Thursday, March 13, 2014

Meet the New Foster Dog River!

It's been a while since we have had a foster dog in the house - sometimes you forget how much work it is! I picked up River Sunday night and I believe he is finally settled in and getting used to the household routine. He actually caught on fairly quick, usually it takes about 2 weeks for them to fully assimilate to their new living arrangements. He is in my two week shutdown program and it's really helping him get comfortable and trust us.

Trust in humans is a big issue for River. He came through the animal control in Detroit and was slated for rescue because he had an 'iffy' temperament test result. Nothing aggressive, but he would freeze up and act unsure about people. So when he came into Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus I volunteered to foster him so he could be further assessed. He will have two caveats on his adoption - no children and must attend obedience classes.

So far he has been great with me but more standoffish with Nicholas. We are working on that and River is warming up to him, however there are still some moments when it's clear River doesn't trust him. So far Nicholas has been instructed to treat River every single time he enters the room that River is in and treat him every single time he walks by River's crate if he is in it. We're hoping to build up lots of positive associations with his appearance so that River starts to anticipate him and look forward to him coming into the room. We'll keep you updated on his progress!

River is great on short walks (we don't venture too far but the yard is a mess while it's thawing so we have to do potty walks). He is non-reactive to other dogs and the people we sometimes see. Having a non-reactive dog is SO NICE. Bourbon needs to take some lessons on this subject! :) River has also been great through the barriers with my dogs. After several days of having the house divided, my dogs are pretty much over the fact that there is a new dog in the house which is exactly what I want. I'm hoping to introduce him to Vito and Rookie (one at a time) this weekend since they've been doing so well through the baby gates and ex-pens. I have a feeling River isn't very adept at doggie communication so it should be interesting if him and Bourbon ever get to meet.

The resident dog's side of the kitchen. I suppose that could be a bit intimidating for a new dog :).
River's side! He's always trying to sneak onto their side :).
River is a very beautiful Doberman but he is going to need a pretty experienced home. He has a fantastic personality once he decides you are friends. For being five-years-young, he is VERY playful and loves toys (much to Rookie's dismay as now he has to share). River is also super curious about everything. In typical Doberman fashion he pokes everything with his nose and sticks that honker EVERYWHERE. It's actually quiet cute to watch him investigate things but it also means he has a hard time staying off the counter. We are working on that particular skill but it will certainly take some time.

He loves that Nylabone.
If you are interested in learning more about River please fill out an application from Illinois Doberman Rescue! He would love to become part of your family :).


  1. I am SO happy you are fostering him and he looks GREAT! I was the one that got him hooked up with IDR after a couple of weeks of looking for rescue. The shelter was no place for this guy - last time I saw him he just alarm barked at me from his kennel but I knew he had potential! Leah directed me to your blog, she was how I knew about IDR in the first place. Thank you so much for being an awesome foster for River!

    1. Thanks for helping him get our help! :) He's quiet an interesting fella

  2. You're doing a really good thing here. River deserves a second chance like so many other dogs, I think it's brilliant that you're helping him to get one. Your step by step instructions on how you're training him and helping him settle would be really useful for any dog owner . We can all learn something new however experienced we are.

    Kelley @ The Whole Hound