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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Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 10:11am PST 
Lenny,while I completely agree with you and many others here,and would certainly like to see Josie in a forever home,I don't know that pushing someone who after one week is willing to throw in the towel and give her back because she didn't bond instantly IS THAT HOME. As you and several others of us know,yes I have had rescues before,all dogs require time,and patience as well as alot of dedication on our parts and still will not be 100% of what we thought we wanted. It does not make them any less loving,loyal,or wonderful and they always seem to give back at least 100 times what we put in but if there is any doubt in this persons mind that they are the right home or can give Josie what she needs,lets think of Josie,let her go back and find the home willing to give her what she needsand enjoy her for who she will become with their patience and dedication and not force someone who doesn't feel it to keep trying.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 10:46am PST 
Would you date someone for one week and expect to have an instant relationship? Sure it happens, but for most people it takes time, commitment, compromise. Then there are couples that will eventually break up. But other times the relationship can bloom and grow.
It takes time when you adopt a dog too. The first year with Sophie she was so timid in the house and so wacky onleash...almost dislocated my elbow with dragging me down one day. Callie is a blocky headed tank with stranger aggression...he is also a sweet soft lapdog. Already we've tamed his habit of using my arm as a chew toy. I can work with him just like we did with Sophie.
Give your pup time and lots of love and you'll be suprised...Some dogs really are a bad match for a family, but those are usually dogs with extreme personalities. Your dog just seems like she needs time to get to know you...and you getting to know her. cheercheercheer
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 11:14am PST 
I agree with M&K. Rather specifically because this is a trial. If OP wants to feel really confident, then certainly there are some dogs who do great during trials. For as much as what everyone here is saying is true, I foster one heck of a lot, and a lot of dogs are all over you like a cheap suit as soon as they step through your door laugh out loud big laugh And some dogs simply are more aloof or disconnected. You can work to better those things, but if you what you want is a velcro-ish type dog, that doesn't suit all dogs naturally.

IMO, I just feel if we are to promote something, we need to make it real. And if we are to say that you can find the exact dog you feel you are looking for in rescue and offer trials to help people make extra sure, then that needs to be supported. I think it is different when there is not a trial....very disruptive to rescues when such is not anticipated. You'd hope then every chance is given. But here, the rescue acknowledges this as a trial, within that some assumption they might be expecting the dog back. Not quite a "sealed deal" in other words, which is a different equation.

Bond is everything, so I'd be curious if there was a striking bond at the first meet that sucked the OP in, or if this was more of an intellectual decision. I certainly have fostered quite a number of dogs who act like they are home within the first hour they are here. I felt very torn about adopting out a Cocker girl a little while back who in two hours fit into my pack extremely seamlessly and was acting like she was my dog. It wasn't just the bond to me, but she just fit my house so perfectly right away. If I had a huge house and limitless space, it would have felt really wrong to have sent her on her way, just because she fit so darned well.

Edited by author Mon Feb 4, '13 1:20pm PST



Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 11:24am PST 
I agree with M&K and Tiller, even though everything that has been said is correct. But at the same time if the OP feels things are not quite right or is doubting the decision to adopt Josie, then surely it's better now to consider returning her rather than continuing on and hoping things will improve months down the line. Coming to a decision then will be much harder emotionally on both the OP and Josie. I agree that this trial run is your time to weigh these things up Josie, and decide whether you really are the right home for her or not and whether she is compatible with you.

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 11:48am PST 
M&K, I can see your point but I also have known a few people who were doubtful in the beginning (most new to dog ownership, but not all) and because someone told them, "Give your pup a chance. You picked him for a reason, just give it some time." and I've seen the pair grow through the time spending together and a lot of learning takes place for both parties. I had doubts about Lenny because he was just so into his nose and seemed to have no real interest in me or my family and didn't even answer to a name. It was discouraging, I had built up such a beautiful image of how the transition would go and how quickly he and I would be BFF's and how wonderful it would be to have a dog snuggling up in my bed.

Is it how it happened? Heck no laugh out loud That dog was a crazed puppy who destroyed anything and everything in his path, who was noisy and showed almost no interest in people and 100% of interest in the environment and food and proved hard to potty train. He generally spent time away from us and would play only for a short time before appearing bored of us humans and wasn't even really into making dog friends. If I had only given it one week I would've returned him and missed out on the wonderful dog he is today. Shoot if I had returned him a month later I would've missed out. Sometimes we need someone to remind us not to jump the gun. To look at why we were attracted to that dog in the first place and to give a dog the time to show its true potential and personality.

But since the trial only goes two weeks, I can see why there is some urgency in deciding on whether the dog fits or not. If the dog was displaying behavioral problems that the adopter wasn't sure she had the resources or ability to work through, I'd understand and would recommend the adopter find a better fit and the dog go to someone who could help her work through her issues so she too could live a good life in a forever home of her own. But in this case it seems like the dog is just taking her time to settle in, not necessarily a dog that's a bad fit.
Bam-Bam, CGC

Lil' Rubble
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 12:11pm PST 
My concern lays with the fact that you recently made a post in regards to an adopted dog, not Josie, urinating in the crate.
http://www.dogster.com/forums/Behavior_and_Training/thread/765669/ 2

Did you return that dog and now you're having second thoughts about Josie? If so, perhaps you need to reevaluate exactly what you're looking for in a dog, WHY you want a dog, and what you're willing to go through to have said dog.

Your post mentions being a 1 dog family, so I assume the last dog was returned.

Just things to consider...
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 1:27pm PST 
Bam Bam....that dog's page is five years old. It was Josie she was posting about (not the other dog) in the thread, she just hadn't set up a page for her new pup yet. Did so later in the thread, which may be the confusion. If you just scroll down on that thread it will make more sense to you, i.e., that the thread was about Josie.

Mr. Blue was twelve and having health problems last summer. I presume he's up in doggie heaven.

Not trying to be a jerk, but it's important to read/research posts before making conclusions. OP has volunteered at shelters and was very devoted to her dog, who she had for four years with some health problems besides.

Edited by author Mon Feb 4, '13 1:35pm PST

Ch Zena

We don't- doodle!!!
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 3:44pm PST 
I will also post here on the opposite side of many of you. I do agree dogs need months or more to adjust to a new home, BUT... in most cases you have an inkling in the first week or two whether this is the dog for you.
I got Zena one year ago, and I can honestly say, I am NOT the right home for her. I was pretty sure this was true within the first few weeks, but I did not have the option of returning her.
Let me say... Zena THINKS she is in the right home so all is well, BUT... she would be much better suited as an only companion to an older couple or an older single person. She absolutely adores me, does have separation anxiety away from me, BUT here she must share me with 8 or more other dogs which she doesn't do well. All my dogs (except Beanie) are social butterflies and Zena is not. She doesn't like change, she wants things to constantly remain the same. 8 or more dogs IS constant change.
She would prefer to only have me as the person in her life...but because of my lifestyle and occupation, she MUST deal with other people on a pretty constant basis which she HATES. She tolerates the other dogs and does sometimes play with them, but they are definitely NOT her thing. I take my dogs everywhere...camping kayaking, etc., and she doesn't care for that stuff at all.
I can honestly state that had the option been there to return her to the rescue it would have been better for both her AND me. Furthermore, I could have provided that rescue with way, way more helpful placement information about her after just having her here for 10 days/2 weeks so her next placement would have been more to her liking, I think.
Rest assured, she DOES love me and is fine here, but should that perfect home come along I will readily place her there, BUT with a return option as well.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 4:10pm PST 
That's what I've been gently trying to say, too. There is that phrase of the "unpacking their bags" era which may take months and which I do agree with, but I think generally there is that basic inkling or vibe from the start. And I do think particularly in that this was a trial period, it becomes far more a point of utilizing that fact in one's considerations.

The OP also may be one of those where adoption events aren't always your best friend. Wasn't exactly looking, but fell for a little dog. Too small, she deliberated....but she had been "primed" by that stage to think about getting a dog, so shifted to one bigger. I think also, as she has some background in rescue, I think maybe there was some sort of "good hearted sense of obligation" at play....she came close to considering one dog because she was so cute, decided not, but with things having come close to the line with/for that rescue, maybe decided to press ahead.

The big point is that when one opens their heart, it opens fully. And if this is not that dog, or even if this is not that perfect time, best be honest about it, for everyone's sake.

This whole thing is really different than, say, pulling a dog from a kill shelter. That and a trial adoption from a rescue are rather far apart.

Edited by author Mon Feb 4, '13 4:11pm PST


Barked: Mon Feb 4, '13 5:11pm PST 
Wow I was not expecting all these responses! I'll try to answer some of your questions.

I wanted a dog and searched for one for weeks. On all the adoption applications, they ask you if there is one thing you will not work on with a rescue. I put chasing my cats, or prey drive. I almost put separation anxiety, but chose not to because I thought maybe that would be unfair or something.

I wanted a cuddly, quiet, moderate energy dog that was good with dogs and cats. I was interested in a couple dogs from this rescue that pulls from kill shelters. There wasn't much info about Josie. She was described as friendly, outgoing, with a great attitude, and they said she got along with all the dogs. I asked to meet her. When I did, she gave me a sweet kiss. I walked her around the store to try to get a gauge on if she had a prey drive. She didn't notice the cats in the cages, but they weren't running so that didn't tell me much. I took her to the birds and she was quite interested. We left and came back and she was a little less interested. She eventually laid down and dogs were walking all over her, sniffing her all over, and she didn't care. I wanted a laid-back dog, so that pretty much sealed the deal.

I did not anticipate the isolation anxiety. I've had quite a few dogs in my life including one rescue and one stray, and have never dealt with this issue. It has been very taxing and stressing and turned what I thought would be a great time into a stressful one. If someone had a magic ball and could say to me "her isolation anxiety is only temporary while she gets used to your home" I would not be thinking of returning her.

I asked the rescue their opinion and they said she just needs to get used to our schedule. My boyfriend and I are freelancers, our schedules change every single day. Also we can afford a dog, but we cannot afford a dog that requires a behaviorist, stress medication, doggy daycare, etc. I'm trying to crate train her, not knowing if this isolation anxiety is going to get better or worse. I THINK it's getting better, because she hasn't peed in her crate recently, but I don't know if one moment she won't decide she wants out and hurt herself in the process, and if she breaks out will my cats be in danger due to her stress. So far she's only been in her crate a few times, for 3 hours or less. I bought a book on separation anxiety, got the thunder shirt, Rescue Remedy, and contacted a behaviorist (can't afford it).
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