Skip to comments.(Vanity) German Shepherd Needs Good Home Quickly (Help a FReeper out -Mod)
Posted on 03/30/2012 7:26:44 PM PDT by pops88
I just sent the following to someone involved with animal rescue, and wanted to share with Freepers. It's been a very hard day here :
I found out last night my family has to move overseas in the next 5 days because of my husband's job. I have a highly intelligent, well trained, well behaved, 4 year old German Shepherd. If I can't find a foster or permanent home, he will have to be euthanized. I've worked with him extensively. He's obedient and knows many commands, but he's not been able to be socialized to other people or animals. From the time he was a puppy he was fearful of other people and I was unable change that behavior. As a family pet, he has been wonderful. He was neutered as soon as possible to avoid problems with dominance issues. Some of the commands he knows: sit, stay, lie down, leave it, drop it, take, put (here,) give, find (person/specific toy), back up,wait, shake,kiss, crate, etc.
He is pool safe. He does not enter bedrooms or bathrooms unless on command. He does not get on furniture or eat food that has not been given to him. He will not take food from counters, coffee tables or the garbage. He is housebroken. If his water is empty he will nudge his dish and sit and wait. If a toy is taken away and put up he will not try to take it back. He doesn't beg at the table. When I'm cooking he goes and lies down. He is in good health and not over weight.
He can be a big ham with doe eyes or a head plant on a knee when he wants attention. He's so smart and communicative that I've referred to him as our toddler. He was taught to heel as a puppy, but because of his fear and aggression with strangers and other animals he has not been walked on a leash for several years. He's had to be confined to our home and backyard. My husband is a pilot and was unemployed several times in the last few years because of the economy. It's been a real struggle for us. We didn't have the money to take him to a professional trainer to deal with his socialization issues, and he was too big for me to handle on walks. He would be an absolutely wonderful dog for someone willing to work with him.
I've kept a file on all his vet records and papers (purebred from East German blood lines.) We absolutely hate the thought of having to take him to the Humane Society and be put down when he's such a wonderful dog otherwise, but again, we have to move overseas on extremely short notice and we're all pretty much in shock. I live in Las Vegas and expect to be driving to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Just to reiterate, Posts 53-55.
But you’re probably already talking to them. ;-)
Check your FRmail.
Hopefully there is a rescue group or a private citizen who can take him, and I’m not railing at anyone who suggested one. He’s a handsome lad and I’d give it some serious thought myself if not for my 4 cats.
Sadly, the reality is, if no one can take him, no one will foster him, no police department or Army recruiter or anything else can be convinced of his need, it may be genuinely kinder to put him to sleep humanely than to turn him out into the streets to starve or be hit by a car. I utterly hate the idea as much as you do, but part of owning an animal is not letting them suffer.
The OP is going to have enough misery over this no matter what the results. Adding to it doesn’t help.
“What happens when visitors come to the house? Is he aggressive to them? What happens when you take him to the vet?”
The last time I took him to the vet, his first visit after neutering and after he’d developed serious aggression issues, my husband and I took him together, sedated, muzzled, and with a double lead to a regular and dominant dog collar. Despite the sedation and dominant dog collar, my husband and I could barely control him enough to get his rabies shot. The vet told us not to come back, then later apologized when he realized we were trying to be responsible dog owners by calling ahead for sedation, etc., and the dog was just scared.
My older daughter came to visit recently for a week. I had her send a t-shirt so my dog could get used to her scent and know it was “mommy’s XXXX,” someone special to me. I had my dog muzzled and on the double lead, with plenty of space so he wouldn’t feel cornered. His reaction was to try to immediately, viscously attack her. I was able to get him to not try to attack at her, but after 4 days I knew I couldn’t take his muzzle off around her and it was just making everyone miserable including the dog. The look in his eyes made it clear that she was toast if his muzzle came off.
When strangers come to the house, he looks to me to protect him and close his crate door or put him in the bathroom. He will bark the entire time they’re here. I rarely get phone calls, except from the gardener telling he’s here. When my phone rings, my dog barks and makes motions to be put in a safe place. I’m the Alpha female and he expects me to protect him, and he’ll attack anyone that’s a threat to his “pack.”
