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dealing with expectations.

This is a special section for dogs needing new homes and for inspiring stories of dogs that have found their furever home through Dogster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of dog! If you are posting about a dog that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Dogster's dog adoption center!

  
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Tucker

I would very- much like the- ball.
 
 
Barked: Sun Aug 5, '12 5:57pm PST 
This is kinda long and im sorry, but i am just so worn out on it.

I hope this isn't taken the wrong way (im not getting rid of my dog) but my adopted dog is not what i thought he would be. His problems are starting to surface now that he is adjusting here. Please allow me to rant if you will.

His good points:
friendly towards everyone
loveable
housebroke
good with other pets/children
non agressive with toys/food/bed
mostly chews his toys(he has a slip up now and then)
isn't a food crazy dog


his bad points:
freaks out when left alone (barks)
submissive pee's/excited pee's
runs away whenever he gets a chance when outside
no play drive with toys
afraid of loud noises/storms/generally a nervous dog
very very slow to learn

I picked out this dog at the pound because he was good with other pets (we have cats and another dog) friendly with everyone, and seemed to be an even mix of temperament.They told me he was a retriever mix so i thought he would enjoy fetch or agility. I knew that it would be up to me to train him as far as walking on a leash, sit, down, ect.

I didnt know i would be getting into a nervous dog who wets the floor over anything. I am just so fed up and need some encouragement.

I have worked with him for months. i use positive reinforcement with treats and praise. Its tough to train this dog. he dosnt care about treats all that much. he dosnt have a toy drive. So far i have taught him sit, down, drop it and thats it. I have been working very hard on his recall but im not getting anywhere with it. He comes fine when hes on his long leash. but as soon as hes off it, he takes off and will not come for anything. I have never hit or yelled at him for not coming, but he acts like i will. I dont know if his old owners beat him or what.

it no fun to have him outside. he has to constantly be on a leash. I can't even take him to the dog park because i can't catch him after hes off the leash. He wont play or run around, he just paces and scuttles around from corner to corner.

ive trained him to not pull on the leash pretty well. he also is good at down and sit. Ive tried teaching him "jobs" like carry a backpack which he does well. we tried fetch but he dose not like it and its more like a chore to teach him then something he likes.

I dont know what else to do with him. He dosn't seem to like anything but running away. He is walked 3 times a day for a total of an hour and a half (this is aside from potty breaks which i dont count as walks) He is afraid of the agility equipment at the dog park and dosn't seem to like that either.

I thought maybe he would be good at/like therapy work, but he has a big issue. He PEES all over everyones feet anytime anyone greets him. He gets too excited because he loves new people and pees. it dosnt matter if the person dosn't make eye contact, crouches down or waits untill hes calm to pet (ive tried all these)he pees all over. He loves people and is gentle with them, but i can't bring him to vist people if hes going to pee all over.

Im so disappointed. i like the dog hes very sweet, but i am just ready to hit the wall. everything i hoped to do with him like agility,fetching and therapy dosnt look like it will happen. He just dosn't enjoy the first two and i dont know how i can train him not to pee. I really wanted a dog i could do these thing with but i just dont think it will happen. You can't train a dog to like something he just dosn't and i dont think he is a good fit for therapy with his submissive peeing.

I agreed to house and care for him for life so i can't just give him back the pound. that would be wrong.I feel like re homeing him would be wrong too because not many people would put up with a dog who pees in the house when you pet him or do anything.

I just dont know what to do. Its gotten to the point where i dont have a relationship like you should with a dog. I feel like i can't do anything with him. He is so nervous about everything and can't enjoy anything. I feed him, walk him and thats about all i can do with him. I can't pet him unless were outside or hes on the hardwood floor so i can clean up the pee. Training is going nowhere with him. He just dosn't want to do any of the normal dog stuff.

its been 6 months and ive worked with him daily. I dont know if his old home abused him or what. I try to calmly do everything with him. I know that a nervous owner makes a nervous dog.

I just dont know what to do when you get a "bad fit" when you adopt. I take adoption seriously and i dont think the right answer is to take him back. but neither of us are happy right now. i could try a trainer but i dont konw what tht would help. Maybe he needs meds to calm him down? He gets plenty of exercise so its not that. I have never had a dog who was this high strung nervous. usually training and walking cures dogs of this but its not working with him.

