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foster lab, again, sorry. growling and snapping.

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jet90, Aug 23, 2013.


  1. Jet90

    Jet90 PetForums Member

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    Hiya again.

    I feel like all i am doing is encountering one issue after another atm!

    I know its v early days (foster pooch been here since sun), but a few things are concerning me.

    I made a post about her growling, lunging and snapping at the cats, & being very strong on the lead. This is especially the case where other dogs are concerned. When i took her to the vet she lunged and snapped at the air between growling at another dog in her sight.


    The night before last i got the long-handled broom out to sweep the kitchen and her reaction was quite shocking -screamed, dropped to the floor, crawled into the far corner whimpering & cowering. Needless to say i putbthe broom away, ignored her until she approached me and was calm.

    Last night she was laid on the floor a bit away from me asleep and i stood up slowly, she startled awake growled and lunged at me, snapping. She snapped at hand-height. Worrying, but i can understand this was because she was startled by my movement .

    I popped her in the crate to bed her down for the night about an hour latershe settles absolutely fine in i & reached for her water bowl to rinse it and top it up. She growled and snapped at my hand. She didnt make contact but both times snapping at me i think she would have done had my reactions been slower, especially with the water bowl.



    I've spoken to the lady who runs the rescue and she has suggested that i get a muzzle (she was brought with one but it is too big and she easily hooks her nose out of it) & that i start work on rewards based training with this issue.


    That is basically all the info i have been given, does anyone have any advice please??

    Personally i feel out of my depth with aggression towards people, and that she is so strong worries me also. I feel that the next step shouls be to involve a reputable behaviourist for support in tackling the issue, but obviously that is the rescue's call to make not mine as i have limited power over the situation with her being a foster and not my own.


    Xx
     
  2. Jet90

    Jet90 PetForums Member

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    Unable to load the edit option..... Just wanted to add -she is muzzle trained, i am able to safely keep the cats separate from her, & with regards to leash walking i have a gentle leader with which she seems to walk much better, although we have only gone up and down the alley and my street while it was quiet as the last thing i want her to do is go over her threshhold.

    Xx
     
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I really am not qualified to advise, but it seems that this poor dog has had a rather damaging past and is expecting to be bashed or hurt by humans :(

    My rescue cowered the first time I picked up the net I use to scoop leaves out of the pond - it's on a long cane. I presume he has been whacked with a stick before. I now make sure that I pick it up slowly and keep it close to my body - reassuring him at the same time. Had him over 18 months now, and he is still not 100% confident, but luckily, he has not shown any sign of aggression.

    It will take some time before this dog is able to trust you enough to know that you are not going to hurt him. Obviously, you need some help in dealing with his issues and I am sure someone, with the relevant knowledge will be along to help and offer advice soon.

    All I would say, is just try not to surprise him and use a kind quiet reassuring voice when you are going to do something, i.e. put your hand close to him.

    I am surprised that you are not getting more, constructive help from the rescue.

    Good luck.

    ETA: Good on you for fostering, but I see from your picture that you have a young son. Maybe, the dog would be better in a home without children? I was reluctant to take on a rescue until my son was 15, because of the unknown background of such dogs.
     
    #3 Lurcherlad, Aug 23, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  4. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    I had pretty much all of these issues with Dex when I rehomed him. And I know it can be very disconcerting.

    Dex used to lunge and growl and bark at ANY dog we encountered, if he himself was on lead. He did the same with anything we saw that seemed 'odd' to him.

    In addition, he constantly air snapped and growled at me. Like you, I developed blinking quick reflexes :D


    To me it sounds as though you have a very tense, nervous girl on your hands. She was visibly scared of the broom and it also sounds as though hand movements trigger something - maybe she's scared of being hit OR scared that you're going to take away a resource e.g. food or toys.

    Working with a good behaviourist is a great idea, as long as it's someone who uses positive methods.

    Meanwhile, just stay calm - easier said than done, I know :) Give your girl space, especially when she's eating or drinking or playing with a toy. Don't try and take anything away from her, rather try and train a 'leave' or 'let go' - food is usually a good reward for typical Labs :)

    With regard to the other dogs - dogs on leads are often tense and your girl is tense anyway. My Lab used to go truly BESERK at the sight of another dog - the only thing which has worked is pairing a 'watch me' for treat, while using a Dogmatic headcollar and double ended lead.

    EDITED TO ADD

    Be prepared for the fact that your dog may react to other 'triggers' when you're out and about. Dex has kicked off at so many things - now he hardly ever does but it's taken time and patience to get him to 'watch me' instead.

    When you walk your girl be aware of people carrying things, folk wearing hats or fluorescent clothing, umbrellas....
     
    #4 Owned By A Yellow Lab, Aug 23, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  5. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Also just to add:

    Dogs are pretty quick and if your girl really wanted to bite you, she probably would have - it may be that although she's lunging etc she is already offering a *bit* of bite inhibition :)

    LURCHERLAD is right in that you need to be very careful if you have a young child. Don't allow your child to get into 'excited' play with your Lab. Always supervise (I'm sure you do anyway:) )
     
  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Owned By A Yellow Lab QUOTE:

    Be prepared for the fact that your dog may react to other 'triggers' when you're out and about. Dex has kicked off at so many things - now he hardly ever does but it's taken time and patience to get him to 'watch me' instead.

    When you walk your girl be aware of people carrying things, folk wearing hats or fluorescent clothing, umbrellas.... UNQUOTE

    TOTALLY agree. Walking through woods one day, some kids came running towards us - no problem - until he spotted one with a stick. He stopped dead and slunk behind me :(

    I made sure I created some space between us and the kids and keep an eye out for that when walking where kids may be playing in public spaces, etc. and appear from nowhere.
     
  7. Jet90

    Jet90 PetForums Member

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    Hiya im just quickly nipping out but wanted to reassure quickly - my son hasnt actually met hwr yet as he has been staying with his nana - i am now extremely reluctant to introduce them after her behaviour, & i do feel that especially with her issues being in a cat and child free home while these are worked thru is better for her, but unfortunately the rescue is being slow in responding to contact so i am having to just take the steps i cam atm with her without making any issues worse for her. Poor babe must be scared - it scared me, so i can inly imagine how she must feel when it is her own behaviour and obviously something has triggered this so she has that fear already there. Xx
     
  8. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Okay so a few things alarm me here?

    Is she your first foster dog?

    Is she your first foster for this rescue?

    Was she in rescue for a time before she came to you or was she in foster, or straight from a home to you?

    I am asking this because I'd be bloody outraged if a a new foster to a new rescue who had a child and cats was given a dog with issue who could possibly bite, if you have no experience in dealing with it?
     
  9. Jet90

    Jet90 PetForums Member

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    Hiya.
    No she isnt my first foster dog, but she is my first for this rescue. she was taken into emergency foster i believe about a week before she came to me, previous foster raised several issues such as her going for their cat and not getting on with their dogs. The lady who runs the rescue however stressed that she believed it was a case of making excuses to get the dog moved, as there was other drama surrounding this fosterer too.

    I have done my best to remain in contact with the rescue and keep her updated on the wooflet's behaviour, but now actually feel that i am being doubted also!
    Extremely upsetting and annoying situation for me to be in, esp as the rescue owner is on holiday with her family atm for a few days (weds til sat) & has made her annoyance at not getting a few days for her family very clear.


    I've been and bought a muzzle today for the dog, and she is currently being sent to her crate (or am trying to do that, anyway. Its hit and miss as she knows sit, but that is basicqlly it!) before i even dare to move atm as i am genuinely of the belief that she will bite me. It is appalling and i did hope that the rescue would be more understanding, rather tham saying to simply muzzle, work on training (what training? How? I know very little about aggression, only resource guarding!), & keep the cats separate. She is also expecting me to keep my son from being at my home it seems, as i have explained to her that with beha iour like this i will not introduce them.

    She is untrained, extremely powerful, & the longer she is here i am realising i am completely out of my depth with it. It was my understanding that those already here need to be the priority, and had faith that the rescue would be more supportive. I dont know if it is my irrational way of looking at it as obviously it is a highly emotional situation for me to be in (add in the preg hormones too and that doesnt help), but i really feel as though the rescue is dismissing every concern i am raising, & i am expected to deal with it on my own with no additional support. I was told to tell her off and be firm with her, and that has been it so far :( really upsetting as i do NOT want to make this any worse for anyone involved, but i have to put my animals (who are at risk), my son (who i darent even let home as he is potentially at risk) and myself (& i feel at risk also) first. I feel this is being frowned upon and dismissed as me not trying to make an effort..... But when i dont have the experience to deal with this confidently, what else can be expected of me?


    Am i wrong? I feel so terrible about this :(
     
  10. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    I don't think your wrong and this is what really concerns me about this. I fostered a lot of dogs myself and it's a hard job at the best of times, but if your not getting the support, and your worried about your son and other dogs and feel unable to deal with this, they will have to take her back, your not letting anyone down at all, and it's best all round, the dog needs someone who is qualified to deal with these kind of issue, that's what is best for the dog in this situation. Even experienced people expect a lot of back up and support in these situation, I'd expect my Rescue to be on hand for support if I had an issue....
     
  11. Jet90

    Jet90 PetForums Member

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    She has just snapped at me again. I just walked past her, she was laid in her crate with the door to it open, not asleep but just relaxing. i walked past calmly and she lunged out of the crate and snapped at me. She just to say touched the side of my hand just above my little finger, there is no mark and there was no pain, just literally made contact. She then pulled back and her hackles went up and she growled. I have locked the crate and nowbhave no isea what to do.


    I dont even feel that i can contact the rescue owner as she is on holiday, already pissed off with me, and in all honesty i am scared!
    She is still in the uk but has made it perfectly clear that she needs these few days break for her family.


    However, it now means i am left with a dog who is snapping at me, at home on my own, & i have no support!!!

    Can anyone suggest what i should do? Am i wrong to contact thw rescue owner despite her being on holiday? Do i wait til she returns tomorrow?? I dont know!!
     
  12. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Your pregnant at home with a strange dog your scared of? I'd be contacting her, does she not have someone who "runs" the rescue when she has her breaks...

    Muzzling the dog is bloody cruel if she expects you to keep the muzzle on, and the stupid woman is putting you at risk asking you to put the muzzle on a dog that's already snapped at you.

    She chose to run a rescue her priority should be the dogs and your safety... Sorry if that's sound harsh but that's the reality I'm afraid...
     
  13. Jet90

    Jet90 PetForums Member

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    Thankyou.

    I explained to her beforehand that any training issues, housetraining, separation anxiety, destructiveness.... All of that i could deal with. I made it perfectly clear that i couldnt deal with dog/cat aggression or human aggression, not so much because of my situation but because i simply do not have the relevent experience, nor do i have the support around me to enable me to gain the knowledge needed, & i am FULLY aware of how much damage the wrong reactions etc can have on the dog in question.

    I am waiting for my phone to get a bit more battery on it and am going to basically tell her that either her or another fosterer (who is animal and child free!) needs to collect this poor pooch, as this situation is scary for me but i know also that itnis ultimately more damaging for her, & that is something that needs to be addressed straight away.

    As far as im aware there is only her and several fosterers, no ome in her place while she takes a break. Far from ideal.


    God, i struggle with assertiveness, & am fearing thw repercussions of doing this, but i just know i am not the best person for this dog, & i dont feel safe arou.d her at all.

    It is a shame as i have also seen her being extremely good and affectionate - she is by no means a snarling biting mess!!! But i am not equipped to deal with this at all. If it was obvious resource guarding i could understand and work with it, but it seems the trigger is si.ply me walking past her, which means i am to stay in one room in my home amd have her crated for both our sakes - what life is that??!!!

    I feel cruel having her confined to the crate (no muzzle on now), but i dont know what the alternative is! Risk getting snapped at again putting her muzzle on??!!

    This is awful. There should surely be more support.
     
  14. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I am so sorry that you have been put in this terrible position. I would certainly ring the woman tomorrow and demand that she come and retrieve the dog.

    When I started looking into rehoming a rescue dog I contacted a local "rescue" who usually rehomes dogs direct from their home to an adopter or fosterer.

    It seemed like a good idea at the time as the dog would not be so stressed as it would not be in a kennel environment. But I soon changed my mind.
    The woman tried to get me to take on 2 totally unsuitable dogs and also even tried to get me and my husband to go to a house and pretend to be
    someone else in order to get a dog away from its owner. She was spinning me all sorts of stories - and I got the distinct impression that she wanted to just rehome dogs without really taking the necessary precautions. Maybe the £100+ rehoming fee was the motivation?

    Needless to say, I backed away from her and went to a conventional rescue, who had assessed their dogs and offered fully support and backup.

    Even a fosterer needs to be given full support and be able to provide the correct environment in order to assess dogs properly for future homes. I feel your "rescue" is doing a disservice to you and the dog.

    I hope you can get this dog picked up tomorrow and placed within a more suitable environment.
     
  15. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    You have nothing to be fearful off, you are doing whats right by you, this dog and your family, this is the rescues responsibility not yours, THEY have placed an unsuitable dog in an unsuitable home, you don't have the experience to deal with this, and you shouldn't have to deal with this... She should have been assessed correctly before being placed in to a home where she "could" pose a risk to you and your child, totally irresponsible on the rescues part....................................
     
  16. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    She does sound rather unpredictable, and that is a worry. I really do feel for you. If it's any consolation at all, the first two nights Dex was here he slept in the hall - and I locked myself in my bedroom as I was scared of him!!!

    That being said, he did not lunge at me.

    I think you have to calmly tell the rescue owner that either she arranges for a more appropriate fosterer to collect the dog OR you will pass her on to a more reliable rescue where this poor dog may get the help she needs.

    I do realise the latter option is not the 'done thing' but it sounds as though the situation is becoming untenable, both for you and the dog.

    Has the dog been thoroughly checked by a vet - could there be a medical reason for the snapping and lunging etc?

    While she is with you, just give her a LOT of space - don't walk close by her or her crate. Stay away while she eats.

