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Thread: New rescue, still shellshocked; how can I encourage him to get comfortable? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-27-2014 02:26 PM
WVGSD It takes time for dogs to settle in, adjust, bond and feel comfortable. With my rescued senior GSD, it took him six months before he was comfortable in the house. He had lived his entire life (10 years approximately) on a chain and being in a house was so very different for him. He bonded with me very quickly, but it took him longer to relax and feel comfortable inside the house and with the other dogs.

As a dog on a chain, he did not know how to play with other dogs and was what I call "socially awkward". Not aggressive or mean, but rather he just did not know how to read other dogs and did not know how to adjust his behavior accordingly.

At almost one year post-adoption now, he is a wonderful boy and it has been a very rewarding experience to see him blossom.
02-27-2014 01:59 PM
lennyb We rescued Bandit from the acspa in November and was told he and his litter mates were found in Kentucky near death (4 out of 7 didn't make it). Hes a GSD mix (don't know with what) He had three types of worms, kennel cough and was severely under weight. He bonded quickly with our other GSD but was aloof with strangers in general. Hes now 5 months, 59 lbs and completely healthy and happy. He is still coming out of his shell more and more everyday. He still has some small issues were working on but He now loves to plays with us, loves kisses and rubs and gets super excited when anyone get home. So long story short. Just give it time.
02-27-2014 01:02 PM
Susan_GSD_mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewm11 View Post
Susan, I have asked myself if Rocky is truly bonded with me or is he just making sure the one who provides food and shelter is close by. He does really seem to have a deep connection already. He is aloof to the extreme with other people and even to an extent my other dog. He wants to be around me always but he doesn't resource guard me. He reminds me of the concept of someone with owes another a life debt (like in the Kevin Costner robin hood movie he saves the life Muslim guy in the crusdaes who follows him back to Europe telling him that he won't leave his side until he can return the favor) and is so grateful to be rescued he is not gonna let me out of his sight for a second
Matthew--I have definitely seen this! The rescues that come from abusive or neglectful situations are especially that way--for lack of a better canine way to describe it, we describe it as gratitude or appreciation. My first rescue was a wolf/shepherd cross that was shipped to me from Washington state. When I got him out of the crate at the freight office, the first thing he did was raise up, put his feet on my shoulders, and lick my cheek. Could've been, 'You are alpha, and I am being submissive to you..." But it sure felt like gratitude. He was that way all of his life. GSDs have shown that also, it's one of the things that makes adopting rescues so gratifying. When you experience it, there's no doubt what it is. You have described it well.
02-27-2014 11:41 AM
matthewm11 Susan, I have asked myself if Rocky is truly bonded with me or is he just making sure the one who provides food and shelter is close by. He does really seem to have a deep connection already. He is aloof to the extreme with other people and even to an extent my other dog. He wants to be around me always but he doesn't resource guard me. He reminds me of the concept of someone with owes another a life debt (like in the Kevin Costner robin hood movie he saves the life Muslim guy in the crusdaes who follows him back to Europe telling him that he won't leave his side until he can return the favor) and is so grateful to be rescued he is not gonna let me out of his sight for a second
02-27-2014 11:31 AM
matthewm11 Yeah its funny Bridget when people ask and I say one is a husky mix they always assume its rocky the sable.
02-27-2014 11:28 AM
Susan_GSD_mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
How long have you had him? I think with time he'll show who he is, the best thing you can do for now is work on that bond, and praise him for his focus! I found it takes almost 6 months for a dog to really be comfortable in their new environment when they've been thru some life altering experience. The inhibition is due to lack of confidence and probably trust in you....but the bonding you're doing right now is going to pay off!

I'd love to see photos of Rocky and Indy, too!
I found the same 6-month time span to be true, they then start to come out of their shell, and this is can be longer if they came out of rough situations (or much shorter if they are a good, stable, socialized dog). And to the original poster, I found the instant connection you spoke of with my current boy. On another thread people have discussed 'loyalty' vs. 'bond', and with my Orick, it was an instant bond that has only strengthened with time. I believe it was that in his past environments he just did not find, or have the opportunity to find, HIS person. I sat on a couch, talking to the trainer that was fostering him, and within 2 minutes he crawled up on the couch and squeezed in behind me, settled in with a big sigh. The trainer told me that he was with her so she could put in some obedience and house training. She had never seen him react to anyone the way he did that day, and we decided that there was no reason for her to keep him any longer. He is a much more confident boy today, but bringing him home to two stable, balanced GSD boys helped.
02-27-2014 11:27 AM
Bridget Pretty dogs, both of them. Your mix looks more like a pure-bred GSD to me. Rocky is very handsome also and I can see the coyote thing going on you mentioned. Great dogs!
02-27-2014 11:08 AM
matthewm11 The black and tan dog is my husky mix. What a huge difference I can already see in temperament. I had heard of these mythological concepts like 'heeling' and 're-call' but had never actually seen them before! Rocky heels with or without leash meanwhile Indiana is pulling, swerving and hopping in bushes; and this after two and a half years of consistent leash manners training.
02-27-2014 11:01 AM
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02-27-2014 10:56 AM
matthewm11 Thanks for the replies. Everyday Rocky has grown more comfortable and confident. Wow, never have have a had a dog so instantly bonded and attached to me though. My mix took a good three months before she felt comfortable with me when I got her. I will post pics when I figure out how; curious on feedback on if you guys think he is pb or not. Makes no difference to me, although it amuses when strangers on the street tell me he isn't a GSD; he certainly doesn't look like the gsd that comes to mind when most Americans think of one! Is it possible for a coyote and jackrabbit to mix? Lol jk.
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