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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Pet Stop  >  Dogs

 > Fear Aggression

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Executive

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Posted: 10/23/18 12:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had a friend who had a lab. This lab was docile as could be for a lab. One day out of the blue she decided she wasn't happy. Unfortunately there were several kids playing in the yard. Even though they were playing on the other side of the yard, this dog decided it didn't like the commotion. My 5 year old daughter took the brunt of it's displeasure. Besides biting several of the kids, the dog attacked my 5 year old, biting her face several times, tearing a portion of her nose in the process. Many trips to the plastic surgeon were necessary to repair the damage. Fortunately, today she is not afraid of dogs and owns two herself, but it was still traumatic. Yes, the dog was put down by animal control....Still....Please do not take an aggressive dog out in public without proper precautions. Doing what you've described is not only dangerous to others but irresponsible as well. Posting publicly that you are doing so could come back to bite you in the rear if your dog bites someone..while I applaud your commitment to your pet, please be responsible.....Dennis


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Ed_Gee

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Posted: 10/23/18 03:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have received a number of good responses to your problem and if you have the time, the patience, and the money, you should follow the suggestions.
However, painful that it may be, I would recommend not keeping that dog. There are many good pets in need of love so that one does not need to keep a downright dangerous animal.
Sorry for your pain.


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Travlingman

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Posted: 10/23/18 05:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the responses.

To help clear up a few things. At Lowes, like I posted, she is kept away from people. We don't enter store, outside, 30' away from people. If anyone wants to pet her, I don't let them, tell story and they will usually talk for a few minutes, 5' to 10', away to help her.

As far as fear aggression, it is not where she tries to attack everyone. With fear aggression, her first instinct is to run. She will try to get away from her fright. If a person, that triggers it,she tries to back up. She will then cower. She will only try to bite if someone reaches for her. We figure that is from previous abuse of being hit.

As far as trainers, we have talked to others and this is not an exact science. Most trainers have different ways and views. No vets in area certified in behavior that we have found to help.

I guess I made her sound like Cujo in my first post, and she isn't. Yes, she is scared but lets you know when, cower, tail tucked, fur up on back. She doesn't attack people at sight, only when backed into what she perceives as a corner and someone reaching toward her which is a threat. If a person stays 5' away, she doesn't have a problem.

If anyone has tried the basket muzzle I would like to hear your results.


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doxiemom11

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Posted: 10/23/18 06:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stress can cause high cortisol levels that can result in aggressive behavior. Did your vet check for medical issues as the cause? I see your additional description now. We had a puppy mill dog that was afraid of everything. It took a year before she was comfortable enough with us to even make a sound, a whimper,bark, anything. We were so overjoyed when she became vocal and then her personality started peeking out. She never totally lost her fear of anything other than us and as a result of her stressful life had Cushings disease when she passed, a disease that can be caused by constant stress. We never regretted giving her our love.

* This post was edited 10/23/18 06:36pm by doxiemom11 *

jspringator

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Posted: 10/23/18 06:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My Springer was a fear biter. 40 mg of generic Proziac a day really helped him. No bites after we started it. The Dr. tried Alprazalam, but all that did was release his inhibitions. He would countersurf right in front of us instead of waiting until we left. Based on that and other things I read I thought that would increase his tendency to bite.


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DownTheAvenue

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Posted: 10/23/18 08:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have a difficult dog and I applaud your commitment to help her. You have received a lot of suggestions from people who have no credentials to support their suggestions. Your dog is one who could become a well socialized good citizen to one who is dangerous and should be euthanized. The best suggestion is to continually interview "trainers" until you find one you are comfortable with who can best help your dog, probably one who works in concert with a veterinarian to mix medications with behavior modification. Please understand that all dogs cannot be saved from the horrible abuse they may have experienced, and no dog should be allowed to put any humans in danger. If your dog can never be trusted, then the right thing to do to the dog and any humans is to euthanize it.

hawkhill

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Posted: 10/23/18 11:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One of our Aussies, Bandit, was so hyperactive that our trusted vet referred us to a vet, Dr. J, who had a PhD in animal behavior. We have had working Aussies over 35 years, so we are used to their normal level of hyper and all of our Aussies work herding our flock of sheep. So this was not a little case of Aussie hyper, but a dog that was diagnosed clincially hyperactive.
As Dr. Doug states animal behavior specialists can develop a program that combines medication and behavior modification. Behavior modification is not a quick process. Bear was weaned off medication as the process continued after about 6 months while the behavioral modification continued another 6 mos. Bear went on to earn both ASCA and AKC herding titles, but the one I was most proud of was when he earned his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) title.
When one of my "trialing friends" had a dog that had fear aggression issues, I recommended Dr. J to him. Again it required months and months of work, but he swears that Dr. J saved the dog's life as left untreated he would have surely seriously bit someone.
Each dog is an individual and outcomes may differ, but I personally I would highly recommend you have your dog evaluated by a specialist. Most dog bites are a result of fear aggression so it is a very serious issue. Click here for more info on animal behaviorists.
FYI - we are familiar and have used basket muzzles especially if we are trying to treat a wounded dog (rams can get rough). It is a tool, but it needs to be managed and used appropriately. The dog needs to be conditioned to accept the muzzle. With a fearful dog, it may increase the dog's anxiety and do more harm than good.

* This post was edited 10/23/18 11:10pm by hawkhill *


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Posted: 10/24/18 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll add another resource, if you have one: your local Kennel Club? Our rescued Cattle Dog was dog aggressive: our local kennel club let me bring him to obedience class, knowing he would be treated "firmly" if he acted out. They were awesome - gave pointers, and even allowed a few super-friendly dogs to approach mine under carefully-watched situations. While we never completely trusted Jack around strange dogs - his aggression went from a 9, down to about a manageable 3. When encountering strange dogs, I could tell him to sit/stay, and he would, although growling with hackles up the whole time.....LOL!

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Posted: 10/24/18 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have a resource at the vet school in Knoxville. If your local vet isn't comfortable with dealing with your situation, she/he might be able to work through the vet school. Often these cooperative situations involve phone consultation and can involve the specialists, local vet and trainer.

One opinion on training. Some "old school" training techniques involve flooding where the offending stimulus is pushed on the individual and another involved physical intimidation. Both are thought to be the least effective (and least humane) methods.

With this in mind, I'd avoid forcing your dog into situations where fear is shown.

General obedience training, teaching to sit, stay, come, etc. can produce a confident dog that looks to you for clues about what to do, rather than panic with the fear.


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ReneeG

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Posted: 10/24/18 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't offer any advice only encouragement and praise for you and your dog. Hopefully, in time, she will be transformed and come to love life the way every dog should. I can't say enough good things about you and your love of wanting to do the right thing. Others would've turned their backs immediately. I hope you post again later as to the progress or even setbacks. Take care.


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