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Old 09-22-2012, 11:32 PM   #27
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Re: Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

Originally Posted by emerino View Post
She gets stiff when they are near her (within 6 feet), no matter where we are inside the house. Her tail would be all the way under her belly. She doesn't like crossing their path. She cowers. It's not when she is chewing a bone or anything. She could just be standing in a room and they are walking in the room. There is not a mat near her crate. The crate is about two feet from the edge of the living room area rug where she spends her time lounging.

Like I said, she did well today. However, she did bark and growl at DS once. She was sitting between the ottoman and the couch. DS walked up to the opposite side of the ottoman and plopped his arms down on the leather ottoman, making noise, which apparently startled Tess so she let out a bark and growled at him. Other than that, she was more comfortable than ever with everyone.

It seems there are some of you who say don't keep her, some say work with her. Today I felt hopeful until DS startled her. He's not rowdy, but he is a boy and has a less-than-stellar attention span, so he cannot be trusted to always be aware of the dog, nor do I feel like we should have to walk on eggshells. I may just have to keep the kids and Tess completely separated until we make a decision. I would die if someone got bit when we have these warning signs.

I really don't understand how the SPCA girl said she has never even growled (they have had her since she was 3 weeks old) but she has growled every day since we got her

Again, I appreciate all of you
Was she being kept at the shelter at the SPCA or with a foster family? There is a huge difference for a dog between living with other dogs and socializing with one or two adults who are used to handling dogs and living full time with a family. It is impossible for an SPCA worker to judge a dog's personality based on how she acts at a shelter. Being raised at a shelter is very unnatural and can cause some lasting issues in dogs of a certain temperament.

I think it is true part of what you are seeing is an adjustment period, but you are also seeing some of this dog's natural temperament. Yes giving her a place that is just her own will help, but if she is just poorly socialized and timid that will take work to fix. There are dogs that are just not a good fit for life in a family with children because they are too high strung.
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