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So upset - I can't do it anymore

puppy4ever
July 26th, 2008, 04:08 PM
Ok first I want to acknowledge that I know I'm might get slammed here for this post. Today is the third incident that my dog has snapped at a child. We have taught my nephew and niece to be nice to our dog and they are very afraid of him so they keep far away from him. My daughter is 11 months and is not yet afraid of him but I never let her get close to him.

I've posted here before about him many times...he's super smart and I've taught him a lot but he has so many issues. He was skittish right from the start. He has always growled and barked at people and never liked strangers...extremely afraid and aggressive at the same time. He's snapped at my neighbor before...and chased kids from the neigborhood when he ran out the door (friends forgetting to watch for him dashing out). He nipped a jogger once when he got off leash. He also bit my vet when he gave him food.

We have taken him to classes and hired a personal trainer (who said he was feral). I have spent several years of my life reading and trying to train him. This is my first dog and I'm really angry that there wasn't a warning from the humane society that something like this could happen. Sadly he also has seizures.

We our talking about finding him a new, more experienced person to live with. We are at the end of our rope...He has destroyed a lot of our things and that hasn't been an issue for us. I think it's sad that people give up so easily on their dogs...BUT I HAVE NOT. I've tried everything that I can think of. He is like my baby and am so upset...I just don't think I could ever forgive myself if he bit and disfigured my nephew/neice or daughter.

I'm not sure why I'm posting here as I know many of you won't understand and will think I'm giving in too easily. Yes I feel awful and guilty...but I have to protect the babies in my life. I am one of those people who DID do my research but it isn't working out.

This is probably one of the saddest days of my life to be considering this. :sad:

puppy4ever
July 26th, 2008, 04:16 PM
I also wanted to add...

If anyone is in Calgary (or area) and is absolutely confident that they could rehabilitate him to the point where he wouldn't be aggressive anymore, we are willing to pay you for your time.

chico2
July 26th, 2008, 05:14 PM
Puppy4ever,I don't think many people would slam you,you seem to have tried every possible venue.
I agree with you Humane Society should have given you more information,especially if they knew he was showing aggression and fearfulness.

It is possible someone with no children would have the time to find a solution for him.
I don't know what kind of dog he is and I don't know much about dogs,but I hope it works out both for you and your pup:fingerscr

Dingo
July 26th, 2008, 05:28 PM
At the risk of being flamed myself, you can't take chances with children. Unless you're willing and able to make some radical changes in the way you manage this dog, I think you would probably be doing the right thing if you were able to find someone willing to take him in. If he did bite someone, especially a child, that might be the end of his life, not to mention that it could destroy your life and who knows how many other people's as well.

In the meantime, you should do a serious search for a new trainer, one with proven experience in working with aggressive dogs, and practice very careful management -- personally, I wouldn't allow a dog with a history of biting to be around any child if he wasn't securely muzzled and leashed.

Good luck.

pitgrrl
July 26th, 2008, 06:37 PM
At the risk of being flamed myself, you can't take chances with children. Unless you're willing and able to make some radical changes in the way you manage this dog, I think you would probably be doing the right thing if you were able to find someone willing to take him in.

I really have to disagree. Though it seems to the OP really has gone to great lengths to try to deal with this problem and is now trying to consider other options, I have a very hard time with the idea of adopting out a dog who is known to be human aggressive.

puppy4ever, has it ever been considered that his aggression might be tied to his seizures? I'm sure you have, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

You really do have my sympathy, what a terrible position to be in and I'm sure extremely stressful for everyone.

Dingo
July 26th, 2008, 06:48 PM
you can't take chances with children. Unless you're willing and able to make some radical changes in the way you manage this dog, I think you would probably be doing the right thing if you were able to find someone willing to take him in.

I really have to disagree. Though it seems to the OP really has gone to great lengths to try to deal with this problem and is now trying to consider other options, I have a very hard time with the idea of adopting out a dog who is known to be human aggressive.

I'm not sure what part you're disagreeing with. I'm certainly not saying the OP should simply do to someone else what the humane society did to her, ie: foist a very special needs animal off onto someone unsuspecting and unequipped to deal with it. What I'm suggesting is that, if she can find someone with the experience and resources to take in a dog with the very specialized needs of this dog, that may be the right thing for her to do in this situation.

