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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted some advice:

My husband and I have a 4 year old GSD- female. Her name is Nala, and she is like our 4th child. She has been spayed.. I truly think she thinks she is our child. She is very mellow, plays very gentle with our 3 children (a 9 year old, 2 year old, and 1 year old). She is well mannered, has never shown signs of aggression, and rarely barks. She is very lovable, just a well rounded, smart, good girl. She sleeps inside on our bedroom floor.. or wherever she can find a rug thats close to us... She plays all day on our 15 acres and swims in our pond. She naps on the porch.. She is just a perfect match for us! She walks on a leash, sits, shakes, lays downs, gives five, jumps... small commands we have taught her over time..

We are going tonight to meet with a family who has a 3 year old male, named Batman. He needs a new home as his owner was in a car wreck and can not walk and may not walk again. The man has 3 children that Batman was raised with (all young like mine). I would really like to give this male GSD a good, loving home. He was kept in a back yard and pen and not let inside... I think he would like the big space and having a spot actually "in" the home with us and our kids... I think???? I don't really know. I worry about everything that could go wrong.. Nala seems happy alone with us, but I wonder if she would like a "dog friend" sometimes to chase birds with... I wonder if this new male dog would like us..and our kids.. and our house...and our farm, or if he likes his pen just fine. We go tonight to meet Batman, any advice on what to look for when Nala meets him? Owners say he is very sweet, no aggressive behavior towards kids, just kind of hyper (I relate that to the pen)... just want to know what signs to look for that may show it to be a good fit, and what signs to look for that it may be a not so good fit. Thanks so much!

(He is not neutered, so I would like to fix that if we take him home-- how long to wait to do that? I don;t want to change too much of what he is used to all at once)....
 

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I think you and your family should go meet him first.. If that goes well, I would then take Nala to meet him and see how that goes.

If things proceed, I would ask if you could take him on a trial basis, maybe a week or two.

If THAT goes well, I'd probably neuter him in a month after having him..

Good luck, hope it turns out well. Please let us know!
 

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It sounds like Batman has had limited experience with the world beyond his own yard. I would want to observe him out in a neutral location, such as a local park. I would want to see how he interacts with your family, including all your children and Nala, in a neutral place. Watch his body language. Does he get stiff and very, very still around the kids or other dog? A dog that acts like a bull in a china shop is much easier to work with than a dog that gets still and stiff. Check this video out for some ideas on how to set up a good meet and greet:

Don't give him too much freedom once you get him home. Treat him like he is a young puppy that needs to be taught the rules of your home. Purchase a crate for inside the house, and use it. Unless he is being supervised by an adult, he should be crated. He should have a leash attached to his collar, which he can drag along, even in the house.

Sign up for an obedience class right away. Even if you did all the training yourselves with Nala (and it sounds like you did a good job with her), an obedience class is a great way to bond with an adult dog and it gives some focus to your work with him. I don't generally recommend big box store training classes, since the quality varies too much. Call your local kennel club and ask for a recommendation. Or your local animal shelter.

I personally am of the belief that it is best to pull the band-aid off in one quick act, rather than peel it off a little piece at a time. I would make arrangements to neuter him now. Drop him off at your vet for it before he ever comes home with you for that first day. And give him a quiet spot in his crate to recover. I have brought home a large number of adult fosters that were spayed/neutered the day before I brought them home, and I honestly believe that works just as well as waiting until they settle in.

If Nala has a lot of dog toys laying around the yard and home, pick them up now. When I bring a foster home, I experiment a little to discover any potential problems. I might give the foster dog a high value chewy in his crate and my own dog one to chew in the same room, at the same time. I check for a reaction from the foster. I'll have my dog lay a little closer to the crate, and watch to see if there is a reaction. I might do that for two or three weeks. If there is no reaction, I might have the foster dog on leash, chewing a toy and my own dog, on leash and chewing a toy, 10 feet away. I take it step by step and monitor reactions closely. And I never leave toys or chewies just laying out. The dogs get those items from me, and it is always fairly controlled.

I don't know if your property has a fenced yard or not. I would not allow Batman to wander your whole property off leash for a while. Put a 30 foot long line on him and maintain control that way.

The key is to have him earn his freedom through appropriate behavior. Since he doesn't know what the appropriate behavior is for your home, maintain control with the leash and long line and show him what you want. If you call his name and he doesn't come, reel him in with the leash or long line and praise him like crazy as you do it. Give him a high value, tasty treat when he gets to you (either on his own or because you reeled him in) and then let him go back to what he was doing.

Good luck! I think you'll be just fine. I hope you stick around and let us know how it goes.
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both, so kindly, for your replies. I have the window to this thread open here at work hoping people will offer advice before it is time to get off and go see Batman. It is very greatly appreciated. I am going to watch this video now. I will keep you all posted and look forward to hearing any other advice anyone else may have to offer.
 

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Thank you both, so kindly, for your replies. I have the window to this thread open here at work hoping people will offer advice before it is time to get off and go see Batman. It is very greatly appreciated. I am going to watch this video now. I will keep you all posted and look forward to hearing any other advice anyone else may have to offer.
Personally I favor the gradual step by step approach. Watch the new dog in his environment first. See how he interacts with their children. Next before bringing your dog, observe it in a neutral place like a park.
Being a GSD it may suffer from separation issues when you first bring it home. It takes a few weeks until it settles down. During this period he may exhibit weird behaviors so don't judge it in the first weeks. As others said, take it to training classes to bond with you. ( I wouldn't start with neutering it first). You can let it settle down first and neuter only after a month or 2.
Good luck to you and Batman!
PS - If and when you bring it home dont let it free roaming the house and property. Keep it in a limited space or room for a while and don't overwhelm him. He needs to get used to the new smells, noises and the presence of your dog before gradually expending his territory. At every point you can go back one step.
 

