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 Post subject: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:07 pm 
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Welcome home, Finn! I adopted him from Family Dog Rescue in San Francisco on Tuesday evening. I've been working from home the rest of the week, trying to get him acclimated. He starts a daily play group/group walk on Tuesday.

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Hanging in his bed, trying to decide if he would rather play tug of war or come over and give kisses.

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Staring at me, wondering why the weirdo human keeps repeating "potty time" over and over and not going anywhere interesting.

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Tug of war on walkies :)

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He's a lap dog :) But also the LAZIEST lap dog--he will not climb up onto a couch or chair or bench or whatever to get on a lap. You must go to the floor. While I'm working at my desk, he'll come over and put his front paws on my lap and rest his face on my legs and lick me, but he will not get himself up anywhere!

He's been a good boy, though he cries when I put him in his playpen and go to the other side of the room to work from the couch. We're working on that. He also cries in his crate at night. It's rough, but I'm trusting that he'll grow out of it.

A strange conundrum that I'm hoping y'all can help with--Finn is 5 months old, and he leaps and cavorts with joy when I come over to him, he gets super hyper and excited when I put on his harness, and then we'll get outside and he'll barely want to go. We'll walk maybe half a block and he'll stop again. This will go on and on throughout our walks. Sometimes we'll go two blocks with him trucking along, super into it, but then suddenly he'll stop and refuse to go anywhere. Just stand. The only way to get him moving is to run along with a treat, but once he gets it, it's a 50/50 chance that he'll go back to refusing to budge. If I kneel down, he'll often come over to me for cuddles, though. If something exciting happens, like a person walks by or goes past on a skateboard or he notices something edible on the ground, then he'll suddenly find a huge well of energy.

He's a boxer/shepherd mix, about 30+ pounds right now, and ought to be much more energetic. It took me FOREVER to go a few blocks with him just now (I actually picked him up and carried him the last block and a half because I couldn't wait any longer and didn't want to drag him), even though we only went a few doors down and back in the morning for potty time. I feel like he should be more high energy? Or is he just a mellow pup and I should take him on short walks? Or is he trying to tell me something with the stopping during walks?

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:14 pm 
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He could be sick and not showing symptoms. My inlaws adopted a rottie/lab mix who had a wicked case of kennel cough that didn't show itself until he had been home about 4 days. But he plays tug and gets excited so that's unlikely.

He could also just be getting used to his new surroundings and taking his time getting accustomed. Suddenly stopping could be because he's unsure or nervous about the power lines or that car up ahead or the high pitched noise coming from an electricity box or that dead leaf across the road. Or, similarly, was he used to pavement before you got him? If he only had time outside on grass or dirt, being on the pavement a lot could be bothering him.

Finally, is the rescue 100% sure he's the mix they're saying? It's one thing if they know for sure, but if they're guessing he could have something in him like mastiff which would reduce energy a lot.

He could also just be a chilled out dude.

Everything is pretty new to him right now so you may need more time before you see the "real" him. For now just do shorter walks more often.

He's super cute, congrats!

ETA: oh, he could also just be a stubborn butthead.

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:31 pm 
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Thank you, Moon! :)

I'm hoping he's not sick, but I'll keep an eye out. I was thinking maybe it's that he wasn't getting nearly as much active exercise while at the shelter, so maybe it's just muscle fatigue/needing to build up cardio strength. He is pretty mellow with regards to surroundings--he gets curious about noises, but not scared (he finds motorcycles really fascinating), he wants to sniff (and eat!) everything, and has remained happily chilling even when there are sirens, lots of loud noises, etc. So I'm GUESSING that it might just be overload of stimulation, being fatigued, and possibly tender foot pads--he was on concrete in the shelter, but smooth concrete, not the rough sidewalk stuff. I'm going to not take him on a longer walk this evening after all (we were gonna go meet my partner when he gets off work and all walk home together), and see how he does over the next couple days.

Moon wrote:
He could also just be a chilled out dude.

ETA: oh, he could also just be a stubborn butthead.


Honestly, I really hope it's the top option, because I can only afford a group walk once a day and no doggie daycare, so I want him to be chill so I don't have to feel bad about that. ;)

I HOPE he's not a stubborn butthead. He's generally incredibly eager to please in all other ways (he's already learned that if he wants to be petted, he should sit, if he puts his paws on the playpen fence I'll turn my back on him, and if he goes and lays down on his bed I'll give him a treat), so that's why this refusal to budge on walks is so weird and concerning to me. I guess he had to have some sort of teenager streak!