What alternative would you suggest for someone with a dog with a known history of human aggression, who has spent years trying to rehabilitate the animal, and who has young children? -- besides very careful management and seeking specialized professional assistance, which I also suggested.

14+kitties
July 26th, 2008, 06:51 PM
Mmmm, aggression, seizures. I don't think anyone is going to come down on you when you have so very obviously been trying.
Is there a chance you can get him to your vet and have him checked for a brain tumour? As pitgrrl mentioned, it could be tied together. :shrug:

puppy4ever
July 26th, 2008, 07:02 PM
Mmmm, aggression, seizures. I don't think anyone is going to come down on you when you have so very obviously been trying.
Is there a chance you can get him to your vet and have him checked for a brain tumour? As pitgrrl mentioned, it could be tied together. :shrug:

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I took him for a full vet check up after his first seizure...the vet checked everything at that time I believe. I was thinking of trying chiropractic maybe as his seizures come on when he is overly excited and seem neurological...he also seems to get too excited and malfunctions when he is excited.

14+kitties
July 26th, 2008, 07:09 PM
I think another vet visit is in order. Or at least a call to the vet to see if he checked for the possibility of a tumour. It is possible he never thought to check for that.

pitgrrl
July 26th, 2008, 08:27 PM
Have you ever looked at these sites?

http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/basics/basics_index.html
Most often, an animal behaving aggressively or acting strangely has a behavioral problem or some other reason for the change in behavior. If, however, these changes occur as discrete episodes, and the pet also has a generalized seizure, we can be sure that this is a complex focal seizure and treat it accordingly. People with complex focal seizures may experience hallucinations. Some dogs have episodes of fly-biting where they appear to be biting at imaginary flies around their head. Some of these may be complex focal seizures although we cannot tell for sure.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/
Another interesting association which as been increasing in frequency is the link between thyroid dysfunction and aberrant behavior. Typical clinical signs include unprovoked aggression towards other animals and/or people, sudden onset of a seizure disorder in adulthood, disorientation, moodiness, erratic temperament, periods of hyperactivity, hypo-attentiveness, depression, fearfulness and phobias, anxiety, submissiveness, passivity, compulsiveness, and irritability. After the episodes, a majority of the animals were noted to behave as if they were coming out of a trance- like state and were unaware of their previous behavior.

puppy4ever
July 26th, 2008, 08:34 PM
Thank you everyone for your help and support. I don't think his excitability is related to his seizures or a tumor...but I will ask the vet. I'd be upset if the vet never checked that since the exam was extensive and very expensive. I have looked at those sites and posted there...no one seems to have experience with his type of seizures.

14+kitties
July 26th, 2008, 08:41 PM
The thing is that seizures are caused by so many different factors. My toy poodle has been having them for 13 years, no meds. They are caused by stress and different foods. It is possible he just never checked. Do you still have a printout of his bill? That may show you what he checked for. :shrug:

pitgrrl
July 26th, 2008, 08:47 PM
One of my dogs had focal seizures a few years back and, like 14+kitties touched on, it was a long road of basically trying to eliminate causes as there isn't, like, one blood test or something that can tell you what the problem is. In the end it was I who discovered what the cause was, not the 3 vets I had working on the problem, so you never know:shrug:

In anycase, there's nothing to be lost by discussing the possibility of a connection between the two issues with your vet, unless of course the aggression has a very clear, repeated trigger(s) which you've identified, in which case it's probably an entirely seperate thing..

In any case, I really feel for your situation, it's a terrible place to find yourself in.

ETA: Can I ask what type of seizures he suffers from?

aslan
July 26th, 2008, 09:11 PM
puppy4ever, i definately feel for you, you're in a very bad position. My friend had a dog like yours that had seizures, and after each was just a little different. I have owned a dog taken from the humane society and it turned out badly. In both cases the dogs had to be pd. Mine eventually did bite a child and broke the skin. I would not risk re-homing him, as he gave no warning of the attacks. I am really hoping that pitgrrl and 14+ are right and it is medically treatable. Its unfortunate sometimes with rescues that we don't know the dogs background. Our we always suspected there was some inbreeding involved.

