Darla, my new foster dog.

centralcacyclistJune 23, 2012

She was on the kill list even thought she is a very nice dog. She was too big for the visitor center adoption kennels. She became too stressed so she became rescue only via the large dog rescue I pay attention to. She was here in town and my neighbor offered to help me with bringing her here and with walking her and socializing her.

Very loving girl. Likes to be close. I'm calling her Shadow.

She is available to be adopted.

Eileen

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caflowerluver

That looks like a BIG dog! Is she part greyhound and mastiff? Growing up we always had big dogs and they were very gentle with us kids, even when we were rough. I hope she finds the right family.
Clare

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 7:43PM
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caflowerluver

I meant to say Great Dane not Greyhound. Good luck.
Clare

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 7:58PM
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centralcacyclist

I think she is all Great Dane.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:29PM
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mustangs81

How sweet she looks! I literally have tears of joy for her that you took her in until her new family is identified. Bless you.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 8:53PM
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sushipup1

I think that she's all Dane, too. Danes are notoriously sweet and low energy dogs, despite their size. She'll find a great home, thanks to you.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:32PM
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lsr2002

She is a beautiful dog and I too hope she finds the right home. You are wonderful to take foster dogs, but it must be so hard to see them leave.

I have to ask, how much does she weigh and how much does she eat?

Lee

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 11:52PM
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annie1992

Oh my, now THAT'S a dog. She's beautiful and looks like a sweetheart.

Good thing there are people like you, I'm betting that those dogs are just too big for a lot of homes.

Annie

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:07AM
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colleenoz

Oh, I love Great Danes. We had a lovely GD b!tch when I was a teenager, she was so loving and gentle (and didn't eat as much as you might think, Lee :-) ). If I ever had another dog it would be another Dane. Thank you for fostering Shadow :-)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:26AM
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centralcacyclist

She ate like there would never be food again when she first arrived. Maybe 9 cups of dry food total in two sessions. Today she ate about 6 cups.

Being at animal control was stressful so I suspect she ate poorly. She also arrived with the runs which is clearing up some. No worms that I could see. I wormed her anyway. She is thin so I am letting her eat as she wishes right now. She weighs 122 according to the shelter records. Her coat and skin are rather dry and not shiny. She looks shinier in her photo. Any ideas what I should feed her to help that? Eggs? OIl?

If I planned to stay in this house for a long time, this would be the dog I'd keep. She's a love and we have bonded. But I plan to downsize and rent this house or sell it. It would be difficult to find an apartment that would take a very large dog.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 1:10AM
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riverrat1

Bless you Eileen and thank you for what you do in your area to take care of foster dogs. Shadow is beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 1:52AM
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johnliu_gw

Aiee, too skinny! Eat, eat! You must feel like a Jewish grandmother with this poor dog. She is beautiful, and I hope she finds a good permanent home soon.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 8:12AM
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dedtired

Big dog to match your big heart. She does look sweet. How do dogs end up in this predicament? She must have been purchased by someone at some point. How could you buy a dog like this and then abandon it? I would think anyone buying a Great Dane would give it some thought in advance, but I guess not. A dog this size is a huge commitment. I like any dog that does not bark or poop and pee on my lawn.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:53AM
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annie1992

Eileen, when my secretary rescued a lab her vet told her that dogs need Omega 3 fatty acids, but most dog foods have mainly Omega 6 fatty acids. She suggested flax seed oil or fish oil, or fish oil capsules. She got fish oil capsules and put them on his food. He always eats like there will never be another meal, so he gobbles them right down and it has helped a lot.

Good luck with Shadow, it's too bad you can't keep her but I agree, an apartment is probably not the place for such a big dog, even a low energy one. Most here have a weight limit, like 35 or 40 pounds.

Annie

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 12:41PM
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dedtired

I like the name Darla. It reminds me of the pretty little girl named Darla in the Our Gang series. The boys all loved her, especially Alfalfa and Spanky.

I suppose her forever family will give her a new name, don't you think?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 1:15PM
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centralcacyclist

I wonder how someone can lose a dog this big. I even checked the local classified ads and Craig's List to see if there were any notices. Nothing. I wondered if someone might recognize her on my FB page as I made her photos publicly accessible and she came from the local shelter. Nothing so far. Who knows what her story is. She doesn't appear to have been abused. She was listed as a stray at the shelter. No word regarding how she got there. She may have been brought by someone or she might have been picked up by animal control. Often the big dogs are owner surrender.

She is an absolute love bug. If I use the bathroom and emerge a few minutes later she absolutely delighted to see me!

Someone local who sounds like a good option posted to her photo on the rescue site. I'd love to be able to visit her. She isn't ready to go anywhere yet as she is in heat. Thank goodness my floors in most of the house can be mopped.

Annie, thanks! I have a bottle of flax seed oil capsules. Fish oil capsules make me burp fish taste so I don't already have those.

Eileen

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 3:20PM
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annie1992

Eileen, it does the same to me, but dogs and cats seem to love that. Or maybe they don't burp. (grin)

Annie

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 6:11PM
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beachlily z9a

Eileen, she is beautiful! And very lucky to have you as a foster mom. I hope she gets a good, stable, loving family with acres for her to run!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:32PM
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centralcacyclist

I have been in touch with a couple who want to meet her. They have a male GD and several horses. He is a vet. We will meet tomorrow. We also have a few friends in common.

E

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Gina_W

What a doll! I don't know if I could foster - I would fall in love with all the doggies...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 8:17PM
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petaloid

You are so good-hearted to take her in.