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:01 pm 
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As long as there's nothing really wrong, I'd just give it time. Maybe he's not used to walking on the sidewalk or not used to going for walks more 2 blocks. With Bigby, things with him changed all the time for the first year and especially in the first few weeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:05 pm 
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Also if Bigby wants to go in a certain direction he just stops and looks that way. Usually I just lost him choose where to walk because it's his walk, so maybe that's part of it?

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:06 pm 
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Also omg cuuuuuuute and congrats!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:06 pm 
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I don't have any advice but that is one good-looking dog. Congratulations!

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:45 pm 
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He's so adorable! That lap-sitting picture is the best!

I agree that he could just be intimidated by new surroundings and sitting still might just be his way of reacting when he's nervous. He also could be really out of shape if he's been at a shelter or rescue for a while. One of my dogs was at a shelter for almost a year before I adopted him and even though he's a big, high energy dog, he tired very easily when I first got him because he wasn't used to getting as much physical activity as he needed. We had to do very short walks multiple times a day at first before he could keep up. Now he has tons of energy from hiking every day.


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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:09 pm 
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One word of advice, if you're not already doing this, start handling his feet and giving treats so you'll be able to trim his nails when you need to. It's so hard when they hate having their feet touched.

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:06 am 
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well hello, Finn! he's such a handsome boy, indeed - and he also looks like a cuddle-roo!

i would say he might be getting adjusted to everything and yes to not being used to longer walks and such. i see you have an awesome harness for him (Sig has one as well that clips in the front because he's 100+ pounds and loves to pull.) - is he used to being walked with a harness or did they leash walk him at the rescue? also, when we first started out with Sig the harness we had for him was chaffing under his pitties a little bit - not fun for him and took me a few days to figure this out. new harness and it's all better, but i would check Finn out to see if he has any sensitive spots where his harness goes.

sounds to me like he's totally figuring things out and while he sounds and looks like a happy guy - he might just need to build his confidence and once he does he'll be up for anything! couch snuggles, laps in chairs, longer walks, you name it! super happy to hear he doesn't startle easily and takes on new things with a healthy curiosity.

and not that you have to, but after a few weeks of crate training when we first adopted Sig, we moved to baby gates and eventually he earned free roam of the couch (and sleeps in bed when my spouse is on shift). but i know Finn will adjust to the crate soon enough!


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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:45 pm 
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I'm no help but OMG he is so stinkin' cute!

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:30 pm 
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Aren't they funny? Olivia can play fetch with her rope toy for an hour straight, sprinting, running into walls, the whole nine yards. But walking? Forget it. She has very limited interest, and if we are lucky she will do 20 minutes. Most of which is spent sniffing.

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:12 pm 
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FINN!!!! <3<3<3

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:16 pm 
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This might not apply to a puppy but when we got our second dog Marty he was 5 and we think had maybe been owned by some elderly people and was in the shelter long enough to became rotund and out of shapes and we used to have to drag him around on walks. After he got in better condition he was fine.

Not sure that applies to a puppy. The newness of having to wear a leash/harness I have heard can trip up some puppies. If you don't think anything is physically wrong like an illness I would just give it time to adjust

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:49 pm 
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Thanks, everyone!!

He's doing great--he has gotten much better on the leash, and more into long distances (we went for a job on Sunday and did over 2.5 miles!). He's doing better with crate training, too, and once he stops peeing in the same spot next to my desk, I'll be expanding his playpen. I hate crating him when I go to work :( I'm fine with it for the night time, so he can be cozy.

Being a puppy parent is SO SCARY! I want to take the best possible care of him and train him just right and give him all the love and the best life, but I'm not always sure how! I feel like I am getting a miniature peek into how my sister must be feeling with her new baby (particularly the obnoxious strangers who want to "help" with their input on what you should be doing). I'm super happy, though! I love him so much, and there is really just nothing like the way he broadcasts his love for me :) The wagging tail, the desire to cuddle and be close to me, it is just so amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:56 pm 
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It sounds like you're doing great, DC! One thing I've learned after 18-odd months of dog parenthood (of an adult, somewhat special needs dog) is that the more chill you can be, the better. With Ariel, she picks up on my anxiety SO much, and it really feeds her anxiety. She is so, so much more calm and at ease when I am. Easier said than done, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:08 pm 
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Hi. I'm in love with your dog. I mean, nacho ears. Come on.


