Suggestions from Dog Foster Home

Through my fostering, I’ve learned that many male dogs get surrendered at about one year of age. Many of the complaints are the dog jumps. The dog barks. The dog marks. The dog humps.

ALL of these things are completely normal behavior for any one-year male dog that isn’t neutered. If dogs are neutered many of these things lessen and some completely go away, especially the marking and humping.

I have gotten several adult male dogs during my fostering. All have needed to be neutered. There is a night and day difference in the dogs after neuter surgery. They go from hyper-vigilant dogs that have to be in everyone’s business to more relaxed guys. It’s almost like they are go-go-go and then just ease into retirement. The dogs are immediately easier to work with and more mellow-likable dudes.

They go from vigilant guard dogs to mellow fellows who can relax enough to learn. If the dog is so focused on who they can breed and when they can breed, and who they can show dominance over they can’t relax enough to learn. Please note…this is bred into male dogs…it’s not their fault. That’s one reason why neutering is important.

I brought one dog to the vet and I said the dog I had been walking, a foster, lunged at my neighbor. The vet quickly said try him again a week after the neuter and see how he is. TRUTH, he was better.

So my number one, top-of-the-list, suggestion is if you’re having trouble with a male dog that isn’t fixed, get him fixed. I know it costs a lot of money but it is a life-changing difference.

Every dog I’ve had whose owner complained about marking and humping has gotten better after a simple neuter surgery. EVERY ONE!

A lot of barking can be lessened if dogs early on are taught acceptable barking. We all think it’s cute the first time a dog barks…but if it’s not nipped, it can grow into obnoxious barking.

Beagles are known to bark and howl and I know that so when Rosie, my beagle, was little and the UPS man would come, she was allowed one bark and then I would clap my hands loudly once and tell her I knew the UPS man was here. No more barking. I did that every time. She is allowed to do her job…but she’s not allowed to be obnoxiously barking.

If she’s outside and starts barking, she has to come in. She knows it. I know it.

If you have a dog that is between 10 months and two years old and you are struggling…know that it is completely and totally normal. These are the teen years for dogs. Dogs will test and try the limits like any teenager.

You can’t “coast” with a dog until they are at least two years old or even three. I’m much more lax and don’t have to do nearly as much correction with Rosie as I do with Izzy. Izzy is trying to test the limits still…she is a year old. In fact, Friday of last week was her birthday!!

She will try to dig in the garden. She jumps on people…Now is the time I have to put the training firmly in place. If these things aren’t nipped in the bud now, then they will turn into bad habits.

I’m sure you long-time blog readers know that I struggled for a LONG TIME with Rosie. She hit 2 1/2 years old and was much better…then she hit 3 and is a great dog.

All of this is to encourage you not to give up if you have a dog in the adolescent stage. They will come around if you put the time in to work with them. Sadly too many people give up their dogs without even trying. They don’t exercise their dogs…they don’t train their dogs and don’t mean the command type of training (although that is great too)…I mean the be good dog training like no obnoxious barking.

Jumping is an issue. When I got Spot, he was a jumper. He was going to be adopted by my son and I didn’t want him to hurt my grandkids. I immediately started working with him. The first thing I did was watch Youtube videos. There are 100s out there. There are MANY different trainers and each has their own philosophy. I highly suggest watching them and trying them. I tried several different things and the one that worked best for Spot was to take a step into his space as he jumped at me. It totally worked. He got better.

My problem with Izzy right now is that she doesn’t jump on me ever. She does jump on my grandkids. We don’t have an overnight fix yet for her…but we’re working on it. She is doing better…but I’ve learned that I need to be there when new people come into my house. I need to give commands and give her something to do. Right now, it’s sitting. She’s getting better.

Every one of the dogs that have come through the rescue could have been helped and likely been able to stay in their home if only the owners had implemented even one of these suggestions…
-Neuter and Spay
-Human education on training (watch Youtube videos)
-Consistent training

It all just makes me sad. Speaking of sad. Iowa again tied for 2nd place as the worst state for dog breeding. You can read the article HERE. It lists the worst breeders. PLEASE do not buy dogs from those places!

I’ll get off my soap box.

15 thoughts on “Suggestions from Dog Foster Home”

  1. Polly Currier

    the first post about your most recent trip to a thrift store, came out as jumbled don’t know what, the second was fine. Happened both through the email and direct to your site. Hope this helps with figuring out what the problem is.

  2. Cynthia from SWMinnesota Minnesota

    Interesting topic this evening! Our neighbors on the farm that had a male horse that would escape from their yard, the owner said I know what will fix this. I think he escaped two or three times. He got the horse neutered and it never escaped again! We live in a small town and have a lot of dogs that bark at anything and anyone. No one is around to correct that, it gets to me after a while.

  3. I’m not able to see your thrifting story, and I LOVE your thrifting stories. Can see the one with the beautiful quilt but not the one before it. I wonder if the problem might be your advertising driver. PS About every other post lately — I don’t want to miss anything!

  4. Hi Jo, just letting you know that I got the old gobbledegook problem when I tried to read your blogpost Come Along: We’re Thrift Store Shopping. Thank you.

  5. I saw some commenters were getting mumbo jumbo posts again. Wanted to let you know that I could read them all when they came out. (Checked again today and they are still good for me.) (iPhone 14)

  6. We rescued a 14 year old male yorkie. He was fixed, but knew nothing. He’s better at potty outside, not perfect, but better. He’s a noisy dog. He doesn’t bark at visitors but once or twice, but he’ll bark for no apparent reason. We’ve decided he’s just communicating with us. After nine months with us he’s a pretty good fellow. He is a lot of work. By the way, he learned sit and doesn’t grab the treat anymore either. And, we keep working with this sweet old man.

  7. Great post today. I’ve got another thing to think about when adopting a dog. Think about your family and lifestyle. Get a dog that matches your lifestyle. Don’t get a dog that needs lots of exercise etc if you only want a dog to hang out in the house with you. There is a dog for everyone out there if you match both you and the dog’s needs.

  8. Our son adopted a beagle that was one of the ones that had been in the medical testing facility in Virginia. She was three years old when they got her. She was terrified of her shadow.
    After a year she is quite a different dog, still scared of many things but now she is mostly happy. One of the odd things is that she doesn’t bark. In the first year she barked maybe 4 or 5 times, pretty much surprising herself each time. She doesn’t howl either, just the occasional yip.
    It’s heartbreaking to know how she spent the first years of her life, but it’s great to know she has a good home now.
    Thanks for all the good work you do fostering dogs.

  9. There are so many bad rescues. I am familiar with one in Indiana that keeps bringing in out-of-state dogs and then begs for fosters. But if you take one, she makes no effort to find a permanent home. Indiana laws about foster organizations are very lax.

  10. Mary in Orlando

    I read most of the inspection reports and was sickened by the way breeders treated the dogs. A few weeks ago a breeder planned to open a “state of the art kennel” not far from where I live. They needed a variance to change pasture land to set up his business. The meeting place was packed and everyone spoke against the proposal. The committee denied the variance. It was a very happy day.

  11. You’re so right about the problem with the owners, Jo. At our local rescue, they had a dog returned to them because it jumped up at the kitchen counter! So sad.

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