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Information on dealing with a rescue dog

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by goodvic2, Aug 14, 2009.


  1. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    The thread "Did you do your homework" got me thinking.....

    Has anybody ever read a book on taking on rescue dogs?

    Before I got Max and Lilly, I have to say I did not do enough research, although I did buy a book from the Dogs Trust called "Living with a rescue dog". it only covered the basics i.e feeding, grooming etc etc, there was litle information on dealing with a traumatised dog.

    I know I took on two extreme cases, but there are many people who take on rescue dogs, who have perhaps been caged for a long time, or who did not get adequate socialisation when they were pups, therefore resulting in behavioural problems.

    Now I have an interest in canine psychology, I have read many books. But I have struggled to find one specifically for rescue dogs and for beginners.

    Has anyone come across such a book?
    x
     
  2. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    I did actually start writing a book for living with rescue dogs, but it got lost when we moved :(
    Maybe I should start writing it again.

    x
     
  3. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    I think that is a great idea x
     
  4. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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  5. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

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    Yes i have one in my collection The Rescue Dog - Gwen Bailey as i was considering a rescue dog than specifically greyhound at time, although it has some helpful hints for any dog. It seemed well written and gave info on chosing the dog and what to when you bring it home, how to avoid/solve problems and basic obedience training from what i can remember.

    My Greyhound books were better suited for final choice, relating to the breed, its background and how they are reared as racers. There are some traumatised hounds about i'm sure but the majority i've met haven't really had much in the way of serious behaviour issues, mainly things like houstraining/separation anxiety/shyness/disliking other breeds which often improve with a bit of work.
     
  6. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    'To The Rescue' by Dr David Sands

    Advance preparation is definately the key to preventing some underlying problems from becoming worse, I'm thinkg of SA in particular, I stuffed that one up first time around so badly it took me nearly 2 years to correct it :(

    But to be honest I think you need to hit the floor running with a rescue. Some are great and some are more troubled than others. There are so many anomolies it would be hard (and unecessarily off-putting!) to cover them all in a book. If you suspect a problem, act fast and get specific advice!
     
  7. 2Hounds

    2Hounds PetForums VIP

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    Yes that is a good point about it being offputting lots of people are already put off rescue dogs because they think they'll get a dog with issues. If the rescue is decent then they should advise before adoption on the dogs issues and then on any problems that crop up afterwards.

    There's a section on the greyhound forum i use for training & health and quite a few new people have got a bit freaked out by thinking that a greyhound will have all these problems, when really its just a small proportion of dogs in a section dedicated to problems/illnesses.
     
  8. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    I got the Gwen Bailey one from the library before getting Zig, and read sections about rescue dogs in other books. It prepared me for the worst, and Zig was a breeze compared to what I was expecting to have to deal with. The other posters are right though, what problems you are faced with can be so specific that a book can't cover it.
     
  9. srhdufe

    srhdufe PetForums VIP

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    Thats a great idea... i'd buy it ! :D
     
  10. Cascara

    Cascara PetForums Member

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    To me, each 'rescue' dog is unique. An individual. There is an individual dog and a unique reason how or why it ended up being classed as a 'rescue'.
    Personally I hate that term. Many people 'rescue' an animal only to have it end up in a worse state or rehomed yet again because of the misunderstanding.

    If you know dogs, and I mean REALLY know dogs, the breeds, how they can turn, their illnesses, how to cope with behavioural problems, have loads of money for vets and enough room, then maybe you should consider rescuing. But reading about it in a book..... WON'T HELP!
     
  11. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    I wish I had been a bit better informed of how to provide clear leadership to my dogs. I feel as though I really failed at first because I just gave affection and more affection.

    I know there are mixed views on the "domination" theory. But I'm sure everybody will agree that we need to provide clear leadership to our dogs. But the question is how do we do this? This is where I would have liked to have been able to have read something that explained it all very simply.

    For example I tried taking Lilly to training classes after the first six months. I actually made her nervousness with other dogs so much worse. A year and a half later and she is still as nervous, although she can accept other dogs quicker.

