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Rescue dog has became aggressive

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by OisinAretha, Jul 16, 2019.


  1. OisinAretha

    OisinAretha PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone. I'm in need of advice. Myself, my husband and our four year old daughter have two dogs, Oisìn and Aretha. We rescued Oisìn two years ago, he was skin and bone and was found straying in the mountains. He was anxious from the beginning but had so much love and affection to give. The first month he was loving all the comforts and wouldn't have lifted his head at another dog walking by. Then we started to notice he was becoming more anxious and aggressive towards other dogs and men. He tried to attack one with a stick, that's when we knew he had serious issues. So for the next year we kept an eye on him, kept him close when we walked and were cautious. Then it started becoming harder and I couldn't control him when out. So we got a dog trainer who taught is the proper way to hold him etc. He's a very strong big dog, the trainer thinks he may be crossed with Kerry blue and hence the aggression. We were dealing with the new way of handling him and it's been going well however he's began snapping at people who love him and a couple of days ago got his jaws round my arm when I tried to get him out for a pee. I know he sounds like a psycho but he's the most loving dog and it breaks my heart staring at his eyes because he's got issues that I just don't know how to help. The trainer is suggesting we re-home him to a person without children. Also let me note he is an escape artist, Im just not sure we're going to be able to find him the right home. We live in northern Ireland. Has anyone been through this before and have any advice?
     
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Can you be more specific about the methods the trainer suggested and how you have implemented them. For example, what is the proper way to hold him?

    I would not rehome a dog with a bite history.
    Did you get him from a rescue? Have you been in contact with them?
     
  3. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Welcome to the forum, it sounds like a very stressful situation.

    How were you taught by the trainer to handle him? Did the trainer explain why he would be aggressive if he had Kerry Blue in him?

    You say he’s started snapping at family members and mention him putting his jaws on his arms. What sort of situations does he do this in?
     
  4. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Has he been checked by a vet? How did you try to move him? what training methods do you/have you used? .... There is a lot to consider but am not sure people will be able to help over the internet with such serious issues. Have you looked at having him assessed by a behaviourst?

    In the mean time if he is displaying anxiety & you are concerned that he might bite someone then you need to be alot more vigilant in him 'escaping' & ensure your home is secure & he is not left unattended in areas where he might have access to the public
     
  5. OisinAretha

    OisinAretha PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, so we had oisin on a strong padded harness. Which made him harder to control. So now we have him on a short choke lead behind his ears, I was against it at the beginning but it honestly is a much better way of controlling him while out.
    He's been snapping when someone tries to move him from his bed to go outside or to move into the kitchen at night time. He bit me when I tried to shift his bed out of the way
     
  6. OisinAretha

    OisinAretha PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, Oisìn is from a local council kennels. Which I wouldn't send him back to. So we always would have had oisin on a padded harness. The trainer told us to put him on a short lead behind the ears so he had no way to jump around after other dogs. This has helped a lot with his behaviour when out
     
  7. OisinAretha

    OisinAretha PetForums Newbie

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    I am vigilant and my home is secure. I was mentioning this as another factor which may make it hard to re-home him - the new owner would need very high fences and a secure garden.
     
  8. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Personally I wouldn't ever use a choke chain as there is too much potential to cause damage & it's not actually teaching a dog anything. Aversives work by causing discomfort or pain (of varying degrees) in order to stop a dog doing something or practicing a behaviour. There is always a risk that by using them there will be a fall out so should always be used with caution & after assessment. In this case it might be a contributory factor in your dog snapping at you or other people. It might be that he is worried about you moving him due to pain so Iget him checked by a vet to rule out any physical issues

    Short, tight leads cause more anxiety in dogs so I would be looking to keep him as calm as possible & teach him how to behave rather than preventing him from jumping. Go to places that are less populated, make sure you have enough distance from other dogs, etc. I would look for finding a trainer who uses reward based training & have some private lessons with them if this is affordable.
     
    Burrowzig, O2.0 and Jamesgoeswalkies like this.
  9. OisinAretha

    OisinAretha PetForums Newbie

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    We have tried all the variants throughout the year with the trainer (private lessons) and have found this is the safest way to walk oisin, for him and other people. We always go to less populated dog walking areas. I was against the choke chain also, it was the last option as oisin is not interested in treats - food form or toy form. Thank you for your advice.
     
  10. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Except now you say he's trying to bite people ....

    Have you had him vet checked?
     
    #10 Cleo38, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    Burrowzig and O2.0 like this.
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