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I'm considering adopting a lovely very 'alpha' 3 yr. old (retired) male Irish show dog that was rejected as being too large by judges. He has never lived in a house, just a kennel. Any advice for converting him into household pet?

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Comment by Sherry Miller on October 28, 2011 at 1:31am

Maybe I am not the right person to answer you on this one as I say go for it!!  Molly had not been in a house either....literally everything was new to her from the microwave to tv and flushing toilets kept her fascinated for a good two weeks!  We believe she had an outside kennel and maybe possibly inside garage in winter before coming to rule our home.  I took a week off work.....kept her by my side for that week...where I went she went unless she was with my husband or daughter....she slept on a rug on the floor next to me....rode along on errands ( someone stayed in car with her)...we spent a lot of time out in the yard with her....thought she jumped fence first night only to find out few minutes later the skinny lady had  went thru at the fence post....I started in right away on training( obedience and tricks)  as she did not have any....it paid off for us big time as we only had two in house accidents and only crated her when we were gone (never at night) and she was out of that crate for good in less than  10 weeks ...full run of home night and day from then on.  Easier than any of my Irish pups were to train ......and she has just fit into our home and hearts perfectly.  I do think our being sure she felt secure in our home and with us helped with her transition and also in her bonding so closely to us. 

   I had also taken in my Dad's Brittany when he was 8 years old and he was very much the Alpha Dog anywhere he went....which included my home where I already had a male Irish Setter , Shilo....there again I stayed home the first week with him....and when I went to leave him for the first time after  he moved in to live with us got headbutted behind the knee into the edge of the door and into a wheelchair for six more months of staying home with Pebbles the Brittany.lol.....(which years later led me to find my Miss Molly).  Just need to take time to be sure they will fit in with any dogs or cats already in your home....and time to learn their needs as ones they might have had before you adopted them may change during their transition into your home and life.  Pebbles never headbutted anyone again after that one that cost me a year off my feet so I can only assume he felt I was desserting him like he must have felt my Dad did (Dad had passed away ). He got his wish as I was home for a full year with the little stinker! 

   Since this Irish has been kenneled he will need that introduction to everyday noises (keep camera handy as it can be funny) and reassurance from you that those noises and things are safe.  Do you know if he has been socialized ? or bonded to anyone as far as playing or walking?  those things I think help the most in making it easier for him to start to trust you .A kennel crate kept inside where you all are can be a place of safety for him as he adjusts to life inside.....when you are there I would leave the door open so he has the option of going into his safety cave....Molly did do that if noise was too much or if she just was unsure the first week or so....after that she used her cave as a place to hide her special toys or bones ( and the borrowed dish cloth).    We have questions about Molly we would love answers to but for the most part I just take them as Miss Molly quirks and most of them are funny ones (also wondered if they were just female ones) Let us know what you decide on this Irish ....and post pictures of him when you can but mostly just love and enjoy him!  Good Luck/

Comment by Chantal McIlveen-Wright on March 29, 2012 at 5:17am

No experience to talk about this topic, but what I know is the incredible easiness a Red Setter has to adapt to his new environment .... absolutely amazing!  I would say that this new life style you will give her/him, may create a very special bonding ...  I have no doubt that it will be a fantastic experience  :-)

Comment by Dudley Duke of Lancester on March 29, 2012 at 4:05pm

Oscar Wild(e) is indeed enjoying the 'spa lifestyle' outside the kennel crate!

Comment by Dudley Duke of Lancester on March 29, 2012 at 4:14pm

Thanks for suggestions. Transition has been at times challenging and hilarious. Floors are frightening, but laundry is fascinating. Bras make great toys!

Vet says Oscar is 5 pds underweight. Any suggestions for healthy ways to fatten up the active boy?

Comment by Sherry Miller on March 29, 2012 at 11:13pm

What a beauty( oops that should be handsome I suppose) he is....and as you said tall!!  Love the bra information...that was one of Molly's early laundry helps also....running and swinging it as she ran right into the room my 19 year old was watching a movie with a new boyfriend....and it was her bra. Still laugh about it....now it is  just the socks she borrows to hide and tease us with.

   Molly was also pretty thin when she arrived at our home...so I used a different type of good dry dog food for treats as I did not want to give her empty calories only....funny as she prefers the teeny tiny food for purse puppies for her trick treat....used them in training her around the house, on walks or just show off tricks and still do.  For treats the expense is alright but would never feed her a bowl of it as afraid our budget would be blown as she loves them.  We purchase her regular food from Treats Unleashed here and they usually have small sample bags of the better dry foods...I tried a few of those for trick treats until I found her favorite and now purchase a small bag of it every month or so for just treats...has worked out well for us.  Molly this year did not put on any extra winter weight due to our warm weather so she is starting spring ( feels like summer) in her thinner ....out all day running weight here so treats are increased due to increased activity for her and to keep her from getting too thin.

   So happy you took the chance with your Oscar Wilde....love that name !  and hoping you find all the love and joy that our Molly brought into our home with him....but especially the laughter that seems to happen constantly with our Molly.  She has her own way of keeping us engaged by her constant tricks and games.  Truly I think this little girl has become the dog of our heart for all three of us.  Loved all my lads but there is just something about our Molly that is extra special for all of us.

   Is Oscar doing alright now inside the house? and is he out of the crate when you leave now ? Molly surprised us at how fast she outgrew the need to be crated while alone....she is happy as can be to sneak into our bed and have a nice nap while we are gone.....just wish she wouldn't roll so much as it looks like I never made the bed that day after she rearranges things so she is all comfy while we are gone...and then pretends she was watching the house in the living room when we arrive home again.  Just one of her many "Who me?" games she plays that makes life with her so much fun.

  Looks like Oscar has made lots of new friends to keep him entertained from your pictures.  Wondered if you have the same problem I have with trying to get a picture of Molly ....her tail never stops wagging outside,,,,even when she is lying down !  Enjoy !


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