Rescue Lab, 2.3 yr. old, Male, Fixed.
Growels/Barks, hair stands up, braced, intense stare at PEOPLE. Anyone that walks by when outdoors, on leash or off, in truck, Basically anyone, anywhere, anytime.
To me, it appears as pure aggression. I am fairly certain this dog would bite given the opportunity. With me, he's a big baby,,, but is scary towards others. I've only had him a month now, but before I get too attached, I need to make a decision here.
From Rescue- Surrendered, destructive, digs, crated 70% of time, plays well with other dogs, recommend adoption by adults only, (etc.)
They said he was a "sweet gentle dog", very eager to please, calm and well mannered.
When I left they handed me a file, after getting home I noticed a couple of issues that they "forgot" to mention.
Bit previous owners 11 yr. old kid,
Vet called Animal Control after dog bit client's kid in parking lot.
Now, I live in a tourist community. Some of these vacationers are stupid enough to think they have freedom to the whole neighborhood and may occasionally walk through / try to pet other people's dogs, etc. (I said they're tourist,, not smart!)
I enjoy a dog that can be trusted off leash and around other people (people friendly?) but, I'm thinking this may never be (reliably)possible with this dog.
My common sense is telling me to make this potential disaster / law suit "go away",,,, My inner feeling say keep working with him.
If this was you in this mess,,, what would you do?
Call a trainer/behaviourist to evaluate him in person.
I agree with kaytris. You need to consult a trainer or behaviorist. Barking and growling at people is one thing but biting is another. I am actually very surprised that any rescue would re-home a biter. When there are thousands of good natured dogs in rescues that need homes it makes you wonder.This dog can never be trusted off leash and because of his history of aggression (biting) should NOT be around strange people.I enjoy a dog that can be trusted off leash and around other people (people friendly?) but, I'm thinking this may never be (reliably)possible with this dog.I would think about using a muzzle for him. That way people should avoid him and that alone should give you a piece of mind. You may not like the idea of using one but you have to face the facts...a dog with a history of biting is a liability. Therefore you should do the responsible thing. In this case, until you consult a professional in person, I think muzzling him when you take him out for walks is necessary.Now, I live in a tourist community. Some of these vacationers are stupid enough to think they have freedom to the whole neighborhood and may occasionally walk through / try to pet other people's dogs, etc. (I said they're tourist,, not smart!)
Contact that rescue - see what they have to say. I volunteer for a rescue, and we cannot place dogs that have previously bitten a person. Unfortunately, that is too much of a legal responsibility. It is also complicated with dogs that are "dog aggressive" as they could hurt a person while aggressive with other dogs. I am very surprised how this rescue works, because we strive to tell the new owner EVERYTHING we know about the dog, and we give them a chance to meet the dog as many times as they want to, before making a decision. It is very hard on a dog to be bumped from place to place.
<br /><br />Zlata & Chocolata
I agree with Chocolata. We would never have taken a dog into the rescue that had a history of biting. Unfortunately, this dog may never be trustworthy.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
While this sounds really cruel and it used to break my heart, I look at is as there are so many dogs out there that need to be rescued and would choose not to bite. Unfortunately, we can't save them all (foster homes limited, etc.) and so we cannot save those ones.Originally Posted by Dani
<br /><br />Zlata & Chocolata
I'm not happy with any of this to be honest.
Even with a good trainer,,, or anything I can think of, trust in the future will never be 100%.
Rescue says they will take him back anytime. Their "story" is that so many people exaggerate why they want to get rid of a dog, they go more by how they act at the rescue. They say he never showed any aggression while there. Workers walked him, bathed him, and none of them saw reason for concern. When I was there, neither did I.
My saying,"always shows aggression towards other people" wasn't exactly true. More truthful would be when out he always seems to show aggression at least once. Not at everyone, more like always at someone sooner or later (and sometimes way more frequently than other times). Sorry for being misleading there.
I'm convinced there is a "trigger", but for the life of me I can't figure it out.
I've ruled out skin / clothing / hair color, age, height, sex, dress / clothing, and it's not if people speak or ignore, walk by / wait for our passing / or reaching for him either. I just can't find the "trigger" to what is happening.