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Poor dog, sounds like he'd be so much better off with you. Since he probably spends most of his time in the kennel he's probably lacking mannors. If you bring your dog there he could act up. It would be better to have them meet on neutral ground.
Good luck.
 

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The man can't walk anymore, so I seriously doubt he can drive. I dont think the meeting at a neutral place will work because of that. So, do you think it would be better to take Nala there to meet him, or bring him home to meet her? Or.... any other creative ideas to make it work for the first meeting that I am overthinking?
 

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how is nala generally with other dogs?? at your place? out and about?
 

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If it's not too far away of a drive, maybe just meet the dog with just the humans.

See how he is on his own turf with just you, he's probably undersocialized, underexercised, and possibly lacking in training in the obedience and manners department. All things that can be fixed, but need to be considered especially since you have a well behaved dog to compare him to.

If the first meeting goes well, then add in Nala either late in the first visit or even a second visit the next night or so. See if the gentleman would be ok with you taking them both out for a short walk together so they can smell each other but not have to interact face to face.
 

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I would meet the dog first. See if you can watch him with the children. Ask a lot of questions. Are there things he's afraid of? What happens when new people come over? Has he been around other dogs?

Take some treats and see how responsive he is. If he seems ok with you, take a leash and see how he responds to you on a little walk, away from his family (not too far, just 5 or 10 minutes).

If that all goes well I would set up a meet and greet with your dog. I would bring your dog there and bring a friend who knows your dog. Then you could walk them together and see how they are.

Good luck and don't forget to take pictures!
 

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She is very submissive around other dogs. On her territory or theirs, she just falls down and lets them sniff her, puts ears back... once they are done sniffing her she will stand and sniff them...and play with them for a minute. Then, she typically gets bored of them and goes about her own business. She has never had any issues with any dogs regardless of size, breed, or gender.
 

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I have Batman at the house now. He is twice the size of Nala. He barely fit in her crate to get him home. I will have to go after work today and see if they make a bigger crate. Nala doesnt seem to care that he is there. I think he did ok. He wouldnt lay down for the longest time, and panted constantly. Just nervous. Around 11 PM he finally laid down and relaxed some. He has already taken a liking to my husband. He is going to be fine I believe. I just need to get him a bigger crate so I can transition him from a pen dog to a dog that has more freedom and can come indoors too. He pooped in the garage last night. I let him stay in there, I think I will continue to let him stay in there but just crate him once I get a bigger crate. I still can not believe that he barely fit in Nala's crate. He is SO BIG!

We are acknowledging Nala first. We keep him on a leash outside and follow Nala around with him. Sometimes she wants to run and play with him, and he wants to, too.. but he will stay on a leash for a while til he learns the rules and boundaries. I hope to get him using bathroom only outdoors so that once everyone is all bonded he can enjoy house time in the evenings with us. He was gentle with the kids. I did not let him spend too much time around them as too much comotion seemed to not be the best thing the first night. He did meet all 3 seperately and was gentle... licked their face.. made them giggle. He has an appointment on June 28th to get neutered, get shots, get dewormed, etc. The family had not had the money to keep up with him since the accident. He did not really have a vet record of recent, just from when he was a puppy.

His AKC registration reads "Prince Alexander Batman Clary..." He doesnt respond to his name Batman really.. so we are changing it. We will call him Onyx. I think I will have more luck getting him to learn and acknowledge a shorter syllable name. We did master the art of walking on a leash last night. He had never been on one. He did surprisingly well after a few minutes. We have a long road ahead of us. Learning names, learning boundaries, learning commands, gettting healthy, getting neutered, changing up to a higher quality of dog food.. lots of changes. I was skeptical but I see a lot of potential. I would like to post a picture but I am not sure how. I will work on figuring that out. Please leave me any advice on what may help. Thanks so much!
 

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Very cool! Sounds like your doing fine. The only thing is to have patience with him. Good luck!
 

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It sounds like you're off to a good start! :) I like the name Oynx :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Check out some other pictures of Nala and Onyx in the album I just created!
 

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aww he is a handsome brute!! Sounds like he will be in the right home for sure!

Congrats on your new addition, keep us updated:)
 

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Aww! He is crazy handsome! And it sounds like he is in such good hands, now. I see him bringing your family much joy for many years to come :)


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Thank you! I am so excited. He really is adjusting well. I am so thankful this transition seems to be going so smooth for him! He is using the bathroom (just pooping) in the garage. Any tips for potty training an older dog?
 

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Thank you! I am so excited. He really is adjusting well. I am so thankful this transition seems to be going so smooth for him! He is using the bathroom (just pooping) in the garage. Any tips for potty training an older dog?
I'm so happy to read stories like this:) I think the crate will play a role in the potty training. So much is happening for him right now. I just got a one year old male, he did the same thing as yours the first day home...he was happy, but nervous. I thought for sure he would never settle down, but he's coming around. You all will be fine!! Congrats!
 
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