There are times when life-choices, major decisions shouldn't be made, or at least, should be given some time. If there is a death in the family, for instance, or loss of job, it can make it hard to see beyond the puzzle piece we are currently parked on. We can't always see the big picture. Pregnancy with all of its hormones can be a time when we rush into some decisions that we might really regret down the line. I wouldn't really know first hand, as I have no children, but from what my mom tells me, and my siblings that seems to be the case for many of us (women).
I got a call a few months ago from a man who told me he had to give his dog back to me. I said, "Ok, what's going on." He said that his other dog, his 5 year old GSD bit his wife. Now with grand children, they are afraid to have the dogs. Well, I talked to him, and he was going to call me the next day to let me know when we could get together to take the dog. I did not try to dissuade him, when people's minds are made up...
But I did not get a call the next day. The following day was Wednesday, and no call. I was thinking maybe they thought better of it. On Friday I got nervous and thought maybe he dropped her at the pound too. So I called him and talked for quite a while.
What happened was the lady stepped on the dog and was nipped, not sure if it broke the skin or not, but what was a bite on Monday, was a nip -- mostly an accident on Friday. he did not want the dog put down. I think it must of broken the skin because animal control was quarantining the dog. He found someone willing to take the boy if Animal Control would release him -- I did not follow up with that, because I didn't want to hear it went south.
But he told me the girl (that he got from me) had never been aggressive, and she follows the grand children around in the yard, and loves them. They decided to keep her.
I've rehomed a number of young dogs this year, most were my own, that fell out of my breeding program for one reason or another. Nice dogs, but better off with a family of their own, 2 were 8 months, a 2.5 year old boy, a few girls who were almost 3, and a 7 year old female went to someone who wanted an older dog. There was also a 1 year old whose owner has been through 4 surgeries already this year on his knee and finally called me up and told me he had to let her go. And another fellow with a dog that will be 3 in August, happened a week ago, he's moving and can only find rentals in the new place that allow dogs under 40 pounds.
Most of the dogs I sent to a trainer first, who had them for a couple of days. I wanted a fresh set of eyes seeing the dog in an unfamiliar situation so we could make good decisions on who the dogs went to. My dogs get some training, but not a ton of socialization, some of them have been with their dam for years. So, that means, they never got that burst of confidence that a young pup gets when he leaves his dam and littermates and has to sink or swim with a new family.
Anyway, the eight month olds have no trouble bonding with the trainer or transitioning into their new homes. Didn't expect any, but I was interested in whether they showed the same traits in the trainer's home as they did in mine.
Oscar, the 2.5 year old boy, was in with Odie who is 9 almost 10 years. He is doing great in his new home.
The three year old females were in with their dam, one is more outgoing and the other more reserved. The outgoing one went to the trainer with one of the puppies and did great, and transitioned great. Unfortunately the other did not go to the trainer first. She went to her sister's new home, and met her new people who took her away with them. I was so worried because she seemed even more uncertain that day when I took her to be groomed. But after running with her sister a little, I sat down and chatted with the new owner to be. She came up and sat between us. Then her kids came over and started petting her. She visibly relaxed. I left with my girls, and they took a photo of them surrounding her. They love her. She's doing great.
The older dog, I delivered into a group of people that she never met. She was great with all of them, including their toddler. There were about 10 people in the basement. My nieces and the puppy, the lady her husband and baby, then my friend who owned the house and a few other people. The dog was fine with all of them because I was there. Loved the baby, and the puppy who she had not met until that day. I relaxed immediately since the three girls were absolutely fine with the dog. And after about an hour or so, they packed Dolly into the back seat with the car seat and their toddler, and went for a 4 hour car trip to their home, where Dolly had to make another introduction, a 9 year old female Labrador. I suggested they make that introduction after the child was in bed for the night and to be very careful with them together. She had no misgivings and showed no aggression to other people, but my friend had brought one of her dogs down, a large male that came gallumping down the stairs and right up into her, and she wanted nothing to do with him.
I was worried about her. But they actually took my advice (a lot of people simply do not) and introduced them without the baby being present, and it was a little hairy. The lab was a little scared of her, but after a couple of days they were doing ok together. I did suggest not leaving them together unsupervised. They are both females.
A month or two later, they said she isn't friendly with strangers and they are ok with that, she is awesome with their daughter and them. I was surprised about the other people though. I had gotten Dolly back at almost six months, after a really negative experience. I got her back seriously injured. I had to let her heal, and she wanted nothing to do with me or other people. But I earned her trust by giving her space and time and being trustworthy. To the point that Dolly was very solid around me, got her CGC no problem, sweet dog, easy to handle, wonderful with my nieces, very loyal. I wouldn't have given her up, but it seemed like a good home for her presented, and it was better for her. Well, it is possible, that she doesn't trust them yet around strangers. It may be that she will relax in the coming months.
Last two. Not my dogs, but my pups. The 1 year old, I went to get from the guy and drove direct to the trainer. She was very thin. The guy said she wouldn't eat, and gave me the bag of food. I fed her burgers in the car and she was eating for me. She ate for the trainer. She went to her new owner, who lives on a farm, and is going to college. He takes her with him, to class. She sits through physics class a 1 year old pup. His aunt told me he's put 10 or 15 pounds on her. Good.
And the boy last week. I picked him up from the moving owner and drove him to where the new owners were with the trainer. The new owner would be living with his aunt for a few months and would need to get along with her 4 adult dogs. He's intact, 2 of her males are intact, one neutered and the bitch is spayed. I stuck around to watch. The dog was nervous. He is the same age as your dog -- will be 3 in August. He was following shadows when the other dogs were not present. Very interested in the other dogs who we introduced one at a time for the youngsters -- 2 year olds, and then added the boy who is going to be 5 this week, and then the older bitch. We had concern about the shadows. She called the previous owners, and asked about it, and he said he thought it was a boredom thing. By Friday, she said the dog was fantastic. That he is chasing the ball now, not shadows. The training with the trainer is going really well, running with the other dogs, everyone is getting on, and the boy feels a lot safer with the dog in his rooms above the garage.
The reason I put all this down is to give you some ideas of things to think about in rehoming your boy. It might be helpful to have a trainer evaluate the dog and give you an idea of what kind of person or people he should go to. Sometimes when we see a dog all the time in a familiar setting we don't see things, or overlook them as so ordinary that they are nothing. A fresh set of experienced eyes can be very helpful.
Also, you want to find people who want more than just have a GSD. You want people who want to work with/train your dog, give him a good life, and that means do stuff with him, bond with him, and training builds the bond.
Your dog will get over the change in ownership within a week or so. The older they are, the longer it takes for them to completely shift from the old owners to the new. They may be looking for you. That's normal. They do not hate you for leaving them. Don't worry about that.
It is not really hard on the dog if done well. Most of us do not see the need to rehome the dog because children are coming. But we all have a different ability to manage dogs, and to manage kids, and to manage kids and dogs, and everything else life throws at us.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.