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Just thought I'd share that it was (relatively) a good experience in case anyone else is interested.

It was a little tough on us in that we originally assumed we'd adopt a nine year old who was retiring out of the military ie. they have $75,000 worth of training etc.

Instead we agreed to take a two year old who was fired for having "no work drive." My husband picked him up in Texas and we were stunned to find out that the dog has no training -- wasn't even potty trained.

But two months of manners class later and he's doing wonderfully.

Let me know if anyone is interested. The military's dogs come from Europe (which I assumed means Germany).

Alley
 

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Congratulations on adopting the dog, training him, and giving him a forever home where he can be a pet.
 

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Oh wow, congratulations! Even though it wasn't quite what you expected, I am glad this has a wonderful ending that is also a beginning. Keep us updated.

It is always a plan to eventually adopt a retired MWD that could fit into our lifestyle. It will not be any time soon, but definitely something I have thought about often.

I would love to hear about your experience, and how they match their dogs to interested candidates.

~ Rei
 

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Oh wow, congratulations! Even though it wasn't quite what you expected, I am glad this has a wonderful ending that is also a beginning. Keep us updated.

It is always a plan to eventually adopt a retired MWD that could fit into our lifestyle. It will not be any time soon, but definitely something I have thought about often.

I would love to hear about your experience, and how they match their dogs to interested candidates.

~ Rei
They're very into matching the right people to the right dogs -- and aren't "first come, first served" at all. My guess is that people on this forum who have had a lot of experience w/ GSD would make a good match.

Thanks for the congrats -- I'm just thrilled we made it through manners class (of course he was the smartest dog there!). :rolleyes:

Alley
 

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Glad you found a good match. Most military dogs come from Holland. They receive no obedience training until they pass testing for working abilities. If the dog has little prey drive, they wouldn't go further into training, such as obedience, detection or protection. They are kennel kept, so it makes sense he was not house broken.

He may have some previous training in Dutch or German. Some of the green dogs know basic commands in their native tongue.

Thanks for taking on this dog. They deserve a good home! Glad things are working out!



David Winners
 

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how much did it cost? Its alot for shipping from Germany.
I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you -- I'm just learning how extensive these forums are.

There was no "buy" involved with a military working dog rescue. Basically a woman in Texas looks at your application and if you match a dog, she calls/emails you to see if you're still interested.

We put in an application in October '12 and never heard from her at all until May '13.

At that point it went relatively quickly, but neither she nor the military told us much of anything as we went along which was really frustrating.

Finally they gave us a green light on a two year old who had "no work drive." We homeschool and have two 10 year old boys so she must have figured we'd be good with this dog. We're home all day.

The cost involved was that my husband had to fly from our state to the Lacklund AFB in Texas -- which is where all military working dogs are trained/handled. So we had a hefty airfare in transporting my husband to TX and then he and the dog back to our state.

We also had to buy everything: airplane crate, collar, tag, water bowl, leash etc. ie. the military gave us nothing except a dog. :smirk:

The rescue woman and the military guy seemed intent on placing our dog into the right home. They didn't at all seem like they were just passing dogs out. They want to make a good match.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Alley
 

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I can hear the MWD's barking right now. I work on Lackland and also have a MWD reject. My dog got kicked out for allergies. I do schutzhund with him now. He's quite the performer.

David Winners clearly knows what he's talking about. Most of the dogs are purchased from a vendor in Holland, and may very well understand basic commands in another language. My dog understand basic commands in Czech. He also may understand hand commands. I'd try Czech/Dutch commands and see if he responds Dog Commands

I'm surprised the dog doesn't have the drive for work, considering he had to pass an evaluation before the military bought him. Go buy a black kong and see how he reacts to it.
 

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I can hear the MWD's barking right now. I work on Lackland and also have a MWD reject. My dog got kicked out for allergies. I do schutzhund with him now. He's quite the performer.

David Winners clearly knows what he's talking about. Most of the dogs are purchased from a vendor in Holland, and may very well understand basic commands in another language. My dog understand basic commands in Czech. He also may understand hand commands. I'd try Czech/Dutch commands and see if he responds Dog Commands

I'm surprised the dog doesn't have the drive for work, considering he had to pass an evaluation before the military bought him. Go buy a black kong and see how he reacts to it.
Seriously, it is so good to hear from you. I haven't spoken to anybody about our GSD or the military situation we adopted him from.

I think his ball-drive is great. We play ball in the backyard twice a day and he takes off after the balls like a shot. I will say that he doesn't seem to sniff them out as easily as I'd expect. We have leaves all over our backyard now. We're in VA.

But, I agree with you, I wonder how they determined he had no drive. They kept emphasizing that he was pet material. He's on the couch right now dozing. :)

Question: my guy has allergies too. He scratches constantly. I put him on high quality food that has no chicken or chicken broth in it. The food is Merrick. The vet put him on 3X daily antihistamines and he's still scratching.

