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I rehomed my dog and feel so guilty


Scottishgirlxoxo
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Hi all, looking for some advice. Let me start by saying I am the biggest dog lover you will ever meet..I put my dogs before myself every single time. The recent decision I made is literally breaking me and I need your perspective. Myself and my partner were living a large house with a large backyard and worked altered shifts, we decided to get a GSD puppy and I put a lot of working into training and socialising. She was very, very strong for me and did pull me over a few times but I adored her and I was working so hard on making her the best pup. So when the dog was 10months old My partner ended our relationship for someone else. I was obviously devastated and had to move into a small apartment with the dog. The dog is a large breed GSD used to lots of space and trained as a guard dog to react to noise, she was up all night barking at every sound in my noisy apartment and running round my living room most of the night. I walked her two hours a day but she would not settle like she did in the previous home. After a lot of tears to my parents they advised that I should return her to the breeder to give myself some time. This time led to a month and the breeder rehomed her with my permission. She has been gone two months and I am filled with guilt about my decision, I wish I’d saw the bigger picture that maybe our lives would change and I would try and get us a bigger house. I feel like a terrible person. The dog is happy in her new home and her owner is with her every day (something that I would struggle to give her on my own) but I think about her missing me and being confused..I also feel that people must judge me and think I’m an awful person for giving up on such a beautiful animal who adored me, our relationship was so special. Should I try and get her back or just let her be? I very much doubt that they would give me her back but I think about it every minute of the day and wake up in tears. Please tell me your thoughts. I think it’s hitting me that I will never see her again. :(

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I really do feel for you with the guilt and loss you are burdening yourself with. 

You have taken absolutely the right action for the dog.  You say she is happy and loved with someone who is with her all the time. There is your answer.  As hard as it is, you have said it, “… just let her be.”

 

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Simple reality you cant get her back ,you returned her & she has been rehomed end off story ,sounds Harsh but its reality .

To be honest being a dog lover & being the right owner off a dog in our care are two worlds apart & it sounded like this dog needed some serious boundries ,life skills & manners that she wasnt getting .A bigger backyard wouldn't have solved this just made it easier for you .

As a side note being trained as a Guard dog should not mean barking at every noise .Guard dogs shouldn't bark at anything & everything ,should have great self control .

Yes you did the right thing & when the time comes to get another dog you learn from this experience & ensure the next dog is potentially a better fit .
a 10 month old pup will adapt quickly & it was better for the dog this was done sooner than another year down the track .

 

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You did the right thing for the dog.  Trying to get the dog back will definitely make it confused and won't be good for the dog as it's adjusting to her new home.

 

Trying to get her back or even going to see her in her new home is definitely not doing the right thing for the dog.

 

You need to move on.  You did do the right thing for the dog.

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What the others have said.   You are to be congratulated in that you recognized that in the changed circumstances, you could not meet the dog;'s needs, and you did the aprropriate thing, which would have been in your contaract with the breeder ... you returned her to the breeder so that the breeder could find a more appropriate home for her ... whcih is whaat has happened.  Everything has been done in the best interests of the dog, and while of course you will be sad, you need to be glad for the dog..   

 

When the time and circumstances are right for you, you will be in a better position to get a more appropriate dog, and start a new relationship.

 

Noone, including yourself, should blame you for making a tough decision to put the dog's best interests first.

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Nothing to feel guilty of.  You sacrificed.  Your feelings of loss, for her future.

You will mourn her loss, but theres no guilt to that.

 

Looking at might have beens now does not guarantee them, and with her, may have been put out of your reach anyway. Dealing with her issues to your changed circumstances would have been that stressful to you both.

 

When I was in my early teens I found a lovely  collie type cross I named and fed, hoping my parents would eventually notice her and let me keep her. I had her 2 weeks when she went missing. I looked for her at the local High school where I'd 1st found her after hours. 2 kids came out with her on  lead and asked was I her owner as they were there with their parents looking to take her home. I explained what I had to do with her and they offered me the lead several times, not wanting to take her from me since she was clearly pulling to me. I told them my parents hadn't even noticed her, I already had a dog and If they could keep her with their parents consent I preferred she went with them. I still remember her being lead away, looking back at me all the way out of sight. They seemed like lovely kids with responsible parents. She might have had the same with me, but I couldn't guarantee my parents would even allow me a second dog.

I did the right thing, though I've never forgotten her.

You've done the best for her.

