Dog Adoption Journey

Hello everyone.

As many of you know, I recently adopted a rescue dog. She is 10 years old and has dealt with a lot of trauma.

In an effort to stop tagging people in the Lounge thread, I decided to make a thread dedicated to this.

A lot of misconceptions were made about Blue. I don’t think this was malicious or neglect, she just didn’t have a lot of time with the adoption rep nor the foster family. The foster family also had a doggy door, so her being house trained/potty trained never occurred to them because she would always go outside.

On top of the trauma and lack of being house trained, she was also heartworm positive. Fortunately today there is treatment. It took two months. Two months of not being allowed outside or taken on walks. Blue is a cattle dog mix, which I am learning is a very active and rambunctious breed lol.

Needless to say: She was furious.

As of February 7th, her heartworm treatment has been completed.

The behavior side effects of her abuse, neglect, and mistreatment are beyond evident after spending three months with her. She is often scared still with loud noises. Sudden movements cause her to cower physically and break mentally. Initially, it took her several months, often an hour or so, before she would recover. Now, months later (we got her in November), it takes her a couple of seconds. I was surprised by her growth and really underestimated it until I began really reflecting on it.

She also walks up to us regularly, asking for pets or trying to coax us into taking her outside. Before we would have to approach, leash, and take her where we wanted: The crate, the couch, the backyard, etc.

One of the things over the last few days that came as a huge shock is how vocal she is. This started around the time her heartworm treatment was complete (which is when we started going on long walks/jogs). She will “huff” in her crate sometimes at night, escalating into a bark if we don’t shush her. She’ll “whine” when she yawns or when she wants to go outside. If she’s done eating and we haven’t taken her out of her crate, she’ll bark. I like to think this is a comfort thing, and now she’s okay making noises at us? :wink:

Tl;Dr – She never used to approach us, never made a peep, and when startled would take up to an hour to come out of hiding. Now she comes up all the time, nudging with her noise or licking our hands, knees, or elbows (:thonk:), and when startled she’ll shake it off and keep trucking. Exercise has helped, I think. That and a better attitude when dealing with her.

Appreciate all of you giving me tips, advice, and encouragement throughout the last week or so. This is one of the more difficult things I’ve done.


  • Find the root cause for barking at night. My wife and I think if we walk her at night and burn off some energy that’ll help.
  • Get her mentally stimulated. She doesn’t engage with tennis balls, rope, cat toys, dog toys, squeaky things, nothing :confused: My wife is admittedly better at training her, but I am better about the schedule.
  • Work on potty training. We’ve limited our “backyard time” to four times per day. Hopefully this will help with using the restroom at the appropriate time.
  • Better Crate training? She doesn’t like being left in the crate. Once she’s potty trained this won’t be an issue.

I’ve never caged a dog at night. I dont get the advantage there but then again I’ve only ever had 2 dogs.

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Honestly it’s so she didn’t shite on the floor lol.

I’ve suggested this to my wife. I think I’ll hear her if she gets up. I’m a light sleeper and go Chuck Norris BlackOps when I hear a chirp or creak in the night. That and she’s 10 so if I were seventy(ish???) and someone was boxing me up at night I’d be yelling about it too.

I would think she would just shit in the cage then

Apparently they don’t shit where they sleep or eat. It’s bizarre. She’s held it for 8 hours but if we let her out she can’t hold it for 20 minutes.

“can’t” is strong. She just doesn’t know any better, I don’t think.

Every interaction w rescue dog owners:

Which breed?

That’s… not what I asked.


Glad the situation is improving. Just takes time.

Right now the only time I crate my dog is if I’m not home. And she hates it. Barks constantly. I need to work towards getting her to the point my old dog was at: No kennel at all. Out when I’m not home, out when I am home, kennel is a bedroom if they want to go there. Shouldn’t be used for punishment, either.


We actually try to not punish her, because of her history. We passively ignore her when she’s barking. When it gets non-stop, we’ll clap or shush, but that’s the extent of it.

What’s weird is this came out of nowhere. She never used to bark in the crate. Resist? Sometimes. Bark? Never. She howled when we first got her, but I took that to be depression or loneliness.

Lol. I learned her breed really quick so if someone asked I didn’t sound stupid.

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That’s the best thing to do, but usually also the hardest. Ignore the bad and praise the good. There are times that a vocal “no” is needed. I remember when we did dog training when I was a kid that saying “hey” was the worst thing to say. Just “no” or ignoring.

Also saying their name when reprimanding isn’t good. Don’t want to associate their name with something negative.


My wife grew up with lots of small dogs, so her idea of obedience is clapping or scolding. She doesn’t seem to realize that roaming dogs don’t suddenly become disinterested with her provocation. :roll_eyes::laughing:

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Oh nice, thanks for that.

Lmao. My wife is usually pretty level headed… Until her 16 hour beauty sleep is interrupted. By me, the dog, the cats, or any other means, a full on wrath is coming :wink:


How does she do with the cats? Introduced to other dogs?

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Completely ignores them. She’ll notice them or watch them play, but doesn’t engage.

Not yet. The only other friends we have with a dog is a total monster. He isn’t mean but very high energy, impulsive, and darts around a lot.

She acknowledges squirrels, possums, feral cats, etc. but she doesn’t do anything other than stare and perk her ears for a bit.

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  1. being quiet when scared is normal - dogs frequently get more vocal once comfortable
  2. crate at night while potty training is a good idea IMO The goal is to create a strong association with outside and bathroom with unambigious patterns that she will be able to predict. This is what you’d do with a puppy…

Once they are trained, then you can let them sleep in the bed where they belong lol (lots of people howl at this, but depends on the dog and the person).

In your place, if the pooping in the house isn’t resolved - take her out 5-6 times a day at regular intervals depending what you think will be enough to guarantee there is no possibility she isn’t out often enough to poop outside every time.

This will be tiring and cut into sleep as parenthood often does… but its temporary. Once you’ve made the association and she’s sure she’s going to get a chance to go, then you can start to dial this back and tune it. Eventually, you’ll develop an intuition for eachother’s schedules. She’ll have more trust that she doesn’t have to panic, she can just ask without fear to go out and poop and so on and so forth…

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This is what we’ve read. I’ve read other sources saying it’s not so good. We’ll keep it up, I was beginning to question it with her barking at night lol. When we keep her up she sleeps it’s usually when we wake her from her nap, take her outside, then put her in the crate and go to bed.

This is exactly what my wife wants lol.

We generally do when we wake up, after my wife leaves for work, lunch time, dinner time, bedtime. Between waking up and my wife leaving is when she sometimes goes in the house. Before lunch after that. Finding her times is weird, she has like a 6 hour window lmao.

Nah, I’m hoping for this. We’ll keep up the crate and daily schedules.

Do you feed her on a set schedule, or do you just leave food out?

Set schedule.

Wake up, restroom, food, roam for a bit, restroom, then nap is her usual morning routine.

She’s fed at 5 AM and 5 PM.


I want a doggo

Hope you get all the todos straightened out

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She refuses to eat. She sometimes growls/whines while in her crate. Often she’ll violently headbutt/nosebutt the bowl against the crate or until it flips and all the food comes out.

We haven’t changed her food.

She also won’t shit outside. She’ll urinate, but not shit. I cleaned up the backyard, but that didn’t seem to help. We can be outside for 10 minutes and 2 minutes after coming inside she’ll go inside. This occurs regularly. Sometimes she’ll drop just a little nugget. My wife and I think she’s doing it because she knows we’ll take her outside. Every blog I’ve read about it says dogs won’t soil inside intentionally/maliciously.

:xbox_x: extreme doubt at this point

Kind of at a loss. We’re feeding her once a day but I have a feeling she’s going to start losing weight. We’re no longer taking her outside when she starts dropping nuggets. Just gonna clean it up and stick to the schedule.

Are you feeding her with bowls in her crate?

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