Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northern California
I'm on my 4th successful gsd rescue. I include a dog that I shared with my ex because of heavy involvement in choosing her, training her and the amount of time all the dogs spent at each other's residences. I've also had a "foster failure" rescue who ended up not working out in the long run (female to female aggression) but she was a fantastic dog in her other home whose adopters I kept in touch with until her passing.
the "right dog" to me means a dog that fits in well to my lifestyle, family structure, training ability and more so, the bonding experience... all while understanding what each dog is capable of (aloof or affectionate types for example). for dogs beyond my training ability, it was important that she was hardy, forgiving, and suitable for a dedicated first time GSD owner.
I adopted all of my dogs between 6 and 14 months - I had the back story on some and some I got absolutely nothing.
one thing that I've always kept consistent is hand feeding. every morsel of food for the first few weeks came from me. it's a tip that the first rescue gave me and I believe is the reason I've never struggled with food aggression/possession, leadership, or delayed bonding.
some things that stand out... on my second rescue I learned the benefit of crate training, on my next one I discovered clicker training and on my most recent, the flirt pole. I also start the dogs off (if this makes sense) without many rules but lots of structure during the acclimation period. I observe a lot and play a lot but very minimal training until I have a relationship with them and truly see who they are. all essentials for me now.
aside from that I never realized how many excellent dogs end up at rescues - and with patience and involvement (I volunteered at several rescues over the last 15yrs), you'll end up with the right one. being in california I'm pretty sure there may be a geographical factor but there are too many people, dogs, breeders, and unique situations to ever box rescues in as being this way or that way. after watching countless people research breeders, pay top dollar, employ trainers from the start and in a sense do everything "right" from the very beginning then still end up with some of the issues I've worked thru with my rescues - I can confidently say that as far as GSD go, all of my future dogs will be rescues. I just don't have a reason not to yet. my dogs have been as good or better plus I always have the excuse of "sorry... s/he's a rescue" LOL
TILDEN: Male: Blk/Red LHGSD: DOB: 12/24/06 60lbs of Love
KEYSTONE: Male: Sable: DOB: 2/11/13 60lbs of Go!!!!!
Last edited by Fodder; 11-07-2015 at 06:28 AM.