Hoarder Case Rescue. I was a fool. Need advice. - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by NaughtyNibbler View Post
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.

Well said! I totally agree.

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.


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.

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.
Slip lead might be a good idea---I used them all the time with my boarders. And I do ninja lasso maneuvers that *sometimes* the dog doesn't know what's going on till I've got them, especiallly if they have never seen a slip lead before. We only do this because sometimes boarders don't want playtime to be over and won't come in willingly.

But it's also my go-to for moving dogs we aren't sure if they will bite. I have even put on the slip lead using the butt of a whip or something in order to keep my hands out of the dogs' face. You can accomplish all of this without direct eye contact or threatening body posture to the dog to help them feel more comfortable
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post #22 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:45 PM
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Whether or not you choose to keep at this, while he is with you, he does need a potty schedule no matter how much of a melt down he has. This one necessity will probably be your first break through in teaching him that you are reliable and consistent even if he is scared out of his mind. Also since he was able to hold it for 48 hrs, he had to have been potty trained. I would think that there would be health issues sooner or later if he is allowed to self force hold due to his fears to ask to go.

I hope you were able to get him out before he soiled. I also hope that since the rescue is a no kill, they will take the dog back if this doesn't work out for you. Imho, they should and that the fact that they are no kill and that there is a person there who has felt close to him, should make it a bit more comforting for you if that is what you decide.

Since he isn't a fear biter, I think this boy is going to make it be it with you or someone else. I do know from personal experience that working though ones own issues/problems while trying to help a dog through theirs is not easy nor fun at times and sometimes no matter what we wish for and how hard we try to figure out a way, the fit just isn't there through no fault of anyone. I do think that the rescue should have been a bit more detailed about this dog though.
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post #23 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 08:40 AM
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It’s only been a few days, you had to know from his history that you wouldn’t get your perfect dog by now. He has known nothing but neglect his entire young life that has been turned upside down every which way, with no way to explain to him that he’s okay. Let him adjust on his own terms, to an extent. Be in the same vicinity but don’t pay direct attention to him, toss little treats here and there.. let him come to terms with his new and frightening surroundings and approach you when he wants to. You said you have a fence, are you worried about him climbing over it? Put a hot wire around the top like we do for horses and eliminate this extra stressor of having to leash up to take him outside. Otherwise make a slip lead out of a 30 ft line like they use for tracking. Also don’t feel like you need to make your house quiet as a mouse, or that you can’t go about your life. You know how if you fall asleep with tv blaring, lights on you’re fine but if you fall asleep in dark silence then someone turns on loud music you’re startled, awakened and upset? He must learn to adjust and that sounds/sights are part of his life and nothing to be scared of. He has to learn to cope and it will just take time. If he can be crated lock him up with a frozen peanut butter Kong and go take a breather, you can still live your life and you should. Maintain a schedule you plan on keeping his entire life, instead of devoting every second to him now then expecting him to be ok with less later. He has had zero consistency in his life and he needs it. If you have started colts you know the importance of this.
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post #24 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to thank everyone for their comments, help, concerns, advice and thoughts.

Haku is doing better today. Yesterday I asked the Shepherd handler that was working with him over at the rescue to stop by as he was still really scared to come out of his crate. Him and the dog have started a relationship so I was hoping he would get some comfort in that. At first he was still crazy scared, crawling, shaking, not seeing the handler at all. I was so embarrassed because it was an obvious 100 steps back from when I picked him up last Sunday, I swear he thought for a second I was beating the dog (I promise I'm not). We got him outside and he was still skittish but then the handler said he wanted to see if another dog would help. He fetched his own giant, playful shepherd and let him loose in my yard. Haku wagged his tail for the first time! We let them loose in the yard and it helped so much. After 15 minutes it was a completely different dog. Haku spent the rest of the day running up and down my indoor stairs about 50 times (he just loves them). It was so nice to see him relax. But at the same time I think I realized I cannot help this dog. Well, I know I CAN if I put in the time, effort etc. But just seeing the whole setup I had a sick feeling that he needs a different setup. That deep down, despite wishing differently, I am too anxious a person to take this on right now at this point in my life. I have actually just recently come back from over seas that turned out to be 2 of the most stressful years of my life. Anyway, I am trying to clearly separate my logical thought from my "puppy blues" and assess the situation. I have reached out to my family to help as they are involved in this too.

