U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Dogs
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-15-2010, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Arizona
214 posts, read 872,779 times
Reputation: 192

Advertisements

I am fostering a lab/chow mix from the pound who has fear aggression issues towards people and animals. I can tell from her behavior she was probably a street dog, and wasn't treated very well...hence her behavior. It took her about a week to trust me, and now that she does she is the sweetest and most loyal girl, but I HAVE to overcome her aggression towards people, otherwise she will never be adoptable. I am at a loss on how to begin, or what steps to take with her to accomplish this. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Essentially I'm her last hope, and I don't want to fail her.

Some things I have noticed:

- She is more aggressive in my house "her territory" than when she is out of her element outside it.
- She is still intact. We are planning to get her fixed here this week or next....do you think this would curb some of the aggressive behavior by chance, and mellow her out?

Any helpful tips or advice would be very appreciated.

Thank you!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-15-2010, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Phelan
205 posts, read 595,694 times
Reputation: 162
Wow, well thank you for rescuing a soul in need.

First about the breeds; labs are typically friendly out going job focused dogs. They are not typically aggressive, but can be protective. Chows can be and are known to be aggressive dogs. Intelligent and loyal as well. They can be very wary of strangers and very protective of its territory.

The dog will need some time to get socialized. Walking her in neutral areas, working her on manners while on leash. You own everything when it comes to her. No free feeding, you control the toys, give them and take them.

I would suggest a group class, but only after she is spayed - and you may need a soft muzzle. And a thought on spaying; in females I've found that what made them submissive and soft (estrogen) once removed well..... I've had more problems with altered females being aggressive (the testosterone has no estrogen to off set its aggressiveness) fighting and biting than unaltered males.

best of luck.. sometimes its just time they need.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-15-2010, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,245,548 times
Reputation: 4867
I agree with Freesiia. I also do not envy your situation as you are a foster and need to get this dog ready for another home. Herein lies the problem.

As Freesiia said, this dog needs time. She's been under a lot of stress and has learned that the only way to survive is by not trusting strangers. However, the fact that she trusts you bodes very well for her: she is capable of loving and trusting the person who is caring for her. I really think that you should emphasize this when the time comes to place her; this is not a dog that will ever be able to go to someone who doesn't know a lot about dogs or have a lot of patience with them. And, fortunately, it is the person who is not going to be put off by her behavior that you want to adopt her.

Continue to work with her but don't stress too much. Love and patience go a long way and you have already gotten her to the point where she can trust a human, which is exactly how you should continue.

And I also do not think that spaying is going to make that much of a diff. This pup is the way that she is b/c of how she's been treated, not her hormones. I would definitely not rush to spay her as it is a stressful procedure and you do not want to give her anymore reason to be fearful and untrusting of humans. I would try to wait until she is in a really good place emotionally.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-15-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Arizona
214 posts, read 872,779 times
Reputation: 192
Thank you both for your input, I really appreciate it. I have been trying to take her on walks where I know people are out walking, riding bikes etc. Small steps first. She tries to avoid them and either hangs back or tries to go on the other side of me when we pass them. The only time I have found (thus far) when she turns to a more aggressive stance is when someone new comes into my house. She has clearly established the area I have her in as "hers". Though I can "own it" when its is just the two of us, when someone new comes in, she blocks me out and I have a hard time correcting her at that point. Patience is key!

Thanks again
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-16-2010, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Phelan
205 posts, read 595,694 times
Reputation: 162
Time and patience will win her over.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-16-2010, 07:24 AM
 
386 posts, read 1,122,078 times
Reputation: 312
When the new person comes into the house, is your dog on the leash or loose? Until she gets used to strangers coming into the house, put her on the leash so you can control any unwanted behavior quickly. I find my dogs tend to ignore me if they are off leash.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-16-2010, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Phelan
205 posts, read 595,694 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmwlakewylie View Post
When the new person comes into the house, is your dog on the leash or loose? Until she gets used to strangers coming into the house, put her on the leash so you can control any unwanted behavior quickly. I find my dogs tend to ignore me if they are off leash.
This is a good suggestion. Still territorial issues will likely cause a scene. With her it may be wise to do initial introductions to potential adopters in a neutral location. Be certain to explain why and if they like her, arrange another visit at your house or theirs.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-31-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
6 posts, read 7,994 times
Reputation: 14
Everyone, although trying to help, is missing the BIG picture. Below are a few of the issues I will address. I have been working with dogs with "issues" for 17 years. Although I cannot tell you everything to do, I can suggest a few things that WILL make a difference. If you can contact me, I will help you with your dog.
1. Chows can be and are known to be aggressive dogs. sometimes its just time they need. CHOWS ARE NOT AN AGGRESSIVE BREED...THEY ARE A DOMINANT BREED. I SEE MORE AGGRESSIVE YORKIES THAN CHOWS, PITS, GSD
2. This pup is the way that she is b/c of how she's been treated, not her hormones. I would definitely not rush to spay her as it is a stressful procedure and you do not want to give her anymore reason to be fearful and untrusting of humans. I would try to wait until she is in a really good place emotionally. HOW LONG WILL THAT TAKE? IF YOU CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE DOING, THE DOG WILL CHANGE.....IMMEDIATELY. HORMONES CAN PLAY A ROLE, BUT SPAYING WILL NOT GET RID OF AGGRESSION IN AND OF ITSELF. I WOULD SPAY ASAP JUST BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT ANYMORE DOGS LIKE THIS. THERE ARE PLENTY IN THE SHELTERS. SPAYING HER WILL NOT GIVE HER ANOTHER REASON TO FEAR HUMANS. DOGS DO NOT THINK LIKE THAT. IT WILL NOT STRESS HER ANY MORE. WHAT IS STRESSING THE DOG IS THE FACT THAT SHE IS "IN CHARGE". SHE IS THE PACK LEADER BECAUSE THE HUMAN IS NOT. HOW DO YOU BECOME YOUR DOG'S PACK LEADER? GIVE YOUR DOG WHAT THE DOG NEEDS. "LEADERSHIP, WALKS, RULES, GOOD NUTRITION (C)"
3. Time and patience will win her over IF YOU DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING, THE DOG WILL NOT CHANGE
4. put her on the leash so you can control any unwanted behavior quickly THE OWNER NEEDS TO KNOW HOW TO CONTROL/CORRECT THE BEHAVIOR OR THE DOG WILL REPEAT THE BEHAVIOR. HUMANS TEND TO TELL THE DOG THAT IT IS "OK" WHEN HE GROWLS. IT IS NOT OK. THE DOG NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED AT THE MOMENT THE UNWANTED BEHAVIOR OCCURS.

I appreciate everyone trying to help all the dogs we can. we are all on the same team. You need to Walk, Rest, then Feed your dog twice a day. walk her using a gentle leader, and do not look at, or talk to your dog while walking. Walking before feeding represents a hunt with the Pack leader leading the way. never let the dog in front. remember when the dog does meet someone new, she needs to SMELL, SEE, HEAR. Do not Look at or Talk to the dog. Talk to the human that is meeting you. We are always here to help anyone with any dog.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Kenmore, WA
7,359 posts, read 6,214,097 times
Reputation: 10577
Whether spaying her will help is mute, spay her anyway. That's a given.

As for her socialization, take her on lots of walks around people. When she starts demonstrating fear:

Hold her lead close to her neck, to maintain control.
Try to get her to sit if she will, but regardless, continue these steps:
Stop and crouch low to be next to her; face the fear with her by her side.
Speaking in soothing tones, tell her "It's okay, it only _____. Nothing to fear."
Repeat this every time she growls, or tries to break free.
Stay silent when she's quiet.
Continue until she can sit quietly and watch the action with you.
Reward her with her favorite treat and lots of praise.

Stand and walk further.
Try to repeat this at least two or three times during a walk, and then go home.
Let her have quiet time with a favorite toy afterward.

Try to do this more frequently over time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 08:28 AM
 
1,420 posts, read 4,447,256 times
Reputation: 1880
Having tried to desensitize a fear aggressive dog (yes, she "went for" people who came into my house), I can say that this is a big deal and not something you should deal with through a message board. And some of the advice you received her scares me.

1. Spay the dog - definitely absolutely, NOW. Because as ADW said above, this dog should under no circumstances have a chance to reproduce.
2. Engage a behaviorist who uses non-aversive methods, make sure you have recommendations and references. DO NOT USE SOMEONE WHO USES PUNISHMENT.
3. DO NOT CODDLE THE DOG WHEN SHE GROWLS. Absolutely not. That reinforces that she was right in showing fear and aggression.
4. When someone comes into your house, if the dog is reactive with fear, lunging and growling, then you need to make sure that does not happen. You're going to have to start with distance desensitization and it's a difficult and lengthy process. And it affects your life significantly because basically, you can't have people in your house and allow your dog to get into that state. It makes the dog worse. It's way too much to explain online. You need help. This will not go away with time without your doing something.

And this can very likely be genetic, not just due to "someone being mean to her in the past." Some fear aggressive dogs cannot be rehabilitated, which is heartbreaking, but true.

I hope you seek help and that your dog responds. Good luck to you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Dogs
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top