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.
“No wonder he freaks, and begs to be locked up when someone new comes to the house.
I trained him that, rather than go nuts at the door wanting to attack, to go into his crate. Now he “begs” because he wants to please me by showing his obedience and “knowing the drill.” His “freaking” is wanting to attack the stranger. As Alpha, I’m the leader of the pack any my dog expects him to protect me. It should not be the other way around if you understand pack dynamics.
“You’re trying to re-home a dog with a “kill instinct” so strong you have to be prepared to choke the air right out of him. Do you not see anything wrong with that?
Could you really live with yourself if he killed someone? If that doesn’t get your attention, what about the thought of a new owner treating him cruelly?
It’s time for some rational thought.”
Well, I’m kind of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t.” I’ve been slammed for even considering euthanasia, and slammed for not. I’m trying really, really hard to make the best of the situation. My vet is well familiar with my dog and would not help, and if that was my only option I wanted to have it done in a loving manner. I’d like to find someone who is as responsible as I have been with my dog. I’m not about to just give him away to anybody. The person has to be fully understanding of the implications and what they have to work with. I’m even willing to pay for professional training to rehabilitate him, because he is otherwise an outstanding pet, but I have to first find someone responsible to take him.
“Your poor dog is “begging” to be get away from stressful situations so he doesn’t get the air choked out of him. You’ve taught him well what’s coming if he reacts; choking to the point of near unconsciousness. Unbelievable.”
You are absolutely clueless. He didn’t get a dominant dog collar until he was 3 years old, and what part of “last resort” don’t you understand? I needed it to be able to take him to the vet safely. Otherwise, I’ve only ever had to use it about twice. For about the third time- IT IS NOT A TRAINING AID! Maybe go to the Leerburg.com site and read about it before making assumptions and slamming me.
“Your poor dog is begging to be get away from stressful situations so he doesnt get the air choked out of him.”
News flash- he was trained to go to his crate by positive reinforcement using treats. I have never been abusive to my dog.
“You’re the one wanting to re-home Kudjo so don’t tell us you’re training has worked. Please, just stop it.”
Shannon, I’ve seen the error of my ways. My vet wouldn’t euthanise my dog when I was afraid to re-home him, and the shelters here are no kill. I guess I’ll just get my 22 and take him out into the desert and dispatch him myself. /sarc
I also have had dogs all my life and have worked with them.
Do the responsible thing and have the dog euthanized and do not rehome it.
read post 105
This dog should be euthanized and not rehomed and reading post 105 is proof that this dog should be euthanized and not rehomed.
You know I agree, and when I said it, I’d only read between the lines on how bad the dog was.
After reading more details in post 105 and beyond, I don’t know how someone would even consider rehoming this dog. How is a new owner even supposed to take possession of a dog that you couldn’t unmuzzle around your daughter after 4 days of trying?
And if the vet won’t do it (which I can’t believe, if he’s been told of this kind of aggression) find one who will.
I love dogs, but this one is broken. And unless there’s a very good pro willing to take him on, he’s just one mistake, yours or someone else’s, away from being a tragedy.
A professional could rehabilitate my dog. My vet underestimated how much sedation my dog needed. He may well have thought I was shopping for drugs for myself. I have not had the money to have a professional work with my dog as I pointed out earlier as my husband unexpectedly lost his job multiple times in the last 3 years and he is extremely blessed to have gotten the one he has. Since you feel so strongly, and I haven’t found someone who is willing to euthanize my dog, then please feel free to borrow my gun and do it yourself. I’m frankly not willing to do that and it may very well be against the law. Perhaps since I live in Las Vegas and summer is coming up I should just leave him in the car and say, “oops.” That’s probably better than burglarizing the vet for the right drugs. Geeze!
I was trying, earlier, to put your mind at ease in making a difficult decision under difficult circumstances. I wanted you to know you weren’t wrong for considering it. I was trying to help you.
