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Old 12-06-2012, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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how long before your rescue dogs..

How long was it before your rescue dog's (any breed) personality truly came out?

Sorry if this is a repeat of another thread (I did check and didn't see it), but I'm just curious as to how long it took your dog's to get comfortable enough to let their real personality come out. People kept telling me that it takes some rescues up to 6 months, if not longer, before they are adjusted. I've had Deacon 7 months, and he has seemed comfortable almost right away with us. However, he continues to surprise me. In the last month I have been seeing how goofy this dog truly is...he always has me laughing now! I started off with a shy guy with very little confidence and now I have a big goofball, it makes me happy to see him so happy!

I'd love to hear your stories because now I'm wondering if other rescued dog's come around faster (I'm sure some of it is their background) and mine is just the oddball,...which wouldn't surprise me lol!!
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lulu582 View Post
How long was it before your rescue dog's (any breed) personality truly came out?

Sorry if this is a repeat of another thread (I did check and didn't see it), but I'm just curious as to how long it took your dog's to get comfortable enough to let their real personality come out. People kept telling me that it takes some rescues up to 6 months, if not longer, before they are adjusted. I've had Deacon 7 months, and he has seemed comfortable almost right away with us. However, he continues to surprise me. In the last month I have been seeing how goofy this dog truly is...he always has me laughing now! I started off with a shy guy with very little confidence and now I have a big goofball, it makes me happy to see him so happy!

I'd love to hear your stories because now I'm wondering if other rescued dog's come around faster (I'm sure some of it is their background) and mine is just the oddball,...which wouldn't surprise me lol!!
Usually a week and you can see what the real dog is like.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i figure it takes at least 3 months before you see the dog they are.

the dog they will be....

depends on you.

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Every 'rescue' is different.

It depends on the individual dog, their natural temperament (some are more 'reserved'), how they were raised, what happened in their past, if they are healthy/not healthy when you receive them, and if they have any temperament 'issues' to be worked on.

It took my boy about 3-4 months to start showing his natural personality, relax, get a schedule down, and generally feel comfortable around us. His previous owner was however very oppressive to say the least. Even after a month of being with a dog I do not consider myself to fully know everything about them temperament and personality wise. My personal boy continues to change a bit here and there. My family, friends, etc, don't notice it, but he does tend to surprise me continually!
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Every 'rescue' is different.

It depends on the individual dog, their natural temperament (some are more 'reserved'), how they were raised, what happened in their past, if they are healthy/not healthy when you receive them, and if they have any temperament 'issues' to be worked on.

It took my boy about 3-4 months to start showing his natural personality, relax, get a schedule down, and generally feel comfortable around us. His previous owner was however very oppressive to say the least. Even after a month of being with a dog I do not consider myself to fully know everything about them temperament and personality wise. My personal boy continues to change a bit here and there. My family, friends, etc, don't notice it, but he does tend to surprise me continually!
You are definitely right about their background making a huge difference in their progress in a new home. My last adopted dobie came from a loving home that couldn't have her anymore at 6 and she was her normal self with us from day 1. Where as deacon came from a much rougher life at 2 and he has taken much longer to open up into this fun, goofy dog. I am just realizing that we started agility in the last month, so his new "job" likely has something to do with his boost in self esteem....don't know why I didn't think of that earlier lol!

Like you said with your guy, I also find that deacon shines around people that he is most comfortable with! Thanks for sharing, I enjoy to hear other people's story with their pups!


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Old 12-06-2012, 09:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Some of the changes you are seeing are just Deacon growing up! 2 weeks is usually a good time frame to allow the dogs true nature to come out. I know I've written quite a few new bio's on my foster dogs after the first couple of weeks! My own dogs(foster failures) I think they are mine because they came in and adjusted so well I just couldn't let them go.

I'll never forget my Rogan (RIP) he was the perfect dog even my non-dog person husband loved him, was picture perfect until I signed the contract once I emailed the rescue I was keeping him I found him on my desk!!

My little Chi Myszka has been with us 11 months and just last month has started to actually play with the other dogs.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Tessa is a rescue dog, and despite a couple of her significant flaws, she's probably the "best" dog I've ever had. Here's her story:

According to the manager of the shelter from which I adopted Tessa, my girl had a pretty hard life in her short three years.

She was used as a breeder BEFORE the age of two years old. For whatever reason, the d-bag who owned her got rid of her by pawning her off on another family who kept her outside in their yard for the majority of her third year of life.

That owner told the shelter manager that they were giving her up because there had been a medical emergency in the family and they could no longer keep her because: a) they didn't have the time for her, and b) she would run the fence in the backyard barking at squirrels, birds, a leaf, you name it. They were getting complaints from their neighbors.

She came to the shelter at the tender age of three as a hot mess. Her nails were extremely overgrown, and we're STILL working on gaining her trust when trimming. At this stage (and it's been nearly a year since we adopted her), she still seems to think anyone who touches her feet is probably going to lop 'em off.

She still has her "issues" but I could tell she was coming around by the end of her first week with us when I took her and Levi to the local dog park and SHE initiated play with him. She wanted nothing to do with him up to that point so it was incredible to see her actually start being a dog.

Another milestone was when she licked my face for the first time. She wouldn't let anyone get close to her face, but one day not too long after we got her, she just ran up to me, kissed my face, and ran off. Now, it's commonplace in our house and I smother her with kisses every single day! She secretly hates it.

I think it really depends on each rescue dog. They all have their unique issues. The thing I admire most about dogs is their resiliency. Most dogs are still willing to live in the moment, offer their love to anyone, and learn to trust again. I'd like to be more like a dog and less like a human sometimes.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My German Shepherd has literally shown me her true personality since the day I brought her home. I've had her almost 2 years now and she has remained consistent in personality and temperament. She showed me her anxious, affectionate, submissive, vocal, sweet, and herding-instinct side from day 1. Nothing has been a surprise with her. That is not the norm and not what the majority of my experience in dog rescue/fostering for 6 years has been. I've had foster dogs who have been on a 3 month honeymoon before..some take days to weeks to get comfortable and find their confidence. I've never had a foster that stayed for a year or longer but I have heard of some dogs taking a year to adjust in foster homes..usually with very feral dogs or severely abused/traumatized cases.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenVera View Post
Tessa is a rescue dog, and despite a couple of her significant flaws, she's probably the "best" dog I've ever had. Here's her story:

According to the manager of the shelter from which I adopted Tessa, my girl had a pretty hard life in her short three years.

She was used as a breeder BEFORE the age of two years old. For whatever reason, the d-bag who owned her got rid of her by pawning her off on another family who kept her outside in their yard for the majority of her third year of life.

That owner told the shelter manager that they were giving her up because there had been a medical emergency in the family and they could no longer keep her because: a) they didn't have the time for her, and b) she would run the fence in the backyard barking at squirrels, birds, a leaf, you name it. They were getting complaints from their neighbors.

She came to the shelter at the tender age of three as a hot mess. Her nails were extremely overgrown, and we're STILL working on gaining her trust when trimming. At this stage (and it's been nearly a year since we adopted her), she still seems to think anyone who touches her feet is probably going to lop 'em off.

She still has her "issues" but I could tell she was coming around by the end of her first week with us when I took her and Levi to the local dog park and SHE initiated play with him. She wanted nothing to do with him up to that point so it was incredible to see her actually start being a dog.

Another milestone was when she licked my face for the first time. She wouldn't let anyone get close to her face, but one day not too long after we got her, she just ran up to me, kissed my face, and ran off. Now, it's commonplace in our house and I smother her with kisses every single day! She secretly hates it.

I think it really depends on each rescue dog. They all have their unique issues. The thing I admire most about dogs is their resiliency. Most dogs are still willing to live in the moment, offer their love to anyone, and learn to trust again. I'd like to be more like a dog and less like a human sometimes.
Your poor Tessa, I'm glad that she found her way into your home! Sounds like she really did have a rough start, and I agree that those little milestones (like playing and kisses) that may be overlooked by others mean so much to you. You are sooo right about them being resilient; they do tend to bounce back quickly with some TLC...it's what makes adopting and fostering so worth it and rewarding!