My spouse dosn't help. He says im "mean" to the dog because i wont pet him when the dogs excited and i dont let the dog get out of control wound up like spinning in circles.My spouse complains the dog is "just happy to see us" it drives me NUTS when he says that. I try to explain that its not good for the dog to spin in circles and get all wound up because he is high strung enough. I dont think its mean to ask the dog to sit when he starts spinning and wait to pet him untill hes calm.

What would any of you do? would you try meds? would you give him back to the humane society and let them find a better home? or would you keep a dog you just dont click with? I just dont know. I dont want anything bad to happen to him and i know that good homes are rare. but neither of us are happy. I dont think returning him to the shelter is an option but maybe its the right thing? i dont know....

confusedthinkingfrown
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Twister

Love me.
 
 
Barked: Mon Aug 6, '12 6:20pm PST 
1. Deep breath. Let it out. Relax.

2. Good job on rescuing him, and being able to train him several things in just a few months! Seriously! Some dogs would take forever just getting to walk on a leash. way to go

3. While I personally don't have a ton of info of things and techniques you can try with him (I'm sure there are others who can chime in who do), one thing I agree with is to wait until he calms down to interact with him. It is not mean, just go about whatever you would normally do (but if you don't pet him, make sure you're not giving the other dogs attention as well).

4. While it can be VERY disappointing when a dog does not turn out to be what you envision (ie, I would love for Twister to be more open to people), perhaps what needs to be done is a redirection. Change your goals and desires for your dog, to what your dog likes and desires. While he may not enjoy the things you had in mind for him, there could be other things he would do well at. Perhaps for now what needs to be done is a break. Just let him relax and get used to simply being part of the family. If that just means eat, sleep, and exercise on a leash then so be it (for now).

5. You may need to keep in mind some dogs may never be trustworthy off-leash, and not through the fault of any of the owners, it's just who they are as dogs (though I also would not say there is NO hope in him ever learning to come when called, but it will take time, perhaps even years...I'm still working on Twister, who is 5, for a reliable recall).

I completely understand your frustration and need for someone to just listen; and I also hope others who are more experienced with this will come on here and give some advice.

One more thing, if you do not get many responses, I would recommend posting about this in the 'behavior and training' section.

Good luck!hug
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Seela

Beauty and the- Beast
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 6:03am PST 
Yes, it is disappointing when you adopt a dog and they don't turn out to want you originally wanted. That can happen even if you buy a puppy. Tucker certainly has more good traits than bad. Good with people, other pets, and not being aggressive is great. I adopted an older dog (6 yrs) and I have had her for nearly two years. She has bitten (grabbed) two people, one of which was my 9 yr old granddaughter. I can never have her off leash now unless it is at the beach, no people around and the wire muzzle on her (which she hates). She has no play drive at all. It was always an issue when I had to leave as she would get so stressed out. She has made vast improvements since I got her but still has issues that I know I just have to accept. I am sure she would have been put down if she had gone to another home. The good side is that we just love her to bits and she is so loving in return. After a couple of big fights with our other dog (with blood), they are now best of friends. Our other adopted dog, Willie, used to pee when he got excited, but he has outgrown this, but when he gets really excited he does pee sometimes.
If you have tried just about everything with Tucker (training) you may have to accept him the way he is and hopefully he will calm down when he gets older or find a good home that is willing to overlook his issues. I certainly would not take him back to the pound. Tucker is still young dog and still has lots of potential if you can find a way to focus his energy on something he enjoys while building his confidence. Have you thought of doing tracking with him, or something else out of the box that would make him concentrate on what he is doing instead of excitement like agility.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 6:27am PST 
I hate to even suggest this idea but in all honesty retriever type dogs tend to need TONS of exercise to burn off energy. Three walks of 30 minutes each,may just not be enough to calm him down. You say you have had him 6 months,how old is he? Has he been to the vet about the urination problem? It could be more than excitement that causes it,that's why I wonder. Have you tried anything to make him less nervous such as a thunder shirt or one of the herbal diffusers you can buy for on his collar? Do you make sure he is properly pottied before you leave and when you return? I'm not sure about a trainer but it sounds like a behaviorist could help with some of the issues.
It sounds like you have come a long way but it also sounds like he needs more mental and physical activity than he is getting in order to be calm enough to focus,he probably is also sensing your negative energy toward him and that could be making him even more stressed. Thank-you for rescuing him and giving him a chance but since you have commited to keeping him,you also have to commit to meeting his needs. Do some research on retrievers and whatever you think he is mixed with so that you can figure out what those needs are and if you are truly able to meet them and at least consult a behaviorist,it may make a world of difference for you both.hughughughugwishes
Where is Asher when you need her?
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 6:34am PST 
I would highly recommend working with a trainer or canine behaviorist to get you over this hump. You've done well on your own, but as you said you've 'hit a wall'. That's when I know that I need some outside help, even another perspective on your dog's behavior can help. Sometimes we're so deep in it that we can't even see what's under our noses. (I've been working with dogs for over three decades; I know plenty of other folks who have, too, and it happens to all of us at one time or another)

