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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
Last Thursday 4/11 I fell in love with a younger GSD that was scheduled to be PTS on Friday 4/12. My husband and I had been looking into getting a puppy but dreaded the puppy things associated with such. We have a 19 yr old Shiba Inu that is getting ready to cross the rainbow bridge that is going to leave our 8 yr old Samoyed alone and sad. We wanted a GSD because of their natural capabilities and breed characteristics. Our new addition will have a 5 acre kingdom full of other animals and a pond. We have horses, cats, other dogs and what ever kind of shows up here. I know very little about this new addition other than he was neutered on Friday, is 84lbs of "bouncy" a they tell me, and he made a wonderful impression on the animal control officer that found him wondering the streets and kindly allowed him to ride shot gun back to the shelter. Being that I have other animals here and we are well balanced pack I am looking for any tips associated with integration to our existing pack of critters. Here are the things I am already planning on doing:

1. Formal introduction to our two existing canines in a neutral environment through a fence. Give them the ability to smell one another put provide a barrier that protects both.
2. Provide my new GSD with a crate that is all his own. My current dogs love their crates as they are never sent there for punishment. They sleep in them willingly with doors open all the time (Challenge here is to keep my others out of the crate haha!)
3. Provide the new GSD with his own things: Kong, stuffed toy, ball, dishes, bed. These items are all already purchased and in my vehicle as to not let my other dogs claim them.
4. Remove the cats from the initial equation. I am going to put the cats upstairs in a room away from danger and a gate at the bottom of the steps so he cannot get up there. When he is in his crate I will let my cats come to him in order to investigate on their terms. They will always have a way to get away from him if he is out and about via going upstairs to their safety zone.
5. I have treated my whole house and scrubbed carpets to deter any marking that could occur. My 19 yr old shiba has the occasional accident. We clean them up immediately but I took the extra step this weekend to treat the whole house in case there was one I missed somewhere. We know there is a high probability of an accident as he adjusts just trying to prevent territorial marking.

Anything above and beyond that I have not thought of is welcome. I am very open to ideas. I am not too proud to ask nor take any advice, especially if someone has experience that I personally do not. :help:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh one more thing, I have to drive aprox 6 hours to go get him. I plan on taking a few items here from the house that smell like my cats and dogs to help him adjust to the scent of the other animals in my home on the ride. I would guess it will be a longer than 6 hour drive back making a few pit stops to let him get out and use the potty and go for a walk to burn a little energy and let us bond.
 

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Spend a great deal of time working on your new boy's recall before allowing him off leash around the horses. Leash or long line until he is 100% reliable coming back, even with tons of super distractions.
Sheilah
 

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Good thought, I dont think he is going to be permitted to go to the barn for a while. I want him to be 100% with the rest of our animals before even considering that. His natural herding instinct could get him in big trouble! I see you have horses too.... Have you had any experience with introducing an older dog to your horses? If so what steps did you take to make it successful. I would like eventually to be able to take him out riding with us in the state park but thats a long ways off. We have months if not years before I would consider doing that.
 

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When I introduce an adult dog to my horses, I always have them on leash. The leash phase might last months and months. And during that time I am working on basic obedience skills, the most important of which is the recall.

Once the dog has earned some freedom I will switch to a long line (a lunge line works nicely!). They never, ever, never, ever have the ability to decide to blow me off. If I tell them "Here" and they ignore it, I reel them in. I am happy and upbeat and give them a ton of praise while I do it, too.

Some of my dogs have never even looked like they thought about chasing the horses. Like Jackson. My current GSD has had herding experience, specific training as a hobby. I know I can control him, even off leash. My Aussie? She just can't handle it and even now, at 3 years of age, she is on a leash around any stock. And she was born in a competition barn!

Word of warning! Do not be fooled by initial nonchalance! I had a foster dog (a GSD) that came out on leash and never batted an eye at the horses. I had her in the barn, in the little dry lot turn outs. She ignored the horses, even the bold ones that wanted to snuffle her whole body. She walked with me to turn out, she walked with me to bring them in. She was gold, pure gold, around the horses. So I took her off leash. Her recall was great. She seemed ready. And she was...right up until a horse in a big pasture turn out got a case of the sillies and was running and bucking and farting. And some switch turned on in this dog's brain and she suddenly discovered her special purpose. To this day I am still not sure how everyone survived that experience. So be aware that a dog that ignores them when they are nothing more than big bodies ambling around can suddenly have a different view when the horses are moving quickly. Herding breeds are different.

Good luck! I hope you let everyone here know how it goes!
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will be remaining as active as possible in the group. It has been many years since I have had experience with GSD's and never one that was already almost 2. I will update and ask many many questions. It will be a long time before he has any interaction with the livestock, I have no idea what to expect with his temperament when he arrives other than he is "bouncy" I assume this is him being more reactive in a stressful situation and the proper exercise and environment will discourage this. Even if not I am prepared for my Bouncy 84lb baby to come home. We will roll with the punches and I will ask millions of questions and for advice! I am getting ready to post another forum for advice on introducing him to our cats properly. I dont know what kind of prey drive he has so this could be difficult! I am not a fair weather pet owner I take the good with the bad and make life long decisions ... If all else fails I will call in a trainer to assist.
 

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Training is always a great idea! Don't wait to have problems before getting hooked up with a good trainer. I swear by classes as a wonderful way to build a strong bond with a new dog!

Find a trainer now and start having fun training your new boy.
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Horrid news, the kennel that is housing Diesel just informed me he has an extremely bloody stool. He has tested negative for parvo but they think it could be a false positive. He is not eating and is drinking slightly. I am 700 miles away! I dont know what to do! They are waiting until morning for the Vet to check him and see what her opinion is. This poor guy has been through enough already! :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Horrid news, the kennel that is housing Diesel just informed me he has an extremely bloody stool. He has tested negative for parvo but they think it could be a false positive. He is not eating and is drinking slightly. I am 700 miles away! I dont know what to do! They are waiting until morning for the Vet to check him and see what her opinion is. This poor guy has been through enough already! :cry:
Correction *false negative*

I have not even met this dog yet and I am attached. I read that it is more common in brown / tan dogs. (GSD, Doberman, Rotties, etc) and also that the mortality rate is higher in these breeds. What do I do? Let them put him to sleep? Or do I send him to another facility to get treated? They said minimum 1,000 for treatment up to 10,000 depending on how severe he is and how long of a stay. Then he should not be around others for a couple months. I have a 19yr old dog here, he is compromised in every way do I risk it?
 

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Spend a great deal of time working on your new boy's recall before allowing him off leash around the horses. Leash or long line until he is 100% reliable coming back, even with tons of super distractions.
Sheilah
I agree! Keep a tight grip on the dog the first time you bring him because if you let go, he'll disappear in a flash. And remember there will be an adjustment period before he begins to eat and drink in a new place and it takes time for him to get used to a new life. Dogs don't adapt as easily to new circumstances the way human beings can so a move to a new place will appear frightening at first and it takes the dog lots of time to trust a new owner and feel like he belongs there - that he can really see the place as home.
 

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parvo can hit any dog at any age irregardless of color.. if he does have parvo you cant bring him home as he will infect your dogs at home. the shelter will either treat him or euthanize him. if he does have parvo at the shelter the whole shelter will be under quarantine .

when i bring home new dogs i do a 2 week rest period, where they stay on leash attached to me or crated so they can see the goings on in my house and my dogs and not get overwhelmed meeting humans or other animals .
some dogs i do the whole 2 weeks, some i dont it depends on the dof
 

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Bloody poop can be a lot of things other than parvo. We've had it happen at the shelter here from whip worms and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis caused by clostridium bacteria.

Can you offer to pay for some testing so that they can get a definitive diagnosis? (The cost would probably be less than $100 for necessary tests). That would give you and the shelter vet better information to make a decision whether to treat or euthanize.

I know this is hard, and I wish you all the best. I've been there recently with a dog I was advocating for at the shelter, and an adopter who is a friend--after the additional testing, the dog ended up having something less dire than the shelter had originally guessed (and not contagious), so the dog could go home with some heavy meds. I'll hold out hope that's true in your case too! Good luck -- let us know what happens please.
 
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