May 27th, 2009, 10:41 PM
Ok first a thread about me being bitten by a dog.. now this...
Ok for those that do not know... a little history... A couple years ago now, my lab Lady and I were walking in the country near my home that we had just moved to at the time.. We had three large farm dogs run at us, they attacked us, I was bitten and so was my dog, my dog was scared and did not fight back, just cried and tried to get away.. these three dogs ended up being shot by their owner.. anyway it has been a long HARD road since, my AWESOME dog has become very dog aggressive.. I have had a behaviorist help me, from winnipeg, 2 hours away, we did a lot of clicker work, and positive reinforcement seemed to help, ( reward her around strange dogs ), but we still have trouble, I usually walk her with a halti because she is stronger than me ( I am maybe 110 lbs..) I you introduce her to a dog the right way, she makes friends and loves them, so classes have not helped, she is agressive and then meets the dogs and is fine, she has a running list in her head on which dogs are ok, and which are not, her theory is bite now ask questions later. so usually I am ever so very careful..
I have been wrestling whether or not to post this, but I really need help...
THEN it happened.. Yesturday... We were outside and my 4 year old son ( whom is VERY VERY close with my lab!) was playing, he wanted me to pour water in his hole, so I hooked the leash over the railing ( OOPS!) for just a second.. My son then went under the evergreen at the corner of our yard.. Then a man came walking down the sidewalk, he saw austin looking at him and let the dog he was walking pull out the flexi he was on and go see my son.. BIG MISTAKE well not really, it is more my fault) my dog saw Austin between her and this strange dog and went BALISTIC, she started to bark her angry psycho killer bark, I went to grab her leash, then at that second she broke it, the metal clip came off, and she was after the dog, she went RIGHT at it.. the man was trying to get her off, I cam running and tried to pull her off, I had her by the mouth but she got away and went back at the dog, we were both on the ground at this point, I did get control of her, it lasted maybe 5 seconds but it seemed slow, but she got the dog, on the neck not bad, there was one small spot with blood..
I FELT SICK!! The man realized that he should not have let his dog onto our property, and really if he didn't nothing would have happened in her mind she was protecting my son, but it is not ok that i did not have proper control. I said to take his dog to the vet, and I would pay, he said it was minor he would clean it up. I explained to him about my dogs history and he felt bad for her. His dog was nice, did not fight back at all. ( poor poor doggie!! it is a bearded collie cross.. looks like a smaller OES)
He is not upset, i am JUST SICK!! i have not taken my dog out since, just quick to the backyard to pee, I do not know what I was thinking.. I know it only takes a second... This is the MOST TERRIBLE THING EVER!!!!
This has been so hard, any advice to fix this problem?? She is a CKC lab, has been in obedience and had 8 points toward her champ. when this happened the first time. Labs are not supposed to be overly aggressive, see one more reason that the pitt bull ban is BS!! She has never ever ever ever no matter what so much as turned a lip toward a human and I fully trust her with my kids, It is all about dogs and only strange dogs..
I know this is my fault I know better, it should not have happened, I am so sorry.... I will be checking on the man and the dog tomorrow, he really was not mad at me at all, I do not know why, he had every right to be VERY P O'd and call animal control, I know that.
PLEASE HELP ME AND MY DOG!!
p.s. in my stupidity this was in the front yard.. no fence.. I just almost always up to this point have my dogs always with me..
May 27th, 2009, 10:45 PM
No advice. Just :grouphug:. I am so sorry this happened.
May 27th, 2009, 10:52 PM
Ohhh man First off :grouphug: :grouphug: I am sorry you are going through this. The biggest mistake you made was hooking her up on something. But mistakes happen and it sounds like you are doing all the right stuff, sadly when you are in front yard keep her with you at all times. I hope the other doggie is ok. Thank dog the man was sooo understanding. keep us posted
May 27th, 2009, 10:53 PM
Thanks 14+! Bad week for me and dogs... Some planet of mine must not be aligned with the moon right or something.. heh...
May 27th, 2009, 10:57 PM
Yes I am thanking dog myself.. I know that was so stupid, dumb dumb dumb.. But it has been a couple years and at some point I guess your brain farts or something.. I know better, I take 100% responsibility.. I just want a nice dog back!
