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Very Aggressive

March 12th, 2006, 04:03 PM
I adopted Duchess a spitz/whippet last Wednesday. She is 1 yrs. old. We were told that she hates cats but is fine with dogs. On Friday she started playing with my other dog Duke Shepherd/Collie and all of a sudden Duchess went nuts and clamped onto Duke's lips and would not let go. She kept shaking her head back and forth and took everything I had to get her to let go, and bit me in the process. I called the humane society where I got her and they told me to use a crate for time out so I did but she started howling and banging her face on the door. When I let her out she attacked me and put a gash in my hand. We put Duchess in a separate room for about 30 min. and let her back in and everything was fine until Duke tried to play with his toys and she ran over and bit him again. She steals food out of Duke's mouth and he will let her. He won't fight back he is very gentle, he just walks away with his head down. When ever we try to correct her she constantly bites us. Today Duke was laying in his bed she ran over and bit him once again. She wants everything to herself. When we give them treats she will steal Duke's and hide them then go back and eat hers. She has no fear what so ever. Duke will not go near her now and will not go outside if she is out there. The humane society suggested that I bring her back Monday and try another dog. I don't want to hurt her by giving up and taking her back but I have no choice she definitely cannot live with other dogs. Knowing that she bites when being corrected would the OSPCA put her to sleep? They also told us that the other people gave her up because she was constantly urinating on the floor but has never done it here. I think they were lying about the dog. Other than the aggression she is a very good girl. If she was our only dog I would keep her but I will not give up Duke because she has a problem.

March 12th, 2006, 10:07 PM
This dog should been seen by a behaviorist and someone that can advise you how to handle her. 5 days is not enough time for her to get her bearings or to settle in to this new environment. If you take her back to the shelter she'll be called aggressive and not house trained, I can't see anyone else adopting her with that track record. She's needs a 2nd. chance.

March 12th, 2006, 11:02 PM
I am so sorry you are dealing with this! I can't imagine how torn you must feel... I can't offer any advice - although I think I would be doing the same as you. I wouldn't sacrifice Dodger's sanity for a new dog and I don't know how I would handle being bit numerous times either.


March 13th, 2006, 08:26 AM

I'm so sorry to hear you and your household are going through this. I've had my eye on Dutchess for awhile now on Petfinder and hoped she would go to a good home. She looks so much like my first dog and so I have had a soft spot for her. Can the OSCPA provide a behaviourist to assess her and maybe give you some advice on whether she can integrate or not? I know the Toronto Humane Society have called on Adam Stone to rehabilitate hard-to-house dogs. This seems only in everyone's best interest.


March 13th, 2006, 10:14 AM
I have no choice but to send her back. We tried letting the 2 dogs in the same room but she clamped onto his lip and tore it. He never even bit her back. He weighs 97 lbs. and she weighs about 22 lbs. He could really hurt her and that scares me. She has bitten me 3 times and twice drew blood. The humane society said they would try to place her in a home without other animals but that is not going to help with her problem. Even taking her for a walk is terrible especially if she sees a cat. She gets up on her hind legs and runs after it. If you try to stop her she turns on us. Other than the aggression she is very sweet. I don't want to return her but I cannot have her hurting Duke. Duke cannot even sleep in his own bed she will go after him, biting and growling until he leaves then she goes back to her bed. I won't tolerate this behavior. When I discussed her problems with the humane society they didn't offer any solutions. They said they couldn't get outside help because of funding.

Lucky Rescue
March 13th, 2006, 10:27 AM
5 days is not enough time for her to get her bearings or to settle in to this new environment

I agree. This dog should never have been given freedom of the house so quickly. It no doubt overwhelmed and over excited her.

A new dog in the home should be confined to one room (bathroom, laundry) and should only gradually earn more freedom by good behavior. This gives everyone a chance to get used to the new arrival and the new dog learns the pecking order and that everyone in the household, including other dogs, OWN the house and not her.

