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Behavior & Training > When the vet tells you your dog is too dangerous to live...
Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 17, '10 6:07am PST 
My concern is twofold for my parents.

1) The liability of owning a known "dangerous dog". They could lose their homeowner's insurance or be sued. Especially since Harvey looks pretty sweet...kids come up to him all the time and say "can we pet the dog" and we immediately say "sorry, he's not a nice doggy". What happens if ever DOES slip his lead, make a bolt for the door, or simply go off when we have a friend/relative over (which has happened, luckily no one has sued my parents yet).

2) The amount of training and vigilence required long term for a dog such as Harvey or Asher. Unfortunately, while my parents have seen multiple trainers (he's actually really well trained -- we used clicker training, and he's very quick to respond) and behaviorists (this is where the issue lies), my parents are not able to be with Harvey 24/7 and more than likely would not be willing to, as one poster was explaining go to the trainer 2x a week for years after the initial behavioral consultation. That's probably why any behavior modification previously attempted has been ineffective.

That line in the sand, Asher? For my family probably isn't the "number" of bites per day/week/month, but instead who he bites and when. You see, his biting was mostly avoided lately because we are aware of the circumstances of when he does become aggressive and deliberately attempted to avoid them, however, he has NEVER bitten my mother before, and that escalation is what has become most concerning.
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» There has since been 37 posts. Last posting by Uno, Feb 19 2:58 pm

Behavior & Training > When the vet tells you your dog is too dangerous to live...
Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 16, '10 12:37pm PST 
No, I'm not a minor...I'm nearly 30. I don't live with my parents, but I live close by and I did live with them for about a year with Harvey.

Harvey was a rescue, he came to my parents when he was a year old, and we know very little about his background. I suspect he was abused because his aggression generally does focus on men and young teenagers. He also runs like lighting if you pick up a broom in his presence.

Asher -- it's usually removing the thing that causes the reaction. For example, he doesn't sleep in the bedroom anymore because he bit my father every time he tried to get into bed. My mother would have to distract the dog and call him away.
We are aware of the signs, but maybe they're too subtle in Harv, because it's very rare to see that in him before he goes off. Another thing is he bites, trying to rip your hand off (bites down and shakes) or he'll go for the back of the leg when you're walking away (that's rarer but he's bit my brother like that twice as well as someone from work).
He had a full panel and thyroid test done. The vet says he's in excellent health, and my brother (who DOES live with my folks) runs him every other day.

Typical Harv bite (this has mostly been eliminated since he no longer is allowed in the bedroom)
1) Someone (Dad, brother, me once) goes upstairs to the bedroom where mom is sleeping. Harv can be sleeping as well or sometimes is not. You cross the threshold, and the dog launches at you from across the room, grabbing for your hand. No growl or warning.
2) Food is dropped. In the kitchen, on the floor. The dog is usually 2-3 feet away, but will go for your hand if your try to pick it up. It's also happened in similar circumstances with a pen and a sock once (I think because he thought it was food). My brother sean was bitten when GIVING the dog a treat once, as was a friend of mine who is very, very dog saavy. She didn't even see it coming. He took several from her hand, and the next one he tried to rip her hand off.
3)Sitting on the couch, petting the dog who had come up to me. Dog suddenly stiffens, I stop petting him. Hands are now off the dog. Dog turns around and grabs for my hand. I was able to dodge him until he calmed down.
4) Stranger bites go like this. Stranger is "on territory" Harvey will chase them off, but often times also grabs clothing or legs at same time.

He's bitten about 50 times in those senarios. Mostly my dad and brothers, I've been bitten twice, my mother once.

My concern is this. His aggression may be "signalled" -- although we're not seeing it, but immediately after (I'm talking seconds after) he's back to normal. He will cause my father to bleed (he draws blood every time) and then go up to him to be petted after he's done.

I'd take him, but my apartment building won't allow animals with a history of violence, and Harv has been reported to the county twice.

I'm going to be the one who has to take Harv to the vet if it comes to that. Hopefully the new behaviorist will be able to help. However, keep in mind, that my parents are in their late 50s, early 60s, and are used to well- behaved, calm dogs (see that childhood dog thread), and may not be really able to live a life of vigilence due to a dog.
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» There has since been 51 posts. Last posting by Uno, Feb 19 2:58 pm


Behavior & Training > When the vet tells you your dog is too dangerous to live...

Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 16, '10 11:46am PST 
We've been working with Harvey's aggression issues since we got him (almost 3 years now). We've seen trainers and behaviorists who offered us several solutions. We've removed the triggers we can (such as his sleeping in the bedroom), but lately his issues have been escalating. He's bit strangers, including someone at my work as well as a home-care nurse who was coming to help my father. He has bit everyone in the family -- on different triggers. Some food related (god help you if you try to pick something off the floor), some territorial (you're in my space), and some just random (he was enjoying a back scratch until he wasn't!). He bit my mother a week ago. My mother is the one who he is devoted to, his aggression is often triggered by his protectiveness of her. He's been attacking the 18 year old cat, which he had never done before as well, biting and chasing him so that the cat has started hiding in the bathtub.

My mother took him to the vet on an unrelated issue (his allergies acting up) and he went after the vet (with a muzzle on). The vet asked about his behavior...and she said, point blank, "you won't ever be able to trust him. You can never have him around children. I think you should consider having him PTS. He's simply too dangerous." This is the same vet who had been instrumental in getting him to a veterinary behaviorist previously. She's been Harv's advocate from day 1 (when my Dad was first bitten and said "He's gone.)

My mother is devastated. Her heart is breaking. She's (at my insistence) calling in one more behaviorist to have him evaluated, just on that hope that he can be helped.

If the vet told you this (kindly, but bluntly) what would you do?
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» There has since been 55 posts. Last posting by Uno, Feb 19 2:58 pm


Behavior & Training > Dogs from our childhood

Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 16, '10 10:58am PST 
We had three great dogs as children.

The first dog, Curly, was given to us by my aunt right before I was born. Her kids were older, and they were playing "football" with that little poodle puppy and broke his leg. Curly was my protector and my first doggy love. He followed me everywhere, apparently. When I was three, my parents went on vacation, and left him at a relatives house (2 blocks away). Curly and was trying to get home when he was hit by a car.

The next dog, Sally, was a dachshund-terrier mix we got at a pet store (why they were selling such a weird mix I have no clue -- it was 1983, long before, the designer dog fad) for $50. She really was god's joke. She was black in front, orange in back, and had a funny little walk where her back would go side to side. She was my companion, and I dressed her up like a doll, carried her around like a baby, and she never did anything but put up with it (and occasionally try to wiggle away). She lived to be 18.

My last "childhood" dog was Teddy. We got her from a reputable breeder of Golden Retrievers when I was 12. She was the best dog we've ever had. Loving, sweet, playful. She would sit outside our front porch and wait for us to come home from school. My younger brother rode her like a pony...and she didn't care. She was so amazing and could be high energy when she wanted and low energy when you did. She was the dog who shamelessly climbed up on the couch for a belly rub, but knew better than to jump on my elderly granparents. When she was 13, she no longer could walk, so we put her in the car to take the most difficult trip of all. She jumped out of the car with more energy than she had had in months and walked right back into the house. She died at home, with us, that night. I still can't talk about her without crying.

I will spend my entire life trying to find a dog as wonderful as Teddy.
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» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by Dahlia, Feb 16 8:17 pm


Golden Retriever > Trying to find a breeder, golden club local website useless

Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 14, '09 12:35pm PST 
I know it's hard. I'm in grad school and doing my internship while looking for a teaching position. The good news is that school has breaks, even if you're on a quarter system and work can schedule you time (it's nice when they give you vacation time). The truth is, you'll need time to settle the puppy in, and if there's not enough time to go pick up a dog for an 8-10 hour car trip, it's going to be tough to even start with a new puppy.

I'm not one who says you have to be at home 24/7 with your dog, because that's crazy, but being able to put quality time in when they're young pays AMAZING divdens. Our last golden, Teddy, was housebroken in 2 weeks (results not typical) because our family divided the work and was able to get her on a schedule really quickly.

The price thing is difficult, and I frankly feel a little uncomfortable about the idea of shipping puppies to begin with, so I understand your plight. However, I worked for a pet insurance company until last week (aaahhh, the joys of unpaid internships shrug ) and the cost involved with a badly bred dog is OBVIOUS and I saw them day in-day out (and insurance can't pay for hereditary or congential conditions). Hip Dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, allergies up the ying-yang, all sorts of weird pre-dispensities that add up in the long run.

