Feral and/or stray dog adoption!

Thought I’d create a thread for animal lovers! Specifically, dog people. More specifically, those that have experience adopting feral pups. So, please, post your hawt puppy pics, and share any and all experiences you have with either feral or problematic pooches!

Feral dogs can be trained and become domesticated and, eventually, exhibit all the same behaviors as every other family dog. It does take a lot of work, however. For example, my family and I are currently ‘fostering’ a black lab/German shepherd mix - fostering is in scare quotes because there’s no way in hell this dog is ever leaving our house! He’s awesome, and we’re permanently adopting him.

His name was Sirius, but we’ve changed that to Hank. Because Hank is an awesome dog name. Anyhoo, Hank was picked up by animal control about 2 months ago, at approximately 6 months old. He stayed at the pound for a bit, then onto a rescue group and finally, my house.

I’m a dog person, but I have to admit - it’s been challenging. Mostly because I underestimated just how damn fearful a stray dog is of humans. It took about two weeks for him to warm up to my family enough to come up to us and let us pet him. Another week after that, and he’s rolls around on the floor wrestling with my 10-year-old son. :slight_smile:

We’ve gotten a lot of the basic stuff down so far: he knows his name, he (mostly) comes when he’s called, he stays and he’s on the verge of knowing what ‘sit’ means. The major remaining obstacles are 1) he’s deathly afraid of humans that aren’t his family, and 2) he’s scared shitless of his leash. So we’re working on slowly socializing him with friends and family stopping over, and taking baby steps with the leash.

He’s just the bestest, most sweetest dog EVA.

Hank at the dog pound, in his doggy cell, scared shitless

Hank at the rescue shelter. Still scared fairly shitless

2 weeks later at our house; much less scared

A week after the last pic, taking a break from wrestling and enjoying his kong!


He is so adorable, I’m glad that he found a home.


We have a couple of rescue dogs, Lucy is the sweetest softest ball of fluff, but covered in scars, and she still scoots out of our way if we’re carrying anything vaguely stick-like. People mostly suck, right?
Pickle is just nuts. Mostly corgi, very friendly towards people but really not cool with other dogs.


My current dog is a rescue, but I wouldn’t call her feral by any stretch of the word. She did come with an anti-cat caveat from the shelter, which was pretty serious (she’s never off the leash in populated areas where cats might be).

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People most definitely ■■■■■■■ suck. Hank isn’t covered in scars, but he does have a small one on his nose and another on his hind leg. No way of knowing what they’re from, but I’m leaning towards ‘not a person’ - he doesn’t seem bothered if I have something in my hands. (In case anyone is curious, Hank is currently snoring away in his crate.)

The rescue shelter was telling me stories of rescuing bait dogs, abandoned dogs and just plain ol’ case of animal abuse. Dude… I’d be in prison because I’d sure as ■■■■ would not react well to seeing that in person.

Getting back to Hank… As I mentioned, he’s really not cool with a leash. I’ve put one on him a few times, and he freaks out. He does the gator roll and eventually gets both paws up around his collar and pushes it off. Doesn’t matter what type of collar - regular, metal choke, nylon choke, a frigging slip lead! - he takes them all off. So, we’re starting fresh and putting his leash near his food when he eats. When that no longer freaks him out, I’ll start putting his leash next to him when he’s out and playing. He gets a treat while I do this, and as soon as he gets freaked out, the training session is over. Baby steps LIKE A MUG!!

It’s all worth it though. He really is a great dog. For the few here that know me and my personality, you probably realize I’m not a very emotional guy. I consider myself kind and compassionate, just not too emotional. Well, I can tell you that rescuing this dog and participating in his rehab is REALLY forging a crazy strong bond between Hank and I. Ha, this silly dog gets me all misty.

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we’ve been working really hard on getting Pickle to ignore other dogs. Initially, she acts dead friendly, wagging and such, but gets snappy without any provocation. So she’s never off lead unless in a really open space with zero dogs in sight. On lead, we distract her from other dogs with treats (I don’t know how anyone would cope training a dog that isn’t motivated by food!) and we’re at the point where most of the time she sees a dog, she starts to look at us instead. Which is progress. She’s had enough controlled contact now that she looks like she’s relaxing a bit.

That IS progress! Before you know it, she won’t look at you or care much about other dogs. Baby steps to a healthy puppy mind. :grinning: