Advice needed, my dog's littermate headed to the shelter :( - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Advice needed, my dog's littermate headed to the shelter :(

I'd like to know what you'd do and how you would do it in this case.

Brief background: My WGSD mix dog, Bailey, is the result of my son's dogs. (Mom, pb WGSD; Dad Husky mix.) Seven pups resulted from the litter. He sold four, I sold two.

I also have two other dogs beside Bailey in the house, two spayed females of different breeds, 8 and 4 years old. And a cat.

Yesterday I was told that a woman who took a white male from the litter cannot handle him anymore. She notified my son, to give him first notice, and said if he couldn't/wouldn't take him back, that she would have to take him to the shelter. (It is a kill shelter here.) The dog (Tucker) is 9-1/2 months old.

I called her today to get more info.

What she told me: Tucker was put outdoors almost from the start. When he was allowed inside, he was wild and knocked things over, etc, so they allowed him inside less and less and then not at all. Many of the neighborhood kids come over and play with Tucker after school and he absolutely loves the attention but would knock smaller kids down because he was so excitable. She says he is very loving with all people. She did not do any training or exercise with him, other than walks. She attempted some walks on a harness, then switched to a pinch and said that was the only thing that kept her arm in the socket. She says he's had no dog interactions, other than those on walks, but he didn't seem bothered by barking dogs. He's good with their cat.

She admits she got in way over her head and didn't realize how much demanding work would be required. She has three children; 12, 7 and 18 months and does not have the time. She apologized repeatedly but made it clear she cannot do it anymore.

She said she brought Tucker indoors to sleep in a crate two weeks ago. Said he is happy to go in the crate and doesn't fuss at all. But in the morning, he's back outside.

Her yard is fenced, but he has jumped the fence numerous times, so they went with Invisible Fence.

She says any chance he gets to run, he's GONE. She said, "Oh, he makes it such a game when I chase him! He loves it!"

He is up to date on vaccinations. He's intact.

She was extremely apologetic but adament. She can't do it. Her vet advised her that he was a very sweet dog and would surely be easily adopted out, so that would be her best option since she knows she can't provide what the dog needs.

I am strongly considering taking Tucker, working with him as best I can, and trying to re-home him. I am going to go meet him tomorrow or Friday.

I have zero idea how to do this. Bailey takes so much of my time. What if they don't get along? (I'm not at all worried about Bailey - he'll be thrilled beyond his wildest dreams, but I don't know about Tucker.) How do I housetrain a 9 month old (I'm thinking like you'd housetrain a pup), how do I DO THIS with Bailey and two other dogs in my house?

To me, bottom line, is this woman did the dog a major disservice, but I am appreciative that she's admitting it and giving us the chance to take him back, rather than just dropping him at the shelter.

I was there when this dog was born. He was "blue collar." He was almost the one I took home. Granted, I haven't seen him since he was 10 weeks old, so who KNOWS. But I feel a responsibility to this dog somehow. This dog could be my Bailey, if Bailey hadn't gotten the attention, exercise and training that he has.

This is tearing me up. My son doesn't want to help. (Please don't blast my son - I'm already angry enough for everyone.) Please don't bother blasting the current owner, as that won't do any good, either. (Although I had to BITE my tongue many times thru the conversation.)

WHAT would YOU do? Would you take him in? Would you let him go to the shelter and likely face being pts? If you say take him in, how would you begin to address the "crazy" behavior in the house? (I'm thinking go back to basics, tether him... but Bailey will be right there, getting the action amped up.)

I have to consider Bailey will get less time, less exercise, less training work because of another dog taking that away, but that's really what would happen, I think. Any way around that?

