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First of all, he is definitely not a purebred....more like a miniature Long haired mix of Shepherd, possibly with something like a sheltie only larger, but certainly not PB or normal shepherd size. His tail curls up over his back like a huskie's.

When we finally got home (late, so late at night) he would not climb the stairs...I tried tugging on the leash gently and encouraging him to follow me. He laid down on the stairs and pulled against the leash so hard he was choking himself to death. I had to carry his 40 plus self up the stairs bodily or we'd have stood in the wet snow all night.

Leash.....he ran around in circles until he wound himself around my legs...pulled so hard I couldn't unwrap him. I tried the prong collar, he screamed like he was dying, fell on the ground, wrapped in a dog version of a fetal position, and wouldn't move.

I virtually muscled him into the tub for a bath (he stunk so badly I couldn't leave him without one). Don't think he's ever had a bath in his life. Fought me every inch of the way. By the time we were done, the walls, ceiling and floor had been washed as well, though he was smelling better when he finally dried (hours later...that long coat takes forever and was afraid to use a blow dryer on him).

He peed on the living room floor. Grabbed the scruff of his neck and tried to move him outside but he froze in place until he was finished (monstrous puddle, too, as I was told he hadn't peed during the entire trip from Ohio to DC and didn't on the way home with me either). Finally got him outside, scolding him that we pee outside, not in the house, and started down the stairs...he tangled himself around my legs and I ended up falling down to the bottom (I am covered with bruises). As he had tumbled down with, I had to carry him up the stairs again as he wouldn't go back up by himself and then, when finally inside, he hid in a corner and wouldn't come out.

I put him in the crate, fed and watered him there. He drank tons, ate but a mouthful (and he's so skinny under all that fur). I blocked access to it (ostensibly until the first night was past) before the other two were introduced to him. Almost tore the crate apart....and barked and cried. Disturbed both my dogs so badly that when I opened the outside door later in the evening, Freya bolted out and disappeared (it's a wet, rain/snow, windy, cold night down here).

I spent an hour looking for her and finally found her under the porch, wet, cold and cowering. Meanwhile, Thor, who hasn't peed in the house in years, stared me right in the eye and **** if he didn't pee on the living room floor, just like the Hellboy did.

He growls at both my dogs and had Thor growling back at one point. From some of his actions, I'm guessing he was seriously abused at some point in his life (particularly something like being tied up on a short line with a too-tight collar, helpless to defend himself, and taunted, for example) and it's become, as a result, equally serious issues for him......as well as for me, Thor and Freya. I'm at a loss as to what to do... Thor definitely dislikes him, Freya is quietly curious. He and Thor got into it face to face today (He got out of the hallway -where I have him gated off- somehow) and Freya spent some time licking Thor's face, almost as if to say, "It's alright, just ignore him." She's the pacifier in all this.

He has no clue about commands, doesn't even understand 'Sit'. He's apparently never been housebroken. And he's certainly not a socialized animal with any other dogs, though interestingly, he has ignored my outside cats. But then he is too busy driving himself and me crazy with the leash aggression and general insanity. It's like he has a few bolts loose in his head if you watch the way he acts.

This morning, after a good night's sleep by all, he seemed happy to see me, at least until I went to put the leash on his (NOT prong) collar. Then he ran around like a maniac, trying to hide. Finally got it on and took him out. He managed to get down the stairs (almost yanking me down again...I find I have to hang on to the bannister and move one step at a time to stabilize him first). But no matter how far we walked, he wouldn't pee. And getting back up the stairs to the house was madness but I took it one step at a time and waited...I'll be darned if I'm going to carry him up and down. However, I'm expecting at any minute to find he's peed in the hallway where he's being kept, separated from the rest of the house (and my dogs) by a gate. They can check each other out but can't share the same space.

His way of dealing with anything he doesn't like is to fall down, face hidden in paws, where he then refuses to move. I don't pull him, but I keep encouraging him to come with me (treats, encouraging voice, whatever works). Or if he's scared or just doesn't want to acknowledge you're there, he turns his head away and stares off into the distance. I've been spending time with him today, treats in hand, saying "Sit" and trying the puppy trick of making his head go back until he almost HAS to sit to get the treat, then praising him with "Good sit, Seamus, good sit". I sure hope the old adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" isn't true.

But I've never dealt with a dog who's mentally, psychologically and emotionally whacked out. I don't know where to begin. I want to help him, though. When I saw him bouncing up and down with happiness to see me this morning, I wanted to cry. He's such a mixed up boy.

Any advice anyone has on how to socialize, train, housetrain, etc. a crazy old coot would be much appreciated. Somewhere I seem to remember calling him a 'Doomed dog'....and I'm beginning to think truer words were never spoken.

By the way, pictures to follow....I've been ..um.. a tad busy to upload them. *smiles ruefully*
 

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Wow, you need a BIG hug!!! That poor boy has been so mistreated. I had one I rescued that was terrified of the leash, I kept a leash with me every time I came to her, I didnt put it on, just had it with me, I would put it on her to go out, but I would have it at dinner time, play time, treat time and learning etc and not put it on her........she finally realized the leash wasnt her enemy. You will need a lot of patience with this one, I wish I could give better advice, but until he learns that he is safe, he will probably continue to act out. He probably hasnt had any kindness in his life at all. I have a foster right now, while he isnt quite as bad as your new guy, he deffinately had no manners at all and I am also teaching him basics, as well has just how to accept kindness and how to play nice.......I would love to hear your progress, keep posting!!
 

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Ok, whew. I adopted a dog like this once. That was Basu! He was scared of everything when we brought him home. Pick up the leash? Fell on the floor and showed us his belly! Ask him to sit? Fell on the floor and showed us his belly! Called him to come? Fell on the floor and showed us his belly! Tried to get him to go downstairs? Stood at the top and screamed his head off. Take him for a walk? He would march at breakneck speed in a straight line. If people approached he would drag me into the street. That's just the beginning. Luckily he was neither dog or cat aggressive. But he was terrified of everything! When faced with a new situation he was scared of he would commando crawl. So, believe me when I say that I understand. Oh--he turned out to be an awesome dog and he was 4.5 when we got him.

Seamus has melted down because he in a totally new situation. He has no idea whether you or your dogs are going to harm him and given his past experiences he must assume that all of you will hurt him. I would start by taking a really deep breath and continuing to tell yourself that none of this is his fault and that he will come around. Try to imagine things from his perspective. That always helps me. Do not correct him physically or verbally for anything. He is too much in shock right now to understand any of that. It will just confirm all of his fears. I know that will be hard but it is essential that he build total trust in you. From there you can get through everything else.

He is probably scared to pee on a leash. Is there a fenced area nearby where you can take him and let him off? I'm sure he will pee there.

Do you have anything like rescue remedy around? If so I would dose him up on that.

Does he like treats? Cheese, chicken, anything? That's how I trained Basu on the stairs. Put a treat on each one and encouraged the heck out of him to go down. He commando crawled both ways the first couple of times but then he got the hang of it.

I gotta take my two out now but hang in there!!!!! There are lots of people on here who can help you help him.
 

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Poor old dog and you too. He sounds like he was abused. Maybe he was kicked down the stairs at one time; who knows. I had a foster who had to learn to pee while on leash. I think some dogs never learned to pee while walking with a human so it may take a few days. I would confine him for a few hours take him out then confine again if he doesn't pee. You could let him drag the leash around in the house and at least you don't have to catch him to put it on. It really isn't too hard to housebreak most old dogs as long as you can confine him somehow. He doesn't sound human aggressive? Is he? I think you are correct about training use lots of good tasting treats and a firm but non threatening voice as he sounds like he was abused and would probably hide if you raise your voice. As far as your other dogs...sounds like your female is going to be your biggest helper. If she is trying to calm then perhaps it is best to work the new boy with her at first. If she accepts the new guy then you are at least to that point. He was neutered recently so may still smell of male hormones and that will take a few more weeks or months to get out of his system. I would guess all the stress of the last month may have made him more frightened. I would call Michele and see what her insights are too.