I hope it went well with the couple today, and that you find that beautiful dog a loving home.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 8:44PM
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sally2_gw

There are so many reasons a dog or cat could end up abandoned. The usual is someone is relocating and "can't" take their pet, which is one of the stupidest reasons I've ever seen. Do you leave your children behind if you move? In this economy, a lot of pets are ending up in shelters because people lose their jobs, their homes, and just can't afford to take care of them. Sometimes the owner dies, and the survivors don't want to deal with the pet, and take it to a shelter. My sister got her great dane because it's owner moved over seas and didn't take him with her. They were both very lucky to find each other.

She's a beauty, Barnmom!

Sally

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:44AM
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lindac

Lovely lady....hope the vet and his family like her.
Feed her canned mackerel.....cheap and lots of fish fat....and I'll bet she will love it!
So she's not been spayed? That mean she's young and perhaps having her first heat? Or they meant to breed her...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 11:20AM
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centralcacyclist

Her story is a mystery. Her toenails are freshly Dremeled so someone took care of her not long ago. She is well behaved regarding the kitchen counter. She doesn't get on the furniture. She is house trained. She is very cautious about men but eventually warms up. So she may simply have little exposure to men.

She walked into my pool like she expected it to be solid so she has never seen a swimming pool. Danes are NOT swimmers. She has left it alone since.

The meeting with the people who might want to adopt her went pretty well. She finally warmed up to the man. We will introduce their dog to Darla tonight. If that goes well they will contact the rescue organization for the adoption process. She will go to them next week after they return from a sort trip. They work from home.

Fingers crossed!

Eileen

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 11:21AM
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centralcacyclist

Thanks for the mackerel advice. I'll get some today. Mackerel is some fishy fish!

E

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 11:56AM
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annie1992

Gina, I agree, if I fostered animals I'd end up a whole darned farm full of them!

Good luck, Eileen, I hope the family dog and Darla have a great play date together.

Annie

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:04PM
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doucanoe

She looks like a real sweetheart, Eileen. She is so lucky you found her and can love her until she finds a forever family. Which I will keep my fingers crossed for the family you met yesterday! They sound like a perfect fit for her.

Thank you for fostering homeless pets. It is not an easy job and I am sure very difficult to say goodbye when they leave.

We hope to foster at some point, but we have to wait until Bullitt...um..."matures" a bit. He is too excitable and from what we have seen has not been properly socialized. So we are working on that. He graduated from beginner obedience two weeks ago, and we are hoping to get into intermediate soon.

Linda

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:06PM
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centralcacyclist

Our meeting this evening has been postponed for now. Darla is in the receptive time of her "heat." I am making arrangements for her to be spayed as soon as she gets through that. The nonprofit rescue group gets a special rate from a clinic here. The spay clinic advised that it's best that she not meet male dogs, neutered or otherwise during this time as it may cause some stress for both dogs. She's a handful to hang onto even when everything is mellow. So it will be another couple of weeks until we can have a doggie meet-up.

She is relaxing. She even lets me leave the room alone now and then. ;)

Eileen

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:27PM
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centralcacyclist

I went looking for canned mackerel with no luck. I just bought more flax seed oil capsules. I went to Walmart as it is the closest store to home. But this is a sort of mini super center, if that makes sense. They have a little bit of everything but not a great selection.

E

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 11:44PM
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sushipup1

Just a dollop of canola oil in her food will be a help. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to do everything for the dog, but prioritize. One, she needs to feel secure, which means love and food. So a dollop of oil is good for her. She'll be fine.

She really does seem to be such a love. I adore Danes, well, next to Goldens!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:09AM
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centralcacyclist

She is a love. She must like me, she is gathering my shoes in her bed and she ate my reading glasses.

I want to put some healthy weight on her and give her a sense of security. She is so nervous.

I invited the prospective adopters to visit while we wait out the time.

E

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 1:07AM
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sally2_gw

There are some very high quality dog foods available that do have omega 3's in them, but you won't find them at the grocery store or at the big box pet food stores. Look for smaller pet stores, or even some nurseries carry the premium pet foods. That would be the best way to get the omega 3 into her.

Sally

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 9:36AM
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lindac

Can't believe Wally World didn't have mackerel....
If she ate your glasses, you will know for sure that she loves you!!!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 4:24PM
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annie1992

LOL, E, Cooper only chews my stuff when he's mad at me for leaving him home alone!

Annie

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 11:54AM
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centralcacyclist

I am calling her Dharma, which I prefer to Darla, her rescue name.

She is filling out and acting more at home. I don't leave my shoes or glasses in reach. I need to go see if there is still a stuffed animal around in a box that I can give to her. I've given most of that stuff away.

I am trying to introduce her to more men. She is skittish with men. She has decided that Will, who brought her here, is okay. He lives across the street. Cheese conquers all. :)

I'll take more photos this weekend after a bath.

E

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:02PM
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lindac

Bath? yours or the dog's??

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:28AM
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dedtired

Both simultaneously, I bet.

Looking forward to seeing the new and improved Dharma. Now you need another GD named Greg.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 10:03AM
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centralcacyclist

I made Dharma a chew toy of old gym socks stuffed into another old gym sock, a big one of Danny's. I have lots of old gym socks around here in a bin. She happily chewed it apart. I am hoping it will spare my shoes the same fate.

Yes, today there will be water and suds - everywhere. I am waiting for it to get warm on the patio so I can do the bath outside. I doubt I can convince her to get in the bath tub and I sure can't lift her in.

E

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 12:54PM
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centralcacyclist

I don't know how this happens.

Greg! Yes, this Dharma needs a Greg. The GD the possible adopters have is named Brutus. And I think they want to call her Chanel. Nellie for short. But maybe they will like "Dharma."

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:06PM
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dedtired

How about Ettu? Ettu, Brutus.....

Never mind.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 3:07PM
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lindac

Maybe Cleopatra?
Never mind Dharma's good.....or anything else.....just don't call her late for dinner!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 4:51PM
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centralcacyclist

Update on Dharma:

Last week the possible adopters brought their Great Dane over for a visit. It went very well. They decided to take her to their house for a visit and an overnight stay. After the first night they felt things went very well and they sent in the adoption form to the rescue group. We were supposed to meet to exchange a few things. I have the papers from the shelter and her microchip information. A few days went by and I heard nothing. I started to get a bad feeling. Day before yesterday the woman sent me an email asking me to call her. My heart sank.

I called. She said Dharma just won't warm up to her husband. He is the nicest man and has made every effort. At first she was just shy and pulled away when he went close or reached out. But after she got to feeling at home there she started barking and growling at him when he came close to her inside the house. She has obviously had a bad experience with men and is fearful. I have never seen her bark or growl so that was a surprise. She does like Will across the street. He can pet her and rub her ears. But so far he's the only man she likes. The adopting man is a livestock vet, maybe she had a bad vet experience. We'll never know.

The woman is heartbroken. She brought her back yesterday and stood in the living room and cried. It was such a good place for this big girl. Several acres, big fenced grass yards, another big dog to run with, daily walks in the orchards. Dharma stood at the door and waited for to come back for a while. :( I explained that it was summer camp and now she's home. She's settled back in here into our routine now. I gave her a bath and a good brushing and a snuggle.

There is another person who is interested in her. She called me a few days after I brought Dharma home. She happened to be at the complex where the animal shelter is and saw Dharma being dropped off. She was not an animal control pick up though she is listed as a stray. She said it looked like an owner drop off. They had her in a wire crate in the back of a pick up and had to drag and push her into the shelter office. She felt sorry for her and went to visit her several times. She decided she wanted to adopt her. But Dharma never went into adoption, she went straight to rescue so she never had the chance. She went in to visit her and found that she was gone and asked about her and got my number through the rescue woman. By the time she called I was already committed to working with the couple above so I told her if it didn't work out, I'd call her back. I saved her number.

I called her and told her the story. It may be a good fit. She is single, owns a house with a large yard. She is about my age and apparently lives alone. She has two pet ducks and a pet pygmy goat. She has a boyfriend who visits on Sunday. She will come by today to visit and we'll go from there.

Eileen

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 10:33AM
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dedtired

Oh how sad that Dharma's new home didn;t work out. I wonder what happened to her to make her so leery of men? Guess we'll never know. I hope New Mom #2 works out and that she accepts the BF. Maybe if it is a gradual introduction, she will acclimate to him. He should bring doggy treats every time he comes by Dharma associates him with good things.

Dharma is lucky to have you.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Gina_W

Too bad the other couple didn't try harder to get the man and Dharma together - having him leave her alone, not looking directly at her or walk directly towards her, give her treats if she came near him, that type of thing. Oh well.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 7:42PM
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sylviatexas1

Bless you.

About that "man situation":
I ran into something similar many years ago.

Someone dropped off a Corgi on my street.

Like Dharma, she was well-socialized, affectionate, & seemed to have been well cared for.

We tried 3 different homes, & every one of them reported exactly the same experience your adoptors had-
the dog was shy & wary at first, & once she began to feel at home, she growled & acted aggressive toward the husband.

finally found a single woman who was sympathetic & who was happy to get her.

We figured that she had been in a home where a man mistreated her or mistreated her owner, & the guy dumped her on our street.

Dharma may have been mistreated by a man or may have witnessed a man mistreating her former owner, & he either took her to the shelter or bullied her owner into taking her, or they may have given her away or sold her to a couple who had the same experience that your adoptors had.

Just so no one thinks I'm picking on men:
Dogs usually like me, but I also have met a dog who loved every man on the planet but who eyeballed me like I was a bomb waiting to explode.

The one time I got close enough to touch her...
she flinched.

I hope you find a good stable quiet home for this girl.

or...
keep her?

She likes your socks...

Bless you again.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 11:23AM
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triciae

Add me to those who are sending well wishes for Dharma to have a good, loving permanent home. You're doing a very good thing, Eileen. Our DD#1 has worked as a volunteer at a no-kill shelter in Houston for about ten years now. You are all special people.

Sylvia's post reminds of an experience I had many years ago. I had a male Chow, Yogi Bear. He was MY dog but also protective of my son - 7 at the time.

I had a teenage boy, Shawn, who babysat every Saturday night for a few hours. On this particular day, Shawn had arrived early & played some touch football with DS in the backyard. Yogi was in the yard watching. The two boys were tussling playfully over the football but Yogi didn't like what he saw & stood up at attention to get a better look. He never made a move towards Shawn but we did make a joke about it that we never needed to worry about DS when Yogi was around. Fateful comment. :(

That night after I left, Shawn got DS into bed & decided to spend some time in our hot tub. The hot tub was inside in a sunroom right off the great room. When Shawn got in the hot tub, Yogi quietly followed him into the room & layed down next to the tub. Yogi appeared to go to sleep. But, when Shawn tried to get out of the tub Yogi stayed laying in his sleeping position never moving a muscle but growled softly deep in his throat. Shawn would stop, wait, & try again. Yogi would lightly growl. Shawn was able to get to the decking & sit but whenever he tried to leave Yogi wouldn't let him. Apparently, Yogi had decided this Shawn guy wasn't trustworthy afterall & wanted to keep him within eye sight.

When I got home, Yogi trotted right over to greet me like nothing had been unusual. Shawn quickly got away from the hot tub & told me what happened. I wasn't able to use Shawn to babysit after that episode. I didn't really believe Yogi would have hurt him but sure wasn't going to risk anything. Too bad 'cause Shawn had been my sitter for a couple years & DS liked him.

You never know what a dog has experienced & how they've intepreted it. I'm glad you're being careful with Dharma's new home.

/tricia

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 3:02PM
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centralcacyclist

It seems that pretty much all I need to do to generate interest in Dharma is to walk her around the neighborhood. Two couples are interested in adopting her. One couple lives 3 doors down and that would be wonderful but they aren't being as proactive as couple number two who live in the next town over but visits mom who is a friend of a friend and lives a few blocks away. So we'll see what happens. She was very responsive to the young man and let him pet her and rub her. Not so much with the older man who lives around the corner. The young couple is coming by this evening to visit with their little dog.

In the meantime here is a more recent photo of Dharma, she has filled out some.

And photos of the encounter between Dharma and my friend's 6 month old grandson, Vic.

Sylvia, dogs generally really like me, too. All but the big white one that ran across a yard after a thrown ball and abandoned the ball chase and ran right at me and bite me on the thigh, hard. I happened to be walking down the street on a post lunch stroll by myself. I was shocked. Dharma pulls away from men who try to pet her on the head. So that says a lot.

Tricia, I had the sweetest Collie/Aussie mix years ago who liked everyone. But he took a dislike to my condo repairman and corned him in the bathroom where he was working and growled at him. I had to rescue the repairman and put Willie in the back yard. I always thought Willie was a good judge of character. :)

Update on the woman with the pet ducks and pygmy goat: In the interest of understanding the situation there and making sure her animals would be safe from a large dog I asked if they had enclosures. She then told me the ducks go inside during the day while she is at work to protect them from predators. Um, okay. I didn't ask but I suppose she puts them in a laundry room or something and cleans up when she gets home. Ew. And then I asked about the goat. Well, the goat is an indoor pet, too. In fact she sleeps in the bed with the woman. That shifted everything into the weird zone. I shared this information with the rescue coordinator and her response was: "Oh HELL no!" So that was that.

Eileen

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 5:45PM
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sushipup1

Eileen, please change that collar ASAP, please. Chain collars should only be used when on a leash or training. Seriously. A flat or rolled collar in fabric or leather, relatively snug, is best for everyday. You do not want a collar loose enough to get hung up on anything. A friend's dog got a back foot stuck in the collar when she was just trying to scratch her ear.

You are doing a wonderful job with Dharma.... she'll lucky to have landed on your doorstep!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:10PM
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lindac

And those pictures with the baby would melt a heart of stone!!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:28AM
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colleenoz

Danes are great with children. We had one years ago when we had a country hotel and she would put up with kids poking her and pulling her and never got annoyed. The closest she got was to get up and move away from them.
Dharma certainly looks like she is on a good wicket :-) Good on you for being so caring.
Also at our country hotel we had a young Chinese man working as the cook. He bought a horse which was very wary of men, I think it had been mistreated by a man. However, it wasn't fazed at all by our Chinese cook. I often wondered if it was because Asian men often have a more "feminine" body shape (and our cook was one of those), so the horse didn't feel threatened.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 4:05AM
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sally2_gw

I love the photos!

I love what you're doing. It's so difficult to foster pets. I tried, and ended up keeping almost all the cats I fostered. It takes someone extra special to do what you're doing.

I told my sister about your dane, but she lives in Arkansas. She had a dane she took in when the owner moved over seas, and kept him till he passed at 9 years old. That's the sad thing about large breeds - they are only with you for a short time. Danes are special dogs -so loving and comical, and even, in their own giant way, cute.

Sally

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 11:04AM
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centralcacyclist

The meet and greet went pretty well. Dharma let the young man pet and love her. They brought a big bone and a toy, both big hits with Dharma. I am cautiously hopeful. They seem willing to make it a long process of getting familiar with her and will visit and walk her. They brought their teacup poodle. No dog issues. They got along fine. We'll see how it goes and if they will actually visit. Fingers crossed.

E

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 7:45PM
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lsr2002

It must have been hilarious to see Dharma and the teacup poodle together. She is so sweet with the baby who must be many times the size of the tiny dog.

Lee, sending you continuing positive thoughts for finding the right home for Dharma.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:52AM
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colleenoz

Our dane had a west highland terrier for a friend. On hot days when they took walks together the westie would walk under Lady's belly in the shade :-)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 5:48AM
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centralcacyclist

Dharma and Buttercup were an amusing contrast for sure! If she goes to live there, I want to see the Christmas card.

The fellow came back last night by himself and it went well - for Dharma. I ignored her so she would interact with him. He was quiet and encouraging but not pushy. I gave him a handful of treats. I tricked her into letting him walk her. Even though she loves a walk and gets excited at the sight of her leash, she would not come to him. So I leashed her up and we all walked outside. At the end of my walk I handed him the leash and we kept walking until the end of the block. I stopped to talk to the neighbor and then turned back toward my house. Dharma was torn for a moment between going for a walk with Zach and going back with me. Walking won and off they went for several blocks. I'll hand him her curry comb next time. She LOVES that.

He seems committed to the slow process and will come back on Thursday unless he has a very long work day. He is 24 and runs his own small trucking company. His fiance is a paralegal.

