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Sally G.
Sally G., Dog Training Consultant
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9677
Experience:  Service/assistance dog training/ behavior /obedience/Therapy dog Evaluator/AKC Evaluator
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You previously answered a question I had about adopting a GSD

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You previously answered a question I had about adopting a GSD rescue dog that was good with cats. We found the sweetest 5 yr. old named Sally. She was rescued 8/13, fostered & acquired by us @ 2 weeks ago. Her first 2 yrs. are a mystery, but she was an owner (if you could call him that) who kept her chained outside for 3 yrs. & hit her. Despite all this she has the gentlest temperament & is settling into our household routine. We tried obedience school & she was cowering & terrified. Should we

Sally G. :

Hello, thank you for using this site to help you with your problem. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been in the dog field for 25 years. It will be my pleasure to help you today. Please understand that I may send an information request so that I may gather what I need to better help you with your problem.

Sally G. :

Can you give me some examples, was she worried about the dogs or the people or both?

Sally G. :

What is your intention for the dog? Is she just to be a house dog or are you grooming her to be a therapy dog ?

Customer:

There were 2 dogs engaged in a barking contest, but she seemed the most fearful when the trainer came over to help me with sit (which she does fine with me & my husband at home).She woul heel & walk with her head cowered, which she does not do when I walk her every day. She kept looking to me for reassurance, laid down put her head in my lap and go submissive showing tummy. I don't know if it was the place (loud with younger puppies) or if it is just too soon. I was a wreck at the end. She is to be a house dog and companion.

Sally G. :

If she is fine with obedience at home and she is fine when you walk her then I don't really see a need to do a class at this time. Although it is usually important for dogs to be kept socialized much is going to depend on what you expect from the dog. Certainly if you are not bringing her out to do work with people such as therapy dog work it sounds from her previous life that she could use a break from people altogether.

Sally G. :

How is she when people come to your home is she fearful then?

Customer:

No, we introduce her to them and she seems fine (on walks also). She even did great with my 2 yr old granddaughter, closely supervised of course. Sally did not even mind when Anna took over her doggie bed.

Sally G. :

While I am a big believer in ongoing socialization for dogs , I am also a big believer that sometimes you can bring a dog only so far and many people seem to fail at realizing this and so they try to force a dog into a situation that the dog can't handle and to me that is unfair to the dog. It sounds like you are both stressing out over class and it is not fair for either of you to go through that. I would say since she is a companion dog, she does well with your guests and you have no plans to make her into a therapy dog there is no need to push her further . It sounds like you have been the perfect match for her and understand that this is the way she is and you are both happy with that. Don't let others force you into anything else or in this case it could backfire on you and the dog could then stop trusting you because she may feel you put her into a situation that she is uncomfortable with .

Sally G. :

If you find you are running into problems in the home then I would say contact someone here to help you through that

Customer:

I apologize for the delay; I'm crying. We love her so much already and only want what is best for her. We filled out a form before the class began where I specifically stated that she was a rescue & had an abusive past. Every other dog in the class had been wanted and loved since puppydom and did not have Sally's past experience. I felt like the trainer had not even read her info and Sally and I were receiving the bulk of her attention because Sally was not performing like the other dogs. Is it your opinion that we should discontinue class for now? Although I am home most of the time we were considering 1/2 day of doggie day care for socialization but now I don't even know if that would be a good thing for her.

Sally G. :

Please do not cry, you have done well, in fact I rarely come across an owner that does not want to change the do thereby constantly trying to make the dog into something it is not. You are very rare indeed and it is refreshing to see someone who wants the best for the dog!

Sally G. :

*dog

Sally G. :

I would cancel classes as it is clearly stressful for both of you and as a trainer I would want such experiences to be fun for both owner and dog

Sally G. :

you have done very well by this dog as I stated above taking her to class at this time might backfire. Maybe in the future if she becomes more sure of herself it may be a good time to try again, But still , is she is obedient and friendly toward people it sounds like she just needed the right person to bring that out in her and that is something you have already achieved. Be proud of yourself for wanting the best for your Sally!

Customer:

Thank you so much for your expertise. Sally is the 4th dog we have owned and the second GSD. Although the transition of bringing an adult dog into the house is much more difficult than I originally thought, the rewards are much greater. For Sally to have the past she does, and yet remain gentle and loving is truly remarkable.

Customer:

Trust takes time and patience and we have both.

Sally G. :

I would agree it is very different to bring in an adult dog but it does sound like you know how to pick those that need you most. I always say things happen for a reason:)

Sally G. :

If you ever find yourself in a pickle with her feel free to ask for me and we can work you both through it

Customer:

Thank you again and have a wonderful day.

Sally G. :

you as well

Sally G. and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hello,

I am checking in to see how you and Sally are doing. I was thinking about you and what the two of you are going through. this is a free follow up that I like to give to some customers. IF you have the time to drop me a line that would be great. I am sure Sally is very thankful for her new mom:)

Sally