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Old August 19th, 2004, 04:52 PM
Riggs Riggs is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3
Unhappy Please help-aggressive behaviour

Hello All.

I am the proud owner of two dogs. One is a two year old male border collie-Lab cross(Riggs) and the other is a one year old female Sheppard-lab-border collie mix (Rosie).

Anyway, my problem is about Riggs.
We got Riggs when he was about 8 months old. He is a very smart and was very friendly. The worst thing he would do is lick you to death. One day, when my husband and I weren't home, one of my daughter's so-called friends, let Riggs out of the yard. Some of the kids in the neighborhood, that my daughter has had problems with, cornered him and wer hitting, kicking and throwing things at him. While he didn't seem to suffer any lasting physical injury, gradually other problems started to show up. Riggs now barks and growls at any strangers who come to my door and at people he doesn't know. He even bit someone when my husband took him for a walk. It wasn't serious, than God, but still. I can't bring people into my house without muzzling him (which I hate as much as he does). Even with his muzzle on, he will still lunge at them. Just once, a lunge and a snap and then it is over. I have tried introducing Them to him by giving him treats and petting and praising him (with his muzzle on), but this has been hit and miss at best. Riggs is still a beautiful dog around people he knows, but I am paranoid aout something bad happening in the wrong situation. Please help.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 05:49 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,287
This is not something that anyone can advise you about on the net.

I strongly suggest you contact a behaviorist who can come to your home and see the dog and his body language and actions in person and evaluate this dog. He/she will know if this is fear aggression or not, and help you to work with it.

With proper management, dogs can overcome even the kind of abuse yours has suffered, but you need professional guidance to resolve this.

You are right to be paranoid about this. With the prevalent mentality today, just one bite could put you in serious trouble and your dog could be siezed and killed.

If you don't know where to find a behaviorist, give us your location and we can help you.

Good luck!
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Old August 19th, 2004, 06:25 PM
Riggs Riggs is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3
where I live

Thank you for answering me LuckyRescue. I live in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. I wold appreciate any and all advice/help that you can give. Both of my dogs are my "babies". I need to believe that this problem has a solution. This situation was not of his making, he IS a wonderful, loving animal. How can kids be so cruel? The gentleman that Riggs bit was INCREDIBLY understanding about the whole situation. (Thank God!) I have now put bycicle chain combination locks around both my gates so that no one can let the dogs out of the yard except myself or my husband and that never happens without Rosie's halti and Riggs's (shudder) muzzle. I hate that thing, but, for now it is necessary.

Last edited by Riggs; August 19th, 2004 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Addition to message
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Old August 19th, 2004, 08:54 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,287
Since you are in BC, I really suggest you post asking for HELP on the following BC rescue board. They are a wealth of information and I"m sure they can direct you to a behaviorist OR a trainer who deals with aggression issues.
BC Rescue board

In the meantime, here's a bunch of very good links on aggression you might want to look at.

I hope you can resolve this, and I think you probably can, since your dog's aggression is situational and NOT genetic or a temperament problem!! He probably needs to be desensitized to strangers again.

Wearing the muzzle is not good, since if your dog ever bites again, the muzzle is proof that you knew he was dangerous.

Hope you can get the help you need. Please let us know!
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Old August 19th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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Luba Luba is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 7,303
I replied and my post went POOF

Just wanted to know what happened to the little buggers that did this to your dog??
Cats only have nine lives because they stole them from dogs!Teehee
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Old August 21st, 2004, 11:52 AM
Riggs Riggs is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3

When the police got the whole story, they went back to all the parents with it. (These were twelve and thirteen year olds.) A couple of the parents just basically shrugged their shoulders and basically said "Oh well". The majority of them were given some form of punishment (loss of privileges etc.). My favorite, though, was the one lady who made her son volunteer at the local SPCA for a month. The son came and apologised to us after he was finished and still volunteers, on his own now.
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Old August 21st, 2004, 01:44 PM
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glasslass glasslass is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Calif.
Posts: 4,684
I had wondered about that too. Thanks for the update. I think this is proof that training can work wonders . . . for pets and for kids! Glad that one boy got turned around!
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