I'm a hot mess.
|Barked: Sun Nov 25, '12 8:16am PST |
|Hello everyone, this is the list of professionals I am currently planning to contact:
Ali of Great Comapions
A lot of specific info about these two for consultations here:
Dr. Bergman (http://www.keystoneveterinarybehavior.com/site/view/188071_Appointm ents.pml)
Unfortuantely we do live mroe than 30 minutes from Villanova, but we'll see...
Dr Reisner (http://www.reisnervetbehavior.com/services/veterinary-behavior-clin ic/behavior-consulting.php)
I am uncertain about contacting Dr. Overall as the main site I can find attached to her name is focused on research for herding type dogs; I cannot find any information about her currently doing private training/evaluations. I'm also having trouble finding contact information/general information about Jolanta Benal, as opposed to finding a lot of articles written by her. If anyone can provide those, that would be great.
I am a bit worried about the descriptions of the veterinary behaviorists consultations. Its difficult to have faith that someone can view a dog for two hours, and from that provide me with instructions to work with Atlas myself. I will still be contacting them.
Brandi- Thank you for those links, unfortunately their website doesn't provide any information about hiring them for private training, and access to their forums is paid membership only. In the Contact Us section, they emphasize that it is a self-help site for paying members, so I am unsure how to pursue them for private training/see where they are located. Also, don't worry about before, I know you were just defending yourself.
Some small updates and some more specifics about his behavior. Yesterday, Atlas found his way into a trash can and almost swallowed a turkey bone. Fortunately, he didn't. My older brother was walking to the stairs of the basement and heard the shuffling of the trash and assumed immediately what was happening. He gave a shout and started down the stairs, and Atlas came to the bottom of the stairs and started growling- guarding the basement. My older brother called to my parents and as Atlas headed up the stairs, my dad ran down, grabbed his jaw and immediately shoved his arm down it, grabbing the bone from his throat. Usually, we only put food in the kitchen trashcan, which has a lid, but my older brother was eating downstairs and I suppose he wasn't thinking. I am glad no one got hurt. I suppose, its difficult to attack when someone's hand and arm are already shoved inside your mouth. But this is a perfect example of never say never say never and why I need to be able to muzzle him in the interim of getting professional help here, especially in case he needs to be run to the vet's.
In other news, I feel as though Atlas' behavior has changed slightly the past several days- not positively or negatively, but there's something there I will try as best as I can to put in words. There is a certain stillness, I would say since Thanksgiving. He stopped coming to my room to get on the bed, he started sleeping in his bed downstairs, last Wednesday night. It was a little odd, since he had been so persistent about wanting to be on my bed up until then. On Thanksgiving, there was the incident where he bit my brother outside of his usual triggers, so at first I thought I must be projecting, or I must be responding differently. But I have been consistent, I feel (as objectively as I can claim), in being sure not to act differently/anxious/cold/etc towards the dog, even since when I was personally attacked. But I feel as though there is a subtle tension, he seems less likely to respond when I greet him, less tail wagging, and he seems to be staring more, at everyone. Its difficult to describe or even see, just a subtle difference somehow in the line of his back or...I don't know how to explain it, like a change in the atmosphere that I may not be able to pinpoint but where I know that he is uncomfortable. The only thing I can compare it to, to try and offer more clarity, is the the subtle tension that is sometimes between two people who aren't entirely comfortable with one another even though all the social pleasantries are in place. That subtle difference that most people might not notice, hidden somewhere in tension and body language. I think I will begin filming him on my phone, the only camera I have available. If anyone would be interested, I will link to any video footage. Maybe it is all in my head, or maybe the household's behavior and body language have changed and are influencing him, even though I don't feel they have.
I inquired with my older brother yesterday about the incident that happened on Thanksgiving- although I was there and I saw it, I witnessed it from behind my older bother, so I could see the dog's body and face clearly but not my brother's, which I felt was important. I asked him if he made eye contact with Atlas before the bite took place, even briefly, as this is something that has always occurred that I've spotted when he's tried to nip someone in the past. Unfortunately, he did not (unfortunate for trying to establish patterns, that is)- his head was ducked down so that Atlas could lick the top of his head (he's bald), which Atlas did, and he only lifted his head when he pulled up and away when Atlas started snapping.
Some answers for Sequoyah:
His biting on the Dunbar scale I would say is between a two and a three, from when he got my arm. The punctures were not deep, it was mostly severe bruising.
For warnings, if we are talking about growling, teeth baring, etc. sometimes there are, sometimes there are none. Any incident where his aggression has been severe, there has been none. When we were at the vet and he was nervous, he growled with sufficient warning before trying to snap (he was muzzled). At home, when it comes to cat food there is no warning, straight from nose in the dish to jumping for your throat. The incident on T-day with my older brother, no warning.
Escalation- there has been a slow increase in escalation since he was a puppy, beginning with food aggression towards his owners and our other dog, aggression to his owners when trying to move him (warning growls, snap), aggression towards other dogs at all times, growing to aggression towards strangers outside of the house. The recent severe aggression towards members of the household was abrupt, like something turned up the voltage and it has stayed up. He has always been very 'mouthy' in a way that has been described as controlling, from what I have read. He targets anyone in our home. Out of the five people that live here, everyone has been bitten. I feel as though he learns new behaviors very quickly.
Before coming to dogster, when googling for aggressive dogs, I came across the following list of common dog aggression signs/steps in escalation; I have put an X next to all the signs Atlas has ever shown as of this time:
Becoming very still and rigid
Guttural bark that sounds threatening (only to strangers) X
Lunging forward or charging at the person with no contact X
Mouthing, as though to move or control the person, without applying significant pressure X
“Muzzle punch” (the dog literally punches the person with her nose) X
Showing teeth X
Snarl (a combination of growling and showing teeth) X
Quick nip that leaves no mark X
Quick bite that tears the skin X
Bite with enough pressure to cause a bruise X
Bite that causes puncture wounds (not deep) X
Repeated bites in rapid succession X
Bite and shake
He almost always aims for the face.
Regarding being "shocked" by his aggression towards other dogs given his breed- I am not and never have been. As I have mentioned previously, I have owned this breed before.
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