Story research - need help

All kinds of dog talk here!
2dogpack
Hopelessly addicted
Posts: 1759
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:13 am
Location: Georgia, US

Story research - need help

Postby 2dogpack » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:43 am

I'm writing a short story collection while I'm waiting on my publisher to release my next book. Hey - gotta eat, you know?

So, starving artist aside, I need help with a story. It has a dog in it (which is why I'm posting here), and the story starts off with a young girl and her dog, The dog is a rescued 2 yr old male GSG/Malinois mix (the reason comes out later - the girl grows up to be a cop). But in the beginning of the story, the young girl is teaching the dog to Touch things. The story progresses with the girl going on to do some sort of obedience handling/work. Not having competed with a dog, I'm at a loss when trying to make this as realistic as possible.

Questions:

1. Breed - what events would a GSG/Maligator be allowed to compete, especially with a junior handler?

2. How much would a 2 yr old male GSD/Maligator mix weigh?

3. What age would you think is best for the girl and this kind/size dog? Err on the low end as everyone loves an underdog (bad pun?).

4. Touch - would it be feasible for the girl to teach the dog to Touch the palm of her hand (this is important to the story later)?

5. You'd teach a dog to Touch a light switch if eventually you wanted them to turn the switch on or off, correct?

Thank you guys SO much!

User avatar
emmas_mom
No, I don't have a life!
Posts: 4413
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: BC Canada
Contact:

Re: Story research - need help

Postby emmas_mom » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:37 pm

The only question I can answer is #4 - yes, absolutely - in fact, that's the first thing Eddie was taught to 'Touch" when I did clicker training with him - touch my open palm, get click and reward from other hand.

I'm so glad to see you are checking your facts - ie #2. I've just been reading a book in which a woman receives a Great Dane puppy as a gift - hand delivered in a box that was easily carried and passed to her hands, and the puppy so small it fit 'in the palm of her hand". Uh, sure. Not at eight weeks it wouldn't! The lack of reality spoiled the whole book for me.
Mom to Maggie. Ever remembering Sadie, Charley, Caleb, Belle, Oliver, Shiloh, Eddie, Mitzi, Allie and Emma.
My blog: http://www.mylifewiththecritters.blogspot.com

Calypso
Built-in Forum Feature
Posts: 12535
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 6:51 am
Location: Wisconsin
Contact:

Re: Story research - need help

Postby Calypso » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:16 pm

1) Mixes are allowed to compete in UKC and I believe now AKC if they are spayed/neutered.

2) Hard to say. A male GSD would be around 75-80 lbs and a male malinois should be around 60 lbs. (I can't pull up the breed standard now, so I'm going off memory which is faulty at best!) So if you put the dog around 70 - 75 lbs I think that would be reasonable.

3) I'd say 10 at the youngest, 11 or 12 might be better. Anything mixed with malinois is going to be a handful, even if it's the sweetest dog ever.

4) What Jean said. :)

5) I'm working with a client to teach her dog to target and touch a light pad on the floor because he's a short corgi mix. If he were taller he'd definitely be taught to touch the switch directly.

2dogpack
Hopelessly addicted
Posts: 1759
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:13 am
Location: Georgia, US

Re: Story research - need help

Postby 2dogpack » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:10 am

I'm glad mixes are allowed! I'll put the dog at 70 lbs, and I'll make the girl 14. That should do it, right?

A Great Dane in a box and it fits in the palm of her hand? Riiiiight. If she's the 50 ft woman, sure! Suspension of disbelief is one thing, absurdity another.

User avatar
Amanda
Permanent Resident
Posts: 8128
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: California

Re: Story research - need help

Postby Amanda » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:55 pm

Jean, was the book The Guardian by Nicholas sparks? I read that one. Lots of absurdity but I chugged through for the dog. Lol

User avatar
emmas_mom
No, I don't have a life!
Posts: 4413
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: BC Canada
Contact:

Re: Story research - need help

Postby emmas_mom » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:30 pm

Yes, that's the one Amanda!
Mom to Maggie. Ever remembering Sadie, Charley, Caleb, Belle, Oliver, Shiloh, Eddie, Mitzi, Allie and Emma.
My blog: http://www.mylifewiththecritters.blogspot.com

2dogpack
Hopelessly addicted
Posts: 1759
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:13 am
Location: Georgia, US

Re: Story research - need help

Postby 2dogpack » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:44 pm

Books with dogs: I enjoyed Suspect by Robert Crais. Maggie Marine broke my heart. But it ended well. :-)

User avatar
Amanda
Permanent Resident
Posts: 8128
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: California

Re: Story research - need help

Postby Amanda » Mon Oct 06, 2014 4:23 pm

How funny! You know it was bad as I read that book probably 9 years ago and yet I remember the exact part you are talking about. Haha!

2dogpack
Hopelessly addicted
Posts: 1759
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:13 am
Location: Georgia, US

Re: Story research - need help

Postby 2dogpack » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:05 am

More questions?

It's been a LONG time since I was in rescue and had to visit a shelter, so I don't recall a few facts.

1. Do dogs wear collars when left in the kennels? When you get a dog from a shelter, is one even provided? I think I just brought a couple adjustable collars from home and had them fit one on the dog.