Partial "trigger" is if I'm with him. If left alone in the yard, the wife or kids take him for a walk on leash they say he's never shown what they've seen him do with me.
This lead me to think that perhaps I was triggering this action with some body language, but, with him out on the chain and me inside out of sight and still seeing this action I have to rule that out too.
The only thing I can think of is that he thinks he's protecting me (from what I can't imagine). He's also grown very protective of the truck he rides in almost to the same extent.
Strange part is, I've left the house, arranged with people I know to go to the house while I'm not there and go knock on the door, With him out on the chain (fully accessible to intercept at the back door), and with him inside the house. Reports are he'll bark 1-2 times and that's it. If outside he'll again bark 1-2 times, run up with tail wagging and be friendly with others. The dog has never seen most of these folks before so they are unknowns. (Yes, the people were well aware of the history and it was their choice - they are also experienced which may make a difference?)
So, it seems like he is only aggressive when I'm around. But why only sometimes and with what appears to be randomly selected people?
Also, If I'm out with the wife and have her hold the leash, everything is fine as long as I'm within sight. If I go around the corner he'll either (literally) drag her to where he can at least see me or choke himself really badly trying.
So, I say it's (because of) me, but how and why? and what to do about it?
Speaking with the trainer at the rescue, the trainer seems to feel it's "me" too. He seems to think it may pass in time. I'm not too sure, nor do I feel comfortable about it.
Sorry for being so long winded, but my original appears way too brief to have given a good idea of the actual situation and in hind sight seemed misleading.
I completely understand why you don't feel comfortable. However, you now have this dog and it is up to you which road you choose. When adopting a rescue dog, no matter what the issue is, you are getting a package. You need to make the call and decide, if you want to give him a chance. I don't know much about aggression and similar issues. Nevertheless, my opinion is that you have once adopted him, and I think he deserves a chance. If you get a professional help (I would also talk to the rescue and see if they would cover a behaviorist - many times they get good prices etc.) and it still does not work out, then you could consider another solution.
We had a rescue girl that had been given up by her owner approx. after a month since adopting her from a shelter. After a few months, they started calling us wanting her back. Saying we miss her and all of that. We could not give her back.... because these people never even gave her a chance and just let her go when things get tough. Rescue dogs make great pets, but they need time, training and patience to adjust.
<br /><br />Zlata & Chocolata
Yup, that's why I'm fighting with myself.
If my crysal ball was still working, it would be so much easier.
Dog is attatched,,, and I am fast becoming that way.
The longer it is allowed the more it becomes an affair of the heart instead of the smart.
I am sorry but not only is this stupid but it is HIGHLY irresponsible on the rescue organisations part. If the dog in question has a history of aggression and has bitten in past he should NOT be treated by "how he acts at the rescue". I am not saying he should be put to sleep but what I am saying is that the rescue is in denial. You cannot treat a dog that has bitten as a regular dog and I find it downright unbelievable that they would place such a dog with a family. Dogs with aggression issues CAN be managed and worked with but they are not suitable as family pets.Their "story" is that so many people exaggerate why they want to get rid of a dog, they go more by how they act at the rescue. They say he never showed any aggression while there.Not likely. You won't ever see truly protective behavior from a Lab. They simply don't have it in them. The behavior you describe is probably a mix of fear and territorial aggression.The only thing I can think of is that he thinks he's protecting me (from what I can't imagine). He's also grown very protective of the truck he rides in almost to the same extent.Can I ask why you have the dog on a chain? this really won't help with his issues and actually might further aggravate his stress leading potentially to more aggression.With him out on the chain (fully accessible to intercept at the back door), and with him inside the house. Reports are he'll bark 1-2 times and that's it.
Two more questions; do you know the circumstances when he bit the 11 year old kid? what happened?
And have you/would you consider contacting a trainer or behaviorist? in your case I think it is necessary.
In the mean time I would NOT chain this dog up. I think if I remember correctly from your previous posts that you use an e-collar? don't use it for now. It won't help with his issues.