Adopted an adult dog, can I pick your brains please?(18 Posts)
This is a bit long, sorry!
We adopted our dog about 3.5 weeks ago. He's slightly older than my ideal, I had wanted about 18 months, but he was very, very engaging in the pound!
He's aged between 3 and 5, very well behaved mostly. Lab/ lurcher cross. Brilliant with the kids, already appears to have bonded very strongly (all aged over 8.)
Minor issues: he's not neutered yet, I was planning to give him time to settle, but he lifts his leg in the house from time to time. He was a stray, and it's been suggested that he will have strayed because he was out chasing girls. Is neutering him at this stage likely to help with these behaviours?
The Cat. They've gone from outright hostility to tolerating each other, but can't be unsupervised as the dog needs support not to be too interested. (he keeps looking at me and coming for reassurance while the cat is in the room.) The cat has gone from spending 16 hours a day outside murdering wildlife to insisting on sleeping on my head, guess he's feeling the need for reassurance too! Am I doing the right thing by doing supervised contact?
I'm getting a stairgate, at present the dog is confined to open-plan kitchen/living room/ diner, but this would allow him the run of downstairs. I don't want him on the beds etc as I want the cat to have a safe space away from the dog.
Recall. I'm paranoid, since he was a stray. He has learned quite quickly - day 1 he got out of the garden (I am very stupid for thinking a 4'6 wall with 6' bramble hedge would keep him in) but came back almost at once. So he's on extender lead in the garden until I can put up a fence. But on the beach, he is Very Keen on the gulls, and I have a sense he wouldn't recall well. I don't dare let him off yet. There isn't a dog Park nearby, just beach or fields, so an awful lot of scope for running off. I'm using a harness and extender lead, is there a better option? His lead behaviour is perfect, no pulling.
He's brilliant in the house, responds instantly to sit, stay, bed and leave commands and doesn't steal food. And he's gorgeous.
Thanks for any replies!
I wouldn't let him off and unsupervised in the garden until he's fixed. Sounds like he's doing well otherwise.
Having his bits off at this age won't help with some behaviour but it's still a good thing to do, regarding fathering puppies.
If he's cocking his leg in the house he needs some training not to, so it's back to basics for that. Part of this will be territory marking but he still needs some training to stop doing it.
A long lead on a confined park is useful for learning recall. Always give him a tasty treat when he comes back but don't call him when he's running away - yet. Make sure you can make him come back before you call him.
There are training classes running all the time, even for older dogs. I strongly advise to take him to these. If they are decent classes the trainer will also be available for advice on everything.
Congratulations on your new dog.
Bonding takes time, I took mine off the lead too quickly because I thought she'd comeback to me.
So I would take it slow.
It's good he listens. It's good he looks at you for cues regarding the cat.
About the leg lifting, I would ask advice from the ver. Personally I would not have an unneutered male as they go bonkers when within a mile of a bitch on heat!
Good luck. He looks a lovely dog and is lucky to have found you
He sounds lovely and you sound like you're doing brilliantly with him. We've had our girl over a year and still have to supervise with the cats (mainly due to nutty boy cat winding the dog up) but if that's the way it has to be, so be it!
You could try a long line and stand on it if needed for recall. Would work well at the beach ans you could give mor2 freedom. I don't mega like using it in fields due to sheep poo...
Re cocking his leg in the house, you need to make sure to clean using he specialist spray otherwise he will feel the need to carry on marking the same spots.
I got some of the special spray (for only approximately a million pounds!), it's definitely better, I hadn't realised bleach would attract him back but apparently it does!
If hes got lurcher, do NOT use an extending lead. If he takes off, he can reach a really decent speed by the end of the lead, and you could be pulled over and/or break your hand.
Start using his food interest to practice recall in the garden with a trailing lead you can stamp on (horse lunge lines are great) using really high value treats. Those precooked cocktail sausages are great
This is a very good FB group. Look in the files section for loads of info and check out posts or post your own query.
Thanks guys! That is a brilliant group, I have joined. Going to buy a long leash on Amazon just now.
Long leash not good for lurcher, at the speed they can make, they can really hurt their neck
He is beautiful.
If he does indeed have lab in him (and he does look Lab/lurcher) then yes he will have a huge instinct to chase birds. My lovely lab (18 months) has pretty good recall, is fairly good on lead.... until there's a bird on the scene. I agree with everything everyone else is saying. He sounds brilliant though so far xxx
Ruby he's on a harness rather than collar, does that improve matters?
The way to use a long lead is not to hold one end until the dog strangles themselves. Instead you let them run, in a confined environment. When you're ready to call them you get close enough to pick up the end of the lead and then call them. You make sure they come back by reeling them in. When they get back to you, give them a really tasty treat. Our dog loves the 50p a tin hot dog sausages. One sausage chops up into 20 pieces.
Harness would be better, maybe, my dog always got tangled up in her long lead somehow but she's a wally
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