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

Rescue dog behaviour issues (biting men!)

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Melissage, Apr 17, 2017.


  1. Melissage

    Melissage PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi guys,

    We recently adopted a Romanian street dog (before anyone says anything - there were no suitable dogs in any of the UK shelters who were available in the time limit we had).
    She has been in the UK for 15 days and has been with our family for 4 days so far.

    She is extremely intelligent and learns quickly - she does recall perfectly, wait, cross, down, quiet, leave it and has had no accidents in the house etc already and is the perfect dog with us.

    However, she has had a rough life until now - she was a street dog for over a year, taken to the pound and luckily rescued and was in a rescue shelter for the next 7 months until we adopted her.
    At some point she has had her ear cut off (by a human - the cut is too clean/neat to be another animal) and was left with a gaping hole after being spayed which got very infected etc.

    She had shown no signs of aggression but after having some friends round, we noticed she didn't like the men standing up. If they're sitting down or kneeling down to stroke her she is fine but if they stand she bites their legs. She seems to become nervous and so the 'looking out of the corner of her eye' most of the time but a couple of times she has actually run into another room to bite someone!
    It doesn't normally leave a mark it's more of a nip/pinch but I need to put a stop to it before it happens to a stranger/child.

    She is fine with younger men and certain guys (who look young) but seems to dislike all other men. Additionally, she has been receiving attention and then all of a sudden barking in people's faces which is obviously quite scary to new people and as such compounds the problem further.

    Does anyone have any tips/tricks? The thing is I don't have a man to spare for a day/a few days to train her either...

    Note: I am unsure on her breed - she is a 12kg (a bit overweight at the moment) dog who seems to be a collie X German Shepherd X something red with silly little legs. We adore her and she has improved the behaviour of our other dog - other than these 2 problems she is perfectly behaved so just need to sort this so we can be a perfect little family.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    17,917
    Likes Received:
    11,506
    A lot of Romanian dogs look quite like her, they have their own version of herding dogs that aren't collie/German Shepherd crosses. It's likely that she had some very scary experience with an older man. My first dog - a rescue from Cumbria - would go off on one at taller, older men carrying sticks when I first got her and the rescue said they were sure she'd been hit.

    The fear of men will take time to overcome. In the meantime, remind any male visitors to face away from her when they stand up, and give them some treats to scatter when they do. This should have the double effect of distracting her from nipping them, and forming a positive association between men standing up and food. Facing away tells her that they're not going to hurt her. Using a baby gate to keep her away from them in the home could help. Outside, keep any greetings brief then move on before she has chance to react. And she might feel safer on a longer lead, giving her the feeling of more room to escape.
     
    Lurcherlad and Jamesgoeswalkies like this.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,022
    Likes Received:
    35,652
    Day four is far too early to allow a rescue dog to interact with too many people and for a street dog, in particular IMO.

    She must be feeling very disoriented and anxious.

    Go right back to basics and keep everything quiet and calm for a few days, then work on building her trust in you and OH first. Once she sees you and your home as her "safe place" you can then gradually introduce her to new experiences and people.

    Slowly, slowly is key.
     
  4. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    12,156
    As she has only been in the Uk for 15 days and with you for four I would be limiting her interaction with all strangers to be honest ...she sounds an anxious little soul and who can blame her. Let her settle with you and the family/close friends to begin with. No one else for a couple of weeks. Then gradually introduce her to a wider circle of people but ask people (especially men) to let her instigate the interaction ...not them. Humans have a terrible habit of leaning towards/over, staring at and wanting to pet dogs even when they are anxious ....this only increases the dogs anxiety. And distrust.

    I think you'll find she's the one that is scared ....take it very slowly

    J
     
  5. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    12,156
    Posted at the same time ....I agree :D

    J
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  6. Melissage

    Melissage PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1

    She has never gone for anyone outside of the home at all - it's very odd! (Not that I want to jynx myself)!
    Thank you :)
     
  7. Melissage

    Melissage PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks guys/girls - no one is due to come over for quite a while now so she has the chance to chill. Have your rescues got over their fear of men?

    And yes - people tend to bend over her because she's so small and she gets nervous but is fine if you come down to her level - she probably can't even see up that high so it would be intimidating!
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  8. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,022
    Likes Received:
    35,652
    This chart might be helpful in recognising the subtle signs of anxiety in dogs.

    She is telling you she is uncomfortable with certain people/situations. If you show by your actions that you understand and will not force her into stressful interactions, she will learn to trust and be happier around things/people/dogs, etc.

    She has probably got some baggage (understandably) and just needs space and time to feel safe and reassured and gain in confidence.

    There are a few owners on here with ex-street dogs who can offer some help and advice, I'm sure.
    download.jpg
     
    SpringDance and Jamesgoeswalkies like this.
  9. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,022
    Likes Received:
    35,652
    Street dogs often can be a bit "guardy" of food (as they've often starved at some point) and possessions too, so maybe look at the tips on Resource Guarding so you have a "heads up" on that one? ;)

    Definitely allow her to eat her food in peace and avoid leaving chews and toys lying around, at least in the early days until you have sussed her out a bit more (and her, you ;)).

    Make her bed her sanctuary too, so she has somewhere to go to if she needs peace and quiet.

    Good luck, she is lovely and will reward you "in spades" :)
     
  10. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    17,917
    Likes Received:
    11,506
    Mine did, as long as she wasn't confined. Once I'd left her outside a shop on the local university campus (my nearest shops where I lived then) and a cleaner approached her carrying a broom; she wasn't at all happy about it. The chap was really understanding and after that, always made a point of leaving the broom behind at his trolley when greeting her. Then, as her sight started to fail with old age (cataracts), her old fears came back but that seems to have subsided again.
     
  11. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    17,917
    Likes Received:
    11,506
    That could be that being inside a house is something she currently finds stressful - after all it's not what she's used to.
     
  12. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    27,590
    Likes Received:
    12,713
    Welcome to the forum!

    As others have said, 4 days is very soon for interactions, you've been very lucky in getting her out & about at this early stage as many aren't even accustomed to wearing a collar, let alone a lead.

    If you're letting her offlead be very careful & observant as there may be fairly inocuous things to you that trigger fear in her.

    My older Rommie (similar type & background to yours but a little bigger) is still fearful of strange men in the house, but has bonded very closely to my husband & will accept treats from familiar men, which we encourage when we can.

    We don't have many visitors so she doesn't have much opportunity to progress further unfortunately, but she coped well with my friend staying for a week with 2 young children recently- she retreats to her 'safe space' (behind the sofa) but she wasn't as unsettled as I worried she'd be.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  13. Canarie

    Canarie PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    152
    I just wanted to "hop" on the thread to thankyou for adopting.Make no apologies for wherever you have rescued from.A rescued dog is a rescued dog.
    I was at a rescue this morning with a friend and the dog my friend walked clearly has issues with men.Growls mainly.Also,has issues with traffic.The previous owner had not walked the dog for 18 months and as the dog is only about two it has missed out on vital socialisation.Still,you can see in the short time the dog has been at the rescue that the situation is improving.

    Canarie
     
  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