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We rescued/adopted a GSD. He is 3-5 years old. He seemed very friendly. I was told he was good with other dogs. We have a female chi-weinie (half Chihuahua & half Dachshund thats been with us for years). I took custody of him (our GSD) & 2 days later I had to go to work (I work on a boat). While I was home he was nervous, but I put it off at settling in to his forever home. The two dogs seemed to get along. I was also told he is pretty much an inside dog. He has been with us a total 10 days.

Day before yesterday while my wife was in town he managed to get out. He jumped a four foot fence we have around the house & jumped another four foot fence to get in our chicken koop. He didn't kill any chickens, I believe my wife caught him in time. She yelled his name he didn't flinch. It wasn't until she got to the fence that he stopped. She said he knew he messed up. She brought him inside.

So, today we get a contractor out & we were going to increase the size of the fence to 6 feet. Well I get a call this afternoon from my wife that our GSD bit our chi-weinie & broke the skin. Our chi-weinie is alright brought her to the vet, little swelling & some drainage.
My wife then put him outside on a chain. Our chi-weinie just shakes from being scared. We have to put him in a room to let her run around & vice versa. My wife is not to pleased, but she is an animal lover. But still she is not fond of him (the GSD) anymore.

I am at a crossroads/decision making time. I want to give this dog a chance. He is underweight & from what we were told he was neglected.

My wife told me he peed on the floor & appeared real nervous when she went to check on him. I didn't want a puppy, I wanted to give an older dog a chance. But our little dog is so scared. What can I do?

Can he adjust to being an outside dog?
Should I keep him?
Should I try to find someone that does not have any pets?

I would appreciate the help.
 

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Where did you rescue/adopt him from? Could you not call and discuss the issue with them. Did they not give you any guidance on how to introduce and supervise the dog for a period before giving him as much freedom.

He can be kept on a chain, but that will probably increase his aggression and one day when you have your small dog out there pottying, that chain will break and he will most likely do serious damage to the dog. Or he will do serious damage to someone else.

Chaining the dog is not the answer. It increases aggression, and it is no life for a GSD. Instead of chaining, finding a home without pets is better.

But what you need to realize when you adopt is that the dog is not yet adjusted to its new home. 10 days is not long enough for an adult dog to adjust to his new home, the rules, canine companions. Often times a dog is so wigged out when they come to a new home, that they act awesome, and 2-4 weeks later they start relaxing and some of the behaviors start showing.

I think you should separate the dogs when there are not two of you able to keep the peace. Always have a baby gate in between them, and possibly have the new dog crated in a corner of the main living area. Or have the smaller dog in a pet yard. But make sure that if you are not there to correct immediately the larger dog is crated.

Take the larger dog to classes and start working with him regularly. He needs to bond with the two of you, and he needs to learn to leave the critters that belong alone.

He may have a high prey drive. If so, increasing the fence is a good start, but I would only let him outside when you are outside with him. Being able to run around outside is a treat for him, and give him this only if you have worked with him and are rewarding him. Through rewards, you will bond with the dog, and he will gain confidence, and he will learn the rules.

It is best if both of you are on board though. It can make it more difficult if your wife doesn't want him, or dislikes him because of this incident.
 

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Where did you rescue/adopt him from? Could you not call and discuss the issue with them. Did they not give you any guidance on how to introduce and supervise the dog for a period before giving him as much freedom.

He can be kept on a chain, but that will probably increase his aggression and one day when you have your small dog out there pottying, that chain will break and he will most likely do serious damage to the dog. Or he will do serious damage to someone else.

Chaining the dog is not the answer. It increases aggression, and it is no life for a GSD. Instead of chaining, finding a home without pets is better.

But what you need to realize when you adopt is that the dog is not yet adjusted to its new home. 10 days is not long enough for an adult dog to adjust to his new home, the rules, canine companions. Often times a dog is so wigged out when they come to a new home, that they act awesome, and 2-4 weeks later they start relaxing and some of the behaviors start showing.

I think you should separate the dogs when there are not two of you able to keep the peace. Always have a baby gate in between them, and possibly have the new dog crated in a corner of the main living area. Or have the smaller dog in a pet yard. But make sure that if you are not there to correct immediately the larger dog is crated.

Take the larger dog to classes and start working with him regularly. He needs to bond with the two of you, and he needs to learn to leave the critters that belong alone.

He may have a high prey drive. If so, increasing the fence is a good start, but I would only let him outside when you are outside with him. Being able to run around outside is a treat for him, and give him this only if you have worked with him and are rewarding him. Through rewards, you will bond with the dog, and he will gain confidence, and he will learn the rules.

It is best if both of you are on board though. It can make it more difficult if your wife doesn't want him, or dislikes him because of this incident.
I talked to them & they mentioned what you said about keeping them seperated. They also told me I should keep him on a leash inside until he learns his boundaries. I was also told he most likely trying to establish the alpha position. I was also told to not let this discourage us. They said that with time & patience this situation could be fixed.

As far as chaining him, that was a just for today. Maybe every few days from time to time until we get the fence up next week. That was never a permanent fix. But, if I understand you right he could not be an outside dog...right?

I work 14 days on & 14 days off...in another words I am away for 2 weeks at a time. But when I am home I am home for 14 days.

I got a big recliner & he would come sit with me. in the evening. Was that wrong of me doing that? Did I give him to much freedom?

I will try to get my wife onboard, I really want to keep him. When I was home he would walk with me. I played inside the fence with him. He would fetch the tennis ball.

Well Thanks for the advice so for, I appreciate it. If you have any other suggestions please let me know.
 

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I work 14 days on & 14 days off...in another words I am away for 2 weeks at a time. But when I am home I am home for 14 days.

I will try to get my wife onboard, I really want to keep him. When I was home he would walk with me. I played inside the fence with him. He would fetch the tennis ball.
Here is my thought: since you are gone for such a large portion of time, your wife needs to be 100%, fully on board and committed to working with this dog. She is going to be responsible for his care and training for half the time. If she isn't into this, it isn't going to work.

Otherwise, you're going to be home for two weeks, work with him and perhaps even see some improvement. Then you're gone for two weeks, and unless your wife is on the same page, you will likely be back close to square one when you return two weeks later. And so on and so on. Why should your wife follow through while you're gone, if she doesn't really want the dog there to begin with? Just maintaining appropriate management is going to take time and effort on her part, in order to keep everyone safe. That doesn't even consider the idea that if she isn't interested in training, he'll sit for two weeks at a time until you return.

One of the big keys to working with dogs is consistency. And then more consistency. Can your wife step in and provide that consistency, not just in management but in training, too, while you're gone? She has to be actively involved, not just a passive observer who tolerates the dog living there while you are gone.
Sheilah
 

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The answer to your question is really no. GSDs really do not make good outside dogs. You can keep them outside, I mean they have a double coat that helps them in all weathers, and they are a rugged, strong, agile dog. They love being outside -- with you.

They are generally velcro dogs. They can manage a life outside, but if they are totally alone out there, they will quickly become bored and lonely. Bored and lonely GSDs tend to dig and chew and bark to a nuisance level.

A dog in a secure kennel with a concrete base, and with a dog shelter, and water, will be there when you get home, and will be relatively clean. A dog left to its devices in a yard, will dig holes in the yard, possibly dig out of a yard, or climb or jump a fence as you have found. They can be mud from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail -- chains make this a lot worse, this is experience talking. I had to temporarily chain Jazzy, until I built the kennels after WWIII broke out, between her and Arwen. 9 hours of being chained, it started to rain as I was driving to work. And, 9 hours later she looked like something you would see in Animal Cops -- my front yard became a mud pit where her runner was.

If you chain her at all, even for a day, make sure that chain cannot reach the fence. Dogs have hung themselves. There is nothing wrong with a tie out, but GSDs really should be in with the people most of the day. If the people -- all the people are not there, there is nothing in the house that the dogs needs, and being kept in a secure kennel within a fenced yard is fine so long as your neighborhood is safe, and the dog does not start up nuisance barking.

Unfortunately, there are rotten people everywhere, and security is always a consideration. You really have to weigh the risks and make the decision as to whether the dog is better off kenneled outside when you are gone, or crated.

Your 14 days on, are you traveling, is it 12 hour shifts, or will you still be home in the evenings and mornings?
 
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