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    Dog adoption

    Not sure if there's a dog thread anywhere but thought I would mention in passing we are in the throes of looking for a new (old) dog.

    We had a pedigree Laekenois (Belgian Shepherd) who died suddenly in August, aged 9, of lymphoma. He was a lovely dog but a bit of a basket case/nervous wreck who got separation anxiety and used to scare smaller/younger visitors as he would be a bit growly when new people called, even though he never bit anyone.

    After a reasonable period for us all to get over it we're looking at getting a pound dog this time round, and I must admit having been on a couple of the websites in the last couple of days, it's a harrowing situation. So many poor neglected dogs which have been bought for the wrong reasons and are no longer wanted, and a host of unsuccessful greyhounds which is really tragic. If our fences were higher and we had the time to exercise one properly, greyhounds are lovely but we have to make the right choice both for us and the dog.

    A possibility has come up with a German Shepherd/something/something cross, female aged six. Since a marriage separation has basically been tied up in a backyard for a year. Mrs. Stone found this out on the phone half an hour ago, and suddenly the whole thing seems desperately urgent. We are hoping to "meet" her within the next day or two, then the adoption people would check our house out.

    This is weird - in a single process it's reinforced how kind some people are, and what callous bastards others are.
    Last edited by Sits; 23-02-2019, 00:31.

    #2
    Dog adoption

    It's tough one. To some degree you have to put sentiment aside I'm afraid. A damaged dog can bring a lot of problems with it which aren't always immediately evident, but I'm sure you know that.

    My last dog was a two-year-old pound mutt. When selecting her I avoided the obvious pit-bulls Rotties and crosses of same, and all dogs that either cringed when I approached or reacted aggressively. She was docile, pretty much ignored me actually, and seemed confident. Overall she was she turned out to be a good companion and after three years I still miss her.

    She had her issues though which, if I'd known of them in advance would have given me pause. She was very dominant with other dogs, especially bitches, not aggressive just in their face all the time. In fact she lacked almost all play skills with either other dogs or people, no chasing sticks or balls or running with a pack. It was kinda sad, she really was a dog who walked by herself. I think she'd probably been taken out of the litter too young and never really got a chance to develop basic dog socialisation. It's just about impossible to pick that kind of thing even after a couple of preliminary visits though. Anyway good luck, I'm sure you'll make a good choice.

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      #3
      Dog adoption

      Thanks AdC.

      The rescue lady is coming to check our place in the morning and I may get a chance to meet the dog briefly after that.

      As you say there's a lot you can't pick up from one or two meetings - hopefully our gut instincts will give us a reasonable idea at least, and those basics like cringe/snarl on first introduction etc. would raise the alarm. If it doesn't work out, we're on her radar now so it will be a matter of when, rather than if, something comes up. She keeps mentioning greyhounds.......

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        #4
        Dog adoption

        Amor de Cosmos wrote:
        It's tough one. To some degree you have to put sentiment aside I'm afraid. A damaged dog can bring a lot of problems with it which aren't always immediately evident, but I'm sure you know that.

        My last dog was a two-year-old pound mutt. When selecting her I avoided the obvious pit-bulls Rotties and crosses of same, and all dogs that either cringed when I approached or reacted aggressively. She was docile, pretty much ignored me actually, and seemed confident. Overall she was she turned out to be a good companion and after three years I still miss her.

        She had her issues though which, if I'd known of them in advance would have given me pause. She was very dominant with other dogs, especially bitches, not aggressive just in their face all the time. In fact she lacked almost all play skills with either other dogs or people, no chasing sticks or balls or running with a pack. It was kinda sad, she really was a dog who walked by herself. I think she'd probably been taken out of the litter too young and never really got a chance to develop basic dog socialisation. It's just about impossible to pick that kind of thing even after a couple of preliminary visits though. Anyway good luck, I'm sure you'll make a good choice.
        AdC, I think you adopted a cat.

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          #5
          Dog adoption

          Personally, I'm all in favour of adopting rescue dogs. (In fact, I'd like to see some kind of moratorium on breeding until the numers of dogs in rescue centres have fallen significantly!)

          I've mentioned it a few times on here, but the place to look is www.dogsblog.com - that is an 'aggregator' site, pooling the blog feeds of several rescue organisations (including Dogs Trust) from across the country.

          It sounds like you're already sorted, though, Stonelephant. Personally, I'm not a fan of GSDs (and their 'relatives') but that's just a personal thing. I wish you well with her anyway, of course. Don't forget that if it doesn't work out, you can return her to the rescue centre. I know that sounds bad, but it's better not to put her or any of yourselves in a situation which is less than ideal - it could only exacerbate problems.

          Shame you couldn't have a greyhound - they're usually such big lazy softies!

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            #6
            Dog adoption

            You probably already have looked into all this, but some links:

            http://www.paw-rescue.org/dog_guide.php

            http://www.endangereddogs.com/EDDRAdoptingRescueJPett.htm

            ...and a book...

            http://www.dogbehaviour.com/books/rescue.htm

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              #7
              Dog adoption

              Mongrels tend to be a good choice if someone is thinking of getting a dog from a pound. They have a more laid-back disposition than pedigree breeds and, on average, they live longer.

