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I'm sorry ahead of time, I wasn't sure what to put this post under, as it's like.. a story, behavior questions, and literally everything, so here it is in general I guess haha.

Long story short, we got this good boy off of Craigslist and from what the story sounded like... he was found near a busy highway intersection.
The craigslist guy, we'll name him Craig, got off to the side of the road and opened his car door only for the doggo to jump into the back of his car.
He had him for about a week in his apartment with his family/cats. He had him for about 2-3 weeks before we came by and picked him up from him.

Boyfriend and I met up with Craig in front of his apartment complex where the rest of his family were hanging out; his wife, 3 year old son and his mother.
Craig told us a little bit more of his time with the pup; he had gone to humane society to see if he was chipped, to which he was not. There's evidence as well on his collar
that there was a plate where his name/information would have been, but the plate looks obviously taken off as it wouldn't have come off on its own since it was riveted into the leather. (Pics later if curious). Craig told us that he's really good with his 3-year old son and his cat; to which with the 3 year old it was evident as they were gently chasing each other around. With the cat though, the cat was not happy about him and from what we gather made the biggest issues with him keeping the dog. We decided to take him home and from there, our little story with him begins...

We haven't named him yet (mainly because I'm really bad about naming anything) and because we're still curious as to what his real name is (though its basically impossible to find out at this point). I was a little bit skeptical about Craig's story since well, we did get him off craigslist people can lie, but we went to the dog park one afternoon and met up with this lady who not only recognized the doggo, but exactly described Craig and his situation with the dog (family, cat, etc), so I can take his word for it.

He is neutered, and is the most well behaved dog I've ever had. Doesn't pull on leash, knows sit/down and to give his paws, house-trained, doesn't jump, growl, beg for food or anything. Doesn't bark or pull to see other dogs his size, (in fact, he is rather submissive/timid), is calm around small dogs as well. First couple of nights I could tell he was nervous.. And he still is. When he sleeps, he sleeps either on his tail or his tail between his legs (though, I'm not sure if that's just because hes nervous still or not because that's just how hes been sleeping). I'm thinking he's about 2-3 years old at least as he is full grown, but I will be taking him to the vet to get him checked up soon.

What're some good ways to get a dog warmed up to you? Craig had told me that once he was warmed up a bit more that he'd play fetch with us, but we have yet to get a reaction out of him when we throw a ball yet. We've only had him for about a week now. I realize that he just needs to get used to being in our house, but...

Our biggest problem at home right now is that we have two cats who both have never seen a dog in their lives, none the less a big one. We've been training him slowly that getting excited over the cats is bad, but he is very fixated at looking for them. So much so that when I go outside and leave him in the backyard, he whines to come back in. We've been having to lock him up in separate rooms and switch out which set of pets gets free roam of the house (to scent up the area of both so they get used to each other). I'm at the point where the cats are curious enough to come up to him, but will run off when he gets too excited/whines/barks because they get scared. So with him being kinda nervous in our house and having to be separated off from the rest because of the cats, I just worry that it's making him more anxious when we have to close the door on him in a room because of how hes acting about the cats. When hes not fixated on the cats, he just lays near our feet and sleeps/waits for the cats to walk by (in view from the baby gate). He is starting to respond to commands such as come, but I do not believe he knows how to leave it, so that may be my next training project with him. I just want to do whats best for him.

We've been walking him twice a day for now to get more used to us/the neighborhood, (should it be less to get more used to the house?) and have also been feeding him a small bag of Authority dog food for now (will invest in more as soon as we feel he is more comfortable being in the house/calmer with cats.) I want to make this work but in the worst case scenario we may have to give him up if he never learns to be calm around the cats. A friend of mine suggested I just let **** reign loose and have the cats/dog deal with it and let the dog get bored on his own as thats what they did with their cats/dogs, but I don't want anyone getting hurt in the process since this is a large shepherd and two small cats in the mix.

I've watched some videos to reward with treats on calm behavior (towards cats), but oddly enough he's not too treat inclined with milkbones. I tried chicken as well, but even then his attention isn't on me and is more on the cats.

Thank you for reading and if you want any more information just ask me! I really just want whats best for him.
 

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Before you get too attached...Are your sure this dog doesn't have an owner looking for him? Craig sounds sketchy, and the collar thing sounds like a stolen dog. All the lady in the dog park means is that he's told a consistent story to a few people -- not that any of it's true. It might be but...I worry about what goes on with CL's pet section sometimes.

If a substantial "rehoming fee" was involved, then I would be very worried about the possibility of being scammed by the "Craigslist flippers" -- they allegedly steal purebred, desirable dogs (sometimes out of people's yards) and sell them online pretending to be rescuers, asking for a "rehoming fee" to "make sure you're not a dog fighter." (Ironic, right?)

I'm a rescuer. If one of my organization's people came with this story, I wouldn't intake this dog because it couldn't be adopted out with clean ownership -- a true owner could show up at any point (up to 3 years in my state) and rightfully demand a return of their dog.

Did anyone ever advertise him in a newspaper "found pets" classified ad, or on the local Lost Pets FB page, etc.?
 

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OP, you can get into legal trouble. I almost was one time when taking in a found dog. The AC officer todl me that dogs are property and in your situation you have "property that could have been stolen." The fastest way to adopt is to bring him to the shelter and tell them you will take him if the owner doesn't show up after the stray days are over. Then you will own him legally. Otherwise you will always look over your shoulder as his previous owner will always have the right to claim him.
 

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If "Craig" had this dog for 3 weeks and he had taken him to the shelter (which the OP says he did to check for a chip) then the stray hold was over, the dog was legally "Craig's" and Craig rehomed him to Fae.

Fae, if you think anything about this is sketchy then please do list him as a found dog. Keep the collar and ask for a picture if the an owner comes forward. No picture. No contact.

You might want to start a thread specific to the training issues. They get lost in the long post :)
 

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I've seen tons of missing dogs lately especially German shepherds. People see them and pick them up or steal them out of yards. If you can I would really look over your lost and found pages especially since this dog was found and it sounds like the guy just decided to keep him.

As for bonding with him just keep doing things. Lots of petting and keeping things like and fun. He's probably very confused right now so give him some time.
 

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My dog was stolen. I was frantic and heartbroken, searching everywhere.

Fortunately I did find her, and fortunately the people who had purchased her willingly returned her. With my intervention they were not charged but they could have faced charges related to receiving stolen property.

Please do attempt to ensure that this dog is not stolen. Someone may be missing him desperately.
 

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A purebred GSD that is very well trained/behaved? I find it hard to believe that an owner would willingly up and abandon that dog. Either he was stolen or was truly lost, it doesn't matter too much. Either way you need to be absolutely sure someone isn't looking for him. Now you have the dog, and it is important for you to do things properly, whether "Craig" did or not. It's rare for a purebred, well behaved dog to end up on Craigslist. Just saying.
 

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If "Craig" had this dog for 3 weeks and he had taken him to the shelter (which the OP says he did to check for a chip) then the stray hold was over, the dog was legally "Craig's" and Craig rehomed him to Fae.

Fae, if you think anything about this is sketchy then please do list him as a found dog. Keep the collar and ask for a picture if the an owner comes forward. No picture. No contact.

You might want to start a thread specific to the training issues. They get lost in the long post :)
But wait! There is more! To legally own him from your home you have 30 days,unlike 5 in a shelter, at least in OR, and you need proof that you actively advertised him as found through 3 different venues, like CL, FB or newspaper. This is really tricky businesses, especially when the owner shows up, even after years, There was a case in OR when a found dog was trained as service dog and after a long time the legal owner saw him and claimed him and won the court battle.
 

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The rules for legal ownership vary by city and county -- some locales require the dog to be physically inside the shelter, in a kennel, for owners looking for dogs to be able to walk up and down the kennel rows before the "stray hold" period starts. Hiding the dog in your apartment doesn't start the clock running for an owner to reclaim. Nor does dashing into the shelter for a quick chip scan and then returning to the apartment. Other places allow you to post a photo and details of the dog in a big "found dog" binder, or on a board, or electronically, so that owners who are looking can find it if they come into the shelter and look there.

Some places require a newspaper ad to be run a certain number of days in the main newspaper for the city. You have to actually keep the newspapers as proof of the number of days it ran. Other cities accept electronic ads (like Lost Pets on FB, and Nextdoor). Others don't seem to care how you try to get the word out.

Some states have "lost property" laws that extend for YEARS--if you find someone with your lost/stolen property a year or three later, you have a right to have it returned. In the Gulf states, the laws were extended after Katrina, to give people longer periods to find what they'd lost in the storm. Dogs are treated about the same as works of art or jewelry in that regard many places -- if someone innocently buys a stolen ring from a pawn shop, they have to give it back to the person it was stolen from. Whether being held in the public shelter extinguishes that right to return also depends on local law. Texas has a state Supreme Court case requiring such a dog to go back to the first owners, even after the time to get it out of the shelter expired. The case involved a German Shepherd, actually. The people who later adopted it after the first owners no-showed at the shelter still had to give it back to the first owners. (The dog would have been DEAD had it not been rescued and adopted out because it's time was up in a high-kill shelter. None of that mattered to that particular case.) My own city's law is written so that our shelter legally terminates property rights at the end of the stray hold (so the first owner no longer has any property interest), so what happened in Texas can't happen in my city. Every place has different laws.

I would start by calling animal control and asking what the obligations of a "finder" are.
 

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To address solely the "hard to believe a well behaved purebred dog is in this situation unless nefariously" ---- In my experience, with great reluctance I visited the pound in Arkansas to check out what a board member was interested in ---- which was as much of a mix as the pound had listed -- and found an adult PB there. Well behaved. Obviously at one time cared for and trained. He was due to be euthanized soon so I took him home. He was what most people would want --- affectionate, kind, gentle very good with the Barker Sisters the First.

He had been at the pound a while and was unclaimed. He was trained, he was kind, he was good boy. In his recent years he had been neglected as he had most if not every parasite known to infest dogs. I talked to him to tell him I knew that at one time he had been someone's important dog but I didn't know what had happened to cause him to hit hard times. He didn't tell me but he was happy with us, grateful and all around excellent. (loaded with parasites but a good boy.) PB, well-mannered, trained dogs do fall on hard times.


I've watched dogs come and go. Dogs that were fundamentally good dogs. Purebred dogs and mutts. So it does happen. Likely more often that we'd want to think.


On behavior issues --- the OP might want to check threads for "two-week shut down" and for dogs and cats. or dogs with cats. From what I recall, the cats need a path to safety but if the dog is "interested" but not "interested in cat for snack" they will work it out. Disclaimer here: I don't have cats (I have dogs, birds and mice. The latter are not welcome but their interaction with the dogs provides some humor).
 

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@middleofnowhere, it would be easier to believe the dog had no owner in a shelter -- good dogs get given up due to allergies, moves, evictions, new babies, divorces, family deaths, extended hospital stays, jail sentences, job losses, and more. I've known hundreds of great purebred-looking family dogs in shelters--some housetrained, good with kids, etc., with sad stories of people who couldn't keep them. That's not what's fishy to me. It's the "found it near a busy highway intersection" wearing a collar with the riveted name plate removed part of this story that's worrisome here, at least to me.
 

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To address solely the "hard to believe a well behaved purebred dog is in this situation unless nefariously" ---- In my experience, with great reluctance I visited the pound in Arkansas to check out what a board member was interested in ---- which was as much of a mix as the pound had listed -- and found an adult PB there. Well behaved. Obviously at one time cared for and trained. He was due to be euthanized soon so I took him home. He was what most people would want --- affectionate, kind, gentle very good with the Barker Sisters the First.

He had been at the pound a while and was unclaimed. He was trained, he was kind, he was good boy. In his recent years he had been neglected as he had most if not every parasite known to infest dogs. I talked to him to tell him I knew that at one time he had been someone's important dog but I didn't know what had happened to cause him to hit hard times. He didn't tell me but he was happy with us, grateful and all around excellent. (loaded with parasites but a good boy.) PB, well-mannered, trained dogs do fall on hard times.


I've watched dogs come and go. Dogs that were fundamentally good dogs. Purebred dogs and mutts. So it does happen. Likely more often that we'd want to think.


On behavior issues --- the OP might want to check threads for "two-week shut down" and for dogs and cats. or dogs with cats. From what I recall, the cats need a path to safety but if the dog is "interested" but not "interested in cat for snack" they will work it out. Disclaimer here: I don't have cats (I have dogs, birds and mice. The latter are not welcome but their interaction with the dogs provides some humor).
I know that good dogs can end up in shelters. I have seen firsthand some amazing dogs whose owners died and had no one to take them. They went to a shelter.

I meant, why would someone abandon the dog on a highway?? That is what I find so hard to believe for a well behaved, purebred dog. That is completely different from taking the dog to a shelter. A good, responsible owner who cares for their dog would not abandon the dog to an unknown fate like that. He/she would take their beloved pet to a shelter or rescue where they at least had a chance.
 

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Before you get too attached...Are your sure this dog doesn't have an owner looking for him? Craig sounds sketchy, and the collar thing sounds like a stolen dog. All the lady in the dog park means is that he's told a consistent story to a few people -- not that any of it's true. It might be but...I worry about what goes on with CL's pet section sometimes.

If a substantial "rehoming fee" was involved, then I would be very worried about the possibility of being scammed by the "Craigslist flippers" -- they allegedly steal purebred, desirable dogs (sometimes out of people's yards) and sell them online pretending to be rescuers, asking for a "rehoming fee" to "make sure you're not a dog fighter." (Ironic, right?)

I'm a rescuer. If one of my organization's people came with this story, I wouldn't intake this dog because it couldn't be adopted out with clean ownership -- a true owner could show up at any point (up to 3 years in my state) and rightfully demand a return of their dog.

Did anyone ever advertise him in a newspaper "found pets" classified ad, or on the local Lost Pets FB page, etc.?
The "rehoming fee" was 60$, so it wasn't very high at all compared to some CL posts being about like.. 300-600 for something pure bred. I do want to find his original owners but I find it strange that if the dog was so well taken care of before, which is evident, that he would be chipped, right? And honestly, boyfriend and I talked about this, if in the case the original owners do pop up we're happy to give the dog back to them, I might go try to go to humane society once more to double check on the chip, then see if they can put up a found flier and keep him at our hosue or something like that if its allowed, i'm not sure of what legal protocol Colorado would need.

I did look around for found pets for german shepherds locally here through FB, CL and so forth, but I could only find ads that were 60-80 miles south of me for german shepherds, though it still has potential that it could be them.. It is just difficult because some postings dont have pictures, while some do but don't quite look like him.
 

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The "rehoming fee" was 60$, so it wasn't very high at all compared to some CL posts being about like.. 300-600 for something pure bred. I do want to find his original owners but I find it strange that if the dog was so well taken care of before, which is evident, that he would be chipped, right? And honestly, boyfriend and I talked about this, if in the case the original owners do pop up we're happy to give the dog back to them, I might go try to go to humane society once more to double check on the chip, then see if they can put up a found flier and keep him at our hosue or something like that if its allowed, i'm not sure of what legal protocol Colorado would need.

I did look around for found pets for german shepherds locally here through FB, CL and so forth, but I could only find ads that were 60-80 miles south of me for german shepherds, though it still has potential that it could be them.. It is just difficult because some postings dont have pictures, while some do but don't quite look like him.
One thing to keep in mind is that chips can fail or move around a LOT in the body. There are also a lot of dogs in shelters that have 2-3 chips. I personally don't have chips on my dogs although I do put on a collar with a name tag and my number.
 

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The guy I took home was a stray. Where he was abandon, I do not know but he was picked up as a street stray. He was not taken to a shelter, not taken to the pound. He was picked up as a stray. Not everyone honors their dogs.
 

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The dog may have started with a great owner who for what ever reason re-homed...then the dog landed with some derelict that dumped it in a field or hwy...or the dog was rehomed and escaped and the new owners shrugged, oh well, get another.


If you are happy with the dog and it isn't chipped, chip it and call it yours. You bought it (and yes 60 bucks is nothing, dog flippers would charge much more)...however, do your due diligence and scope out wherever you can to see if this dog is in fact missing and loved...but do not post it as looking for original owner, as then you might get the dog flipper claiming
 

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My 11 year old GSDs chip is located somewhere around the front of her left shoulder. I doubt they'd be able to find it if she was picked up as a stray.

I am seriously considering having her re-chipped, because she's my escape artist!
 

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My 11 year old GSDs chip is located somewhere around the front of her left shoulder. I doubt they'd be able to find it if she was picked up as a stray.

I am seriously considering having her re-chipped, because she's my escape artist!
Migrating is a common enough issue - every time I’ve seen a chip reader used (various sources) the entire neck / shoulder / chest area was scanned. It’s also how we train the new hires at the kennel where I work. Especially before implanting a chip on a dog that is no longer with its original owner. In the earlier days dogs were being double chipped... you can imagine the problems it caused.

I even remember a post here (maybe 10yrs ago) .... a woman found out after her dog died that it had 2 chips - somehow she was able to get in touch with the original owners to let them know that despite their loss, the dog lived a great life, etc etc...
 

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Migrating is a common enough issue - every time I’ve seen a chip reader used (various sources) the entire neck / shoulder / chest area was scanned. It’s also how we train the new hires at the kennel where I work. Especially before implanting a chip on a dog that is no longer with its original owner. In the earlier days dogs were being double chipped... you can imagine the problems it caused.

I even remember a post here (maybe 10yrs ago) .... a woman found out after her dog died that it had 2 chips - somehow she was able to get in touch with the original owners to let them know that despite their loss, the dog lived a great life, etc etc...
Depending on the area/shelter/people it's still too common. And some places aren't very good about checking chips or scanning the entire area so they'll just chip the dog. Sometimes they get scanned after they've been chipped again by the shelter and there's a whoops this dog is already chipped.
 
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