DIESEL AB# 19-257- M, 8 Years
Foster dog name: Diesel
Age: 8 yrs.
Size/Weight: Medium, 45 lbs.
Color: Tri, but mostly black and white on his body, spotted tri colors on his face and paws
Breed: English Setter
Socialization/training: He doesn’t appear to have any training and from what I understand of his background, probably limited socialization. He is extremely alert of any new sounds or voices. The first two weeks he was with us, any noise would set him completely over the edge in a nervous panic. Whether it was the sound of a door shutting, or the cats paws hitting the floor after jumping off the couch. Please understand Diesel was left outside in a crate, completely neglected from companionship and I do whole-heartedly believe, living in that confinement outside, that the abundance of noises from cars driving by, storms, voices etc. set him completely over the edge. He has improved so much with us, that now he is pretty relaxed – but I anticipate a move to permanent home he will have to start over in this area.
As far as training, we haven’t made it a top priority, as we have been focusing on the social and anxiety part, but I will say – he is smart and I believe can really excel in this area given the one-on-one time he deserves. He knows our routine, he knows what the door means, and as soon as he sees me grab his leash he knows we are going for our walk. He knows the path of our walk, and how long we will be, and anticipates his scheduled feeding times. That may not be the textbook ‘training’ we all refer to , but it is in my opinion a very clear sign of his intelligence and promise.
Good with Children: Yes, but would keep it age appropriate for a rescue and say ages 8+. He has been around my two year old Niece in which he demonstrated wonderful behavior, was calm and aware of the boundaries of a little person, but he was closely watched. He has no issue with my 13 year old Son and you will often times find him cuddling his my Son’s room though he prefers Mom and Dad when it’s bed time.
Good with Dogs: Yes, he is fostered in our house with 4 other dogs, but it took a good amount of time for him to fully get used to them. Please see below ‘comments’ section for more information on this.
Good with Cats: Yes, but gets SUPER EXCITED! He has to be reminded to be calm sometimes with them. He does not try to hurt them, and he doesn’t point at them nor does he show a prey drive, but he thinks they’re little fluffy toys. Sometimes you can find him in the room licking their head and sometimes he’s chasing them around the house trying to play. I don’t see an issue with him going to a house with a cat or two as long as potential adopter is aware of this side of him and the cats are dog savvy.
House trained: Proudly – I answer yes! Diesel was covered in his own mess when Rescue stepped in, because he was left outside in a crate. It was clear he didn’t have any opportunity for potty training and I wondered how this would hinder him at 8 years of age. He adapted to going outside rather quickly and naturally, but had to learn how to hold it when we went away for work. There were many variables that went into potty training. With a strict potty schedule he adapted quickly, with water monitoring it helped him practice holding longer, also the fact that his anxiety was so high when he came into foster he was panicking and drinking so much water which didn’t help. Once we got the anxiety under control, a set schedule, this dog did a complete turn-around. He is at home while we are at work with no accidents.
Crate trained: No. Please understand Diesel was left in a crate most of his life. To sit in his own mess, without any outlet for energy, and with little human interaction. I do prefer a crate for training, especially when I receive a new Foster, but it was evident to me upon receiving him and attempting to crate when I left for work – that it was not the best approach to rehabilitating. It has been my decision moving forward to train without a crate, and this is the only dog I’ve fostered that I’ve made that decision with.
Leash trained: Yes, he has proven to do very well on a leash. I think it’s a combination of him naturally doing well on the leash, as well as his harness that allows me to walk him without much trouble at all. I have used a standard leash, but we have switched to a long retractable leash that allows for control when he needs to be shortened up and the length when he wants to run on it. He is walked on our open pasture land on the retractable and it gives him PLENTY of exercise. He does his business, and then we walk to the pasture where he does an open full blown run in circles for about 15 minutes while I sip my coffee He LOVES IT!
Activity Level: Diesel is an even mixture of both laid back and playful. He absolutely needs his outlet for exercise, and he needs it to be on a schedule. In between regular potty breaks during the day we go out once in the early morning before work and do our morning walk/run in circles around the land, and once again when I get home from work. If he has at least those two committed walks a day he proceeds to be laid back for the rest of the day. He to me, is in typical Setter fashion a lover of going outside, but when he comes inside he’s a couch potato. There are of course exceptions to this statement, ex: when his anxiety kicks into high gear and I will touch on that more on depth below in foster notes.
Fence: A fence to run of course would be ideal, but I do think he would be just fine with a committed walker and/or outdoors enthusiast or active person. He actually would be great with just leash exercising for a running/walking companion. I almost think he would prefer that over having an open yard by himself. He constantly craves human companionship. I wouldn’t trust Diesel on an invisible fence. He’s what I like to car chaser. My house sits very far off the road, and when we go out for our walks each day, he’s running circles trying to chase all the cars that drive by. (That’s his exercise and it works well.) He especially likes headlights at night. It’s become a game to us because he actually loves running on his retractable car watching, but he is so driven I could see him running right through an invisible fence to get to one.
