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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all- first post here. I did a search on adding a second dog and scanned what came up, but I still have questions, so here I am.

I've had my border collie mix for coming up on 3 years. We've talked about adding a second dog, but it was always in the future. It seems that decision might become a moot point though when a stray basically followed Mel and I home on our walk. We've gone through the steps - took him to the vet for a microchip scan (and a flea check). Called around to local shelters, vets, and animal control to see if anybody was looking for him and left contact information and a description just in case. Posted fliers. No responses. We're not making final decisions for at least a few more days, but it's kind of looking like his fate might be up to us, and...well... you know how they just kind of creep up on your heart sometimes, right?

So, how do I handle this? Mel is our one and only and has been for a while. She's very dog friendly, she's spayed (newbie isn't neutered, but would be if we kept him), but she's also used to a lot of attention and to being the soul owner of our hearts, couch, and bed. For now we're keeping newbie crated in the bathroom, but taking him out for leash walks and the like. Vet said it was ok to expose them to each other in a supervised manner, so we have a bit. They seem to get along, but a lot of humping and gentle nibbling attempts have happened (seems playful, but still). Definitely some attention hogging on Mel's part that makes me think there might be some jealousy though.

Also, just in general, taking in a totally unknown animal is making me a little apprehensive- who knows what kind of bad habits he has? We've been so spoiled with Mel: she basically came housebroken and really is just a behavioral gem. I'm more than willing to go through training classes and the like, but it's all just a little sudden and overwhelming!

So, what do I do? Assuming nobody claims him by the end of the week (it's been a couple of days), do I just keep him? Our shelters are way overcrowded, and the local rescues don't take drop-offs. Animal control didn't seem particularly interested in taking him unless I really want to surrender him. He's super skittish, and I'm afraid he's not friendly enough to fight the snuggle battle and get himself adopted before he lands on the kill list- not when we've got shelters full of little puppies and gregarious goldens and little teacup purse-sized dogs. I know of nobody who would want him but me. I'm willing to keep him, I think, but I'm just kind of nervous about it. So... What would you do?
 

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Take them for brisk walks together to help them bond. Make sure the new dog's harness or leash is impossible to slip. That may be how he got lost to start with.
Personally, I'd keep him if his owner doesn't claim him. All my dogs were strays/dumped, many that were fearful, and they all ended up being great dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oy, he cried all night. He's not making this easy! My husband doesn't really want to keep him, which is also making it tough... He will if I want to, but he's not super happy about it.
 

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If he is still in the crate in the bathroom ... maybe if he were in the crate in your bedroom he would be feel more secure. Dogs love to be near their people. :) Or maybe if his crate was partially covered to feel like a safe den to him. Plus ... maybe he is not crate trained yet?

What kind of a dog is he?

Also ... I think it is great that you have rescued him. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Unfortunately, there's nowhere to put his crate upstairs with us - small house. I can try putting a blanket over it tomorrow night. I'm sure he's not crate trained - or any other kind of trained. He seems to like being in the crate and goes in voluntarily (and runs to it when he gets scared)... But then he cried all night. Then, I let him out this morning, walked, fed, and he walked around the house crying for a while until something scared him and he (guess what) ran back into the crate.

He's not any breed that I can tell. My other dog is a border collie mix, about 40 pounds, and he's definitely smaller than her, but he's also skeletally thin and may not be full grown. Maybe 30 lbs right now? Hard to tell. Short hair, big pointy ears, kind of sandy colored with black and cream markings. Vet said he looks like a pound dog, basically - an undetermined mix of something unidentifiable. She also said he's probably over 6 months old (has adult teeth), but probably not a full grown adult.

Husband says he may have a friend interested, but honestly, she's a 21 year old recent college grad with no job living with her parents. She's a sweetheart, but I don't know that she has the money to care for a dog, or that her parents will be willing to put up with him. I'm getting the sense he's going to bekind of high maintenance, at least for a while, and I won't dump him off on someone who isn't truly prepared for that and will end up resenting him (or me!)

So, we'll see, but looks like he's mine for now, high maintenance and all - quite the pickle I've gotten myself into!