    I just think a dummy proof guide on being your dogs leader, seperation anxiety, fearfulness etc, would be a real benefit to new dog owners.
     
  12. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    So what would have been your suggestion before I took on two traumatised greek rescue dogs?

    Where is the misunderstanding? A rescue is, in this case, a dog which comes from a rescue centre.

    YOu say "if you know dogs". YOu only know dogs when you have experience. There needs to be something for people to educate them x
     
  13. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    I agree, but I'm not sure that it a book is necessarily the most effective method. What I mean by that is that people have different preferred learning styles, just like dogs! and whilst a book may work well for one, a dvd or practical session may work better for another.

    Regardless of your preferred theory, be that the dominance theory, positive reward only or traditional hands-on style, there are overlaps where most trainers/behaviourists agree (if begrudgingly!!). It would certainly be beneficial for anyone taking on a dog, rescue or otherwise, to have these basic groundings in leadership spelt out to them before taking the plunge.

    Putting together a manual, or dvd, or cd, or training seminars wouldn't really be the hard part - the difficult bit would be encouraging potential owners to take up the offer!
     
  14. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    Good God.

    You make taking on a dog from a shelter sound like Mission Impossible. The vast majority of dogs that pass through the rescue system require no more wealth (or wealth of experience) beyond that required to care properly for any dog however sourced.

    Some dogs will have issues that stem from poor breeding or enviromental factors - that is true of both rescue and breeder-supplied. The difference is, as 2hounds pointed out, a reputable rescue will be at pains to match the dog to the abilities of the adopter - a service rarely matched by pet shops, puppyfarms or BYBs.
     
  15. Acacia86

    Acacia86 PetForums VIP

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    I didn't. Simply because i didn't know i would rescue so quickly! I got called up (December) to see if i knew of anyone/could find anyone who would take on an ESS. I then tried to find out his life history. Well...........after learning just some of it, he was coming to me! And this would be his final home.

    I didn't think i could have another dog so quick after the heart-breaking situation with the Lab. But this boy's story really pulled at the heart-strings!

    I have since researched online and spoke to the 2 shelters over here etc but my experience and knowledge was nil on housing a rescue of my own.
     
  16. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    And it is this "leadership" part which seems to be lacking in most books I have read.

    Imagine if everybody lived by the principles of "leadership" with their dog? How many less problems would they have?
     
  17. debtherat

    debtherat PetForums Member

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    i remember a while ago- well within the last year- seeing a guy Graeme Sims give an interview on tv- he was just bringing out a book giving advice on working with rescue dogs.I don't know what the book is like but he did talk a lot of sense in the interview.
     
  18. LostGirl

    LostGirl PetForums VIP

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    we babied our rescue dog and made excuses for her problems rather then deal with them as such we sort of let her get on with it, shes wasnt anywhere as near bad near her death as she was before

    Instead of thinking we could help change her (dog aggression, fearful of men and objects, very aggressive at the door e.t.c) we thought she was to old to change so let her carry on we muzzled her when out for hers and others safety, and we would put her away when people came.

    I really do think if there was a book or something to say yes love them but dont baby and pander to them, to help them move on e.t.c she was a stray, used as dog fighting bait and was beaten. She also had 3 homes before us.

    I dont think when you rescue a dog you get much support after we never did all we got was "bring her back for you cant cope"
     
  19. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Very true, many people make this mistake (myself included). x
     
  20. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I dont think any of this can possibly be described in a book or dvd. Every dog is different, and either you are able to read a dog or you are not. So many people have totally the wrong impression of what their dog is trying to say. What is seperation anxiety for a start, it is just a dog that doesnt like being left on its own , usually because the owner has allowed it to follow them around inappropriately and then tries to leave it alone. why give it a label, why not just say you have a dog that doesnt like being on its own. Surely labelling things like that, like labelling childrens bad behaviour, is straight away stopping you from treating it casually. It makes you feel it is a serious problem that needs to be skirted round or attacked instead of just getting on with it. How many parents let their children do what they like or never correct them or give them any guidelines.
    I feel quite strongly about this but must go and walk my dogs before it gets dark so I dont think my reply makes as much sense as I wanted it to!
     
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