My GS pup doesnít want to be touched - Page 6 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #51 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 10:56 AM
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Hello everyone! I started this thread and as Iím new to the forum I was so happy to check back and read all the responses. Let me give more background into my pups early life. The primary breeder was a woman who was killed in a wreck. That left her husband who had a broken leg and was overwhelmed. The momma dogs were allowed to have their litter in a remote barn. Other than being fed the dogs had zero human contact. They were however threatened by mountain lions who evidently got one or two pups. So, his life was pretty scary. Then at 14 weeks of age I bought him. We had to catch him and he tried to be invisible until he was finally released in my home. Since then Iíve added a backyard fence so he has access to the outside. Heís smart and happy. He will play tug and fetch. He will eat off my chest. Occasionally Iíll slip in a touch and he will shy away from it but is much less afraid than a month ago. I think that just being patient and working on trust is what I will continue for now. I think only negative things could come for me forcing him to wear a collar or leash right now. He does need to see the vet for shots though so I wish he would let me take him but I think I would lose a lot of trust to force that now. Iíve only had him 5 weeks.
The background helps, but genetics will play into it as well. Just as much, maybe more.
I have taken several young, completely feral dogs on and most turned out just amazing.
As far as the vet goes, you need to determine what the risks are on both sides and weigh it out. Keep in mind that health issues can often be minimalized if caught early. While I don't personally like pushing pups there are some things that make it necessary.
I used to have a vet that was amazing with fearful or shy dogs so they are out there. Parasites, viral infections, etc. should all be thought of. He is still young enough to be at risk for things like Parvo, which could kill him.
Consider also that sometimes you need to shove them out of their comfort zone to keep making progress. He has had over a month, vet care is important.
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post #52 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 10:59 AM
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So you essentially purchased a feral pup. It’s not surprising that he’s touch shy. Time to build up trust is important, but so is vet care.

Does he have a crate he sleeps in? If so, take the crate with the pup in it to the vets. Let them know the history, they are well versed in handling different doggie issues. It’s important to get him vetted, especially if you’re in an area with high cases of parvo or distemper.
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post #53 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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post #54 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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No, he is free inside my home. He does not sleep in a crate. He has his first shots and I was able to worm him. I agree vet care is important but there are no other dogs around so it’s just me and him alone.
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post #55 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:21 AM
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No, he is free inside my home. He does not sleep in a crate. He has his first shots and I was able to worm him. I agree vet care is important but there are no other dogs around so it’s just me and him alone.
Parvo stays active in any yard for up to a year. So even is a stray decided to use your yard 6 months ago, your pup is still at risk. Deworming done OTC is pretty useless. So unless you were able to somehow purchase a dewormer somewhere other than a Walmart or pet store, it’s likely doing nothing to kill any internal parasites. There are also many different types of worms that can be present, and not every dewormer will work on every parasite. That’s why the vet will ask for a stool sample, so that all internal parasites have been dewormer for.

If the pup isn’t crated, how do you prevent accidents inside. Where does the pup go when you leave the house? Do you live alone, or with family or a partner or roommate?
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post #56 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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But shoving him out of his comfort zone to make progress seems contrary to almost all the advice I’ve received. At 18 weeks now he’s strong as a bull! Shoving him out of his comfort zone could only mean trapping him and getting a collar and leash on him. That could be very difficult and I sure think it would set back the progress I’ve made.
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post #57 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:26 AM
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But shoving him out of his comfort zone to make progress seems contrary to almost all the advice I’ve received. At 18 weeks now he’s strong as a bull! Shoving him out of his comfort zone could only mean trapping him and getting a collar and leash on him. That could be very difficult and I sure think it would set back the progress I’ve made.
You do not need a collar or leash to take him to the vet. Most vets will not allow a dog that is not fully vaccinated to touch the floor, so either you, or a trained tech will be holding the pup. Or you could use a slip lead in place of a collar and leash. Create the circle, offer treats until his head is in the circle, and then tighten the lead so he can’t back out of it.

I’d rather take the chance that it will push back the trust for a week or two, than lose my pup for something that could be easily treatable, or vaccinated against, at the vet.
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post #58 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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I live alone and unfortunately I knew I was creating a problem as the pup must potty inside. The fence is built now but he pottied inside for a month. My floor is stained slab so cleanup is just my everyday routine now.

I bought chewable deworming pills from Tractor Supply. I don’t think he has worms.

I think I can start him on Heart Worm pills without him seeing the vet.

Really, I want to get him to the vet ASAP also. I just believe giving him another month may be worth it.
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post #59 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Ha! This dog sure isn’t dumb enough to put his head through a noose.!That just won’t happen. I’d have to rope him and then after the rodeo I may have a leash on him.
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post #60 of 375 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Gowacky View Post
Hello everyone! I started this thread and as Iím new to the forum I was so happy to check back and read all the responses. Let me give more background into my pups early life. The primary breeder was a woman who was killed in a wreck. That left her husband who had a broken leg and was overwhelmed. The momma dogs were allowed to have their litter in a remote barn. Other than being fed the dogs had zero human contact. They were however threatened by mountain lions who evidently got one or two pups. So, his life was pretty scary. Then at 14 weeks of age I bought him. We had to catch him and he tried to be invisible until he was finally released in my home. Since then Iíve added a backyard fence so he has access to the outside. Heís smart and happy. He will play tug and fetch. He will eat off my chest. Occasionally Iíll slip in a touch and he will shy away from it but is much less afraid than a month ago. I think that just being patient and working on trust is what I will continue for now. I think only negative things could come for me forcing him to wear a collar or leash right now. He does need to see the vet for shots though so I wish he would let me take him but I think I would lose a lot of trust to force that now. Iíve only had him 5 weeks.
Oh wow. So his entire imprinting as a puppy has been living in fear and not knowing humans. I think you just keep doing what you're doing. Sounds like he's fine when he approaches you but is leery when you touch him. So just keep desensitizing him to that touch and use food to do it.

All puppies fight the collar. So first, just put the collar on him. He'll adjust. Then add the leash. Just put it on and let him drag it until he's used to it. Then you can start walking with it. Expect him to fight it. They all do. It's normal. Just stand there quietly until it's over and then treat him. Just make sure he has on something like a Comfort Flex collar that won't dig into him and he can't slip out of.

As far as the vet - distemper and parvo are in the environment. It's not just about other dogs. You need to get him vaccinated. Put him in a crate in the car. When it's your turn, take him from the crate directly to the room. That saves on the leash fight but he's already 2 vaccines behind. You can even get the vaccines from most farm stores. Just make sure you keep them at the temp they are supposed to be at or they will be useless.

I only have experience with feral barn kittens. I would put a bowl of food down and sit on the floor. When they were eating, I would start to touch them. As they became accustomed to my touching them, I would pet them for longer periods. Also, when he's playing tug and is in drive, reach down and pet him. They will accept much more contact when they are in drive and their brains are in a different mode. Try those things with him. It doesn't sound like he's avoiding you if he will eat on your chest then he is ON you. He's just unsure of when you touch him.
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