Like you, when I adopted Deacon I knew what I was getting myself into and that's why I got him...I knew that I would be able to work with his issues that may have gotten him overlooked by other families. While I knew that he needed to come out of his shell and become confident in himself, I also saw immediately that he was a very gentle, loving, and affectionate dog...that part was apparent from the minute he walked into my house. I guess with all of my confidence building obedience and agility training techniques, I have made him more comfortable with himself and it shows now!!!
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I adopted mutt in June and she's still surprising me! She was so mellow and quiet when she came home, now she's incredibly playful and energetic. After a few weeks she seemed pretty comfortable here, but it seems like she's still coming out of her shell.

My Chihuahua took only a few weeks before she was showing her true self. She adjusted very smoothly once she figured out that it was wise to stay away from the cats!
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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One day my mom and my little brother were walking home and a big snowy ball of fur bowls him over. My mom said to herself that if he followed her home he could come in and he did. She called around and found out about his story.
He was a month shy of being 3, he was usually tied up outside, in the garage or wondering the streets and he'd been doing this probably since he outgrew his cute puppy stage (he must of been absolutely adorable, he was a sheepdog/collie) they were moving and if they couldn't find someone to buy him they were leaving him.
A little later I got home from school and instantly fell in love within an hour I could lay on him and cuddle. Dad came home and said it was my decision to keep him, I of course said yes. I don't think any of us ever regret it. He was an amazing dog, his ability to love people after the lack of love he got early on was just crazy. He had a few little issues like food guarding, running away, and absolutely no leash manners, but nothing major. We had him for 10 years just lost him July and I still miss him.
I definitely think that it is dependent on the dog itself, the situation may play a role but not all dogs will cope the same way. I don't think many dogs that had so little human interaction for almost 2 years would react with pure love and adoration that Willy did, same as all people don't react the same.


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Old 12-06-2012, 11:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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With Hank it took 2-3 months. But I only say it took that long, because that is when his house guarding instincts kicked in. Guess that's when he finally realized our house was his to protect.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I guess like a lot of people is saying depending on the dog, and also their history, age, etc, Maya has been with us for a month and it took a few days for her personality to come out, she's still a puppy tho.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's been almost eight years since we adopted Stormy, and I keep hoping she'll change......


When you have other dogs, there is also the whole pack restructure going on, that is more of the case with my last two rescue girls.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I guess I've been pretty lucky most of my dogs have been pretty true to their personality from the beginning.

Past dogs
My Dachshund (aka Evil Dog) -Walked out of her crate in the humane society "owning" the joint and instantly claimed my husband.
The Chihuahua terrier dog(from the streets)- Was a clown from the beginning, she even peed with both back legs up balancing on her front legs.

Current Dogs
The dobe- Was all HELLO WORLD! OMG! from the very moment she came out of the truck to us. I don't think it's stopped, she's young so I'll see some mellowing as she gets older but I anticipate happy enthusiasm from her.

The hound mix- He's the dog that was the most shy but he's always been pretty chill and placid. Now he's just confidently chill! He's way too cool to play with toys, but now very occasionally I see him playing with the dobe and tentatively doing something like tug or keep away with her.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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our was completely broken, i could not imagine the situation he came from. It took weeks for him to even sit or lay in our presence, just stood like a statue. He would not acknowledge me at all only my wife to a certian degree in the ist weeks. It took a month for him to allow me to even pet his head, each pet was like milking a cow (a squirt of pee) He never acceptated a treat from me , if this is even possible but he seemed to have issues with guys. I had to back away from any major involvement just be a calm force around the house. He never barked in the beginning if he wanted something you would have to recognize his tightening stomach, which moved to a low wistle l. i cannot remember a bark. It took 6 months before any type of success and a year before we had to stop modifying our behavaior. He became my wifes dog and only lived to be in her presence. True personality to come thru...i do not know.. but he live many years and died a very sweet old man!
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:05 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah, it definitely depends on the dog. A few weeks for Logan, who was kept in a cage in the garage at night and allowed to run free outside the rest of the time. It took him longer to get over his fear of brooms and rolled up magazines, and even longer (well over a year) for him to trust me to handle other dogs. He never lost the dog aggression, but that really doesn't have much to do with his being a rescue. The trust that he needed in me, that I wouldn't let another dog attack him, took a little longer. Some of my service dogs in training were from the Humane Society, and they adjusted quickly because they went right into training, where they were with me 24/7. Little Dog, who belongs to my housemate, took over a month to really settle in, but the shelter told us they thought she had a rougher start in life.

Griffin moved right in. The worst thing he did was try to lift his leg on the futon the second day. And after that, it was smooth sailing. He's my chill dog, though. Nothing fazes him except the vacumn cleaner, and he had a very easy time adjusting to house rules. He was in a foster home after Dobe rescue pulled him from the SPCA though, and I give them a lot of credit for helping him to find his feet again. He was underweight after he left the shelter, probably from stress, so I think having a foster home with another Doberman did quite a bit to help him settle down.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I think there's a difference between being able to evaluate and "read" them, within a week or two...and them really letting down their guard, sighing in relief, and figuring out that they're finally, finally home.

Some walk out of that crate owning the place, like somebody already said, and some take up to a year or so.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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When you have other dogs, there is also the whole pack restructure going on, that is more of the case with my last two rescue girls.
I think that this is a great point and one that I never put much thought into...even though it is important! I took for granted how well they all got along from the start (I have 3 dogs all together) that I never considered deacon having to find his "place" with them. Thanks for that eye opener!




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Old 12-07-2012, 01:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think there's a difference between being able to evaluate and "read" them, within a week or two...and them really letting down their guard, sighing in relief, and figuring out that they're finally, finally home.

Some walk out of that crate owning the place, like somebody already said, and some take up to a year or so.
I agree that this is a huge difference and it's what I'm dealing with in my situation. I was able to judge what kind of temperament he had from the beginning, but never knew this extra fun stuff about him because he had to get completely comfortable with himself, his new family...including the furry brother and sister!

Y'all are giving me a new outlook on all of this and I'm loving it and enjoying hearing my fellow rescue/adoption friend's feedback!


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Old 12-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RedFawnRising View Post
I think there's a difference between being able to evaluate and "read" them, within a week or two...and them really letting down their guard, sighing in relief, and figuring out that they're finally, finally home.

Some walk out of that crate owning the place, like somebody already said, and some take up to a year or so.
I agree with this wholeheartedly.

I saw a lot in and about Tali within the first 48-hours. But there were stages to her coming out of her shell and that lasted a long time. I'd say for the first 1.5-2 years with her I felt like, gradually, another layer was being revealed, and then another layer, and another, and so on. I feel like I understand her better and in more ways now than I did even 6-months ago, though it's been apparent for a while that she's relaxed now and she is very much at home with me.

When she first came to me it was clear she is a very sweet dog, but she was scared stiff too. That's more apparent to me now than it was then because I have experience with her to which I can compare that initial version of Tali. She was polite and well mannered, but she was very reclusive and withdrawn, both from physical contact and interaction. She spent a LOT of energy and time focused on watching me and sizing me up.

Our slow progression was due to who she is, her age at the time (she still had some brain growing to do), and how she responded to Fiona and then again to Fiona maturing.

Every dog is different. Some dogs can go through hell and back, yet remain social, warm, and accepting practically from the word "go" and if you didn't know their history, you'd never dream they'd met a stranger let alone an *sshole. Other dogs may have not experienced much if any trauma apart from needing a new home, but they might still be inclined to be distrustful, fearful, and experience quite a bit of anxiety.

ETA...Just wanted to clarify, Tali isn't a rescue but she did come to me as an adult. She spent a year with her first home and things didn't work out, then she spent a year with the breeder, and then came to me. So I've had her since she had just turned 2 years old.
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