While I agree that it sounds like he's submissive peeing, I would take him to a vet for a workup, maybe there's something going on with his bladder? He could have a past injury to that area...who knows? I'd consider managing it with a belly band so that you're not so limited by his pee outbursts, speak to the vet about that.

It's true, even purchased puppies from great breeders sometimes don't turn out quite as expected. It happens. I'm so happy to hear that you're not just giving up on the dog, maybe adjust your goals of what you'll do with him. Once your relationship is a bit more solid, you still may be able to get him to play...even fetch. It just might take a bit more time. Six months is not all that long in the life of a dog. I've been working on some of the same things with my dog and she's now 3. Especially recall training, you've got to keep proofing that for the life of the dog. Even when it seems solid, we still should practice it once in awhile. You say he loves to run...I'd continue working on recall with a trainer and consider lure coursing with him, just for an example.

I'm sure it seems like a long haul right now, and it is. I've fostered dogs and cared for the dogs of others for years. Sometimes a particular dog has a breakthrough a year or even two in to training for a certain goal. When it turns around, that makes it all the sweeter for you and the dog. It's still possible, I've seen it happen. Working one on one with a trainer or behaviorist will probably really help. A basic OB class might be overwhelming for him, but that would help if it's the right mix of dogs and if individual session are too pricey. Best of luck to you, he sounds like a sweet dog with potential.
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Tucker

I would very- much like the- ball.
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 1:42pm PST 
yes tucker has seen 2 different vets recently. one suggested meds but i wasn't sure i wanted to do that. im consulting with a trainer next week and if it dosn't work i dont know.

I might consider another home but not sure. He might do better in a home with other dogs he can play with (the other dog wont play) and a fenced in yard. we dont have one so i have to walk him. 3 half hour walks is all i can give him. I have to pay a dog walker for his noontime walk and Tucker has somehow managed to get loose twice from him. I take my other dogs swimming, do fetch, ect but since Tucker cant be off leash its hard. I take him to the dog park but he wont play. so,im not really sure how to give him more exercise. Its summer where i live and hot and Tucker being all black gets exhausted and hot very quickly. so 1/2 hour is about all we can do at a time.

I really wouldn't say hes energetic but i would say nervous. I try to get him to run and play at the dog park and after 15 minutes of running hes done and lays down.

I dont know whats best for him. maybe he needs a fenced in yard and another dog to calm him down or maybe he will just have the same issues. i dont know.
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Tucker

I would very- much like the- ball.
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 1:43pm PST 
ps:

Tucker is about 1 and a half. The pound said he was 2-3 years old, but i think he was younger.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 6:53pm PST 
The heat of this summer has been very difficult on most of us,so I can understand the inability to properly exercise him right now,I must admit it has been very difficult for us to get our pups all of the exercise we would like them to have as well,and they tend to be content with not very much at all. Thankfully at ages nearly 3 and nearly 6 we are out of the adolescent stubborn phase for the most part. That too may be part of the problem at this point,just being a bratty teen. I hope that the trainer/behaviorist is able to give you some insight.It sounds like you are doing your best to try to meet his needs but should you discover he needs more than you can possibly give,then perhaps it might be better to rehome him and lesson learned,research before adding a furry family member so that you find the best fit for what you are able to give.hugwishes
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 7:41pm PST 
I agree entirely with Mika and Kai.

That said... When I got Charlie, he wasn't AT ALL what I was expecting. I was told he was house trained. Was he? Nope. I was told he was crate trained. Crated to the point of neglected and always being in it 24/7 and therefore, growing to hate his crate... Trained? Nope. He only knew his name and MAYBE sit at the time I got him. I also went through all vet records I was given. He had FOUR known homes prior to me getting him at eight months old. He was anxiety-ridden, he was untrained, peed all over my house, and got into trouble just to get attention. The only thing he had going for him was he was great with other animals and people of all ages.

