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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    Aside from the above, most dogs don't exhibit their "true" temperament until after weeks of living in their new home- it's quite normal for them to act fearful at first, even if they aren't that way naturally. The poor dog just went through a really traumatic experience and doesn't know you or anyone else in the home. You'd be stressed and fearful too. It takes time.
    I need to think this situation over more before I decide if I have any advice to offer that can help, but what Wendy said here is absolutely true. I saw it many times, in reverse, when I worked at a shelter. We had more than one dog that was kind of iffy and standoffish at the kennel, that turned into a great canine citizen once in the stability of a home.

    If it were me I'd give the dog more time to settle in, learn what it's like to be in a home and have owners, and some training before I threw in the towel. No one knows this dog's background. She could have been abused by a man for all anyone knows, and that's why she acted so fearful of your SO and the male vet tech. It could be as simple as all the change is overwhelming her. It seems like she's getting better from what you've observed, laying at the top of the steps and waiting now. Another couple of weeks, who knows?

    OP, FWIW my cat hid in the bathroom for the first two weeks I owned him and hissed and cowered when I'd come in. I thought he was going to be a scat cat that would only come out to feed and go to the bathroom and watch me and my other cat from a distance.

    HAHA. Fast forward four years and he's super charming, gets into everything, meows at me like he's chatting with me, sleeps on my bed at night, and plays hard with my other cat. Mr. Frightened turned into Mr. Personality Plus, and I absolutely adore him. If I'd have given up cause I wanted a snuggle bug right away and didn't give him time, I wouldn't have this wonderful animal.

    Good luck.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  2. #82
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    Animals go through all kinds of adjustments in new homes -I don't think that is the point being discussed. The concern is the behavior this dog is exhibiting at the moment and whether it is acceptable in this home even if it is temporary, and whether this behavior will change.

    I think it benefits the conversation to try to remain focused on the issue.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    Animals go through all kinds of adjustments in new homes -I don't think that is the point being discussed. The concern is the behavior this dog is exhibiting at the moment and whether it is acceptable in this home even if it is temporary, and whether this behavior will change.

    I think it benefits the conversation to try to remain focused on the issue.

    Paula
    Sorry, I didn't realize you were the official conversation moderator.

    My point was, the behavior could - and seems to be - settling down for the better. Happens all the time.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


    5 members found this post helpful.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    Let me say this clearly. If today I went and adopted a dog and he acted the way she describes he'd be back at the shelter. This kind of behavior is an absolute deal breaker for me. It has nothing to do with whether the dog is worth a home or my being good, bad, or indifferent, it purely has to do with what I am willing to deal with. Like I said; been there, done that, not going to do it again. I think it is unfair to condemn the OP because you would not have made the same decision. Heck if you feel that strongly about it, give her your address and have her send the dog to you.

    That sounds really harsh, but there it is. Everybody has deal breakers and they are not always the same.

    Paula
    If you're responding to my post, where did I condemn the OP

    The reality is that if she filled out the adoption application that is required by my local shelters & AC, & revealed that she'd returned or rehomed a dog previously adopted from a shelter (after 3 days - without attempting to work with a behaviorist etc), they would turn her down.
    If the staff feels there is any chance that a dog will be returned, they will not adopt.
    You can, however, apply to foster or "take a dog home for the weekend" (to see if a dog will be a fit) BUT the staff chooses the dogs that go out on these forays.

    In this instance, with this dog (who likely would not have passed the temperament test to be on the public adoption floor), the OP definitely would have been turned down for this particular dog - as would you.
    There are always dozens of cheerful, takeeverythingintheirstride dogs available for dog-inexperienced adopters or adopters that want easy dogs.



  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    If you're responding to my post, where did I condemn the OP

    The reality is that if she filled out the adoption application that is required by my local shelters & AC, & revealed that she'd returned or rehomed a dog previously adopted from a shelter (after 3 days - without attempting to work with a behaviorist etc), they would turn her down.
    If the staff feels there is any chance that a dog will be returned, they will not adopt.
    You can, however, apply to foster or "take a dog home for the weekend" (to see if a dog will be a fit) BUT the staff chooses the dogs that go out on these forays.

