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Discussion Starter #1
Those of us placing retired dogs usually want someone with dog experience to take the dog even though such a dog would seem to be a perfect for a first time owner. After all, the dog is highly trained, housebroken and responsive. The dog is UTD on all medical and (if female) spayed.

The problem with placing with a first time owner is that most have NO IDEA the work involved in owning a dog. You can talk until you are blue. All they see Disney Dogs and think that is what all dogs are.

After thoroughly vetting a first time owner.. with a LOT of time spent with the potential owner.. a dog is placed.

After three days reality sets in. No longer can one languish in bed until 10 AM.. they have to get up, take the dog out and feed the dog. Raining? Too bad.. dog still has to go out.

Out walking the dog they may run across things that the dog wants to chase.. such as squirrels and rabbits with the net result of being yanked unexpectedly because the Dog sees the prey animal before the owner does. Now the new dog owner has to be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings when they walk.

In the evening they need to get the dog out before going to bed. Weather bad? Oh well! Dog has to go out.

When they go out for a day or an evening they need to think about "what to do with the dog."

In the end, even that well trained dog is too much for them. It has disrupted their lives too much. The dog is not Disney and is.. well.. a real dog. A very good dog.. but not a perfect Disney dog.

Then, through no fault of its own, the dog is returned. As the person placing their retired dog you hope and pray it is returned and not taken to the Shelter (which also sometimes happens because the new owner is too embarrassed to admit they were wrong.. and a dog is not really the right pet for them).
 

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I keep my retired dogs. Because I like them and we have a good relationship, but we'll ignore that part.

I used to be pretty involved in rescue. Lots of people aren't prepared for a reality of a dog. It's a thing. It sucks.

OTOH, man, I sure as heck can and DO sleep in until 10 a.m sometimes (can't when there's a young puppy in the house, of course, but teenagers or adults? Sure). I don't walk my dogs in rain. Or heat. Or snow. Or when I am sick. Or when other things are going on.

They're dogs. They adapt.

Yeah, even the high drive competing ones.

I've had a cold and it's nasty out today - raining and about 90 - all 5 of my dogs let me sleep in until 9:45, and they're all currently asleep. None of them have had training or exercise today. They're used to life in a house and the pet life when they're not competing. They're fine.

Now, if they were the sort of trial dogs someone decided to keep in a kennel, only interact when working, and they got thrown into a pet life... I could see how that would create an issue.

(Maybe they're secretly disney dogs?)
 

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There's no shame in admitting that a dog isn't the right pet for you or your family. You don't know what dog ownership really entails until you've tried....and if I was rehoming a retired dog, I would be very open and understanding of that that fact so if the new owners decided a dog isn't for them, they would return it to me instead of being ashamed and taking it to the shelter, instead. Even experienced owners return dogs that don't fit.

I just don't think it helps anyone being critical of someone who decided to return a dog after adopting because they're "too much work." It needs no further explanation. They realized their mistake and decided dogs weren't for them. I would much rather have an adopter realize they're in over their heads and return the dog than "tough it out" and be miserable for the rest of the dog's life, or not give the dog enough exercise or potty breaks or time.

Also, the potential adopters went a responsible route adopting an adult re-home. It wasn't like the went out on craigslist or to the puppy store and bought a puppy, then decided they didn't want it, and then dumped it at a shelter. They haven't added to the homeless dog population.
 

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It's a huge change. You just really have to love dogs enough to give up on some things. I haven't slept in longer than 8am in the last 16 months. We can't go on day trips anymore unless one of our friends can let the dogs out.. Getting a puppy again was a huge change for us, considering that our old dog is 14, sleeps all day, can hold it for 14 hours, and will sleep in until 10am (and doesn't care about rain. The young one HATES it).

Heck I would have loved a retired dog, lol! So much easier than puppies!
 

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Sleep past 6:30 AM? Nope, not in 20 years - I've had dogs that long. Have a fur free home? Not in the last 8 years since I got my first wolfdog. Be lazy outside, sunbathe, chill on the beach? No way, watch the dog, entertain the dog, keep the dog out of trouble. Rain, snow, hail, whatever, oh well, dress for the weather and, out we go, the dogs don't mind the weather nearly as much as humans, in fact they rather like the cold, ice and snow.

Go boating? Sure but, prepare to get wet, even if it's rather cold - the dogs will go swimming, they will want a fresh fish each to eat while we're out and, I will get wet.