But I still decided that this sweet little dog was worth the effort. I put everything I had into him. I took him to doggy daycare(I worked there) with me and had him playing all day from 7am to 6:30pm, we'd go home and have dinner, then I'd take him for a two hour walk between dinner and bed. Then he'd get a bedtime pee and back down for the night and all over again. I worked diligently to house train him(I monitored his food and water intake and learned how long it would take before he would have to pee. I took him out MINIMUM once an hour til I got him house broke and now he can go twelve+ hours if he absolutely needs to). I worked REALLY hard to break him of bad habits and train him.

In fact.... He now knows around forty commands. Up until two months ago, he had severe car anxiety too. He would cry, shake, shed, pant, drool and pace in the backseat the entire drive. I took him EVERYWHERE in the car with me as often as possible every day, even if it was just to a store down the block and back. When that didn't work... I decided to try something new. I put HIS blanket in the backseat, rolled the windows in the backseat halfway down and now? He's happy to go on car rides and will even curl up and sleep in them!

There IS hope. But you also have to change your expectations. Firstly, they were too high. You adopted a shelter dog. Without a known history, and without looking into having any drive, whatsoever. He may not be what you were looking for, but you adopted him anyway. If you do decide to re-home him, try to find a rescue instead of a shelter as they'll find a more appropriate home for him.

What have you tried in terms of food and treats for motivation? Charlie won't do anything for chicken or dog treats, but as soon as you pull out the cheese or the peanut butter cookies, he's all over it.

This dog likely needs more than a couple 30 minute walks a day. What about trying a doggy daycare? He likes other dogs, and they'd watch him all day - find one that doesn't kennel. Good ones will even provide walks! It'd help to tire him out a bit better and provide him with the bit of extra that you can't give him.

Be honest with yourself about his needs. He needs someone who can help him with his urination problem. He needs someone who can help him with his nervous anxiety, who has experience with fearful dogs. He needs someone that can commit more than a few 30 minute walks a day to help take off the edge.

I'm going to be honest, and I hope you don't take this rudely, but... If you can't provide him with more exercise.... How would you have done agility, fetch and therapy with him? Those take time AND money to boot. Your expectations basically contradict themselves. You want a dog who can do agility, fetch and therapy... But you don't have the time to provide more than a few 30 minute walks a day... Any dog who has drive or is up for the challenge of agility or fetch will NEED far more exercise than that... And this isn't me trying to be rude at all. I'm just trying to point out that perhaps you need to figure out what you CAN provide before you get a dog with what you WANT to provide, y'know?

It doesn't sound like he's a good fit for your home. You're either willing to work with him(it will take more than six months - Charlie took me three years and my foster took me a few months! Each dog varies), or you're not and if not, be honest, find a good rescue, or even foster him and screen homes properly yourself. I'm sure you can contact rescues and find out good tips for proper screening of homes.
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Milton

Im just a little- guy
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 7, '12 7:50pm PST 
An hour and a half walk is not enough exercise for some dogs. Some dogs need something more strenuous. You should find a way to run him.

My dog sometimes pees when people pet him. It's usually over excited people who cause it or people who intimidate him. When I first got my dog it was 100 times worse and almost everybody who petted him resulted in puddles. It got better because he became more confident. If this dog is scared of agility equipment and other things, he has no confidence. This should improve over time, it did with my dog. Some dogs are not easy to train, but this can improve confidence. Praise him for every good thing he does like walking good on a leash and keep working on commands.

Sometimes people chase after dogs when they run away or don't recall. FYI, this is the worst thing you can do and some dogs will find this very fun. Lately my dog has been lasping on recalls. One thing I do when this occurs is to sit down until he comes back.

He might not be a dog who is ideal for agility or obedience. Maybe he would be good at pulling like weight pull or a joring sport like ski joring or bike joring. Walks are not cutting into his energy.

My dog did not fit into my expectations either. It is more of the opposite of your problem. I thought he would be a lot faster and more agile. I based him on a dog a friend had who looked really similar. This other dog was faster than lightening and had more energy than a factory. If you want to keep this dog you have to find something the dog likes and will excel at.
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