Now I am beginning to think your refusal to accept that he is beyond “he’s a good boy otherwise...” is simply irresponsible. You seem to have built a happy life around a dog who would kill your daughter if you weren’t hyper vigilant. Good for you, but your dog just isn’t worth the risk to the innocents who will be hurt if you or anyone else makes a mistake. Now, I wish I could help them.
Don’t tell me a vet won’t do it. I quite simply do not believe you.
Well, I’ve gotten nothing but a simple rhetorical question from the Euro-GS forum nuts.
My neighbor sent out a message but nothing from that yet.
“I was trying, earlier, to put your mind at ease in making a difficult decision under difficult circumstances. I wanted you to know you werent wrong for considering it. I was trying to help you.”
Well, then maybe you should have phased it as such, rather coming off as a punch in the nose.
“You seem to have built a happy life around a dog who would kill your daughter if you werent hyper vigilant.”
My daughter was only visiting for week, and it’s Las Vegas. She was only at home a few hours a day. After his initial reaction, he calmed down. Neither my daughter or I wanted to waste the time we had to visit, when I haven’t seen her for 6 years, training the dog. In my absence, I don’t believe he’ll bite the hand that feeds him. I believe a responsible person could work with him.
“Dont tell me a vet wont do it. I quite simply do not believe you.”
Call them and ask. After an extension conversation, they were the ones that convinced me not to immediately take the nuclear option:
Courtyard Animal Clinic
250 North Decatur Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89130
“Dont tell me a vet wont do it. I quite simply do not believe you.”
Clever trying to distract me from my grief by trying to turn it to anger over calling me a liar. Again, cleaver and kudos.
Opps, misspelled “clever.” Must have been a Freudian slip. Not surprised.
Keep it up and I'll give you a week off posting on FR.
I’m going to wax Christian for a minute as I bump this thread. If I had a child with a behavorial problem, would that necessarily make me a bad parent or prove that my parenting skills were bad? If I had an otherwise healthy fetus should I choose to abort it because of a defect? I took care of a newborn that was in NICU because of a botched abortion. The hospital ethics committee browbeat the parents into abortion because the child would be so horribly handicapped and would have no quality of life. Abortion was the easy out. The infant needed surgery for a minor problem and his horrible outcome was having a limp. I had to care for him for prematurity and saline solution burns. Should I euthanize my close family member because they’re bipolar? I realize my dog isn’t human, but that makes him all the more vulnerable to not having his life valued. I realize human life is exponentially more valuable than any animal’s life. I guess I have to ask — do we live in a culture that values life at all? Do we abandon our imperfect baby at the hospital if we didn’t get the chance to abort it, dump our senile grandma at the nursing home, or do we try to make the best out of a challenging situation God has presented us to try our faith and character?
Here are my dog’s positive traits and commands he knows —
puppy night-night (the command signaling no more interaction for the day)
wait (hang around the general area while I’m gone)
roll over (quit training that because with a GSD’s joints it looked very painful)
give (to a person)
“Can’t reach it” (toy dropped too far away)
eat (when he hasn’t touched his food and isn’t sure if his ‘pack’ is eating, or permission to eat when it isn’t)
up (the rare permission to get on the couch)
no bite (getting too mouthy)
How many people’s dog’s know and obey that many commands? When I get up in the morning, I get my tea, sit down, drink it, and my dog doesn’t interact with me until I signal him that I am ready. When I come home from being out, he knows he gets no attention till my purse or packages get put down. He skirts/rebels against that by nudging my hand with his nose because it’s so hard to contain himself. I pretend to let him get away with it because I overwhelmingly want to glomp him, too. This week we had nice weather. I decided to throw open the living room patio door so I’d feel like I was outside. My dog kept going to the other door requesting to go outside. He’d go to the patio door, but wouldn’t go out. That’s not the door he’s been allowed to go out of, so he wouldn’t go. It’s been several days, and he still looks to me for the ‘ok’ to go out that door. My dog knows that he cannot go into bedrooms or bathrooms except under command. I’m a softie so I let him lay with his feet in. We have an understanding- feet say “I want in, please,” and my allowance says, “I know you do, but, no, and I love you so you can have a taste and feel a little bit included.”