“You obviously dont understand classified info. There is such a thing. Im assuming so I am not pushing the issue. They cannot tell. In fact, she probably is not allowed to know.”
Yes there are security issues and I’m trying to be both vague enough, yet specific enough for people to understand. My husband doesn’t fly a little BBJ.
How about the FReepers in posts 53-55? Each of them seemed ready to help!
I guess if a German person thought the name was German, it must be - although perhaps it’s a regional “dialect” thing, or the way the person heard it. I could ask my uncle and my cousin, both perfectly fluent in German (my cousin got a job in Germany starting last year, to teach English to Germans, and vice-versa for the Army people - she and her husband used to be in the Army stationed there many years).
Anyway, sorry for all this tumult in your lives and over the dog. I hope everything works out. Please check here as much as you can in case someone from the GS board actually responds positively to this!
Her husband flies a private jet for an employer outside of this country who apparently will never have another day off in this lifetime...and there will be room for everything they own, except their dog, packed into the back of a crowded jet along with staff. He might be back in July..3 months from now... if pigs fly. Since Obama, he’s had 4 jobs, so how long will this one last? Not enough reason (at least in my world) to put down an innocent pet who deserves a better chance than this. Four days is not enough time to do the right thing and the death solution is probably something she’d regret for the rest of her life.
http://germanshepherd.rescueshelter.com/Arizona scroll dow for complete list of all GSD rescue groups in AZ (and a few surrounding)
T-E-A-L (Shelter #1112039) x
Tooele County Tooele, UT 84074 MAP IT
CONTACT: Judy 435-849-5525; Jennifer 435-849-5565; Britt 435-849-5551; SkyIar 435-849-5545
We take in unwanted or discarded or abused German Shepherds. We own a ranch and do this in addition. We pickup at no charge and provide the dogs with Ioving care, food and sheIter, medication for heaIth probIems.
Here’s a few links/contacts for you; hope it helps, and isn’t all duplication of your efforts. Good luck on finding him a home. Our “stepson” (belongs to friends) came to them via Brittany Rescue; these groups do great work...if they aren’t swamped.
Send your email to Pops by private reply.
“Her husband flies a private jet for an employer outside of this country who apparently will never have another day off in this lifetime...and there will be room for everything they own, except their dog, packed into the back of a crowded jet along with staff.”
My husband flies at the whim of his employer. They don’t put cargo in the back of the jet. It goes in the belly. I would have to sit in the back with a bunch of foreigners, and “full” means there’s lots of people but actually still a fair amount of seating.
“He might be back in July..3 months from now... if pigs fly. Since Obama, hes had 4 jobs, so how long will this one lasTht?”
The captain has been employed for over 10 years. The boss doesn’t fire people because he doesn’t want his plane to be down, he doesn’t want to have to find a foreigner that will put up with being on call 24/7, living in a foreign country, and willing to be away from his family 11 months a year. My husband is really happy to have a First Officer job with no one available to replace him because they don’t have an HR department and very few Americans will work under those conditions.
Please feel free to continue posting out of ignorance and attacking me. I respect your 1st admendment right.
You have been SO kind to the poster throughout all of this.
I’ll just stop at that.
Way back, I went to a breeder to get one cute little puppy. Two in the litter both glommed onto me, and I had a rough time picking which one (I had first pick). After I got home (I had to go back in two weeks to pick him up) I talked with the breeder, and nobody after me picked the second one - he was the only one with no home. Dumbly, I said “What the hell! Double the trouble, double the fun!” Even dumber, I proceeded to spoil both throughout their puppyhoods, and never asserted dominance.
A year later I had two big violent monsters trying to kill each other any time they were together, and it was wild.
I got a choke, read everyting on training, and put in an hour a day with each. No go.
Dominant Dog Pinch collar, muzzles, and Don Sullivan video’s. One actually tried to nip me through a muzzle for correcting him with a pinch collar. How dare I! And they still wanted to kill each other. Why did Sullivan make it look so easy?
Prong collars, heeling, down commands, Stay, no effect. It was like they didn’t feel pain, and could care less if I broke their legs with a baseball bat. Worse they were going to kill each other.
It was horrible, with both separated in the house, and the fear that they would get at each other someday somehow, and do real damage.
Finally, I blew ~$170 each on the Sportdog 400s electric training collar. It is a high voltage training collar for stubborn dogs which shocks them on the neck with a variable voltage you set, levels 1-8. You teach them down with it, and that they will get shocked if they don’t go down. The shocks will provoke yelps on higher settings, so they will learn very quickly how to go down and stay there. Two dogs who ignored the prong collar corrections were terrified of the shocks. I would have been horrified by this before, but I was totally out of options.
First time I let the two of them together they began to go at it, and I hit them with shocks on the remote(three out of eight) as I yelled down. Both looked shocked and confused for a moment, then dropped, and stopped their aggression cold. They even put their heads on the ground. I have never needed to use the seven or eight setting, ever.
Now that both see me as dominant, and they know I will not allow fighting without shocks, they both play with each other, and are together constantly, without fighting (Though there is an occaisional disagreement, usually a growl, followed by both stopping and slowly laying down while looking at me.)
That collar saved me. I couldn’t just dump one on another person, and keep the other one. They both were blindly loyal to me - one of them would have been crushed.
I know it’s late now, but file away, Sportdog 400s. I am convinced that it can cure just about anything behavioral, save from some really genetic stuff. Once you teach the dog to go down, they accept their role as a submissive. If you put him in a down, and let your daughter near him (while muzzled), and then shocked him when he growled, he would have stopped growling, and eventually let her do anything to him. If any sign of aggression got a shock, he would have knocked it off. Breaking that cycle is all it takes.
I know, because both mine would eventually lay their heads on each other on the couch sometimes. It works, and it doesn’t traumatize the dog. It just conditions the dog to go submissive when it would have gone aggressive.
Let us know how it turns out. Worst case, drop him at a shelter, and let Freepers here visit, and try to place him over the internet. Sometiems just changing a home is enough to make a dog submissive. One of my best friends was a wolf hybrid which attacked his owner repeatedly, and was set to be put down. Stunningly beautiful dog. I took him, and he just fell in under me, and was the best dog you could ever want, without a hint of violence or aggression towards me. It is possible that if he is the new guy in a pack, he will accept an omega position.
For the record, I would take him, but I already have more dogs than I can handle responsibly.
Good luck, and please let us know when you find a solution.
Where did you buy your Sportdog? I’m looking to replace our dying (OLD) Innotek ones...
Only commenting on information supplied by you. Many families are separated all the time so it seems crazy that you can’t manage to take a few extra days to make sure your pet gets situated. Hasn’t he earned a few extra days when his life, if he gets to keep it, depends upon your decision? Seems like Obamacare. And sorry if you feel you’ve been attacked, but maybe you needed reminding that this living breathing dog loves and depends on you for his life and well-being. You threw the euthanasia card right out there from the getgo - It sounds as if you’re saying take-my-dog-or-he dies situation. It’s distressing to Freepers who read your post, especially for those who love their pets and animals in general. Hopefully FR Post 109 will be helpful in saving your dog’s life.
My dog knows I’m dominant, the Alpha, and is perfectly obedient at home unless he sees a person or animal. I would have to tazer him senseless. He’s not really a candidate for an electric collar. His dominant dog collar is designed to cut off his air supply without doing physical damage so he’ll either get a clue or pass out. Several times he’s come close to passing out while still trying to attack, which allowed me turn him away and drag him into the house. I’ve trained multiple dogs over my lifetime, read volumes on dog training, been to obedience classes and worked personally with a dog trainer. My dog needs someone who is knowledgeable and experienced and can work with a dog like mine.
“Once you teach the dog to go down, they accept their role as a submissive. If you put him in a down, and let your daughter near him (while muzzled), and then shocked him when he growled, he would have stopped growling, and eventually let her do anything to him.”
How do you teach a dog that has gone submissive, stays submissive, doesn’t growl, allows the stranger to pet them, but by his eyes says he’s killing when the muzzle comes off? How do you discipline a thought crime?
I got a really good deal on the 400s at the time on Ebay, but don’t remember the seller - It was way back. Probably wouldn’t matter as he wouldn’t have them anymore anyway. I got the impression from the price he just had some sort of excess stock from somewhere. Somebody on E-bay will have them now, though.
I more 400 collars in the last couple of years at petsafe, only about $140 each.
There’s an important difference between the two. I got the 400s on the theory that the two dogs I had at the time weren’t exactly bred for following commands, or acknowledging discipline/pain (I had a similar “designer” dog who died which I was trying to replicate due to intelligence/bonding/personality/thoughtfulness - I should have known better, but didn’t).
They were pretty tough and I figured since they had just totally ignored the prong collar and the muzzles, and were designed for adverse, painful conditions, I needed the extra shock. It worked quite well to stop the fighting, and bring them under control.
I have since tried the 400s on more domesticated breeds, and it isn’t really usuable - even on average temperments in more aggressive domesticated breeds. Setting one produces an unnoticable shock they ignore, and setting two will have them jumping, yelping, and panicking. On the first two dogs, setting four produces a little neck twitch, so the collar really is for stubborn dogs who can’t be trained.
This effect on domestics is very pronounced, so be warned, if you have a normal pet dog, the 400 is definitely the only option for training. If you have a really violent predisposition in an aggressive breed, and it has not responded to pain in any other form, like here, my first concern would be to be sure I could get control during an attack, and worry about getting him to sit/stay/heel later.
“Many families are separated all the time so it seems crazy that you cant manage to take a few extra days to make sure your pet gets situated. Hasnt he earned a few extra days when his life, if he gets to keep it, depends upon your decision? Seems like Obamacare. And sorry if you feel youve been attacked, but maybe you needed reminding that this living breathing dog loves and depends on you for his life and well-being. You threw the euthanasia card right out there from the getgo - It sounds as if youre saying take-my-dog-or-he dies situation. Its distressing to Freepers who read your post, especially for those who love their pets and animals in general.”
My apologies for distressing you.
“it seems crazy that you cant manage to take a few extra days to make sure your pet gets situated.”
Well, after throwing a bag of clothes together and one box of our most vital items (birth certificates, passports, marriage licence), the rest of the time I have been devoted to trying to find a home for my dog. I’m not packing up my house, wrapping my china and glassware, putting my appliances or cookware in boxes. I’m trying to find a home for my dog and the rest can be damned. I can pay someone to deal with packing up the house after I’m gone.
“And sorry if you feel youve been attacked, but maybe you needed reminding that this living breathing dog loves and depends on you for his life and well-being.”
I was a NICU RN for 14 years keeps babies alive every day. Do you think for one second that escapes me?
“You threw the euthanasia card right out there from the getgo - It sounds as if youre saying take-my-dog-or-he dies situation.”
Well excuse me I wasn’t aware there were no kill shelters where I am. I honestly thought if my dog had to go to a shelter that, yes, they would kill him. I also don’t want a shelter to be the last option.
“he sees a person or animal. I would have to tazer him senseless”
The collar creates a buring, searing pain which the dog can’t stand. He will not be able to focus on the attack, while that pain is wracking him. That break in his focus, as he reflexively looks at his neck, and jumps away from the pain, is all you need to get his attention on you and seize control.
Those collars which cut off the air supply don’t produce the same effect, trust me. The sudden *shock* is not there.
“How do you discipline a thought crime?”
I haven’t seen your dog personally, but I suspect the problem is he didn’t have the *shock* which the collar gives, every time he thought about attacking in the beginning. That sudden shock is what triggers the amygdala, produces aversive stimuli, and conditions him to look to you, and follow your command.
Like I said, I have seen two dogs who couldn’t be stopped from fighting become so conditioned to not growl or threaten, that they actually liked each other. I know for a fact that dominant dog collar wouldn’t have produced that effect, as it would have been just like a prong, without the surprise or pain.
Try new things. You can’t knock them until they fail you personally.
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