How long til you "know" a dog isn't working out?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Dogdragoness, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Gillett/Flower Mound TX
    Hello all, as you know I adopted an adult rescue last year & he is a great dog, but sometimes I wonder if he is really working out or not or if we are a good match.

    Let me try to explain: he came to us with some issues: he hated leashes & collars & still does but has gotten tolerant of them, but I don't think he will ever "like" them or be enthusiastic about them. I am not forceful with him at all but when I am working on or with something else (like my lawn equipment for example) & it's giving me fits & I curse & act frustrated towards it, he goes & hides.

    I can assure you that while I used to be a crank & yank/swat on the butt trainer but as Josefina grew I abandoned that style of training & never looked back, I started using variations of NILF with her but if I try that with him he just shuts down & withdraws.

    I have not been able to move past this, I blame a bad upbringing because he seems to be a otherwise well bred dog (temperament & physically speaking) so I don't think it is a bred-in issue, I think it was an environment issue.

    It almost seems as though he has PTSD or something ... Any tips on helping him? I really don't want to call the rescue & tell them it's not working out (though I would be willing to keep him as a foster in the event that it would be the best thing for him to go to another home).

    I just want the best for him, I want him to be happy ... Even if that means not with me :(
     
  2. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,378
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Michigan
    I had a lot of the same issues of "Oh my doG, I made the biggest mistake" when I first adopted Rider. He came with so much baggage.. and honestly, the thing that helped us the most? Training classes. Once I got into Nosework with him, got him out and about more, got more involved in specific things to work on with him it was like a switch went off. He's still weird and pees on the floor sometimes and licks my sheets, but as far as our connection and feeling he wasn't a good fit, it is completely gone. Which is crazy, because just a few weeks ago, I was having thoughts (again) about rehoming him.

    You have to do what is right for you. Have you talked to the rescue at all about the issues you have been having?
     
  3. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    With my current foster, I knew that she was not the dog for me within two weeks. That was fine, I took her as foster only, but she just grates on my nerves as a pet. There aren't any other foster homes available for her, or that can provide better then I can, so she's stayed (four months now, dear God), but I'm looking forward to her being gone.

    So you can know very, very, quickly.
     
  4. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I'm confused about what you don't think is working out? This stuff?

    Are these things dealbreakers for you? Or is there something else that isn't working that you're concerned about?
     
  5. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Gillett/Flower Mound TX
    What about her "grates on your nerves"? Just curious.

    Nothing about buddy grates on my nerves persay. We just aren't "bonding", you know? Josefina I raised from a puppy & have an instant bond with, even tho she frustrated the **** out of me as a puppy/youngster.

    It's just when you give him a direction, he becomes nervous & shut down, even saying the word "no" makes him shut down even if its not said harshly.

    I just feel like a Terrible person, he really is a wonderful dog ... But when I look at him I don't get the feeling that we are on the same wavelength like I am with Josefina :(
     
  6. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    She's very needy. My preference is for a dog who likes being close, but not on top of me, and she's a very "OMG! OMG! I love you so much let me sit with you constantly and stare longingly at you and you are just the most fantastic thing that ever lived!" type of dog. She's been trained not to do that, but she sits on her mat or the bed and just looks miserable that she can't be with me.

    She also treats strangers like they are her best friends, which I don't care for either. I prefer a more aloof dog.

    That's not to say that she's not a wonderful animal, and that there are plenty of homes out there that will love both of those traits in her. Training can improve some of those things, but most of them are just Folly, and I will not break her natural temperment in an attempt to make her more pleasing to me. I do love her, and I take great care of her, but we just don't connect on the deeper level.

    It actually sounds like you and I are feeling the same way. Gambit is very frustrating, but we're so bonded. I will miss Folly when she goes, but be very glad at the same time, because I know there is a family out there that she will feel that bond with, and be a treasure to them.
     
  7. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Gillett/Flower Mound TX
    Yes that's how I feel too ... He is a great dog & I wouldn't mind fostering him for the rescue, I just don't think he is going to progress beyond where he is now & our personalities just don't meld.

    Neediness doesn't bother me. But he is also a dog that doesn't know a stranger & loves everyone ... While I like you like a more aloof dog.

    SIGH I guess I am a destined puppy person ... Even though it is the long way around the dog you really want lol.
     
  8. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    14,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Home Page:
    I agree with sassafrass, I'm not sure what the problem is exactly...


    Honestly, I think you just have to really examine your heart and that is how you will know. Pepper and I have a long history of ups and downs and it was very difficult for me to make a decision on if she should stay or not. There's a huge list of reasons why she isn't the right kind of dog for me. Are we a good match personality wise? NOPE. Does she drive me crazy, and not in the good way that Payton drives me crazy? YES.

    But what really matters is that I love her, she loves me, and my heart was broken without her here.
    I had been dying for a puppy for YEARS but when it came time for her to move back with Auggie's breeder, the comment "Well, hopefully soon we will have puppies," was made, and my immediate gut reaction was "But I don't want a puppy. I want Pepper."
    When the possibility of her being placed with somebody else came up I almost had a full-blown panic attack.


    There are certain criteria I can think of that would make another home better for her. But there is one thing that makes me positive that she is in the right home. And that is Pepper herself.
    She belongs here. That's just all there is to it.

    I think if it's been a year and you're still thinking that you don't really like the dog, which it sounds like, I think that IS your answer.
     
  9. Locke

    Locke Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    That's so funny, she sounds like the ideal dog to me!



    To DD - Have you made an effort to bond with him? Like Meagan said, a bond isn't necessarily automatic. Sometimes you need to find common ground through training or something and then it'll grow from there.
     
  10. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    If the issue is that you don't like him or his personality, then maybe he isn't working out. But bonding... honestly I don't believe that bonding is something that happens fast or not at all. It took me over a year to really bond with Maisy. In retrospect, that was because what I really wanted was Roxy: Part II and that, Maisy is... not. Not even close. But that's not her fault.

    What really helped me was taking a lot of classes with her and working through some training challenges with her. It helped me appreciate her Maisy-ness and let go of how she wasn't Roxy. And I never would have guessed how much she had to contribute to scootering and joring, it's opened up a whole new kind of bonding that I would never have experienced if I'd given up. So it took awhile to get here, but now anyone who wants to try to take her can just try to pry her out of my cold, dead fingers.
     
  11. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    It took me a year to bond with Summer and to really realize it. I always liked her and thought she was a neat little dog but it took time. We're still not 'as close' as Mia and I are, but I don't think it's fair to compare the two. I've never been as close to any dog as I am to Mia. But Summer is a sweetheart and so much fun to work with. She's crazy and the nicest dog on the planet and that's why I adore her.

    Trey took many years to bond with. He was so odd and so impossible to read. It finally came once I stopped comparing him to the other dogs.
     
  12. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I think the only way I'd consider rehoming in your described situation is if I thought that my personality or lifestyle was hindering the dog from coming out of it's shell and coping with it's issues, and I wasn't able to change that. If the dog and you simply don't have perfectly meshing temperaments/personalities...for me, that's be something to just "get over". IMO, when you get a dog, you stack the odds in your favor, but the way they act at home over time is never guarantee, and they're family. They might be too quiet or too active or too sensitive or too stupid for your liking, but you deal with it.

    If you think you're really unable to control your frustrations with him or work around it so that he's not put into situations where he's very uncomfortable, because of your job, other pets, etc...I'd consider rehoming. But I wouldn't seek out rehoming just because you guys don't click or bond that well.
     
  13. Shakou

    Shakou New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'll pretty much just copy my response from the other other forum :3

    Knowing what I know now about Ma'ii, in truth, he probably isn't the best fit for us. He is terrible in cars (and we travel a LOT), is FAR to vocal, obnoxious, has issues focusing, is very leash reactive, and too smart for his own good. I blame a life of poor training and socialization since he spent his whole life living on a ranch and never got out beyond that setting (this dog had no idea how to even play when we first got him; we'd throw a ball and he'd look at us like we had six heads). But inspite of all that, we love him immensely, and he loves us. So rather then handing him off to someone else that may or may not be a "better fit", we've tweeked our lives and selves a bit to reach a happy medium that works for all of us, and never stopped working with him. He's still not what I envisioned my "perfect" dog to be, but we've moved mountains with him from what he was when he first came to stay with us.

    If I could go back and do it all over again knowing what I know now about him, would I? I think I would. Preferably at a younger age, as I'm convinced it was his up bringing that has made him the way he is with the issues he has, but either way, it's been an invaluable learning experience. Ma'ii is actually the Navajo name for the Coyote spirit, who in legend is mischievous, deceptive, always getting into trouble and dragging those who cross his path into trouble as well....just like my dog. But they also teach us that there is wisdom in folly, and how to laugh at yourself when luck just isn't on your side, and that's my dog as well. When it comes right down to it, Ma'ii is an incredible dog who offers us a challenge as well as keeps us laughing.
     