Here's Tucker -- horrible picture. I think he looks dirty and overweight. Hard to tell from this, though.
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post #2 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:31 PM
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The right thing to do is take him, work with him and ask a rescue to help in his placement. Then if it doesn't work the rescue will be the safety net...of course this will probably cost you as in a large donation to the rescue.
If you don't think you can train his running/behaviors on your own, get help. It will only make things worse if he's left up to his own devices. If he is still intact, I'd have him neutered as well. Good luck! White Paws may be willing to help you. White Paws German Shepherd Rescue, Wisconsin

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post #3 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:35 PM
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Either do what Onyxgirl said, or if you just can't work with him yourself, offer to sponsor him through the rescue. You might need to hold him for a while until a foster home opens up.

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post #4 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:39 PM
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Take him, get him fixed, find a rescue that will help you place the dog. If at all possible tell the rescue that you will foster the dog and care for him, and work on training him, what you need is only help in placing him.

Going to a kill-shelter is a death sentence for a large, mixed breed, energetic older puppy with no manners.

Next year for Christmas, your son gets a note that you took care of Baily's litter mate. Christmas shopping done.

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post #5 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:45 PM
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oh my as if you dont have enough to do already! take him and do the best you can, 10 mos is the prime time when irresponsible owners get tired of their not so cute puppies. i was thinking about a rescue and if you look on petfinders there are a lot of young dogs that age who need homes. unfortunatley people dont put the time into the puppies, walking training etc, they instead leave them in the backyard. good luck try not to lose your mind
post #6 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Next year for Christmas, your son gets a note that you took care of Baily's litter mate. Christmas shopping done.

I love this!!
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post #7 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 01:07 AM
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I can't imagine how mixed up he'll be because he's outside all the time..At three months mine was very confused BUT in saying that I believe that with time, patience, and love you can do this. Who knows maybe he will do just fine because he'll feel he's loved Since he doesn't mine the crate, the crate should help with potty training..Good Luck and please post pictures of him once he's cleaned up

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post #8 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 01:30 AM
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I'd strongly advise the 'two week shut down'.

If I could stress one of the biggest errors people make with new dogs and foster dogs it is rushing the dog into the new world so fast . This shut down gives the dog a chance to say “ahhh” take a breath and restart into its new world.

From people I have helped I hear;
"I introduced her to 15 people the first day I had her!" ;" he was a bit leery but seems to like my other 3 dogs" ; "she went everywhere with me "
All in the first few days of the new home..... (!!!)

two weeks later we hear;
" I think we will have to rehome the new dog" "the new dog barked and nipped at my kid" - "we had a dog fight" ; “the new dog barked at me for moving him off the couch”

Ok, folks, here it comes, some feel this is extreme, why? I really do not know.
But when bringing in a new dog, post finding, adoption, buying, etc, Give it time to adjust to you and your family and the dogs in the new environment.
Just as if it were a new baby or puppy, we wouldn’t think of rushing out with a baby or puppy, yet with older pups and dogs we just expect them to take our lives in all at once!

TWO WEEKS - "shut down"
For the first two weeks, (sometimes even longer) a dog takes in the new environment, who is the top person, or animal, who ARE these people!? By pushing a dog too fast, and throwing too much at the dog we look like we are not the leaders,and the dog can feel it MUST defend itself , as the leader is surely no one he has met so far!

We coo , coodle, drag the dog to home to home to person to person, and the dog has NO idea who we are. We correct for things it doesn’t understand, we talk in a new human language using words he does not know.

A key thing to remember is "this is the dating period NOT the honeymoon"
When you first met your "spouse or significant other”, you were on your best behavior, you were not relaxed enough to be all of yourself, were you?
Just think of the things you do physically once you get to KNOW a person,
you wouldn’t run up to a stranger and hug them and squeeze them!
Imagine, if on the first date, this new person, was all over you touching you and having their friends hug you and pat you on the head, and jostle your shoulders, looked in your mouth then he whisked you off to another strangers home and they did the same thing.

Would you think this person normal and SAFE? Wouldn’t you feel invaded and begin to get a bit snarky or defensive yourself? Wouldn’t you think to push these people away for obviously your date is out of their mind, as they aren’t going to save you from these weirdoes!!
Yet we do this very thing to our dogs, and then get upset or worried that they aren’t relaxed and accepting of EVERYTHING instantly!