Eileen

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 8:46PM
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centralcacyclist

Apparently Dharma is a rock star. I took her for a walk to Petsmart for exposure to other dogs and pet friendly humans. I've grown used to her size but she is still a traffic stopper to others. So it was a good socializing experience.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:16AM
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caflowerluver

I wish you were closer, I would borrow her to scare off the deer. I am thinking of getting a second dog, a big one for that reason. I have lost everything to the deer lately even with 6 ft. deer fence. Elvira, mini Dachshund, is getting too old and slow (me too!) to chase them anymore. Also need a big dog inside at night when DH is away. I swear I heard someone outside at 2:30AM the other day. Elvira is also getting partly deaf so doesn't act like a guard dog anymore. We are way out in the country on 2.5 acres and I am alone alot. Kind of scary sometimes. Next dog is going to be a big dog!
Clare

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:38AM
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centralcacyclist

Clare, transport could be arranged but at this point I think she needs to be in female or female and kids home. She remains skittish around men. I don't expect that to change. She is fine with occasional visiting men but I think she would not do well with a live-in man. She is fine with boys, though. She adores children.

Poor girl. She is a very sweet girl, otherwise. And I think she would have a grand time chasing the deer from your garden.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:48AM
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centralcacyclist

Dharma has filled out since her arrival. She has learned sit and down. Here are recent photos.




She has a lovely soulful face.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 1:06PM
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caflowerluver

I hope she does find a good home. She is such a beautiful dog too. Loved the photo of her and the baby! I want to hug her every time I see the photos you posted. I always had big dogs growing up.

BTW, we were told Elvira was a "woman" only dog when we got her 10 years ago. She avoided men and preferred the company of women. It didn't take her very long to warm up to DH and son. Now she runs to the door when DH comes home and has to have a 5 minute rub down before he can come inside the door. And at night, when he is here, she has to lay next to him, touching him, on the sofa. So things could change for Darla. It depends on the man.
Clare

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:01PM
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centralcacyclist

If you are looking for a big dog to rescue, contact Joanne at Big Dawgs Rescue. (925) 337-6377 She rescues and places dogs all over CA. She is not breed specific. She is located in Livermore.

Her Facebook page has all the newest additions and calls for help and is more up to the minute. https://www.facebook.com/bigdawgsrescue

Her website has information about adopting, the forms, and links to some dogs she has in foster homes and in boarding.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.bigdawgsrescue.org/

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 2:47PM
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caflowerluver

Thanks for the information.
Clare

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 6:10PM
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foodonastump

Stop pretending, Eileen, she's yours. ;)

(She'd be mine if she liked men and was on the East Coast.)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:06PM
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KatieC

So the young couple didn't work out? I hadn't read this thread until now and I was hoping for a happy ending. Although the change in Dharma is a happy ending...she looks wonderful.

Eileen, you are my hero. Our little shelter would love us to foster, but I am not emotionally equipped...I can't even go to a shelter, and I cover my eyes when those sad Humane Society ads are on tv. I do my part...drop off food, support their fundraisers and at Christmastime we have the local pet store deliver treats and toys. And we get our critters before they get to the shelter, get them shots, fixed, whatever they need. We wouldn't be able to cut loose if we fostered....we'd be overrun.

Dharma does a mean Downward Dog, lol.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:05AM
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centralcacyclist

Nope, she's a FOSTER dog! I really can't keep her. But she thinks she's my dog, that's for sure. I am very fond of her and want to be a great home where she feels secure.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:05AM
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centralcacyclist

The young couple was supposed to return for one more visit a few Sundays ago and then take her for a sleepover. They didn't come and have never called me. I suppose I could call but I imagine they changed their minds.

There was another woman with 2 Great Danes and three other dogs who really wanted her. But her live-in boyfriend and her adult son told her she had enough dogs already. I had to agree with them but didn't tell her so. That fell through just this weekend.

Eileen

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 1:04AM
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sally2_gw

Wow, she's looking so good! I'm always surprised at which animals get adopted and which ones remain unchosen. I'm involved with cat rescue rather than dog rescue, but I imagine it's somewhat similar. The cats I think would never be adopted get chosen, and the ones with great personalities stay in foster or at the adoption center for what seems like forever. Dogs, of course, take much more effort to care for, especially big dogs, but even so, you'd think it would be easy to find a home for such a beautiful dog. Okay, not necessarily easy, but doable. I wish Dharma and you all the best in finding the perfect forever home.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:27AM
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centralcacyclist

The rescue person hasn't really promoted her except when I nudge her and only on her FB page not anywhere else. And because of her "man" issues she's become a sort of special needs dog. The rescue person is an hour away in another town. She holds adoption events there but I haven't been able to take Dharma to one of those.

Dharma may do fine in the right home with the right man but I think it will be simpler to place her with a woman/women/single mom. If it didn't work out she'd be back at my house or another foster and I think that would be confusing for her. She really knows the routine here and is comfortable.

A friend of a friend is interested in helping Dharma find a good home. She is a vet tech here in town and does some rescue work.

I will keep promoting her on my FB page with new photos now and then.

I plan to go see Daniel and Alice in about 10 days so I'll have to figure out something. She will not do well in a boarding situation but I'll ask around. The only person I know who might want to house sit is a young man. And she already doesn't like him. :( He does my yard.

