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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work in a domestic violence program/shelter, and frequently foster dogs and cats (and birds, hamsters, gerbils!) of families fleeing domestic violence. Last night a woman brought her 9-mo. old GSD bitch (in season), leaving her adult 95-lb. male with a friend who runs a doggie day care.

Well, the male chewed through the door, so the friend had to get emergency replacement done, and may not be able to keep the male there. We have an outside kennel for larger dogs, with a dog house on site, waiting until I take the dog home, or, goes into temporary 3-wk. foster care provided by a vet.

This poor girl cried and cried, so I brought her into my office, where she was better, but she's so shy and fearful, it's heartbreaking. Skittish, and scared to death of everything - even walking through doorways. She was able to relax enough to finally lay down (ON my feet! awww, sweet girl!), but would leap up and run, and pace, and pant, pant, pant every time the phone rang, or someone came to the door. I had to move my hand very slowly to pick up her leash before I opened the door for a client (so she wouldn't run away) or she'd grab my hand - she didn't bite me, but the handwriting's on the wall.

The history I got from the owner and her son was that the dogs were always at home, never went anywhere to speak of, and they didn't get much company.

Early socialization is SO important, and why exposure to diverse people, places, and things during the first 12 weeks (and on-going) really is important.
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