I have him and the cat on flea control. I don't know what else to do at this point.

I've put him in a Manners Class, but that's it. I was thinking agility next.

Any input is really appreciated. I didn't get a whole lot of feedback from the folks at the military.

Thanks!

Alley
 

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how much did it cost? Its alot for shipping from Germany.
Cost-wise it was entirely "free" to adopt a dog from the military. . . unless you count that we paid a very last-minute airfare to fly my husband to Texas to pick up the GSD, then purchase a travel crate, then fly the GSD home to VA.

So, not free at all. Very costly. My husband wanted a pure bred shepherd (we'd always rescued mixed dogs) and I wanted to adopt -- so we figured this was a great compromise.

The only thing is wish is that the military had had more time to fill us in on our dog: his background, where he'd been, what he knew etc. All we were told was his sex, his age, that he was "not aggressive at all," and that he'd never been in a house.

That was it. Nothing more. But I'm just happy that they're working to find homes for these wonderful dogs.

Our dog is a house dog now and gets two long walks a day -- morning and night and two ball times in the yard a day. Plus I'm home all day homeschooling my kids so our dog gets people around him all day too.

He gets a little travel too. Just last weekend we took him with us to Mount Vernon -- George Washington's home -- and he was allowed to walk around with my husband when the rest of went into the home and museum. He's stayed in a couple of DC hotels at this point and is, in general, pretty spoiled.

:)


Alley
 

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The military will give civilians the politically correct answer...and rightfully so. They're not going to tell you the dog wouldn't out on bite sleeve, had a poor bite, etc. Your dog may have washed out for a number of reasons. The dog has 120 days to make it through the training...regardless of the circumstances. A lot of dogs are washed out for the complete opposite reason....too much drive. Like any other career field, there are handlers who have yet to gain the experience to get some of the higher drive dogs successfully through the program, thus the dog is washed out. The dog may have needed more time to mature as well. Low drive may actually be the case, but I'm willing to bet if your dog sees a guy with bite sleeve/suit and hears a few cracks of the whip you will see a side of your dog that you haven't seen before. (please don't associate this with an aggression, it's a game for them). My dog is a couch potato at home, but has busted out of crates and jumped over 7ft kennel fences on the Schutzhund field.

What's the tattoo read in your dog's left ear?

Sounds like your dog has allergies as well, this is not uncommon for GSD's....and especially GSD's who spent the first year of their life on the other side of the world. I tried a raw diet, prescription diet, and a number of different kibble brands. My dogs allergies are environmental, and it's something that I have to deal with....regular baths, ointments, etc. I feed my dog the same food you're feeding yours, Merrick (duck and potato). The best thing you could do to cut down on your dog's scratching is to wear him out. Use a flirt pole. Go buy a lunge whip from a feed supply store and attach a tug to the other end of it. Only problem you may have is getting the dog to out...teaching this will likely take someone more experienced with working dogs than your typical petsmart trainers.
 

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Just giving an update on 3-23-14.

We've had our GSD from the military for almost 10 months now. He seems to have really settled in and isn't as polite as when he first arrived. :rolleyes:

I have him in his second manners class now and he wants to play w/ the other dogs more than practice his new skills.

One night my husband had put on his big down black jacket. In the dark it must have looked like a bite sleeve, because our dog started bounding back and forth, but my husband basically "no" or "gentle" (a word he really understands) and he stopped bounding around.

A our training class one night he was being especially barky and the trainer gave him a black kong w/ peanut butter to get him to be quiet while she was talking. Initially I was worried that the black kong would cause a problem, but it didn't. He just licked the the peanut butter.

We're leaving him overnight this week at a kennel that I researched. He gets to play w/ other dogs, but I'm nervous about leaving him. It's so sad to me to think that he might get worried about being left. Sometimes he seems to love his daycare/kennel and other times he can't get out of there fast enough. So I don't know what to think.

That's the update!

Alley
 

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David - We have been contacted by FT Bragg regarding adopting Fama. I believe you were wanting to adopt her at one point. Is this still the case?
I'd love to talk with you about her.
Thank you, Amy Bashaw
 

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Amy,
Thanks for the update. I wondered how he was doing. Great he has settled in and relaxing. I won't worry about the overnight stay as he is used to the being left at doggy daycare during the day, so he knows you will come back.
 

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David - We have been contacted by FT Bragg regarding adopting Fama. I believe you were wanting to adopt her at one point. Is this still the case?
I'd love to talk with you about her.
Thank you, Amy Bashaw
You are a godsend ;)

Yes, I would love nothing more than to be reunited with my girl!

They were supposed to contact me if she came up for adoption. That's the army for you.

I'll pm you right away.

Thank you thank you thank you!

David Winners
 
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