How do you tell someone re-homing is a better idea? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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How do you tell someone re-homing is a better idea?

Firstly I'd like to start off with a side note of saying I've been a bad responder on the forum for the last few months. Life's been crazy busy so I'll get to them when I can.... and when I have enough working brain cells!



Heck even this post is a couple weeks late. So, an acquaintance asked that I help her place her dog. Please keep in mind, I have not met this dog. I've spoken to her a couple of times and she has been very overwhelmed by him. From what she tells me, I get a very clear sense she hasn't had a clue for a very long time. In the time that I reached out to rescues and the time I heard back from her, her stance has changed and she wants to try keeping him.


Here are the details: He is a heeler (cattle dog) around 14 months, neutered. She has had him since he was a young puppy. Her main issues are hard to understand but the way she explains them is that he bites and he pees. Now, I cannot tell for sure if this is a heeler 'nipping', playful, rambunctious thing or if he is really a bit uhmm, not normal. Let me tell you the way she talks she swore he was just an anomaly and had a poor temperament.

She also told me he was checked for a urinary tract infection; even after walking him out and about at a park for a while, he peed in his crate on the way home. She also said he just peed all of a sudden once when he was out standing next to her, it just kind of came out.

She thinks it is all behavioral. But here is the catch: I asked her if she works full time, she said yes. She said he is crated. I asked for how long? She said 10 hours! Sometimes more! I asked her can she get a dog walker to come in midday to take him for walks because that is just too long for him to not be going. She was not interested in spending any money for that so I agreed he should be rehomed. Here is another thing... I asked about early housebreaking and she said she used potty pads.....


Basically I wanted to know some thoughts from the DTers. I offered to go and evaluate him for free in hopes I could get him to a rescue(and actually see what his temperament is like). She responded telling me I'm welcome to meet him but she thinks she has the problem figured out. He is being dominant. Apparently this also applies to him peeing in her house....


I think he is frankly in the wrong home. I think he needs a full medical check and to be placed with a group familiar with the breed.


*sigh*

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 06:16 AM
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Will she read stuff? Maybe you can find some authoritative website, brochure, etc (something short and not too obviously “you’re doing it all wrong”!) which addresses the places where you think she is going wrong. So she’s not just hearing it from you...but from somebody “official”.

Tell her you figure she already knows the stuff, but that you liked it and learned some new stuff yourself from the info???

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 06:47 PM
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Unfortunately, you are in the position of being the bearer of bad news and that's never a good position to be in. My husband used to infuriate me by telling me (in situations like this when I had somehow become involved) that you should never try to tell someone something they already knew.

She thinks, somehow that she has figured out the answer--dominance! Well, from your description and my experience with herding dogs she's wrong.

Heelers are tough, hard wired dogs (that's about the biting)--herding dogs make their living with their mouths and it took much longer to teach my Australian Shepherd puppy to not bite, nip or mouth than it did any of the Doberman puppies. But it still took me only about a month (Dobes take me about a week)--so for a heeler to still be biting at 14 months is about training and not dominance.

The urination--you and I both think he's being crated for too long each day and that can cause problems--if it were my dog I'd also contact several breeders and ask if heelers have a problem with crystal or stone formation (and I'd do that specifically because I have a foggy recollection of having read, maybe, something about stone formation in Heelers).

A rehome with someone knowledgable about Heelers would be the obvious solution but I don't think you will convince her.

Why on earth does she want to keep him if he's such an unsatisfactory dog in her opinion.

I know a breeder of first class Australian Cattle Dogs--and their dogs much like most Heeler types are tough dogs--very trainable and typically well behaved but not particularly friendly to all people. They are definitely not a dog for everyone (sounds like of like a Doberman huh?). I doubt that this dogs present owner doesn't have a chance nor does the dog--she clearly doesn't know enough about heelers in general to have a clue.

Sure puts you in an unhappy position--but good luck. Let us know how this works out.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 07:05 PM
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I wonder if his vet knows how long he is crated each day; that might affect his diagnosis and recommendations to her.....except I donít think thereís any way you can reach out to him to tell him she needs some counseling.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 07:51 AM
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Sounds like a chocolate mess. I love the advice from Dobebugís husband, ďNever try to tell someone something they already know.Ē Iím putting that up on the frig! It meshes perfectly with my favorite mantra for things like this: You canít reason with an unreasonable person. Poor dog...

Good luck with this one, Bleh.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 08:35 AM
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Bug -- That is a Excellent post ! Top of the line !

As most of you know - We farm here in Indiana - we had lots of cattle on our farms for 40 years - as well as the neighbors - they had 1,200 on there farm year round ! When we got married - many moons ago - the first dog we got was a Aussie ! Great - Great dog ! My B-I-L had a Aussie - ( Chaps )- was one of the best Aussie's I have ever been around !

Both outside dogs - they hated to be inside - outside was were the action was - The only thing I could add to Bugs post is --- The peeing in the pin - These dogs are Highly Intelligent -- HIGHLY - Intelligent - He may have figured out that if he pee's in his crate - that they let him out -

I feel bad for that dog - Like Bug - Have had them and worked with them -

LOL - Ole Bo - even tried to heel me a couple of times - and he was around 10 when he did it - he told me he just couldn't help himself - : ))

One last thing - Maybe your friend can fence in a big area - to let him work in - keeping a Aussie or Heeler in a pin for 8 to 10 hours a day - In my book - IS animal cruelty - But - that's just my thinking .

Best of luck -
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
....We farm here in Indiana - we had lots of cattle on our farms for 40 years - as well as the neighbors - they had 1,200 on their farm year round.....
I had great fun picturing those intrusive neighbors on your farm.....but then I read further and you popped my balloon.

Bleh...if you find a way to get through to this person, let us know. Might be a helpful technique to know.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 03:00 PM
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Mel - The farm we lived on at that time was not where we kept our cattle - they were 8 miles away , at Mom and Dad's place - BUT the neighbor that had 1,200 was right next to us - One night - Wife woke me up - Said there was somebody out side the window - she could here them , I also heard them too ! grabbed my pistol - flash light and as I was about to go out the back door - I flipped on the flood lights - Well I found the perpetrator - well it wasn't just one perpetrator - it was 400 perpetrators - all around the house - the barn lot - across the road - they were everywhere ! So I called Ray - the neighbor at 3 am - His wife answered - I told I was sorry to call at this time in the morning - but somebody must of left a gate open - I heard her said Ray - wake up - Ray wake up ! Ken is on the phone and there's cattle everywhere - lol True story !

Yes - there was 400 total that got out - most visiting us - and yes - they left a gate open when they were feeding -

Bot - they sure was hard o the grass - as it had been raining for a few days and hoof prints about 4 inchs deep - made it fun mowing for the summer

Sorry to get off track here : )))
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ECIN View Post

But - they sure was hard on the grass - as it had been raining for a few days and hoof prints about 4 inchs deep - made it fun mowing for the summer

Sorry to get off track here : )))
They only left footprints? You were lucky.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this and for the advice.

My main thing right now is not so much in arguing the 'alpha' issue but in my concern that he is crated for too long- mentally yes that is going to affect him, but furthermore I'm concerned for his health and that is why I think he needs to be placed elsewhere.

I'll have to mention the dog walker again. She actually told me she thought that dogs could hold it as many months as they were old.... I had to explain that it's typically true for crating a young puppy, to add a month but that ends after 8-9 hours... and such and such yadda, yadda.... I explained these things to her back when we spoke and she was ready to give him up.



Quote:
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Will she read stuff? Maybe you can find some authoritative website, brochure, etc (something short and not too obviously “you’re doing it all wrong”!) which addresses the places where you think she is going wrong. So she’s not just hearing it from you...but from somebody “official”.

Tell her you figure she already knows the stuff, but that you liked it and learned some new stuff yourself from the info???
Thanks mel, that is the kind of stuff I'm looking for. I'm sifting through my resources list trying to find things regarding the other side of the argument with the 'alpha, followers, hierarchy'.

She actually said "I finally figured out why he's peeing in the kennel or on the floor. It took a lot of research of alpha dogs and their obedience the peeing is him asserting his dominance and not wanting to listen or comply. [...] been excruciatingly overwhelming not knowing exactly what I have and all that entails to keep him as a follower and not an alpha. "

I don't know what information she has been looking through but I'm worried about his health being crated 10+ hours a day. I hate to sound like a downer, and those of you who've 'known' me on here are aware I'm not the first to consider a re-home, but, I think this is what is best for them both.

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She thinks, somehow that she has figured out the answer--dominance! Well, from your description and my experience with herding dogs she's wrong.

Heelers are tough, hard wired dogs (that's about the biting)--herding dogs make their living with their mouths and it took much longer to teach my Australian Shepherd puppy to not bite, nip or mouth than it did any of the Doberman puppies. But it still took me only about a month (Dobes take me about a week)--so for a heeler to still be biting at 14 months is about training and not dominance.
This, Dobebug. Exactly what I had in mind when she describes him.

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The urination--you and I both think he's being crated for too long each day and that can cause problems--if it were my dog I'd also contact several breeders and ask if heelers have a problem with crystal or stone formation (and I'd do that specifically because I have a foggy recollection of having read, maybe, something about stone formation in Heelers).
Yeah I'd like to have him vetted again and more thoroughly.

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Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
A rehome with someone knowledgable about Heelers would be the obvious solution but I don't think you will convince her.

Why on earth does she want to keep him if he's such an unsatisfactory dog in her opinion.
I have no idea. She seems very disillusioned. If this gives you any idea: she actually told me she believed he was part dingo. She showed me a photo of him at 5 weeks when she got him (and that photo looked very much like a puppy of 7-8 weeks) She also showed me a more recent photo. He looks like a red Heeler.

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Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
I wonder if his vet knows how long he is crated each day; that might affect his diagnosis and recommendations to her.....except I don’t think there’s any way you can reach out to him to tell him she needs some counseling.
Probably does not know. I'm going to try and talk to her about having him see the vet again for crystals and such. I'd imagine that him attempting to hold it is causing him problems and making the peeing issue worse. If anyone has any concrete information/links about urinary conditions (aside from UTI) that he could be experiencing- that I could pass along to her that would be helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by triciakoontz View Post
Sounds like a chocolate mess. I love the advice from Dobebug’s husband, “Never try to tell someone something they already know.” I’m putting that up on the frig! It meshes perfectly with my favorite mantra for things like this: You can’t reason with an unreasonable person. Poor dog...

Good luck with this one, Bleh.
Thanks Tricia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
One last thing - Maybe your friend can fence in a big area - to let him work in - keeping a Aussie or Heeler in a pin for 8 to 10 hours a day - In my book - IS animal cruelty - But - that's just my thinking .
Yeah, if she is not going to have a walker come in, then doubt she will build an exterior, safe area for him to stay during the day. On a side note, he did come from an unregistered litter in Indiana.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Bleh...if you find a way to get through to this person, let us know. Might be a helpful technique to know.
Will do.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 09:15 PM
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I wonder if you could hand her something like what dobebug wrote up above...edited a bit to make it palatable to her--but, you know, advice and sympathy from someone who has had one and was complaining on your forum one day about how tough a dog they are to keep (unless they have the absolutely PERFECT conditions??).....so she doesn’t have to feel she has failed the dog, because another REALLY EXPERIENCED dog owner had a TERRIBLE time trying to keep a heeler.

“it’s a coincidence, but someone on my forum had a heeler and, it’s really weird, but she was complaining just the other day...they really sound like tough dogs to handle. Do you know, she said......."

You may have to edit Bug’s post quite a bit ...but it seems like there is stuff there to work with that could be stretched convincingly (without contradicting what she can read online).

Or maybe find another heeler owner who is willing to play along with that line. They really aren’t for everyone.

Dang it, I really feel for that dog.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2018, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mel. Yeah I had that idea myself. I think bug said she had an aussie, but they're similar. I was kind of waiting for her to respond actually!

..... So, bump! bump!


I'm still looking for a few heeler related links to go from so she can back off the whole 'dominance is causing his peeing' thing. But bottom line is I think he needs to be placed. My gut tells me she doesn't have the commitment to make this work.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-25-2018, 09:40 PM
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No dog should be in a crate for 10 hours, especially a Heeler. Good luck with getting through to her.
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