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Hello all

I just adopted a blue heeler/border collie mix about three days ago from a spca shelter. He is 6 years old a bit overweight at 59 pounds and he passed all of his behavior tests. He seemed like a perfect dog besides his weight issues. His owners wanted him euthanized when brought into the shelter but with no reason apparently? This is my first time owning this breed but not my first time with dogs. It's clear the the previous owner did at least train him because he is house broken, knows to stay, sit, roll over, drop toys, fetch, he pulls the leash but just a little and is very excited when seeing squirrels and such.

He is in his adjustment period now and I'm just trying to learn how to read him and his wants and needs and it's proving to be a challenge.
So to start he is panting alot, this may be because of his weight? But I am not sure my house is at a cool 69 or 72. I'm learning towards anxiety and nervousness. So with this how do I deal with this?
He sneezes a lot when we go outside and then needs to clear his throat like he choked himself out by pulling to hard on the leash but didn't.
Is exhibiting a lot of lip licking with glances at me. Very unable to determine the meaning of these glances if there were nervous or agressive? This almost crazy lip licking started after he was up on my bed for an extended period of time(extended being 20 minutes he would not want to stay up any longer than 3 before this, I'm assuming his previous owners didn't want him. On. Furniture.)



It's very clear that he is still adjusting but I need reassurance here because I have never rescued an older dog before. My adoption counseler didn't touch on these behaviors he might be exhibiting while adjusting and I didnt think to ask.

Please anything at all you have to share I would like to know I've been reading as much as I can and I can only find so many specific things so this is why I am posting.
He is such a crazy smart boy I am absolutely in disbelief! I want to help him blossom into the best dog he can be!

More info if it will help!
He does not have a cage as I'm not really sure he will need one when I am not home. He seems to do well in my bedroom which is a master. He is not destructive and there have been no accidents. He is supposed to have 3 1/2 cups of food but does not eat even 2 cups. He is drinking enough water.
I take him outside more than enough times a day and give him hour walks and lots of play time. I try not to overwhelm him especially with pets because it seems that he wants it but is super cautious of it.
He also sleeps in my bedroom on my floor at his own choice to be on the floor
 

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You are doing as I would. Keep him quiet, establish a routine. I might skip so much walking unless he calms down after. Dogs don't always use exercise to calm. My Bucky amps way up with exercise.

He may be eating plenty. I used this chart from the vet to help me figure out how much to feed my 5 year old obese Chihuahua mix rescue. I cut her to the amount shown and it still took a good year for her to drop all the weight, went from 19.5 to 13.5 pounds. So if that amount seems to be what he should eat then just offer only that amount.

Ginger, the chi mix, is the best dog. I love mature dogs anyway as they just get along so well with the world and you can practically hold conversations with them. She's now 10, has her CGC and is working towards her therapy dog certification.
 

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He is in his adjustment period now and I'm just trying to learn how to read him and his wants and needs and it's proving to be a challenge.
So to start he is panting alot, this may be because of his weight? But I am not sure my house is at a cool 69 or 72. I'm learning towards anxiety and nervousness. So with this how do I deal with this?
He sneezes a lot when we go outside and then needs to clear his throat like he choked himself out by pulling to hard on the leash but didn't.
Is exhibiting a lot of lip licking with glances at me. Very unable to determine the meaning of these glances if there were nervous or agressive? This almost crazy lip licking started after he was up on my bed for an extended period of time(extended being 20 minutes he would not want to stay up any longer than 3 before this, I'm assuming his previous owners didn't want him. On. Furniture.)
all the behaviors your describe are stress. Panting when cool is very much stress expression.
Licking lips, rolling eyes, yawning and the rest are "calming signals." Try yawning at him when he licks his lips and looks at you.

He is simply nervous. It is a big change.
Feed him less than two cups of food. He needs to lose weight. When he is down to proper weight he will likely eat more.
 
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