I'd love to have a retired dog to add to my pack - he or she might even teach my dogs a few new tricks :)

Yes, it takes a long term commitment to bring a dog into your family, and, they are a family member. Like an older child, if you're going out, you either go someplace you can take them or, you find a sitter if it's going to be more than a couple of hours. You make time for them, just as you would make time for a child or any other family member. You schedule dog centered days, just as you would schedule special events for a child.
 

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Look, I know it's popular to talk about how much sacrifice and trouble dogs are, both to make ourselves feel superior to other people and to make sure people know what they're getting into (one of those is fair, the other one's just ego-stroking bullcrap), but it's really kind of dumb as heck.

Dogs need exercise, training, money, and attention. Most also shed and your house will never be completely clean again.

But if your dog can't adjust to routine disruption, take a day off and chill out, or requires you be on alert 24/7, and that isn't *what you want* (because honestly some people enjoy it, so whatever) there is something wrong with you, your training, your dog's temperament, or all 3.

They're dogs. Adapting to life with humans is what they do.
 

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Look, I know it's popular to talk about how much sacrifice and trouble dogs are, both to make ourselves feel superior to other people and to make sure people know what they're getting into (one of those is fair, the other one's just ego-stroking bullcrap), but it's really kind of dumb as heck.

Dogs need exercise, training, money, and attention. Most also shed and your house will never be completely clean again.

But if your dog can't adjust to routine disruption, take a day off and chill out, or requires you be on alert 24/7, and that isn't *what you want* (because honestly some people enjoy it, so whatever) there is something wrong with you, your training, your dog's temperament, or all 3.

They're dogs. Adapting to life with humans is what they do.
I must agree.

Dogs are hard....but they don't have to be that hard, at least after puppy stage. I typically let the dog out for a potty break around 8:00 on weekends (usually get up around 6:00), but if I want to go back to bed, he will, too...
 

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I must agree.

Dogs are hard....but they don't have to be that hard, at least after puppy stage. I typically let the dog out for a potty break around 8:00 on weekends (usually get up around 6:00), but if I want to go back to bed, he will, too...
I have a dog door, which is the reason I don't 'have' to get up at any given time, and that makes it easier. In winter when it's shut, yeah. It's up early, let them out, and then we all go back to bed if I want or need. Sometimes I do. Sometimes we do stuff. Sometimes the dog/dogs are in a seminar training and exercising for 8 hours. Sometimes, we're at a trial all weekend and they're basically crated all day (minus time in the ring and potty trips and maybe half an hour play in the middle). Sometimes, we hike a couple of miles and swim a couple of hours. Sometimes, they spend all day sacked out on the couch. Sometimes, *sometimes*, someone is sick, or in the hospital, or there's a funeral or wedding or non-dog family event and they do NOTHING but get let out to pee and fed in a day. Sometimes, we have 5 days of agility a week. Sometimes, we have a month where we barely leave our property.

Yes, they require dedication, money, attention, and time, but good grief.

(Um, apparently I'm not done ranting but yeah, basically to the back to bed if you want thing).
 

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I have a dog door, which is the reason I don't 'have' to get up at any given time, and that makes it easier. In winter when it's shut, yeah. It's up early, let them out, and then we all go back to bed if I want or need. Sometimes I do. Sometimes we do stuff. Sometimes the dog/dogs are in a seminar training and exercising for 8 hours. Sometimes, we're at a trial all weekend and they're basically crated all day (minus time in the ring and potty trips and maybe half an hour play in the middle). Sometimes, we hike a couple of miles and swim a couple of hours. Sometimes, they spend all day sacked out on the couch. Sometimes, *sometimes*, someone is sick, or in the hospital, or there's a funeral or wedding or non-dog family event and they do NOTHING but get let out to pee and fed in a day. Sometimes, we have 5 days of agility a week. Sometimes, we have a month where we barely leave our property.

Yes, they require dedication, money, attention, and time, but good grief.

(Um, apparently I'm not done ranting but yeah, basically to the back to bed if you want thing).
A dog door is on our wishlist for out next house, haha. I'm all about making life just a little easier.
 

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A dog door is on our wishlist for out next house, haha. I'm all about making life just a little easier.
Best. Invention. EVER.
 

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I feel for you 3GSD and I understand that you are looking for what's best for your dog. However, I will say that research has shown that average pet owners do not care about training, titles, etc. Compatibility between a dog and a family is not a black and white measurement. But things that traditionally matter are engagement (not training specific) with the adopter and a general feeling that the dogs wants to hang out with them. Obedience is just icing on the cake.

