Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Aggression towards people - rescue dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Myyy, Jul 20, 2009.


  1. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    We've adopted a female rottweiler, 3 months ago. She is now almost three years old.

    Originally we were asked if we could take the dog via friends, since we already have two rotties (A 5 year old male and a 4 year old bitch), and some experience with this breed, since no her owner planned to put her down her due to her aggressive behavior, and constant barking and whining when alone, and at night.

    When we got her she was quite aggressive towards my husband, but warmed to me immediately. And after a few hours she and my husband was best friends as well.

    She was obviously mistreated with brown teeth, lice, bad fur and very skinny. We also learned that the previous owner had been abusive towards her, and she was very jumpy, and not socialized.

    When we suddenly met her previous owner while out on a walk she charged at him, barking and growling....

    She went on well with the other two dogs, except from a few initial fights with our other bitch. We made clear this was not accepted, and continuously makes it clear that we do not accept any signs of domination towards the other female. And this has proven successful.

    Now three months later she is beautiful, well behaved, trustful and very cuddly with us... but she gets very fearful of strangers and barks and shows aggression towards visitors. She does not seem to notice that the other dogs are fine with the visitors, and she does not respond well to vocal corrections on this either, its like she is in an unreachable zone.... she might stop for a while but the moment the visitor looks in her direction she will start again.

    We'd like our visitors to be calm with her and let her approach them at her own speed, but they thinks she is barking mad ...and does not exactly want her approaching them. With some dog "people" we have tried going for a walk together, and then letting her approach them afterwards in her own speed and this has proven successful, but how can we get her calm around non-dog "people"? Unfortunately most of our friends and family are not used to dogs...

    Advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
  2. Badger's Mum

    Badger's Mum PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    10,957
    Likes Received:
    325
    Sound's like your doing a good job with her:). sorry i can't help you but i'm shaw some one will
     
  3. Having had the same problem with an eight year old rescue I am hardly the one to give advice, Suffering fear agression initially his boy would go nuts when approached by strangers, We try to tell anyone new who visits the house to completely ignore him, eventually his curiosity gets the better of him and he does investigate the 'person' this problem is restricted the 'men' as in his case the abuser were a male, he is particularly adversee to 'hoodies' and anyon wearing head gear. We give people/ visitors a treat to hold in there hand, not to hold out and tempt/bribe with, but just to hold, he will eventually sniff out te treat and relax, it is best if the visitor can completely ignore until during this introduction, and not to make eye contact. It's been a long slow hard uphill struggle, but we 9/10 it works, you have to learn to read your dogs body language.
    DT
    ps sounds like you are going great by the way!
     
  4. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    163
    Great advice about ignoring and no eye contact. Even a simple glance at a nervous dog could be enough to put them on edge.

    Three months is not very long at all. You could be looking at a year or even more. The thing is not to rush it. Home territory will always be the biggest problem, because it is their den and where they feel safe. The more she gets ignored by humans, the quicker she will learn to trust. If you are in any doubt as to her reaction with people in the house, then put her away whilst you have guests.

    It sounds like you are doing everything really well. Best advice I can give, is look at it as a long term plan. You may have to face it that she may never be ok with people coming up to her.

    Well done for giving this dog a home. I have a rottie at the moment and they are such a lovely breed.

    x :)
     
  5. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for the advices; I haven't tried letting the "strangers" have treats for her, I will incorporate that the next time we try introducing someone to her.
    and the no eye contact thing definitely work, but its not easy to get people to understand that. somehow they think looking at her and talking baby language does it...which probably gets her even more scared and confused :wink5:

    Usually we keep her in her room, or outside in the yard when we have visitors that are insecure and not used to dogs, which works fine. And if we are not able to get her more calm we will continue doing so. I guess it just takes time. Its just such a pleasure having her with us, so we'll adjust to each other :)

    Anyway I've never had a rescue dog before, so its quite new to me, compared to raising them from they are puppies, but I must say its such a joy to see the transformation, and experiencing the trust she now has for us. She's a beautiful dog both inside, and exterior wise, so it would have been awful if she had been put down just because her owner didn't treat her well and know how to raise her to be a secure and stable dog...
     
  6. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    163

    You have done a wonderful thing. I think people are the biggest problem with nervous dogs. They do not understand the "no eye contact" rule.

    If you have guests over, I would get them to sit in the lounge and then bring the dog in. You could maybe just keep her in the room for 10 mins or so and keep repeating it and building up the time. Make absolutely clear that if they look at her or pay her any attention then you will have to remove her. If everybody is sitting down, with little movement i.e not walking around etc, it will put her more at ease. Maybe keep a lead on her, so if she does react negatively you have control. Experienced dog owners are better as they understand.

    Above all, take your time and do it slowly, slowly.

    x
     
  7. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a great idea. Just a few min each time, as not to overwhelm her, and also having people sitting down, and ignoring her. I'll definitely try that out.

    Btw. The joys of your life, are super cute!! :p
     
  8. davehyde

    davehyde Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,103
    Likes Received:
    57
    well donr for rescuing. no advice but i'd like to say fair play to her for having a go at the previous owner.

    she must feel confident enough in your hands to be able to do that.

    i call that progress.
     
  9. dobermummy

    dobermummy Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,761
    Likes Received:
    187
    Sorry no advice, just wanted to say you are a special person to take her on and transform her like you have. :D
     
  10. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Messages:
    4,781
    Likes Received:
    163

    Thank you, they keep me very busy! x
     
  11. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2008
    Messages:
    19,821
    Likes Received:
    388
    Hey there is an article in 'Your Dog' on p59 about dogs with fear of strangers, don;t know it that would be any help to you?


    It starts off the visitor dropping treats on the floor but not looking at the dog, then gradually droppint the treats closer.
    Then the visitor sitting on the floor dropping more treats and eventually taking treats from their hand.

    x
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice