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Discussion Starter #1
We've been searching for a small dog that is right for our family for months now and we believe we've finally found one - a schipperke at a shelter about an hour away. We are going tomorrow to meet the dog and I've already spoken to the shelter worker and asked alot of questions. Sight unseen the dog seems perfect for us, alot will hinge on how the meeting goes tomorrow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
But I just realized - omg, I might have a dog TOMORROW! After all this research and searching I suddenly don't feel ready!<br><br>
What can you tell me about what to expect the first day with a shelter dog?<br><br>
She's a young adult female, found as a stray and has only been at the shelter for a week. She's friendly, good with kids, high energy and playful, and they described her as a "warm-hearted goofball".<br><br>
Can you/should you crate train an adult dog?<br><br>
How do I deal with housebreaking an adult dog? I am working under the assumption she may not be housebroken at all because she was a stray and now she's in a shelter. How do I start?!<br><br>
I've spent so much time researching breeds and what I want and what I don't want I feel unprepared for the training aspect and what happens next.<br><br>
is there a good website that can steer me in the right direction? Most of what I've found deals with training puppies and she's an adult.<br><br>
THANKS!
 

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Yes, you can and should crate train an adult dog. The crate can serve as a secure place for her to escape if she gets stressed out and it will keep her out of trouble when you are unable to supervise her. There has been some great advice on crate training in a couple of recent posts and you really don't train an adult any differently than a puppy. I'm sorry I can't go back and find those for you right now but you can do a search. They were new puppy threads I believe. Congratulations on your new baby! Let us know how it goes when you get her home!
 

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Congrats on your new dog! We adopted an older (6 years old at the time) dog from the shelter. One of our best decisions ever.<br><br>
I don't have a lot of training advice except to ditto Danemom. Training an adult is not a lot different than training a pup. Our dog did come to us housetrained, but we have done a lot of other obedience training with him. Old dogs can definitely learn new tricks! And, yes, with kids around, I would say crate training is a wise choice.<br><br>
My one word of wisdom - do not assume that her behavior/personality that she has for the first couple of weeks at home is the same one she will always have. She has been through a lot going from streets to shelter to new home and will need time to adjust.<br><br>
If you find she is not housetrained, you can try tethering her to you with a short leash most of the time so you can prevent/catch accidents and keep her little "full of energy" self out of trouble while she learns the rules of the house.<br><br>
Good luck and post pictures!
 

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Yeah, definitely give her a couple weeks to get settled and show her true personality. She will need to learn to trust you guys. In the meantime, work on getting her used to the crate (give her super yummy treats every time you put her in), take her for long walks around her new neighborhood and give her lots of TLC - my way of bonding with Daisy is to brush her every night. Now we both look forward to that 5 mins of unwinding at the end of the day and she seems to have a lot more trust for me.<br><br>
Good luck! Post any specific questions here.
 

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crate train & never use as a punishment.<br>
some of my dogs love their crates - leave the door open to go in all day long.<br><br>
I always gave my rescue fosters at least 1 mo to get comfy - provide lots of quiet, calm space. Let dog be able to eat in peace.<br><br>
some of these poor dogs have had terrible lives.<br>
sign up for a petsmart, etc or parks & rec dog training & get whole family involved.<br>
I love any of the "monks of New Skete" books - good sound advice.<br><br>
Congrats
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had read and learned about crate training but that was when we were set on a puppy. Now I am having trouble figuring out how to translate that to an adult dog that could possibly be fearful and nervous?<br><br>
Also housetraining - I'd like to start off on the right foot and prevent accidents. A few people that I've asked recommended tethering her to me and letting her be by my side all day so I learn her cues to go potty, but then the dog trainer's quick advice to me was not to overwhelm her and practically ignore her the first few days.<br><br>
(Not REALLY ignore her, but let her slink around the house and don't push things, that she will need a few days to relax and realize she's safe here and it's best if we aren't showering her with affection and forcing her out.)<br><br>
that's where I am confused.<br><br>
Also, this dog was described as "suspicious of strangers" by one of the shelter workers - is this something that I should worry about? I am concerned about it in regard to biting. That's the one thing I cannot have, a dog that bites.<br><br>
We can't go see her until Thursday. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy"> The shelter is only open from noon til 5 and it's over an hour away and dh couldn't get time off until tomorrow.
 