:grouphug: from my home and do keep us posted. I for one will support whatever you have to do, for you, your child and the dog.

14+kitties
July 26th, 2008, 09:31 PM
Aslan - I don't know if it's medically treatable. I am just asking if it's been checked. I would hate to see a dog being put down or given back to a shelter to have this happen again IF it can be treated with meds. I am not saying it can be.

aslan
July 26th, 2008, 09:39 PM
hmm i'm wondering if the vet reported the dog biting him. In ontario(don't know about anywhere else) a dog is given 1 bite as a freebe, after that you can be forced to put him down.

I honestly don't know if i could take a dog back to the humane society knowing it had a pension for biting. When i had ours put down, it was the humane society i took him to just to see what they said and they agreed.

Another reason for getting some control over breeding practices.

puppy4ever
July 26th, 2008, 11:03 PM
Sorry I can't even remember what type of seizure it is...it isn't grand mal. Basically he loses control of his back legs and then his front legs. He also foams at the mouth. He is conscious the entire time. We had thought it was from dehydration but that didn't seem to be it...it often happens when he is excited about going somewhere or we have company over (which is always unpleasant for him).

Dingo
July 27th, 2008, 11:28 AM
So p4e, which way are you leaning, if any?

Luvmypitgirls
July 27th, 2008, 01:41 PM
I've had a similar experience when I adopted from the Calgary SPCA.

Anyway I don't know what kind of dog you have and I am in no way an expert, but I do have lots of experience with bully breeds. I don't know what kind of dog you have but if it is a "bully breed" plz pm me, maybe I can help you out, or make references for you.

btw I live in Airdrie.

coppperbelle
July 27th, 2008, 08:20 PM
I have been in the same position as you with one exception, I didn't have young children at home. After much research I was sent an article about aggression and hyothyroism. I had her tested and I also enrolled both of us in obedience classes (for the second time) and within a few months I saw results. She was hypothyroid, a bully and I realized I had been making excuses for her bad behavior and allowing her to get away with things because she was a rescue.
All this to say that I think what you are doing is the right thing. He needs to go to a home without children. Your first responsibility must be to the children in your life.
Make sure that you are honest about his aggression when attempting to place him.
Good luck

LavenderRott
July 27th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Honestly, I would not rehome this dog. If your vet has done a thorough medical evaluation and the dog is healthy, and you have seen behaviourists and trainers and done everything possible to eliminate this behaviour, you need to put this dog down.

I am sorry, but I would never, ever rehome a dog that is willing to bite children. There is no way that I could guarantee that once the dog left my home it would never come into contact with a child. It is my personal experience that, while someone may say they understand that the dog is aggressive toward children, unless they see it first hand they tend to think that you are exaggerating the issue. This often times results in a serious bite to a child.

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 02:26 AM
What do you all mean by a bully breed? I know I have been in denial about him. I just can not put him down...it isn't an option. I'm not going to just unload him on someone either. In fact *if* he did go to someone else it would have to be a friend so we could visit and monitor and pay for meds if necissary..but the truth is that I know to place him with someone would be a huge burden on them in many ways. He is so smart and so amazingly loving with us. But then there is his crazy side.

I'll explain a few incidents and maybe you can help...

#1 jogger running by - our dog gets excited and chases and nips a few times. Jogger is understandably angry and is ready to take him on....dog backs down and whines/whimpers a little and leaves with tail between legs.

#2 EXTREME fear of vets offices. Almost urinating (he has urinated getting groomed). Vet offers treat, dog snaps and bites the food and vets hand quickly.

#3 Food in baby's hand. Sort of snarls and lunges for food out of hand (this was the last one)...the dog looked "wild". These incidents happen so fast they aren't preventable it seems.


Other times he is so sweet with the babies...if anyone has kids they know that kids are magnetically drawn to animals. Baby always tries to crawl to dog...I *always* grab baby and if I can't get there in time warn him baby is coming. He always gives baby a give kiss. He is a sweet dog in some ways...

growler~GateKeeper
July 28th, 2008, 02:51 AM
What do you all mean by a bully breed?