Watching him yesterday, Haku is going to be absolutely fine, especially with a person who expects nothing from him but what he can give. As sick as it makes me, I don't think I can do that, or I will, but somewhere inside I feel I might keep regretting, "what if...". What a terrible side of myself this has revealed.

I know it is too early to tell but my impressions so far is that he is super intense, very intelligent, extremely curious and just never wants to stop moving forward. In true Shepherd fashion, he is going to need a job to do. On a more practical level, I am concerned that I cannot keep up with him even if he does mellow out. But that is a separate issue.

If I do decide on returning him, I want everyone to know this is not a shelter drop off, but a completely legitimate rescue. He will not be put down, he will not be shuffled off to the first person who asks. They are a lovely group of people, require a house visit, check lease agreements etc. and even said they would help me look for a more balanced dog if I would like. The only thing that just tears me up inside is moving this poor boy again, especially back to the noisy run he was in. Although getting some peace and quiet, warm food and learning how awesome stairs and peanut butter are could not have been all that bad. But the handler will continue to work with him there and I know there were other people wanting to adopt him already. He is so freaking beautiful too which also helps.

I will keep everyone updated. Thank you.
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post #25 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 09:37 AM
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If you have untreated problems with anxiety, and the dog is becoming a focal point for mental health issues (like anxiety or depression), and you find yourself blaming the dog and its problems for making you miserable, then you cannot solve this dog's issues. I'm not saying this to criticize but to be real with you. This is one of the few obstacles that will block progress.

Dogs sense human anxiety with perfect precision. You can't hide it from them. If they are already anxious themselves, the human's own anxiety merely confirms to them that the world is a scary place. The owner and dog are then in a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

OTOH, if either the dog or the owner is solid, either one can learn to get the other out of panic attacks or moments of extreme anxiety. It's why good, clear-headed dogs are so excellent for veterans with PTSD--they quickly learn to recognize, respond to, and help their humans out of it. Similarly, patient, dedicated humans learn to solve this for anxious dogs they're rehabilitating. It only works if one or the other is working from a solid foundation.

From your second post, it sounds like maybe neither you nor the dog are in a position to help each other though. I really hope the guy this dog loved at the shelter is willing to take him on as a foster. If they already have trust, it is what this dog needs.

Last edited by Magwart; 02-22-2019 at 09:41 AM.
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post #26 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 12:31 PM
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If you have untreated problems with anxiety, and the dog is becoming a focal point for mental health issues (like anxiety or depression), and you find yourself blaming the dog and its problems for making you miserable, then you cannot solve this dog's issues. I'm not saying this to criticize but to be real with you. This is one of the few obstacles that will block progress.

Dogs sense human anxiety with perfect precision. You can't hide it from them. If they are already anxious themselves, the human's own anxiety merely confirms to them that the world is a scary place. The owner and dog are then in a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

OTOH, if either the dog or the owner is solid, either one can learn to get the other out of panic attacks or moments of extreme anxiety. It's why good, clear-headed dogs are so excellent for veterans with PTSD--they quickly learn to recognize, respond to, and help their humans out of it. Similarly, patient, dedicated humans learn to solve this for anxious dogs they're rehabilitating. It only works if one or the other is working from a solid foundation.

From your second post, it sounds like maybe neither you nor the dog are in a position to help each other though. I really hope the guy this dog loved at the shelter is willing to take him on as a foster. If they already have trust, it is what this dog needs.
@Magwart, The second to last paragraph hit home. big time. I don't want to derail the thread but wanted to second what you said. And I'm pretty sure the give and take of drawing from the strengths of each other once a bond is formed happens more often in less stressful circumstances than many realize. Relevant to the op's issues from what was posted I think he/she deserves a dog that can offer that kind of support. Perhaps this dog does have that ability that can be tapped into sometime down the road but we (general) can't see the future and can only make the best decisions base on our (general) past and what we know of the present.

