Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Just about got me!!

lezzpezz
November 1st, 2004, 02:51 PM
I was at a new clients' home to try to walk her pit bull, Stella. I have only walked her once and that was 3 weeks ago, prior to my surgery. I had no difficulty getting her out of the cage on the first visit, and we had a lovely walk. The owner has been very concerned about how the dog will react to me as a stranger, and I just thought she was a worried 'mother' and a bit over zealous. The second time I visited to take Stella out, she came out of the cage and seemed happy, but would pull away from me as I approached her with her collar and leash and halti. I did not push this, but let her re-enter her cage and locked her in. I left a note explaining that Stella was uncomfortable with this and I left. The owner agreed that I did the right thing by not pushing her. She emails me with copious notes and hints on how to approach the dog and what treats to try to use to gain her trust.

Well, after today, I now know why she has been so concerned. The dog tried to attack me! Thank goodness there was a cage door between us! She refused to come out of the cage, so I used the salami the owner had left for me to try to entice her. No go. After trying for several minutes, I gave up and I could see that the dog was not at all amused. When I went to shut the cage door, she went ballistic. I just about soiled myself! I could not even get near the cage a second time to close the bottom latch. When I went back toward the room, Stella just let out the worst threatening growl I had ever heard. I hope that she doesn't hurt herself in the cage door.

I left a note saying that this arrangement is not working out. Just wanted to share my story about my experience today. I was not harmed but I could tell that the dog was not going to befriend me in any way. I know that the background of this dog is sketchy, and that she was abandoned with major injuries and that the owner worked for the emerg vet clinic where she adopted her. But I also know that the owner does not apparently trust this dog with others, so must be aware of her temperment. I consider myself very lucky and still agree that not all pit bulls are bad. This one was just putting her foot down with me very LOUDLY!

mastifflover
November 1st, 2004, 03:00 PM
That is not a good story glad you are okay. But this is a dog who is not what I would say is an ideal candidate for a dog walker especially with the poor things background. These dogs that are abused and abandonded have big trust issues. The dog is probably just starting to bond with the new owner and someone strange coming in is very scary. What do dogs do when scared either of 2 things run away or bite.

Mysts38
November 1st, 2004, 03:30 PM
OK I honestly would have carped my pants right there and then..good god you must have been terrified.THANK GOD for that piece of metal between you and the dog..and glad it turned out OK

GsdDiamond
November 1st, 2004, 03:43 PM
I'm glad you're ok! It could have turned out horribly for you and the dog if the dog had attacked.

What I want to know is: If this woman knew there were some kind of issues with this dog, why is she hiring dog walkers? I mean, if my dog were nasty enough to require warning and salami to bribe it, I don't think I'd ask a stranger to come in when I wasn't home. That's just waiting for an accident to happen. Then people would all yell that it was the dog's fault. Meanwhile it was the owner who knew what the possible outcome could be and did nothing to deter it.

sammiec
November 1st, 2004, 03:45 PM
Please let the owner know about this situation. This kind of behaviour can be brought on by pain or illness. Has she had the dog checked recently?? Does she react this way with her owner?? That is VERY scary!! I wouldn't want to walk that dog either. What a shame! I hope that someone can help her!

sammiec
November 1st, 2004, 03:45 PM
I'm glad you're ok! It could have turned out horribly for you and the dog if the dog had attacked.

What I want to know is: If this woman knew there were some kind of issues with this dog, why is she hiring dog walkers? I mean, if my dog were nasty enough to require warning and salami to bribe it, I don't think I'd ask a stranger to come in when I wasn't home. That's just waiting for an accident to happen. Then people would all yell that it was the dog's fault. Meanwhile it was the owner who knew what the possible outcome could be and did nothing to deter it.

VERY good point GSD!!

lezzpezz
November 1st, 2004, 04:34 PM
Yes, I left the owner a detailed note and phone message. I expect her call shortly when she gets home from work. She was planning on having me return tonight at 6 p.m., as she is having a local dog professional behaviouralist/trainer in to work with the dog, and he has requested that all people involved with this dog be present. I had no idea that this dog needed "work", so apparently there are issues that she did not tell me about! This fellow, John Wade, writes for the local paper doling out advice to dog owners and makes big bucks with his "no force" training methods. I am not a big fan as I have seen him in action and it sure looked like force to me! I wish him the best of luck with Stella. I am outta there! My husband said he forbids me to return to this client! Guess he loves me!! :love: :love:

GsdDiamond
November 1st, 2004, 04:37 PM
I'm glad you're outta there! It's much safer for you in the long run. You'll find other clients, I'm sure of it! :thumbs up

Lucky Rescue
November 1st, 2004, 08:09 PM
Glad you're o.k.! There is something wrong with this dog - either genetic or caused by no socializing living-in-a-crate problem.

Pit bulls should greet total strangers like long-lost friends.:(

Sheriffmom
November 1st, 2004, 11:17 PM
I just saw a show about the rescue of almost 100 Pitbulls from a fighting ring. The dogs seemed okay with all the rescuers, until they were put into their crates. One of the rescuers commented it was like the "ready" command (ready, set,go) for them. As they were accustomed to going into a fighting ring shortly after being crated. So when in the crate they began to go into fight mode with their adrenallin pumping. ( :sad: ) If Stella possibly has a history of fighting, could the crate be what is setting her off?

Lucky Rescue
November 2nd, 2004, 01:41 AM
So when in the crate they began to go into fight mode with their adrenallin pumping

This should be against other DOGS only and not towards people. Even fighting dogs should not be aggressive to humans, unless they have been severely abused and even then it's unusal. Pit bulls, even in the heat of a fight, should not turn on their handlers and traditionally never did.

Scumbag dogfighters would even sew up their dog's injuries without benefit of any anesthetic and even then the dog would not as much as growl.

lezzpezz
November 2nd, 2004, 06:50 AM
I spoke with the owners last night and they were totally mortified, suprised and deeply sorry about this incident. I said no harm no fowl and that I am not mad at them and not to worry BUTTTT......I instructed them to tell this to the dog behaviouralist immediately when he got there and warned them to be wary of the dog around any new strangers. I suggested that they either come home at lunch time to walk their dog, as she is used to them or get in someone who the dog is already comfortable with, and do not put an unsuspecting hired dog walker at risk. They totally agreed. We agreed that it appeared to be a case fear biting at it's finest!
The owner stated that Stella was picked up by animal care when found wandering the streets with a broken leg. That is the extent of their knowledge of her history. They have had her less than a year.
I am going to follow up with what the professional had to say and make sure that Stella is going to be okay.