More 2 week shutdown questions - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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More 2 week shutdown questions

Ok, so I've been reading the other thread with great interest. Great information and very helpful. My situation is a little different, so I thought I'd start another thread...

I have been looking for a new dog for several months now. Talked to numerous breeders and identified 2 that I was very comfortable with, (and thank you to those who pointed me in the right direction!) I was just about to pull the trigger this morning and send off a check when I got a call from our local Animal Control office. I do some volunteer work there, walking and exercising the dogs and helping out however I can. I haven't been there this week, family obligations, so they called me about a dog that came into the facility yesterday.

Fido, yep that's his name, appears to be a full blooded black and tan working line dog. From his intake exam, it appears he's somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 years old. Just picked up yesterday, so full medical exam won't be done until tomorrow. Will know about heartworms, any possible displasia after that's complete. He was found wandering down a local highway and it appears that the owners aren't interested in reclaiming him.

I was allowed to see him in the intake kennel, but couldn't interact with him except through the mesh door. Seemed very gentle and according to the intake officers and office staff, he's just a goofy friendly dog with no other dog aggression. He's in the kennels and just ignores the other dogs as he passes them on him way into and out of the intake area.

If the owners don't reclaim him by tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to rescue him.

My questions:

I intend to institute the 2 week shutdown with him. But I live at the house by myself during the week, my girls (wife and 13 yr old daughter) are in another city because of my daughters school. They are home on the weekends. Does this make a difference in the dogs acclimation process with their coming and going like that and if so, how do I adjust the process?

Since it's just me in the house and since I watch TV in my office, is that where I should crate the dog? Is it okay, to let the dog out while I'm in there watching TV or should he be in the crate? (Actually, I should say I'm on the computer on the GermanShephers.com website, reading everything I can about GSD.)

I also live on an 11 acrea farm that's fully fenced and cross-fenced. During the shutdown, can I give him free access to the farm, or do I need to keep him on the leash at all time? And please, define "tethering to me"? Is he really tied at my hip at all times or can he just follow me around with his leash on?

Lastly, and most importantly, what am I looking for behavior wise as a result of the shutdown? This will be my fourth GSD, but the first that I didn't raise from a puppy. I've never adopted a dog from a shelter/rescuse before and am a little out of my element.

Thank you for all of the great information you post. For some of us, it's invaluable and I am one of those people who will listen. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I move through this process, but wanted to start here!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 07:09 PM
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I intend to institute the 2 week shutdown with him. But I live at the house by myself during the week, my girls (wife and 13 yr old daughter) are in another city because of my daughters school. They are home on the weekends. Does this make a difference in the dogs acclimation process with their coming and going like that and if so, how do I adjust the process?
that will be kind of tough.
what i would do....
introduce wife and daughter outside, go for a short walk, then go in the back yard. dog on leash at all times, since you don't know how he is with kids. have your daughter stand still, facing sideways from the dog, and you should keep all focus on the dog.
get a 30ft leash and put him on that if he does ok with wife and kid.
turn dog over to wife and have her walk with him, if he does ok, then she does EVERYTHING for the dog while she's there.
You can't do anything, the dog has to see her as a family member who will take care of him.

Quote:
Since it's just me in the house and since I watch TV in my office, is that where I should crate the dog? Is it okay, to let the dog out while I'm in there watching TV or should he be in the crate? (Actually, I should say I'm on the computer on the GermanShephers.com website, reading everything I can about GSD.)
i would crate the dog in a high visibility area, and one that you frequent the most, so he can see what you're doing.
You can let the dog out as long as he's on a leash. 2 week shutdown is no free time, it's either the crate or leashed to you.

Quote:
I also live on an 11 acrea farm that's fully fenced and cross-fenced. During the shutdown, can I give him free access to the farm, or do I need to keep him on the leash at all time? And please, define "tethering to me"? Is he really tied at my hip at all times or can he just follow me around with his leash on?
the dog is not allowed to run on his own, this is where that 30ft lead will come in handy, giving him a little more running room, just make sure he knows he's still on a lead.
you hold/tie/secure leash to you, inside or out, when not in crate.

Quote:
Lastly, and most importantly, what am I looking for behavior wise as a result of the shutdown? This will be my fourth GSD, but the first that I didn't raise from a puppy. I've never adopted a dog from a shelter/rescuse before and am a little out of my element.
this is letting the dog see your daily routine, so he can adjust to you and your schedule.
since you've read the other threads, you can go back and brush up on the why's, but this 2 week shutdown is for your dogs safety, and yours as well.
lots of people don't like it, and consider it extreme, but those people generally don't work with rescue dogs on a daily basis.

Thanks for rescuing a dog! Once you build a bond with him, he will be the greatest dog. Looking forward to pics!

Mom: russian blue 20yrs
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 07:10 PM
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I'm no expert on these issues, because the rescues I've taken in have all been very very young, oldest was 12 weeks.

Since today is Friday, I'm assuming your wife and daughter are around for the weekend?? I would have a 'meet' the dog with them to.

It's so hard to say, with an unknown background, how he's going to react to anything really. So your first question I just couldn't answer

the TV/computer room q= again, I think your going to have to feel it out, play it by ear, frankly if he was "ok", I'd allow him being loose in the room with me.

Free access, how about a long line for a bit, just to be able to have some control over him, if he 'bolted', you would atleast have a handle on that.

I'm sure others with more experience in 'shutdown'will chime in..For me, I play everything by ear , but again, I've only brought in really young puppies/dogs and never really did a shutdown period. Just went with the flow..

Congrats! and good luck, of course we want pictures !!!

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 07:38 PM
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sorry... no free time means no free time.

leash or crate.

Mom: russian blue 20yrs
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 08:10 PM
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Is it okay, to let the dog out while I'm in there watching TV or should he be in the crate?
Crate - part of this goes back to less stimulation for the dog plus you're making the decisions for the dog.

As for wife/child, yes, bring them with you to meet the dog, and implement the shut down as per written.

Tethered to you means you 'wear' the dog, there are leashes for this specifically or you can just loop the longer leash (6' or so) through your belt loop.

When you're doing pottying dog, etc., you put him back in the crate.

BTW - a huge reason we do shut downs is primarily our other dogs. I'd be a bit less intensive with no other dogs in the house, so when dog is out maybe longer periods of time than I'd do, for instance, he's just tethered to you.

Everything very low key - don't throw a bunch of stuff at the dog right now - no trips to pet smart, parks, etc. Just strait home, out potty, etc., then to the crate. Gradually extend "out of crate" time but try to follow more closely to the system.

Where his background is entirely unknown this will be critical since you also have a child in the home.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much. In fact, we are doing a meet and greet tomorrow at AC with my wife and daughter. I was concerned about how he would react with children since so little is known about him, so that's the first step and hurdle for him to climb.

I'll let you know how he does, and maybe try to get some pictures if everything goes well!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 10:42 AM
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hoping for good news!!

Mom: russian blue 20yrs
Moose: cat 10 yrs
Del: lab/gsd 4yrs
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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hoping for good news!!
It is! My wife and daughter went with me to meet "Fido" yesterday afternoon. We had to wait until his 72 hour hold was up and the owners didn't show up to reclaim him.

He came out of the kennel softly and immediately recognized me from the day before. Tail-wagging, ears back, came straight to me and began licking my hand. Then he saw my daughter. Made a beeline straight for her, again with the tail-wagging an ears back. Licked her hands and then promptly laid down at her feet. Same thing when introduced to my wife.

We spent about 2 hours in the exercise yard with him. Feed him treats, touched every inch of him and not once did he react. Introduced him to another dog in the exercise yard and no problems. While we were there, the prisoners from the local jail were in their exercise yard. Prison is next to AC. The exercise yards share a common fence. The dog never flinched even as the inmates came to the fence. Only issue was when we introduced him to a cat, the cat hissed and batted and "Fido" immediately began barking and lunging.

We discussed it as a family and brought "Fido" home for a trial over the weekend. He's adapted very well. No problems with the crate (although it was obvious he had never been in one until last night), no accidents (appears to be housebroken) and not one sound last night. We've left the house several times since he arrived and so far, no separation anxiety.

He's already learned to sit for treats and will go down with some patience. Pulls really bad on the leash, obviously he's never had any leash training. We're limiting his interaction with the other animals at this time and still evaluating, but so far so good.

So.......meet Nikko.....(formerly Fido)

sorry.. picture quality isn't so great my daughter took these pictures with her cheapie camera...
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 10:36 AM
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yay so awesome!
congrats!
just remember, he's still new, so he's not showing his "true" self.
once he gains confidence he may start testing. just be sure you're calm, confident and fair !!
good luck with him!

Mom: russian blue 20yrs
Moose: cat 10 yrs
Del: lab/gsd 4yrs
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 11:02 AM
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He is beautiful!! Sounds like you guys are off to a good start. I'm sure that at some point in the very near future you are going to wonder why his previous owners didn't want him, but that is okay because now all of you have each other

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