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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:25 am 
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<3 <3 <3 Wuvs Finn!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:32 pm 
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He is doing SO GREAT! The longer he's with me, the more his personality comes out and it is just SUCH A GOOD ONE. His entire body wiggles with happiness when he sees me. If he's just sleeping or chilling and tired, his tail will wag and it'll loudly thump against whatever he's lying on. I have a beanbag he just loves, and when I sit down on it, he jumps onto it with me, wiggling because his tail is wagging so hard, and covers my face in kisses and then promptly falls asleep on me. When I take him to the dog park, he LOVES playing with the other dogs, but he'll occasionally swing by to rub against my legs and give my hand a lick or two, just to remind me that we're still besties. IT IS SO GOOD. HE IS SO GOOD.

We're still working on not eating literally every single thing he sees on the street. I had tuned out how much trash/rotting food is on the streets of San Francisco, but now walking is a high-vigilance activity as I have to keep him from eating things that will make him sick/are just gross. I'm hoping our puppy classes at the SPCA next month will help me with my big challenges (keeping him from trying to eat rando junk on the street, and not jumping on people when he meets them), but he's already doing so well with progress in life. I'm thrilled. I'm delirious. He's great.

Also the cat is slowly coming around. They can now be within a couple of feet of each other without her getting hissy and pointy at him, if I'm there. When he's asleep, she'll get REALLY close, but always on high alert--whiskers out and pupils huge--but we are making progress. He's very deferential to her and will freeze in place when he sees her, and back off when she indicates anger, so I'm glad that she's setting the pace of the relationship and he's respecting her boundaries.

It was really stupid and impulsive of me to adopt this dog AND I HAVE NO REGRETS AT ALL HE IS SO GREAT AND I AM SO HAPPY

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:48 pm 
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I want to cuddle him so much! What a sweetie. I'm glad he's doing so well. :)
DarthCupcake wrote:
We're still working on not eating literally every single thing he sees on the street. I had tuned out how much trash/rotting food is on the streets of San Francisco, but now walking is a high-vigilance activity as I have to keep him from eating things that will make him sick/are just gross.

I have a beagle who walks with her nose to the ground and will eat anything (the grosser the better!), and still after 11 years I am in this constantly vigilant state on walks. You never notice how much trash and food scraps are strewn around until you get a dog. I had a dog-less friend say "I've never seen a chicken bone on the ground". Get a dog; you will see them all the time!


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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:00 pm 
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He's SOOOOOOOOOO cute!

My sister lives right by a 7-11 and the sell wings and people walk around her neighborhood eating the chicken wings and tossing the bones in the yards! Can you imagine how gross/annoying/dangerous!?!

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:10 pm 
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oh Finn sounds great.

with the jumping one of the things you can do is tell people not to pet him or acknowledge him when he jumps. have them turn their back.

if he jumps and gets pet it's a self reinforcing activity. or even if they start talking to him he's getting attention.
im sure it's a huge issue with a lot of puppies so your puppy class will help and as he learns command you can have people ask him to sit before he gets pet.

so happy he is doing so well!

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 Post subject: Re: Finn's Forever Home and a Question/Concern
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:21 pm 
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LisaPunk wrote:
oh Finn sounds great.

with the jumping one of the things you can do is tell people not to pet him or acknowledge him when he jumps. have them turn their back.

if he jumps and gets pet it's a self reinforcing activity. or even if they start talking to him he's getting attention.
im sure it's a huge issue with a lot of puppies so your puppy class will help and as he learns command you can have people ask him to sit before he gets pet.

so happy he is doing so well!


UGH this is my goal, I am constantly asking people that--friends, strangers on the street, etc--and everyone is like "Oh, it's okay!" and I'm like "NO IT IS NOT stop undermining my training just because YOU INDIVIDUALLY do not mind being jumped on!" He already knows not to jump on me or my boyfriend, because we ignore him and won't give him pets until he's good, but with strangers... Hoo boy.

We'll get there!

TIL he loves carrots :)

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