Shelby...a whole new ballgame.

Postby jmashaney » January 12th, 2008, 10:21 pm

Jan brought Shelby over today, and it has been a long day.

It was so sweet of Jan to take this dog in, many people would see a stray pit bull and drive away fast. But Jan's definitely a pushover, :shake: and it shows with this dog.

She free-fed the dog, so Shelby is EFF AYY TEE fat. :piggy: The new food schedule is going to tick her off. I put down her kibble for 15 minutes, and of course she wasn't interested, so up it went. She looked a bit confused.

When they came in, Jan had her on this harness, and all it did was give Shelby more leverage to pull Jan down the driveway. So we switched to a collar and leash, and within 10 minutes Paul had her calmed down and working on her sits. She picked up the sit command nearly right away, and once we started working with her and had Jan go off in the other room, she was a different dog - much calmer.

Oh but good gracious...the socialization issues we are going to have. I don't think she's ever even SEEN another dog, much less a cat. :o

We took her in the front yard, leashed, and brought out the big yellow lab, (Heretofore to be known as Tonka. There. I named him. Happy, Joyce?) since he is the most mature and laid back. Shelby kept trying to mount him, grab him with her paws, and bite at him. So we pulled them back a little, and let them stare at each other. Tonka doesn't care about any of this, he's happy to see a new person to lick.

After 5 minutes or so, Shelby is sitting next to Tonka, and we are all talking, ignoring them.

We proceed to bring out the rest of the crew, one by one, all leashed, until everyone was outside and sniffing butts. Shelby did very well, you could tell she was nervous, but she didn't snap or growl at anyone.

After another 30 minutes, everyone went to their respective crates, got a new chewy bone, and we all went to dinner.

Whe I came in this evening, I took Shelby outside by herself. Of course, a cat walks up. Shelby pounces on her and tries to eat her. So, ok, obviously not cat socialized. Oh boy. :cat:

After the cat is safely over the fence, and Shelby has gotten a stern fussing, I put her back in the kennel. She looked very upset that I had scolded her, I imagine she didn't know that it was wrong to eat cats.

Is it possible to teach a dog that cats are not supper? Our dogs ignore our cat, and have a truce with Evie the chihuahua, but Shelby thinks they both look like delectable snacks.

We are going to stick to a feeding/potty rotation for awhile until she gets settled in, because I don't want to stress her out any more than she is. Our pups are all sitting around in their bedroom like, 'What is THAT chick's problem??" :crazy:

We have her crated in the living room, which will cramp Paul's Sunday football style, but he'll get over it.

She seems very skittish about loud noises or sudden movements. I will be reading through previous threads tonight to see just what we've gotten ourselves into, but if anyone wants to post a reply with advice about where to start with her, that'd be great too.

She is super loving with me, and adores Paul, even though she hasn't been around us for very long.

I will post pics as soon as I locate new batteries. This camera eats them.
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Postby SisMorphine » January 12th, 2008, 10:25 pm

How old is she? At approx what age did your aunt find her? (And did she do anything with her socialization-wise or just do her best and keep her warm and fed?)

And I hear ya on the battery eating . . . my camera is horrific!
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Postby iluvk9 » January 12th, 2008, 10:37 pm

Yes, I am happy, now. :)
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Postby jmashaney » January 12th, 2008, 10:38 pm

She is 10 months old, approx.

Socialization wise, Jan has done nada. She found her perhaps two or three months ago, during which time she has restored her physical health, and socialized her with people, but not animals.

When she first found her, Shelby was very timid around people, Jan said she was the worst around men. Jan's husband is a big guy, and since they've had her, she's definitely come a long way with people. She took to Paul like a duck to water.

I'd like to think that since she learned how to interact with people, she'll learn how to interact with dogs, but I'm not going to kid myself. At nearly a year old, I'm not sure if she'll ever come around enough to be part of the "pack."

