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Thread: Need to find a new home for my retriever

  1. #1
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    Default Need to find a new home for my retriever

    I recently adopted a 6 year old Yellow Lab named Roscoe from another forum member who was moving and couldn't keep him. When we got the dog, my girlfriend and I agreed to a 90-day veto period wherein either of us could just say it's not working and we would give up the dog. My girlfriend has exercised her veto power, and I would like to find another hunter/hunting home for him.

    The reason for giving up the dog is that we have not been able to successfully transition him from an outside dog to an inside dog. While we have been able to calm him down enough to sit in the living room for 20-30 minutes in the evening, and he sleeps outside out bedroom, tethered to the banister, he still spends the majority of his time outside. Part of the problem transitioning to indoor life is that Roscoe has a human food problem. He will do anything to get human food, or items he perceives to be human food. He can't be inside during meal times, and the kitchen provides an irresistible temptation for him. Food around camp at our cabin is also problematic.

    My girlfriend and I feel like our home simply isn't comfortable him. We have a 200 sq ft back yard. He won't stay in his kennel without chewing on his tail, and he won't stay in the back yard without barking. He came from a home in Wasilla that had a huge yard. With winter coming on, we are concerned about what to do with him during the day that doesn't include leaving him out in the snow; although I believe that was his earlier lot in life, it's not something that we're willing to do.

    I've had Roscoe exactly a month as of yesterday and I've hunted grouse with him every weekend since I got him, but I'm hunting near our cabin property, which, in my opinion was hunted out early in the season. Subsequently, I haven't seen him point a bird yet. However, he works the brush hard, similar to a Springer-Spaniel, and seems to enjoy doing it. He responds well to voice and whistle commands. His original owner told me that Roscoe is primarily a water dog. We've done water retrieves on our lake from boat, dock, and shore. He's a very good swimmer and easily finds bumpers.

    Roscoe does well with kids of all sizes, as long as they don't have food in their hands, and other dogs. We have five nephews, ages two through twelve, and all of them have enjoyed petting, walking, or training the dog. The two oldest boys like doing water retrieves with him. My in-laws have an older Golden Retriever, and neither dog has had an issue with the other.

    He has updated vaccinations, from Diamond Animal Hospital on Tudor, an AVID tracking chip, and AKC Registration. We have a file from the original owners that goes back to birth.

    We are both disappointed to let Roscoe go, but he has to go. For the most part, we have enjoyed having him. For my part, I really want to see him go to another hunter, but if no one here takes him, we'll have to put him out on Craigslist.

    For reference purposes, here are links to the two other threads concerning this dog:

    The original owner's search for a new home is here:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...s-A-Home/page2

    And my thread for training tips when I first got him is here:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-new-dog/page2
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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Call Baron at Wetland retrievers, he does dog rescue and usually in the past has taken in and found homes for labs. And this time, the new owner will know what he is getting prior to the transition. I thought there were 2 or 3 of you that wanted him, hope one of the others sees this and steps forward. Don't tell people to expect your lab to turn into a pointer. Maybe some do, but labs are naturally a flushing dog, and they will usually do much better flushing then any pointer. Warn the next owner that he should be prepared to use fairly harsh disaplin in training until the dog comes around and knows who is boss. That does not mean the dog needs a 2x4 treatment or anything of the kind, but the dog needs to know who is boss, now he thinks he is. For example if you had a e-collar and collar condtioned him (a relatively simple thing to do that is not harsh) he would know not to attempt to take food in the house unless it is in his dish). The dog needs a lot of work, but a few reminders properly administered, can do wonders to bring back what training he has had in the past. Good luck. Bud
    Wasilla

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    I've raised many a sled dog sometimes up to 40 and could train dogs to the 9th degree, one leader I had was coveted by some of the well known Iditarod folk and your dog is just a typical chowhound and you find out with dogs if you have really depended on them and taken them as far mindwise and physically as they can go, for your livelihood on a trapline at 60 below, that food is what they are all about. They are there for the FOOD and often man confuses that for the so-called "mans best friend" but many cannot see this or refuse to believe it.

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    Thanks, Blackdawg. If I don't find a new home for him in the next week or so, I'll call Baron for help. I PM'ed or emailed some of those guys from the original thread. One has already replied in the negative. I also posted in the original thread, too.