For a dog that knows this many commands (I’m probably forgetting some), is so well behaved and obedient, should the first option be death because he’s afraid of strangers, or should I try to work with the dog’s psychiatric issues? I’m not going to re-home him with a bunch of young kids he’s vying for pack order with. I’m looking for a home with a strong Alpha male and /or female that, like me, can control my dog on a word, look or hand signal.
One command I just realized I missed-
Finger snap= at my side.
I can also leave food out below nose level all night (those bad, late night snacks) and my dog won’t touch them. He’s occasionally allowed to sniff in the general direction of the counter, garbage, etc. before he gets the look or an outright “no” for over sniffing. If only children were so well behaved...!
I hope this works out. Your GSD sounds like a loyal boy.
It’s not uncommon for pubs that experienced trauma to show aggressive towards strangers and other animals.
Thanks. He’s the most obedient, well trained dog I’ve ever had, short of his psychiatric issues. Not many dogs are as obedient and well trained. It would be tragic to have to euthanize him when I know there are people who are competent, experienced and capable of working with him. For most of his commands, I don’t even have to say the command, I just have to give him a look in context and he understands.
“Your GSD sounds like a loyal boy.”
When I was first introducing him to the pool and trying to teach him to be pool safe, he tried to rescue me and drag me to the stairs. It was pretty impressive, but a bit painful since German Shepherds aren’t soft mouthed, water dogs. If I’d really been drowning, I’d have lived, but might have lost hand. I’ve never had a dog do something like that, that most of us only see portrayed by Hollywood. I had a “wow” moment that dogs will actually, in real life, do something like that without hundreds if hours of training.
And on a side note, I’m reminded, back in the days of vcr’s, my young kids would make me rent Homeward Bound just so they could see mom cry on cue then laugh hysterically. Children can be so creul, and mine actually did that reapetedly.
I’ve been lurking through this entire thread because I have nothing constructive to add, but just a thought, have you had bloodtests run on your dog to see if there is a chemical imbalence that could be corrected? Specifically, I’m thinking of low thyroid.
Although your dog is fairly young, we have a 2 year old setter rescue with borderline low thyroid that we will have to watch, and two of our rescues needed thyroid supplements when we adopted them at ages 4 and 5.
I’m also wondering if it could be a food allergy, or a reaction to some type of toxin in the environment that you are not even aware of.
I wish you the best during this trying time.
IMHO, it does not sound like you are the leader in the eyes of your dog - have you ever considered the difficulty lies more with you than your dog ?
Sounds like a classic case of you are the friend of the dog. He very intelligently does what you tell him for numerous things. But when it comes to defending you, i.e., any other living thing, he right away “takes over” and “assumes command”. He takes the iniative to go into attack mode, and at that point he ignores your verbal commands. Commands of the “alpha” are never ignored. The dog will obey off leash with verbal commands only if in the dog’s eyes the commands are from the leader.
If you were the leader in the eyes of the dog, i.e., alpha, or pack leader, YOU would be calmly and assertively calling all the shots when it comes to meeting other people or animals. A simple, verbal “hey, knock it off, this person’s ok”, would put him into “normal” mode, looking to you for instructions and getting familiar (smelling) his new friend.
Dogs (any animal for that matter) sense stress and uncertainty as well as fear. When friends or strangers come around, you tense up because you know what he is about to do. He senses your stress level and translates that into “Houston, we have a problem”. He instinctively does his “job”, defence. At the pool (in an old post), he took it upon himself to decide that you were in danger and that he needed to save you from your foolishness of being in the pool. You were definitely not the leader in that case, and, to top it all off, you let him pull you out of the pool. This reinforced the fact in his mind that he thinks he is the leader of you; he owns the house, you just pay the mortgage.