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The best advice that I have is to give her time to adjust. Two of my dogs are adopted. We've had Tucker for 14 months, adopted at the age of 1.5. We've had Colleen for 6 months, adopted at just barely a year old. Colleen didn't really start to show her true personality until about 4-5 months after we adopted her. She gradually started to feel more comfortable with us, but did not become her true, funloving, active, curious, mischievous self until very recently.<br><br>
Suspicious of strangers could just mean that she's very shy, and was possibly abused. She probably doesn't trust people a whole lot, either because someone did wrong to her or because she hasn't had a lot of human contact. I would ask the shelter if she has shown any aggressive behaviour or if she has shown signs that she may be a fear biter. Many shelters do temperment testing before placing dogs up for adoption. Ask the shelter if they do this. If she has shown any signs of aggression or anything to worry about during the temperment test, they normally don't get approved for adoption.<br><br>
I agree with the trainer that it's best to "ignore" her for a few days and settle in. She will need time to adjust. Let her approach you.<br><br>
Honestly, if she's not house broken, there will be a few accidents. The most important part is to catch her and correct her while she's having the accident. We use a gentle, but firm, "No" to get their attention, followed by "we potty outside", emphasis on the word outside. Every time we take them potty, we ask first if they need to go "outside", so that they learn what "outside" means. Our lab is on the dumb side, and even he has figured out what "outside" means.<br><br>
When it comes to all training, know that dogs are like very small children. If you don't catch them doing something wrong, don't bother correcting them. Unless you correct them while they are doing the 'bad' behavior, they won't understand and make the connection between the punishment and the behavior that they have done wrong. This has been our biggest challenge with Colleen. She suffers seperation anxiety when left alone, and we haven't been able to break her of it. When left alone, she'll tear up any paper/etc that she can find. But she only does it when we are gone. By the time we would get home and see what adventure she had for the day, it was too late to correct her, because she didn't understand why we mad at her. She knew we were mad, but not why. The solution for us, since we cannot catch her in the act and solve the problem, is to keep her crated when we are not home.<br><br>
If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me at <a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>corgimom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7947239"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Our lab is on the dumb side, and even he has figured out what "outside" means.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> thanks for the laugh!<br><br>
The shelter worker I talked to stressed that she is good for a home with children, very friendly and they've seen no indication that she could be a fear biter or anything like that. It was one of the first things I grilled them because, truthfully, it wouldn't be worth my time to go that far to see a dog that is cute but might be a biter because I can't and won't take a biter home to live with a 3yo.<br><br>
Thanks for the help! I am a little nervous about crate training - I understand all the benefits of it but I still have an emotional hurdle to leap over re. putting a dog in a cage! When I read about how the dog will likely cry and not like the crate at first I especially wonder if I can do it, but I certainly do plan on crate training.<br><br>
Thanks again to all. I find out in 2 hrs and 20 minutes whether or not she is still available for adoption and if so we plan on being at the shelter Thursday as soon as they open. This is soooo nerve wracking!
 

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I know how you feel about the crate. It does seem so mean to us humans. And Daisy did not llike her crate at first, I had to shove her in there sometimes. But it is so cool to see her put herself to bed sometimes. And she has a bad fear of thunderstorms and when she is in her crate, she sleeps during the storm. When she is out of her crate, she cowers in a corner, panting and shaking. So that alone makes me sooo glad we have that option to make her more compfortable. Just give it some time and it will be so worth it!
 

