Hoarder Case Rescue. I was a fool. Need advice. - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 03:20 AM
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This is something you may like to try, reading aloud while he's in his crate.


https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/n...t-a-story.html
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 03:35 AM
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I had read that stress stacks. When dogs are scared it can take at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days for the stress hormones to drop back down to a normal level. On top of all the good advice shared with you I'd say start with a strict schedule so the dog learns what to expect, at least for now. Add to that lots and lots of rest and sleep. If your new guys stress levels are very high it will be very difficult for him to deal with things that really shouldn't be a big deal. You see this in humans when someone yells at you for doing "nothing". Their stress levels are so high that even looking at them in a way they think is odd can set them off.

Our schutzhund trainer told us that back in the days of heavy compulsion training, they wouldn't do any work with their dogs for 2 to 3 days after training hard.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 07:55 AM
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I agree with trying meds and agree get him a properly fitted martingale collar if you really think he is going to get away from you.

The only catch there is that most martingale designs have to be put on over the head. There are some made with easy snaps. And none should be on the dog unattended or even off a leash because the martingale loop is more likely to catch on stuff and hang the dog up. So collar on and off and over the head might be too much for this dog right now.

My girl caught a martingale on the knob to a low cabinet on our living room entertainment center. She ripped the door off before I could even respond to what was happening and I was in the room. She started to run with the cabinet door hanging from her collar and I was able to grab her and get it off but imagine if she had been alone!? She is a confident dog and this didn't have any lasting effect on her. A fearful dog it certainly would have.
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 08:49 AM
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Welcome to our helpful group, and thank you for your patience and empathy to helping this poor dog through a very

traumatic time in his life. I'm amazed at all the genuinely helpful people that have come out here to help you.

Don't beat yourself up. Right now your dog needs you badly. If you've been a problem horse trainer in your past, that tells me a lot about your capabilities. As a fellow former horse re-trainer and rescuer I know you probably have it

in you to help this dog. Have faith in yourself. You can do it, I'm sure. just take it an hour at a time, then a day at

a time. And a few months from now you will look back and think, I do think doggy is a little better than he was when he

came here. Slow and patient wins the day. Baby steps. tiny baby steps.

My new GSD/Husky (?) 2 yr. old has been w/ me for 5 months. She was so wild I swore she had lived her life in a

closet or shed. Her first dozen rides in the truck cab I thought her head and neck would get wrenched and she looked

like a bobble head, she got so worked up and anxious just being out in the world, she watched every single car we

passed, every single house we passed, every single tree on the side of the road. An anxious mess. But she learned

fast that she love to ride in the truck and would sit beside it begging to go ride.

We had to work through: Cat aggression- we did it. Horse aggression- we're getting much better- not totally there yet.

Dog aggression, still a work in progress, but she's ok w/ visiting dogs to my farm but not ok w/ other dogs out in

the big wide world.

My point is, you can do this too. Sit back, take a deep breath and calmly work through each issue, slowly and patiently.

The shelter told me my rescue had "no issues" too. HAH!! If only they knew what we've been through and had to overcome. There were a few times that I wondered if I should take her back. But I knew her life had already been

tough and I would be setting her up for more rejection and re-homing.

I think back to where you are today and understand completely. It is scary but remember in horses, it's the toughest

ones that teach us the most. We become much better trainers and animal people when we've plowed through the problems and figure out how to overcome them.

Don't give up. You can help your dog, I'm sure of it. Keep us posted. And thank you again for being the person you

are.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:01 PM
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To the OP --- my dogs like to remind me that they are here to keep humans humble. Seems like this guy is really doing a number on you that way. It's hard to adjust your expectations so dramatically but I think if you can, you will feel better. Remember that you are not the other adopter, your dog is not the dog she took. So much depends on the combination. She may have done no better with this dog than you are doing with this dog. Most of us think that we can "fix" whatever it is someone else is dealing with, that we can handle the situation better. That's our "go to" before we are in the situation.



One thought - could you reach out to the guy at the shelter who so liked your dog? If he could give you some time at your house, it might turn Mr. Sulk around a bit quicker. (as in the world hasn't completely collapsed.)
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:50 PM
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Your heart is in the right place here, OP. But I want to give you some different advice than what others have.

This is not a healthy situation, and it may even be a dangerous one. You are dealing with what is essentially a feral dog. This dog has missed every critical socialization period of its life. Anyone who is responsible here will tell you that the German Shepherd’s breed standard calls for a degree of human aggression as it matures. If a GSD is not properly socialized, it can be a dangerous liability. You say you are a woman, and you are afraid this dog could bite you. Are you realistically going to be able to defend yourself if the dog attacks you? You said you live in a highly populated area. What about if this dog gets away from you and harms someone else... especially, a child?

What happened to this dog is not your fault. You did not make this dog like he is. The hoarder did. Having worked in rescue myself, I have seen how behavioral issues are underplayed. I have seen many people in your same position who have taken on a dog that cannot be fixed and the subsequent emotional distress and guilt complex that develops. I have seen a lot of codependency issues in the rescue community.

I want to be the person who gives you emotional permission to return this dog to the rescue, or to surrender him to a shelter. That does not make you a failure. It does not make you a bad person. You tried, but the damage was already done—and you were not the person who inflicted it.

When a dog misses critical socialization, the best that can ever be done with it is “management.” That is not healthy for you, or for your family, or for your future romantic prospects.

