Well, here we go.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Well, here we go....

Hello everybody,

I have been a long time member of the forum and often looked to it for suggestions on how to handle certain situations. Thank you all for that....

I have just got myself into a situation and am hoping you all will have suggestions on how to handle things today.

A few days ago, I went to look at a 6 month old Shiloh pup that somebody was re-homing. I made contact with the owner following this meeting to make an offer/suggestion in regards to price and the next day when I looked at the ad, I saw an "Adopted" added to the heading. My son was upset with me but I knew this dog would have been a lot of work and was happy his owner had found someone to take him. This pup would not be easy to raise....

He was exhibiting slight fear aggression but I would consider it normal for a pup this age, breed and under the circumstances. It took him about 1 minute to settle down and get friendly. It took him about 15 mins to start exhibiting his land shark talents. Which I have to admit seemed to me a bit extreme. He was described as dominant but while visiting and having my ankles nipped that was also referred to as dominant behavior, which did not ring true with me.

Anyhow back to the present. This morning I sat down to have my coffee and started to browse the ads to my horror there was the same dog listed by his new owner! I was in tears. They have only had him two days. Long story short my heart took over my brain and this pup is now on his way here. She was so eager to get him out of her house she is driving him an hour north in a potential snow storm. Apparently, this pup displayed some resource guarding and there are older children in the house. The kids are now terrified of the dog. I do hope the situation was described accurately to me and there was not more to it.

I am excited and nervous. Having fostered a young shep in the past and having adopted a couple at this age, I know I am in for a lot of work and disruption to my life. He turns six months tomorrow, has no pedigree so to speak ( I suspect backyard breeder), he is not yet neutered and I have a 41/2 year old unneutered male shep already. Ya, I know, somebody gonads have to go really soon. My guy is good with other dogs, high energy, high drive happy guy. No issues other then he never stops!

So here is the question....this pup has undergone a lot of trauma in the past few days. Regarding his immediate acclimation and behavioral issues, how do you suggest I handle him for the next couple of days. Any suggestions that would give us the best chance of success would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 03:16 PM
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Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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I'm positive that there are others here that could help you more. But I will give you some advice. A firm hand is of course important in this case. Have a crate ready. Toys. start off playing with him. I am worried about 2 non neutered males. Hopefully your older boy will put this pup in his place from the start. As far as resource guarding when Sam was a pup and he showed aggression when he had a treat I immediately took it away waited gave it back. Repeat process until I could literally pull his treat out of his mouth with no problem what so ever. If the older kids are scared of this dog I am afraid there is more to the story than a little resource guarding. Just start off with limited affection and a no nonsense strict policy. He needs to learn he gets nothing in life without your permission. Keep us posted! Good luck!

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 03:20 PM
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Not familiar with the breed. If it was a shepherd, I would probably keep interface to minimum for several days, while trying to maintain my leadership/house rules. I guess, I would let the puppy come to me, when it is ready.

As for resource guarding. I would feed him in his crate, and I would avoid possible issues. If he has a problem with removing the bowl after 10 minutes, I would pour the food on the crate bottom and leave him be with it.

At six months old this dog seems to have a lot of baggage. I real trainer with good experience with formidable dogs in the working/herding groups might be worth starting with right away. This dog is going to be much bigger than a shepherd, and if it is already using aggression to get what it wants, that can become fatal for the dog.

Good luck with him.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 03:26 PM
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I would keep them separate in another room even and let that pup calm down for a week. Work with him every few hours but lay down the rules from the very start and don't baby him. Intros need to be very careful as you probably get one shot at it getting it right. I always introduced a new foster to the most dominant dog of my 4 first and if everything went OK with him, the others followed suit. This has always worked well. Also reinforce obedience on your other dogs before the introduction. Fingers crossed. You have a lot on your plate but good that you are giving it a shot.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 03:28 PM
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I wouldn't be in a hurry to neuter him. Shilohs are large dogs (purportedly larger than GSDs) and it's better for their growth if you wait to neuter until around 2.

I have a resource guarder. If I had kids and couldn't keep the area where I'm feeding peaceful and stress free, I would feed in the crate and leave .. him .. alone. I feed my dog in the kitchen and he knows that I don't mess with him for no reason. He still warns the nosy cat away and I reinforce it by shooing the cat off so he knows that I think he shouldn't have to share his food.

I would just leave him alone and let him eat. Eventually he'll figure out that you won't take it and you should be able to add good stuff to his bowl. He'll learn that you bring even better things when you come by, but mainly .. just let him be in peace.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well he arrived yesterday and I have incorporated some of the suggestions.

-he is being fed in his crate
-he is stubborn and a land-shark but actually seems quite submissive thus far
-he hates his crate
-he desperately wants to run
-he is food motivated but displays little prey drive
-he is very thin and seems to lack any muscle mass I was told he was spending the majority of his time in his crate as the sharkiness escalated.
-he is not a very bold pup and not the worst I have seen regarding shy/fearfulness

The dogs have mingled but have met...I am waiting a few days until I sense a nonchalance about each others presence. There were some growls but nothing serious nor something that put me on edge. Milo (my four year old) is happily distracted by play. The pup is barky but I did see a play bow...so I think (hope) it will be ok. They were walked together this morning in the back fields and the pup was walked independently this evening. Leash manners need improvement for both of them.

I have decided to feed him in his crate as suggested. I think this will avoid problems between the dogs should any exist and hopefully change the pup's attitude towards his crate. It is not easy getting him in there. I have also stocked up on crate safe and inviting chew toys that are strictly crate treats.

He knows sit well and I have been working on down.

I have not experienced a bad episode of the nips yet, but have been nipped though just gently. I would suggest more mouthiness. He was told no. If he hurts me I intend to shut down on him. Turn my back and refuse to interact. I know this won't be a great way to handle it until we have bonded a bit, but I prefer to let them teach themselves if I can figure out how. I have a rope toy that did not interest him so I turned it into a snake. This he likes. He was rewarded any time he bites down on it. We had a few gentle, happy games of tug and when I told him to drop it, he was rewarded for doing so. Quite frankly he was not reacting to my command, he really sucks at toy play, but reward good behavior as the saying goes. My thinking is the rope game thing addresses resource guarding, biting and provides play/bonding time all in one.

I decided to interact with him and he is friendly and definitely wanted too. I know that his authentic self might be hiding on me right now, he has only been here 24 hours but if that is so, I wanted to take advantage of it.

Please let me know if you think I am inadvertently making any errors.

I know that sometimes a prong collar is a must but I have never used one. This pup had one being used on him at the recommendation of the first owner's trainer. Apparently it was so tight it was difficult to remove. This information comes from owner number two. I was aware that he was in one when I visited but never checked it and frankly know nothing about them. Is it possible that the prong collar was increasing the anxiety of the pup and creating a lot of the biting issues? That and the fact that he was being so tough to handle that his exercise was increasingly limited?

I now have contact info on the vaccination papers for the original breeder. I hoping to find out exactly what this pup is....will post a picture when I can

Thanks for your help.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thought I would share a picture of him and my Milo. Kind of crappy but it was with my phone.

I did talk to the breeder who was concerned about what his pup had been through and made me promise to call him a month and let him know how things were going.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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And Milo....
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:45 PM
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Submission and low to no prey drive are hallmarks of Shiloh Shepherds.

I would hold off on meet and greets with your dog. Let the puppy decompress. Put the puppy in his crate and let the dogs see each other for now, no more. If you rush now, you could be setting yourself up for future problems.

I would not be in a hurry to neuter either dog. Neutering will not replace training.

His being crated, lack of muscle mass, and desperately wanting to run speaks volumes to his lack of exercise which can cause many of the issues listed.

I would work on getting this puppy back into good physical condition and then reassess where things stand before moving forward.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:54 PM
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Nice. Hopefully he has found his home. As far as crate. I had luck with my oldest dog who really didn't like his crate by given him a bully stick in there daily. But he was crazy for those. Find something he's nuts for and use it to help him associate crate with pleasure.
Good luck.
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