    Please do keep us posted?
     
  17. cherry

    cherry PetForums Member

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    I am appaled that this dog has been given to you as a foster. The woman who runs this so called rescue obviously hasnt got a clue. Iwould be on the phone and be telling her you want the dog removed. You are not being cruel having her removed, she needs a very experienced person to foster her. I would not say to the rescue that you will pass the dog on to another rescue if they do not remove her. Judging by how this rescue functions she may well be happy to take you up on that offer but that would leave you in a terrible position as I feel this dog would be very hard to place with another rescue. Please let us know how you get on.
     
  18. Hopeattheendofthetunnel

    Hopeattheendofthetunnel PetForums VIP

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    For what it is worth.....I have an old email sent from a dear friend of mine who reads and states exactly the same as the above.

    Like you, she fostered a dog and the ONLY contingency she made - and very, very clearly. From the outset - that she couldn't or wouldn't accept a human or cat aggressive dog.

    The dog - a male - she got was exactly as you described your girl. It blew hot and it blew cold, alternating incomprehensibly between being very loving and supremely grouchy/snappy.

    My friend was in a terrible moral dilemma - she didn't want to add further misery and upheaval to a dog which had been to hell and back....but she didn't want to be petrified in her own home by her foster dog either. And she KNEW she couldn't be or give what this dog needed.

    The rescue was suddenly very busy, pleading for more time, or her phone calls were not returned. She got so desperate and scared that she DID contact other rescues. One of which then picked up the dog.

    Despite her MANY pleas and further calls, she never heard any more of what happened to this dog. To this day she feels she let that dog down. But you know what?

    The ONLY party letting a dog like this down is the rescue organisation. Not EVER the kind person offering them a temporary home. You shouldn't have been put into this soul destroying situation. Please stand your ground firmly. Be annoying and call the rescue organisarion every half hour if needs be. And you HAVE to filter out delay tactics and pleas and all the rest. Just say "I am very sorry, but I am unable to deal with her due to her unpredictable behaviour. You must come and collect her today". Don't get lost in the "but what if" and "have you tried" - this poor girl needs a VERY experienced home and handler.

    Please stick to your guns. Actually, my friend got so cheesed off with that rescue organisation, she contacted Channel 4 and the Daily Mail!

    As sad as it is - love and goodwill alone often don't suffice to help a broken dog to heal. They often need highly skilled, very experienced assistance in order to find their way back. IF they can find their way back.

    In the interim, the only suggestion I can make is to ALWAYS address your girl clearly as you are approaching. As in "Poppet ( or whatever her name is), I am going to walk past now". So that she is never caught off guard. Keep the mood light and positive as if you aren't noticing her grouchy behaviour. LOTS of distractions, too ( filled kongs, basic behaviour training) combined with NILIF aka nothing-in-life-is-free. Want a biscuit? Sit. Want your toy? Down. And so forth.

    Good luck...and I'm so sorry.
     
  19. Jet90

    Jet90 PetForums Member

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    In tears writing this.
    Im sorry, i will be able to give more details soon, but right now i am just in complete shock.

    She has gone for me again and nearly torn thru the metal crate in her determination to get to me. Just thanking whatever powers that be that she was in the crate, as had she been out i believe i would not be here, or at the very least would be seriously disfigured.

    This happened all of 5 mins after a lengthy convo with lady who runs rescue.

    This is not new behaviour at all.


    Going to vets tomorrow with her for her final visit, as, had there not been cruel and stupid owners, & then a long line of incompetency and further bullshit and rubbish, would have been done sooner as it had been previously advised.

    Behaviourists, several vets, everyone necessary to be involved has been involved and all come to same conclusion. - it is the kindest thing, as behaviour so ingrained and no rhyme nor reason.




    I am just glad she is with me, as, although i am more terrified of her than i have been in my life, i am ensuring she has all her needs met, is confined safely and comfortably, & will be there til the end with her. She will be muzzled and there will be as many hands on as poss, ut i will make sure i am holding her.


    I dont blame her at all, poor baby girl has been through so much, and is so traumatised from it, she needs love. I wish more than anything i could hug her close to me now.
    She needs freedom from this, i truly believe it :'(


    My heart feels broken wide open :(

    Sorry :(

    I know you will probably all disagree, but from the wealth of info now known, no one sees any other way. :'(
     
    #19 Jet90, Aug 23, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  20. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

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    Oh, what an awful situation you have been put in!

    So the rescue knew she could be unpredictable and just didn't bother to warn you???

    Appalling.

    Not surprised you are in tears. I would be too.

    Ghastly, ghastly situation and not of your making. I'm sure we will all be thinking of you, please do come back here for support.

    And PLEASE make a formal complaint about this woman's 'rescue'!
     
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