You deserve to have a dog that will be that fun partner you can take paddle boarding. You deserve a dog who is "affectionate and playful." My advice to you is to take a deep breath, get some in-person support for doing what I advised (it will be hard), and then let yourself heal from this experience before you look for another dog. Consider waiting to buy a dog from a reputable breeder if you want a shepherd. Temperament is crucial in this breed and the truth is that a lot of dogs are in shelters because of unresolvable temperament issues. Put yourself and your mental, social and physical health first. There is nothing wrong with doing so.

My best wishes to you, and I am so sorry you are going through something so upsetting. Please stop beating yourself up. You are in my thoughts.
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 01:51 PM
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No one else has to live with this. You do. So our thoughts and opinions need not guilt you into keeping a dog you will end up resenting.
If you are the ONLY adopter for this dog, and I doubt that, then so be it. My personal thoughts? I like the tough ones, but my personality dictates that I need to be needed. And at that, as I get older, I want an easy dog.
A companion animals primary function in this world is to enrich our lives, if they can't then that's that. Don't let us, the rescue, the shelter or anyone else guilt you into something you do not want to do. Us making comments to the effect that you are his last hope is not fair.

All that said, I have had dogs like you are describing and I personally like to leave them be as much as possible, while staying on their radar. I read out loud, tell stories, yammer away about life. I close doors to keep them in the room I am in, I drop little, tasty treats about as I go. Basically I ignore them while at the same time making me their focus.
As for your taking him outside, I would simply put the collar and leash on as quickly and quietly as possible and go. Keep it business like and brief.
Having people over? Put him in your room and close the door.
You said you were a horsewoman? You know all of this! Stop ***** footing around and get it done. The more you make it a big deal the more you build a battle. Take a deep breath, straighten up and get in the saddle.
When you have a spooky horse in the barn does everyone stop working? Do the other horses stop moving? Does no one clean stalls? Change water? Feed?
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 02:07 PM
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If you're feeling bored and isolated, I think it'd be perfectly fine to leave the house for a while to visit family, go shopping, to a movie, out to dinner, or whatever else makes you feel normal. You can time your trip after your dog goes potty (hopefully he'll go out soon), or you can leave him in his crate, or a small, safe room where it won't be a disaster if he makes a mistake.
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 02:21 PM
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There is no shame in changing your mind on the adoption. Maybe even negotiating with one of the other rescuers to trade dogs. You have to be realistic about what is best for you and the dog in the long run. One of the other rescuers might have accommodations at their home that might be better suited for this particular dog.
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Originally Posted by middleofnowhere View Post
So much depends on the combination. She may have done no better with this dog than you are doing with this dog. Most of us think that we can "fix" whatever it is someone else is dealing with, that we can handle the situation better. That's our "go to" before we are in the situation.
Well said! I totally agree.
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Originally Posted by middleofnowhere View Post
One thought - could you reach out to the guy at the shelter who so liked your dog? If he could give you some time at your house, it might turn Mr. Sulk around a bit quicker. (as in the world hasn't completely collapsed.)
That's a good idea. Also, don't hesitate to reach out to the rescue group in general for assistance. Asking for help doesn't make you inferior. I'm thinking that everyone connected with the rescue group wants all the rescues to be successfully rehabilitated. Some rescues may need to be a group effort.

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Originally Posted by car2ner View Post
I had read that stress stacks. When dogs are scared it can take at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days for the stress hormones to drop back down to a normal level. . . If your new guys stress levels are very high it will be very difficult for him to deal with things that really shouldn't be a big deal. You see this in humans when someone yells at you for doing "nothing". Their stress levels are so high that even looking at them in a way they think is odd can set them off.
I've read that with humans that it can even take up to 3 days to recover from a stressful event. I tend to suffer from Winter depression (SAD). I know that during the dark days of Winter and with weather challenges, anxiety and depression can even be an issue with people who aren't generally stressed or anxious.

This year, I inquired with my primary care doctor about using CBD oil for insomnia. My doctor thought it was a good idea and that his brother, as well as other patients are using it and getting a good result. I did some research on various products and started using it. It has helped with both insomnia and anxiety this Winter. I'd much rather use CBD oil than something like a prescription tranquilizer for me. If I ever have a need, I wouldn't hesitate to try a suitable version for my dog.
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Due to this he has almost gone 48 hours again without relieving himself. I don't want to scare him by taking him outside as he now refuses to come anywhere near me, I can't touch him, can't get his leash on without invading his space a bit and can't get him outside without some drama.

I have just let him be all day and he has just stayed in his crate. He is eating but not drinking, I think I will need to move his water bowl to outside his crate now.
I have multiple types of leashes to use with my rowdy puppy. Sometimes, at home, when she tries to evade me putting a leash on her, I use a slip leash. It is kinda like using a lasso. Once the slip leash is on, it's easier to change out to a different leash.

You may need to lay down some potty pads for awhile. I know it may seem like a step backwards, but it could eliminate the need to go outside in the snow.
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 02:30 PM
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I missed it the first time but I think that attaching a kennel to the door to potty the dog more safely and maybe with no leash is a great idea. You could even put a tarp over the top so he could not climb out if he were inclined to try that in a panic.

For what it's worth I recently took on a foster shepherd that was abandoned at my vet and I too went through a phase of oh no, what have I done. We got through it and I did what I set out to do with that dog. Hang in there.
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