2. Here, they label the pens by row, then kennel. Then, info about the dog underneath. Story example: C-18 German Shepherd-Malinois Male, Neutered. Is there anything else?

3. When I went to retrieve dogs, I checked on them, then went back to fill out the paperwork before getting the dog. I brought a leash and the shelter worker would step into the kennel and leash up the dog and THEN hand me the lead once the dog was out of the pen/kennel. Would that still be correct?

ETA: I know I could call our local shelter, but I can't stand to hear the dogs barking in the background. Tasha was a rescue and it's still too soon. Too many things trigger the waterworks. Writing this story is painful enough.

User avatar
maxs_mommy
Yes, I do have a life!
Posts: 2524
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:29 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
Contact:

Re: Story research - need help

Postby maxs_mommy » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:12 pm

When I worked in the shelter the kennels were labeled with the row/number combo you mentioned. We would print out the petfinder description and pic and place in a page protector hung on the kennel too so adopters could read a little about the dog. Adopters were free to peruse the dogs in the kennels.

Then the adopters would go to the counter and request to meet a dog. At that point we would have either staff or volunteer take the dog to a play yard where the dog could be off leash and meet the adopter(s) or take a walk to do dog/dog intros (specially trained vols did these). Volunteers were frequently the front line and knew the dogs fairly well, often more than the overworked staff. There were simply more volunteers to go around per dog. Our volunteers would fill out a type of pre-adoption survey with the basic questions of compatibility. Puppies also had their own meet-n-greet yard for parvo threats and under 4-5 months, they were not supposed to touch the main shelter floor except in those areas.

If it was a good match the dog would go to the vet clinic for final checks and rabies shot, if applicable, while the adopters filled out the paperwork with a counselor (staff). When it was all signed and sealed, the dog was brought out and go-home pics were taken. You could take a collar/leash of your own, buy one at the boutique or pay for a $3 nylon slip lead. All animals had to be leashed or crated as they left. Puppies under 4 months had to be carried out generally unless the dog was huge. No collars in the kennels unless they were the plastic break-away for puppy ids. If a dog was on a harness it was hung outside the kennel. Slipleads were almost universally used in the shelter by staff and vols.
I know there are other shelters where life isn't so rosy and all you get is a id number on the kennel and are lucky to spend any quality time with the dog before adopting.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

User avatar
KatrinH
Active member
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:57 pm
Location: Washington State

Re: Story research - need help

Postby KatrinH » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:25 am

1. Do dogs wear collars when left in the kennels? When you get a dog from a shelter, is one even provided? I think I just brought a couple adjustable collars from home and had them fit one on the dog.

In our local shelter they wear collars all the time. If you adopt, however, you have to bring your own collar and leash.

2. Here, they label the pens by row, then kennel. Then, info about the dog underneath. Story example: C-18 German Shepherd-Malinois Male, Neutered. Is there anything else?

Our local shelter is really small, so they do not have the kennels labeled, all they have is a printed sheet with information on the dog. Name, breed, estimated age, some characteristic descriptions, any information that a potential adopter might need (no cats, kids, etc.), any special information (e.g. we have 2 dogs that only staff can touch and work with, so there is a sign not to enter the kennel, etc).

3. When I went to retrieve dogs, I checked on them, then went back to fill out the paperwork before getting the dog. I brought a leash and the shelter worker would step into the kennel and leash up the dog and THEN hand me the lead once the dog was out of the pen/kennel. Would that still be correct?

I went in with staff and Ranger first to just get to know him. I had to return with my roomates dog, and the staff brought Ranger to an area where they could meet. She then brought him back to the kennel while I filled out Paperwork. We werent able to take him the same day. When I picked him up I just brought leash and collar and they brought him out to me.

2dogpack
Hopelessly addicted
Posts: 1759
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:13 am
Location: Georgia, US

Re: Story research - need help

Postby 2dogpack » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:47 am

Thanks, guys.

So, an adopter wouldn't be able to take a dog home the same day in most cases?

Seeing as I was part of a rescue, I went in, assessed the dog. The dog went back into the kennel while I filled out the rescue/foster paperwork. I was in and out in under an hour. But then, I WAS part of an approved rescue, and it was the only way the local shelter would allow Akitas to go out the door. They refused to let the general public adopt dogs like Akitas, Rotties, Pitts. If a rescue didn't spring them, they were euthanized in 30 days.

User avatar
Amanda
Permanent Resident
Posts: 8128
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: California

Re: Story research - need help

Postby Amanda » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:15 am

I've been a part of the adoption of three dogs, same day. And the shelter I volunteered for did same day as well. Just depends on the shelter and usually the medical status of the dog. Some shelters wait until the dog has an adopter to neuter. So then the dog is given the surgery that day and the adopter can pick them up the next day. Other shelters, like the one I volunteered for in OK chose dogs for the adoption floor and they were neutered before going out into the adoptable kennels. Once a dog made it to the adoption side it was pretty much a no-kill risk for them. If someone wanted a dog on the other side they would have had to wait for the neuter to go home with the dog. So it can go either way.


Return to “Our Dogs Online General Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests