Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)
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Thread: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

  1. #1
    Mia&Buddy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    This morning my husband opened our screen door enough to lean over and grab his shoes that were just outside the door. In that moment, Mia ran past him and then ran out to the the sidewalk and attacked "the beagles", the two that she hates upon sight. It was totally unprovoked. She injured one, there are two puncture marks and a tear. The dog is in surgery, but will be ok once she's stitched up.

    We've had Mia for three years, and she is a doll at home. But this aggression towards other dogs has just been getting worse and worse, and today is what I had feared most. Can she be rehabilitated? I don't understand this behavior. We have worked so hard with her, but despite our best efforts, she has gotten progressively worse toward other dogs.

    She is about 5 or 6 years old, and is believed to be a sheltie/australian cattle dog mix.

    I'm just so upset right now. I am under a lot of stress in my life and I really don't need this on top of everything else.

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    Can her personality be changed to love all other dogs? No.
    Can you train her and give her enough self-control to ignore other dogs and possibly tolerate their presence? Yes, with a lot of commitment and work on your part.

    Call a trainer or behaviourist and start brushing up on her obedience right away... dogs shouldn't be bolting out the door, regardless of their intent.

  4. #3
    Cinder4evr is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    I think it's recommended that you go back to basics with each "slip up". So starting with door training again, waiting for permission etc. And maybe it's time for her to be walked with muzzle for a while. I think that it may be she needs more exposure to other dogs in very controlled circumstances (always on lead and possibly with a muzzle) where she learns to ignore them.

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    mollyrock's Avatar
    mollyrock is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    I think Snicksmom is having some success finally, with a new trainer dealing with Snicks agression towards other dogs..you might get some good tips and ideas on what to look for in a trainer and what type of training would be most effective.. try PMing her....


  7. #5
    Mia&Buddy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    Thanks everyone. I'm trying hard to calm down.

    I am calling the behaviorist tomorrow. Luckily, because she came from a certain rescue, (FOCAS - friends of the county aminal shelter) we have lifetime access to their trainers. We have been using the shielding technique on walks with varying success (some days are better than others) but even with that, the aggressive barking has gotten worse not better. In a controlled environment such as our house or in class, her behavior is perfect. But out on walks, it is 50/50 at best.

    The wierd thing was after my husband got ahold of her he put he down on the ground and was saying "bad dog" (I'm sure it's not the ideal way to handle it but it was a pretty tense situation), she looked like she was in another place. You could tell that there was no connection between her and him at all. Her eyes were wild and she looked as though she would gladly go right back at the beagles given the opportunity.

    For now we won't be leaving our front door open anymore. She really liked sitting in the entry looking out and barking at every dog that walked by. I believe that she has gotten quite territorial and that her aggression is related to that. My husband walks the same route every day with the dogs, so I think that in her mind, their route is her territory as well. So for now, no more walks for her. We'll see what else the behaviorist has to suggest after that.

  8. #6
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    Oh Katherine! :'( I'm so sorry!

    I think you might be onto something about looking out the door and barking making it worse. That sounds like a good plan, while you try to contact a trainer.

    I'm sure she can be helped, or at least managed. It's just figuring out how.

    Just so sorry it happened. I can imagine how you must be feeling. So stressful.

    Take care of yourself!


    Connie and "The Boys":
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    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  9. #7
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    QUOTE: I'm sure she can be helped, or at least managed. It's just figuring out how.

    Recently someone else posted a plea for help on an aggressive Lab that had been rescued from a bad situation.

    I responded to that with a long post citing references on the IFFY dangers of working with that dog.* Not to say it was impossible but -- given the early experience -- it would be very difficult and suggesting she get a consult from a topnotch animal behaviorist like Dr. Patricia MCConnell.

    The person posing the original plea for suggestions chose to delete the entire thread because she did not want any flak to fall on the agency that gave her the Lab.

    I VERY MUCH DISAGREE WITH HER DECISION.* I THINK THAT KNOWLEDGE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE "CRITICAL PERIODS"* IN A DOG'S EARLY LIFE IS TOO LITTLE KNOWN BY BOTH BUYERS AND BREEDERS.

    Hopefully, my response here will not be similarly deleted.

    Many animals have periods of high sensitivity to experiences early in their developmental process and which, having been experienced, are almost impossible to reverse.

    Konrad Lorenz and Nikolas Tinbergen both won Noble Prizes in biology for their seminal work in identifying and examining this process.

    Some species of ducks identify their species mating partners based on exposure to any moving object during the first 24 hours of existence.* Other species are almost a year old before that toggle switch is thrown.

    The field of Psychology was the main scientific investigartor of learning.* For many years, under the influence of Thorndike, Pavlov, Watson, Hull & Spence, and Skinner, this field thought that learning/training was supreme and ignored developmental factors.

    BUT the work of Lorenz, Tinbergen (and another few, e.g., Eckhard Hess) demonstrated that it was NOT just the # of reinforced trials practiced but also WHEN that experience took place.

    They determined that* MANY species have a CRITICAL PERIOD (aka sensitive period) during which experiences gained then will have a HUGE affect -- often irreversible -- on later behavior.

    Scott & Fuller did 20+ years of longitudinal studies on 5 breeds of dogs (their* many research papers were summarized in their book, "Genetics and the Social Behavior of Dogs").* Still in print, VERY worthwhile reading.* IMO, THE MOST VALUABLE book ever written -- or ever WILL be written -- on dogs.

    They very carefully deterimined that dogs had Critical Periods for socialization. The first of these is with other dogs and puppies and lasts up to about 8 weeks.

    (I had a first Lab that we got at 5 weeks age and she NEVER played with other dogs,)

    They also say that the time to produce a close relationship with people reaches its peak between 6 and 8 weeks age,

    When dogs have NOT have had good social relationships with people by the time they're 16 - 20 weeks old, they may NEVER be able to form them.

    Some dogs -- without the positive human socialization -- may be unpredictably aggressive to adults or kids.

    Some dogs -- without the positive experience of socializing with other dogs -- may be unpredictably aggressive with them.

    MORAL:* NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY EXPERIENCES






    *
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  10. #8
    Mia&Buddy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    Bob, I would *never* delete one of your posts. They are always well thought out and provide a lot of insight.*

    I agree with everything that you said. Thanks for taking the time to post.




  11. #9
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    Thank you, for your affirmation.

    I suggest first of all e-maiing Dr. Patricia McConnell's website to see if they have some recommended protocol for dealing with such a problem.

    I really like her background as well as what she says.* Very reality grounded in the latest scientific principles of Ethology, Comparative Psychology, and psychology's Learning Theory.

    If I had a similar problem as you, she'd be the person to whom I'd first turn.

    BUT since I haven't had problems or contacted her, I've had no experience with her quality of service/response.

    If you DO contact her, I'd appreciate any feedback on your experience with her.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  12. #10
    mitziandjudysmom's Avatar
    mitziandjudysmom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Rescue peeps, everyone...I really need some advice (NLR)

    They also say that the time to produce a close relationship with an owner is between 6 and 8 weeks age,
    Does this mean that the recommended adoption time of 8 weeks is too late for optimum owner/puppy bonding?

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