I imagine the challenges of your dog in any new household is learning how to be a family dog. It sounds from your posts like your dogs live in kennels, and are actively discouraged from interacting with people, ever. I've read over and over again how you don't see the need to have dogs around when guests are over. I imagine they are socialized and there are exceptions to your rules. I don't think what you do is wrong or unethical, though I personally don't live that way with my dogs. However, it would make sense that a dog with this kind of background would need to learn how to adjust to a radically new lifestyle.

Also, training obedience is not at all related to training a well mannered dog. I'll take chasing critters as an example and I'm speaking very generally since I don't really know your situation. Let's say a dog never chases critters with one owner but does it in another home. I can think of a few potential reasons:
-Obedience required the dog to focus in the first home, dog still wants to chase but is never allowed to. Excessive handler focus is not a trait sought after by average pet owners so they do not ask for focus - they just want to walk the dog down the block - dog has no idea what to do in the absence of obedience and reverts to natural urges.
-Dog is punished for attempting to critter in the first home. New owners have no knowledge/skill/desire to do that. Dog chases in second home.
-Dog is adjusting to new home and in a new context practices chasing critters.

You write: "Now the new dog owner has to be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings when they walk." Which is a little strange to me, because I've seen well trained dogs not do that, even if the owners are not vigilant. Are you saying that you are hypervigilant every time you take your dogs out? I mean, I am certainly aware of my surroundings. But I do not need to be ready to respond every time an animal passes by. And I live in the Rockies, there are plenty of animals all the time everywhere. My dogs do not chase critters, not with the leash in my hands or anyone elses. They would LOVE to chase if they were off leash. But the way I trained was by rewarding natural disengages, not by punishing engagement with critters or asking for incompatible behaviors... the latter two options would 'force' me to be vigilant on my walks and I want to be able to walk both my 70# dogs, half awake, with a cup of tea in my hands.

At the end of the day, I would recommend that you ask yourself what does "well trained" mean to the average family? Because to most owners it has nothing to do with obedience. Your options are:
-Really look for that home that suits YOUR expectations. (might take longer)
-Reword your description of your dog to illustrate how she would behave in a normal pet home without so many rules. IE, she is not perfect. She has a LOT she needs to learn. She has the basics (house trained, won't destroy house, etc.) but all the rest needs to come.
-Rethink, and retrain your dog to be a pet/companion in YOUR home so she is ready to be a pet/companion in another home.
 

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All of that, Canyx.

Training for obedience and sport and pet 'training' are entirely different skill sets in the dog. They're different environment, different rules, different everything. And, in truth, in some ways training to be a good housepet takes longer, because it's about what the dog does *between* being given commands and directions. It's loose in the house, hanging out with people, going on unstructured walks in the world.

That takes, yeah, training. And exposure. And consistency.
 

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Dogs are hard....but they don't have to be that hard, at least after puppy stage.
I agree. A new dog of any age will go through those "growing pains", but it does get better. Unfortunately a lot of people don't stick it out to get beyond the difficult adjustment period.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It turns out the dog adapted perfectly to the house and the people. The vigilance was not the issue. The dog bonded to the young person totally and completely.

The issue, it turns out, is that the family is splitting up and the dog cannot stay with the young person. The young person was trying to "create distance" and the dog (to her credit and training) was having none of it.

I pick her up on Monday. It is OK. It is not about what I want. It is, after all, about the dog and the quality of life for that dog. I thank GOD that they are being honest with ME and the Dog is coming home.

For those who question the stability of the dog, the training of the dog and how I keep my dogs.. well, you really don't know anything. In fact, you wear your ignorance well.

Yes. I use dog kennels. Golly gee wiz.. I do a thing.. it is called working all day to pay the bills. A kennel is a management tool. I have a regular "house dog" but this does not mean the other dogs never see a house. The current competition dog is not a house dog. He still has house time. Not all the time.

I would NEVER consider re-homing a retired competition dog if I had a place in the house. The issue is the house dog is an older (weak tempered) bitch. The newly retired dog wants to be queen. In bitch fights, the weaker dog ALWAYS starts the fight.. and my house dog has given every signal she would do that. The net result of a bitch fight is one or both dogs dead or badly injured so they have to be euthanized. Even if they NEVER fight in actuality, if you can see it coming you keep 'em separate so it never happens. Who, in their right mind, wants THAT?

