2 year old female GSD Rescue, first time owner - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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2 year old female GSD Rescue, first time owner


My family just adopted a 2 year old GSD female, Faith, from a rescue. We were given the information that she belonged to a husband and wife that got divorced and after the divorce she was not taken care of very well, she is very skinny. The woman at the rescue said the wife was a babysitter so she is good with my two little ones.We adopted Faith on NYE, and the family was home the following three days. Now we are back to work and both my husband and I work full time. Meaning we are gone for 8 hours a day, neither one of us can get home for lunch to let her out. I believe she is fine without going potty during the day.

We did a trail run of us being gone on Monday night for about 2 hours, we placed her in the kitchen with the sliding door closed off to the house. She managed to get the door open and pooped in our basement. I had my husband go out and buy a crate that night. Faith hates being in her crate. Yesterday morning when my husband left for work she went downstairs and pooped. I cleaned it up and told her that was bad and put her outside again before putting her back in the crate when i left. I put her in the crate when I left and she managed to escape the crate during the day and pooped again in the basement two times, in my daughters room, and peed in my son's room.

The crate door was closed so my husband tried to figure out how she was getting out. Faith managed to chew the latch that holds the tray to the bottom of the crate. She pushes the tray out and bent the bottom of the frame so she could slide out. My husband thought he fixed it last night so we tried to put her in the crate again at bedtime, but she carried on crying for about an hour and managed to get out and was sleeping in the hallway when we woke up. We moved the crate between the couch and the wall to where she shouldn't be able to get out the front of the crate today, but I am super nervous. She was crying and carrying on again when i was leaving this morning.

I am new to owning a dog, my husband has had dogs before but I have no clue how to handle this or if this is normal for rescues? ... Can anyone offer advice to make crate training a little easier and get her to stay in the crate?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 01:23 PM
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Wow... she has had no time to adjust to her surroundings. I would buy a much better crate that she is getting out is dangerous and indicates it is a pretty cheap crate. A sturdy plastic one is better than wire. I would have a dog walker come by preferably twice a day. Yes, they can last 8 hours but she may never have been asked to do that. It takes some endurance training to do that. She also doesn't see you guys as home yet. That will take a couple months. She sounds freaked out. Can one of you take her in the crate to work in the car and let her out so she gets more comfortable with a routine?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Hi DutchKarin,
Thanks for the reply. Neither one of us can take her in a crate to work unfortunately. I will look around for a dog walker, since I have never had a dog before i'm not sure there are any in my area. I live in Ohio, where weather is getting a little colder so walks aren't as long as we anticipate the walks being when it warms up. What else can i do to get her exercise?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 05:18 PM
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Can you section off an area of the basement where she can play and get around while you are gone? Is it a cement floor? Is it horrible if poops in there on accident once in a while? 8 hrs is too long. Mine naturally wait that long but she can't, so for now give her the freedom to learn. I would get a dog anyway, about four hours in each day you are away, for the exercise and stimulation. I crate puppies but by age two that is a long time to be locked up during the day.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 06:08 PM
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The problem is she wasn't crate trained before being left for a significant period in the crate. Of course she freaked out. The goal is to first acclimate them to the crate being a good place -- feed them in it, let them sleep in it, etc. Then it's their den...and it's not stressful to be left in it.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-04-2017, 06:30 PM
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She hasn't even had a chance to get used to her new home. The fact that she went all the way into the basement shows that she is housebroken but hasn't learned in what area to relieve herself. It is a lot to ask for a new dog. How about a neighbor or a dog day care? Some teenager who is home early?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Hi- as an update... Faith has escaped her crate everyday. Yesterday she was successful in her crate all day while we were at work, my husband got home and let her out and he stayed for about 40 minutes then had to leave to get kids. She managed to get out of the cage again and then pooped on the floor. She won't poop or pee in the house when we are home so I don't believe it's a house training issue. We zip tied the crate and thought we had made alterations to the crate so she couldn't escape again. I put toys and bones in it. Drape a blanket over it.
The way she's getting out of her crate is nerve wracking that she is going to get hurt. Then today she was fine in the crate, my husband stopped by for a short time and she was fine in the crate. After he left she literally destroyed he side of the crate and got it. The wires are sticking out and the small slot she got out of was smaller than her head. Today she didn't poop or pee(that I saw or smelled) anywhere. we have no options for staying home during the day so we need the peace of mind that she's safe and confined. Should we try not crating? I attached the picture of the crate after today.
Also attached is the short video of the first day on how she was getting out of the crate. We put her back in the crate to attempt the crate training but waited to see how she was getting out. This is why I'm nervous she's going to get hurt.

She's not super destructive so far, the first day she pooped in my daughters room, the basement and peed in my sons room. She chewed a ball but nothing else. Last night we didn't crate her for bed and she had no issues. She slept through the night and didn't move. Any suggestions?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 10:41 PM
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I just have to say that you're doing fine, don't give up on her. I was in a similar situation-- rescue from divorce (end of July 2016, 2 yr 10 mo old female, me a 1st time GSD owner), undernourished, had to be gone a long time for work. I had a couple messes which may have been protests, but my girl settled in. Give her time. I am seeing consistent, gradual progress with my girl as she gets comfortable and used to her new surroundings. Your concern for her hurting herself is right on-- keep trying to make it better, heed advice here. But it will take time. Based on my experience you're going to have the best dog you could ever imagine in a few months.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 10:52 PM
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Could you possibly leave her in a laundry room or bathroom instead of the crate?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 12:36 AM
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what and when do you feed her? She probably poops out of stress if she is better when you are home.
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