GO!

HELP WITH NEWLY RESUCED LAB WITH HISTORY OF 1 SEVERE BITE

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Member Since
12/15/2012
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 10:09am PST 
WE RESCUED A 3YR OLD LAB FROM CRAIGSLIST THAT WE WERE TOLD HAD BITTEN A CHILD IN HIS HOME AND WAS SURRENDERED TO THIER VET. THE OWNERS DID NOT WANT THE DOG EUTHANIZED AND INSTEAD, THE VET GAVE THE DOG TO A CLIENT WHO HAD A LOST HER 16YR OLD LAB THIS PAST SPRING WHO THE VET KNEW HAD GOOD INSTINCTS AND GREAT TRAINING SKILLS. IT IS THIS PERSON WHO POSTED THE AD ON CRAIGSLIST BECAUSE SHE HAD TO MOVE IN WITH HER MOM, WHO LIVES IN AN ADULT COMMUNITY AND BIG DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED. WE WERE TOLD THAT THE FAMILY THAT SURRENDERED WYAT, WAS REPEATEDLY TOLD TO ALTER HIM AND GO FOR TRAINING WHEN THEY FIRST GOT HIM FROM FRIENDS OF THEIRS. WHEN I CONTACTED THE VET, I WAS TOLD HE BIT THEIR 16MO OLD CHILD WHO NEEDED 100 STITCHES. (WHY WAS THIS DOG STILL ALIVE? RAN THROUGH MY HEAD) THE VET SAID THAT NEITHER OWNER COULD TELL HIM HOW THE BITE HAPPENED, WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES WERE BUT THEY DID NOT WANT HIM EUTHANIZED BUT ALSO DID NOT WANT HIM BACK. THE BITE OCCURRED SEPT 19 AND WE HAVE HAD HIM 4 WEEKS. THE FIRST NIGHT WE GOT HIM, WHICH WAS A GRUELING DAY FOR HIM, WHILE HE WAS IN HIS KENNEL, OUR CAT CAME TO THE DOORWAY, HI JUMPED AT HIM WHILE IN THE KENNEL WHICH WAS NORMAL, AND I WAS TELLING HIM TO SIT, WANTING TO GET HIS ATTENTION AND POINTING AT THE FLOOR WHEN HE LUNGED AT ME. NOTHING HAPPENED AND HE THEN SAT. 2 WEEKS AGO, MY HUSBAND WAS REACHING THROUGH THE TOP OF THE CAGE TO PET HIM GOODNIGHT AND HE GROWLED, SNAPPED AT HIS HAND AND HE WAS FAST ENOUGH TO GET HIS HAND OUT. NOTHING HAPPENED. IT WAS THESE 2 INCIDENTS THAT CAUSED ME TO CALL HIS PREVIOUS VET. BOTH TIMES HE WAS RIGID, NO TAIL MOVEMENT AND HIS EYES WERE FIXED AND FOCUSES. UNTIL HE 'SNAPPED' OUT OF THIS TRANCE, WE BOTH FELT VERY UNEASY AND AT TIMES HE DISPLAYS THIS BEHAVIOUR THOUGH WE TALK HIM OUT OF IT AND HE IS HAPPY AGAIN. WE ARE AN OLDER COUPLE, MY HUSBAND IS RETIRED, AND WE LIVE IN THE COUNTRY WITH ACRES OF LAND TO PLAY WITH HIM. HE IS OFF LEASH, LISTENS QUICKLY TO COMMANDS, VERY BALL FOCUSED LIKE ALL LABS, AND ABOUT 90 LBS. A BIG DOG. HOW DO WE HELP HIM THROUGH THIS DIFFERENT BEHAVIOR SO HE IS CONSISTENTLY A HAPPY, TAIL WAGGING DOG? THE VET SAID HE MADE THE DECISION TO REHOME HIM TO THIS WOMAN BECAUSE HE ALWAYS FELT BEING UNNEUTERED MADE HIM WAY TO TESTOSTERONE AGGRESIVE AND TRAINING WAS NEEDED. HE ALSO FELT THAT THE COUPLE WAS KEEPING THE EVENTS OF THE BITE FROM HIM AND DID NOT WANT TO TELL HIM WHAT WAS HAPPENENING WHEN HE BIT THE BABY. THE WOMAN WHO WE GOT HIM FROM DID AN AMAZING JOB IN THE FEW WEEKS SHE HAD HIM AND ALL THE REPTITIVE TRAINING HAS BEEN DONE AND HE IS SO RESPONSIVE AND QUICK TO OBEY WITH ONLY MINOR REMINDERS. BECAUSE WE HAVE A CLOSED ENVIRONMENT WE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT HIS INTERACTION WITH OTHERS AND WHEN WE HAVE COMPANY, THERE IS NO PROBLEM INTRODUCING HIM TO NEW PEOPLE. BUT, WE TOLD THE VET WE WOULD CLOSELY WATCH HIS BEHAVIOR AND THAT THIS IS HIS LAST HOME; FOR GOOD OR BAD. PLEASE GIVE US INPUT...FOR EVERYONE'S SAKE.
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 11:29am PST 
Can you please repost this without the screaming caps! It is very difficult to read & I have no idea what you are asking?
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 1:08pm PST 
I agree, the capital letters are extremely distracting. I had to read it three times, and it would be best to avoid that in the future.

What I think you're saying is that your new dog lunged at you after acting predatory toward your cat, and snapped at your husband when your husband stuck his fingers into the crate.