The bully breeds include: American Staffordshire Terriers, Pitbull Terriers, American Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogge, English Bulldogs


I do hope you can find a solution :goodvibes:

NamaraPets
July 28th, 2008, 09:34 AM
As much as we love dogs - a maimed child is not something I think you should risk

If its going to happen it will happen in a flash, and it will be something you and the child will have to live with for the rest of your lives.

I agree with your original post.

Dingo
July 28th, 2008, 12:07 PM
What kind of dog is it? Lots of dogs get the urge to chase joggers and nip at their heels. The other two incidents sound like fear and food aggression.

But I'm a little confused. Sometimes you describe the dog as quite aggressive, yet you also say you allow the dog to be unrestrained in the same room as a baby.

Anyway, you seem to be leaning away from finding a new home for the dog, so it sounds like you need some professional help. You mentioned you were close to Calgary; have you considered that Brad guy from TV?

Luvmypitgirls
July 28th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Could you plz inform us as to what breed we are talking about here?

underworld
July 28th, 2008, 01:03 PM
i personally would be very fearful of having my dog around any children let alone an infant if there were biting issues. It's just an accident waiting to happen.

Luvmypitgirls
July 28th, 2008, 01:33 PM
What kind of dog is it? Lots of dogs get the urge to chase joggers and nip at their heels. The other two incidents sound like fear and food aggression.

But I'm a little confused. Sometimes you describe the dog as quite aggressive, yet you also say you allow the dog to be unrestrained in the same room as a baby.

Anyway, you seem to be leaning away from finding a new home for the dog, so it sounds like you need some professional help. You mentioned you were close to Calgary; have you considered that Brad guy from TV?

Dingo are you referring to the guy from the show "At the End of My Leash"?
Sorry but I wouldn't have him anywhere near my dogs:rolleyes:

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 01:50 PM
Could you plz inform us as to what breed we are talking about here?

Unknown mix - german shepherd, possibly Australian shepherd in there, corgi was another breed that was suspected to be in the mix.

Dingo
July 28th, 2008, 01:59 PM
Well the German/Australian shepherd could certainly explain nipping at joggers' heels.

And yeah, I was referring to that Brad. I think he's an ******* too, but I've also seen him successfully work with aggressive dogs on his show.

How about Bark Busters? http://www.barkbusters.ca/trainers.html#AB

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 02:29 PM
But I'm a little confused. Sometimes you describe the dog as quite aggressive, yet you also say you allow the dog to be unrestrained in the same room as a baby.



Are you really confused or are you just simply judging me? Yes he is unrestrained in the same room as my baby. The intent of what he's doing and if it's fixable has been something I've been trying to figure out since he was a puppy. As I said before, I have never really had a dog before. He has never been aggressive towards my daughter just sweet - but OF COURSE I'm cautious...she's my baby. Like anything in life the situation is not clear cut black and white. I follow my gut. There are emotions involved as I love my dog. He grew up around the kids...and I know he loves them. I am discovering that when food is around his wildness comes out. This last situation is a real wake up call.

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 02:32 PM
Well the German/Australian shepherd could certainly explain nipping at joggers' heels.

And yeah, I was referring to that Brad. I think he's an ******* too, but I've also seen him successfully work with aggressive dogs on his show.

How about Bark Busters? http://www.barkbusters.ca/trainers.html#AB

Thank you for the suggestion. I've already tried a trainer recommended by the humane society. I'd prefer to find someone who is really experienced with aggression.

I also thought he was trying to herd...

sugarcatmom
July 28th, 2008, 02:44 PM
There's an interesting interview with Dr. Nicholas Dodman in the first half of a podcast on this site (scroll down to July 2008 and click on podcast #85): http://www.traciehotchner.com/dt/podcast.htm He founded the Animal Behaviour Clinic at Tufts University and has a particular focus on the use of meds (like Prozac) to treat canine aggression. I'm not saying that that's what your dog needs, just thought you might want to give it a listen. It's a tough situation that you're in.

Dingo
July 28th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Are you really confused or are you just simply judging me? Yes he is unrestrained in the same room as my baby. The intent of what he's doing and if it's fixable has been something I've been trying to figure out since he was a puppy. As I said before, I have never really had a dog before. He has never been aggressive towards my daughter just sweet - but OF COURSE I'm cautious...she's my baby. Like anything in life the situation is not clear cut black and white. I follow my gut. There are emotions involved as I love my dog. He grew up around the kids...and I know he loves them. I am discovering that when food is around his wildness comes out. This last situation is a real wake up call.

I'm not judging you. I think all my replies to this thread have been pretty supportive.

All I can go on is what you've said here, namely:

* your dog has bitten at least one person and has nipped at at least 2 others
* your dog has chased neighbourhood kids
* your dog has snarled and lunged at a baby
* you're nervous about your kid being around the dog

Based on that, it surprised me that you seem to leave your dog unrestrained around your child. If it were me, I wouldn't do it. At least not until I had some professional advice.

Anyway, give Bark Busters a try. Solutions to aggression and biting is one of their areas. Friends of friends have used them and were happy with the result. They're supposedly expensive, but they offer a written lifetime guarantee (that they will come back to help you if the problem comes back for the lifetime of your dog). And again, good luck.

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Based on that, it surprised me that you seem to leave your dog unrestrained around your child. If it were me, I wouldn't do it. At least not until I had some professional advice.

I appreciate your opinion, I do (and you might be right)...but you could have just stated it that way. Just for the record too...I *have* had professional advice...just not since this most recent incident.

I see dog shows where dogs are way worse than my dog. I've always thought that if I could just work with him, he would come around. the trainer told me the same thing. He's excitable and a nervous scared dog. He's never just retrieved an object, instead he runs away with it...wanting someone to get it from him. I am ABSOLUTELY certain that he knows he has to be very careful around my baby. He often tried to kiss her...then he looks up at me as to say, I'm being gentle. I also don't think I'm anthropomorphizing him because I think animals understand that to mess with a little one, if the end of them...kwim?

My niece is 2 and and my nephew 4. My dog barks loudly when they come as he's excited to see them. My mother looks after them at my place often...she has tried to put the dog in another room but he whines and freaks out because as she says he want to be with the kids.

I'm just trying to sort this all out. I couldn't write this before...now I can as my baby is napping (fyi - dog is not allowed in same room as baby sleeps in). It's difficult to come to terms with this situation. I second guess - was it really aggressive or was it him just trying to get food...to herd...etc...

I can tell you that I do not think he is a *mean* dog at all! He is actualyl loving. He just has a lot of issues.

Dingo
July 28th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Well, the reason I said I was confused is because, honestly, I am. It's difficult to tell from what you've written whether your dog is really aggressive and dangerous (some things point that way), or, as some other things you've said suggest, whether the problem is more a combination of genes (eg: a desire to herd) and lack of proper training and socialization as a puppy (like going after food inappropriately).

Anyway, so what's your current plan? Are you going to try to get some advice from a (different) trainer?

pitgrrl
July 28th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Thank you for the suggestion. I've already tried a trainer recommended by the humane society. I'd prefer to find someone who is really experienced with aggression.


I think this is a really good idea.

Perhaps contacting some local rescues might find you a referral to a behaviorist who could give you some insight into the issues you're having?

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 03:36 PM
whether the problem is more a combination of genes (eg: a desire to herd) and lack of proper training and socialization as a puppy (like going after food inappropriately).

Are you asking about this now? I guess you an I just have different communication styles...I prefer the more direct approach. So yes, if you are asking, he was socialized as a pup and also trained privately as well as in a group.



Anyway, so what's your current plan? Are you going to try to get some advice from a (different) trainer?

I don't know. It's upsetting and I'm torn. I see everyone's point here.

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 03:39 PM
I think this is a really good idea.

Perhaps contacting some local rescues might find you a referral to a behaviorist who could give you some insight into the issues you're having?

Yes that's a great suggestion as I bet they have all kinds of dogs! Thank you so much for your positive suggestion! :) I also might take him into the vet again...I should call again. Thanks everyone for the advice. :grouphug:

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 03:44 PM
There's an interesting interview with Dr. Nicholas Dodman in the first half of a podcast on this site (scroll down to July 2008 and click on podcast #85): http://www.traciehotchner.com/dt/podcast.htm He founded the Animal Behaviour Clinic at Tufts University and has a particular focus on the use of meds (like Prozac) to treat canine aggression. I'm not saying that that's what your dog needs, just thought you might want to give it a listen. It's a tough situation that you're in.