If he is still in the crate in the bathroom ... maybe if he were in the crate in your bedroom he would be feel more secure. Dogs love to be near their people. :) Or maybe if his crate was partially covered to feel like a safe den to him. Plus ... maybe he is not crate trained yet?

What kind of a dog is he?

Also ... I think it is great that you have rescued him. :D
 

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I hope you keep him. Honestly ... sometimes I think they just "show up" out of the blue ... for a reason. Sort of like .. they find us. :)

Poor boy is still scared and will probably take a month or three to get used to his new family. Pups are all high maintenance! Lol! I know for sure! I just rescued Eddee three months ago ... and let me tell you ... that boy is a "Live Wire" for certain ... always into something and just quit marking in my house. He was an owner surrender ... I honestly feel his previous owner got him as a semi-designer mutt of sorts and didn't know what they got themselves into! He is a high energy Schnauzer mix. Lol! :)

I hope you keep us posted on his progress and some pics too. Does he have a name yet? That would probably help him to adjust a bit better. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ha, I'm just so spoiled because Melonie was like the easiest dog ever. She was really shy for a while with others, but warmed up to us right away - didn't need to be house broken, never chewed anything, you can leave your sandwich on the floor and she won't touch it... I'm not used to having to work this hard! I get it though - I always knew if we got another dog we'd be in for a rude awakening!

We're calling him Jameson (like the whisky). I'm on my ipad now b/c my laptop is having issues, but once I get my laptop back I'll post pictures. I just hope he doesn't drive my husband too nuts in the interim, because he's not too enthusiastic about this venture.

I hope you keep him. Honestly ... sometimes I think they just "show up" out of the blue ... for a reason. Sort of like .. they find us. :)

Poor boy is still scared and will probably take a month or three to get used to his new family. Pups are all high maintenance! Lol! I know for sure! I just rescued Eddee three months ago ... and let me tell you ... that boy is a "Live Wire" for certain ... always into something and just quit marking in my house. He was an owner surrender ... I honestly feel his previous owner got him as a semi-designer mutt of sorts and didn't know what they got themselves into! He is a high energy Schnauzer mix. Lol! :)

I hope you keep us posted on his progress and some pics too. Does he have a name yet? That would probably help him to adjust a bit better. :)
 

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I'd keep him. Yes, I love low maintenance Kabota, but high maintenance Muggsy was my soul mate. Give him a chance, in a few years, he might even calm down. ;)
 

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I'd keep him. Yes, I love low maintenance Kabota, but high maintenance Muggsy was my soul mate. Give him a chance, in a few years, he might even calm down. ;)
I'm kinda with you. I had a 5.5 year old, beautifully trained, dream child Rat Terrier. My husband found a tiny, flea ridden, VERY young, puppy in a dumpster. I DID want a second dog, but I in no way, shape, or form wanted a puppy. I especially did not want a < 8 week old puppy. I also intended to, you know, go to a breeder for another retired show dog - and I had a breed picked out. A medium sized one (Spring spaniel). So, having little Miss. Kylie dropped on me was - Well, it was hard! I had to housebreak. I had to bite inhibit (am still working on that) and train and get up a billion times a night (she still. doesn't not sleep through - she's also < 4 months old). She's also far, far smaller than I would have chosen.

But this dog is. I can not tell you how much she has changed our lives for the better, or how much I love her. Yeah, she's more work than I bargained for - but the trade off to that is I LOVE HER more than I thought I would, too.

Give this guy some time to settle. A lot of the bad stuff, like the crying, I suspect will shake out.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the responses. We've decided that if we don't get any inquiries for him by Wednesday, we'll take him to get his shots and call him ours. We tried the blanket over the crate last night and it seems to have worked. I woke up this morning and the house was so silent I was almost worried something had happened to him in the night. Hopefully tonight will be the same.

So, now we have to figure out the best way to acclimate and train him. He's SO shy. He'll come up to us, take treats, etc, but he freaks out if you try to reach for him. Getting a leash on is a bit of an ordeal - we've been leaving in on around the house whenever he's not confined to the crate, just because he gets so freaked out if you reach for his collar. He gets super freaked out at feeding time - I try to put his food in the crate, and he doesn't seem to know if he should run away or eat it.

He's going to be a challenge... I don't mind putting in the time, but I hope I'm up for it! I think we might have to get private training too, because it will likely be a while before he could handle all the stimulation of a big group class at the local Petsmart, and I think he might be beyond my rudimentary knowledge to train, so... Yeah. Between that and the extra vet bills, we won't be eating out too much for awhile.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the responses. We've decided that if we don't get any inquiries for him by Wednesday, we'll take him to get his shots and call him ours. We tried the blanket over the crate last night and it seems to have worked. I woke up this morning and the house was so silent I was almost worried something had happened to him in the night. Hopefully tonight will be the same.

So, now we have to figure out the best way to acclimate and train him. He's SO shy. He'll come up to us, take treats, etc, but he freaks out if you try to reach for him. Getting a leash on is a bit of an ordeal - we've been leaving in on around the house whenever he's not confined to the crate, just because he gets so freaked out if you reach for his collar. He gets super freaked out at feeding time - I try to put his food in the crate, and he doesn't seem to know if he should run away or eat it.

He's going to be a challenge... I don't mind putting in the time, but I hope I'm up for it! I think we might have to get private training too, because it will likely be a while before he could handle all the stimulation of a big group class at the local Petsmart, and I think he might be beyond my rudimentary knowledge to train, so... Yeah. Between that and the extra vet bills, we won't be eating out too much for awhile.
Well eating out less will be good for ya anyways! :)

Regarding the grabbing/leash issue...try not to grab at him. I don't think it's that uncommon for dogs to not like being grabbed at, especially since this dog is new to you and you surely don't have his full trust yet. So work up to that. Take out the leash 5 times a day and treat the dog for exploring it and coming up to you while you're holding it, etc. Positive association. Don't grab for the collar. When you do work your way up to clipping the leash on, move slowly and calmly.

You can also work on the trust issue by handfeeding, training, etc. Find something the dog likes and do that together often and make it 100% positive. You'll gain his trust. Also work on handling his ears, paws, mouth, etc. Work and move slowly and give lots of rewards.

Keep up the good work on the crate training. It sounds like you're on the right track there.

Good luck!
 

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Ha, yeah, I'm okay with not eating out. My garden is almost ready for harvest anyway :p. In my experience, a dog enriches your life a lot more than an hour's worth of sushi.

Thanks for the tips. I've been trying to move as slowly as possible, sit on the floor a lot with treats in hand and just let him wander over, and definitely not grab at him or move suddenly. It's so weird because he'll come to me for a treat if I don't have the leash, but as soon as the leash is anywhere in sight, he wants none of it, and he won't take a treat if I have it - even though once it's on he's 100% fine and he loves going out and walking on the leash. Makes me wonder what sort of strange leash neurosis he's developed.

He also runs for the hills if you even reach in his direction, no matter how slowly or slightly you move, even if he's just been eating out of your hands. He jumps sky high and bolts away if you touch him when he's not expecting it. It seems a bit more severe than the average dog just getting used to new people. I've never seen a dog this terrified of being touched or petted.

It's fine, and I don't expect him to become a cuddle bug overnight. This is definitely going to be a very slow-and-steady kind of race, and that's fine - it's also the reason why, the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I couldn't send him off to someone else who may not be willing to put in that same level of time and patience that I think he'll need.

Well eating out less will be good for ya anyways! :)

Regarding the grabbing/leash issue...try not to grab at him. I don't think it's that uncommon for dogs to not like being grabbed at, especially since this dog is new to you and you surely don't have his full trust yet. So work up to that. Take out the leash 5 times a day and treat the dog for exploring it and coming up to you while you're holding it, etc. Positive association. Don't grab for the collar. When you do work your way up to clipping the leash on, move slowly and calmly.

You can also work on the trust issue by handfeeding, training, etc. Find something the dog likes and do that together often and make it 100% positive. You'll gain his trust. Also work on handling his ears, paws, mouth, etc. Work and move slowly and give lots of rewards.

Keep up the good work on the crate training. It sounds like you're on the right track there.

Good luck!
 

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Ha, yeah, I'm okay with not eating out. My garden is almost ready for harvest anyway :p. In my experience, a dog enriches your life a lot more than an hour's worth of sushi.

Thanks for the tips. I've been trying to move as slowly as possible, sit on the floor a lot with treats in hand and just let him wander over, and definitely not grab at him or move suddenly. It's so weird because he'll come to me for a treat if I don't have the leash, but as soon as the leash is anywhere in sight, he wants none of it, and he won't take a treat if I have it - even though once it's on he's 100% fine and he loves going out and walking on the leash. Makes me wonder what sort of strange leash neurosis he's developed.

He also runs for the hills if you even reach in his direction, no matter how slowly or slightly you move, even if he's just been eating out of your hands. He jumps sky high and bolts away if you touch him when he's not expecting it. It seems a bit more severe than the average dog just getting used to new people. I've never seen a dog this terrified of being touched or petted.

It's fine, and I don't expect him to become a cuddle bug overnight. This is definitely going to be a very slow-and-steady kind of race, and that's fine - it's also the reason why, the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I couldn't send him off to someone else who may not be willing to put in that same level of time and patience that I think he'll need.
My foster dog was a milder version of this at the shelter. He didn't like having the slip lead going on or off his neck/head, you'd have better luck getting it on when it came from behind him. It took a few weeks of going on 2 walks a day for him to get over that because he LOVES going for walks. At just over 6 weeks with me now I can open the loop in the slip lead, hold it out, and he'll stick his head through on his own. He would also flip out when I touched his legs or feet, or the slip lead he dragged around the house for about the first week would tangle around an foot or be stepped on. I can now handle his feet and legs to some extent, not enough for doing his nails myself but making progress towards that. He also doesn't freak out while we're walking and his or my dogs leash hits his leg or catches under his tail.

Your stray does sound worse off than my foster in the fear department but the vast majority of the time the dogs just need time and patience and lots of treats for slow progress. Setting up a nice routine, having clear expectations for him, and letting him progress at his own pace should do wonders for him faster than you'd think. Good luck and keep us posted (pictures please!!!)
 

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dagwall, thanks so much for the encouragement. It's good to hear someone else is having success with similar issues! I know a lot of this will be healed with time - we were talking today about how it took our first dog, Melonie, probably about 3 months before she'd touch a toy. We've had her about 2 and 1/2 years, and only now is she really becoming comfortable with people other than us. So, I'm willing to be patient - he just seems so much more fearful than any other dog I've personally dealt with, so I hope that I don't inadvertently mess him up more!
 

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dagwall, thanks so much for the encouragement. It's good to hear someone else is having success with similar issues! I know a lot of this will be healed with time - we were talking today about how it took our first dog, Melonie, probably about 3 months before she'd touch a toy. We've had her about 2 and 1/2 years, and only now is she really becoming comfortable with people other than us. So, I'm willing to be patient - he just seems so much more fearful than any other dog I've personally dealt with, so I hope that I don't inadvertently mess him up more!
I am happy you will be keeping the little guy!

I rescued a 9 month old Lab mix almost 10 years ago. She now happily belongs to one of my Sister's and three children. :D

But ... she was terribly abused and starved and afraid of everything ..... especially men. I had to slowly work up towards everything with her. It is a slow progress with those poor dogs ... but possible. It took her a year to trust any human being. She became my Sister's dog when she was a little over two years old. The old girl who will be 11 years old in January ... now loves everyone and everything ... and even more so ... belly scratches and rubs from my Dad. :)

Good luck ... and please ... some pictures of your little one! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I made an appointment for Thursday to get him his shots, so now the adventure begins.

Since you all just keep begging (didn't your mama teach you it's not nice to beg? :p), here's a quick cellphone snapshot of Jameson:



And, just for good measure, this is my baby girl, Melonie (3-ish year old border collie mix)
 

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Awww............Jameson is sooooooo adorable! Thanks for sharing this story.
 

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Awwwwe .... they are both adorable! :D Thank you for sharing!
 
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