GO!

Maybe we aren't the right home for her :-(

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '13 7:04pm PST 
I just wanted to add that I personally would not be comfortable medicating my dog unless on the advice of a certified behaviourist or veterinary behaviourist...the majority of vets don't have the knowledge and experience to be prescribing meds for behaviour modification.

Also, in addition to the meds, you will also need to follow a detailed behaviour modification plan in order for you both to be successful. Meds alone won't solve the SA issue. And please remember that if you do choose to go the meds route, it can take weeks or months for the meds to take effect and you may need to try several different ones before you find the right one for Josie.

There are a few pups here on Dogster who have chosen to use meds to help their dogs through their behavioural issues, hopefully they will chime in and let you know what their experience was. hug

Edited by author Wed Feb 6, '13 7:05pm PST

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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '13 8:32pm PST 
In regard to SA, I'd say the vast majority of rescues go through it during the transition to the new home. They don't want to lose what they've found. After adopting Vance, I couldn't take a shower without losing an undergarment - he specifically liked to remove the plastic bits from bras and leave them spread out in the middle of the room. If I closed a door behind me, Ember would hit it 4 feet up, drag claws down it and begin screaming and ripping at the base. Fox couldn't poop in the morning, and would go on the floor after we left.

All of it got better. I can leave any of them without issue. It does take time, though.

Unless a dog is at risk of injuring their self, or you are at risk of eviction for noise I do not recommend medication. Medicating is a long, potentially expensive road to go down and should not be done without the help of a behaviorist. You have to find the right dose of the right med - and getting either wrong will at best do nothing, at worst make the problem worse - while monitoring for side-effects and ideally weaning back off as you progress with a training program.

So... Two points. If this isn't the right dog for you, it isn't. That's ok. That's what trials are for.

The other side of the SA issue is that it's kinda part of adopting a dog. And maybe not SA specifically, but -something-. None of us are perfect. Odds are no matter what dog you adopt, you will have to work through some less-than ideal behavior before you have a comfortable life together. If you get a puppy, they're probably going to act up and try your patience at some point. It's just part of the deal.

Two weeks is a crappy time length to figure this stuff out. It's awkward for all parties involved, and tempting to quit. But it's also necessary, if the dog really isn't going to work he needs to be back in rescue ASAP.

If you think your personalities just don't mesh, or you just want different things out of life, then it may be best to send her back. If you're seeing behavioral and exercise issues that have made you realize you just aren't ready to deal with this stuff right now, send her back. If her behavioral problems are way over the top and completely inconsistent with what was advertised, send her back. But if it's just standard adjustment fare, you may want to stick it out and work with her.
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Kye

I'm like- Einstein only- hairier.
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '13 9:45pm PST 
I adopted a dog from the SPCA last year and ended up returning her. They had very little information on her but I had visited her almost every day for a month at the SPCA, my shelter does not do trail adoptions. After she hit her 5 month mark of being at the shelter I caved in, scraped up the adoption fee and adopted her. As soon as she got home her personality did a 180. Gone was this sweet, quiet little dog only to be replaced by an anxious and busy dog! Don't get me wrong, I loved Sevin just as much as all my other 'kids' but after 2 months I finally conceded that my house was not the right one.
They had her labeled as a Border Collie mix but looked to me to be more of a Husky/Shepherd of some description, she was overweight and had no manners. In the 2 months I had her she lost 7 pounds, had regular exercise and grooming and learned how to walk nicely on a leash and respect everyone's space. She had a problem with riding in the back during a car trip and would bite me (broke the skin once on the back of my arm) but I managed to cure her of that before I returned her as well. Even though her temperament and training were progressing nicely I could tell that she wasn't 'feeling it' at my house. We did 2 hour walk followed by an hour of dog park time everyday (at -40 even) the 2 months I had her and after she'd get home and desperately try to get back outside. She hated indoor living and I have no backyard.
(http://tinypic.com/r/zlsm7o/5) Sevin and Carbon playing video
(http://i41.tinypic.com/34e25pc.jpg) Sevin photo

If my shelter had given me the option to return her I would have done so sooner, as towards the end we were both so stressed out it wasn't enjoyable for either of us. I'm happy to report that she was adopted 4 days after I returned her, the staff at the SPCA called and told me. I was pretty torn up while I was filling out the papers to surrender her, I'm sure the forms still have tear stains on them lol.

