German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,483 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
To those of you who advise the two week shutdown.... do you advise it 100% of the time? Depending on the situation? Depending on the dog?

With my rescued foster, we did a 2 day complete shutdown and a week and a half "mini" shutdown. For the first two days, she was in the kennel in the living room by herself. Rocky was not allowed to go up to her kennel. I let her out to potty on a 30 foot lead and otherwise ignored her.

After two days, her kennel was moved into my room, due to excessive crying every time she heard rocky move. She instantly became a cuddle bunny and became attached to my side. Her and Rocky slept together the second night, curled into balls.

The first week we only walked at 6am when no one else was out. Then we gradually started walking a little later. Yesterday we met my girlfriend out on a walk with her Yorkie, and Roxy walked up, sniffed the Yorkie, then sat next to my girlfriend and scooted over until she was touching her leg, then whined to be pet.

The first week my girlfriend had Roxy, she yelped/screamed/whined/cried/growled/barked and lunged any time she saw a person. On our walk this morning (It has been two weeks now since the transfer) Roxy walked by the college kids waiting for the bus (about 15) and completely ignored all of them. We also walked by the girl next door who has a boxer that Roxy growled at her first day with me, and Roxy calmly walked up, wagging her tail and sniffed at the boxer then we continued walking.

In this dog's case, I feel a two week complete shut down would have done more harm than good. She was not afraid of people, just slightly wary. After being pet by two or three different people, she now loves all people.

(The vet assumes she was living off the streets from 4 months- 10 months)

What is your experience with the shutdown? Is my situation just one of the few exceptions to the rule? Or could it be that some breeds adjust to new homes more easily?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
I think it can be very valuable but depends on the dog. My last foster puppy had zero shut down, lol. He was such a nice dog, I basically threw him in with my pack and everyone was happy as clams. If the dog doesn't have any behavioral or health problems to speak of, especially a rambunctious puppy, I don't think it's arbitrarily necessary just because the dog is a foster. To me it's not a given that every foster dog has baggage or is somehow damaged, sometimes you DO get a dog that's just a great dog no matter what is thrown at him. I treated him just like I would a puppy that I'd gotten for myself. My husband wanted to keep him after just a few hours, lol, but he went to such a good family, I could not have dreamed up a better family. However I once pulled a dog that *definitely* needed a two week shut down because she was very sick, had no idea how to live in a domestic situation, was aggressive toward other animals, etc. In fact I had offered to keep her at my house until the transport came and ended up boarding her at the vets because my house was over-stimulation for her. Even though it seemed mean to do to a dog that was pulled from a shelter, she actually did better at the vets being alone in a dog run that didn't have all the overwhelming sights and sounds of a normal home. She got the medical care she needed round the clock and had a chance to decompress without several people, dogs, and cats and everything else in the environment putting her on edge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,690 Posts
We've rescued four dogs and all have benefited from a shut down, at least for a few days to allow them to get used to the house and the routine.

All four were abused or neglected and needed time away to process and it really did help when it came time to bring them fully into the house as a member of the pack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
Never down a shut down and never will and I've had a lot of my own personal dogs and a lot of fosters through here. It has got to be one of the more silly things I have heard of. It's kind of pointless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
I do something different. Because my work allows, I can have a dog with me most of the time. Depending on the dog, I will keep a rescue with me 24/7. The dog is with me when I'm working, eating, next to the bed at night, either crated or not, depending on the dog. That way, any other dog in our pack isn't pestering the new one or vice versa, and I can respond to the dog's needs or behavior problems immediately. When I leave the house, the dog comes with me if the weather allows me to leave a dog in the car. When I go into a store or business that allows dogs, the dog comes in with me. I've done this for as long as 6 months with an extremely anxious dog. One of my dogs needed to learn who was alpha, so I used NILF.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,005 Posts
After two days, her kennel was moved into my room, due to excessive crying every time she heard rocky move. She instantly became a cuddle bunny and became attached to my side. Her and Rocky slept together the second night, curled into balls.
Definitely depends on the dog. The background matters as much as anything. Dogs left to rot in kennels for weeks/months on end need one. They don't even know who they are any longer, and are often suffering from huge amounts of stress.

While I might not do a full 'shut down', I also would not allow a new dog to the home become "attached to my side", because of all the travail that can bring. It's not healthy for the dog to become so overly dependent immediately, and can easily lead to separation anxiety, not to mention, cause upset in the 'pack order' when transitioning dogs into this house with our current dogs.

However I once pulled a dog that *definitely* needed a two week shut down because she was very sick, had no idea how to live in a domestic situation, was aggressive toward other animals, etc
It's definitely recommended in these cases - I know of rescues, on the other hand, that will bring dogs like this into their own pack the very first day, and the dog fails there due to all kinds of issues, and the subsequent stress. In some cases, these rescue's own dogs were injured.
These dogs who come in like this need time away/apart to calm down and re-adjust to being a dog.

I know of one rescue, even, who went to pick up a dog from the shelter, "rescuing it", and put the dog in the back of the SUV with their own dog!! They hadn't reached city limits when the dogs got into a fight and boom, they turned around and dumped the dog they'd just "rescued" back at the shelter, and left!!
I mean, there is no justification for that.
We never bring our own dogs that we are anticipating bringing a shelter dog and tossing them together in the back seat and assuming they'll all get along.

It goes along with the attributing human morals and emotions to animals.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,005 Posts
PS. I don't think it is a debate. Some like it, some don't but it always works here, so we'll continue doing it. It is no debate. I don't care if others don't agree with it, but I continue to also recommend it to adoptive homes in many cases, and the dog has success whereas if the shut down had not been done, they would have easily failed.
Above all, the shut down teaches dependence on you as the new leader, and there is only positive results to be had by doing that.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
868 Posts
Will someone explain to us less initiated, exactly what a "shut down" is. In my world it means the dog just quits for one reason or another, but I don't get that drift from this discussion.

DFrost
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,005 Posts
If I could stress one of the biggest errors people make with new dogs and foster dogs it is rushing the dog into the new world so fast . This shut down gives the dog a chance to say “ahhh” take a breath and restart into its new world.

From people I have helped I hear;
"I introduced her to 15 people the first day I had her!" ;" he was a bit leery but seems to like my other 3 dogs" ; "she went everywhere with me "
All in the first few days of the new home..... (!!!)

two weeks later we hear;
" I think we will have to rehome the new dog" "the new dog barked and nipped at my kid" - "we had a dog fight" ; “the new dog barked at me for moving him off the couch”

Ok, folks, here it comes, some feel this is extreme, why? I really do not know.
But when bringing in a new dog, post finding, adoption, buying, etc, Give it time to adjust to you and your family and the dogs in the new environment.
Just as if it were a new baby or puppy, we wouldn’t think of rushing out with a baby or puppy, yet with older pups and dogs we just expect them to take our lives in all at once!

TWO WEEKS - "shut down"
For the first two weeks, (sometimes even longer) a dog takes in the new environment, who is the top person, or animal, who ARE these people!? By pushing a dog too fast, and throwing too much at the dog we look like we are not the leaders,and the dog can feel it MUST defend itself , as the leader is surely no one he has met so far!

We coo , coodle, drag the dog to home to home to person to person, and the dog has NO idea who we are. We correct for things it doesn’t understand, we talk in a new human language using words he does not know.

A key thing to remember is "this is the dating period NOT the honeymoon"
When you first met your "spouse or significant other”, you were on your best behavior, you were not relaxed enough to be all of yourself, were you?
Just think of the things you do physically once you get to KNOW a person,
you wouldn’t run up to a stranger and hug them and squeeze them!
Imagine, if on the first date, this new person, was all over you touching you and having their friends hug you and pat you on the head, and jostle your shoulders, looked in your mouth then he whisked you off to another strangers home and they did the same thing.

Would you think this person normal and SAFE? Wouldn’t you feel invaded and begin to get a bit snarky or defensive yourself? Wouldn’t you think to push these people away for obviously your date is out of their mind, as they aren’t going to save you from these weirdoes!!
Yet we do this very thing to our dogs, and then get upset or worried that they aren’t relaxed and accepting of EVERYTHING instantly!

By shutting down the dog, it gives the dog TIME to see you , meet YOU, hear and take in the new sounds and smells of your home and all the people in it. In the 1st two weeks;
.
Crate the dog in a room by itself if possible.(Believe me, dogs are sensory animals, they know more than you think without seeing it).
Leash the dog (so I don’t have to correct it ..you don’t have that right yet!), give it exercise time in the yard on lunge line or in fenced yard..but other than that.. LEASH , (yes..leash in the house too.)
Do no training at all, just fun exercise and maybe throw some toys for fun, leash the dog if you don’t have a fence outside. But DO NOT leave the yard, AT ALL.

No car rides, no other dogs, (unless crated beside them), no pet stores, no WALKS even, nothing but you and household family, your home, your yard. (Unless of course the dog needs to go to the veterinarian)
Believe me dogs can live two weeks without walks. Walks are stressful for there is so much coming at you and your dog! And the dog has no clue who you are yet. The dog may react to something and we start correcting it with the leash and we just installed a VERY STRESSFUL moment to the dog in what should be a fun and learning walk.

TEACH the dog by doing the shut down, that YOU are the one to look to, that you are now here for the dog! He can trust in you and look to you for guidance. Then you can venture out into new situations one at a time, the dog knows he can trust in his new humans and can relax under the fair guidance of his new leaders!

In the house take the dog out only for about 20-30 minute intervals, post exercise/yard times., and ALWAYS on a leash when in the house or in an unfenced yard. Exercise is important! Running and free time are stress relievers, but don’t set your dog up for failure, make exercise and yard time fun and relaxing and tiring!

Then PUT THE DOG AWAY. let it absorb and think and relax. Ignore crying or barking, just like a new born baby, he must find security when you are not right there, and if you run to him each time he will think barking and crying will get your attention.

I do not introduce resident dogs for these two weeks, they can be side by side in the crates, (not nose to nose for they can feel defensive) . Some dogs will bond instantly with the other dogs if we don’t bond FIRST with the dog, and this can lead to some other issues, as the dog will look to the other dog(s) for guidance and not YOU!

Literally in two weeks you will see a change in the dog and begin to see its honest and true personality. Just like a house guest, they are well behaved and literally shut down and “polite” themselves these first few weeks, then post this time, they relax and the true personality begins to shine thru.

So, please,, if nothing else for your new dog, give it the time to LEARN YOU as you are learning who they are! This method works on shy dogs,confident dogs, abuse cases, chained dogs that come in, rowdy dogs, all temperaments!
(I did not write this, but did glean it from the 'net before the webpage it was on went away)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
In the human adoption community we use to call it "cocooning." Ten years ago, my husband and I adopted four and five year old siblings who had lived in a group setting prior to their adoption. We pretty much stayed home for the first month and they slept in our room with us for the first two or three months.

I think the concept with the dogs is very similar, and if I ever start fostering or adopting older dogs, I'm sure I would do something similar.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
Never down a shut down and never will and I've had a lot of my own personal dogs and a lot of fosters through here. It has got to be one of the more silly things I have heard of. It's kind of pointless.
I am one of the pointless and silly people who did the two week shutdown. Not to the letter, but close.

I think it was very good for him. He'd never lived in a house before. I don't think he'd ever had the opportunity to play with other dogs, and I had three in my house.

Pointless and silly for some dogs perhaps, but invaluable for others.

Perhaps it is best, if someone has never tried something, or is so far advanced in knowledge as to not need it, to not slam it. I am a novice and I needed something like this, I believe.

Proof is in the pudding, maybe. Although the boys have had a few scuffs, overall they get along just fine. The new dog housebroke easily, too. Maybe I would've had the same result without any shutdown, but I can't help but doubt it. He was always watching us and literally seemed to be drinking it all right in. He rarely fussed about being in the crate. He seemed to like it -- like a shield to the craziness of the household with three dogs and a cat and two humans running around...

I needed this shutdown period as well. I didn't "know" this new dog. I was afraid the boys would fight and had no confidence on how to deal with it with a dog I had no bond to.

The two week thing gave me important time to work on that bond with him. It has still been a learning curve to have two bigger male dogs. Not all of us are naturals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,188 Posts
We coo , coodle, drag the dog to home to home to person to person, and the dog has NO idea who we are. We correct for things it doesn’t understand, we talk in a new human language using words he does not know.
If you were referring to my explanation of how I handle a new dog that I plan to adopt, you are making an assumption that I'm not adept at introducing a dog to things gradually. Just because a dog is with me doesn't mean that I drag the dog from one person to another, the dog is with ME not strangers. I don't let strangers pet my dogs, only friends, and only if the dog wants to be touched. I tell people to look from a distance and let the dog come to them. I've found when I'm honest with people about my dogs, they listen and do whatever I suggest they do.

We use a 2-3 day time period for the dog to gradually get used to the house, however, I have one rescue that refuses to be away from me, so it's pretty hard not to let the dogs interact. And if I plan to keep a dog, I don't want that anyway. We also work with a behavior specialist with each new dog, who believes in a lot of socialization, as much as the dog can handle, as soon as the dog is ready to do so. I have one dog who doesn't like strange people and so rarely has to interact with them. I have another that loves to be around people, just doesn't like being manhandled, so I deal with that differently.

If I were only fostering and knew nothing about a dog's history, I would handle it differently. I thought the OP is keeping the dog, if it's a foster, my methods are different. The dog isn't our bedroom at night, nor is it part of the pack, but that's a completely different situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,270 Posts
I'm not in rescue. I have rescued a few of my own personal dogs over the years but do not do it on a daily or even yearly basis. From an outsiders point of view I can see it working for some dogs and not others. For example I would never ever try it on a puppy or a needy dog. My boxer mixed with stupid would have just gone duh? and not learned anything. However for dogs that do process and learn by watching like Chelle's dog it was a good tool. Just my 2 cents. :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
I wish people wouldn't bash this thing.

For those who are experienced with multiple dogs and bringing in strange dogs, you likely have your strategy that works for you.

The people visiting this forum are often not so savvy. (I was NOT.)

It is an option, and one that is effective with certain dogs and situations. Not mandatory, not a fit-all cure, but a good, viable option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
I was going to try this when we were considering adopting an adult dog.

Although, then we got a puppy and she was so insane if not walked, which I discovered the second day we had her when I thought we could just play in the yard, that I wonder how you would do this with an adult and if being underexercised would lead to stress/bad behaviour?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
I was going to try this when we were considering adopting an adult dog.

Although, then we got a puppy and she was so insane if not walked, which I discovered the second day we had her when I thought we could just play in the yard, that I wonder how you would do this with an adult and if being underexercised would lead to stress/bad behaviour?
I think people misunderstand this thing. The dog is not relegated to a crate 24 hours per day. :) The dog is taken out, played with, exercised, etc, but without the stress of the other dogs. One on one work, play, etc. I used it as a way to form a bond with a strange dog. That just wasn't possible with three other dogs milling about.

I'd never advise using this for a pup.

As I see it, this thing is for a dog coming into a strange environment. An overwhelming enviroment. As a way for the dog to not become overwhelmed and stressed, does that make sense? In my case, the dog had never lived indoors, had zero housetraining, had no dog interaction and was now in a brand new house with three dogs, a cat and two brand new humans. He was stressed. It really was A LOT for him. He genuinely liked being in the crate in the corner. He was scared. I didn't let the others bug him. Just let him chill and watch.

The poor guy had his world so drastically changed so fast.

With time, he came out of his shell. :) He learned the house routines. He was introduced to his housemates. It was a slow, unrushed process. I don't regret taking so much time to do it. What if I had just thrown him in the mix of it all from the get-go? Who knows. With the shutdown, I had the time to work on some really basic training stuff -- such as his bad jumping up and easy stuff like sit... so when the shutdown ended, I at least had that work done. I don't know how I could've trained that had he been all ramped up by being exposed to all the other dogs early on.

I don't know. All I can say is it worked for us.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
I have never used it either with any dogs I have brought in. I did have a stubborn toy poodle once that didn't like other dogs, but tolerated them. If I bring a dog in, they are in a new home within 3-5 days--I've been very lucky with finding homes for lots of strays. I don't think there is anything wrong with it and I think that if I came across a dog that needed it I would not have a problem with doing it for the dog's benefit.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
I have never used it either with any dogs I have brought in. I did have a stubborn toy poodle once that didn't like other dogs, but tolerated them. If I bring a dog in, they are in a new home within 3-5 days--I've been very lucky with finding homes for lots of strays. I don't think there is anything wrong with it and I think that if I came across a dog that needed it I would not have a problem with doing it for the dog's benefit.
That's a key thing. Temporary is one thing, but although I thought it would be temporary, I still knew the turnaround wouldn't be anything close to a matter of a week. I saw it as likely to be a solid month or two. I wasn't willing to do rotate/crate unless absolutely necessary. I just plain wanted them to be able to be free in the house together, in the yard together, and saw the slow introduction as a better insurance policy toward longer term success.

Now, granted, I failed. Quite miserably. Four months later, Mr Man is still here. BUT! Mr Man and Mr Bailey are buddies and my dual side-kicks.

There's no way to know if I could've been at the same place without the shut down, so all I can say is I am very happy with where we are. It definitely did not hurt anything.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,021 Posts
Temporary is one thing, but although I thought it would be temporary, I still knew the turnaround wouldn't
You still believe that it was only going to be temporary:lurking:
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top