Special Need Dogs

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Jindo
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:30 pm

Special Need Dogs

Post by Jindo » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:14 am

In the future I plan to adopt a special need dog, not special as in missing limbs, blind, deaf, and etc.
I mean a dog that has had little to socialization and has problems adapting to the world.

Does anybody have some advice on what would be helpful in cases like this?
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jilldiane
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by jilldiane » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:09 am

My advice would be take it slow. Don`t expect anything but the unexpected :D Don`t judge the dogs behaviour by your other dogs behaviour. Read the dogs body language and respect it. Be very very patient, don`t see problems everywhere when none exist or are not important. Have your house prepared like you would for a puppy. Remember you may be in this for the long haul you may never `fix` just manage so be prepared to live with a `problem` dog or the rest of its life. Love and enjoy the dog just like any other, problems an all :lol:

Jindo
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by Jindo » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:38 am

;P Haha, sounds a lot like how I'm managing my dog now. I never know what to expect from her, she dances to the beat of a different drum.
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JudyN
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by JudyN » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:08 am

Be very clear in your mind as to what behaviour you can/can't cope with, and realistic about what you can give the dog - it's no good having a dog-reactive dog if there's nowhere quiet to walk it, or a traffic-shy dog if you're on a main road. Make sure anyone you live with supports you and if you have children, ensure that the dog won't be a danger to them.
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Jindo
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by Jindo » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:15 am

I've thought quite a lot about it and I decided I would only do this when I feel it is the right time.
I've also told myself realistically that sometimes things won't work out as well. :X
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ladybug1802
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by ladybug1802 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:29 am

Having a special needs rescue myself, you must go into it with your eyes open. You need a tonne of patience, willingness to put in the work and whatever it takes to help the dog, and willingness to seek professional help. I adore my dog and have actually found our journey incredibly fascinating, and has meant I have learnt a lot...but I didnt know he was like this when I got him. It has massively given us an amazing bond though.

But...although he is now a lot better after over 2 years of work, I still make sure strangers dont touch him, still have to be far more aware when I am on walks, dont let him go out of sight ahead of me like a lot of people do, and have to be careful when people come to the house as he has to go in a separate room until people are settled.

It requires a lot of thought....a lot more than friends with their dogs...but I wouldnt change it now!

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Horace's Mum
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by Horace's Mum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:23 pm

Having a so called special needs dog in almost every way (deaf AND social skills issues AND trust issues with people due to abuse) I would say as strongly as I can that sometimes it is harder than you can ever imagine and there WILL be days when you just won't want to do it anymore. You also need to be sure you can cope with the stigma involving owning a dog with issues. You need to be fully prepared to have a dog that may never be able to meet other dogs, that you always need to be extra alert around, that you need to be firm with friends and complete strangers as to what they can and can't do. It is hard. TBH Horus himself gets me down far less than all the people who judge him and label him and are scared of him, and will never give him chance to redeem himself from 5 years ago when he first came home.

Yes, it can be unbelievably rewarding, but it is damned hard, and you have to assume it will be harder than you can ever imagine to get a glimmer of what it may be like.

I realise this sounds quite negative, but I have been to hell and back so many times in the last 5 years, still have a socially unacceptable dog that I have to protect whenever we are out in public, even with people he knows in case they forget, and it will be a long long time before I knowingly put myself through that again. I would hate for someone to knowingly put themselves in my position without realising how hard it can be and find that they really can't cope, and one more dog ends up a yo-yo dog getting worse each time.

On the other hand, you are already a member of the best dog support forum on the planet so you know where to come to have a meltdown as well as to celebrate the successes!!

jacksdad
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by jacksdad » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:20 pm

Jindo,

i would also suggest putting some thought into what type of "special need" you want to take on. Fearful? Aggressive? Blind? Deaf? etc. each issue has it's own sets of challenges and things you need to learn to help the dog. since you are thinking of actively searching out such a dog put some thought to which "issue" you feel you can take on. Then go learn about it before hand.

In terms of fearful and fear based aggression, if you choose to take on such a dog I can recommend a whole bunch of VERY good books and DVDs.

those of us with our own "special needs" dogs didn't go looking for them. we ended up with them and chose to learn to help them and stick with them. But not having prior knowledge and some starting place plan adds a WHOLE LOT of stress to an already stressful endeavor. Do your self a HUGE favor and do come book work first and if possible try and get some experience before taking on your own special needs dog.

Lastly, make sure you have the time to put to such a dog. at your age you have the energy, but you do have competing priorities. make sure that "right now" is really the right time for this kind of under taking.

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minkee
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Re: Special Need Dogs

Post by minkee » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:06 am

I also think it's worth mentioning that by getting a puppy and / or young dog that DOESN'T have any issues, and then raising it in such a way that it NEVER develops any issues is just as valuable. At least I think it is just as valuable!

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