At this early point in our relationship, I think the ideal situation would be for her to be an only child in a home with someone who has experience with her type. But as we've learned in the last month with all the critters showing up, sometimes you just don't get to pick an optimal situation. Sometimes you just take what is coming your way and mold it into the best situation you can.
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Postby jmashaney » January 12th, 2008, 10:40 pm

On January 12 2008, 9:37 PM, iluvk9 wrote:Yes, I am happy, now. :)


Silly! He is just about the most gorgeous, outgoing, big lug love of a lab I've ever met. Unless his owner shows up, he's staying. Paul's gonna kill me, but that dog gets along with everyone and everything he meets, and he has a calming effect on the rascal pups.
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Postby iluvk9 » January 12th, 2008, 10:57 pm

On January 12 2008, jmashaney wrote:
On January 12 2008, 9:37 PM, iluvk9 wrote:Yes, I am happy, now. :)


Silly! He is just about the most gorgeous, outgoing, big lug love of a lab I've ever met. Unless his owner shows up, he's staying. Paul's gonna kill me, but that dog gets along with everyone and everything he meets, and he has a calming effect on the rascal pups.


I just wanted to quote what you said, so I have proof in case you edit your post.


:bananaDance:
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Postby jmashaney » January 13th, 2008, 8:20 pm

Excuse the messed up pupils. I am trying to learn how to fix dog eyes. It seems difficult!

Image

Shelby is doing tremendously well today with dogs and cats, as long as she is not in the kennel when they walk by. Paul has had her with him just about all day on a leash, and she is anxious to please him.

She likes to snuggle, too...
Image

We would like to adopt her out, if anyone is interested. Physically, she is healthy, but a bit chubby, and we are working on that. Socially, she seems to be a lot better off than we thought yesterday. We are working on her confidence, as that seems to be the main problem.
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Postby pmashaney81 » January 13th, 2008, 10:55 pm

I never realized my head was so shiny.
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Jezebelle (AmStaff/Catahoula Cur) - b. 08/05/07
Justus (AmStaff/American Bulldog) - b. 08/09/07
Shelby - (APBT) - Rescue
Evie (Chihuahua) - b. 12/24/04
Percival - Rescued Kitty of mass proportions :)
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Postby airwalk » January 13th, 2008, 11:37 pm

On January 13 2008, 9:55 PM, pmashaney81 wrote:I never realized my head was so shiny.


:D Ah the things you learn on a dog forum!!
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Postby luvmypitties » January 14th, 2008, 9:40 am

Was she recently spayed? In that last picture you can see what looks to be a spay scar that is infected or didnt quite heal right :|

She is adorable though! I love the coloring! And I think you should keep the lab too. He is a gorgeous dog!
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Postby jmashaney » January 14th, 2008, 10:02 am

On January 14 2008, 8:40 AM, luvmypitties wrote:Was she recently spayed? In that last picture you can see what looks to be a spay scar that is infected or didnt quite heal right :|

She is adorable though! I love the coloring! And I think you should keep the lab too. He is a gorgeous dog!


She was spayed three days ago.
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 14th, 2008, 12:04 pm

Be really careful...don't let anyone in your household get hurt because of her. I too want to help every dog, but you also have to remember that 1. Not every dog can be saved and 2. You may not have the resources to save this dog.

I had a pit bull foster PTS earlier this year, because she was DA but completely unpredictable. It was worrying...as I didn't know when she'd lash out-very little warning from her. She'd be around my dogs on leash, all would be good, then she'd just go for someone. No growling, no snarling...she'd been trained well to not growl. So there was no warning, it would just happen. Then when she almost got John's hand while going for Score's head...we were done. She was living in a crate almost all of the time because she couldn't be loose in the house. She had been turned back into rescue for biting...I never let it get that far...she only "snapped", but never connected. But that was with me riding her hard, and micro-managing every second of every day.

Could she have been re-habbed somewhere else, away from other dogs (and the cat who she wanted to eat also)? Perhaps...but who was gonna be able to do it? The rescue and I couldn't find anyone willing to take her and put the time and energy into her that she needed. I felt better about having her euth'd...than making all of our lives miserable.

Now...I'm not saying that this girl should be put down...I'm just saying, look at your situation and your dogs/cat and make sure you can really deal with her...and help her. You personally are not capable of saving them all...none of us are. I just don't want her to eat your cat or get into a fight with your pups. Have you checked with any rescues in the area?
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Postby jmashaney » January 14th, 2008, 1:16 pm

Thank you for your concern. We are considering all options at this point.

She is doing fine with people, and is getting more comfortable with the other dogs by the hour. Yesterday evening she learned to ignore the cat. She seems easily trainable, and takes direction very well.

She whines and grunts and wants to be in the playroom with the rest of them, but she plays too rough right now. It is sad, a dog that doesn't know how to play because it was never allowed to.

It's sort of like our pups, having been weaned a bit too early, did not understand bite pressures. So we had to train them, using "ouch," and they learned what was appropriate.

We are trying to do the same thing with Shelby, and let her play a bit, leashed, with an "EASY" each time she flings a paw or tries to nip. In the 48 hours we've had her, there is a noticeable difference.

We have a zero-accident policy at my house, meaning that Shelby goes outside on a leash only, unless she is alone with TWO people in the backyard, and that if she is out of the kennel, the chihuahua and cat are in the garage.

This is all just precautionary at the moment. She hasn't done anything except roll the cat that one night, and to be honest, I know lots of dogs that would like to eat a cat.

I realize that we cannot save all of them, and if she were to prove an unmanageable danger, we would choose euthanasia.

We will be contacting rescues this week. She is not a dog that we brought in intending to keep long term.

Our main goal for this weekend was to get her out of Jan's house, where she was getting great care but no socialization, and into a place where she could learn.

We kid that we would like to keep Sally and Tonka, because they are great dogs. But neither one of us wants to have 7 dogs on a permanent basis. Could we handle it? Sure. We are both super-organized routine-loving freakshows, and we run a tight ship. But we'd like to be down to our original three.

We hope to have placed the labs by March, and have Shelby rehabbed well enough to be looking for a home. They would all be happier in a home where they were the center of attention, I think, plus it would free us up for the next holiday season, when the idiots in our town dump the Christmas puppies they couldn't sell, or improperly restrain their animals on New Year's Eve.

I'm frustrated with that at the moment, and it might show.
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Postby jmashaney » January 25th, 2008, 12:00 am

Happy Shelby report, in an otherwise craptastic week...

Shelby is doing GREAT with Justus and Jezebelle. She also has progressed to the point where she will ignore the cat and Evie if they walk by. Tonight, there was a cat in the yard when I let her out, and she just looked at it, then at me, then tossed her head and walked the other way.

The only living being that she absolutely cannot be in the room with is the yellow lab monster. (To be perfectly honest, Paul can't stand to be in the room with him either. He's a bit rambunctious.)

So, labzilla is in the laundry room, and he goes out the back, and Shelby is in the spare room, so she goes out the front. They never lay eyes on each other, and things have been peaceful.

Of course, we are not completely addlebrained, so she isn't left loose or unsupervised with kitty and Evie, but she does get to go outside daily and run around with Justus and Bella, which has greatly improved not only her mood, but her fat midsection.

Paul is in love with her, and works with her daily, so yeah, he gets all the credit for her progress. I would never have thought upon meeting Miss McChubbersons that she could sit on the couch with our pups and just chill out.

Oh, and this is funny...when she gets excited, which is basically any time she goes outside, the hairs above her tail, on her butt, stand straight up!! While I was watching them, I noticed that Justus has three vertical lines of hairs all the way around his neck that stand up when he's bouncing around.

Sort of like crop circles...in dog hair.

Man, this is some great beer. :greenWave:
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Postby iluvk9 » January 25th, 2008, 5:11 pm

Labzilla :giggle:
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Postby jmashaney » January 25th, 2008, 7:03 pm

Seriously. He is the biggest lab I have ever seen. Pictures don't do it justice. That's why I figured he had to be someone's purebred stud dog or something...
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Postby Scout » January 28th, 2008, 3:29 pm

It's good to hear that Shelby is doing really well with you guys...she is lucky to have you guys work with her! Awesome work!! :thumbsup:
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Postby jmashaney » January 30th, 2008, 10:57 pm

We saw a male pit that looked JUST like Shelby at the vet today. He had been hit by a car and had a pin sticking out of his hip, but he was wiggling and saying hi to everyone.

I LOVE seeing happy, friendly pit bulls in public places!!
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