I know you'll find the perfect pup even if it takes a while. The AKC breeder thing only shows current litters, perhaps if you ask the breeder referral coordinator, she can put in touch with breeders that have planned litters and talk to you about your concerns:

Rio Grande Valley Golden Retriever Club
Dianne Uzdawinis
(505) 856-6658

You can also look for breed clubs outside of NM: AZ, TX,and CO to see if they can point you towards a breeder who meets your standards. The show stuff...well, it really depends, conformation is not the be all and end all...but those health screens, that's something I wouldn't willingly gamble on.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Harvey, Jun 14 12:35 pm

Choosing the Right Dog > the cutest dog you've ever seen
Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 11, '09 8:04am PST 
Our Golden, Teddy, was DARN cute as a pup, just this little reddish fuzzy butterbally thing. And while we got Harvey as an adult, he's a really PRETTY dog.

Other than my own beasts? My coworker has an aussie named Rocko with a full, long, and fluffy tail. Combined with the different colored eyes and an kind of dumbstruck expression...my god! I'd steal him if I could!
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» There has since been 16 posts. Last posting by The Hounds of Bassetville +3, Jun 18 1:46 pm


Behavior & Training > Share and Share Alike?

Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 10, '09 11:01am PST 
Lace Doiley! Awesome and horrible at the same time. Harv personally prefers trash (we have to trade something to get whatever THING it is back or else there is run and chase or growly not-so-fun times).

It's good, sensible advise. Remove the things that cause conflict, and there will be no conflict (or less, they are dogs after all and life is never boring).

Harv does have to sit for his food, but never for his toys. He's a bit spoiled, I know. We'll have to start putting them up and having him "work" for them (but isn't fetch working? Probably not if he's the one instigating it.)
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Lily, Jun 10 8:28 pm


Golden Retriever > Trying to find a breeder, golden club local website useless

Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 10, '09 10:43am PST 
It's a big one. Don't risk it. You can call and ask to see if they have the OFA's and they neglected to put them up on the website (make sure to check them against the OFA website).

Consider traveling a little outside your area. Try AZ or TX as well.

I don't think cost is a factor if all their ducks are in a row. You want to be wary of dogs that too inexpensive, but $700 may be a fair price for a Golden in your area. However, don't sacrifice quality for cost. It may be better to pay $1200 for a dog now with health guarentees and well-vetted (ha! a pun!) parents, then to have to pay 3-5k for Hip/Elbow Dysplasia surgery down the road.

You have to speak to the breeder directly, and ask all those important questions, read up on their health issues, and ask the breeder about their dogs' health. It may be nice to meet the parents as well. Ask the breeder WHY they breed, and do they show (I don't know if this is important to you, but its a good indication that the dog will be a good example of the breed standard)
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Harvey, Jun 14 12:35 pm


Behavior & Training > Share and Share Alike?

Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 10, '09 10:29am PST 
See, bones we already know are WAAAAY too precious to Harvey. And we would feed them seperately. He's is protective of his food with the cats (why, I have no idea...his people less so). He warns them (growly...might chase them away)


Harvey was a rescue, and can be amazingly loving and sweet, but the consensus in our family is we probably aren't up to getting a rescue again for a long, long while. We were a litle mislead, and since he wasn't properly evaluated by the foster, we had no idea he has reactive issues with a laundry list of things. We've been working on desensitizing, and just plain 'ole avoidance.

I want to be able to provide a good environment for any dog we might bring in, as well as for Harvey. Which means not being blind to the issues, but also looking for workable solutions.

Personally, I believe another dog will be good for Harvey. He really is a very playful beastie, and enjoys playing with his little friends and the cats (he likes to play with them like they're other dogs -- they are less amused). We won't be getting another dog for a little while yet, but I like to be prepared for EVERYTHING!
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» There has since been 4 posts. Last posting by Lily, Jun 10 8:28 pm

Behavior & Training > Share and Share Alike?
Harvey

Mountain Goat in- Training
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 10, '09 8:32am PST 
We're considering getting a second dog to add to our family. It will be a female Golden Retriever puppy (we've had goldens before and their temperment is just right for our family).

The issue, as always is Harvey. He has doggie friends, and likes to play with them, but they don't play with toys, just the run around, wrestling, etc of dogginess.

He has some resource guarding issues and we've learned how to avoid triggering them for the most part. He's not possessive about his toys with PEOPLE (in fact he likes to share them and will distrubute them around the room to everyone equally), but I have no idea how he may react with another dog about the toys.

How do you teach a dog to share? If that's not possible, do any dogsters have recommendations/tips on how to avoid any resource guarding incidents between two dogs?
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» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by Lily, Jun 10 8:28 pm

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