You just have to sit down and have an honest discussion about if you think this dog will fit in. If you have any doubts maybe it's best to return her. Like the other posters said, there is no shame in admitting that you cannot meet all the needs of this particular dog. There is probably someone out there who she is a perfect fit for. If you do return her you will have a better idea now of what kind of dog you need to make everyone happy. Returning her isn't a failure on your part or hers, just a wrong match.

Good luck and keep us posted! Sorry for my huge story here, just figured I'd share what I went through. Hope it helps!
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '13 10:39pm PST 
Have you asked about the possibility of extending your trial adoption? I think the majority of rescues would prefer to do that rather than have you surrender the dog- especially because it marks you as someone who is paying attention, taking stock of problems, and making very sure you can handle them.

To be honest, this doesn't sound to me like a situation where long-term medication is indicated. The urination has stopped, she's not injuring herself, and she does great at daycare. There is no reason to believe that she wouldn't respond to behavior modification. Even if you do something like Reconcile, this is meant as an adjunct to behavior modification. Medication doesn't take the place of training. If you are truly not willing to work with her, then that's that. If you are, I think it's extremely likely that she will improve.
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Kye

I'm like- Einstein only- hairier.
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 6, '13 11:47pm PST 
Great post Smokey! I agree with trying to avoid medicating.
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Josie

1284059
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 9:36am PST 
The urination has only stopped with the thundershirt, and she has only been crated up to three hours. I bought the book with the best reviews on SA, and it says while you work on it the dog can NEVER be left alone. That is just not possible. And starting next month, every Saturday night she would need to be alone for 6 hours or more. I'm afraid that what looks mild now could get serious when the time alone doubles. We cannot afford to board her and have no one to keep her with. I agree medication is not the answer.

Aside from this one issue, she is perfect and I guess I can safely say I love her. She has come out of her shell the past few days, is playful, cuddly, wonderful, sweet, loving, lets me do whatever I want to her (brush her teeth, ear drops, claw trims, etc). She listens. She's eager to please. She's exactly what I wanted, except for the SA.

I did ask the rescue for advice. I told them what I've observed and told them I would love some input. Their reply was "you can return her Saturday." They had no info on her. She was a stray a few weeks ago, with fleas and worms. They pulled her, spayed her, stuck her in a kennel, and put her up for adoption saying she was "Friendly and outgoing with a great attitude." That is all true. I asked the rescue about another dog and they said she wasn't a good match for me because they knew I wanted someone who was good with other dogs.

Edited by author Thu Feb 7, '13 9:46am PST

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Josie

1284059
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 9:37am PST 
Also yes, I can return her at any time, it doesn't have to be at the 2 week mark. But the longer I ponder this the harder it will be on everyone.
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Josie

1284059
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 10:35am PST 
One other thing that slightly worries me. She is gaining her confidence now and is starting the chase the cats where I was very strict on day 1 and every day since that she not do that. She didn't. Now she is starting to. That makes me a little nervous. I THINK she's just playing? And what else will she start doing? And if she is anxious will a running cat be a target?
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 11:46am PST 
Ok, so you are proving a point I like to make on other forums laugh out loud I do think rescue needs to evolve more and if they truly WANT to put truth into the "rescue or breeder" question as if they are comparable, then they need the staffing/volunteerism to be there to help adopters work through problems, to guide and coach and give good advice. And be a part of general assessments. I am able to not simply do that for my rescue, but during the adoption process, to prepare people, match well, and then be there for them in the long term with guidance.

I am really not "feeling" this rescue as it seems to me they are on a wing and a prayer with the "she's just settling in" and are offering you no followup and support.

SA is tricky and when we get an SA dog in I do try to place them with people who are mostly home and are pretty stable in terms of schedules, etc.

You CAN work with this girl if you want and have success, but at the same time would need to be aware that SA is one of the harder things to work with as the behavior occurs when you are not there. If you want to hang in, I (and others) can help you make it work. But please know it takes effort. If you are ready for that and some chaos, ok, you can. If that is not the place in your life, rescue can still accommodate you. Either way, I can help.

If you want to keep on with her, I will coach you. If it's too stressful, then I'll do what I can to help you find a great candidate.
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Josie

1284059
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 7, '13 12:04pm PST 
thank you tiller. you almost brought me to tears. I was hoping the rescue would say anything to make me feel better. I feel like they have no patience for wishy washy people, like, do you want the dog or not? If not, return it.

The inconsistency in our schedules is really what is bothering me and making me feel like this issue is likely too big for us. That and the fact that my boyfriend isn't as capable as I am to desensitize, etc. He is always in a mad rush out the door and late to wherever he is going. He doesn't have the where-with-all to be sensitive to her needs as far as departure cues, etc.
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