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HELP - my rescue (private) seems aggressive rather than herding

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by puligan, Apr 21, 2011.


  1. puligan

    puligan PetForums Newbie

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    Please help if you can. I have had this breed for 12 years and I was told he had a strong herding instinct when I got him. I think the previous owners were very selective over the info they gave me when I took him on.

    Well what can I say about Rufus? We have had him since March 19th, he is white (clipped) Puli and we are his 4th owners that we know of. He has separation anxiety; we are working on this and making progress. We were advised when we got him that he had a strong herding instinct and he had tried to nip/herd other dogs. However, since we have had him he has led me to believe he is not herding but attacking. On walks he will go for a dog, even if it is stood next to him and therefore part of his pack/flock and grab its back leg and then pull him around to control and dominate him. We decided that this was to stressful for us, Rufus and indeed the other dogs and owners so we decided to muzzle him in public. Even muzzled, he tries to get to other dogs and will now “headbut” their rear end to knock them down, all the while barking and snarling.

    Obviously this is totally unacceptable to everybody.

    I do have another 11 year old male, neutered Puli and Rufus did initially do the same to him although he now seems to have bonded with Claude and no longer herds/attacks him.

    We don’t want to get rid of him, we would prefer to know how to retrain/change this behaviour but if we can’t then we have no alternative than to return him to the previous owner (if they will take him). If this is not an option we may have to euthanize him. I do not think passing Rufus on to yet another owner is fair especially as Rufus has to learn new rules every time he moves on and the behavioural problem has not been properly addressed.

    In other ways Rufus is adorable, he has no food aggression and he is loving and loves cuddles although he is not overly responsive when his name is called. We have had no issues with his behaviour towards other people.

    If there is anybody out there who has had this problem or knows of anyone else that has, we would be hugely grateful for any advice or guidance on this matter. Our walks have turned into 45 minutes of constant stress as this is as long as the walk can normally last, being on alert for other dogs, it really is unbearable. We would normally take the advice of a behaviourist but at the moment we are not financially in a position to do this. So again any guidance or advice on this matter would be appreciated.

    fingers tightly crossed for some positive responses
    Pat
     
  2. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Hi Pat :)

    I am concerned that you believe Rufus to be 'attacking' this way. I am always concerned when a dog's 'MO' is to go for the back end of the body rather than normal dog-dog interaction centred at the head and top half of the body.

    Has the dog been diagnosed with separation anxiety?

    I really believe that this dog requires professional intervention, with a qualified behaviourist that works with dog-dog aggression. Your vet can refer you to an APBC behaviourist - this will be covered by most pet insurance providers.
     
    Amethyst likes this.
  3. puligan

    puligan PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply but my partner and I are out of work and before anyone chimes in with "if you can't afford a dog you shouldn't have got one" we both lost our jobs on the same day, 10 days after rehoming Rufus. A behaviourist costs £150+ and you also have to see the vet first to confirm it is a behaviour problem and not a health problem. As JSA for a couple is £95pw this will be out of the question until we get work. I have worked in the past for an APBC behaviourist and my assessment of him being aggressive rather than herding is accurate. I was hoping someone on here may have had a similar problem and would be able to tell me what their behaviourist had given. As for insurance, he is a rescue who has had problems for awhile so even if he was insured (he isn't), no insurance company would cover behavioural issues if they existed prior to the policy being taken out.

    regards
    Pat
     
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