What do you do when you feel your GSD just isn't a fit? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-22-2014, 01:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy What do you do when you feel your GSD just isn't a fit?

In December, my boyfriend and I adopted Violet for free. She more of just ended up in our care, but we welcomed her in and do love her very dearly. We also have a border collie mix, Ambrosia, and the two originally seemed interested in being friends.

They bicker a lot, and Ambrosia's the one who generally starts it, but Violet is having a harder and harder time letting go and has full capability of "stopping" it in a very dangerous way. We have attempted to work with them, but it's hard to really separate them to give them time to cool down and work one on one with them. Violet has always seemed kind of distant, an effect of her past we assumed. Not particularly interested in toys, not eating very much. She is still quite thin despite us trying to feed her more and alone, deworming, exercising, etc. She really likes to try to play with Ambrosia, but Ambrosia is often giving her the cold shoulder most of the time.

She definitely wants to play with other dogs, which Ambrosia will do with any other dog. She is not, in our experience, dog aggressive except with Violet - and it's not that it's particularly aggression so much as a sibling rivalry.

Beyond the Violet vs. Ambrosia aspect, while she's very smart, we're having some issues with pulling on the lead. We are doing our best to train her out of this, but we both have only owned dogs starting at puppyhood and totally underestimated the difficulty of training a large dog with a another dog. It really is a pressing matter, as our front door is twenty feet from a major highway. Ambrosia is 100% on recall and training in this aspect, and can even be trusted (as much as one can trust a dog) off leash.

Overall, I feel like she maybe isn't a good fit for our family and I feel as if she isn't happy being with us. At the same time that I don't want to rehome her as she is a super sweet dog who we do really love, but if she's not happy maybe the best thing is to let her go. I'm not sure how to rehome a dog in a way that I would trust (I do NOT want her to return to her previous owners or do a sketchy craigslist thing.) and I'm hoping that all of you will have some wonderful insight on either that or how I might be able to remedy this situation without rehoming her.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How old are Violet and Ambrosia?
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Did something happen that made Ambrosia disinclined to play with Violet? If she loves all other dogs, why do you think she doesn't want to engage with Violet?
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Violet is a year and four months or so, Ambrosia will be one year next month.

Nothing particularly happened between them, Ambrosia just seems to get more fiesty the more around Violet she is. She plays happily with everything from shih tzus to pitbulls that we've introduced her to, but it seems the more time that goes by the more pissy she gets.

They are, however, both not currently spayed. This will be remedied before a final decision is made one way or another. We had an emergency kind of take up our saved up funds soon after receiving Violet and the vet said to wait one year to spay Ambrosia because of her size as a runt. It wasn't enough to set us behind financially in day-to-day life but kind of put the spaying on the back burner.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I rehomed a female gsd that as you say, just wasn't a good fit for a lot of reasons. I think she let me pet her a total of 3 times and that was only when she was stuck in the laundry room with me and had no choice. She was fantastic at obedience, a beautiful dog but we had absolutely no connection. She had a very high drive and needed a job- she would have made a great police dog or drug dog. I ended up finding a young couple who advertised online that they were looking for a female companion the same age as their male gsd. When they came to look at her, she was a completely different dog! She loved the guy, adored their dog and I've never seen her so happy. She couldn't wait to jump in the truck with them. That night they sent me a picture of her using their dog's head as a pillow. The guy's parents have a ranch so she gets to go herding, they run a lot, live on a lake so she can swim. She has a much better life than she would have had with me. I took a lot of flack for finding her another home (my mother didn't speak to me for weeks) but I know I did the best thing for her.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you, Stosh, for that story. It makes me feel better about the situation. Can I ask why your mother was so affected? I ask because my grandma is very turned off by the idea by the idea of someone rehoming their dog, saying the responsibility is a lifetime one. But she also has always started from puppies except for a few dogs I've heard about, which ended up being rehomed... So I'm not sure her thought process.
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My mom gave me the whole "it's like giving away your child" guilt trip. But no, I did not give birth to the dog and I agree with your grandmother that the responsibility is a lifetime one, which is why I wanted the best possible home for her. And I had a responsibility to the other dog I had that he would not be injured by her. I bought her from a breeder and they were willing to take her back but when that couple came to meet her it was obviously a better home for her. You owe it to both dogs to give them the best home and life possible, even if it isn't in yours. All I can say is that when I woke up every morning and dreaded facing her and the situation, feeling bad and worried for my male and knowing deep down that she and I were never going to bond well I knew it was the right thing to do for all of us- and it was. Trust your gut on this

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Old 02-22-2014, 03:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You have to do the best for you and your dog, if whats best for you is rehoming your dog then thats ok, doesnt make you anything but responsible for recognizing and fixing the issue. I would take experienced members advice in proper rehoming, what to do and what to look for

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Old 02-22-2014, 04:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My son insisted that Midnite didn't fit into our house, I on the other hand decided to show my son different. I busted butt with training and my son got to see a different dog. Midnite follows him everywhere when he visits from college and has crept his way into my sons heart in a big way.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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weather is getting better soon so we can take them out and work them more often without getting all of us frost bitten.
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