Sally and Katie, I don't do any other "rescue" work except the fostering and I've only done that twice. I would have a very hard time going into the animal shelter, though the one here is very new and quite nice. I am always haunted by some lovely animal didn't take home. I do give bags of food on occasion to transients with pets in tow. The animals always seem to be friendly, happy and fed if not very clean.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:58AM
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goldgirl

I don't know how things work on the west coast, but out here most of the successful groups post dogs for adoption on Petfinder (via their rescue link) to get a larger audience. That's where most people looking to adopt go first, and it's especially necessary where the potential adopter pool is already limited - in her case, by her aversion to men and the fact that she's large. Facebook can be helpful, but it's generally the same people seeing the same info over and over. She really needs to get seen, both online and in person.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:38PM
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centralcacyclist

The rescue woman has dogs listed on Petfinder but not Dharma. I'm not sure why.

Ideally someone local can visit a few times before she makes the move. She is skittish on a good day about new situations.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:42PM
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KatieC

Eileen, I was 'talking' to a friend who raises/rescues Great Danes near Palm Springs. She suggested posting on http://www.facebook.com/groups/danesandtheirhumans/ . Said they had two find homes this week.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:57PM
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centralcacyclist

Thanks Katie! There is a Dane rescue closer to home. I'll try both.

E

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 5:59PM
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centralcacyclist

I posted her there.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 6:12PM
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sally2_gw

Eileen, that's very thoughtful of you to give pet food to the homeless for their pets.

Sally

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:43AM
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beachlily z9a

Eileen, I keep checking back to see of your wonderful dog has been adopted. I keep hoping!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:53PM
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centralcacyclist

Nothing yet. A friend posted her to her page and someone in town might be interested. She lost a dog in February, I think a Dane. But she is married and the man-fear thing might be an issue. Dharma is MUCH better about men, especially ones she knows. And there is a perfect person in Sacramento. She has a Dane with men issues and a German Shepherd. She lives alone. She has my number but hasn't called.

Fingers crossed. Though I will miss her.

E

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:24PM
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centralcacyclist

Fingers crossed, Dharma may have a new home. I have been very frank about her "men issues" and they understand that rescue dogs often have behavioral problems. They have had several rescue dogs through the years. They have a walnut ranch out in the country and people will dump dogs at their property.

They took her for an afternoon visit and then kept her overnight and all day. She just came back and tried to follow them when they drove away so she obviously likes it there. They have orchards and grassy lawns and a grandchild (in the photo) and another Great Dane, also rescue. So she was in heaven. She did a little bit of growling and barking at the man in the house but not too much and they are willing to work with her. She is frightened but doesn't go into any kind of attack mode. She wants to scare the bad man away if she can't run away.

The woman is going out of town for a few days. She will pick her up on Sunday to stay forever. I really hope it all works out.

E

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:23PM
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ann_t

Sounds like you found Dharma a nice new home. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it works out for everyone.

~Ann

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:10PM
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compumom

Hallelujah! Eileen, you're a very special person to take on an unfamiliar pet with issues for an unspecified time. Dharma is very lucky to have found a home with you!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:31AM
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sally2_gw

I sure hope it works out for Dharma and her potential new family.

I'm trying to wrap my brain around a walnut ranch! Saddle up, move em out, git along little walnuts! Yeehaw!

Sally

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:43AM
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lindac

Oh....I sure hope it works for them....then you can foster another big one.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:32AM
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lsr2002

I'll be sad to see her leave you, but that looks like a great home for her so I'm keeping my fingers crossed too that it works out.

You are indeed wonderful for fostering the dogs.

Lee

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:21PM
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centralcacyclist

I'll take a HUGE dog breather after this one. Something under 100 pounds would be nice. The first one was 140 at least, Darla is close to that after putting on some weight here. What I find interesting is that her coat has darkened a lot. She used to look mostly brownish, now she is almost all black and very shiny.

She's been a sweetie pie and I think she's bored here today after her big adventure. She'll ask me for a walk later on.

E

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:33PM
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dedtired

I hope this one works out. It's time for Dharma to be settled. This sounds ideal for her. Crossing my fingers they go through with the adoption.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:27PM
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centralcacyclist

I think they will follow through. I will know soon. They will take her for an extended stay or forever on Sunday morning. I feel good about this one. If not there are some other interested people.

E

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:22PM
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blueiris24

E - bless you for taking such good care of this dog and for truly looking out for her best interests. I have worked in dog rescue for over 6 years and have fostered over 40 dogs, and it can be heart breaking and magical at the same time. Hope Dharma finds her forever home soon.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 2:45PM
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dedtired

Any news?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:46PM
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centralcacyclist

It's not going much better with the husband. She is fine with him outside but inside at night she still barks and growls though not as much. She is going to talk to the vet today about her behavior. Spaying her might help some.

It's only been a few days. I think it will take a few months to really know if this placement works. If not she will have to go to a home with no adult men in residence.

Otherwise things are fine. The granddaughter loves her. The dogs get along great. She is bonded to the the wife.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 2:40PM
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dedtired

Good that she is still there. I bet spaying will help. Over time she will get used to the husband, too. Good luck to Dharma/ Darla.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 7:55PM
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centralcacyclist

I sent her this article. It's the best advice I found so far for helping a fearful dog.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shy dogs.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 8:18PM
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KatieC

I don't even want to think about happened to the poor thing to make her react to men like that. Really hoping stability and familiarity and kindness will fix it. Sounds like you've found her a good place.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:01AM
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centralcacyclist

It's hard to know why she became so fearful. She doesn't act as though she's been beaten. She doesn't cringe, she just pulls away and hides if she can. She could have been poorly socialized and little positive contact with men. From what I've read, the fearfulness might be a combination of breeding, breed and poor socialization. Great Danes are very sensitive dogs and respond poorly to anything but very positive training techniques.