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I too understand about the hesitency of putting a dog in a crate. What converted me was fostering and since I was unexpectedly fostering puppies exclusively it was either use a crate or stop fostering.<br><br>
The first puppy that I had I totally failed her in the crate department and it was a nightmare. I decided that it was better to crate them in my house when needed rather than them stay at a shelter.<br><br>
Once you change your perspective to re-creating a den it kind of helps. It is not a punishment, it is not an all day thing, it is not so they can be ignored. It is for their own safety, security and sometimes some much needed respites (especially those puppies that just cannot seem to stop playing!).<br><br>
Good Luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Attila the Honey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949580"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am a little nervous about crate training - I understand all the benefits of it but I still have an emotional hurdle to leap over re. putting a dog in a cage! When I read about how the dog will likely cry and not like the crate at first I especially wonder if I can do it, but I certainly do plan on crate training.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I so hear you! It can be hard at first (it helps to chant "the dog is not human..the dog is not human), but it's 100% worth it. We have four dogs. One (an elderly doxie) was never crate trained. The others (one elderly, two pups) are. We taught out kids that they may never, ever bother a dog in its "house." That poor doxie has no place to escape all the mayhem of a busy household and usually hides under our bed. It's a great thing that the other dogs have their escape places; when they're stressed, they'll get a bully stick or a bone and hole up for a leisurely, stress-reducing chew. It's probably due to more factors than just a lack of crate training, but our doxie is much more anxious in general than our other dogs!<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Attila the Honey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949580"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks again to all. I find out in 2 hrs and 20 minutes whether or not she is still available for adoption and if so we plan on being at the shelter Thursday as soon as they open. This is soooo nerve wracking!</div>
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Have you heard anything yet? When you get her, post some pics! I hope it goes great!
 

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She was adopted. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Which is great for her, but sad for us.<br><br>
Back to the drawing board... thanks for the help everyone! I will update.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Attila the Honey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7955975"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She was adopted. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Which is great for her, but sad for us.<br><br>
Back to the drawing board... thanks for the help everyone! I will update.</div>
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Oh no! So sorry. I am sure that you will find your special pooch soon!<br><br>
HUGS
 

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Oh what a bummer for you.... But, like you said, good for her. The right one will come along. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I just wanted to update everyone and let them know the right one DID come along. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
We adopted <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/farjic" target="_blank">Scooter</a> from the Humane Society yesterday and we couldn't be happier!<br><br>
We thought we wanted a terrier type puppy. Dh didn't want any 'fussy' breeds like poodles or maltese and I didn't want an older dog. Then we met Scooter at the Humane Society and we just knew that was our dog. The first thing he did was run up to our dd, put his paws on her chest and lick her face like crazy, then got on the floor and ran circles around her wagging his little tail so hard his butt was wagging. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
He is a 5yo poodle mix or bichon mix or maltese mix (everyone has a different opinion) that was dumped in the country. As we were leaving the man who brought him in came in to check on him and told us the story of how he was dumped out of a car and left. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> He's only 7lbs, skin and bones, and so friendly and adorable.<br><br>
He appears to have been crate trained, or at least he's taking to his crate very well. He's house trained, when he has to go potty he stares at us and shakes. Dh said he looks like he's very intensely trying to send us a psychic message. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> He is not neutered (will be soon) but he has not done that territorial peeing thing once. He sits and stays pretty well, doesn't do so well walking on a leash but at only 7lbs that doesn't matter so much. The only barking we've heard him do is happy barking when he's playing with our 3yo.<br><br>
It's so confusing, he seems to have been treated well, trained, and loved because he's such a well trained and sweet dog; and yet why was he dumped in the country all matted up and half starved? It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense, our theory is maybe his owner loved him very much and died and whoever was 'stuck' with him didn't care about him.<br><br>
Thanks for your advice and consolation earlier, the sadness at missing out on those dogs seems worth it now that we know it all led us to Scooter!
 

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Congrats! He's really cute!<br><br>
Maybe the man who came to check on him was actually his previous owner? Some people feel bad about dumping dogs at the shelter and make up stories like that.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>daekini</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7983597"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Congrats! He's really cute!<br><br>
Maybe the man who came to check on him was actually his previous owner? Some people feel bad about dumping dogs at the shelter and make up stories like that.</div>
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I thought about it, but I really don't think so. I can't understand how anyone who cared enough to check on the dog would also neglect it so badly (Scooter was horribly matted, smelly, dirty and emaciated when he was brought in).
 

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Congrats on your new addition!!!<br><br>
Whatever his story may be, remember that dogs live for the moment. He certainly doesnt care what his past was, he only cares that his new family loves him and is sticking around for good. I only mention it so that you wont let him get away with things (like behaving nicely on a leash) out of, for lack of a better word, pity. Im sure you have no intention of letting that happen, but Ive seen it happen WAY too often, especially with small dogs, so I just had to put it out there!<br><br>
Congrats again!
 
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