March 13th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Before you take that drive - put her on the leash attached to you. Start walking around the house and take her with you. I am talking whenever she is out in the house with the other dog she is on the leash attached to you. You are going to have to start reading her subtle cues that she is giving which mean that she is thinking about getting nasty. She needs to be corrected for her bad choices. Now if she goes for you - you have the leash to keep her at bay. Tell her 'no' in a firm and low tone - don't hesitate to sound nasty but try not to escalate the energy. Then quickly tell her to 'sit' and 'stay'. Look at her only when you are correcting her and then look away and take a breath. Calm down. See what she does. Does she calm down too? or does she want to have the last word?
This little girl has probably never had any boundaries and has gotten away with murder. It could be that she doesn't have much experience with other dogs and thinks she has to attack first before she gets attacked. I am not excusing any of it but if we can test her and see what works with her then we have a chance to see if she can be changed.
Some little dogs get away with so much cr-p (sorry about the language) but its true. No one takes the time to teach them or correct them because 22lbs isn't as obnoxious as 80lbs when its jumping on you or pulling on the leash.
You might find that with the right amount of leadership she calms right down and learns how to be civilized.
Your other dog is an angel for putting up with this nasty behavior. We certainly don't want to ruin his life because of her. But if he sees you taking charge and correcting her then he will feel better too.
The key here is to create situations for her to learn and make a better choice. Say she hated cats, well we would work with cats until she at least learned to have manners with them - out of respect for you.
Right now she respects no one and believes no one is looking out for her safety. So she resorts to getting nasty with everyone to survive. She has probably had a few homes, who knows how people treated her and now she feels alone in the world with only her own wits to save her. Granted this nasty attitude lives in her somewhere and it will potentially always be something you have to beware of - she may never be the angel your present dog is. But if she had started her life out with a caring family and an angelic partner maybe she would never have felt the need to be the nasty thing she has become.

March 13th, 2006, 11:10 AM
i agree with what tenderfoot has said. when we adopted ollie he was a fear biter. we were lucky that he didn't attack our other dog, but he did go to bite my kids and hubby if he didn't like what they did. it could be as simple as asking him to get off the sofa so they could sit next to me. it takes alot of leadership from you to change the behavior and a very long time to see any difference but it does happen. the new dog also does learn from the older one that good behavior gets rewarded.

March 13th, 2006, 01:54 PM
Yesterday we did try what you suggested but she was very angry being on a leash. We did take her back to the humane society. The worker there asked me to bring Duchess to a private room. She wanted to hold Duchess by the leash and gave me a toy to hang on to. When Duchess tried to grab it, the worker gave her a stern no and Duchess went nuts because she couldn't get loose and grabbed her pant leg and started shaking it. When she took her to her kennel and took the leash she grabbed her hand and left pretty deep teeth marks. She said she definitely was not ready to be adopted and that they have a foster home available to work with her. They said they were not going to give up on her because she is a very loving dog despite her problem.They told us that she was in a foster home for 6 weeks and did not show aggression toward their dogs only the cat and kids, so they said all they could do was keep working with her.

March 13th, 2006, 03:05 PM
I'm amazed that the humane society adopted her out and is willing to work with her. The one close to me has ridiculous rules and temperment tests that I think most dogs would fail - so it makes me wonder why they are taking the chance with this one (not that I think putting her to sleep is the best option)...

March 13th, 2006, 03:30 PM
Sometimes dogs like this do have genetic rage issues, and when they are triggered there isn't much you can do to stop the reaction.
I think you did the best thing. This dog needs to be worked with and re-evaluated before sending it anywhere. Perhaps she needs to go to a home with no other pets or children. Just one grumpy old man who would love to love on her and not stress her out. :D
I wish you all the luck in finding a better match.

March 13th, 2006, 03:49 PM
Cathy,I'm sorry it did not work out with Duchess,hopefully the SPCA are telling you the truth.
Although I am very sorry for her,it was not fair to Duke to have to put up with this,maybe an older dog like Teddy would be a better choice:sad:
I just looked at her pic again,which I should not have,knowing she is back at the SPCA,she is very pretty,hopefully someone will give her another chance,someone with no other pets.

March 14th, 2006, 01:22 AM
I think you made a wise decision in returning her especially early on before you find yourself getting attached

there may be something psychologically wrong or possibly it is hormonal as in a thyroid dysfunction, but then again she may have been born with a few crossed or missing wires, unfortunately it does not become clearly apparent until the dog become several months old usually as they are entering puberty

With thyroid issues and some psychological problems, it can be "controlled" with medications and will need to be given life long, In other cases there is nothing that can be done and in these cases the most humane thing is kindly euthanize.

I have had to deal with this type of situation on 2 seperate ocassions once with a youngster that I raised from a pup and again with a dog that I adopted medical testing and lab and drug trials can be costly and can be an emotional roller coaster as you wait to see if the meds take affect or not and them when you see a behaviourist and they go thru their screening the hardest words to hear and accept is that their recommendation is to euthanize. It is not a situaltion I would wish on anyone, with the pup I had raised , it took me another 3 months to accept, in the meantime I was keeping the dog muzzled, but the day I watched him charge and run into the fence trying to get at some very young children, I realized that if I ever slipped up there was the potential he could kill somebody and I aslo realized I was doing him no favors as he would never enjoy the freedoms of dogs by keeping him his home would be his jail and his muzzle would be the shackles
By sending him to the bridge I was releasing him from his prison into a world where he would be whole and free.

When the second time came around even though the news was just as painful to hear, I allowed myself the one night to say my goodbyes before sending him off to join my other bridge kids.

March 14th, 2006, 08:36 AM
This must have been a very difficult decision but I think it's pretty clear that Dutchess isn't ready for adoption. What I do know about her history (because I did inquire about her), she is around 1 year old and has been adopted out at least 2 times since October (not including Cathy). When I talked to the SPCA and asked what seemed to be the reason that people keep returning her, they also told me the same thing as they told Cathy - she tends to pee inside when nervous. Otherwise, she is a sweet dog. I wish her well and hope she gets the help she needs.

March 14th, 2006, 08:49 AM
well... all i can say is this is a very unfortunate turn of events BUT i would NEVER endure any dog biting me or anyone else in the household. period. i don't care how big/small it is or what trauma went through that poor dog,s life before: biting is a NO. there are thousands of other sweet-natured, gentle, loving orphaned dogs on death row waiting to be adopted who would never bite anyone, why waste time on a lost cause and perhaps run the risk of a lawsuit if the person being bitten happens to be a small child or a baby or a bigger dog that won't take crap and kills the said offending dog? you know?

sometimes life is cruel and certain dogs should just be PTS to make way for other deserving animals to be adopted, IMO.... :sad:

Lucky Rescue
March 14th, 2006, 12:04 PM
It's very unkind and irresponsible of this shelter to keep adopting this dog out, only to have her abandoned yet again. The next home she goes to may abuse her or dump her on the street.

A 3 time loser with a history of biting should not be adopted out.:mad:

March 14th, 2006, 04:50 PM
I returned to the shelter today to visit with another dog and they said unfortunately Duchess will not be adopted out. She went through some training yesterday and today and she has bitten the trainer 4 times and said she is not safe to adopt out. I brought home Jasper a 6 month old Shepherd/collie who seems to play very well with Duke and so far goes to the door went he wants out. Not aggressive so far. The original owner says he was very jealous of her 2 yr. old daughter. We have no children so we are okay that way. He has been doing a lot of humping but when you say stop he does. Hopefully he will be the one for us. He is doing very well but it has only been about 6 hrs.:fingerscr
This is jasper & Duke

March 14th, 2006, 05:02 PM
They look like a good match so far. Congratulations! :highfive:
Don't have one ounce of guilt over this. Dutchess should not have been adopted out in the first place. There really wasn't much you could do about it. You tried and that counts for a lot.

March 14th, 2006, 08:46 PM
Are you aware that it takes the average foster a minimum of 6 weeks to adjust to any new environment and maybe longer if other pets are involved?

March 14th, 2006, 09:01 PM
That's too bad. She sounds like a hard dog with handler aggression. She just needs an experienced handler with dominate dogs.

Lucky Rescue
March 14th, 2006, 09:23 PM
He has been doing a lot of humping but when you say stop he does.

Who is he humping? Your resident dog? You brought another new dog home and are again giving him immediate access to the house and your other dog?

March 15th, 2006, 12:34 PM
He humps everything including our other dog. Duke growls and the new dog backs off. He hasn't done any humping yet today. They both are fine with each other. They sleep in the same bed together and eat side by side but separate dishes. The dog was in a home with 2 other dogs and cats. We were given her former owners phone number and we have spoken on what his schedule was and spoke about his humping issues and she said that he started humping about 2 weeks after being fixed. Duke is very comfortable with Jasper and wants to be with him a lot.
With Duches we were told that she was in a foster home and did well. They never told us she was in any other homes. She did not have a problem with peeing our nervous peeing. At night she would come in the bedroom and nudge us if she had to go out. She was very good with that. I think the other homes were lying about her.