Oh wait.. pet dog people who don't have a clue but think they have all the answers.
 

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Very funny, your first post here and this last post tell two totally different stories. First you blame the family and their lack of general ability ("don't want to wake up, dog is lunging at things...") and now "vigilance is not the issue" and the family is splitting up.... I mean, I assume you did not know this was happening before adopting your dog out, because unstable family dynamics don't often lead to great dog care.

If "pet people" are so ignorant in your eyes, why the heck are you on a pet forum lamenting about trying to place your dog into a pet home? Maybe your IPO friends will better understand your plight then.

Not the first time your story has changed or added 'new layers'. I don't blame anyone for forming the perspectives they had given the information in your first post (which absolutely DRAGS pet families and their abilities, btw, see bolded sections in your post below), and from the way you have absolutely bragged about non-pet qualities and lifestyles of your dogs in all of your other posts.

Those of us placing retired dogs usually want someone with dog experience to take the dog even though such a dog would seem to be a perfect for a first time owner. After all, the dog is highly trained, housebroken and responsive. The dog is UTD on all medical and (if female) spayed.

The problem with placing with a first time owner is that most have NO IDEA the work involved in owning a dog. You can talk until you are blue. All they see Disney Dogs and think that is what all dogs are.

After thoroughly vetting a first time owner.. with a LOT of time spent with the potential owner.. a dog is placed.

After three days reality sets in. No longer can one languish in bed until 10 AM.. they have to get up, take the dog out and feed the dog. Raining? Too bad.. dog still has to go out.

Out walking the dog they may run across things that the dog wants to chase.. such as squirrels and rabbits with the net result of being yanked unexpectedly because the Dog sees the prey animal before the owner does. Now the new dog owner has to be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings when they walk.

In the evening they need to get the dog out before going to bed. Weather bad? Oh well! Dog has to go out.

When they go out for a day or an evening they need to think about "what to do with the dog."

In the end, even that well trained dog is too much for them. It has disrupted their lives too much. The dog is not Disney and is.. well.. a real dog. A very good dog.. but not a perfect Disney dog.

Then, through no fault of its own, the dog is returned. As the person placing their retired dog you hope and pray it is returned and not taken to the Shelter (which also sometimes happens because the new owner is too embarrassed to admit they were wrong.. and a dog is not really the right pet for them).
 

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If the issue was a major disruption in the family, why on earth did you imply it was because the new owners were lazy and unrealistic at first? That seems... harsh and unnecessary, to say the least.

I understand needing to separate dogs in a household that are at risk of fighting. That said, I would consider a dog who's used to spending most of their time in an outdoor kennel more of a "project dog" than a dog coming from a "crate and rotate" situation where they spend time confined within the home. Because everyone else is right: being a housedog is a skill just as much as being a sports dog is, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if that transition is more difficult than you seem to be giving credit to. If I've misunderstood and your sports dogs are only kenneled during the work day and spend most of the rest of their time in the home with you, either loose or crated but at least exposed to a home environment, I apologize, but that isn't the impression you've given from your posts so far.

And yes. I'm sure "pet people" don't know anything. It's not like pets ever have behavior issues, and people who own "pet dogs" are never interested in training theory or behavior. Trainers and behaviorists who work mainly with pet dogs don't exist either. Of course, once someone sets foot in a ring or working setting, they are instantly bestowed with all the knowledge of dogdom, and there's never any room for change or improvement in any training methods used with sports or working animals, which explains why techniques used there haven't changed since the inception of any given dog activity. I'm being sarcastic (which I hope is obvious), but really. That snipe was as ridiculous as it was uncalled for.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
New information changed the dynamics of the story. My first post is the way things were presented to me when I wrote it (I was pretty frustrated which I think anyone can understand). Today (my second post) I have a totally different story from the same people.

I am sure, as trainers, this never happens to any of you? (I am being sarcastic).

I should not have popped off about pet dog people. That was unfair of me. I admit it. It just seemed people were blaming the dog and the dog's training. This is a great dog. SHE wants to be a house dog and I am trying to provide that for her (because I cannot at home due to the existing house dog). Those who do not understand IPO training "assume" these dogs are aggressive because of their training. Most are not aggressive at all and most have no civil aggression leaving it on the field with the decoy.

In the end, it is OK. The dog is coming home through no fault of the dog. At the very best, the family is blaming their own dynamics for the decision.