    In this instance, with this dog (who likely would not have passed the temperament test to be on the public adoption floor), the OP definitely would have been turned down for this particular dog - as would you.
    There are always dozens of cheerful, takeeverythingintheirstride dogs available for dog-inexperienced adopters or adopters that want easy dogs.
    This policy absolutely exists in many shelters. The one I worked in, for one.

    It really chaps my hide when someone takes an animal home and doesn't give it a proper chance. Three days is hardly enough time for some animals to adjust. Some animals adjust just fine, but need training. OP's dog unfortunately seems to need both time to adjust AND serious work. She may always be a dog you have to keep an eye on in some situations.

    I'm not condemning you, OP, really I'm not, because in your situation you had a plan from the beginning and have a cousin that sounds like she actually really wants this dog and the experience and desire to help her have a happy life. I'm happy the dog has a place to land regardless of what you decide to do and that you thought this out. If it were me I'd give more time and do some work, but I commend that you've got a backup plan in place that actually benefits the dog. Kudos to you. Lots of dogs are not so lucky.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  6. #86
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    I'm sorry, my post was kind of tangential so I deleted it. I tried to delete the post all together but it won't let me.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  7. #87
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    Paula,

    I am not getting into an argument with you so this is my only response.

    I tried to reassure the OP that a lot of times, animals need an adjustment period. I've seen it with our shelter's animals. I've experienced it myself. It absolutely happens. She's only had the dog a few days. That dog could be a brand new animal in a few weeks. I don't know that it will. You don't know that it won't. I don't know why you take offense to me saying that an adjustment period could work wonders or feel it didn't contribute to the conversation.

    Alto is absolutely right in pointing out that if you rehome or return an animal, a rescue likely won't deal with you for future adoptions. I've seen that firsthand, too.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with giving up on an animal after a few days purely for the convenience of the owner.

    Have a great day.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #88
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    Indeed, I was getting argumentative over issues that were only tangential to the discussion. I apologize. This is why I deleted my last post.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  9. #89
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    It's ok
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  10. #90
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    Apr. 4, 2006
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    OP already states that the dog has learned to just bark once and then wait at the top of the stairs. Sounds like she's a smart dog, who with a little bit more time will understand what is expected of her.

    If this were something that she continued to do after a week or two, I would rehome her with someone willing to get a behaviorist involved or take her back to the shelter. However, I would not do that after 3 days. She seems to be making progress, so I think you are unfairly given up on her too early in the game without giving her the resources. But then again, I never adopt a dog, especially a timid dog, without being prepared to commit to it's training needs.
    On second thought, perhaps it is better to rehome this dog with someone who will commit to training her and/or bringing a behaviorist in.

    To be honest, it sounds like you both had your heart set on the bulldog. Then, upon realizing how bad of an idea that was, you were still determined to not come home empty handed and therefor picked who you liked among what you had to chose from, not who was best for you. You never sounded excited about adopting her, but instead were just Ho Hum "I adopted Apples, SO is ok with that."

    I still don't get why you were looking at dogs at a shelter so far from where you live. Surely there are animal shelters around where you live, and if not, there are some much much closer then Pennsylvania... I think the fact that you drove so far to look at a dog was part of the reason you came home with one, as you didn't want to waste the trip.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #91
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    Apr. 4, 2010
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    I agree with the people saying that it sounds like the dog is indeed adjusting! In just three days you have a stay command at the top of the stairs?! That's AWESOME. She sounds like a smart cookie who needs some more socialization.

    We have a rottie who is SCARY in her crate. Seriously, body slamming, snarling, screaming mess. It's terrifying, and it really sounds and looks like she will KILL if the crate were to give away, I'll be honest. But the moment that dog is let out of her crate, even with the intruders right there? She wiggles and falls to the ground submissively. She needs a gentle hand and is NO gooberish golden retriever temperament, but she is all talk.
    If your dog has separation anxiety she will probably need to be crated while alone. That will make the caretakers coming in difficult, but maybe she will get used to them (sounds like she would). To me it sounds like a crate/containment issue.
    I'd give her more of a chance.... but that's just me.
    Also, is the dog getting exercise to release any of that energy? How about positive mental stimulation like training- i know she is getting that through the teaching of a stay command. And I bet she loves the chance to flex that brain of hers. Scared dogs are often very smart dogs- the dumb ones are too dense to even pay attention to their environment like a scared one can!
    I'd also encourage your husband to do as much of the training and handling as possible. If she's great with you but not great with him, he needs to step up too. Start to change that pattern and give her positive interactions to build trust with men and strangers.
    A perfect dog, particularly when it's one with unknown history and experiences, doesn't just happen like self rising flour. Oftentimes it takes serious work and isn't always immediately rewarding.

    That being said, a stay command and progress in a few days should feel really darn rewarding in my opinion.
    MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #92
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    Dec. 29, 2007
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    I was in PA visiting my cousin and her father who is dying of cancer (my horses lived with them for years until they retired, her parents are like my parents, and she and I are essentially sisters, three weeks apart). We have been looking anywhere between our place in Ontario and theirs for a dog to adopt as I'm there so regularly. SO really wanted a bulldog and there happened to be one in the shelter just down the road. For many reasons she was a bad choice (BSL, her weight etc.). Thankfully he was relatively easily dissuaded, once I had more info (opinions from here, my local AC, and the border people who said it wasn't a good idea without registration papers).

    I would have happily come home empty handed and kept looking, had there been no dog that was a match. Why shelters or rescues instead of a breeder? I've always had good experiences, never a bad one, and I grew up in a family that believed that sharing your life with homeless pets is the right thing to do. And adult dogs are easier with our work schedules etc. So with the shelter staff's assistance and my cousin's shepherd/husky experience, I thought I had found one, knowing there would likely be some issues to work out. Aren't there always with a new animal? Not a problem unless it was a serious safety issue, which I don't think this will be.

    There is enough unpredictability there though to make me question that, with all the people we have coming into our home that are inexperienced with a dog like her (his grown up sons and their people, my mother who we rely on to help with our pets, my large extended family) whether we are setting her up for a failure type situation.

    I'm not worried now about the bark and alert (that is fine, good actually since my SO does go away for work and I'm alone in a rural area) but knowing she has reacted so badly once when startled and she felt trapped, has put doubt in all our minds-me, my SO and my mother who is our pet sitter. She was clearly terrified, and it's not her fault bad things have happened to her. In every other way she's a great dog-smart, fun, playful, housetrained, sweet, obedient, friendly (most of the time). She sucks on a leash but that's one of those things you'd expect.

    I took her to the vet yesterday to get an exam (which didn't happen, it was more of a meet and greet instead) and to be honest see how she'd react and get a more professional opinion than my own on what I should do. She tried really hard (brought tears to my eyes how much she tried), but it was obvious she has issues with some people (seems to be men and people wearing black). She didn't try and bite but was given lots of room to feel comfortable. Again, not her fault and I'm sure she will improve with time and practice, but I do not think I (and moreso my SO who is less consistent with any training type requirement) have the skills to properly assist her to become a properly socialized, safe (as much as possible) dog.

    Why the hurry to get rid of her? It's not about being in a hurry, but in the next week or so there will be a funeral up here (they are Canadian and he is being buried here). So before she gets too settled here it looks like they will take her back with them, after staying here for the night to make sure all is well first.

    My cousin would have adopted her on the spot had I chosen a different dog, it just wasn't the right time for her with taking care of her father. But she would have made it work. His heeler passed away suddenly a few months ago (seizures), and she lost her old shepherd before that. She has another husky and a far better set up than we do-fenced yard, 6 acres, way more rural. She has a jug (jack russell/pug) that is a fearful dog and IMO is worse than this dog, so she has the experience I don't. I believe the shelter has a 3 day return policy, I guess for the real dealbreaker type situations, and the distance obviously was going to cause a problem there. This wasn't that urgent that I turned around and handed her back over-although I suppose I could have. They are like most shelters in that you aren't supposed to rehome etc. but hopefully we can work that out given the circumstances.