I hope she gives it a month. If Darla continues to be fearful it wouldn't be right to leave her there and she will come back to me until I can find her the right home.
E

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 11:26AM
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jessicavanderhoff

If they can identify her triggers, they may be able to work with her. For example, if she acts fearful/aggressive when he enters the room at night, they could teach her to sit at the far end of the bed (away from the door) when he enters the room, and have him give her a really good treat (cheese, pig ear, marrow bone- something extra special) and then ignore her. Sometimes dogs 'forget' to react when their minds are on a task, and the simple counter conditioning from learning that him entering=treats can work miracles, too. It may also help for mom to step firmly in front of Dharma as dad enters the room, so as to send the message that she is greeting this intruder and determining whether he is allowed to enter. I'm crossing my fingers that she's found her forever home!!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 3:37AM
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centralcacyclist

I have not reported back because things were up in the air until very recently. After about three weeks there she was still growling and barking at the mister when ever she was inside the house with him. I was fairly sure they would be bringing her back to me. They hired a trainer who has been to the house several times. Apparently she has worked wonders. The mister can pet Darla and walk her on a leash. At last report things were still needing work inside but were better. They are much encouraged and are committed to keeping her.

The trainer was of the same opinion as I that she probably hadn't been hit as she has no head shyness. The guess is that she wasn't socialized with men in general and comes from a backyard breeder situation. The trainer also thinks she is very young, 15 to 18 months old. She still has that loping, gangly run. And she still wants to chew things, shoes are especially vulnerable.

I have a feeling that if the granddaughter and Darla were not so in love with each other she would be coming back here. :) I do think it's a marvelous home for her. Orchards, another big dog to run with, large grass lawns (she loves grass), and her very own girl child to play with.

I'll check back with them this week and see how things are going.

E

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 8:58AM
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centralcacyclist



These are photos I took the day before she went to her new home. The change in her appearance from the day of her arrival here is pretty dramatic.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:57AM
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blueiris24

So happy to hear! She is such a beautiful dog.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:40PM
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johnliu_gw

We got a cat from the pound. He was starved for attention, but also terribly afraid, I've not seen a cat behave that way before. He spent the first year living in our basement, running away when you turned on the light, like a rat or cockroach. Little by little he became socialized. Now he lives on the main floor and runs up to us, rubbing our legs, head butting, etc. Time and kindness can do quite a lot. I hope the same is true for Darla. If the man is in charge of feeding her and walking her, and those activities take place or start indoors, I imagine she'll come to associate his presence indoors with positive things? I've owned dogs, though I'm no dog expert. I just never saw a dog who didn't welcome anything and anyone involved in the feeding and walking process . . .

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 1:40AM
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dedtired

Wow, Eileen, she looks beautiful. Her coat is so shiny. I sure hope things continue to work out.

My son needs to find homes for a German Shepherd and mini Aussie Shepherd that belonged to his girlfriend.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 8:27AM
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Gina_W

Sounds like a great home for her. The man thing will just take time, I'm sure of it.

As for head-sensitivity and being hit on the head - many dogs just don't like being patted on the head or have someone stand over their heads. It doesn't mean they've been hit on the head. It's not polite in dogese to be greeted head on. You're supposed to greet by sniffing the backside. Odo prefers not to be pet on the head, and he will bare his teeth at bigger dogs that stand over him head-to-head. That's not allowed, but any size dog is welcome to go to his backside to greet, LOL. If someone goes to pet him on the head, he will duck away. Also, many of the thousands of children and adults who are bitten by dogs every year are bit because they rush a dog head-on and reach for the dog's head with their hands.

For a man-sensitive dog, men should ignore the dog, never approach head-on, and use a softer voice around the dog until the dog is comfortable. Dogs are very gender-aware and have gender-specific behaviors.

Signed Me, Cesar Millan Junior! LOL.

Anyway, I hope these folks keep Darla!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 11:54AM
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centralcacyclist

I understand, Gina Millan. ;) She doesn't cringe or flinch like dogs who have been hurt will do. The trainer calls that head shyness. Darla just bolts if possible. When I walked her on the street she would often refuse to pass some man standing at a corner until he moved on. Or she would pull far to the other side of the sidewalk. When a prospective adopter was walking her around the block she did the back out of the collar trick before they knew what was happening and ran back to my porch. They had encountered a man walking down the block that Darla decided she wanted no part of. She just spooked and ran.

Darla likes dogs one-on-one just fine. But when every dog at the dog park wanted a back end sniff of the new dog, she wasn't pleased and sat down and snapped a bit. I removed her.

I'll send a message this week and check on her man in the house progress. I want to ask about the methods, too, in case I encounter this again.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 12:51PM
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sylviatexas1

Beautiful dog!

She may have come from a place where the man was mean to the woman.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 8:33PM
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centralcacyclist

Darla was due for her her spay this week so I checked in with the new owner. She is doing really well with all men and inside the house at night. Darla and the other older Great Dane who was already there are joined at the hip which is so sweet. He is really old at 11 for a Great Dane. Darla is keeping him young.

Now that the walnuts are being harvested they have discovered Darla loves walnuts.

Her spay was postponed so I will check in again when that happens.

E

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:20PM
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jessicavanderhoff

WOOHOO!!!!! So glad it was a happy ending.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 12:43AM
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annie1992

Hooray, I'm so glad this is working out so well for Darla.

Now another big dog in need can get some foster "love", that's a good thing too!

Annie

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:00AM
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centralcacyclist

I miss the big girl but I know she has a great home with all the things she really loves. My house was rather boring. No other dog, no small children - though there are neighbor children, no lawns in the back yard, no orchards to run in.

