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Old 05-25-2011, 07:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
vat
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I have no advice but he looks PB to me. I hope it works out for all of you.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hi Mac's Mom,

It's so great that you want to help this VERY handsome guy. First, you have to decide if you will be fostering, adopting or fostering to adopt.

My recommendation is to work directly with the rescue group and go through the proper channels to become a foster through them with the intent of fostering this particular dog. The support system that you will have with a rescue behind you is invaluable. It can be done on your own if they aren't willing to work with you (and you will have us behind you for support) but it's easier with a reputable rescue.

Before committing to fostering this dog, someone (preferably someone with experience evaluating GSDs in shelters) needs to do an evaluation/temperament test. I also highly recommend you be present for that if it's possible. You'll learn a lot about dogs doing evals. If after you or someone else has evaluated the dog and you decide he is a dog you can foster, the next step would be introducing him to Mac on neutral ground. I've done this outside my animal control with Raven for almost every foster I've taken. I never take Raven inside. We typically do this by walking the dogs near each other for a few minutes (we're lucky to have a strip of grass down the side of the building) and then we let them sniff each other. Sometimes we take them into one of the outside runs to give them a little loose time. If we are satisfied that they aren't going to kill each other, then we load them into separate cars and head home.

Once we get home, we take a walk around the neighborhood. Again starting a little distance apart and let them slowly and naturally drift closer together until they've checked each other out and are just walking and sniffing together. We'll then go into the back yard (new dog goes in first, then Raven) and let them explore the yard together. On leash at first and then dragging leashes. Repeat the backyard process for going into the house. I let them drag leashes for a while until I'm sure there will be no scuffles.

No toys or bones are left out or given for at least a week with a new dog. Toys are then introduced under supervision only and I always make sure there are at least two of everything to minimize fighting over toys. Bones are given in separate rooms. Fosters are fed either in their crate or in a separate room.

The cat situation should be handled much the same as when you introduced Mac to the cats. Limited exposure at first, just glimpses through a baby gate with lots of praise for good behavior. Then the cat can be in the room with the dog on leash and again lots of praise for good behavior and/or ignoring the cat.

I know I just threw a ton of information at you but that's my process of bringing in a new foster. It's what works for me and my group. Some fosters are even more cautious than I am and limit exposure of the foster to the resident dog for the first week or so. Some just bring the dog home, introduce the dogs in the house and act like they've been together all their lives. You'll figure out what works best for you.

I hope it works out. Fostering can be challenging but it is also so rewarding to see the changes the dog goes through from scared and stressed to happy and relaxed.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Fantastic post Jamie!
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes. Thank you very much for the information and support.

His name is Bart and he's 4 years old. The only other information is the volunteers are really upset because there is no space for him and he's a "wonderful" dog. They sent us adoption paperwork to complete prior to meeting him. I'll talk to them about fostering this morning.

Again, thanks to all for your help. I was freaking out yesterday but no matter what happens...at least for now Bart has a little more time. Today he's safe.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks so much Mac's Mom for stepping up to the plate and doing what you can for the breed we all love!

All of my 'little' dogs I've either rescued or adopted. It's difficult at first bringing in a dog with 'baggage' into a house that is already established in their own baggage. But it always works out. Sometimes you just have to work a bit harder, but it will all come together in the end.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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thank you for wanting to help this boy. if you can possibly do a foster situation with rescue backing, this will give you and bart the back-up protection you need just in case something doesn't work out. you can always be a "foster failure" and directly adopt him. all of jamie's suggestions are really great, i would just like to say again to be very, very careful for a very long time in being comfortable with integrating this guy into your home and with your other dog. it takes many dogs quite a bit of time to acclimate to new situations and to mentally detox from the shelter/animal control environment (and whatever their past life has been). you can never be too careful. crates and maybe even a portable chain link (like 6'x6'x6'), are a must (imho after doing quite a bit of rescue). never ever leave the dogs alone. i know there are people who bring rescues into their families and from day #1 have not a bit of trouble, but my advice is to always err on the side of safety and protect the dogs.

i think that your "weird" feeling is your intuition telling you that this is an unknown dog with unknown habits and temperment, and that rescue in general is an unknown situation because you've never done it before. it's a wonderful thing you're doing and chances are you'll have little trouble...just be vigilant and careful and have available everything you need to control the dogs' environment.

wishing you the very best of luck in helping bart. i do see some akita in his face. he is beautiful.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi All, I have an update on Bart.

He came in to Animal Control as a stray a month ago. Apparently he was chipped and a volunteer contacted the owners who simply said they did not want the dog. The voluneers thinks the dog was dumped or just let go. Originally they listed him as 8 years old. That combined with the fact that he is not pure bred hurt his chances of getting help from the rescues, I was told. Later they discovered that Bart was at Animal Control when he was 4 months old 4 years ago. So now they know he is only 4 years old. This poor guy was rescued as a puppy and abandoned again. We are in the process of scheduling a meet & greet and I will be able to view the temperment testing documents and other records. But she said I could request an updated test.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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wow! i'm glad you've been able to get more information on him! and he really is a handsome guy! I hope everything works out. I'll try and keep up with everything but not knowing when we're going to have internet after tonight could make it tricky. Sounds like you're a bit more relaxed though so thats good!
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Carrie,

I'm so glad you got more information and that they are willing to show you the results of their temp test and perform another one if you want it. Sounds like so far they have been good to work with. I hope things continue to go well. Just remember to keep asking questions if you aren't sure and to follow your gut. Keep us updated!
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Oh boy. I just talked to the actual volunteer at the shelter. She met the owner. Bart was never allowed in the house. He was basically chained outside and used as a guard dog. He flinches when human hands come near him leaving the impression he's been abused. He tolerates hugs but they have the feeling he's not used to human contact. And he's not house trained. But he has no aggression towards people or dogs. He was extremely shy at first but is now social with the volunteers and other dogs. I know there are going to be people who say I'm not qualified to care for a dog like this but the bottom line is I'm not giving up. There's a great Kennel Club in the next town over that I can use for help.
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