Edited by moosmum
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You were sensible enough to know what you done was the right thing , and too be honest the trained gaurd dog thing  , with a dog that barks consistently sort of says it was'nt getting the correct training , coupled with the fact that she was too strong for you ,, well sort of indicates problems , later , not trained properly too strong for owner bad mix ,,, if she's with someone who spends a lot of time with her  she will probably love it there ,,  , sems like your an excellent dog owner , you just got the wrong type of dog  , lots of more suitable dogs out there

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On 02/12/2021 at 1:40 PM, Dogsfevr said:

Simple reality you cant get her back ,you returned her & she has been rehomed end off story ,sounds Harsh but its reality .

To be honest being a dog lover & being the right owner off a dog in our care are two worlds apart & it sounded like this dog needed some serious boundries ,life skills & manners that she wasnt getting .A bigger backyard wouldn't have solved this just made it easier for you .

As a side note being trained as a Guard dog should not mean barking at every noise .Guard dogs shouldn't bark at anything & everything ,should have great self control .

Yes you did the right thing & when the time comes to get another dog you learn from this experience & ensure the next dog is potentially a better fit .
a 10 month old pup will adapt quickly & it was better for the dog this was done sooner than another year down the track .

 

One of the things I've noticed with most GSDs is that they don't bark unless there's an actual reason. So I agree that the OPs experience sounds out of character for the breed.

My GSD, a rescue, had zero training [or socialisation for that matter] yet he only barks as a warning. He's very protective/territorial. 
When the neighbourhood dogs are all barking in unison he never joins in. 
He never barks to be let inside but rather, communicates by whimpering. 

Wooki has been with me for two years now, In summer I like to leave the front door open. He needs to be reminded each year not to go off at every passerby. 
Once he's alerted I tell him 'Good boy. Enough.' When the passerby is walking a dog he gets extra excited but when I threaten to 'Shut the door!' when he carries on after being told 'Enough!', although he continues to run back and forth grumbling with raised hackles, he will stop barking. 

I think you're right that a GSD is too much dog for the owner in this case. 
My biggest fear is having to kennel Wooki when I need to go back into hospital. [Because it was all he knew for his first 2.5 years of life and I'm sure he'll feel abandoned] 
A friend who we met on our walks was the 3rd person that Wooki befriended. She's seen how he's improved over time from the dog who tried to attack every passerby to a typical GSD who now acts aloof around strangers but who will 'make friends' sooner or later.  

She's offered to take care of him if ever needed. Thankfully she understands the need to learn how to handle him so we've started training. 
He's a very strong boy and could be quite dangerous in the wrong situation. [I'm expecting him to be extra protective of a female handler] 
Although Wooki really likes her, I've impressed on her that she must also gain his respect because he will test her - not in an aggressive way at all but in a cheeky disrespectful manner. it's just what strong minded dogs will do. 

Far too many people choose a breed for the wrong reasons rather than a breed that suits their temperament, circumstances and level of experience. 

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On 02/12/2021 at 2:57 AM, Scottishgirlxoxo said:

Hi all, looking for some advice. Let me start by saying I am the biggest dog lover you will ever meet..I put my dogs before myself every single time. The recent decision I made is literally breaking me and I need your perspective. Myself and my partner were living a large house with a large backyard and worked altered shifts, we decided to get a GSD puppy and I put a lot of working into training and socialising. She was very, very strong for me and did pull me over a few times but I adored her and I was working so hard on making her the best pup. So when the dog was 10months old My partner ended our relationship for someone else. I was obviously devastated and had to move into a small apartment with the dog. The dog is a large breed GSD used to lots of space and trained as a guard dog to react to noise, she was up all night barking at every sound in my noisy apartment and running round my living room most of the night. I walked her two hours a day but she would not settle like she did in the previous home. After a lot of tears to my parents they advised that I should return her to the breeder to give myself some time. This time led to a month and the breeder rehomed her with my permission. She has been gone two months and I am filled with guilt about my decision, I wish I’d saw the bigger picture that maybe our lives would change and I would try and get us a bigger house. I feel like a terrible person. The dog is happy in her new home and her owner is with her every day (something that I would struggle to give her on my own) but I think about her missing me and being confused..I also feel that people must judge me and think I’m an awful person for giving up on such a beautiful animal who adored me, our relationship was so special. Should I try and get her back or just let her be? I very much doubt that they would give me her back but I think about it every minute of the day and wake up in tears. Please tell me your thoughts. I think it’s hitting me that I will never see her again. :(

You've done the right thing by your dog. 
Dogs will settle with a new owner soon enough if treated properly.  

