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Travlingman

Jonesborough, TN

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Posted: 10/22/18 10:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our lab of 16 years passed away this past January. The first of August we adopted a roughly 2 year old lab mix from a rescue organazation. We know she was from a divorce couple and neither wanted her. For the first week she was friendly toward meeting new people, usually would go straight to laying on her back with legs up in a submissive position. But after the first week she would start to growl when a person came up. On walks she would be scared of a bird flying from a tree, cows, about everything. The growling at people turned into actual agreession with her trying to bite the vet on her visit.

I took her to a dog trainer/behaviolist and his first statement when he saw her was that she was scared. When he tried to walk her she went after him and I mean for blood. He said that from his obervation that she had never been socialized and showed signs of abuse. He also said that training might aliviate the problem some, but she would always have to be watched as she could never be trusted.

We know from her actions at home that she has been abused. If my wife picks up a shoe she will cower like she is about to be hit. She wouldn't even go into the bathroom at first so we figure that she must have been confined to a small room. With us, she is very loving. Wants to be an 85 pound lap dog. She has never shown agression to me, but has barked at the wife, so we think her abuser was a woman.

The trainer has offered training, but at over $2000 and with him saying he couldn't guarantee, I have a hard time going with that.

I am trying to socialize her to people by taking to Lowes or other stores and letting her walk around but making sure to keep people at a distance.

I have looked at a basket muzzle and wanted to know if anyone has tried these and had good luck? Was thinking maybe with this she could get closer to people, some petting her and show there is nothing to be afraid of.

Has anyone had a dog with fear agression and what did you do? Is it cureable? The only other change since we got her was that we changed the food she was on at rescue, Purina One to Taste of the Wild. Don't think food could cause this.

Taking her back to rescue it not an option for us, as we made a commitment to her and will not give up.


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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 10/22/18 11:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oh great....

Known aggressive dog and you are taking her to Lowes and other stores.
Are you kidding??

First off you are putting others at RISK
This dog does not belong at Lowes, other stores, ANY store...she is NOT a 'Service Dog' nor an emotional support dog

She needs licensed training

And you need to stop exposing PEOPLE to injury/danger who have no clue she is aggressive----until it is too late!

And you need to watch her around your wife very closely.


I applaud your commitment to a rescue dog. All of ours have been rescue dogs.
BUT you really need to rethink what you are doing and how you are going about it.

Professional licensed training.....get it.


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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Walaby

Georgia

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Posted: 10/23/18 04:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

Oh great....

Known aggressive dog and you are taking her to Lowes and other stores.
Are you kidding??

That was my first reaction as well. I get wanting to socialize her, but needs to be done by a professional.

Mike


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dturm

Lake County, IN

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Posted: 10/23/18 04:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Training a dog when they are scared is a difficult/impossible task. That's just not how the brain works. When the fear overloads the brain and body with the chemicals that naturally occur in that condition, learning doesn't occur.

You need to immediately get in touch with a veterinary behaviorist. These situations can usually be dealt with by combining drugs that moderate the brain activity to minimize or lessen the fear response combined with the training. Just training alone, or just medication alone is not the best way forward.

Doug, DVM


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Scottiemom

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Posted: 10/23/18 04:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a dog, a rescue, that we were sure was abused. He was great with us for the first six months, then put me in the ER twice with face bites. I was totally lost. Then my vet suggested an animal behaviorist.

This man was a miracle worker. He explained to me why the dog was doing what it was doing and how to correct it. Forget all the things you "think" will work. Dogs do not have logic. We want to think logically, like exposing them to environments, etc. Dogs have no clue about this. It could be you are exposing him to things that will only make him more fearful.

I think the trainer you went to is not the right fit. My contact told me I could save my dog's life, but it required a commitment from me. . . not the dog and not the trainer. Never once did he say my dog's case was hopeless and it would never work. He did all his consultation over the phone, gathering info about my dog and me and what I was doing, etc. Two sessions totaling $120 was what it cost me to learn how to redirect my dog's behavior. A bargain.

It's been so many years ago, I don't know if that behaviorist is still around. He was a veterinarian who later exclusively did animal behavior.

I know a lot of people don't like Cesar Milan, but a lot of the techniques my guy used were similar and worked just as well as Cesar's and this was years before Milan came on the scene. When my sister was having great difficulty with her one dog, she downloaded episodes that pertained to the behaviors she wanted to change and worked those with her dog. It worked for her.

I would try that first. I truly believe the best solution is for the owners to work with their dog, instead of a stranger. And I wouldn't want anyone beating my dog into submission. Incidentally, my guy asked me if I had hit my dog. I have to confess when he ripped my lip apart, I did hit him. Not hard and only once. The vet said. . . "Well, the next time, he will bite HARDER because in his mind he didn't get his point across." Most fearful dogs do not trust their owner to take care of them, so they become aggressive to compensate.

I would run from the trainer you first contacted. Try some of Cesar's video's. Then ask your vet for recommendations. The right behaviorist is the one who has YOU make the behavior modifications.

I agree with Dr. Doug. While my dog didn't need any meds, it was important to deal with the vet professional. Also, as I am sure, the vet has ruled out any medical problems.


Good luck and thanks for not giving up on your dog.

Dale


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Scottiemom

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Posted: 10/23/18 04:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry, duplicate.

Pawz4me

North Carolina

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Posted: 10/23/18 05:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:



She needs licensed training

Professional licensed training.....get it.


FWIW, there is no such thing as "licensed" training. There are organizations that offer certifications, but the requirements to earn those certifications vary tremendously and are often worth no more than the (relatively small) fee it costs to purchase one. No government agency or truly legitimate group like the ABA or AMA "licenses" dog trainers. Anyone can call themselves a trainer. Hiring a trainer is very much a buyer beware thing, although I would think some vets would be able to recommend a trustworthy trainer or two. Many larger towns and cities may have dog training clubs, and those would be good resources, too.

OP, I agree with Dr. Doug. A stressed brain (canine or human) is not a brain that can learn things. I'd look for a veterinary behaviorist, get her on some medication and then work on training. It may be that she'll need to stay on medication. And IMO that's perfectly okay. Good luck! Your commitment is admirable.

ETA: In the meantime two of the best "won't hurt might help" things you can do are work with her to teach basic obedience commands and tricks and keep regular routines in your daily life--meals at regular times, walks at regular times, etc. The more a dog knows (commands and tricks) and the more she knows what to expect (routines) the more confident she will likely feel. Confidence generally lessens fear aggression. These are small things, but little things can add up.


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discovery4us

California

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Posted: 10/23/18 09:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check with your local SPCA and see if they offer obedience/training classes. Our last two benefited greatly from these programs. Gets them around other dogs and people in a controlled environment.

Our current lab spent the first year of her life alone in a back yard. We brought her home and she was good but constantly scared to the point of anxiety attacks. After a few anxious classes on our part she started to come around.

With our last queensland and with this lab one of the biggest things we have learned is that they need jobs, something to help occupy there time and give them a routine and in a way a purpose. The start of the day she goes out and gets the newspaper and brings it to the chair. On mornings where we are moving slow and she doesn't have a chance to get the paper you can see her getting agitated and anxious. As soon as we let her get the paper she calms right down.

We don't have to do it now but for a few years we had to carry a ball or stuffed toy everywhere we went. If we were out and something or someone spooked her she would get mouthy and it came across as aggression. I don't think she would bite but to help avoid it we would make her carry the ball or toy any time she got her self worked up so her mouth was full. It has become a safety blanket of sorts. Now at 10 years old we just have a ball close by and when she becomes anxious she will find the ball her self. It is almost like she has learned that when she gets that feeling it is her job to get the ball. Having the ball in her mouth also keeps her from barking which is a trait I don't think we will ever break her of and it is the standard deep lab bark that comes across as aggressive and would always escalate emotions of everyone around.

Also if you find your dog likes to play fetch having a ball on hand is a great thing. No one can see a lab with a ball and not want to play fetch with them. The more people play fetch with our lab she becomes focused on the game and gets tired which in turn makes her pay less attention to all the things around her that would trigger the anxiety.

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 10/23/18 10:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pawz4me wrote:

Old-Biscuit wrote:



She needs licensed training

Professional licensed training.....get it.


FWIW, there is no such thing as "licensed" training. There are organizations that offer certifications, but the requirements to earn those certifications vary tremendously and are often worth no more than the (relatively small) fee it costs to purchase one. No government agency or truly legitimate group like the ABA or AMA "licenses" dog trainers. Anyone can call themselves a trainer. Hiring a trainer is very much a buyer beware thing, although I would think some vets would be able to recommend a trustworthy trainer or two. Many larger towns and cities may have dog training clubs, and those would be good resources, too.

OP, I agree with Dr. Doug. A stressed brain (canine or human) is not a brain that can learn things. I'd look for a veterinary behaviorist, get her on some medication and then work on training. It may be that she'll need to stay on medication. And IMO that's perfectly okay. Good luck! Your commitment is admirable.

ETA: In the meantime two of the best "won't hurt might help" things you can do are work with her to teach basic obedience commands and tricks and keep regular routines in your daily life--meals at regular times, walks at regular times, etc. The more a dog knows (commands and tricks) and the more she knows what to expect (routines) the more confident she will likely feel. Confidence generally lessens fear aggression. These are small things, but little things can add up.


Anything beats taking a Fear Aggressive dog out in PUBLIC exposing unsuspecting people to possible injury.

Point is OP needs to get help..organized one on one training ASAP
before someone is hurt...including his WIFE

Big Katuna

Deland, FL

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Posted: 10/23/18 11:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Read more. Try Good Owners, Great Dogs by Brian Kilcommons.
Not long.

Basically; exercise, exercise, exercise. A hundred sits a day. Rewards and gentle praise (don't over do it) for good behavior.

There is dramas around doors. Avoid confrontations or meeting other animals and people near them.

A big, open, new to her space like Lowe's is scary first time for an adjusted dog.

A good obedience trainer may help. Dogs are comfortable being controlled.Heel, sit, heel, sit, stay.

And it takes time and commitment. Our last rescue was a puppy mill mom raised in a back yard in a cage stacked with cages of other dogs, outside.

It took a year to get her where she wouldn't wake up defensively growling and biting if you touched her. She is fine now.

Good luck,, keep us posted.


My Kharma ran over my Dogma.

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