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Old 05-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Karl and I may need your help :/

This is Karl.



He came from animal control to the rescue I volunteer with last Tuesday and had been staying at the kennels waiting for foster. I told them that once O'Reilley got adopted I would take him if he still needed a foster on Sunday. After being at the kennel for a few days I found out he was very scared and there was concerns about whether or not he should even be moved again or what because he is very timid. I went to meet him and we basically decided that even if it means taking a step back and him having to get used to me/transition again, it would be better to get him out of the kennel and into a home.

Back story: Karl is thought to be about 1 year old. He was picked up as a stray, running with another dog (who looked just like him only 2 floppy ears--brothers?). The other dog was pulled by a rescue to be a service dog, Karl was left...and has been there since February. The volunteers there begged the volunteers from our rescue to take Karl because he is such a sweet boy and was really starting to shut down.

Fast forward to now. Karl came to my house on Sunday night and was absolutely terrified (panting, shaking, startled at even the quietest noise or sudden movement). I set him up in a spare room with a crate so when someone is home with him we leave the crate door and bedroom door open so he can come out as much as he is comfortable. Other than that I've been basically ignoring him (secretly watching him out of the corner of my eye) and letting him do only as much as he is ready for. He really seems to be taking baby steps (I do not expect more than this, obviously I've had him less than 48 hours!).

My question is, how do I help him the most? Last night he would come out, peek at me, go back in...repeat. He continued this most of the night until he was finally approaching me, letting me pet him and going back in. He also showed his first interest in some toys which would have made me scream and jump for joy but I couldn't because it would have scared the bajeezus out of him! Anyway, then we had a major setback. Karl was sniffing around and then squatted to pee! Totally without thinking, my reflexes took over and my reaction was to jump up with a "no!" (I know, BAD!! ). Well of course the poor guy Scooby Do's it on the hard floor, sliding all around, knocking over a fan and water bowl, everything crashing around him as he scurries away back into the crate in the bedroom.

I felt SOOO bad. He of course didn't want to come back out the rest of the evening (it was already pretty late by then), and after a few pieces of turkey we called it a night. I'm glad to say that even after our setback he has bounced back rather well today. Again, I am taking it VERY slow with him and just trying to keep things very calm, level and positive.

I'm just wondering what advice people have. I definitely don't want to do anything that may traumatize him further and I feel that these first few days/weeks are going to be very important in terms of doing things right. My focus right now is on building his trust and confidence and helping him feel safe and secure. I am not coddling him but when he does something good I am praising him in a soft, low voice. I know its important to take things slow and not to push him beyond his threshold. Just wondering what other tips and suggestions people may have for me to help this sweet, gorgeous young guy.

Few more pics...
The first night in my foster home

Once he finally settled he positioned himself where he could see me, but still at a safe distance before falling asleep.

Getting a little more comfortable resting/coming out of my crate
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Soothing music, calming scents (they make diffusers and calming oils), talk calmly around him, go into his room and read/relax so that he knows you are there but not interested in him or making him do anything in particular. Thats all I can think of for now, good luck and thanks for fostering
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mabel wasnt quite as bad but her first few days everything sent her into a panic. I kept her crated in my room with the door open. I spent the day on my bed or at my desk reading, e-games, folding clothes with the tv on or radio at a low sound.
I completly ignored her but she got a click treat if she showed any confidence (got up and turned around in crate, peeked out, came out etc...)

Aside from potty breaks on leash she got to feel it out on her own, make her own decisions, and be rewarded for the right ones.

She wasnt as bad since she was mostly confused about going from breeder to buyer to breeder to me in under 2 weeks. Thankfully I was a semi familiar face but she was still really shaken.

Calm, quiet,and relaxed space and slowly bridge it out to the rest of the house is what worked for me.

P.s. having a second very sound calm dog to assist in being an example helped too.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for the responses so far. It worked out well that my SO is out of town this week for training, so the house is very calm and quiet for the most part. The trouble I'm having is with finding something rewarding. He is REALLY scared, and I can barely get him to eat let alone take treats most of the time. The only thing I really seem to get him to take is turkey, but even then sometimes he passes. Praising voice and petting is also a no go because I can barely get close enough to pet him, and anything above a calm, low tone freaks him out. :/

I feel like all I can really do is try to avoid anything bad happening as much as possible and let him just start to see that I am not going to hurt him. I was thinking about using the clicker too, but I'm not sure how to even get him ready for that.

Should I even be trying to encourage or coax him out? Or just leave him be? I don't want to push him, but I also don't know if I am hurting anything by letting him get comfortable only in his crate? It almost makes me wonder if maybe he was kept in a cage or something like that. If only this dog could talk, I don't think I'd want to know the stories he would tell.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hows he feel about liver sausage?
You could leave him alone entirely while being in the same room the first day no treats or anything too, let him do what he wants with no actions, he feels safe in his crate so let him feel safe and figure things out on his own terms, the less you push him and the more you go about life and make yourself seem positive the better.

To use the clicker youll need to find what he wants for a reward to charge it and go from there.
Right now my concern wouldn't worry about praise and treats as much as just being calm and quiet while going about life and ignoring him so he can sort through it all for a day or two with random handfuls of food put into the doorway or just in front of his crate so he a) can eat and b) is getting simple rewards for just being in a new environment, no acknowledgement just a passing drop and off on your way.

Like i said I had the added advantage of mabel already somewhat knowing me, being clicker trained, and not having been a stray of unknown origins, but had she been worse its what i'd be doing, it's along the same lines to what we do with new boarders at work who are unsure. quiet room, sit in front of or near the run and we also will train other calm dogs in front of them with random rewards for them watching and seeing everything is ok.

How has he been doing in getting him out for potty breaks?

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Old 05-08-2012, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hows he feel about liver sausage?
You could leave him alone entirely while being in the same room the first day no treats or anything too, let him do what he wants with no actions, he feels safe in his crate so let him feel safe and figure things out on his own terms, the less you push him and the more you go about life and make yourself seem positive the better.

To use the clicker youll need to find what he wants for a reward to charge it and go from there.
Right now my concern wouldn't worry about praise and treats as much as just being calm and quiet while going about life and ignoring him so he can sort through it all for a day or two with random handfuls of food put into the doorway or just in front of his crate so he a) can eat and b) is getting simple rewards for just being in a new environment, no acknowledgement just a passing drop and off on your way.

Like i said I had the added advantage of mabel already somewhat knowing me, being clicker trained, and not having been a stray of unknown origins, but had she been worse its what i'd be doing, it's along the same lines to what we do with new boarders at work who are unsure. quiet room, sit in front of or near the run and we also will train other calm dogs in front of them with random rewards for them watching and seeing everything is ok.

How has he been doing in getting him out for potty breaks?
This is pretty much exactly what I've been doing. I actually just went to check on him and he was laying on the floor near the door of the bedroom. I see progress. He's not coming in and out tonight like he did last night, but he has been able to settle in the crate and is now increasing the space he is moving out of the crate and toward the rest of the house (and me).

For potty breaks I go and put a leash on him and gently coax him out. When I first picked him up he was horrible with the leash, would buck up and try to back out. Now I will turn away from him and tell him "come on...lets go" and start walking away. Sometimes he will follow me, other times I have to give him a gentle tug and he will start walking. I keep him on the leash in the yard (since if he is free he will run and I don't know how I will get him back in the house, and he was recently neutered so not supposed to be running/jumping). He will potty outside and has been improving with being on leash like I said.

Overall I really do feel he is doing better and this is only day 2. I just want to be proactive and make sure I am not doing anything detrimental, and make sure there is nothing I'm not doing that I should be. Wow...sorry for the novel!
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd say keep doing the same then, it works and besides potty breaks which are a necessity to life he is getting things figured out at a pretty good pace for what background it sounds like he has. The leash work is great too, it isnt a big deal and your just going to keep moving.

As far as treats if you want to use something now i say try liver sausage or something really good, stinky, and meaty
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks. I think I will continue this routine for now. I hope we don't have a major setback when SO comes home and the routine changes...but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I will def have to try to find some stinkier...I mean yummier treats It would be nice to find something that he likes/is motivated or rewarded by.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The grosser it seems to you the more they like it is my personal experience, and i'd do the same thing with SO though, treat everything blase and like its just another day and he'll adjust and go with the flow

treat list:
liver sausage, natural balance, deli meats, cheese, tripe, freeze dried liver or meat chunks
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The grosser it seems to you the more they like it is my personal experience, and i'd do the same thing with SO though, treat everything blase and like its just another day and he'll adjust and go with the flow

treat list:
liver sausage, natural balance, deli meats, cheese, tripe, freeze dried liver or meat chunks
Thanks! I will do a little shopping. Tried cheese and the deli turkey he has been taking so far, but not the cheese.

As for SO, the good thing is he is a pretty laid back, calm man of few words. I think he and Karl will get along swimmingly
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Keep us posted and he does sound perfect, karl is deff in the right house!
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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When you give treats, are you just tossing them near him from far away? If not, I'd start there. Don't look at him/make eye contact, pretty much ignore him. Toss lots of tasty treats over to him from afar. You might try some deli roast beef - that gets Shanoa going pretty well. You can also try stinky cheese, some freeze dried tripe, etc.

I would let him go at his own pace, not try to coax him out. Just be in his presence, as far away as you can be and still be "with" him, and let him get used to the sounds of your household.

This may be a tough case. Does your rescue have a trainer they work with at all? You may also be able to find a great, positive trainer who will donate their time to the rescue. I'm not suggesting this dog is ready for classes or even training, but having a professional come over and show you some techniques might be really useful.

You might also want to send a PM to RedFawnRising. She does a lot of rehabbing of dogs that have issues and she might have some good suggestions for you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sorry, no advice, but her is adorable and i LOVE his name.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
When you give treats, are you just tossing them near him from far away? If not, I'd start there. Don't look at him/make eye contact, pretty much ignore him. Toss lots of tasty treats over to him from afar. You might try some deli roast beef - that gets Shanoa going pretty well. You can also try stinky cheese, some freeze dried tripe, etc.

I would let him go at his own pace, not try to coax him out. Just be in his presence, as far away as you can be and still be "with" him, and let him get used to the sounds of your household.

This may be a tough case. Does your rescue have a trainer they work with at all? You may also be able to find a great, positive trainer who will donate their time to the rescue. I'm not suggesting this dog is ready for classes or even training, but having a professional come over and show you some techniques might be really useful.

You might also want to send a PM to RedFawnRising. She does a lot of rehabbing of dogs that have issues and she might have some good suggestions for you.
Thank you. I have tossed some of the treats, but mostly just offered from my hand. He will sniff, sometimes even take it and spit it back out. I will try giving him more space by just tossing it near him. And get stinkier/better treats. I think the rescue has a few trainers so iwill keep that in mind as he starts to settle in because it seems like he is going to need a lot of work before thinking about adoption.

I am going to rethink his area if he doesn't start to come out. Right now he is comfortable in his room, and I could sit in there with him, but I can't get too far away. If I leave he can't really see me at all. I think that's where im stuck is trying to figure out if I should be in there, leave him alone or have him out with me.

Maybe RFR will see this thread and reply, if not I may PM her after work for any other bits if advice. Thank you for all of the suggestions!

Sorry for typos...hard to write all that from my phone.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The reason I suggest tossing them rather than asking him to take them from you is that some dogs are food motivated enough to come near, even though they are really afraid, and it creates more conflict/stress for them. If you toss them when he's far enough away to feel safe, he can take them without worry. Gradually, you will start tossing them slightly closer to you, especially as he gets more comfortable with you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
When you give treats, are you just tossing them near him from far away? If not, I'd start there. Don't look at him/make eye contact, pretty much ignore him. Toss lots of tasty treats over to him from afar. You might try some deli roast beef - that gets Shanoa going pretty well. You can also try stinky cheese, some freeze dried tripe, etc.

I would let him go at his own pace, not try to coax him out. Just be in his presence, as far away as you can be and still be "with" him, and let him get used to the sounds of your household.

This may be a tough case. Does your rescue have a trainer they work with at all? You may also be able to find a great, positive trainer who will donate their time to the rescue. I'm not suggesting this dog is ready for classes or even training, but having a professional come over and show you some techniques might be really useful.

You might also want to send a PM to RedFawnRising. She does a lot of rehabbing of dogs that have issues and she might have some good suggestions for you.
First, let me just admit to being a bad reader and barely skimming this thread.

Have had to make some tough emotional decisions with rescues lately, and this all cuts a bit too close to the bone for me, at this time.

I noted some great advice (so much education being fostered here in the DT culture, thanks guys) and would probably only add to go to the ClickerSolutions site's recommended reading list and pick up a couple more resources there--you can read them while you sit in the room with ScaredDude.

Um, do you already have the Turid Rugaas book? I'd use the calming signals with this dog, but don't make the mistake I've seen some folks do, of over-pantomiming them, just do them softly and naturally.

Other than that, the big question in my mind for Karl is...what are the rescue's eventual plans for him? Long term, what will his quality of life look like? (I understand that's hard to predict right now, just wondering what the goal is, what thought process is in place for that.)

Will he have access to a Scaredy Dog Class? CU?

What kinds of evals/interventions will be in place, if his fear triggers aggression?

Does this rescue have a record of successfully placing such special needs dogs?

Or are folks just sort of hoping he will "snap out of it"? (Which, all crossables crossed, he possibly could, with a bit of help.)

Thank you for helping him.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you for your recommendations, and I'm sorry about your recent course of events. I will look at that list and also read more about calming signals. I have read a little but I admit I am a novice at putting them to use. I am a social worker by trade, working with kids and surprisingly (or perhaps not) there are a lot of parallels, so from what I have read it seems like my natural way of interacting with this guy has actually been ok. Things like not making eye contact, reading his comfort level and backing off when he starts to feel stressed, approaching from the side, yada yada.

Anyway, I think you ask a very important question when it comes to the rescue and their plans for him. If I can be blatantly honest, I would say that probably hasn't been considered yet by many...except me. I think the hopes are that he will come around and it will be a non-issue. But I am not so sure :/ Lets just say I volunteer for this rescue because my "friend"'s mom is the president and I kind of happened into it. I have stayed because of the dogs...not necessarily the people or the way things are run :/ That may not be the best situation, but that's a whole other discussion. I know they do have access to training, but I think the dogs who go to training are boarded there, which I think would be horrible for this guy. I will have to certainly look further into those things once I have a clearer picture of what his future may look like. Right now, I just want to do everything I can to give him the best shot. I don't think this rescue has a history of placing many dogs like Karl. They almost didn't let me take him because they said he was more scared than any dog they have seen in a long time. It gives me the feeling of being in over their heads...maybe its just me who is in over my head. Either way, I don't like that feeling and I am doing something about it.

I have never heard of Scaredy dog class, but I will have to look into that. I have read a lot of good things about CU, looks like I'm going to have to learn more. I don't know what it is about this dog, but I am already so attached to him and feel an obligation to help him get better. I hope I can.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:37 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thank you for your recommendations, and I'm sorry about your recent course of events. I will look at that list and also read more about calming signals. I have read a little but I admit I am a novice at putting them to use. I am a social worker by trade, working with kids and surprisingly (or perhaps not) there are a lot of parallels, so from what I have read it seems like my natural way of interacting with this guy has actually been ok. Things like not making eye contact, reading his comfort level and backing off when he starts to feel stressed, approaching from the side, yada yada.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Turid Rugaas's book, "Calming Signals." It's very cheap, and really valuable. You might even be able to get a copy through interlibrary loan at your library. I'd also watch this video: How to communicate with a dog in their own language- dog training dog communication - YouTube.

Quote:
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Anyway, I think you ask a very important question when it comes to the rescue and their plans for him. If I can be blatantly honest, I would say that probably hasn't been considered yet by many...except me. I think the hopes are that he will come around and it will be a non-issue. But I am not so sure :/ Lets just say I volunteer for this rescue because my "friend"'s mom is the president and I kind of happened into it. I have stayed because of the dogs...not necessarily the people or the way things are run :/ That may not be the best situation, but that's a whole other discussion. I know they do have access to training, but I think the dogs who go to training are boarded there, which I think would be horrible for this guy. I will have to certainly look further into those things once I have a clearer picture of what his future may look like. Right now, I just want to do everything I can to give him the best shot. I don't think this rescue has a history of placing many dogs like Karl. They almost didn't let me take him because they said he was more scared than any dog they have seen in a long time. It gives me the feeling of being in over their heads...maybe its just me who is in over my head. Either way, I don't like that feeling and I am doing something about it.
I do think you need to have a SERIOUS discussion with the rescue. Hopefully what you have on your hands is a normal, stable dog who got overwhelmed by the shelter environment and will "come around" quickly. But if you don't, if he's truly a scared dog, this isn't something that's easy or quick. I don't mean to be a downer, but working with a dog like this is intense, exhausting, and it is an ongoing process that can take a long time, even years. So you, as foster home, and the rescue, need to be on the same page about him. What will you do if he is this scared and anxious? How long will you commit to fostering? Are you able to work with a trainer, because this is NOT the kind of thing you can really do on your own. What happens a few months or a year down the road if he's still this anxious? I'm very supportive of rescue, I dream of the day when we are a no-kill nation, but realistically there are some dogs that just can't be rehabbed. I really, really hope that's not the case with this dog, and it probably isn't, but you need to be prepared for that, and so does the rescue.

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I have never heard of Scaredy dog class, but I will have to look into that. I have read a lot of good things about CU, looks like I'm going to have to learn more. I don't know what it is about this dog, but I am already so attached to him and feel an obligation to help him get better. I hope I can.
Definitely get the CU book. I was also able to get that through an interlibrary loan. If you are really, really committed to him then I do think you'll need some experienced professional help. I'm sure we can help you find a trainer that is experienced with nervous dogs.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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SpecialK, I do understand working in the moment, and doing all you can for Karl, day by day, crossing bridges as you come to them.

You have a good heart, to try to help him.

Do get the CU book, and esp. start reading up on the Look At That! exercise. Karl isn't ready for it yet--he needs to be your partner to some extent at least, first, but getting ready to put it into practice won't hurt. You can use your resident dog as the "guinea pig," but you will also need pro help, as Meadowcat already suggested.

I dunno, the situation with the rescue sounds very iffy, as far as you and Karl.

This ain't my first rodeo, but I think you never stop learning (if you let yourself) from these rescue dogs and I find myself lately contemplating long-term outcomes, right from the start, when doing evals.

I have long thought mental anguish is every bit as real as physical anguish, and I don't believe dogs who stay this upset have any quality of life.

They also usually are not safe citizens of this world, and--hard as it is to do--sometimes the ethical, kind, and loving thing to do is to bless them and let them go. Help the next one when you can.

I'm not saying you're there, in Karl's eval process. I'm just saying somebody with decision-making powers, needs to at least be contemplating a long-term plan, with an eye to both the dog's quality of life, and human/adopter/public safety.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:28 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I highly recommend picking up a copy of Turid Rugaas's book, "Calming Signals." It's very cheap, and really valuable. You might even be able to get a copy through interlibrary loan at your library. I'd also watch this video: How to communicate with a dog in their own language- dog training dog communication - YouTube.



I do think you need to have a SERIOUS discussion with the rescue. Hopefully what you have on your hands is a normal, stable dog who got overwhelmed by the shelter environment and will "come around" quickly. But if you don't, if he's truly a scared dog, this isn't something that's easy or quick. I don't mean to be a downer, but working with a dog like this is intense, exhausting, and it is an ongoing process that can take a long time, even years. So you, as foster home, and the rescue, need to be on the same page about him. What will you do if he is this scared and anxious? How long will you commit to fostering? Are you able to work with a trainer, because this is NOT the kind of thing you can really do on your own. What happens a few months or a year down the road if he's still this anxious? I'm very supportive of rescue, I dream of the day when we are a no-kill nation, but realistically there are some dogs that just can't be rehabbed. I really, really hope that's not the case with this dog, and it probably isn't, but you need to be prepared for that, and so does the rescue.



Definitely get the CU book. I was also able to get that through an interlibrary loan. If you are really, really committed to him then I do think you'll need some experienced professional help. I'm sure we can help you find a trainer that is experienced with nervous dogs.
Thank you very much. I can't check the video right now since I am at work, but I think I have seen it before. I will look at it again when I get home to make sure. I am going to go on Amazon and order both books as soon as I'm done with this post.

I understand exactly what you are saying about the time and effort it could be to rehab this dog, and I have to take a serious look at how much I can do. I REALLY want to help him, and I feel like he's already making gains (small, but gains nonetheless). But I need to make sure I am able to give all that he needs and commit 100% if so. I think I am up for the challenge, but I need to KNOW.

Quote:
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SpecialK, I do understand working in the moment, and doing all you can for Karl, day by day, crossing bridges as you come to them.

You have a good heart, to try to help him.

Do get the CU book, and esp. start reading up on the Look At That! exercise. Karl isn't ready for it yet--he needs to be your partner to some extent at least, first, but getting ready to put it into practice won't hurt. You can use your resident dog as the "guinea pig," but you will also need pro help, as Meadowcat already suggested.

I dunno, the situation with the rescue sounds very iffy, as far as you and Karl.

This ain't my first rodeo, but I think you never stop learning (if you let yourself) from these rescue dogs and I find myself lately contemplating long-term outcomes, right from the start, when doing evals.

I have long thought mental anguish is every bit as real as physical anguish, and I don't believe dogs who stay this upset have any quality of life.

They also usually are not safe citizens of this world, and--hard as it is to do--sometimes the ethical, kind, and loving thing to do is to bless them and let them go. Help the next one when you can.

I'm not saying you're there, in Karl's eval process. I'm just saying somebody with decision-making powers, needs to at least be contemplating a long-term plan, with an eye to both the dog's quality of life, and human/adopter/public safety.
I really, really appreciate your up front and forward info. Like I said before, I am a social worker and mental anguish is no stranger to me. I have to agree that if this guy is going to live forever the way he is feeling now (or close to it), it would be a miserable existence. As much as it pains to me to think about it, I can agree that there could be a time when the selfish thing to do would be keep him around.

So far, he has shown absolutely zero aggression, and to me seems very very sad. I do feel that he needs a chance to settle and show us what potential he has, but I am not confident in my ability to assess that. I see the best in him, how long should I expect to take to see his "baseline"?

As for the rescue/training...here is my honest thoughts--I think Karl would be better off with me finding a trainer (maybe some suggestions through DT?) and really taking this on more on my own, as bad as that may sound. I'm not sure if I could get them on board with funding it or possibly get a trainer to donate time. At least to start, evaluate him and teach me how to work with him best. I just feel that this is such a sensitive case and there are so many trainers out there with different approaches that if I go to the rescue and they just send a "trainer"...it might not have the best outcome. Maybe I'm just a control freak, who knows. But I know one thing, which is that I have Karl's best interest in mind. That's why I started this thread to reach out to people who I know have a lot of knowledge and experience in the dog world, which I value and trust.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SpecialK View Post
As for the rescue/training...here is my honest thoughts--I think Karl would be better off with me finding a trainer (maybe some suggestions through DT?) and really taking this on more on my own, as bad as that may sound. I'm not sure if I could get them on board with funding it or possibly get a trainer to donate time. At least to start, evaluate him and teach me how to work with him best. I just feel that this is such a sensitive case and there are so many trainers out there with different approaches that if I go to the rescue and they just send a "trainer"...it might not have the best outcome. Maybe I'm just a control freak, who knows. But I know one thing, which is that I have Karl's best interest in mind. That's why I started this thread to reach out to people who I know have a lot of knowledge and experience in the dog world, which I value and trust.
I think you are absolutely right here, that you'd be better off finding a trainer yourself. You're in the NW suburbs of Chicago? I think there are a couple of CU trainers in that area. If you're willing, I can find out who they are. If you can get an in-home evaluation for Karl I think it would REALLY benefit you. They can give you an honest assessment and then set up some training protocols with you.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:19 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think you are absolutely right here, that you'd be better off finding a trainer yourself. You're in the NW suburbs of Chicago? I think there are a couple of CU trainers in that area. If you're willing, I can find out who they are. If you can get an in-home evaluation for Karl I think it would REALLY benefit you. They can give you an honest assessment and then set up some training protocols with you.
That would be fantastic. In the meantime I could try to find out more about if the Rescue would be willing to help defray the costs or if the trainer would be able to work with me on pricing. Not sure how much it would be just to have an eval, but its a good place to start.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Ok, so I did a little checking and basically the rescue has a facility they use at times and an individual trainer who takes dogs sometimes as his own foster. They use these because those are the people who offer a discounted rate. Basically it sounds like if I find someone on my own I can pay out of pocket or if they will offer a discounted rate too the rescue may still be willing to help. Next step is finding a reputable trainer and getting more info on costs. I also ordered the CU and Turid Rugaas book (hopefully I ordered the right one because there were a few) and started reading up on the LAT.

Right now I am sitting outside with him, he seems to like it outside (wonder if maybe he was kept outside? who knows). So he is sniffing around, laying in the grass and even running, jumping and barking. I am still ignoring him for the most part. Last night and now I am click/treating him every time he comes up to me. (I got some liver sausage last night and started by tossing them and now he will come up to my hand). OMG he is rolling around in the grass!! ha sorry, small victory right as I was typing.

Anyway, just a quick update and again I really appreciate all of the recommendations and support. One more question though (and I know it is a very grey area), but what time frame do you think is reasonable to expect him to settle in? I mean enough to see if basically he is rehab-able? I'm not expecting anything right now, but I just would like to see what peoples' opinions are on what should be expected, realistically. Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
I think you are absolutely right here, that you'd be better off finding a trainer yourself. You're in the NW suburbs of Chicago? I think there are a couple of CU trainers in that area. If you're willing, I can find out who they are. If you can get an in-home evaluation for Karl I think it would REALLY benefit you. They can give you an honest assessment and then set up some training protocols with you.
I agree, think you're better off finding a good CU trainer and working with him yourself.

A lot of this kind of work is intuitive, and with your social work background, esp. working with (presumably troubled) kids, I think it sounds promising for you and Karl to work well together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecialK View Post
Ok, so I did a little checking and basically the rescue has a facility they use at times and an individual trainer who takes dogs sometimes as his own foster. They use these because those are the people who offer a discounted rate. Basically it sounds like if I find someone on my own I can pay out of pocket or if they will offer a discounted rate too the rescue may still be willing to help. Next step is finding a reputable trainer and getting more info on costs. I also ordered the CU and Turid Rugaas book (hopefully I ordered the right one because there were a few) and started reading up on the LAT.

Right now I am sitting outside with him, he seems to like it outside (wonder if maybe he was kept outside? who knows). So he is sniffing around, laying in the grass and even running, jumping and barking. I am still ignoring him for the most part. Last night and now I am click/treating him every time he comes up to me. (I got some liver sausage last night and started by tossing them and now he will come up to my hand). OMG he is rolling around in the grass!! ha sorry, small victory right as I was typing.

Anyway, just a quick update and again I really appreciate all of the recommendations and support. One more question though (and I know it is a very grey area), but what time frame do you think is reasonable to expect him to settle in? I mean enough to see if basically he is rehab-able? I'm not expecting anything right now, but I just would like to see what peoples' opinions are on what should be expected, realistically. Thanks.

Sorry, should have given you the full title--it is On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, Turid Rugaas.

Karl sounds like a nice boy, who's starting to peek out of his turtle shell a wee tiny bit already

Time frame? Who can know? Every dog is different. Most folks generally believe that a couple weeks is when the real deal starts coming out, but really it is probably more like a couple months for a good eval of what you've got there.

I mean, there are always exceptions, but those are some rules-of-thumb.
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