Concerned about Sherman - pushiness(?)/bit me

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Postby mnp13 » February 5th, 2009, 3:40 pm

Malli wrote:You need to consider that not everyone is as capable as you Michelle, not all owners understand what it takes to adequately restrain their dog, or, are capable of providing that restraint.


I see what you mean... I'm used to dealing with difficult dogs, so I judged the situation quickly, and unfairly.

Thanks for the input.
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Postby call2arms » February 5th, 2009, 7:14 pm

Malli is right about that, clients typically have a hard time holding their happy lab for a nail trim, imagine a dog that's suddenly not happy. It's easy for some, but most people seem to not want to hold too strongly or just loosen up their grip as the dog moves.

Last week a dog (a wheaten terrier I believe) tried to bite a vet's face as he kneeled close to him to examine him, had the wall (yes, the wall) not broke and made a butt-sized hole, the clinic owner would be nose-less. The owners did not restrain him properly (there was no tech in the room) and simply let him go as he lunged. This was his first time at the clinic.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 5th, 2009, 7:16 pm

:topic:
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Postby HappyPuppy » February 5th, 2009, 9:36 pm

I'm about to give Sherman back..............

I'm really shaking now!!! He just did it again to me in our bedroom (didn't bite me tho but was really trying) and he fought (with intent to bite me, I'm certain) during my regrip on his collar to take him to his crate. I had him by the underside of his collar and he was on his back (he does the roll on his back thin even with Ruby) and I was trying to regrip to the top of his collar but he kept shifting and rolling and I could see he was targeting my hand. When he first started jumping and mouthing in our bedroom, I kneed him off once or twice (his intensity was increasing) then I grabbed his collar and said 'no bite' and he sort of dropped to the ground like he does with Ruby - he'll do it intentionally by himself with her and ALSO when she tells him off) - I didn't aplha roll him but he did end up on his back. The a-hole really fought my regrip but did go easily into his kennel. Back story of today: he's been kenneled most of the day. I put him in right after breakfast and then let him out for a few hours midday. I then put him back in the kennel for a few hours and we let him out at 5pm. Went outside to go potty in the rain and he was in the garage with him for a few mins. I was playing with Ruby behind our closed bedroom door and a few mins later both husband and Sherman came in. Ruby was on the bed with a toy and I was kneeling at one side. He came in and ran into/under me - tried to go btwn my legs but as I was kneeling, get didn't get thru. Then he came up under my arms pushing thru and I jumped because he got under my shirt and was going upward!! Then he started excited-jumping and mouthing as he had done to Harry upon being let out of his kennel (this was all in a 15-20 min span) and kept coming with more intensity. This isn't cool - I did't back away but stood my ground and he didn't get it. I showed a moment of intense/focused dominance and he came back for more.

I no longer feel comfortable with him - what was that all about?!? I was all set for counseling 20 mins ago but I'm pretty freaked about what just happened. Is this just dominance???
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 5th, 2009, 10:15 pm

I'm so sorry...

I'm not one to label everything "dominance"...as most everyone knows around here. Dominance stuff is mainly crap. Besides, no matter what it is, he's being aggressive. Labeling it doesn't solve the problem...you need training.

What appears to be happening (from what I can gather via what you've posted) sounds similar to how Sawyer was when he first came to me. He's an easily excitable and has little self-control and little bite inhibition. When physically pushed, his response is to use teeth. Why is that? Because dogs use their mouth/teeth to communicate...they use a lot of other stuff too (body language, vocalizations, etc) but they use their mouth/teeth to get their point across with other dogs. Two dogs get in a scuffle...they don't use feet, they use their mouths. My guys are always snapping at each other for things...Sawyer is the worst, he gets greatly offended by physical touching at times...and will grumble and snap at the others. He doesn't do this with people...just the dogs. But all dogs use their teeth to make points...that's how they're made.

When you get a mouthy behavior from him, it seems that you immediately have some form of correction ready...usually physical. Obviously this isn't working...whether or not this is how some folks deal with their dogs, it's obviously not working with Sherman. It's just making his behavior escalate.