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    I hope he does find a good home as well. I just lost my lab after 11 years and would take him if I was not moving. The problem with obedience as another member mentioned could be easily fixed with an e collar. (if you know what you are doing). I like you post, you did a great job describing your issues and concerns. Sorry it didnt work out.
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    Thanks, DH. Yeah, we're sorry too, but I also don't want to give the dog off to an unsuspecting new owner either. I looked into getting an e collar, even a used one; it just wasn't in the budget for us. (We just completed a cross continent move ourselves, so the budget is tight right now.) I suspect he knows something is up because he was behaving brilliantly today, until we walked past where my jerk of a neighbor dumped about 20 huge rib bones in the alley by our house; I had to physically fight the dog for one-he tried to swallow it whole.

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    I think i put in a pretty good post a couple days ago about this, but the more I think about it, it really pisses me off. I hate free dogs, people have no investment, so they throw it away with the first time a problem comes up. If you had paid a thousand dollars for him, I doubt if you would give up so easily. Only a fool would think he could cure 6 yrs of bad behavior in a month. You said you and the gf agreed on a 90 day trial period, why did you give up after a month. Anybody getting a dog knows that the price of the pup is usually the cheapest part of raising a dog, even more so when the dog is free. You say you can't even afford a e-collar, well if you look back at one of the earler posts on another thread regarding the probems with your dog, i offered to loan you one for a while to use with your dog, so that excuse is out the window also. good luck, I hope you do fine somebody who will make and keep a commitment to this dog. Bud
    Wasilla

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    This forum never ceases to amaze me. Now a guy can't even attempt to rid himself of a dog without being ridiculed?!!

    Wish ya luck Old Town! Don't let bother you.


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    Blackdog: I saw your post last night, thought about it a while, and waited until today to respond. I want you to know that I think you are right and I agree with you. I would be very upset (livid even) if I had paid even half that amount for the dog. However, you should also know that there are other forces at work in our home-circumstances that I don't care to publish in an open forum on the internet. Neither of us are happy with our decision to let the dog go.

    I appreciate your offer of a loaner e-collar, however, I chose not to accept because I felt it unwise to take financial responsibility for a piece of equipment that I could not afford to replace. If your collar were to have been lost, stolen, or damaged in my care, I would not have been able to replace it.

    By the way, for the record, we have spent about $400 on this dog thus far; there is no such thing as a free dog.

    At any rate, I think that, by now, no other hunters on the forum want him because he is a "problem" dog.

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    just ignore the BS you get on here - some people are such do gooders in life they feel it thier mission to be in everyone elses business but thier own.

    You could have simply taken Roscoe to the pound and never said a word about it - by now he could have been pushing daisy's. I actually applaud you for attempting to find another new home as there are a bunch of different route's you could have taken and never said another word to anyone about it. Instead you came on here hoping to find another home for this dog, good luck, and no I don't want the dog either.

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    It appears that AKBD has forgotten that you gave the dog a chance in the first place. There is nothing to say any other person that might have been interested in the dog would have faired any better than you. I guess it is easy to be critical and to provide second guesses when you are not the one having to make hard choices. Free or not, sometimes things change. A smart man continues to reassess his goals to determine if that original path is still the right one instead of continuing on that path to self destruction. I can appreciate that there are aspects to this we are not privy to. Good luck finding him a place to live.
    ARR

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    for the right $price$ there can be a unfortunate hunting accident with him, if you wanna me to help you out.
    Semper Fi!

  13. #13

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    Contact me again when you get the chance. Maybe I can take a look at him.
    Would you be interested in me working with him. Sharpening obedience and doing some house manners with him. I've helped others with some aggressive retrievers in the past( I know yours is not aggressive). They were ready to get rid of them. I talked them into giving the dog a chance to be rehabilitated and trained properly. If they didn't like the results or weren't able to control the dog like me, then I would keep the dog and place it in a new home. Those that accepted my training challenge 90% have been satisfied and kept there dogs.

