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I would like to start off first and say I LOVE this forum! So happy I found it and you all are so helpful and have great advice and input.

My sister and I have been looking for a dog for a long time now. We were living in a loft type apartment and although it allowed dogs, it just didn't really work with the area. We FINALLY moved into a town-home that is very large(2,000 sqft) and a great neighborhood with lots of parks in walking distance.

We both go to the Humane Society daily to help out and we also just keep an eye out of the dogs that come in. We need one that is cat friendly and our cat is starting to get use to dogs now.

Few come and go, but they brought in this Black Lab mix when we were there. He was kept in the basement tied up and is approx a year and half old. He is just so incredibly sweet and loves other dogs and gets along with cats. After a few days of visiting I decided to take him. He has a few downsides though that my sister is freaking out about.
1. She thinks shelter dogs are going to be very mean and unfriendly
2. He isn't housebroken yet and he is 1.5 years old. (She thinks it's going to be VERY hard if not impossible to now train him to go outside)
3. That he is going to destroy everything.

We also have no idea what he is mixed with. If it were not for his tail and chest(little bit of white) I would think he was a pure bred.

So I guess what I am asking in this thread is:
1. Any advice for shelter dogs, how to go around training them.
2. Thoughts on what he is mixed with:ponder: (will attach photos)
3. Crate training an older dog, is it possible?

ps We were raised with Labs and know about the destruction/hyper energy. We have tons of ways to get that energy out. We are both very active and go for runs daily so the dog would be going with us.




Thank you

sorry didn't realize how long this turned out to be :(
 

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Do to the long narrow muzzle, i would guess he's mixed with some type of hound, but it could be mixed with a number of different breeds. And yes crate training is possible with adult dogs, as it uses their natural instincts as a den animal.
 

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Do to the long narrow muzzle, i would guess he's mixed with some type of hound, but it could be mixed with a number of different breeds. And yes crate training is possible with adult dogs, as it uses their natural instincts as a den animal.
Hmm I actually never even thought of a hound. I can def see it now in the muzzle. Thanks.
I do have a metal crate, I just don't know he is going to act. We will find out saturday though.
 

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I could see lab/border collie. Glad he is going to get lots of jogging in!

Shelter dogs can be quite guarded, but I think that more often the problem is the reverse; they can INITIALLY be very insecure and clingy and even put up with things that make them really uncomfortable because they are so desperate to befriend you. The shelter situation is like Bedlam but for dogs; it breeds a lot of insecurity that usually settles out as the dog spends more and more time with the same group of people in the same house, and comes to accept that he is not going to be 'ditched' again.

This is really a dog (I mean, more than most dogs) that you want to ONLY use positive reinforcement and negative punishment with. No positive punishment for the time being: You don't know what his experiences in the past have been; he may have learned, for instance, that shouting people are likely to hit him. Then you have a dog that is prepared to bite if you are shouting at him. Further, +r training is a good way to both bond with your dog and build his self-confidence, both of which he needs desperately, I'm thinking.

Crate-training is totally possible with older dogs, but if I had to give you one bit of advice it would be not to push it, comfort-wise. At first he may only be able to spend 30 seconds in his crate without freaking out. Take as long as you need to, the last thing you need is a dog that hates hopping in a crate because he was left to panic in one. These situations are possible, but VERY hard to reverse.
 

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Great read Kelly, thank you for that. I totally saw Border Collie in him with the tail and his white patch when I first saw him.


As for his crate(its wired) would it be best to put a blanket over it or keep it so he can look around? I just want the first experience he has to go good and for him to feel very welcome. He is a very playful dog, when I visit with him he knows he wants to play but he just kind of nervous or unsure of himself at times.
 

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A blanket may actually be a good idea, especially if the crate has an otherwise clear view of the outside world. It might be a bit frustrating for him at first if he is in his crate and the living room / kitchen / bedroom is out there with all its cool places to investigate and sniff… yeah.

But once he's comfortable the wire design may work in your favour, you can put him by a window looking out in the backyard so that he can watch some scenery, bark at some birds and whatnot while he's waiting for dad to come home. Some dogs (that are not agitated by people and cars going by) are very fond of window-watching and keeping tabs on all that goes on while their owner is away!
 

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If the shelter you get the dog is a good one the dog will have been temperament tested, so I would not worry about him being mean. Yes he may have some issues but nearly any that he has you should be able to work through. Jumping up, resource guarding, chewing, etc, could all be encountered and all can be overcome!

House training him may or may not be an issue. It will NOT be due to his age but if while he was tied up in the basement he was forced to potty right there and could not get out of it he may have lost his sense of cleanliness. If that happened then using a crate to help housetrain him probably won't work and you'll be better off using the tether him to you, watch him like a hawk, method. He will housetrain though so tell your sister to not worry about that! I'm not sure if you've seen this sticky yet http://www.dogforum.com/housetraining/house-training-how-tos-2135/ so I'll post it just in case, is should help you and your sister.

Whether or not he'll destroy anything will depend on how well you manage him. Keep anything you don't want chewed on or shredded picked up, keep the garbage cans where he cannot get them, keep the counters and table cleared or anything that's remotely edible. The idea is to set him up for success and to do your best to not let him form bad habits. I find it helpful to not leave a new dog free to wander from room to room unsupervised. I'll let them explore (after making sure they've pottied outside) but will follow them from room to room ready to interrupt (in a happy manner) them if they show interest in something I don't want them getting into.

I'd clicker train him! It's fun for the dog, and a great way to bond with him. My new boy, he's around a year and a month old, loves it and before I got him he'd never been clicker trained and didn't know commands. We're working on sit and speak atm. Sit because I use that command a lot and speak because I want to teach him hush since he's a barker. I'm going to work on recall and leave it after that.

Yes he can be crate trained. A good way to start is to feed him in the crate, and give him great chews and things like stuffed Kongs but leave the door open. Once he's going in and out willingly then, while he's busy with the Kong or chew, start closing the door on the crate, start by closing and opening it right back up, then slowly add time to how long you leave it closed. The last thing you want to do is just lock him in it without crate training him first, that's almost guaranteed to cause him to hate the crate. Here's a sticky thread on crate training http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/crate-training-faq-3974/ .
 
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Good looking dog! Yes, he can be housetrained and crate trained. Look at those links as they'll be very helpful.

Karen London has a new book about adopting shelter dogs. It's called Love Has no Age Limit.
 

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I did not see those stickys so thank you Rain. I actually just printed them out as well just to keep on hand and give to my sister to read up on.

I have actually never witnessed or known anybody who has clicker trained their dog. So that is totally new to me, but seems very interesting if I can get it too work. Do you know of any good tutorials on Clicker Training?


Thank you Grabby I thought so too :)
I will check out that book, I do love to read, just some of these dog training books can be a bit of a drag.
 

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I did not see those stickys so thank you Rain. I actually just printed them out as well just to keep on hand and give to my sister to read up on.

I have actually never witnessed or known anybody who has clicker trained their dog. So that is totally new to me, but seems very interesting if I can get it too work. Do you know of any good tutorials on Clicker Training?


Thank you Grabby I thought so too :)
I will check out that book, I do love to read, just some of these dog training books can be a bit of a drag.
Glad I could help. I think your boy is very lucky to have found you, he's going to have a great home from now on. What's his name? He's very handsome btw.


I wish that I could link you to some of the clicker training youtubes, but I have a dial-up connection and youtubes take forever to load so I avoid them. I see members on DF recommending Kikopup's and Tab289's youtube channels all the time so I know they are good. If you go to the behavior and training section of the forum and post asking for tips and links I bet you'll get tons of them:thumbsup: Also this link http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/helpful-training-videos-articles-11426/ is loaded with training videos and articles.
 

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Glad I could help. I think your boy is very lucky to have found you, he's going to have a great home from now on. What's his name? He's very handsome btw.


I wish that I could link you to some of the clicker training youtubes, but I have a dial-up connection and youtubes take forever to load so I avoid them. I see members on DF recommending Kikopup's and Tab289's youtube channels all the time so I know they are good. If you go to the behavior and training section of the forum and post asking for tips and links I bet you'll get tons of them:thumbsup: Also this link http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/helpful-training-videos-articles-11426/ is loaded with training videos and articles.
Thank you, his name I Domino.
Oh don't worry about it, you have helped out a lot. I will def check out that thread and give those youtubers a watch later on tonight! :)
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Mean, huh? Dogs are better than that, I promise you. Better than us, in fact.

My dog's hip was broken into 3 pieces, allowed to heal without veterinary care, then he was kept in a crate 24/7 for at least a year, then he was allowed to starve when the tumor on his gum got too big for him to eat, then he was dumped at a high kill shelter to die.

If you did all that to me, I'd hate everyone. My dog, however, loves everyone he meets. To Kabota, the world is full of friends just waiting to pet him, and he wants to meet all of them.

Don't just dogs by human standards, they're way too good for that.
 

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Amaryllis, I wanted to 'like' that a million times!!!! Don't want to hyjack this thread, but what an amazing dog you have, to have gone through all of that & still trust us humans - I'm speechless! God, there are some crappy people out there, but there are also some fabulous ones who take these wonderful dogs & show them that they can trust humans again :huddle:
 

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How horrible for your poor dog Amaryllis. I wasn't really concerned at all just based off his personality he seems to love everyone and his tail just goes a wagging when he gets pet.
 

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I asked the shelter to try and contact the old owner to ask about his breed. Hopefully find out on Saturday when I pick him up. So excited for him to come home. :) :) :) :)
 
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