescue per say but in some ways he is. His present name is Marvel, but I believe we probably change that, since we usually name our dogs with names that fit their personality after we get them, but for now we will call him Marvel.

A little bit about Marvel. Marvel is about 10 months old, he is a AKC registered German Shepherd, he is of the Red silver tipped variety, and is beautifully proportioned. He is very smart, very attentive, and seems willing to learn. Unfortunately, that is the good news. On the negative side, he has been left on a chain for the last four months, hasn't had any toys to play with, and has had very little attention. In fact, he hardly knows his name. He is housebroken, but after he got bigger, the father of the owner, demanded that he be put outside because he was knocking stuff of of end table etc as he walked by, with his tail, or at least that is the story we were told. We came in contact with Marvel after my wife was contacted to train him, as she and I are both dog trainers. After the first session with him my wife came home and was amazed at just how smart he was, but disappointed at the treatment he was receiving. In fact the treatment was so bad that my wife conceded that she had considered calling the humane society because he was malnourished, and had not been seen by a vet since he was 6 weeks old. He is also infested with fleas, although he did not appear to be scratching himself to a point where he had sores. My wife went to the owner and his parents and told them of her concerns, and they agreed to improve his care, which they did. My wife continued to do some basic training with him, but could get no cooperation from the owner in working with him on what she was teaching him, so my wife decided that her training time could be more well spent on other dogs she was working with.

Then last weekend, I noticed that the owner of the dog, has advertised him in a local advertising forum for sale, and he was asking $550. Well we learned that several people had inquired about Marvel but after seeing him and realizing that he had very little formal training, and was 10 months old, they passed on him.

Finally in desperation, and because the owner did love the dog, he is in the military, and is set to be sent overseas, he contacted us about the dog. At first he wanted us to pay something for the Marvel, but after we explained that there would expenses from the beginning with him, due to the fact that his shots had not been kept up to date, plus we would have to treat him for the fleas. He then ask if we would at a point down the road after he was out of the service find a registered female GS and get him a pup. We then explained to him that even though he was an AKC register GS that we would not breed him unless we had him examined by a vet to insure that he did not have hip dysplasia which would be even more expense, but that we would be willing to cover the expenses, if he was found to be of stud quality, then we would find a female to breed him with and give him a puppy, if we were allowed to just adopted Marvel. This was agreed and he is going to bring the dog to us tomorrow.

As I said, we have owned German Shepherds for many years, however our last was about 5-7 years ago, and he had to be put down because of a temperament change which endangered other dogs we owned and worked with, and at the time we also had a granddaughter that was a toddler, and we feared bad things might happen, however that is a story for another day.

What I am asking of you faithful German Shepherd owners is what would you advise us to watch for, what advice might you give, and any other helpful information that would help in our effort to train and discipline Marvel.

We also have three other dogs, Max a 14 year old dachshund, Sherman a 3 year old Australian Shepherd, and Yo-Yo a 1 year old Rat Terrier, with Sherman being the dominate male, as long as Max allows him to be, lol. One of our biggest concerns is that Sherman being the dominate male might clash with Marvel, although he is younger, than Sherman.

Any thoughts will be appreciated.

Thank you in advance,
RRivers

Last edited by RRivers; 04-30-2014 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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To the OP, I don't have any experience in the situation you're in but it sounds like you have a good grasp of the training. I just wanted to say thank you for taking in the pup and I'm sure he's in better hands now.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You mentioned you and your wife are dog trainers, what methods have you been using with Marvel thus far. Do you not typically train dogs with this kind of history? Is it mandatory that your pack gets along and can co-exist around each other in the same space or are you prepared to crate and rotate if it comes to that? If he has lived on a chain and all he has known is a backyard, I would evaluate his temperament and behavior in the real world and go from there so you can assess what areas he really needs to improve on. I had a 10 month old foster years ago who grew up in a backyard and never knew anything outside of those parameters. He was a huge bag of nerves and even the rustle of leaves on trees set him off. I have also worked with dogs in similar situations who have bounced back in no time and didn't carry any of that baggage from their past life.

With any new dog in my home, they eat from my hand(mainly during training/engagement sessions) for at least the first two weeks. No food comes from a bowl or the ground so I can immediately start the trust and communication foundation.

ps there is no way in **** I would agree upon giving this person another puppy unless they commit to training classes and follow through with it...and vet care.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The dogs limited exposure to the world wouldnt bother me too much. Take him out and see how he responds to the world and various stimuli. Test him on surfaces, around noise, people and other dogs.
Shouldnt take you long to figure out what he is at his core.
Test his food drive and object drive after a couple of weeks to determine what motivates him.

Develop a training plan based on these results..shouldnt be an issue y'all are dog trainers.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi welcome to the board and thank you for taking this dog in.

I agree with Blitz above, you're probably going to have to feel your way through this. A lot probably will depend on this dog's resilience and individual temperament.

I know you made a deal about 'if' the dog is breed worthy you'd consider breeding him and giving a pup to his owners.

There's a saying that when it comes to us humans the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. It's more then likely any puppy these folks get in the future will receive the same treatment as Marvel. So I hope that this boy will be deemed not breed worthy........

IMHO some people like the 'idea' of having a dog but really are just unwilling to put the work, time, effort and money required.

Good luck with this fellow!
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for taking him in. Good luck. Sounds like you know what to do.

My only advice is: don't give that guy a puppy!
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with everyone, do NOT give this guy a puppy!
The guy that we rescued Lako from never had him neutered, because he was wanting to make a quick buck by breeding him. He did ask us when we took him in that we would give him a puppy when we bred him.

Too bad buddy, he's getting neutered in less than a week! lol
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustLoveGSDs View Post
You mentioned you and your wife are dog trainers, what methods have you been using with Marvel thus far. Do you not typically train dogs with this kind of history? Is it mandatory that your pack gets along and can co-exist around each other in the same space or are you prepared to crate and rotate if it comes to that? If he has lived on a chain and all he has known is a backyard, I would evaluate his temperament and behavior in the real world and go from there so you can assess what areas he really needs to improve on. I had a 10 month old foster years ago who grew up in a backyard and never knew anything outside of those parameters. He was a huge bag of nerves and even the rustle of leaves on trees set him off. I have also worked with dogs in similar situations who have bounced back in no time and didn't carry any of that baggage from their past life.

With any new dog in my home, they eat from my hand(mainly during training/engagement sessions) for at least the first two weeks. No food comes from a bowl or the ground so I can immediately start the trust and communication foundation.

ps there is no way in **** I would agree upon giving this person another puppy unless they commit to training classes and follow through with it...and vet care.
Well my wife had only been doing walks with the dog at the time she had started training the dog, to get acquainted with the dog, and he to her, you must understand that when she started the training the dog didn't even know his own name, and hadn't even been broke to lead.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg1 View Post
The dogs limited exposure to the world wouldnt bother me too much. Take him out and see how he responds to the world and various stimuli. Test him on surfaces, around noise, people and other dogs.
Shouldnt take you long to figure out what he is at his core.
Test his food drive and object drive after a couple of weeks to determine what motivates him.

Develop a training plan based on these results..shouldnt be an issue y'all are dog trainers.
All the things you mentioned are noted, and yes it will take a couple of weeks to see where he really excels, and where his deficiencies are. The first objective will be to insure that the other dogs accept him, and that he accepts them, under close supervision, of course. All of our dogs are housebroken, and to us are like children, provided he can fit into the atmosphere, he will just be another child for us. Some may not understand this but we treat our dogs in such a manner because we love them that much. We also live near a busy highway, so one of his first learning experiences will be learning where his boundaries are. We live on 3.5 acres with open fields behind our house so there will be plenty of room for him to roam once he learns his boundaries.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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are your current dogs all altered?
either please neuter the new dog
of course we will have folks argue that but the last thing you need is a teenage shepherd full of testosterone while you are trying to integrate the dogs into the house
and of course the guy who tied up a 6 mo old puppy for the past 4 mos does not need another dog
thank you for rescuing this one

time will tell how sherman and the new dog interact
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