Sawyer was very grumbly when I first got him...no history, found as a stray. I would grab his collar and move him away, or push him with my foot, etc. These things worked with the other dogs fine. Not with Sawyer. One day, I went to push him away with my foot (he was encroaching upon my dinner plate, which was on my lap as I sat on the couch). He snapped at my foot. I snapped, jumped up screaming, grabbed him by the collar and started dragging him to a crate downstairs. He mouthed my arm a few times, and I just got more mad. Long story short, he ended up putting a puncture in my forearm...after I yelled and wrestled with him some more. )Very rarely do humans come out the victor in a physical battle of wills with a dog. They have sharp teeth.) :rolleyes2:

I was so distraught, crying, wailing...couldn't believe this had happened.

After I calmed down, I re-examined how I'd been dealing with him. Everything was much more physical with him...I was always grabbing his collar, moving him physically, etc. And it just wasn't working...obviously.

So I started a whole new game plan...there was no touching unless absolutely necessary. Treats were used for moving him into other positions. Clicker/treat were used for good behavior. I prevented behaviors I didn't like from happening by keeping him away at dinner time, etc. Body blocks were used rather than forcing him to do stuff. Hands off, rewards for everything good...set him up for rewards rather than failure and punishment. Leash on a buckle collar in case I needed to move him without touching (no collar corrections, just picking up the leash and saying "let's go!" Everything was motivating for him...I let him think that he was making all the good stuff happen.

Along with this, was a lot of positive reinforcement for handling...click/treat for moving body parts, collar grabs, anything that set him off.

I think he can be worked with...but it's up to you whether you're in it for the long haul or not. But I'd say, start a hands-off, no physical confrontation style right NOW....for your safety if nothing else
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Postby HappyPuppy » February 5th, 2009, 10:35 pm

Just lost my whole effing post.... I don't remember what all I had said..

I have just committed to give Sherman back to the rescue for evaluation for an APPROPRIATE home or no home at all.... I don't feel qualified to rehab him and am freaked about his intensity in our bedroom -so far it has only been outside. He was just chewing on his crate door, poor guy.

I feel so bad about this....... :(
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Postby SisMorphine » February 5th, 2009, 10:52 pm

I'm so sorry :( It's an incredibly difficult decision but obviously the best for all involved. He is going to be a big project for someone (if the rescue decides he is allowed to be a project), and I definitely don't fault you for your decision.

Having had an HA dog of my own in the past (who was more likely to bite me than anyone else in the room) I can tell you that no matter HOW MUCH experience I have, I refuse to do it again. Just because I have to tools to do it, doesn't mean that I will put myself through that again.

It is a heartbreaking thing that you are going through, and I know that you were so happy to add another dog to your household :(

*hugs*
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 5th, 2009, 11:02 pm

HappyPuppy wrote:Just lost my whole effing post.... I don't remember what all I had said..

I have just committed to give Sherman back to the rescue for evaluation for an APPROPRIATE home or no home at all.... I don't feel qualified to rehab him and am freaked about his intensity in our bedroom -so far it has only been outside. He was just chewing on his crate door, poor guy.

I feel so bad about this....... :(


I know this really sucks for you right now...but know that I'm behind you 100% :hug3:
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 5th, 2009, 11:50 pm

Don't feel bad. We are behind you 100% in whatever your choices are with him. (((hugs)))

SisMorphine wrote:I'm so sorry :( It's an incredibly difficult decision but obviously the best for all involved. He is going to be a big project for someone (if the rescue decides he is allowed to be a project), and I definitely don't fault you for your decision.

Having had an HA dog of my own in the past (who was more likely to bite me than anyone else in the room) I can tell you that no matter HOW MUCH experience I have, I refuse to do it again. Just because I have to tools to do it, doesn't mean that I will put myself through that again.

It is a heartbreaking thing that you are going through, and I know that you were so happy to add another dog to your household :(

*hugs*



I've never had an aggressive dog but I have been around plenty, including my mom's evil chis. I'm used to easy, laid back people loving dogs & I dont feel like I am equipped to deal with a HA dog. DA dogs I can deal with a lot easier than I can HA dogs. I dont WANT to deal with a dog that will bite me or any member of my family.
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Postby mnp13 » February 6th, 2009, 12:09 am

HappyPuppy wrote:Just lost my whole effing post.... I don't remember what all I had said..

I have just committed to give Sherman back to the rescue for evaluation for an APPROPRIATE home or no home at all.... I don't feel qualified to rehab him and am freaked about his intensity in our bedroom -so far it has only been outside. He was just chewing on his crate door, poor guy.

I feel so bad about this....... :(


You're making the best decision for yourself, and by extension, him. What you're doing takes a lot of strength.