Behavior: There’s nothing independent about this dog His past life has lead him to be a complete cling on/velcro dog and I have a feeling that will not ever change. When his anxiety kicks into high gear, actually all he needs is a hand on his head and for you to sit him down next to you and he’s ok. He has clear seperation anxiety. Not in a destructive way as he actually has not chewed anything, but he will pace, and cry, and bark. He has settled nicely into our work schedule and sees now that we will always come home. When I come home from work the first thing he does is cry hysterically and jump in my arms to be hugged. He cries as if he hasn’t seen me in months. He will not go outside until he has gotten all his hugs in and knows I’m home for the night. For the remainder of the evening, he is by my side. Oh, and – he sleeps in bed with us every night so he needs to go to fur friendly furniture home.
Medical History: UTD on all shots, neutered, chipped. He will need to have heartworm preventative continued on a monthly basis after adoption. At time of surrender he was emaciated and malnutrition played a role in some of his skin and fur issues – though we have seen none of that since his almost 25 lb. weight gain. It seems any health issues upon surrender were due to the malnutrition. I believe he was around 22 lbs. at time of surrender. He has had blood panels, urine analysis and standard labs done for a Health Certificate. He will probably need a dental cleaning at some point.
Foster Comments: So many things I want to say about this baby, and I just don’t even know if I have enough words.
For starters – Diesel is night and day compared to the dog that came to my home for foster. I touch on all his anxiety and the obstacles he had to overcome because I can’t stress enough that with commitment, stability and routine, and patience he has without a doubt shown the most improvement from the many dogs that I have fostered. He needs so much love and he has so much love to give. He needs someone willing to take the time to understand him and work with him. We have done little things that have made huge impacts on his growth and so he needs an owner that’s going to the same. For example: when his anxiety kicked into overdrive the first few weeks I was going to work, I realized that he was having accidents only in front of my double glass doors. I realized, that he waited, and paced all day for me to come home and worked himself up so much. Once I realized this was a contributing factor, I simply put a baby gate up so that he couldn’t get to those glass doors and stare in panic. He hasn’t had an accident since then. This is one example of many, where Diesel needs someone to advocate for him.
I think it’s easy to label a dog with certain behaviors, and most of the time we are wrong. I initially thought and wrote up his bio saying he would be better without other dogs in the house. He would growl at my dogs if they came near him, or me. He hated when they touched him and he had no idea how to share toys. His behavior could have EASILY been misconstrued as aggressive and irreversible. Fast Forward two months, and he has accomplished milestones. He now gets on the couch to sleep with all four resident dogs, something he never would have done before. If they were on the couch, he would pace and panic until we got them off the couch for him. I am now confident in saying he would be just fine with another companion – but it will take a patient owner to understand it takes him time to build trust and he may growl or act mean at first. This ties into the next behavior we have overcome but I feel is important to bring up. When he first came to us, he was extremely sensitive about his back end being touched. It was completely fine to pet him cuddle him, but if we startled him by touching him there when he was sleeping or picking him up there to move him he woke up, he snapped and growled at us. This went on for about a little over a month. It was so impulsive and almost involuntary that as soon as he did it, he’d crawl in our arms almost to apologize. He had some PTSD in regards to being startled in that area of his body. When I sat and thought about it, never once did he hurt me or any of my other animals in the house. It’s not his intent to hurt. He was just so scared in many ways. We have built such a trusting relationship that now we can touch him there whenever we want!
With all that said – any potential adopters must be aware that they have to build their own trust and essentially start from scratch. They need to put the work in, and be aware that the dog you read about on paper is the dog you need to work for. He won’t come wrapped in a bow completely trained and ready to start his new life, he will need to get to know you. I can promise you that when he does, you will have one of the best dogs life could have given you. He is the sweetest, most loving, appreciative boy. He loves toys (especially fluffy ones,) he loves meal time, treats, long walks and great talks, he loves to barrel his body into yours on the bed and get as close as humanly possible. He gives great kisses. At night when all is calm after dinner, he sits on his chair in the living room with his paws crossed and patiently waits for us to sit down on the couch. Once we do, he is in our lap. He is regal and silly all at the same time. He is a dog, that will be a companion each and every day without fail. We love him so much and can’t wait to find someone that loves him like we do.
Adoption Fee: $250.00
Foster Location: Booneville, NY
Volunteer transport can be arranged in the Continental US within a 1,000 mile distance between adopters & foster home. Interstate transport of dogs by Above and Beyond English Setter Rescue to adopters requires a fee of $50.00, in addition to the adoption fee, for an Interstate Health Certificate (required by law). Typically, we are able to transport your adopted dog to within 2 hours of your home. *Dogs can be adopted outside the 1000 mile transport distance; however, adopters must be willing to either fly their adopted dog, drive to a location within the 1000 mile transport range, or make independent transport arrangements for their adopted dog. Transports to far West states, from Eastern states, may have additional restrictions.