    So that may be more information to make it a bit more clear what is happening. Can I appreciate that people are critical of me-sure. I completely understand their perspective. If nobody came on here and defended the four-leggeds, I would wonder what has gone wrong in the world. I had no intention of giving up at the first sign of "she's not perfect", although I'm sure that will be questioned, but I can't do much about that. The people close to me know the entire picture.

    It's an incredibly hard decision to make-and not one I've (we've) made lightly. Would the decision have been made at all if the option wasn't available-not at this time. Is there a more appropriate home for a dog like her that is thrilled to be starting their life with her some time in the very near future? Yes. Are they 100% willing to give her time and work with her issues and keep her out of trouble? Yes. Are they more experienced at it? Yes. Will she have fewer situations that are out of her comfort zone? Yes. Do I think it's the right decision for her? Yes. For us? Unfortunately yes. Does it royally suck to be in this position? Sure does.
    "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."



  13. #93
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    Dec. 29, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by bits619 View Post
    I agree with the people saying that it sounds like the dog is indeed adjusting! In just three days you have a stay command at the top of the stairs?! That's AWESOME. She sounds like a smart cookie who needs some more socialization.

    We have a rottie who is SCARY in her crate. Seriously, body slamming, snarling, screaming mess. It's terrifying, and it really sounds and looks like she will KILL if the crate were to give away, I'll be honest. But the moment that dog is let out of her crate, even with the intruders right there? She wiggles and falls to the ground submissively. She needs a gentle hand and is NO gooberish golden retriever temperament, but she is all talk.
    If your dog has separation anxiety she will probably need to be crated while alone. That will make the caretakers coming in difficult, but maybe she will get used to them (sounds like she would). To me it sounds like a crate/containment issue.
    I'd give her more of a chance.... but that's just me.
    Also, is the dog getting exercise to release any of that energy? How about positive mental stimulation like training- i know she is getting that through the teaching of a stay command. And I bet she loves the chance to flex that brain of hers. Scared dogs are often very smart dogs- the dumb ones are too dense to even pay attention to their environment like a scared one can!
    I'd also encourage your husband to do as much of the training and handling as possible. If she's great with you but not great with him, he needs to step up too. Start to change that pattern and give her positive interactions to build trust with men and strangers.
    A perfect dog, particularly when it's one with unknown history and experiences, doesn't just happen like self rising flour. Oftentimes it takes serious work and isn't always immediately rewarding.

    That being said, a stay command and progress in a few days should feel really darn rewarding in my opinion.
    She's making incredible progress, that's for sure. I wouldn't say we have 100% consistency but it's coming. She is one of the most willing and obedient dogs at that age I've met in a long time. Yes she needs time and some work. She'll get that at whichever of the two homes becomes hers. If she stays here we will work at it, and if she goes there they will.

    I have been more than impressed with my SO's willingness to try. He's waffling more about it than I am, to be honest as she is so awesome other than that one issue (and I didn't think I'd be saying that after the first two days-he was not thrilled with the "vicious" dog I brought home but now has gotten to know her better). I just know the more appropriate home isn't ours. There have also been signs that she won't be able to hang out at my mother's house when we go away (her dog is the instigator, but he's smaller and she appears to have no problem holding her own if he decided to pick a fight), so that is another major management issue. Again, too early to tell, but that's the first impression.

    She's learned lots of stuff in the short time she's been here. After the brain dead bull terrier, it's refreshing like you wouldn't believe. Takes minutes and she masters it. She's a keen learner that's for sure. She would be a fantastic agility dog with her brains and athleticism. You literally point and she goes and does what is asked, if she makes an error it's quickly corrected. Has a huge vocabulary already-knows the difference between ball, kong and rope. Off, lay down, stay (kind of), outside, walk, sit, roll over, and in your house (crate-we called it a house with the other dog and it's habit now).

    I felt the need to share that to show a) I'm not trying to make her out to be dangerous but I'm nervous of her fearfulness and its potential consequences and b) I'm not a complete a-hole as some perhaps think I am and have decided f this dog that isn't my dream dog on day 1.
    "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."



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