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Help! Rescued our first dog from the pound...


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We have always paid good money for our dogs (labs). We have two right now, a grandpa lab on his last leg of life, and a vibrant always-wants-to-play 20 mth old male lab. He NEEDS a playmate! Someone to run around our 2 1/2 acres with. We cannot afford to purchase another full blooded lab, so I thought to look at the pound. My first stop in I fell in love with an approx 1 yo female black lab mix. I have no idea what she is mixed with, but she is definitely not full lab. My dh thinks it's probably pit bull, but she is awfully tiny and petite, so I'm not sure about that. As sweet as can be though. Put her in a crate the first night and did not hear a single peep out of her. In fact, it's day three now and have yet to hear a peep from her in any situation. She is very gentle. When out of the crate she will sleep at my feet. In fact, she would sleep in her crate happily all day long if I let her. It's very odd to me. NOT much retriever, if any, in her either. She has no idea about playing fetch, and if she does, she wants nothing to do with the sport. An extremely lazy dog. NOT the best match for our 20 mth old lab, but a very pleasant dog.

 

Now for the main issue I am having...

 

She will NOT eat dog food!!! She'll scavenge around the yard and eat all manner of nasty things like rabbit droppings, and dead critters...but dog food? Won't touch the stuff! She was apparently a stray and is used to hunting out her own food. How do I get her to develop a taste for dog food?

I put egg in her food this morning and she ate the egg, but not the dog food.

Do I keep her locked up in the house until she gets so hungry that she learns to like food instead of rabbit droppings? :confused: When she is outside all she does is run around with her nose to the ground searching out nasties. She doesn't play, or seem to know HOW to play. My dh thinks shes dense...not quite right in the head. But again, we are used to the exuberance and high intelligence of Labradors. I was really hoping she'd have more lab in her.

 

Like I said, this is our first pound rescue, and I'm really not sure how to deal with her. My DH already wants to take her back because she is not a good match for our lab, but I don't know if I have the heart for that, KWIM? I'm not attached yet, but she's a really good dog, and it seems so heartless to take her back. Is it possible that once she gets used to the other dogs that she'll get more playful? That she'll lose her scavenger attitude and act like a normal dog? Or should we take her back and save money for a lab puppy. I know someone else would adopt her, she's very cute and sweet natured. We absolutely love labs...they are a lot of trouble to raise from pups, but the funnest, and funniest dogs ever...not sure how this non-lab will fit in with our family? :confused:

 

Help!

 

Advice anyone???

Edited by Melissa in CA
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Well, this sounds like the kind of thing where you need to try trial and error.

 

I'd try giving a "gravy" of chicken broth (from bouillon) mixed in with her dog food.

 

Or a squirt or two of fish oil (which is also good for their coat).

 

I think a dog like this is going to need some work. You might have to go out with the dog to get the dog used to the pack - not just the other dog in your family, because you are part of the pack too and are really the most important member of the pack.

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When she is outside all she does is run around with her nose to the ground searching out nasties.

 

I'm not attached yet, but she's a really good dog, and it seems so heartless to take her back. Is it possible that once she gets used to the other dogs that she'll get more playful?

 

 

I wonder if she's part BEAGLE. Sounds like my sister's old dog (who lived to be 18 and more than once my sister wondered what she'd done in a past life to deserve that dog).

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Well, I'd give it time.

I've had fosters here who needed to learn to play. It sometimes takes a few weeks.

How is she with your male? Will she play with him? When I adopted my female she didn't know how to play with people but knew how to play with dogs.

 

Has she been vet checked? I'd make sure she's wormed & wormed again, given her dietary tendencies. One of mine is a real scrounger & I worm more often because of that....

 

You can teach your dog to eat.

 

Also, will she eat from your hand? I like to hand feed for the first bit - not so much now that I feed raw :lol:. Anyway, hand feeding kibble a fast way to instill a good sit and polite waiting behaviour.

 

You can feed her in a kong but I'm guessing it will take her a bit to figure it out. She'll be checking out what your male does & she'll learn from him.

 

As far as 'smartness'. Well, get a bunch of breed afficionados in a room & you'll have a huge argument about which breeds are smart. Some are smart in that they do what you say. And then stand there until you tell them to do the next thing. And then stand there. And stand there. And stand there. Hello? Capable of any independent thoughts?

 

Some are smart in that they learn a bhvr after only a few repetitions. Whether they do it on command is a different matter altogether.

 

Some are smart in that they can figure out how to get 'toys' out of locked rooms, destuff couches, and kill down duvets.

 

And then there's my fave:

 

Some are smart in that they learned how to survive on their own, avoided getting hit by a car, eaten by coyotes, or set on fire by nasty people, or being used as bait in a dog fighting ring, and were smart enough to look into the eyes of a lady walking by their cage and smile at her and convince her to take them home. That's the best smarts.

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And then there's my fave:

 

Some are smart in that they learned how to survive on their own, avoided getting hit by a car, eaten by coyotes, or set on fire by nasty people, or being used as bait in a dog fighting ring, and were smart enough to look into the eyes of a lady walking by their cage and smile at her and convince her to take them home. That's the best smarts.

 

:lol: Point taken! :D

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Errrrrr! Just found a big puddle of pee on the carpet. She definitely cannot be trusted off-leash in the house! Will try to keep this latest issue from dh....he'll freak! And things seemed to be looking so much better too :glare: I had just gotten her to eat about a 1/2 cup of dog food.

 

[eta....just brought her back in the house and in her crate. She was outside feasting (gorging) on rabbit droppings. Ugh.]

Edited by Melissa in CA
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Your posts are bringing back memories of when we brought our rescue dog home. He had some quirks! He peed on the xmas tree. And he had obviously been abused. It took some work but after a few months things gradually got better. He still has a few quirks but he's a great dog. Good luck!

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