  14. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Environmental Science
    Location:
    Vermont
    I've been trying for a couple of hours to think how to phrase what I was thinking without sounding like a callous jerk, and but someone beat me to the punch.

    I can't fathom getting rid of a dog after a year unless all hell was breaking loose. I know, I know, people do it, sometimes it works out for the best, but for me it would never be possible. You made a commitment to the dog, time to follow through.

    He will never be Josefina. He can't be, and any puppy or adult dog you ever get isn't going to be. He can be his own amazing self, but if you are constantly comparing him to her, you are going to always be annoyed and he is always going to be the loser.

    All dogs are different. I have two incredibly different dogs, and I've had times where I thought "Why isn't Gusto bonding to me like Meg?" Shoot, he's even my "got as a puppy and raised him" dog. Meg was an adult when I got her. Meg is so incredibly in tune to me, life with her is nearly always easy. Gusto leaves me to go sniff the dot on the floor, runs off the green to go see the dog across the street, and is appalled when I try to hold him on my lap at an agility trial. When I try to treat him like Meg and expect him to be a "good dog", I get frustrated and grumpy.

    I have to treat him like Gusto and expect Gusto-like responses. I bond with him in Gusto-like ways.

    What have you done, in the last year, to bond with The Other Dog? Adjusting how you train is absolutely wonderful, and I am certain incredibly appreciated by both your dogs - congratulations on taking such an important step! But it sounds like you and your rescue need to find some real confidence boosting games for the two of you to play together. There's been some great threads on this forum about boosting confidence in soft, worried dogs. I got advice here early on with Meg that absolutely changed our relationship for the better. But you do need to put the effort in.

    And with these soft, worried dogs - learn to be a fantastic actress. My agility trainer has told me I deserve an Oscar for my ability to fake "Everything is wonderful and amazing and you are a genius!" with Meg, who will shut down when she thinks things aren't going well. FAKE happy. Get good at it. Put him away if you want to beat the crap out of a badly behaving piece of lawn equipment. Don't lose your temper in front of him. He needs to trust that you are confident and stable.

    A friend threw this quote at me when I was really struggling with Gusto:

    I love it. My dogs may have completely different strengths and personalities, but my life is so much richer for it. I love my fish as well as my tree-climbing whatever ;)
     
  15. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    13,402
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Kennel Manager
    Location:
    Guelph, Ontario
    This. Times a million.
     
  16. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 birds, and 1 horse
    Location:
    A hole in the bottom of the sea.
    This! Awesome post!!
     
  17. Dogdragoness

    Dogdragoness Happy Spring!!!!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    4,168
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Gillett/Flower Mound TX
    Yeah I cross posted this because I know both "places" have different members & I wanted a ton of opinions from as many ppl as possible.

    I think me second guessing myself was me just feeling inadaquite as a trainer & as an owner. Not hating buddy or resenting him because he is not like my other dog, I have been there played that game & it doesn't work.

    I just want the best for him, I will check out this site as well as google for confidence building excersises
     
  18. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Grande Prairie, AB
    Word. I waited 10 years to add a second dog to my household and had high expectations when I brought Pan home as a pup. Then......we didn't like each other for the first 8 months. I was disappointed, I had numerous people tell me to return her to the breeder, training was often no fun. But, she was minethe day that I brought her home.

    I had to work through some things that I didn't want or expect, but every dog has it's own training challenges and personality. We have grown and learned together and now we are a super awesome team and I can't even picture not having her.
     
  19. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    9,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    It took me 3 months to realize my last foster (Tango) was not really a good match for me. I really, really wanted to keep him, but after a point...it was obvious it wasn't going to work out. I still love him to bits, but I'm SO happy another Chazzer was able to give him a fantastic home :) He actually made me decide that it will be a LONG time before I have a dog that small. I don't want anything smaller than 15 pounds.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    One year into Backup I was thinking seriously about selling him. Two years and I cannot fathom my life without him, even when he is a PITA.

    I don't mind people rehoming dogs that are fitting their lifestyle as long as the dog is being put in a better place but I figure that is worth sharing. Some dogs cause growing pains while you're learning how to be a better dog handler who can handle more than you wanted to but the only way you'll learn is if you don't give up and re-home prematurely.
     

Share This Page