Still looking for a home for Luna (foster dog)

Luna work

We still haven’t found Luna a good home yet. 🙁

There was one very promising family, but after spending the day with Luna, they decided against adopting her because they noticed she was nervous around young kids.

Someone was supposed to meet Luna yesterday, but cancelled the day before.

There’s going to be another person calling us soon. Hopefully they will at least come and meet Luna.

Luna is known as the “Problemkind“, or problem child of the shelter. She was too nervous to keep with the other dogs who run loose on the property, so had to be separated for her own safety. The shelter owner explained that if Luna causes strife in the pack, she will get killed by the pack.

A lot of times when dogs have had bad experiences, they develop this nervousness/anxiety around other dogs or people. Luna has anxiety with other dogs, but also takes a while to trust people. Which is okay to me.

But Germans like their dogs to be extremely well behaved, and Luna being scared of other dogs is interpreted as not-behaving.

She will bark or growl at the dogs (seldom now), or be so nervous in general that she can’t pay attention to any commands. This is a big cultural faux pas in the German dog-looking-after sub culture, and I’ve gotten many weird looks and digging comments from other dog walkers about how Luna isn’t well behaved (insinuating that it’s my fault).

Luna stick

It’s partially my fault. I’m not an experienced dog trainer and haven’t had time to enroll us into dog classes or hire  private lessons. But a few weeks ago I watched some YouTube videos about training dogs to be less reactive, and tried some of the tactics.

Like putting a muzzle on her and walking around the other dogs but from a safe distance, and giving lots of encouragement and treats when she wouldn’t react. Even when she’d react, to try to distract her and when she stops, encourage her and give more treats!

It worked really, really well.

Luna is a fast learner and she barely barks or growls at other dogs now. Maybe she’ll react 10% of the time, which is a big improvement from reacting 100% of the time. Even if she’s not full-out reacting, she’s still quite tense during these dog-encounters, but that will lessen with time and confidence building.

I am hopeful that we will find Luna a nice home full of loving, patient, and understanding people (or person).

It’s not so much that we’re leaving and need to ‘get rid of her’, but Luna was never a good fit for us or our lifestyle, and we didn’t expect to keep her with us for so long (6-months!). Now we are getting worried about how attached she is to us. We’re attached to her too, but we understand what’s happening and she doesn’t. *sigh*

So we really need to find her a really good place so that she’ll soon forget about us. That would be ideal.

All of this is quite emotionally trying as we’re newb foster dog parents and have gotten emotionally invested.  Even if we weren’t planning to move away, it would still be hard.

 

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