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Adopting an adult GSD? #342469
11/12/16 07:21 AM
11/12/16 07:21 AM
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Codmaster Offline OP
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we lost our 8+yo male GSD to DM April 4, 2016. Wasn't near ready to even look at another GSD till very recently.

Our long time trainer/behaviorist just recently saw a 4yo (best guess) male GSD at a small local rescue and introduced us to the owner and the dog.

I am interested as the trainer said to me and to the owner and staff that we would be ideal adopted "parents" for this guy. he was picked up as a stray in nearby city and had to go thru some medical treatments for his coat and allergies.

He has had a couple of potential adoptees - one brought him back and the rescue had to get him back from the other (according to the owner - they did not do what they were supposed to - i.e. training mostly and let him get a bit too chunky! He can be a bit pushy (according to trainer and owner) and needs an owner who will give him a structured environment. He also seems very smart and trainable (we have had three visits with him and like him).
Anyway, my major question is about the experience anyone might have had with adopting an adult GSD - esp. one with a pretty strong temperament? We have had a number of ones with a very strong pushy temperament/personality but had gotten all of these as little puppies and raised them. Does it take long to bond - wife as well as me?
Much difference with one obtained as an adult?

Also wondering if anyone has read "Take 2" a book I have written by Joel Silverstein (Hollywood animal trainer - Frasiers TV show dog trainer among many other TV/Movie dogs). It is all about adopting and training an adult rescue dog.
I would like to train this new guy in AKC Obedience /Rally as he seems like he could do a good job.

Our last guy was trained thru 90% Utility although we never got a chance to show him in Ob - he did real well in his Rally.

Thanks for any info about adopting an adult dog!

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Codmaster] #342470
11/12/16 03:19 PM
11/12/16 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: Codmaster
Does it take long to bond - wife as well as me?


First, let me congratulate you on your new adoption. I'm thrilled for your wife and you. smile I cannot speak to all your questions but having adopted an adult gsd/mix it took less than a day for my family and I to bond with Sean. We were smitten from the start and I think that helped him immensely. As I'm sure you know, dogs are so intuitive. Granted Sean was not a pure gsd, he was mixed with some collie, but he adapted to our home and lifestyle extremely well. The only major issue in the beginning was separation anxiety. We did take him to obedience training early on which also helped both of us. wink

I'm sure others will weigh in on their experience but I think rescuing an adult gsd will be wonderful for your wife and you. Can't wait to hear updates - have you thought about a name or does he already have one?


Sean - 1998/2014
If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart I'll stay there forever.
Carleton DOB unknown
Neely - 2003/2015
Gizmo -2008/2011
Neeko -1991/2005
Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Codmaster] #342471
11/12/16 03:32 PM
11/12/16 03:32 PM
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Basia was picked up off the streets and brought to the pound where she stayed for a few months in quarantine, wasting away because she had EPI but no one knew it. They eventually reached out to a rescue b/c they couldn't figure out what was wrong and she was just not thriving. In foster care, she was properly diagnosed, got better and stayed for many more months until I eventually adopted her.

She was 2 or 3. Trainable, albeit very independent, self centered, dominant, stubborn, not the most biddable, but definitely trainable. Aggressive with dogs and human men who entered her space. We had a honeymoon period for about a month before her quirks started coming through. We bonded that summer but I would describe it as superficial. She was happy to see me come home from work, feed her, walk her, play with her, take her swimming and hiking. But that's it. I was just the lady that took care of her. The bond slowly grew deeper over the course of years. It's hard for me to say because I don't have past dogs for comparison... while at around 2-3 years I *thought* we were as bonded as we would get I realize with every passing year that I was wrong. We are now, at 5.5 years, more bonded than ever, and I would say we are very tuned in to each other. So, while it did take quite some time to truly bond, it was definitely worth the time and effort. smile

As far as training goes, I did a lot of NILIF and positive in the beginning to establish house manners and a happy relationship and willing training partner. I didn't start using the word "no" coupled with harsh corrections for a looooong time, but she's definitely the type of dog who needs a firm hand, and oddly enough establishing that is what helped to bloom our relationship to where it is now.

Never heard of the book. Maybe I'll read into it if my internet wants to cooperate.

ETA: I should add that I was Basia's primary person (even though we've had room mates). For us, that is just what she needed- one human with no other pets- all her attention could go to me. With a dog like her, if I had a husband I think it would work fine as long as the communication and rules were clear and consistent between everyone. Mixed messages were our worst enemy.

Last edited by BasiaBear; 11/12/16 03:38 PM.

Danielle
~Basia
~Amadeus
Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: BasiaBear] #342472
11/12/16 04:31 PM
11/12/16 04:31 PM
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Mary Jane Online content
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More votes for adopting an adult. My precious lamb (AKA Wolf-see avatar)leaned into me within seconds of his foster handing me the leash. Then again, he was fear aggressive and was close, but much less so, to my husband.

Adopting Wolf was such a wonderful experience that after he died, we adopted another young adult, Mars. Mars adores my husband-so it all works out.

I can't respond to your other questions. The off again on again adoption of your guy by other people might make him a little slower to stick to you-but that's just a guess.

