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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I volunteer at our county shelter. All dogs are temperment tested before they are placed in the adoption area and once placed there, they will remain until adopted or issues arise.

Yesterday, after I arrived on of the workers brought out a 3 yo male GSD, found as a stray, to the adoption floor. I could see from his walk that he was nervous. Once placed in his kennel, he settled and would pop up and look about. I went to see him and upon offering my hand to sniff, he came forward and licked my hands.

After that a couple came in and the gentleman explained that he had a male shepherd at home, and asked to see this boy. I leashed him and took him to a seperate room for them to spend time with him. It was obvious that the dog wasn't thrilled to leave the kennel and once in the glassed in area spent his time wanting to head back to his kennel.

The couple sat with him for quite a while and while the man wanted to adopt him, his wife wanted some type of female dog, so they brought him back to his kennel.

About that time another man came, who had owned gsd's, and wanted to see him. I went in to the kennel to get him, but it was obvious he did not want to leave the kennel. No agressive posturing or behavior just headed to the back of the kennel, with his tail low. I told the gentleman at that point that I would not take him out. He then went into the kennel crouched done and let the dog come to him, which the dog readily did.

Thinking back, I realize he was too stressed to leave the kennel and I wish I hadn't taken him out the first time. I would love advice from those who deal with gsd's in shelter environments on how best to handle these situations. We get a fair number of gsd's in to this shelter and they are very quickly adopted, especially if they are purebred. I want to make the experience positive for myself and also for the dog and the public at large.
 

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Is it possible to let the dog out and let the person walk them outside? They are going to be stressed but sometimes I talk them off to a quite place for a walk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have a cemented outside area that we can normally take them to, but unfortunately, due to the snow and ice making the area slippery, we are not allowed to take them outside right now. It is a drag for us and the dogs too.
 

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IMO, this dog should go to a foster home for eval before adoption. Dogs in kennel/shelter situations(especially GSD) are very stressed and the dog you see at the shelter is not the dog in real life. If you can find a GSD rescue to pull him for foster, he will be set up to succeed vs possibly returned due to his baggage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree, but the shelter seldom sends them to rescue. It is aggravating because I feel some of these dogs really belong in rescue. They will adopt out Akitas, which frankly, I would only send to rescue. I have suggested this before, but the older volunteers act like I am committing some major sin suggesting it. Kind of makes me want to bang my head against the wall and frankly it's the reason I am considering just fostering for a rescue.
 

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Just a thought -- can you contact a local, reputable rescue that is known to the community and have them come in and do an introduction to all the volunteers? If you started with an all-breed rescue, it would cover all the dogs. They could come in, present their rescue, how they operate and their process for fostering/rehabilitation/adoption of the dogs. Let the rescue know that you would really like to work with them for help, and explain to them the shelter situation with the skepticism of the volunteers.

Maybe if the older volunteers see the process -- and then understand that some dogs who may not do well in the shelter will go into a foster home, be helped with health issues, behavioral issues, etc. can recover and find a great adoptive home, they will soften a little.

It might be helpful if the rescue could bring in a couple photos/stories about dogs that didn' have a chance of adoption -- due to medical or behavioral, photos, medical history, what they did for basic training, and end with the happy placement.

I don't know if that would work, but it is a start.
 

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onyx'girl said:
IMO, this dog should go to a foster home for eval before adoption. Dogs in kennel/shelter situations(especially GSD) are very stressed and the dog you see at the shelter is not the dog in real life. If you can find a GSD rescue to pull him for foster, he will be set up to succeed vs possibly returned due to his baggage.
Ditto this. And if you can't get the dog to rescue, then I suggest what Jax said.

Is it possible to let the dog out and let the person walk them outside? They are going to be stressed but sometimes I talk them off to a quite place for a walk.
This dog needs to get out of his kennel and move around. Leaving him there because he is stressed is not going to help him. He needs to have positive experiences outside the kennel. Take him out and walk him around the facility if you can't take him outside. Take him in the meeting room to play with him and feed him lots of treats there.
 
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