I just saw this post. Interesting. Thank you!

Luvmypitgirls
July 28th, 2008, 03:49 PM
Ok here's what I suggest, having dealt with aggressive dogs in the past.

When it is time to eat in your house, put your dog in a crate. Give him a toy or a treat to munch on so he realizes he is not being punished, but that it is time for some "downtime". Do not let him back out until all food is cleared away and dishes done.
A crate (kennel), should not ever be used as punishment, it should be your dogs "safe haven".

Secondly, never give your child a treat while your dog is not confined.

Tell all guests and ppl in your house to never ever give your dog human food.

Never let your child near your dogs food/water dishes.
Bark Busters can help with food guarding issues, as well another source of help might be a woman named Kim at Especially for Pets on 16th Ave NE. Sorry don't have the phone # handy but they are in the book.

Food guarding can be corrected, but it is a long process and you must be consistent.

As for chasing the jogger can you plz give me more details on this, ie: did your dog bolt thru the door or was he contained in your yard and someone left the gate open. It's hard to give suggestions without knowing more detail.

If you think this dog can be turned around and you are willing to do whatever it takes then that's great, however if you think that there is a chance that your dog is HA, and you are afraid of for your child's safety, I would seriously consider not rehoming but having him PTS. There are worse things than death.

Luvmypitgirls
July 28th, 2008, 03:54 PM
sorry for the dp but I have a couple other questions.

Is your dog socialized with other dogs? Has it ever been to obiedience?

Fear aggression, is a hard one to work with, unless you can pinpoint the exact things that make him so fearful.

Severe cases can be treated with medication, and rehabilitation, but it takes dedication, I think you really love this dog, and you want to do the right thing. I wish you the very best with this.

Please give Kim a call, if she can't help you (as she is usually really busy), I'm sure she can give you all the resources you need and refer you to those that can help hands on.

puppy4ever
July 28th, 2008, 08:17 PM
what is HA?
I'll try to answer your other questions later tonight...when baby is asleep.

pitgrrl
July 28th, 2008, 08:45 PM
HA = human aggressive
DA = dog aggressive
FA = fear aggressive

.....you get the idea:laughing:

Rottielover
July 28th, 2008, 08:48 PM
One thing I learned is not every dog is meant for every owner. It sounds like this dog needs reconditioning into a person who can work him. I mean real work.
A tired dog is an easier dog to deal with. I have dealt with dogs with aggression, OCD, and let me tell you OCD is 10's harder to fix.
Sometimes it just takes the right person to control the situation.
I hope you can work it out, but unfortunately I will be getting slammed for this, but this dog needs a working home.
Since I am not there, nor am I a trainer, sounds like this dog is going for the weak, which means he is alpha dog in the home. He needs to be brought back to reality

First things first make sure the dog goes back to the vet to rule out anything serious

t.pettet
July 28th, 2008, 09:02 PM
The first thing I would do in your situation is contact a behaviorist and have the dog assessed. Sometimes simple modifications in the way you and other people deal with him can create a more stable, relaxed and trust-worthy dog. Working with a professional to deal with his particular personality type and his issues will give the dog a 2nd. chance at being the kind of pet you and your family can live with. Wishing you and your dog loads of success.

Jim Hall
July 28th, 2008, 09:29 PM
Just wishing you the best of luck :grouphug:

luckypenny
July 28th, 2008, 09:38 PM
Here's a list of members of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT) in the Calgary area.

http://www.cappdt.ca/trainers.jsp?d-49385-p=1&searchName=&region_id=0&lastname=&customer_state_province_id=1&city=calgary

You're absolutely right when you say you need someone experienced with aggression issues. Don't be shy to ask anyone you're interviewing for credentials and references. After a quick perusal of the list of trainers, I'd be more apt to contact Kathleen Kranenburg www.gooddogconsulting.com and Barbara Walmer, CPDT at the Calgary Humane where they also have special classes for reactive/aggressive dogs. Next one begins on August 17 at three different times...click on Animal Training Classes on the left hand side of this page for more info http://www.calgaryhumane.ca/ .

Wishing you and your dog all the luck. Please continue to update us on your progress or if you just need some continued support :grouphug: .

Guinness' mom
July 29th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Where r u Puppy4ever? just general area?

I so feel for you:grouphug:... and I don't think anybody would slam u...I know some may say bad owners not pets...but you rescued the animal and I agree with many about the possible health issues. Guinness was showing (and still does at times) fear / growling and in my case it had been my fault as I had him as a puppy and allowed him unknownly to become the so called ALFA MALE over me. I did find a trainer that deals with big working class dogs and boy did he teach me a few things. I am far from perfect but i feel I'm making head way and when out walking my dog deal with these situations better. I have found the pinch collar the most effective and at the first sign of growling I down him and then after... if the other person is willing I have Guinness in a sit and the "stranger" puts the hand out palm up and he relaxes and then mostly just licks them to death...lol

Whatever your decision you have obviously thought this through and done all you can...goodluck and let us know the outcome

Love4himies
July 29th, 2008, 07:46 AM
Rottie, I think you have given some good advice and I agree, not all dogs are matched with the right types of owners. Working dogs need exercise and a lot of it, if an owner doesn't have time, then they shouldn't have one. An alpha dog needs a very experienced owner who is 100% consistant, not one who feels sorry for it and gives in.

From reading these posts, I would want the behaviourist to come into the home to assess the dog with children and then while going for a walk (not sure if this is common, but haven't seen it mentioned).

Just my :2cents:

Good luck, sounds like you really love this dog, but are getting frustrated. :grouphug:

kigndano
July 29th, 2008, 07:53 AM
everyone has given you great advice.


just wanted to wish you luck!

i also have a bullheaded dog, but i live alone, no worries with kids or anything like that.

i can only imagine the stress that must cause.

:goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes:

TwoLostSouls
August 6th, 2008, 02:19 AM
I'll explain a few incidents and maybe you can help...

#1 jogger running by - our dog gets excited and chases and nips a few times. Jogger is understandably angry and is ready to take him on....dog backs down and whines/whimpers a little and leaves with tail between legs.

#2 EXTREME fear of vets offices. Almost urinating (he has urinated getting groomed). Vet offers treat, dog snaps and bites the food and vets hand quickly.

#3 Food in baby's hand. Sort of snarls and lunges for food out of hand (this was the last one)...the dog looked "wild". These incidents happen so fast they aren't preventable it seems.


Other times he is so sweet with the babies...if anyone has kids they know that kids are magnetically drawn to animals. Baby always tries to crawl to dog...I *always* grab baby and if I can't get there in time warn him baby is coming. He always gives baby a give kiss. He is a sweet dog in some ways...

Everything you say here indicates only one thing: the dog thinks it's the pack leader. You haven't dominated it, so it has taken over. These aggressive acts are taking place because you allow it. Snatching food from your baby - or anyone - should never be allowed. Your dog is aggressive and uses the bathroom wherever it pleases because he thinks he's running the show.

You have to show him you're the boss. You have to show him the house is yours, not his and that any person you invite in is to be left alone. The jogger knew how to deal with him, that's why he backed down.

If I lived in Calgary, I'd show you how. Most importantly, you must always remain calm. If you're emotional, fearful or uncertain, the dog will exploit this as yours has done. I used to have a dog just like yours. Most of them can be rehabilitated into good dogs.

Your dog should never be allowed to approach a baby on it's own. It should only be allowed near when you invite it near.

BenMax
August 6th, 2008, 09:01 AM
As someone said, the Aussie in him explains the heel nipping or the poor biker that gets nipped.

It is a difficult decision to make, but if in fact he has aggressive tendancies as you describe than re-homing may be difficult. It sounds like you have exhausted all your options and now left with a decision. The medical aspect as well is an issue. There are absolutely some true blue animal lovers that would take a dog with issues (including medical) but they are few and far between.

The only thing I would like to point out however is that I really do not think that the Humane Society should be blamed for this. It is extremely difficult to assess dogs within an already stressed environment. Having an actual 100% fool proof behaviour/character profile is almost impossible. I am sure that they took your family into consideration had they thought the dog was problematic. It is unfortunate that so many blame rescues and shelters for issues that a dog or cat may have. If they missed something I am certain it was not intentional.

I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can understand the difficulty you must be having in making the right choice for yourself and the dog.