For the cat situation, I would recommend that for now you have him restrained (in his crate or on a leash) when he's in the same room with the cat. Then reward him with really good treats, like pieces of meat or cheese, when he turns his head away from the cat or shows any relaxed body language (sitting, lying down, etc) If he shows any behavior you don't like, such as jumping, lunging, or vocalizing, sit still, breathe slowly, look away from him, and ignore him. Don't look at him, touch him, or talk to him. As soon as he looks away or does any behavior you like, reward him. Don't give more than one "sit" or "quiet" command in a row- you are trying to train default behavior, and chanting "sitsitsitsit" doesn't teach him much. It's best to start at a distance where he can control himself around the cat, and slowly get closer. If you feel like he's too worked up to calm himself down, remove him from the room, give him a timeout, and try again later from further away. I recommend doing this every day, and not letting him be unrestrained until he seems completely trustworthy around the cat on leash.

As far as the snapping in the cage, I would recommend that you avoid doing it for now. But you can also countercondition him- reach toward the crate (but don't actually touch it) and throw in a really good treat with the other hand. You could do 10 reps every night for a week, then start moving your hand a little closer and do the same thing. This teaches him that good things happen when people reach toward his crate. I suspect you will find other areas of tension, and you can do the same thing. For example, having collar taken on and off, collar grabs, etc.
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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 1:11pm PST 
My eyes!


They burn!
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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 3:03pm PST 
1) Vet check. There is a possibility this could be more than just behavioral. Make sure you get a CBC, thyroid test (through hemopet if possible) and a SNAP.

2) Find a behaviorist. This sounds like a dog with some serious issues. Also sounds like a very stressed dog. That is really the only advice anyone on an online forum should be giving you. This dog has bit once with a pretty severe lack of bite inhibition and is snapping now. There are just too many questions that need to be asked and too many possible scenarios to work though and a wrong move could prove dangerous.

If you need help looking for a behaviorist, I would suggest the a CBC (http://iaabc.org/)

or a CAAB (http://www.certifiedanimalbehaviorist.com/).
[notify]
Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 3:40pm PST 
Veterinarians are not educated on animal behavior. This dog needs to be assessed by a certified behaviorist before it is allowed to have contact with ANYONE.

Please do not allow it off leash for any reason and keep it away from any guests that visit your home. If he bites someone you introduce him to after you knew full well what he was capable of, you could be sued for literally everything you own - and rightfully so. You would be 100% liable because you were well aware of his history and chose to assume the liability anyway.

A dog, especially one of that size, that has inflicted such severe injuries on a human being is an incredible danger to both you and all of the general public. I'm sure you understand full well it's no small miracle that the baby he attack wasn't killed. There is no way a 16 month old baby could have done anything to "deserve" that level of attack from a dog, and injuries of that extent will without a doubt leave it scarred for life. At 16 months old a baby can hardly walk, much less do anything other than perhaps fall on the dog. At that scenario a snip and retreat would be one thing, but to rip open a child, had to be repeatedly, is horrifying. I don't like your implication that the parents were "hiding" something the baby did to the dog, as if there could possibly be a reason the dog was justified in doing what he did. The fact that you are an older couple with a serious lack of understanding as to the sheer magnitude of the danger here is incredibly concerning.

At 90lbs and having inflicted such heinous injuries in the past please don't doubt for a second that he could not only do the same to you but possibly even take it a step further.


This is *not* just an issue of having him neutered. Intact dogs co-exist in families everywhere and would never do such a thing under any circumstances. Neutering will not fix him.

You need professional help immediately.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 4:50pm PST 
Folks, there are giant disclaimers all over dogster saying that you are getting advice from non professionals who are not responsible for your safety. Please don't criticize those of us who give answers- they are based on 'what would I do if I didn't have access to a professional and had to deal with the situation myself.'
[notify]
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 5:24pm PST 
At the present, I have to agree with Trigger. I don't think you are grasping how extremely dangerous this dog is and will continue to be until you get some idea thru a professional, of what is causing this and how to help deal with it.
I have worked professionally with all kinds of dogs my whole adult life and there is no way, no how this dog would EVER be off leash outside or be allowed to meet my guests. Without having any idea what his triggers are, you are setting yourself up for a serious lawsuit or even worse. How are you going to feel if he actually kills someone, which is entirely possible!
I also agree that neutering is no magic bullet. Thousands of dogs live peacefully within families without being neutered and without biting anyone ever. I have always had a number of unneutered dogs and they were taken thru training classes by young children and they adored these children. I am shocked that any vet would even suggest his issues are a result of not being neutered.
Please, get him medically evaluated and tested and find a certified veterinary behaviorist ASAP. Until then, NO off leash and no meeting your guests.
[notify]
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 5:41pm PST 
I have a very hard time understanding the sequence, but I am getting weird "Rage Syndrome" hairs raising on the back of my neck. It's hard to TELL because I can't quite thread the story with how it is being reported. It sounds to me a little as if OP may be in over their head and that this possibly is a rage syndrome dog. I agree, very odd comment by the vet. Not sure why the second owner wouldn't have contacted her vet and returned him, rather than rehoming to someone else in her community, via Craigslist? shrug I have an uneasy feeling about this.

Edited by author Sat Dec 15, '12 5:44pm PST

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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 15, '12 6:02pm PST 
Tiller...I have seen TWO epileptic labs who had rage rather than classic seizures. But, BOTH these situations in the op's home seemed to have precipitating issues. The rage I saw came out of nowhere with no warning, much as a seizure would.
You are right...I don't think it's going to turn out well.
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