It sounds like you're the one who is suffering the loss. Totally understandable but if she's happy then that's the most important thing.

GSDs are a strong, confident and protective breed. 
In the future when you're in a position to get another dog, if you want another GSD, may I suggest that you get the training required to confidently handle such a strong breed of dog? 
Training a dog is easy. Training an owner, on consistency especially, is the hard part. [My GSD, a rescue, had received zero training nor socialisation yet he's been incredibly easy to train] 

There's been many times over the years when friends have been baffled when their dogs will listen to me in situations when the dog ignores them. 
It all boils down to attitude. Those friends found it hard to 'pull rank' on their dogs. [More than once out of pure frustration I've said "Don't ask, command!". Asking infers that there's a choice] 

Dogs are similar to kids in many ways; like how consistent firm boundaries makes them feel secure. 
All dogs need to respect their owners but not all dogs do.
I've known a few dogs over the years who consider themselves the alpha of their 'pack'. 
The scary thing about that, is that when I point that out to the owner, rather than arguing different the owner usually hang their heads in embarrassment because they know that's true. 
Not ideal for any dog but with breeds like GSDs, that can be dangerous in certain situations. 

As for your girl, be very grateful and take comfort in the knowledge that a good home was found for her and that she's happy.  
Bless you for doing what was best for her under the circumstances. 

 

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6 hours ago, Paul777 said:

[More than once out of pure frustration I've said "Don't ask, command!". Asking infers that there's a choice] 

HOW   TRUE    I've owned big dogs all my life, boxers , shepards , rottys ( my favorites )  heelers , close favorite to the rottys and every  single one has  obeyed every thing i say ,  and with no training has such  , just   over time they learnt sit, stay , come  and OUT when   it was time ,,  my rottys especielly   i did'nt even have to command them to go out , just a look and a glance and point at the door and off they would go  all off them have been good on or off the leash , when i said heel  they  would bound back and go to heel ,  i think  they want to know who's boss and then want to please you  ,  well thats the only answer i can think off because  i never had any formal training on how to train a dog and i never took any of them to training schools  just spent a lot of time with them .

 

Today i  was at a freinds house and they have there second minniture shnauzer  , there first had to be locked away  when people came it was a biter ,, this second one was misbehaving its 12 month old ,  and they were shocked at how  i could get it to sit ,  and behave  in a few minuites  ,  i just explained  he has to learn No means NO , Inside 15 minuites it was sitting , giving me its paw  , and roling over for a treat , they were amazed ,, but like i said to them its a dog not a baby treat it has such  and a treat is  the best way ,

 

Yet i have  a small fluffy little white thing , bit of everything , and even though he's well behaved , he will not do a thing i say , just completly ignores me when he gets a mind too

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On 11/12/2021 at 12:50 AM, coneye said:

  well thats the only answer i can think off because  i never had any formal training on how to train a dog and i never took any of them to training schools  just spent a lot of time with them .

 

 

Yet i have  a small fluffy little white thing , bit of everything , and even though he's well behaved , he will not do a thing i say , just completly ignores me when he gets a mind too

Maybe that suggests that you do need training after all? 

I've not had a dog that would not obey.

My GSD, a rescue who had had zero training and who looked psychotic when I first took him into public, was an extremely confident, independent, highly reactive boy, yet he's been the easiest dog to train [he'll do anything for a bit of dried liver]
Gaining his respect however, took time. He tested me for many months. I will not repeat a command - you heard me the first time - so I became very good at stare-outs while standing like a statue with hands on hips while Wooki 'thought it over', but with firm consistency [and soft hands] eventually he just fell into line. 

I love strong minded confident dogs but even they must learn that I'm the alpha otherwise things can and will go wrong. [like racing onto the road chasing a cat or biting the 'wrong' person for e.g.]  
It boils down to respect. This is why training is essential for all dogs. 
Although Wooki is now 99% obedient at home and mostly when in public, we still do training drills several times a week. Not because he's stupid but because as a rescue with a shocking history of abuse and neglect he does have triggers [that may well stay with him for life] but also, regular short training drills reinforces in him that I'm the alpha.

Too many dog owners will not 'pull rank' on their dogs. As much as I love my furry friends I expect obedience and I'll do what's necessary to attain that. 

Edited by Paul777
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