They have told me the dog IS well trained and very very clean.
 

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I certainly have never claimed to be a professional trainer, so no, it hasn't happened to me. I'm not sure being a professional trainer would have helped me figure out that your second post was new-to-you information when you never said as much, though. We can only assume based on what you've written.

I have no doubt she's a great dog, and haven't seen anyone here imply she's aggressive(?). I certainly don't think IPO dogs are aggressive, or rather they darn well shouldn't be (I'm sure some people have dogs with inappropriate temperaments in the sport, as with any dog sport, but nothing you've said has made me think you're one of them).

I do, however, think that living in a household day to day is very different than living in a kennel a large percentage of the time. And I'm not talking housebreaking. I would expect a retired trial dog like her to need more help transitioning to a "house dog" lifestyle than, say, a foster dog living with a family or a retired breeder who's been living in a home. But likely LESS help than a dog who's, say, spent their life in a yard or kennel with hardly any human interaction beyond getting fed and watered. That doesn't have to do with how well they know obedience commands, but with skills like how to settle indoors, how to behave nicely on non-working walks, how to make good (IE human household-friendly) decisions about what to do when they're bored, etc. Some dogs pick up on these things super quickly and well regardless of their backgrounds, but that's not something I'd assume of any dog until they're in a household 24/7, and something I'd be preparing new owners for if I were in your situation. Maybe it didn't factor into why she came back to you this time, but denying that being a house dog requires skills that structured obedience/sport training can't really impart is a little naive.
 

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Fair enough 3GSD. No one said your dog was bad, or aggressive. Yes, information can change. Typically people get the full story before indulging others but hey, at least you are getting your dog back and have another chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I certainly have never claimed to be a professional trainer, so no, it hasn't happened to me. I'm not sure being a professional trainer would have helped me figure out that your second post was new-to-you information when you never said as much, though. We can only assume based on what you've written.

I have no doubt she's a great dog, and haven't seen anyone here imply she's aggressive(?). I certainly don't think IPO dogs are aggressive, or rather they darn well shouldn't be (I'm sure some people have dogs with inappropriate temperaments in the sport, as with any dog sport, but nothing you've said has made me think you're one of them).

I do, however, think that living in a household day to day is very different than living in a kennel a large percentage of the time. And I'm not talking housebreaking. I would expect a retired trial dog like her to need more help transitioning to a "house dog" lifestyle than, say, a foster dog living with a family or a retired breeder who's been living in a home. But likely LESS help than a dog who's, say, spent their life in a yard or kennel with hardly any human interaction beyond getting fed and watered. That doesn't have to do with how well they know obedience commands, but with skills like how to settle indoors, how to behave nicely on non-working walks, how to make good (IE human household-friendly) decisions about what to do when they're bored, etc. Some dogs pick up on these things super quickly and well regardless of their backgrounds, but that's not something I'd assume of any dog until they're in a household 24/7, and something I'd be preparing new owners for if I were in your situation. Maybe it didn't factor into why she came back to you this time, but denying that being a house dog requires skills that structured obedience/sport training can't really impart is a little naive.
FWIW I do give all dogs house time. This dog, prior to being offered, was getting regular house time.

She does not chew things randomly (as a little puppy she was in the house). The only thing she was never taught was that she must not walk on tables, the counter, the couch.. the BACK of the couch.. With the regular house time prior to offering her she got all that figured out. I was told she was so GOOD about not taking things, gnawing things inappropriately and so forth. She has HER things to gnaw and they did things like frozen yogurt and dog food in a Kong and so forth. I did provide written advice!

Every dog I own is walked. This includes walks off leash through the woods and throughout my property as well as on leash in town, along roads and in the city where I work. I want to be able to walk my dog easily anywhere on leash (who would not??). Last year the walk to our track at a competition was over a mile out (and, after tracking, a mile back). Nice behavior on leash around things, people and other dogs is pretty basic to any dog (but especially a competition dog since these dogs travel all over with you).

Fair enough 3GSD. No one said your dog was bad, or aggressive. Yes, information can change. Typically people get the full story before indulging others but hey, at least you are getting your dog back and have another chance.
YES. The thing is I LIKE my dog. Quite a lot actually. I want her to have a better life than I can give her due to the issue with the older bitch I have.

I have missed her.

Meanwhile, the older bitch had a brush with a skunk last night (got a glancing spray). This may mean that the dog coming back gets MORE house time for awhile... :eyeroll:
 
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