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Old 09-26-2012, 09:26 AM   #61
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Re: Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

Just saw your more recent post. I think if you want to keep working with her, and she seems to be coming around, that is great.
I would not "correct" her when she shows nervousness-- to me that means saying "no!" or giving a tug on the leash, or some other negative response. Instead, remove her from the situation. If she is getting nervous, teach her to walk away. When she starts getting the squirrelly, "I'm stuck and I don't like this!" look, just say, "Rover, over this way," and guide her away from the kids. Your kids are probably old enough to notice when their behavior is affecting the dog, too, and you can guide their more boisterous behaviors away from the dog as well. If she doesn't come away when you encourage her, then you can lead her to a quiet space. I would make sure she has a comfy bed or snuggly spot away from all the action, where the kids are not allowed to go. Encourage the dog to go there when you sense she's getting overwhelmed.
Feel free to pm me! I am not a professional, but I have many years experience with all kinds of dogs, and worked for a few years at a vet clinic. HTH!!

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Old 09-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #62
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Re: Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

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IMO, I would work with this dog for some time. I think growling exists for a reason, its a warning. I don't train it out of dogs as I think warnings are vital to living with one another. I do, however, focus on building up and encouraging insecure and timid dogs. The "stiffening" you mention. Correcting, bossing and dominating a fearful, insecure dog is both foolish and ill-advised IMO. She already would rather crawl and hide at times so Lording over her just makes her more insecure and afraid and unstable. We would be doing a lot of the "no free lunch program" here. "Kujo, its time to eat. Sit. Good girl, great job. What a good dog". "Kujo, time to go outside. Sit. Way to go,wahoo! Awesome." Simple instruction given that's easy to follow and rewarded with praise and doing something she loves like a walk, treat, play, outside, dinner, etc..." Showing the scared-y dog that she is smart and good and capable of doing all kinds of good things. You are reinforcing your position as the head of the household as a side bonus, but most importantly, you are giving your insecure dog the knowledge that she is capable and successful. You are marking good behaviors and expectations for behavior in various situations. You are teaching her good things to do, not just correcting the bad things. Know how that's important to your children, so it is to your dog. GL!
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:20 PM   #63
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UPDATE!!

So, things have been going well with Tess...until tonight . She has been much better with the kids, doesn't growl, though she still backs away from them sometimes. She growled and barked at my dad when he came over. The trainer had told me we will address her stranger aggression later.

So, tonight we had connect group at our house. There were 3 couples and their kids. We put the dog in her kennel. She seemed perfectly fine. She wasn't growling, just laying in there as usual. I didn't see what happened, but apparently one of the kids got too close to the kennel and she barked and growled at her, scaring the girl. I went up to the kennel to say something to Tess and if she had not been kenneled, I'm sure she would have bit me. She snapped toward me with her teeth showing and everything. I'm so shook up about it.

In hindsight, we should have put her in a closed room (which I suggested to DH but he didn't). But, I just can't help but think that Tess is just broken and needs an owner that can deal with her problems. I'm going to call the trainer tomorrow and see what she suggests.

Right before I came here to post my update, I checked facebook and the first status on my feed was someone whose son was bit by the neighbors dog tonight. Maybe it's a sign.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #64
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Re: UPDATE post 63!...Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

you have been working very hard with her and the situation. I think you should not feel guilty if she needs to be re-homed. It's not like you are saying oh I just don't want to deal with this stress...you have been actively trying to correct the behavior. A fearful dog needs a lot of training to become more trusting and maybe kids are something that are always going to stress her. It is not your fault, do what is best for you and your family!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:13 AM   #65
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Re: UPDATE post 63!...Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

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you have been working very hard with her and the situation. I think you should not feel guilty if she needs to be re-homed. It's not like you are saying oh I just don't want to deal with this stress...you have been actively trying to correct the behavior. A fearful dog needs a lot of training to become more trusting and maybe kids are something that are always going to stress her. It is not your fault, do what is best for you and your family!
I 100% agree. There are very few times that I would suggest rehoming a dog (we've fostered, trained etc) BUT it sounds like she isn't a good fit for your home. If you had teens I would say to keep working because some dogs take a LONG time (our newest was a YEAR) to come around BUT given the age of your kids I think she needs a different home. I would however NOT take her back to the SPCA - she is going to be labelled an aggressive dog and will likely be put down. I would look for a private rescue that can find an adult home for her.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #66
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Re: UPDATE post 63!...Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

It sounds like you've worked hard with her, and she has come a long way. But even if you keep on with her, it also sounds like she's not ever (not for a long time and lots and lots more work) going to be okay or trustworthy around people outside your family, especially other kids.
Personally, I know DH and I would never take that chance. We love our dog, but we're not willing to put anyone at risk just to have him here.

Do NOT feel guilty. You have obviously worked very hard with this dog. It is NOT your fault that she is acting this way and has these tendencies. I bet if you had gotten her as an 8wk pup she would be a beautiful and wonderful family dog.

As I've said before, I put ALL the blame for her aggression on the SPCA that took her in and placed her in that foster home. There is NO way possible that a home with 20 dogs can be giving them all the attention and human interaction the dogs need to get socialized well. Those dogs are all being set up for failure - placed in an environment that brings out pack behaviour and aggression, and then expected to magically be wonderful family dogs - it's not going to happen for some of them. And it's not the owners' fault, and it's certainly not the dogs' fault (not that you're blaming her) - they are potentially ruining these dogs (I assume) to prevent having to put them down.
I feel so sorry for those dogs and pups.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #67
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Re: UPDATE post 63!...Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

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I would however NOT take her back to the SPCA - she is going to be labelled an aggressive dog and will likely be put down. I would look for a private rescue that can find an adult home for her.

That poor dog would be put down by them, and they would blame you for it... when it's their own fault, their own bad choices that have (likely) caused her behaviour in the first place.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:38 AM   #68
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The adoption contract requires us to return her to the SPCA. They have a bunch of puppies available, so I'm going to see if they'll let us have one. I'll have to talk to a different person, though. I sure hope they don't put her down. She has such great potential.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #69
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I checked the contract and it says that I have to notify them before re-homing her, etc. I'm going to ask my brother if he wants her. He had to put his beloved lab down because of tumors. He has a live-in gf but no kids and no kids in the future, so they would be a good fit for Tess.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #70
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Re: UPDATE post 63!...Advice please! Adopted dog is aggressive toward kids

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Originally Posted by emerino View Post
UPDATE!!

So, things have been going well with Tess...until tonight . She has been much better with the kids, doesn't growl, though she still backs away from them sometimes. She growled and barked at my dad when he came over. The trainer had told me we will address her stranger aggression later.

So, tonight we had connect group at our house. There were 3 couples and their kids. We put the dog in her kennel. She seemed perfectly fine. She wasn't growling, just laying in there as usual. I didn't see what happened, but apparently one of the kids got too close to the kennel and she barked and growled at her, scaring the girl. I went up to the kennel to say something to Tess and if she had not been kenneled, I'm sure she would have bit me. She snapped toward me with her teeth showing and everything. I'm so shook up about it.

In hindsight, we should have put her in a closed room (which I suggested to DH but he didn't). But, I just can't help but think that Tess is just broken and needs an owner that can deal with her problems. I'm going to call the trainer tomorrow and see what she suggests.

Right before I came here to post my update, I checked facebook and the first status on my feed was someone whose son was bit by the neighbors dog tonight. Maybe it's a sign.

Yea....... if she hasn't shown more progress with it in this amount of time I would definitely rehome her. You can't be on tip toes around her for the next 6 months to see if she gets over this. Kids can only handle being cautious enough for this kind of dog for short periods of time. It really sounds like the dog shouldn't be in your home
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