By shutting down the dog, it gives the dog TIME to see you , meet YOU, hear and take in the new sounds and smells of your home and all the people in it. In the 1st two weeks;
Crate the dog in a room by itself if possible.(Believe me, dogs are sensory animals, they know more than you think without seeing it).
Leash the dog (so I don’t have to correct it don’t have that right yet!), give it exercise time in the yard on lunge line or in fenced yard..but other than that.. LEASH , (yes..leash in the house too.)
Do no training at all, just fun exercise and maybe throw some toys for fun, leash the dog if you don’t have a fence outside. But DO NOT leave the yard, AT ALL.

No car rides, no other dogs, (unless crated beside them), no pet stores, no WALKS even, nothing but you and household family, your home, your yard. (Unless of course the dog needs to go to the vetinarian)
Believe me dogs can live two weeks without walks. Walks are stressful for there is so much coming at you and your dog! And the dog has no clue who you are yet. The dog may react to something and we start correcting it with the leash and we just installed a VERY STRESSFUL moment to the dog in what should be a fun and learning walk.

TEACH the dog by doing the shut down, that YOU are the one to look to, that you are now here for the dog! He can trust in you and look to you for guidance. Then you can venture out into new situations one at a time, the dog knows he can trust in his new humans and can relax under the fair guidance of his new leaders!

In the house take the dog out only for about 20-30 minute intervals , post excercise/yard times.,and ALWAYS on a leash when in the house or in an unfenced yard. Exercise is important! Running and free time are stress relievers, but don’t set your dog up for failure, make exercise and yard time fun and relaxing and tiring!

Then PUT THE DOG AWAY. let it absorb and think and relax. Ignore crying or barking, just like a new born baby, he must find security when you are not right there, and if you run to him each time he will think barking and crying will get your attention.

I do not introduce resident dogs for these two weeks, they can be side by side in the crates, (not nose to nose for they can feel defensive) . Some dogs will bond instantly with the other dogs if we don’t bond FIRST with the dog, and this can lead to some other issues, as the dog will look to the other dog(s) for guidance and not YOU!

Literally in two weeks you will see a change in the dog and begin to see its honest and true personality. Just like a house guest.. they are well behaved and literally shut down and “polite” themselves these first few weeks, then post this time, they relax and the true personality begins to shine thru.

So, please,, if nothing else for your new dog, give it the time to LEARN YOU as you are learning who they are! This method works on shy dogs,confident dogs, abuse cases, chained dogs that come in, rowdy dogs, all temperaments!
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post #9 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 01:54 AM
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I have housebroken an older puppy (tether and crate) and there are many folks on this board who took in outside dogs. It's not that hard. The bratty teen stuff with no training is more challenging though. Basu spent 23 hours a day in a cage (14 in the garage) and he was 4.5 when I adopted him and he adapted to life outside of a cage just fine.

It will be A LOT of work with two but I agree that you have to take him in. Did the pups go out on a contract?

I hope this isn't a pattern but I'm sure glad that woman contacted your son.

And I would absolutely find a really good all breed or gsd rescue (who take mixes) and ask for help in rehoming him. He needs to go back out to someone who is going to keep him forever.

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post #10 of 236 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
I'd strongly advise the 'two week shut down'.
Even just one week with slow introductions is better than nothing, though two or three weeks is better.

Potty training, it's pretty much just like a new puppy, although the older one can hold it longer. If you contact rescues and tell them you can foster until they can find him a placement, either a new foster or a home, they will probably work with you - especially if you tell them you'll be glad to allow them to get the rehoming fee in exchange for them doing the footwork and so on. If you aren't too strapped for money, getting him neutered for them and such would be great.

Since he sounds like a nice dog with good temperament, if you can get him started with the basics in training and work with the rescue, he should be able to move into a new forever home and live a happy life there. The shelter is a huge risk, the likelihood of an older puppy with no manners being adopted is kinda slim, even a dog that looks like he is gorgeous from that pic.

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