              We got one from an animal shelter in 1997. She is still alive, deaf as a post these days but otherwise fairly healthy. She's not particularly friendly to other hounds (except for the terrier that shares the family home with her), and is very much a people dog.

              Getting a pet from an animal shelter is very much pot luck. Our one is great but she was very jumpy for the first few months, to the point of crying whenever we walked out of her line of sight, and that nervousness has never entirely left her. Hope it works out for you anyway.

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                #8
                Dog adoption

                Mongrels tend to be a good choice if someone is thinking of getting a dog from a pound. They have a more laid-back disposition than pedigree breeds and, on average, they live longer.

                Trouble is mongrels are hard to find these days at least they are around here. People don't let their dogs wander anymore (a good thing) and there are more owners favouring trendy pure-breds (maybe not so good.) I had to visit three different pounds to find a suitable mongrel and that was thirteen years ago, I'm sure it's worse now. They're rare, there are lots of straight crosses but mutts are like hen's teeth.

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                  #9
                  Dog adoption

                  Thanks again all, and evilC for the links etc. I too would not be 100% comfortable with a full GSD even though they're beautiful dogs. Anyway as you will see the potential arrival is nowhere near 100% GSD:



                  There certainly doesn't seem to be a shortage of mongrels in these parts, if you look on the rescue sites. However apart from greyhounds, a tragic majority of the dogs seem to be "macho" breeds or crosses thereof - rotties, mastiffs, American bull terriers, and something called Bull Arabs. So clearly these dickheads buy boofie looking dogs as part of an ego trip, then can't control them or get bored, and the poor things get dumped. And of course, like us, people looking to adopt tend to avoid these very same breeds. A particularly unpleasant cycle.

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                    #10
                    Dog adoption

                    Ah, he looks great. Yeah, not a full GSD and quite smiley - which is good.

                    Might be worth asking (if it's not too late) if he's been checked for hip dysplasia, as I notice he's sitting funny. Since he's a crossbreed, it's probably noting to worry about, but as I expect you know GSDs do suffer from it a bit.

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                      #11
                      Dog adoption

                      Well I've met her now*. After checking out Elephant Towers (which passed I hasten to add) the rescue lady took me over to where she is currently and we walked her together. I hadn't realised, she is currently still housed at her owners', where she is tied up in the garden all day and ignored apart from when rescue people visit. Probably best I waited outside eh?

                      She came up and gave me a sniff on meeting (the dog, not the lady) and survived, which many humans wouldn't. She then allowed me to walk her for about twenty minutes and to be honest it was just a normal, undramatic dog walk. Then she gave me another sniff when I left. So no great Disney moments, falling all over me licking my face etc., but really the way she did behave was better - more measured and how I would like my own dog to, on meeting a complete stranger.

                      She's going to be left at our place tomorrow lunchtime and we will be her foster home for a few weeks, until either (a) we decide to keep her or (b) someone else does. So as of then her situation will be massively improved. It also means we have a little bit more time in case there are any unmanageable, hidden demons. But as the rescue lady put it she's in "dire need" and I think maybe her placid nature belied the gravity of her current situation.

                      evilC - I don't think there's much GSD in there - black lab/collie maybe, perhaps some cattle dog, and from the colouring maybe even a hint of rottie although she seemed extremely placid. Also re. hips, her walking and sitting were fine - our old dog used to do that "sideways" sitting thing and was OK too.

                      *I work with a seasoned journalist who says one should never begin a sentence with "well". Lucky he won't read this.

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                        #12
                        Dog adoption

                        Might be interesting when she gets inside, especially given that she has been a yard dog for over a year.

                        In really sad news, I believe a dog on my floor in the apartment building died yesterday, or is in serious need of care. We had a big fire in one unit - the guy is in a pretty bad way also - and his pet Pitbull was with him.

                        There doesn't seem to be a record of what happened to the dog - someone thought it died, but I am pretty sure it was breathing when it was carried past me (I was stationed at the door as the fire hoses came in). Strangely, I think everyone is as much (if not more) affected by the dog than its owner, given it was 99% certain the owners fault the fire started.

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                          #13
                          Dog adoption

                          With a magnificent tongue like that, how can you go wrong?

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                            #14
                            Dog adoption

                            That's horrible stuff, DGLH. I was looking at your pics of Phyllis, the other day (of course) and I expect you thought of her a bit when you saw that dog.

                            How is she, these days, btw? She was the cutest-looking puppy, but has she become the typical stoic, implacable bulldog now?

                            And just to echo what TeV said, your (potential) dog has a very relaxed expression, Stonelephant, which is good.

                            Oh, and if anyone fancies a daily dose of general animal rescue soppiness/trauma, I recommend (as ever) the 'Real men are kind to animals' page on Facebook ...from whence came the following pic:

                            -



                            -

                            That dog (a small pit bull terrier, apparently) has one of the best smiley faces I've ever seen on a dog! In fact, it somehow reminds me of Speak, the talking Capybara from 'The Tick' cartoons. Below is a pic of Speak addressing the United Nations General Assembly.

                            I miss that show!

                            -

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                              #15
                              Dog adoption

                              Phyllis is fine - she woke us up for it actually (all happened at 2.30am). She didn't deal well with being on the fire escape for a while though. She freaked out.

                              Behaviorally.... she is a bulldog. It is a constant battle of wills, but if you feel like waiting it out she normally relents. In some ways she is getting better, but if she decides on something it is very hard to change her mind (sometimes she chooses to be like that).

                              She is very loving though. I don't think everyone gets how affectionate and amusingly dumb bulldogs are. She has some seperation anxiety - more from just really loving having company than anything. Gets nervous and licks stuff. She has a lot of personality though. Recently had her week of beating up my mother-in-law's golden (they play hard, a lot).

                              We keep getting told we should get her modeling. She has a pretty spectacular underbite and is a good looking dog.

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                                #16
                                Dog adoption

                                DGLH, glad your dog wasn't traumatised and a shame about the neighbour's, hope he/she will be OK.

                                The dog's now been here about two-and-a-half hours and so far has been a model citizen - said hello to all the family, had a good wander around the garden and house, and seems pretty OK really. We've not been over the top with her so she's not overwhelmed. The rescue woman's been gone a couple of hours and she's been OK since then.

                                Apart from barking at birds when they've attempted to land she's not put a paw wrong.

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                                  #17
                                  Dog adoption

                                  OK so two and a half weeks on, she's staying (surprise surprise).

                                  She's been generally excellent, very friendly both to family and visitors. Housetrained, eager to please, doesn't bark when put to bed on a beanbag in the laundry. Surprisingly choosy with food considering her background, and not interested in our leftovers which is a real surprise.

                                  So all good, but obviously with a 6-year-old dog who's had a tough life there will be something, and that something appears to be Other Dogs. The trial walk I had with her and the rescue woman fooled me a bit as we didn't meet other dogs, and she was on a choke chain which we won't use.

                                  The evening we arrived we were trying her on a head collar, got to the end of the drive whereupon she saw a little dog being walked on the other side of the road, shook her head a few times and was out of the collar and off. We pursued her across the road in something like Fenton style (serves me right for posting the Fenton YT) where the little miffy had climbed up its owner's back then fallen into a hedge. All very funny in retrospect.

                                  Next time we tried on a Gentle Leader head collar which had worked a treat with our Belgian Shepherd. First encounter with other dogs and she had me on my arse she pulled so hard on the lead. It does appear to look like aggression rather than over-friendliness, which looked like a major problem especially as Mrs. Stone has a dicky shoulder and back, and can't be dragged around.

                                  Anyway the rescue people got a dog behaviouralist in and she said we don't need to stress about having to get her out on the lead straight away. We can get her familiar with us, exercise her both physically and mentally in the garden which we've been doing, then find a suitable harness and get her used to walking with us in safety first. Once we're comfortable with that we will take her out on the street for very limited trips - literally 50m or so, to get de-stressed. The hope is she can get gradually used to other dogs being around without it becoming traumatic for everyone. There are also dog obedience classes run at a large showground complex not too far from us, and they have some fenced pens for "dog-reactive" dogs as the behaviouralist called them.

                                  So really, one serious issue is pretty good going, and if we had a new puppy we'd probably be mopping crap off the floor daily,

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Dog adoption

                                    Well done and good luck, she looks lovely.

                                    I'm helping my friend socialise her longhaired chihuahuas, who are getting better but still will pick on dogs like yours. It's both utterly ridiculous (especially when they're wearing their jumpers) and a bit worrying. Luckily most big dogs just raise half a disdainful eyebrow in the direction of the frenzied yapping. But it's all about repeated exposure so we're keeping on, and they do have some friendly encounters which are nice to see. Well, bumsniffing isn't all that nice to see, but tailwagging is.

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                                      #19
                                      Dog adoption

                                      They're much worse (braver) when they or the other dogs are on the lead, btw, although of course they need to be on the lead where there's a doubt. Off the lead, you can see them weighing up the options a bit more.

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                                        #20
                                        Dog adoption

                                        MsD wrote:
                                        especially when they're wearing their jumpers
                                        Brilliant.

                                        And thanks MsD

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                                          #21
                                          Dog adoption

                                          The Exploding Vole wrote:
                                          With a magnificent tongue like that, how can you go wrong?
                                          Actress, bishop etc.

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Dog adoption

                                            I just saw a news item about a Chinese man who hasn't closed his mouth for X years because of his tongue measuring X cm (looks about a foot long).

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                                              #23
                                              Dog adoption

                                              So X = 30?

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                                                #24
                                                Dog adoption

                                                Ha, dunno, but it was Won Long Tung.

                                                Oops, just seen his picture, and it looks really distressing.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Dog adoption

                                                  Types of dog aggression, including lead-related.

                                                  And Cesar Millan on leash stuff.

                                                  If I haven't said it already, watch every episode of 'The Dog Whisperer' that you can. Cesar Millan is just godlike! The only problem is, he's very confident and I don't think I could ever be as confident as him. I don't think many people could!

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