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Rescued dog attacks its owner after 3 months

Discussion in 'Dog Rescue and Adoption' started by AnxiousDog, Jul 14, 2019.


  1. AnxiousDog

    AnxiousDog PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    I would like to ask for the opinions of rescuers :) We adopted a dog from a shelter 3 months ago. It is a 3-4 years old male of mixed breed (about 25 kg weight). The first days it was "normally" anxious. We took it for walks, tried to establish the routine. After a month dog seemed calmer, got used to brushing, tried to be next to people. It is kept outside in the yard and has a dog house in a spacious kennel. Every evening we take it for sleep in its kennel. There is drama every evening. Anyone who tries to approach the dog with a leash )it already understands that the closing time has come) becomes an enemy: growling, barking and other aggressive dramas. It is on a leash for the first half of the day and it is allowed to run free for 4 hours in the afternoon before putting it to the kennel (there are regular walking, playing, swimming (when it is hot) sessions during the day too). Every evening we have to cheat it to bring to the kennel (like going for a walk). This week it ran away while chasing a fox. It returned after 24 hours and went to the porch of the house. When my father (he is actually walking and caring about the dog the most) approached it and talked softly, the dog aggressively attacked. Luckily my dad had swift reaction to avoid being bitten. After that "fight" the dog became very submissive and followed my mother to its kennel (she was bringing food) without any leash and any command. The next two days, the dog has been growling at all family members randomly no matter the place and the time of the day (even if we bring food). The dog also has guarding issues (we cannot play with any ball, because the dog does not understand sharing). But it is fine, it takes time to cure the latter issue. Has anyone ever experienced a similar aggressiveness issue? We are searching for advice what to do further. The shelter did not provide us with any history of the dog.
     
  2. mrs phas

    mrs phas my home, my sofa, my rules

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    are you in UK?
    If so, im surprised the shelter let you rehome to be living in a run, even just overnight
    did you actually tell them this would be how you would be housing the dog?
    does it not occur to you, that the dog maynot understand that the run is just overnight, and, associates it with a traumatic time in its life?
     
    Lurcherlad and Linda Weasel like this.
  3. AnxiousDog

    AnxiousDog PetForums Newbie

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    I am not in the UK. The shelter people told us the dog has been living outdoors all the time before. It was even in the shelter like that. This was the reason why the dog has not been let into the house. The kennel is spacious with a huge dog house. To create some safety (our previous dog who died because of old age liked it a lot and it was its secure zone). It is a countryside dog, not a pet for a sofa. It is a family member that has to sleep outside. This is the rule. Because the shelter did not provide us any details about its previous life (they just wanted to get rid of it), we do not know anything about its previous traumas. We do not know if it is some fear, or it is just a caprice, and a dominant dog is trying to get what it wants.
     
  4. Silverpaw

    Silverpaw PetForums Member

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    I am sorry to hear that both your dog and your family seem to be suffering.However,there do seem to be some contradictions in your post and perhaps this goes part way to explaining why some of the problems are occurring.For example,you talk about your dog as a family member but refer to her/him as 'it'.Maybe that is just something that gets lost in translation but I find it hard to understand how you can consider anyone who has to sleep outside a family member.It's also a bit confusing to hear that your dog is not considered to be an indoor,sofa dog but is expected to understand how ball games work.If I'm confused by your attitude towards your dog,maybe your dog is too.Dogs with traumatic pasts need consistency and understanding in their handling.Could you approach the shelter to try and find out a bit more about your dogs past.It sounds like a situation with the potential to go very wrong for both your family and your dog.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  5. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Dogs that are tied up outside (is that what you mean about spending half the day on leash?) can get very anxious, so that won’t be helping.

    If he’s been ill treated in the past he might have bad associations to being tied up or locked away.

    If he’s showing signs of anxiety which are being missed and ignored he will escalate his reactions.

    This table is useful (I prefer the title Ladder of Anxiety though). You will see biting is top of a very long list.

    9BE70C07-85A5-490D-A5DA-7B5F2956443F.jpeg

    I think it would be best to get a good behaviourist on board - one who uses positive, reward based methods to assess the family’s handling techniques and him and guide you as he sounds quite unhappy tbh.
     
    mrs phas likes this.
  6. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    @AnxiousDog
    Maybe something happened to your dog while gone for 24 hours. He could have been attacked or frighted by a person, and hence the attempted attack on your father.
    I agree a behaviorist is a good idea.
    It is possible the shelter does not know your dogs background.

    He may have separation anxiety when going in the kennel for the night.
    Is it possible to compromise and put him in a room in the house, a little used room but indoors.
    Give him a bed and toy and set a new routine. Routine is important.
     
    Kakite and Lurcherlad like this.
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