Keep us updated.
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Postby Jenn » February 6th, 2009, 12:40 am

Agreed :hug3:
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Postby BullyLady » February 6th, 2009, 1:49 am

TheRedQueen wrote:
HappyPuppy wrote:Just lost my whole effing post.... I don't remember what all I had said..

I have just committed to give Sherman back to the rescue for evaluation for an APPROPRIATE home or no home at all.... I don't feel qualified to rehab him and am freaked about his intensity in our bedroom -so far it has only been outside. He was just chewing on his crate door, poor guy.

I feel so bad about this....... :(


I know this really sucks for you right now...but know that I'm behind you 100% :hug3:


Me too, it sounds like this is the right decision for you and your family.
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Postby Malli » February 6th, 2009, 4:41 am

yep. did the right thing. It is good to know when you're in too deep. I'm sorry :(
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Postby katiek0417 » February 6th, 2009, 7:17 am

SisMorphine wrote:I'm so sorry :( It's an incredibly difficult decision but obviously the best for all involved. He is going to be a big project for someone (if the rescue decides he is allowed to be a project), and I definitely don't fault you for your decision.

Having had an HA dog of my own in the past (who was more likely to bite me than anyone else in the room) I can tell you that no matter HOW MUCH experience I have, I refuse to do it again. Just because I have to tools to do it, doesn't mean that I will put myself through that again.

It is a heartbreaking thing that you are going through, and I know that you were so happy to add another dog to your household :(

*hugs*


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Postby amazincc » February 6th, 2009, 11:57 am

I'm so sorry, HP... I know you didn't make this decision lightly. :(
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Postby airwalk » February 6th, 2009, 12:41 pm

HP having a dog like Sherman is a mammoth task and I support your decision 100%. He is going to need, if any home, a home that is prepared to undertake a life long HUGE task.
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Postby rockermom » February 6th, 2009, 12:56 pm

I have been following this thread in the hopes things would work out. However I feel for you and understand. Before getting Rocky I had a doberman I took in. Our first dog. Found her being given up in the neighborhood. God I loved her dearly. My Pal, My protector for 2 months. But not a good fit for the whole family. Long Story short, She never bit any of us but she needed work I could not provide especially with kids coming and going. Found the best Doberman Rescue on the face of the earth. She ended getting some one on one rehab. And was placed in a doberman experienced home. Now I do not really consider her my first dog. She was just meant to come stay for a couple of months. She was meant to be and her time here was quite special. And lead me to finding the right dog for our family. The day she left I felt empty and really needed to have a dog. Found Rocky just a month later. Even though I never met you, I so feel for you. I'm sorry you have to go through this. I cried for weeks. and called the rescue daily to see how she was doing. You are doing the right thing. And everything is going to be alright.
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Postby Rolex+Deebo » February 7th, 2009, 4:37 pm

I have been reading through all of the posts, and I really think you are doing the right thing by giving him back. IMO a dog like that is not a fit for any family, I know, :mad2: flame away. I think that there are 1000s of APBTs that need help that have sound minds to save. In my house, if you bite me, try to bite me or another human, you are PTS. I cannot re-home with a peaceful mind a dog that I know will bite. And I think it would be irresponsible of me to do so. And I will not waste time on a human aggressive dog, no matter what the aggression is,(redirect,guarding,....) In my eyes that dog will never be 100% safe for another home, so what is the point. :|
I am very sorry that you have to go through that, and good luck!
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Postby HappyPuppy » February 7th, 2009, 8:22 pm

So we just got back from dropping Sherman off. :( They are going to evaluate him and have a possible home lined up (an original inquiry on Sherman as well) with a hard core trainer who has been looking ofr a high drive dog to do WP or Schutzund (sp?), etc. with. The consensus today was that he is high drive (tho not hyper) and we are not high drive. I sort of feel dumb for feeling 'scared' when he probably really wasn't trying to actually 'hurt' me but because it did hurt and he was seriously focusing on US each time, I wasn't sure how far he was going to go and I didn't know how to redirect him. But we have learned what we have in the 3 months we've had him. I'm anxious to hear how that goes for him - sounds like it will be an excellent match. Queen Ruby will enjoy the private attention for awhile, I'm sure!
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Postby SisMorphine » February 7th, 2009, 8:31 pm

Well it sounds like they have a great possible home for him if his issues really are based around a high drive with no outlet. Loads of good thoughts for him.

And for you guys. I know what you're going through, but don't feel bad. You did what was best for all involved. *hugs*
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