Potentail MTB Buddy Needs Home
Up front, I apologize for a post that isn't really mtb related, but I'm in a tough situation with a dog I'm fostering. She's a real healthy/athletic adult G. Shepherd mix that is about 95% perfect, but 5% seriously flawed. Straight up, she has "resource guarding" and dominance issues. She attacked my bullmastiff and bit me on the chest in the process of breaking it up. Today she was evaluated by a professional trainer that described her as "confidently aggressive" and a little scary. She is not immediately psycho with other dogs or people, she just is always looking to establish control and resorts to aggression when she feels necessary.
OK, if you're still reading here's the good. This dog is really smart, could be super loyal, is very home focused (never wanders - no fence), completly house broken, good on leash, knows basic obediance commands, and has very good manners. The trainer said with some real strict obediance training to establish trust/heirarchy and daily hard excercise (mtb?) she could overcome her issues. Definetly not a dog for a family with children, and in my house she isn't working out with another very gentle dog. She involves both risk and potential. Let me know if you can help.
Who was the trainer? Was it Safari Sally (if it was you will know who I am talking about)?
Originally Posted by Blueallah
I know we all want to do what is right and our four legged friends are part of that urge. However, sometimes it is just not meant to be. It can be sad, and I am tearing up right now.
I present Murphy...
Murphy came to us as a rescue while we lived in NJ. Everyone whoever saw him said what a beautiful dog he was. He was VERY smart. I guess those things and the obedient nature of a Springer spoke to us. We wanted to give him a home.
When we picked him up at a park, his owner was playing with him and the kids. It was odd. Why did he want to get rid of him. I thought nothing of it and really loved him from the first time I met him. His owner said that he had bit their three year old because she was playing too rough. Ok, a dog has no other way of saying it hurts. I understood and went with the thought that my kids were older and had been around plenty of dogs. They knew the limits.
He was a big boy, for a Springer (70 pounds of pure muscle). He did all the things the breed is supposed to do. Hunting instinct, loyalty, obedient, and swam like a seal.
It was cool to play ball with him in the pool. He would dive off the side, fetch, and bring it back for more. He'd swim with you. He was a true companion. He wouldn't leave my side.
A few months in, my older son comes in from the yard with a bloody hand. Murphy bit him and actually cornered him in the shed. We discussed it and thought it was an isolated incident. And it didn't happen again.
Then I moved to Colorado while we tried to sell the house in NJ. During that time, Murphy grew attached to my Wife. I guess she became the alpha while I wasn't there.
When we all finally came together here, Murphy was growing increasingly aggressive. He was showing his teeth, cornering the children, and was very protective of my Wife. He growled and lunged at me a few times. My buddy wasn't my buddy anymore.
We didn't know what to do. We loved Murphy and wanted to help him. We called a very well known trainer in the area who came highly recommended. She could train wolves!
Her evaluation of Murphy was much like the one you received. Springer's were not supposed to be this way. In the 80's they were over bread, but this was gone. There was no such thing as Springer rage anymore.
We worked with Murphy for months and he got progressively worse. Becoming even more protective of my Wife growling at everyone, showing teeth, the sassy ownership tail wagging, whites of the eye. It was a nasty scene. One second he would be the sweetest dog in the world, the next second he would become the devil.
He became a liability. What if he attacked someone off of my property? It would have bankrupted my family.
I really wanted to keep him. I loved him. He was my pal. When we realized we couldn't keep him, we tried to turn him over to a rescue organization. They wouldn't even take him!
We only had one choice and that was to put him down. I will never forget that day as I was the one who had to do this. The vet gave us eight sedative pills to give him before taking him in. It was only supposed to take two to make him drowsey. Eight pills and a half pound of ham later, he was still ready to kill anyone. I took him into the vet and he nearly ripped her to shreds. He wouldn't attack me (because my wife wasn't there), but I could barely hold him back. They had to throw two dozen chewy gels filled with sedative to get him to calm down. Then they took him away and I never saw him again.
I miss him very much, but I know that he will be better off in a place where he won't get into trouble.
Murphy if you are watching. I am sorry buddy.
Shnauzers, your story is quite the heartbreaker. Sorry you had to go through that. Hopefully Roxy 's story won't turn out the same.........
I have owned dominant breeds my whole life and if one obtains a dominant dog and does not know how to establish the alpha position properly at the same time setting boundries, things can get out of control and get out of control badly. Small things like walking through doorways first, nothing in life is free mantra, eating after you (and again working for it), not eating human food, body language, not sitting on furniture,not walking infront of you on walks, not sleeping in bedroom, obedience training, socialization, crating etc. all make a huge difference. It is also critically important to get a trainer that has experience specifically with dominant breeds. Generally, I have gone to ones that also professionaly train shutzhund as they fully understand dominance vs drive etc. That said, there are always cases where there is a specific dog for one reason or another just doesn't have a temperament that is suited to cohabitation with family or other animals.
I know this as I recently had to put down one of my two american bulldogs for this very reason. The amount of work put into training her and the way she was lived with one would expect she would be rin tin tin. Unfortunately, after talking to the breeder a couple of years out they had REAL temperament problems with that entire litter and this was a complete anomoly for this long-standing reputable american bulldog breeder with many titled working dogs. In the end, it still was my job to train her properly, I didn't and I failed her completely.
After agonizing over the decision for ever, we put her down this last fall. The wife still is completely broken up over it and it is still hard but we knew we made the right decision after consulting the trainer (who we worked with extensively and also owns american bulldogs), veterinarian and breeder.
My suggestion would be to take a hard look at the situation. Ask yourself, did I consult the proper people and take the proper steps to change the situation. If you did, a tough decision may need to be made as then you are just passing a problem off to another family. If you feel you may not have been properly equiped to train the dog, finding a proper home and or trainer might be an option. Either way, my heart goes out to you.
To end on a bright note, here is a link to a picture of my happy AB boy who is my wifes hiking parnter while I ride. You may see him out on the trails this summer. He is an amazing dog!
That is a great looking dog. We're bullmastiff people and I love all things bulldog.
In the case of this dog I'm trying to find a home for, she is probably 7-8 years old and I have no idea how she was raised. It is ovious she was obediance trained and is used to living indoors, but it is seems likely she was never discouraged from agressive behavior towards other dogs and some people. Both the trainer and behaviorists consulted agree that she could be successful with someone that has the determination to work with her every day. Unsetting an old pattern makes the job tougher, but old dogs can be taught new rules. I'm gone way too much with work and my bullmastiff is much to old and mellow to make things work.
Here's a pic - any takers?