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    Old Town..I would not label Rosco as a Problem Dog...lol. I do however think you have more than you can handle..not more than a person could fix with the proper equipment and correct training measures in place. I have trained a many of dogs with that issue. I am sure there is a laundry list of things Roscoe needs help with..and it is obvious that the original owner did not apply these measure at an earlier age..regardless..ignore the BS on here and contact Wetland R...if he is willing to take a look at him..might be worth the effort to correctly get him under control and then find him a new home...Hell, we could start a Roscoe fund!..lol I'll pitch in a little to get this started if needed. Contact WR and see what kind of deal he is willing to make and what it will cost...sure there are a few on here that are standup gents and might ever help you out.(ball is rolling)

    If I was not leaving soon.. I would give you a hand. Nice looking dog.

    Good luck.
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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Old Town, accept my apology for sounding so harsh. My biggest gripe isn't with you but with the orgional owner. I guess they had to get rid of the dog and gave him to the first that said they wanted him. It would have been better for the dog if they had interviewed all that wanted him and give him to the best prepared or the ones they thought would work out best. I would have expected that if they had him for 6 years, they would have had enough attachment to take the time to find a qualified home and be honest with the new owners. Yes, a small 10x20 yard isn't enough room for a lab in most cases. I'm sure you thought you were getting a trained dog, from what they had told you, and you were not prepared for a problem child. It seemed like you were excited about the prospect of getting him and hunting with him. Have you ever had a dog before, finding out the hard way with a wild one that there is a lot more to keeping and having a good hunting dog then what meets the eye. I hope you take Baron up on his offer, one way or another. He will find a good home for him that knows what to expect when they take him home. Bud
    Wasilla

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    I had talked with the original owner about taking him, but was able to read between the lines enough to realize he was more than I wanted to take on. I guess my instincts were right. In my lab's prime, I duck hunted him about 15 days/year. That leaves 350 days when he just needs to be a good member of the family. Turning around a 6 year old dog probably needs a professional. I think Roscoe could be a great dog with the right training and owner. He's a gorgeous animal and I'm sure has all the instincts he needs.

    Let Wetland Retrievers take a look. He deserves better than cycling through the pound.
    Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her.

  17. #17

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    What is the status of Roscoe?
    I agree with Milo and this dog should not go to the pound etc... I would take the dog out to Wetland and let them work the dog for a month or two, it is not the dogs fault is the owners fault as to the way he acts.... You took the responsibility of taking the dog so you should give him the best opportunity....

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    Tobin, I've contacted Baron via PM. The girlfriend and I want to hear Baron's ideas firsthand, along with the program and fees. In the meantime, it's pretty much status quo. He's here with us. We feed him, walk him, and I take him to the park everyday to throw the bumpers. We lock him out during our dinner. In the evenings, we let him inside, restrain him from getting into the food or the kitchen, and he sleeps upstairs as usual.

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    One thing you should be doing that would be a good daily drill to reinforce good behavior regarding food. You will need a healing stick or something like a yardstick or rolled newspaper. At each meal time, make him sit. Reinforce it with the healing stick, get his butt on the floor. Set the food dish in front of him, use the healing stick to keep him sitting, do not give him the food reward until you release him with his name. If this has not been done in the past, it will be difficult, but a very sure way to teach him some obedieance. Just swat him on the rump, push is butt down, and make him sit and look at his food. As he learns to obey, increase the time he needs to sit there and obey. Work on this, its simple and will help in all areas. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Funny you should mention that, blackdawg, as I've been doing that for a while when I feed him. It's essentially the same drill we go through when throwing the bumpers: he has to sit tight, staring at the bumper or the area where it fell, until I say his name. I do the exact same thing at dinner time: I tell him to sit and wait at least a minute, with him staring at the food, before I say his name, at which time he races to the food and hoovers it up.

    The weird thing about this is that he has no problems doing it. In fact, it's the only time that he will sit on the first "sit" command. His "food problem" has been (until tonight) all about human food. Although tonight he spent every indoor minute trying to break through the kitchen barricade to get the dog food storage. He was successful on the first try, and, even though we've been pelting him with a rolled up newspaper most of the day, he just keeps trying to get through the barricade-he mostly ignores the pelting.

    It's kind of demoralizing, really, because we actually thought he was behaving a bit better this week. It's as though we're back to square one with him.

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