"If you can't see his soul when you look in his eyes, then you need a seeing-eye dog"

Last edited by Heartandsoul; 02-22-2019 at 12:43 PM.
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post #27 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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@Magwort. Thank you for being honest. What you have outlined is exactly what I am fearing and as much as it makes me realize something about myself that I wish I had not, I cannot let my guilt or ego affect this dog. I wish I was the confident person I was a few years ago but I guess who I want to be and who I currently am are very very different.
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post #28 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 01:20 PM
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Also the shelter needs to be more forth coming when their is an interest in one of their dogs. From your first post, it sounds like they downplayed the issues as in "The shelter seemed to play it really low key, saying he just needed love and time but I am starting to think I should have trusted my instincts better".
. You have learned a lot in a very short time. In dealing with shelters and rescues I have learned to read between the lines in dog descriptions.
You gave it your all and realized you reached your limits. That is only fair to yourself and the dog. Take a breather and let it go for a while. Choose a dog, that is interested in YOU, who freely approaches you out of interest and who doesn't need therapy. A tweak here and there is all you need.
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post #29 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 05:00 PM
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I "wish" you would at least at this time (and such a short time that it has been), would lean toward the idea of fostering Haku (as you had mentioned) rather then him going back to shelter.
Huge strides were made in such a short time...15 mins, by bringing the other dog in...I am late to the party, and was going to suggest this, so I am thrilled to read this now.
Imagine 15 mins and what change you have seen.
Also wanted to suggest a martingale with clip so you don't have to put on and off and adjust, as well a 20 ft to 30 ft drag lead...you stay at the threshold of door, sitting in a chair and let dog out to explore. He spooks, you still have him and he may just come right back to you.


You have a right to have a normal dog life. Doesn't mean you won't, but no guarantee either. Nor will it with the next. So many people here got the perfect puppy, so they thought. They had doubts, they reached out. Many still have that dog they wanted to rehome. Others rehomed.


I too have a scared rescue. She is cross. We have been together a yr and a half. She doesn't want anyone but me. No human, no dogs. It is hard, but I live a quiet life, not a lot of company and sometimes I regret it. But when she folds her body and wiggles and wags when I get home, it is just the best....before she would skulk and lift her back leg at me in a submissive way.
Walks...she would look at me like "whatever you want, don't hurt me". She was afraid on walks. She was afraid of the door. Afraid of the fridge door. Afraid of the TV. Afraid of her reflection in the stove. Afraid of me reaching to pet her. Afraid of the crate. She didn't know how to play with toys or chew a raw bone.
She wasn't afraid of food or counter surfing as she seemed to be starving (she was also very sick)


Now she has her spot on sofa, she hangs on back of it guarding/watching life go by. She is insane and climbs over my shoulder and does head stands on my hip as she play bites me for attention.
When we go for our walks she is wagging, at the door she used to be afraid of, anxious, runs out ahead of me, jumps up on deck rail "hurry up!" as I turn to lock door. Whips my make shift gate open with her muzzle....sigh. she still doesn't care for others on walks.
I open the fridge, she sticks her head in and sniffs all the condiments. She has learned to get vocal (never barked before), she makes what I refer to as baby seal noises, She freaked out just recently, barking and growling as I was in bed and someone or two had hopped the raining on the front deck outside my bedroom window. I think she thwarted a potential break in (I called 911).
She goes insane when "it's shower time" and has total bark/howl thing and pounces at me as I turn water on.
TV, no problem.
Toys...I wish she didn't learn how to play with them...It's costing me a fortune...LOL
I don't crate her anymore ( I will if HAVE to, if landlord had to come in when not home)
I play music, I dance with her, she goes through my legs as I give her a rub down to the beat of the song.


Anyway, that is just some stuff.
She can be a bit of a pill when I have company (which is rarely), and has attempted to bully or maybe even bite when the person moved too suddenly in my direction. But they were between Her and I.
Stuff to work on. But right now, she is a happy, fairly confident, playful clown
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post #30 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 06:30 PM
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Please let go of guilt regarding this dog. In a few days you've been able to clarify for the rescue organization what would be a good match for Haku. You've been able to pinpoint the character traits you need for a good dog match for you. Haku has been a mirror for you to see what you need to work in and out of your life. The experience has been enlightening for you.

Is there a Guide Dog organization near you that needs volunteers? Those dogs would have a complimentary character and temperament for your needs at the moment. Or what about the rescue/shelter Haku came from? Volunteering could be the first step you need before committing to full time dog ownership.
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