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Old 12-04-2012, 01:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Recently found lost GSD... Need Help!

Hey guys, I am new to this forum. A beautiful female German Shepherd found her way to my house yesterday afternoon and wouldn't leave. I have over a quarter acre of fenced in yard, so instead of immediately taking her to the pound, we put her in the backyard. After visiting the local animal shelter to create a found dog report, as well as check to see if she was micro-chipped, along with posting a bulletin at our local grocery store community bulletin board and checking Craigslist for lost dog posts, we've discovered, as of now, no one is looking for her. She's incredibly dirty and definitely not well taken care of as her nails are so very long and overgrown. The shelter seemed to think she was about 5 years old. Tomorrow we're taking her to the vet to get her a wellness exam and as well as check and on vaccinations to make sure she's physically okay (she looks great). We've decided to hold on to her for the time being, but I've always had labs and never GSD's. Wondering best practices in caring for them... She's not well trained... is trying to teach her some new things at 5 too difficult? Any suggestions on how to do that? Really, any info on caring for this beautiful lady would be wonderful. We've been wanting another dog, just not in this way, but clearly, the doggy God's had other plans so we're willing to care for her as long as we need to. Just any info on caring for a rescued, adult GSD would be wonderful!

Thanks!
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Love your story and thank you for not just leaving her wander off or dropping her off at the pound. I believe you can still train an older dog but it won't be as easy as maybe she could be used to her own old ways. If possible, try taking some training classes or YouTube training videos to get ideas of working with GSDs. My pup is very active and full of energy and I've read that they get calmer as they get older. Good luck with her and please keep me updated

Oh and pictures please!!


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Old 12-04-2012, 01:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Caring for them is not that different from labs. As far as training goes, you can teach a 5 year old just about anything you want to. They are extremely smart and most train fairly easy, just be fair and consistent. They need lots of exercise, but so do labs. Good on you for giving your time, home and care for her. You can find just about any info you need on this forum, just type into search block near the top center of the page.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Let her adjust for a few days and feed and water her and nurture her but lay down the rules right away to avoid problems later in case you keep her. Make an appointment with a private trusted trainer to evaluate her next week when she has acclimated a bit. Try not to get attached yet. Ask the local animal control agency when you can call her yours, then chip and license her so you have paperwork on her. Then you can decide what you want to do but at least you can make the decisions. Thanks for taking care of her.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If no one claims her, good luck. Working with an adult dog that has not been trained can be alittle more diffucult just for the fact that you are completly unaware of the dogs past. But I Know you can teach an old dog new tricks.... If it still has an intrest to learn. Make it as fun as possible. You may also try using German comands
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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and you missed that "cute" sharky stage that we all like to hate.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
and you missed that "cute" sharky stage that we all like to hate.
I'm still waiting for it to end!!! :'(

Meeka is 18 weeks now and not biting as much but still.... Her teeth aren't getting any smaller


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Old 12-04-2012, 01:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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How great of you to take care of her even though you've never had this breed before. I'm very impressed you cared enough to research. Kudos to you. German shepherds are very smart. I think you will be impressed. There is great info here and great people who are very knowledgeable about this breed. But when it comes down to it, no matter what breed you prefer, you are obviously a dog lover who cares. We love those kind of people here. Good luck and be welcome here even if you wanted to ask about different breeds here. We are all dog lovers.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Congratulation on your new friend-training shouldn't be a great issue-find out what motivates her-toy, food, praise and commence training-it may or may not take a bit longer to get what you desire across-be patient and firm and have fun-dogs love to have fun. My pack ranges in ages from 1 to 6 years and I can do whatever I want with them-they love to be with me and work for all three motivations.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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She will be so much fun to work with! I have fostered a lot of adult dogs that come to rescue knowing nothing. Some have never even been on a leash or in a house before.

It has been my experience that they are easy to train. Find what the dog considers high value (food or toy...or both!) and have fun with her. Try not to get too hooked into explaining her current behavior in terms of what her former life might have been like. So many dogs that people assume were abusively treated are actually just under-socialized and unsure. So work with and live with the dog you have in front of you, and try to ignore the very natural desire to "figure out what happened to her".

The German Shepherd Dog likes to be with their people, so she might not do well long term if she is kept strictly as an outside dog. It is not uncommon for the average outside only dog to have some problem behaviors (like nuisance barking, digging, fence running). So if she is kept outside only, make sure that you spend quality time interacting with her every day. Daily training and exercising with you outside the yard would be a great way to address that. Keeping an outside dog can be done, and done well, but it takes effort to do it correctly.

Good luck with your new girl. Pictures are always appreciated!
Sheilah
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