Karen
 

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My Pit Bull rescue was abused. I adopted her last July. I can't even tell you how many times she had me in tears & it takes a LOT to break me down. I cried several times to my husband that she just had to go back. She had SO many problems that I didn't think I could do it. For example...she was SO scared of the dark or any noise during the day that when I'd take her out to pee (on a leash) she'd army crawl on her belly pulling me back to the door. She was IMPOSSIBLE to house train. I could go on & on.

Now it's 6 months later & I have a pretty darn good dog. All of her fears are gone, she's housebroken, she's friendly, she walks beside me w/o a leash. Actually she's much better behaved than my GSD Greta and I've had HER since she was a pup!

Hang in there. Have patience. It's hard but it won't be this way forever.
 

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awwww...poor dog...he is not a "doomed dog", "helldog" or "crazy old coot"....the behavior you are seeing is not unusual to those that rescue...I think anyone that pulls a shelter dog, especially sight unseen, needs to be prepared for the fact that there may be issues and be committed to working on them (not saying you aren't...talking in general)

He is scared...there is always an adjustment period and lots of work that goes into a dog that has been rescued...especially from unknown circumstances...what was his life before like? was he chained outside with no socialization? was he abused? Then of course, he was dumped in a scarey shelter, transported by strangers, now in a new environment. Who can blame him for being afraid?

My heart goes out to that poor guy.......
 

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Poor dog he sounds like he has been abused...He just sounds like he is scared...he is in a new place so has to get use to being there..You sound like such a lovely lady..He is a lucky dog to have found you...good luck to you and seamus...can't wait for pics
 

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Oh My! My heart goes out to you and your rescue. I rescued my sky 14 years ago, he would not go in the car, peed on everything afraid of everything and everyone, screamed and tried to chew his way through the metal crate, did not like my other dogs, afraid of thunderstroms. It took alot of patience(also I cried alot) part of me felt sorry for what this poor baby has been through before I got him. Part of me wanted to get rid of him, but feeling sorry is no good. I vowed to go through with him, a little bit at a time. Every dog is different, but it took him less than a year to get rid of his issues. Except thunderstorms, now he is so old I think he is losing his hearing,anyway you have to do what is best for you. Its not easy but very rewarding. Good Luck
 

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Bless you for going through all you are going through right now for Seamus. Things WILL get better! Seamus just now cannot find peace, and does not yet even know how to calm himself. This WILL all come in time. I know you feel in way over your head.... in a year's time, you will have a sweet, devoted dog who may have some quirks and a few issues still, but he will do well in your care. This board is full of members who rescue tough cases, who can provide you with encouragement, ideas-- true support! I know, when you're the one who's overwhelmed, cleaning up the pee, just been growled at, and it's all before 3 am... it seems it will never end. Seamus will learn peace. You will gently guide him, and that he can be a "good dog" will be a reality... with time and gentle patience with him. He is so lucky that you opened your heart and took him in. He can't find words to tell you that he thinks the world is ending... so you are seeing symptoms of his fears. In a few weeks from now, things will be more stable, and you can look back at improvements already. Big stuff like going to the vets, taking him for a real walk, leash training, anything-- can be handled in small, slow, lazy, calm steps. Those on the board who rehab tough cases will give you the ideas you need. He is so lucky to have found an angel in you. No matter how stressed you are, please-- reach right around, and pat yourself on the back. Seamus has found a loving guide to help him learn to live at peace in what he currently still thinks is a chaotic world. Hugs to you for rescuing this handsome boy!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Taking a break........gaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I'm exhausted but think that's mostly due to the long drive and then the wild return home late last night.

But I hear everything you're saying, folks. I know he's been through so much for so long that he just doesn't know what end is up at this point. I'm sure it will take a lot of time to get him settled in such a way that he knows he won't be beaten or brutalized. But your positive attitudes are a great help, as well as some of your tips.

I like the treats on the staircase for one, Ruth....neat thought. As for the not peeing on a leash, I never heard of that before. Interesting. Sadly, it's too cold to enclose him in my outside kennel though I might try if he hasn't peed by the end of the afternoon.

And Karen, the idea of dragging a leash around is an easy one to do and might just work. No, he isn't human aggressive. He loves to be loved, though he's still afraid when I call him to me, even with a treat in my hand. But we did share french fries on the way home last night. *giggles* And I accept the thought about his male hormones being what's disturbing Thor, who considers himself my second lieutenant and the boss (he thinks...*snickers*) over Freya. So much for the male mind at work.


And Freya has turned out to be a gem. She sits by the gate and 'communicates' with Seamus silently. She tends to get between Thor and Seamus when they stand on opposite sides of the gate, ears back, snarling, showing teeth, etc. I'm keeping Thor busy throwing his darn squeaky toys. *grins*

As I said, the fact that all of you have been there, done that, and probably gotten 10 t-shirts, and can support my efforts as you have been doing, is wonderful, especially for Seamus (who I have been teasingly calling Hellboy....perhaps Bozo was the better nickname...*chuckles*). I am going to try to succeed with him, though I've never dealt with anything like this before. And I'm getting much much too old to be tumbling down stairs...sheesh, my hips are at risk at my age.


I do wish we had such useful things as trainers and rescue proven folks around here, but once again, I have to say....we are 30 miles out to sea on a very lightly populated island, and 75 miles from even the nearest Wally World.

Okay, I'm going to try one more outing to see if he'll pee before I take some time to watch the Chargers/Patriots game. Ahhhh my poor Peyton and his Colts. Later, guys. Go Chargers .. or anyone that can beat the Patriots.
 

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you know it's times like these when i am just in absolute awe of all the help and knowledge that is here (and so freely given), on this board, for the dogs and for the people who give them a chance to live, and know love, and be cared for. i hear in your posts that you are overwhelmed, way overwhelmed, and understandably so. but all this wonderful advice and concern here will give you the safety net you need to continue on...one day at a time, and if, after a while it becomes apparent to you that, indeed, other arrangements need to be made, you will again find the support and knowledge here to help you feel secure in your decision(s).

ps...i got such a smile out of your nickname "hellboy", 'cause i call my boy cash "wildboy" and "crazyboy". hang in there, take care, we are all thinking about you and sending positive energy!
 

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I'm just wondering if a harness would be easier on him to start out with and it also gives a little extra "help" taking him up and down steps?? What do you think?? Also, some younger dogs do have to learn to pee on lead when away from their home turf ..and I've actually known people who collect and carry some of their dogs urine with them to dog shows to put in the grass to encourage them to find "their" spot and potty. No i'm not suggesting you do that LOL, but just wanted to reassure you that it's not too unusual for a dog of any age not potty on his walks right right away!
 

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Just an idea that worked for me re housebreaking: First thing tomorrow morning, take him out to pee-- on leash. Stand still in the yard, don't allow him a stroll. He will soon exhaust all the intriguing scents in the area. Be boring. Don't even chat or talk to him at all.. not even 'hurry up." Stay like a boring, quiet statue for as long as you can-- and he will probably pee.

Just sending you good vibes now!
 

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Rafi didn't know how to pee or poop on a leash and he's still learning! He will hold it for the entire hour or two walk/outing and then go in the yard when we get back!!!!!! Basu was the same way. He would only pee twice a day for months because that was all he was allowed in his previous "home." I had no idea what I was getting into with him. I read everything on the net I could find about abused dogs and the thing that worked for us and him was to stay super positive. I made everything into a happy game. I changed the name of every command because he had bad associations with all of them. He was dragged on a leash from the house to the garage to the cage that he spend 14 days in. So I made all leash time fun, fun, fun.

And I sure he is terrified of Thor and so he has to be nasty to try to protect himself. You can start getting the positive associations there by feeding treats within sight distance of the other dog (but NOT while they are close enough to challenge each other) and say the other dogs name like, "Is that Thor?" Give treat. Good boy!

And hasn't Freya been looking for a job? Have you tried taking him out with her? When he sees her going down the stairs he just might follow her!

Also, re coming to you--let him come on his own. Try standing with your back to him with a yummy treat in your hand and let him take it out and then praise him softly.

And take some ibuprofren for those bruises! Got any arnica?
 

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Maybe what the dog needs is a little less attention until he settles down. I don't know how this is going to work with two others in the house but if there is someway you could find to let him come to you...
If it were warmer another stimulous to urination would be warm water sprayed on his sheath (in a mister, not a hose!).
 

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Big day!!! (and not just for the Patriots...grrr) Still hasn't peed or pooed but....we've been up and down the stairs several times already and he now heads down like a pro (tho' coming back up is still iffy). Each time we've walked further and further from the house before he stopped, turned his body towards the house and wouldn't move any further. Apparently that's his way of telling me is too uncertain yet to go any further.

Forruger, funny you should ask about a halter. I actually thought about that earlier this afternoon and put on Thor's old one. Tightened it up (and tightened it a whole lot more) and have just left it on with his leash dragging around with him. Amazing what a difference those two things have made. No screaming, choking, falling down and playing dead now that the neck collar is gone. And that's how we got our footing on the stairs, with me holding the back strap.

Tonight was a really big deal. I fed my two (who always sit and wait until I tell them 'alright, go eat' at which time the both dive for their bowls...teehee). Then I took a bowl with a small amount to Seamus. I said 'Sit' and put some pressure on his backside until he sat and then held my palm in front of his face and said 'Stay'. Slowly I put the bowl on the floor and he didn't move until I said 'Alright'. I was sooooo proud of him.

Waited about half an hour or so and took him out again. I figured maybe food might put a tad of pressure on his bladder. False hope. *laughs* And he did spend an hour or more in the kennel earlier for the same reason with no results. He'll let it all go sometime....just hope I have him outside when he does. But we also walked all the way that I take my other two every day, past all the places where they do their business. He sniffed but walked on. Was finally comfortable being so far out of sight of home. Mostly it seems he's finally noticed the cats, and wants to chase them all over the neighborhood. Have to hang on to him when one of them wanders into view.

Brightstar....I like the idea of standing like a flagpole and giving him just room to circle me until he gets bored. I'll bundle up with my mukluks and all as I think it's going to take a loooooong time. *giggles* But why do I have to wait until morning? The guy hasn't gone since last night when he emptied himself on my living room floor. Surely he isn't gonna hold it until morning. *grins*

But I also like the idea of taking Freya with Seamus later, if he still hasn't gone. She takes care of her business rapidly, no waste of time. Maybe he'll get the message. Just have to persuade and explain to Thor why he isn't going..... But Freya is a worthy liason/peacemaker. She's hardly left the area of the gate and often lays on the floor and sticks her head under the bottom opening until Seamus comes and sniffs.

But all this is very confusing to the kidlets. I have Seamus gated in their sleeping hallway and last night they had to sleep wherever they wanted to. They had no idea what to do. And I'm trying not to pay too much attention to Seamus without offering the usual attention to my other two. Thor in particular is being a brat and very pushy to me and hostile towards Seamus, who isn't that nice to Thor either.

And middle........he seems to want the attention, at least from me. He bounces with such pleasure, his tail wagging furiously, a stupid grin on his face, whenever I'm in sight. And mostly I keep the other two with me in another room so he has a fair amount of quiet time for himself. But when he's finished bouncing, he's been walking to the door, facing it, looking over his shoulder at me, then facing it again. I take that as he wants to go out...perhaps not to take the big chance of peeing but to familiarize himself with where he is. So I oblige...tho' my hip, bottom and leg ache like heck. No fun falling down stairs, but you should see the lovely colors of purple, green, yellow and blue. *teehee*

However, I'm very pleased with our boy. No, he's nowhere near 'cured' but at least he's trying to meet me halfway. You can all clap your respective hands for him as it's mostly your tips that have helped.

Now, where is that bottle of Ibuprofin.........................??
 

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What a difference a day makes. I am so happy to read that things have improved.

When we rescued our poor, abused little girl she wouldn't go pee until she absolutely had too, no matter how many times we walked her.

I think taking your other dog with you will give him the idea he can go whenever he's outside. Poor Rylee was chained to a dog house and had to lay in her pee and poop. I think that is why she held it for so long. Once she figured it out everything was OK...

I bet tonight when he see that you can pee pee outside he's going to get the drift...remember, he was probably peeing in his kennel at the shelter. He has to make the adjustment.

Now, all we need to do it get the two boys more friendly...but you can take your time with that...

Seamus sounds as if he's going remarkly well for all he's been through...

CONGRATULATIONS to you and to everyone that has given such great advice...Judy
 

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I had a dog that would not pee outside. It turned out she was paper trained and would wait until she got into the house to pee on the paper. You can put some paper down to see if he shows interest in it. Also some rescues hold it very long during the first few days - I guess it is the stress. You'll have to be patient with him.

I cannot even count how many 80lbs dogs I carried/dragged up and down the stairs...
 

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My dog trainer would say that calling him negative nicknames like hellboy, etc., will only ingrain into your mind a negative attitude of him. The freezing in place, paws on head is called 'learned helplessness' and is what an animal does when they fully expect to be killed at any moment.

When I adopted my extremely fearful Rocky, who used to scream like a woman, and his sister Jessie, I had to learn not to use harsh tones on them ever again. I was mad at my trainer for scolding me for this and saying I was using 'this tone' on my dogs and I thought 'you should hear me yell at my DH!' but she was right. I didn't realize that these dogs are extremely sensitive to the tones of our voice. So I began training them in whispers because a whisper has no 'tone' to it and it worked wonderfully. I still have to work on my husband not to admonish them or scold them at all, ESPECIALLY when they are exhibiting undesirable behavior. If you give that behavior any observable reaction, especially negative, they will continue it! Negative attention is still attention and that is what he wants and probably safe to say, is all he's ever had and knows how to elicit.

So maybe try neutralizing your tones with him. I am still amazed today at how this seemingly small adjustment on part (and it was an adjustment) made such a difference to my Rocky and his sister. Since they are incompatible right now and have to be kept separate at all times, we have to switch them in and out of the crates in shifts. When it's Rocky's turn to come out, he is so frantic and crying and pawing that you'd think he was insane. But I just calmly say 'Rocky sit' over and over, which he can barely hear, but it calms him down and he sits and then I open the crate.

He is so grateful for the calm, positive or neutral tones I talk to him with, it is a wonderful calming effect. Any yelling of any kind, even neutral yelling (to someone in distance) is very scary to him! These dogs, although able to rend tremendous damage to us or themselves if they wanted, are still deathly afraid of us and I think it is something many people often forget. That dogs live in a state of controlled fear as domesticated animals with us. We tend to not recognize it because of their ability to be dangerous.

Just MHO. You've got an abused child on your hands. He needs a lot of heavenly patience. If I were you, I'd buy some vodka and marinate some martinis and blow off a little steam after all you've both been through!
 
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