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Hello Everyone, Our family rescued an almost 2 year Border/Assue (or so they say) from one of our Metro Atlanta rescue groups. My niece chose him as he was the easiest to handle on leash and was so sweet and allowed her to hug him during their first meeting. She suffers from anxiety and depression and instantly fell in love with him. The fosters who had him at the time were anxious for us to have him sleep over for the week. Too much if you ask me. We were told all he does is stare out the window and go to his crate and is a bit skittish at times. This is an understatement. 3 months later after adopting Toby, he is still fearful of sounds, gets irritated around my 7 year old when she is in the room and is shutdown approximately 70% of the time. He does not play, know what to do with a ball or respond to commands. He is unable to do obedience training as he does not respond to eye contact, treats because he is waaay to stressed. Walks consists of going to the end of our cul-de-sac and back because he is so fearful he is almost choking himself running to go back home. Interestingly enough he loves long hikes at a nature trail that loops for 5 miles. I'm surprised he can do it as he walks so little each day. In the morning he is almost normal and pleasant and then shuts down approximately 1 hour later. In the evening he has Dogzheimers... which means "have I ever met you? What are you doing in this house" :-) We have had behavioral health specialists visit him and the usual chicken and walk away assessments have been given and the last suggestion of bringing him out to their farm for training where he would sit in the front office, watch people walk buy and toss chicken at him to get desensitized for the nice amount of almost 2K. Not possible at this time. He seems to be getting better at opening up and a friend offered to have him on her farm for a month to see if he would learn to be a dog around her other 4 farm dogs. I am concerned that any strides we have made in getting him to open up to us would be lost in the month with someone else. Would we set him back in fear again or would other dogs help? I am truly hoping to get this sweet dog to turn the corner soon but his shut-down demeanor isn't helping to improve my neice's disposition when things go bad. The other day she was feeling really badly and we encouraged her to help herself feel better by grooming Toby, talking to him and stroking him. He just made himself smaller at first, turned his back on her and then walked away. She just busted out in tears at that point. I was so hoping that it would help. She sooo loves this dog as do I and just want him to have the best life as possible. He is not the least bit aggressive. We did 1 dose of Xanax and he almost buckled completely because he only walks from his crate to the window (approximately 12 ft each day) May run 2 laps around the yard at most. I've read the posts regarding Kelso and some of it has helped. It's hard to ignore that sweet boy and not reach out to him and I'm tryng to do better with that.
This is my first post in the forum and I need some advice. We adopted a 3-year old blue merle border collie about 6 weeks ago. He's a great dog, but is overly obsessed with going outside - we have a big balcony in the back from where he can see our backyard and the neighbors' cats that come and go, and we also hear/see the neighbors enjoying their own backyards. He has elected this as his job: to observe any movement coming from the backyard. He doesn't bark or anything, he just stares obsessively, doesn't move, listen or react to anything we do (calling, whistling, loud sounds... nothing!). He's basically just a statue when he's out there. :-( If we don't let him go outside, he hides under a desk and just looks miserable and depressive. It feels like he's upset and doesn't like us anymore. He can do basic commands like sit and down, and we have recently taught him to shake. But he needs real interesting food as motivation or needs to think we're going to open the balcony door to obey. He doesn't care for balls or toys, he eventually gets them, but only for a few seconds and then ignores them. We go for 2 or 3 long walks every day, but he's not interested in other activities like chasing us or playing outside. He is not very interested in us either, which we think will come with time, when he learns to trust and love us after being abandoned by his former owner. We understand he's still adapting to us and his new life. We also understand the breed-specific interest about cats and herding. But we want to get him interested in other things and make him discover a new job and new interests. Does anyone have any tips? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks! PS - Here's our Merlin! :-)
In my morning paper. https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/07/12/deaf-dog-once-thought-untrainable-wins-champion-agility-title.html I've never weaned myself off from hand-signals, so it never occurred to me what would be difficult about training a deaf dog. Clicker/verbal marker training doesn't work. She said she used a 'thumbs up' hand signal to replace the clicker, which would mean her dog would need to looking at her to have a 'precise moment in time' marked. Anyway, the article is delightful light reading, Seven is a rescued border collie.