I hope it works out beautifully for all concerned,
MJ

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Mary Jane] #342473
11/13/16 01:31 AM
11/13/16 01:31 AM
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Thanks so much for all the positive responses!

"Barkley" (name from rescue!) does seem like a very smart dog, pretty aloof but that is to be expected till bonding.

SA might be something given how he reacts to current rescue owner but we can certainly address that.

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Codmaster] #342474
11/13/16 02:45 AM
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1. first dog as an adult: GSD/Elkhound X. Knew him since he was about 10 weeks old; adopted him a couple of years later when his owner was going to take him to the pound because no one responded to his ad. Probably doesn't count because I already loved the dog.
2. fourth dog as an adult: Appeared in my back yard with a punctured trachea & jugular. Loaded him up and hauled him to the vet that could deal with him NOW! She got the owner to surrender (he had recently been rehomed). My attachment was instant, his took a little bit longer - probably secured in the 100 mile drive home from the vets that had the equipment to monitor him. I forget how old he was, 2 or 3 I think.
3. seventh dog as an adult: GSD? X. Got him at 6 yo. Took a few weeks (more for me than for him.)

Obviously, since my current & immediately prior GSDs have screen names of Barker the Elder and Barker the Younger (art history stuff) and are collectively referred to as The Barker Sisters, I think the name Barkley is great.

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: middleofnowhere] #342476
11/13/16 09:09 PM
11/13/16 09:09 PM
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I adopted Cara a month after Chamsa died ( who I had had since a puppy) and looking back it did take a year or so to properly bond with her. A completely different personality from Chamsa it took me a good few months too understand what made Cara tick. That said three and a half years on we are bonded and she is a happy ( if rather too vocal for my liking) , obedient dog.

I think whatever dog you adopt has pretty big boots to fill as Baron and you where so bonded however I suspect you like a challenge and will be able to bring out the best in the dog. Good luck

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: anniej] #342478
11/14/16 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted By: anniej
I adopted Cara a month after Chamsa died ( who I had had since a puppy) and looking back it did take a year or so to properly bond with her. A completely different personality from Chamsa it took me a good few months too understand what made Cara tick. That said three and a half years on we are bonded and she is a happy ( if rather too vocal for my liking) , obedient dog.

I think whatever dog you adopt has pretty big boots to fill as Baron and you where so bonded however I suspect you like a challenge and will be able to bring out the best in the dog. Good luck




Thanks! I am a bit afraid that whatever our new guy does "It won't be as good as Baron!". We will of course recognize this possibility and hopefully won't fall into it.

We certainly did have a great bond with Baron - at least many, many folks have said so. And I would certainly think so. Barkley is a very nice dog who according to the rescue folks has had a very tough life so far with many challenges.

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Codmaster] #342483
11/14/16 09:19 PM
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It was the dog trainer I used with Cara who recognised I was constantly comparing Cara to Chamsa - I am sure your trainer will flag it up for you was well :-)

I still miss Chamsa every day but I look at Cara and know all the hard work with her has been worth it. She has been a huge challenge but every time a dog walks past her on lead and she doesn't lunge and bark and every time I call her and she comes back immediately, sits, stays and drops her ball at my feet when I tell her I know it was worth it - she has taught me patience and she has learnt to trust and this feels like a real achievement. To adopt a dog whose life has taught him not to trust, not to know where his next meal is coming from and provide him with food,shelter, and friendship is a real gift which comes with its own rewards as well as challenges.

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: anniej] #342484
11/14/16 11:10 PM
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Older or younger, after a death, intentional or unintentional addition - each dog has been different, each dog's drives have been somewhat different. Comparing is not necessarily bad - you will learn a lot from each dog. Each subsequent dog will benefit from what the prior dog(s) taught you.

Barkley may have been Baron's choice for you. (yeah OK I asign dogs all sorts of strengths...)

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: middleofnowhere] #342488
11/15/16 05:46 AM
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You know, I think I also believe that he may have had a voice in Barkley coming to our attention. Behaviorist we had is a volunteer at the rescue and thought of us, Barkley is about 3/4yo but they thought he was 9/10 at least when he was found due to his terrible medical condition.

And he has been in a foster and potential adoptee family and was retrieved by rescue from adoptee.

So it seems like someone was looking to get us together.

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Codmaster] #342520
11/19/16 10:23 PM
11/19/16 10:23 PM
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Mary Jane Online content
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Hey Codmaster,

Is there any update about Barkley joining your family?

thanks,
MJ

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: middleofnowhere] #342524
11/20/16 04:15 AM
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Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Mary Jane] #342534
11/22/16 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mary Jane
Hey Codmaster,

Is there any update about Barkley joining your family?

thanks,
MJ

Still planning to and have been to visit him a couple times, but waiting for drivers lic renewal before we take him home. long story about renewal process.
Can't wait to get him home.

Has anyone seen Joel Silverman's (famous Hollywood TV and Movie dog trainer) book on adopting/training a rescue dog "Take 2"? Great and highly recommended!

Re: Adopting an adult GSD? [Re: Codmaster] #342575
11/28/16 12:48 PM
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Hope you get to take tis guy home!


Kathy

PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DJ,HT,TKN,TC,CGCU, RATN 4/4/12
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