I don't know if I'll foster another dog anytime soon. The rescue person is in a town an hour away. She occasionally needs a foster here in my town but not often. She doesn't seem to pull many dogs from the shelter here. Though if I said bring me a dog, she probably would. She likes to keep fosters with puppies close to her for adoption events. I do not want to foster puppies so that's fine. She has a lot of Pitbulls and I don't want to foster a Pittie. I think they are fine but I have neighbors with small children and dogs and they would not be comfortable.

We'll see what happens!

E

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 2:33AM
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publickman

I would like to say that it is also possible that the woman who owned the dog before taught the dog to be hostile to men - I think it is wrong to blame men for the problem without knowing the entire history. People very often teach or transfer their own fears/phobias onto their animals, and if a woman shows fear of men when she is walking her dog, the dog will learn that men are not to be trusted. Some women are more paranoid than others, and I have seen this happen in such cases. I think it is more likely that the owner is to blame for the phobia than that the dog was treated badly by a man. If a dog is treated badly by one man, that is not enough to cause a general phobia, but if a woman shows fear of all men that she encounters while walking her dog, then that is a very strong case to make for the phobia coming from the owner. There are lots of dogs who have been trained to be hostile to people of different races, and this is also taught by the owners. I personally think that there are a lot of women who get large dogs primarily because they have a fear of strange men, and this fear may be justified for the women, but when it gets transferred to the dog, it becomes more irrational, since most men are harmless and should not be singled out as untrustworthy people.

The men I have known have treated dogs equally as well as women, and yet I have encountered many hostile dogs that were owned by women.

My boss has terriers (I forget which type), and one day she asked me to come to her office when she had one of them (I'll call the dog Surrey) in her office and had me wait at the threshold. Surrey barked wildly as I stood at the threshold, but after I entered the office, the barking stopped. Then I took Surrey for a walk. As it turned out, Surrey had a fear of men only at thresholds but was otherwise fine with us. I think this is a fear that could have been learned, but Surrey died a tragic death in the Northridge Earthquake before the dog psychiatrists could determine the cause of the phobia. I think people should be very mindful of what fears and phobia they may unconsciously be transferring to their pets.

I also want to say that I think most women do not train their dogs to be hostile to men, but I do strongly believe that there are plenty of women who do. I personally have a phobia of large dogs, due to having been bitten by at least three of them on separate occasions when I was fairly young, but I do appreciate the Great Dane next door that has reduced to squirrel population in my immediate vicinity.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 4:09AM
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centralcacyclist

Often dogs become aggressive and fearful when they are not ever exposed to people outside their own immediate owners. Dogs need to be socialized from an early age and introduced to other dogs, cats, and all kinds of people. If they have a negative experience or even no experiences at an early age and no good ones to follow that, I imagine fear aggression to keep the bad thing or unfamiliar thing away is a likely consequence in some dogs.

My in-laws last set of sibling Miniature Schnauzers were a good example. They were acquired as pups from a breeder who breed show dogs. They were pampered and certainly not abused. They were never exposed to anyone but my in-laws and the groomer. They could not tolerate any visitors and would hide under the bed and growl. One was slightly more social than the other but not much. They were awful little dogs who would go into an ear piercing barking frenzy when anyone came or left the house.

I disagree that women routinely train their dogs to be hostile to men. That's a pretty broad negative assumption about women. Dogs will often become protective of their homes and owners as they mature. Even my big soft hearted Yellow Lab who loved everyone became protective as she got older. I discouraged her from growling at people who came to the door, however.

Darla is young enough to be trained to accept new experiences easily. I think the environment in her new home is much healthier for her with a parade of family members and workers, young and old and male and female coming in and out all the time. I live a pretty solitary life with few visitors. I did take her out for walks and to play with the neighbors' dogs. But I think she could have become firmly entrenched in her fears at my house.

I learned that Great Danes are very sensitive dogs. They are subject to depression like people.

Eileen

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 1:08PM
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jessicavanderhoff

I agree that dogs are very prone to being fearful of things that they haven't been exposed to a lot. I found it interesting when reading the book Scaredy Dog, the author talks about her dog being absolutely terrified the first time she saw someone wearing pants instead of shorts. Openness to new experience is strongly affected by temperament in dogs just like in people, and then whatever bad experiences they have probably exacerbate that tendency to be fearful. Men are also bigger and stronger and the majority of fearful dogs are a little bit less afraid of women than men. BF's dog was raised by him and certainly hasn't had bad experiences with men, but the only two people he's ever randomly growled at were guys. And even aside from size, I'm sure they can tell gender by smell. Heck, even your average baby is probably more comfortable being held by a female stranger than a male stranger. There can also be some intervening variables- for example, a lot of dogs are afraid of people wearing hats, and men tend to wear hats more often than women. Women are also innately more and/or socialized to be more aware of their own emotions and body language as well as the dog's, and this makes an enormous difference, because dogs are hyperaware of body language. Almost everything I read about helping fear aggressive dogs and dog body language is written by women. By and large, with some exceptions, men just think it's silly, and that the dog is trying to be dominant or that they can just correct the fearful behavior. When I took my last foster to meet her new family, the woman sat back and let the dog come to her and held her and petted her, while the man went chasing after her wanting to play, and she ran away and hid behind me. I don't think she had any innate fear of men- she liked male neighbors and so forth, she was just scared by him pursing her. Often the woman will give more affection and attention to the dog, so that the dog becomes attached and therefore protective of her. I am probably more afraid of strange men than strange women, and that could be transmitted to a dog, but it's kind of a chicken-or-the-egg question, because the same factors that make men scarier to women make men scarier to dogs (and other men, for that matter!) too.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 9:24PM
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