May 27th, 2009, 10:58 PM
ok maybe I take 99.9% responsibility.. That buy has to take .1% for letting his dog on a flexi that goes from here to tiawana go onto my yeard up to my kids when I had a big dog..
May 27th, 2009, 11:25 PM
:grouphug: I am not sure what advice I can offer you but maybe a :grouphug:
Would suffice.. I am sure some more experienced members can offer advice.
May 28th, 2009, 12:33 AM
More :grouphug: for you.
I so understand what you're going through. We have a Lab too and, unfortunately, she's not friendly towards strange dogs nor humans. All I can say is that you can never count on how others will act, but you can control Lady's environment. I've also learned that I can never slack on the training, especially recall...we work on that every single day with her.
I finally gave up on socializing her in public because the actions of others were so unpredictable, regardless whether Penny was muzzled, had on a special vest, or me simply telling people to keep their distance. For every step forward, someone had to do something stupid to set us back 10 steps. Everyone else seems to think they know what's better for your dog than you do :wall:. So we keep up the training at home and she gets plenty of interaction with her siblings and fosters who join us (who she's fantastic with btw).
I think the key with Lady may be the same. Make sure she gets the exercise she needs, the training, the dog-on-dog playtime with buddies she likes, and the love she deserves. In the meantime, I would suggest you read Brenda Aloff's book, AGGRESSION IN DOGS - PRACTICAL MANAGEMENT, PREVENTION & BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION if you'd like to eventually work on de-sensitizing/reconditioning her to stressors. I accepted that there are things that I can try, and for those that I can't because of our environment, I keep others, and especially her, safe by not putting her in situations I can't do my best to control 100% of the time.
May 28th, 2009, 06:32 AM
I can not help you on this, but keeping the dog even more unsocialized will only make it worse, and dog will ahve even more of that energy built up inside.
Hugs for you!!
May 28th, 2009, 08:09 AM
I am so sorry, luvmylab. Don't have any advice but wanted to offer you a :grouphug:
May 28th, 2009, 09:26 AM
I do keep her socialized, as I said I take her to classes again, and I have had other dogs here all the time, I even got my rescue dog recently, when you control how she meets a dog she will growl and get excited but you can control her, make her stop let them sniff and she is fine when she sees the dog wont hurt us. We are around many dogs all the time, when you meet a dog on a walk she will act aggressive, but again it can be controlled. Nothing like this has ever happened but based on her behavior I knew it was possible, thats why I was very careful, until tuesday..
Sara, the behaviorist has come and worked with me a couple times, I cannot do it too often because bringing her from winnipeg is VERY expensive, In the beginning when she was psycho dog we worked on rewarding her on a walk when we passed strange dogs, so she would learn strange dogs are a good thing. But she cannot get it out of her head what happened to me and her, I think she was more upset that I was hurt by the dog and now she has to protect us.
That is what makes it hard. I have been socializing her, a lot, everyday... introcucing her to dogs doesn't help, she can make friends easily, it is just ones that she doesn't know, getting close to her kids, or another dog acting aggressive. There are 3 agressive border collies a few houses away that are always in their yard, we walk by everyday to practise ignoring them.
Usually it is barking and growling, I make her stop and we continue and all is good. I knew she had it in her to actually go after a dog, I knew she wasn't bluffing she just has never had the opportunity before because I have always been in control, this was my mistake and It was stupid, honest I KNOW what my mistake was, I need to know what to do going forward..
I shouldn't have put the leash on the railing, didn't think it would break.. when we were in the front yard.. my back was turned and I didn't see the guy, and I should have been careful, and watching. But I guess when nothing has ever happened you get complacent and that is what I did, I know better...
It was just the other day, so yes I have been too nervous to take her out again since, my nervous energy would only make is WAY worse if we meet a dog, that wont be good for anyone. When I relax then we will go out again. But I would be holding the leash tighter, ect.. she would pick up on that and think there is a reason to be nervous, really it is just a disaster waiting to happen. I have to wait until I can fully relax.
It was in our yard, I know I was stupid, usually I do control all situations, but this happened. I have been dealing with it for a long time, and nothing has ever come close to happening before. I can control her behavior very well, just a SHH works and then she doesn't get worked up, when I say SHH she stops escalating and a dog and her can meet, I SHH every time she starts, soon they have sniffed and made friends and they play or we move on. But this time, she escalated when I was not in control. The same thing If I ever left her in the back yard alone, she would act that way to a dog walking by. I do not let her in the yard alone, even though it is fenced, I don't want her to get to that point, I walk her 3 times a day. It is just her theory of Bite now ask later.. and I Do not know what to do to get her over that.
May 28th, 2009, 09:30 AM
I can offer a :grouphug: too, we've been exactly there with Gracie, who used to be extremely dog-aggressive (to the point where we could have no dogs around her, period). We went through almost totally what you described, only there was no child there, just a woman with her dog on a leash, and Gracie taking off across the yard and drawing blood on a dog a fifth her size...luckily the woman was extraordinarily forgiving and the little dog was ok, just a small puncture. We were working with a trainer (private lessons) within the week. It was largely OB work, but also a lot of work, under controlled circumstances, on having other dogs around and learning how to read her body language and manage the situation. It's several years later, and although I don't think we'll ever 100% trust her with strange dogs off-leash, we went from of one-dog household to three dogs, Gracie spends lots of happy time with our neighbours' pups (who she used to want to kill) and the very few times a strange dog has wandered onto our property, Gracie would come back when called.
I agree with a PP that total avoidance of other dogs is not useful. What helped us was controlled exposure to other dogs (both friendly and not-so-friendly). Later on, adding new dogs to our family pack actually helped Gracie even more. She learned manners and control and ettiquette from our younger dog. Most delightfully, little Heidi has taught her how to initiate and respond to play appropriately, it's wonderful to watch them. These are things that only a dog can teach another dog.
Anyhoo, I just wanted to say you're not alone and I know how devastatingly awful you feel right now.
May 28th, 2009, 09:37 AM
I am soo sorry. I have no words of advice for you and your girl, but I am sympathizing with you and your situation.
May 28th, 2009, 09:38 AM
Here is a picture of her.. her name is Gonzaga's lady Perdita... she really is a good dog, this isn't her fault. I will continue to go to the ends of the earth to help her.
May 28th, 2009, 09:46 AM
Thank you Bendy! That is awesome to hear, really!!
I do have her around dogs all the time, I did say I take her to classes again, I don't keep her away from dogs.. her ears perk up, that is the first sign, and when I SHH, and it works, I usually have to shh a dozen times but then I can control a meeting with a dog and all is well, I did also get another dog, hopeing that she would re lear doggie talk, it has not changed anything. She makes friends with the dogs and then it is fine, she keeps the list of what dogs she has already approved in her head. I can go to class and everything is fine, b/c she has met everyone.
I only said I am keeping her away now, yesturday, because it was too soon and I am nervous, and that wont help, only feed her energy and make it worse.. I do not know how to get over this..
Really before we would have never been able to get her close to another dog, we have come leaps and bounds being able to control it, and learning to read her. Her ears perk up like I said, and that is when you have to stop it, next her tail gets real stiff, and then her hackles go up, if it is not stopped by then we have to retreat a bit, and start again. But now I can almost always control it at the ear perk stage.
May 28th, 2009, 09:55 AM
sounds like you are already good at reading the signs of an escalating situation :thumbs up My only concern would be, if it takes a dozen sssshhs to settle her, leaving the possibility of further escalation, maybe another distraction/correction might be useful?
And yeah, if you're super worked up, then you absolutely should wait until you're calm and ready to take charge again before you venture out with her. My DW tends to get worked up when she's out with Gracie around other dogs (bizzare to me, because normally she's like the dog whisperer, she just gets psyched out) and Gracie's behaviour gets edgy in turn. Do whatever you have to, deep breath, conscious relaxation of your body and breathing, no tension on the leash etc. Your dog will respond to your calm.
The one thing we don't have to deal with is the child factor. Do you think she would have reacted the way she did if your little one had not been in the yard? Protectiveness is all well and good but not when it's uncalled for. We have to work with Gracie often on her guarding tendencies, reminding her that there is no object in the house that is "hers" to guard, everything belongs to the humans in the house. It might be a matter of working with her, with other dogs around, AND your child around.
May 28th, 2009, 09:55 AM
Ok you need to stop beating yourself up. It is done now and just need to learn from it. The whole thing is very scary and Luckly you had a man that was understanding. Just learn from it and move forward. Lady will pick up your stress and it will not help with moving past it. :grouphug:
May 28th, 2009, 08:05 PM
Thank you guys! I am here to calm down.. I am going to venture out.. DEEP BREATH!! I took my little guy out a few times today, and it was heartbreaking to leave her behind, I am waiting until it is later so that there are less people and dogs out.
Do I think it would have happened without my son there? ( the one riding her in the pic) I don't know, yes she would have been agressive, but bad enough to break the leash? I dont think so... they are VERY close you have no idea, they are never not in the same room, she sits with him while he eats, he uses her as a pillow at night, some kids have blankies, he strokes her tummy when he is upset.. He doesn't like playschool because after an hour he starts to get upset and say he misses ladt he needs to go home to her.. it is bad..
Also, the man would not have let his dog go 15 feet out on the flexi that goes to tiawana into our yard to see my son.. they would have stayed on city property and shou wouldn't have got so mad.. She would have jumped and barked but psycho enough to break my leash? probably not.
k, I am not a fan of flexi's unless you are in a place that your dog actually CAN go 15 feet away, I have them too, but I don't use them walking in the city on a sidewalk letting my dog crisscross onto peoples yards..
Thanks for the hugs.
Yes I need another distraction, I can touch her to to snap her out of it, but she wont eat, treats dont work in that situation, the only thing she loves is a tennis ball, but ignores that too, and I cannot throw it in that situation anyway.. have any ideas????? My little dog I can use a sqeaky!! but I have NO problems with my little dog, not yet anway! lol!
May 29th, 2009, 10:00 AM
I hate those flexi's too, they're useless for controlling a dog :wall:
Gracie's the same way, no treat/toy anything like that will distract her, she's just not motivated that way. When we started working with Gracie on manners, we initially used a prong collar for corrections. We're at the point now were either a verbal distraction "ah!" or "leave it" or a slight tap on the rump with my finger or toe is all it takes to break any negative focus on another dog and return it to me.
There's hope! Last night Gracie was a superstar...we took her and Heidi for a run down our rural country road, which is positively riddled with jerky, untrained, LOOSE dogs :frustrated: Our nextdoor neighbour's lab, who I sincerely think could be a biter, broke through his electric fence when he saw Gracie and came charging at us, hackles up and barking...a quick "leave it" from me settled her into a state where she was reasonably relaxed and totally prepared to let me deal with the other dog...five years ago she would have been straining at the leash, lunging and snarling. We met another jerky lab further down the road, and this time Gracie didn't even look at her, just kept pace with me and kept her ears on me (she rarely "watches", will on command if I ask, but always keep her awareness on me that way).
May 30th, 2009, 02:48 PM
First off everyone is right. Stop beating yourself up about this. Did you not say that the hook broke? Chances are it would have broken whether you were holding it or she was tied to the railing. My lab snapped her leash once when we were walking, actually like you, it was the metal hook that broke. They sure can pull when they want to. I think you'll do fine in the long run so long as you never forget what she is capable of. My older dog is the same. I can't trust her around other dogs, but so long as I am aware of her potential I can control her environment and surroundings. That is our job. Same story for us, she was attacked and has not been good with other dogs since. So just stay the course LML. Relax a bit because she feels your stress and that will just make it worse. Now buy a nice new "strong" leash and try to enjoy Lady again. Give yourself a break okay.
May 30th, 2009, 04:30 PM
Things have been well since.. I took her out today and when she pooped I turned around to head home, and there were 2 loose dogs, a shepard mix and a husky, I was terrified they would come closer.. She got perky, I gave on shh she looked and me and that was it. Then later I was out side with the kids in the front yard again with my little dog, and what charges in the yard? My neighbors St. B and Golden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK DOG I did not have her outside!
These 2 dogs of my neighbors are NEVER out of their yard!! EVER!!!! I have NEVER seen them for a walk or out anywhere, and today when I caught them you cannot lead them. Same story last summer when the Saint got out, I got a leash and put it on her, and you cannot control her with a leash, there is NO leash training.. It is sad.. They do go in the house, and the back yard but that is it..