Any time a dog has to be physically restrained or electro-shocked into obedience, then that restraint is all that stands between the guest and the dog. Of course, this is a dangerous situation for everyone. For example, if you had a medical emergency yourself, were barely conscious on the floor, and called 911 then passed out, even if you had a shock collar on the dog, when EMS arrived they probably would not be able to help you without incapacitating the dog.
Since you’ve abdicated your authority in the area of self defence, and you let him take over, he now intelligently assumes the role of defender.
IMHO, a person who has good success as a master of similar dogs could rehabilitate him as long as he has not gotten too far into any attack situations. He needs a leader as much as he needs love (most people are too lovey-dovey with pets).
Interesting speculation, but absolutely clueless. My dog has fear aggression issues and it’s not because I tense up when FedEx comes, because then I’m usually running to the door for my latest goodie. He also didn’t pull me out of the pool. He jumped in to rescue me, grabbed my hand and started to swim to the stairs. I was so surprised, I tolerated it for about 5 seconds and it was nipped in the bud. But thanks for being another person weighing in on how I’m such an irresponsible owner.
Try Amazon. I got ours there.
I haven’t read the last few posts, but I think you are mistaken that you are Alpha. Your dog does not obey you except when he wants, or he would behave as you command, when you command. He is controlling your life, ruining time with friends and family and keeping you all to himself. It sounds like jealously, not fear. If you don’t leave, or if you do and find a home for him with someone willing to work with him, a shock collar may be the answer to essentially retrain him. I hope it works out. Moving is a big emotional strain, especially with pets. All the best to you.
WHY do I keep forgetting Amazon???
I would not say irresponsible, and I don’t think the poster meant that. You love your dog, you treat him well, he obeys you...when he wants. Not everyone is the perfect “boss” to their dog. Because dogs aren’t people, and as people, it isn’t easy thinking like a dog :) or understanding why they do what they do. So I know this has all been very trying what with moving and where are you going to live and what will become of your wonderful furry companion.
“Your dog does not obey you....”
Excuse me?! My dog does obeys me 99.9% of the time unless put into a situation where he is fearful and instinct takes over. Do you know nothing about mental health issues? With the right look from me, he’d piss himself. My dog does not control my life, ruin my time with family or keep me all to himself. My husband came home today for potentially only one day. The dog was fed, let outside, and petted a couple of times. The rest of my day was spent in family time with my husband and daughter, with my dog very much in the background. I have always considered my dogs to be working animals and not jewelry, or there to fill some personal emotional need. I got my dog because my husband was gone 26-28 days a month and I live in a high crime area. I consider him a working dog. It’s a perk that we get some mutual affection.
“a shock collar may be the answer to essentially retrain him”
Please pimp you product somewhere else. I don’t think inflicting pain on a dog who is in fear is going to break that fear or re-train him. It is only going to reinforce his fear in the situation. If a child is fearful in a situation will a slap from a parent change that? No, it will only make the child more fearful of a future, similar situation and make him distrust the parent. Take psych 101 and get back to me.
And for the record, while I’m not a big fan of shock collars per se, I do recognize they can and do have a use in training under proper conditions, e.g. they’re great for training hunting dogs when they’re off and their owner isn’t at their side and a correction needs to be made. Punishing fear is only going to reinforce it, however.
“I would not say irresponsible”
Will this help? http://thesaurus.com/
There’s no need to be rude. I was making a suggestion based on comments you had made. Shock collars don’t work based on pain. They work by reinforcing commands and are especially effective with stubborn dogs and/or undesirable behavior such as what you described. They are an extremely effective training aid and are not cruel or inflict pain if used properly (some collars are combo tone/shock so the dog learns to respond to the tone). If anything they greatly benefit an animal who is not happy or in fear/disarray under certain circumstances. Do not make a judgement when you really know nothing about how they work.
Secondly, I’ll reiterate what I said about you and Alpha. Based on what you posted, your dog obeys you but only up to a point, he is constantly showing dominant behaviors which you “let him get away with” because you attribute human thoughts to your dog- nosing you when he knows he’s supposed to leave you alone, putting his feet inside the room he is not allowed in, etc. To you as a human it may be funny or cute, but to the dog, he has won. He’s not allowed in, but his feet are. Dog scores.
Well, I’ll just leave it at that. Like I said before, I hope it all works out.
“Do not make a judgement when you really know nothing about how they work.”
And you know that I don’t know they work how? My dog has definitely not won. Please share your credentials relating to dog training and knowledge. My dog tries the camel nose under the tent as a dominant dog. He gets no farther and it only takes a look for him to recede. I mostly don’t dignify his attempts. That’s a bigger slap to him.
“OMG, honey, the dog is dominating my life! Please make him stop breathing because it’s interfering with our time together. It’s just too distracting!”
A good belly laugh deserves to be shared.
TRICARE (the military insurance program) for our area will pay $120 for the initial intake session and $80 for subsequent sessions. Reimbursement rates vary based on region and local costs of living. (Before someone asks, I know TRICARE fee schedules for professional reasons. I have a psychologist in my family.)
Back on track, I grew up with German shepherds. I love the breed, and I know what they can do to bad people — I've been used for bite practice, and even with padded body protection, it hurt. There's no way I can help in your situation, but if you're getting some mental stress relief through FR interaction in coping with this horrible situation, I sincerely wish you well.
Let's hope Free Republic or some other source helps you find a forever home for your furry baby. I'm sure nobody in Free Republic's administration would be so crass as to ask for money for helping re-home your loved one, of course, and I very much hope to hear good news from you soon that FR was able to help.
Praise God for the work opportunity! What mixed emotions! May He find the right place for your beloved pet and for all the other pets and families in similar heart-wrenching situations.
That sounds wonderful!! I hope you'll keep us updated on his progress. He holds a rather special place in my heart & I am so happy that you are going with this choice.
If you are allowed - it would be great to see some pictures of him in training. He is such a handsome fur kid!!!
Some people don't understand that pets can become “furbabies,” and dealing with a pet's behavior problems can pose many of the same challenges as dealing with a behavior problem in a child.
My sincere best wishes to you as you seek to retrain your German Shepherd to be ready for a “forever home.”
Well, you didn't offer any explanation as to why you had to travel immediately, and couldn't follow him in a few weeks.
Would the police take the dog? he is so well trained or the military? wish I could take him but I live so far away and have a high strung lhasa poo.
Have just read through 195 posts on your thread. I wish you all the best in finding a new home for your dog, and relocating overseas. BUT PLEASE do not have your husband euthanized. Sounds like he is about to start a new job, and euthanizing him will not solve anything.
Do you still have your dog? We would take him. We have two other dogs who love to play. Let us know please. I’m one old timer here on FR
I just re-read this entire thread. Several observations.
1. There are a lot of people here who have zero understanding of dogs... especially large breed potentially aggressive dogs.
2. There are a lot of people here who have no idea about training dogs or what training aids are for what issues.
3. For the people calling for the Euthenasia of this dog, please, shut up and go away.
There are many avenues of help and support for dogs like this one. Most people are too lazy to try to help the animal and immediately call for killing it. There are places across the nation that can take a dog with fear issues and turn it into a wonderful family dog. There are also organizations that can give the dog a wonderful home and a job to do that can have a wonderful impact on it’s mental health.
I’ve lived around big dogs for decades. I’ve trained big dogs and I’ve turned some real nasty potential killers into good dogs with patience and understanding of what is going on in the dogs mind. Now, it doesn’t work for every dog, but I’d never just kill a dog without trying.
I’d take the dog in myself except that I have 3 GSD’s now and no room for another one. I hope a good home can be found instead of killing the dog.