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Found 14 results

  1. Hello. My wife and I recently adopted a 2 year old male greyhound about 6 weeks ago. Overall he has been settling in really great and seems comfortable and at ease most of the time. However, I am seeking advice whether there's anything we can be doing to help him not be so fearful or timid when meeting new people, particularly while in our home. Overall he is inherently shy and typically won't let strangers pet him. Even if he's met someone before it doesn't seem to matter. However, I wouldn't describe him as excessively fearful either - just guarded. He'll approach and sniff, but from a distance and on his own terms. Sometimes (not always) we can entice him to accept treats from a stranger, but that show of goodwill never parlays into him allowing them to pet him. My wife is a singing teacher who works from home and she teaches anywhere from 2 to 10 students in our living room per day. Part of the reason we became interested in greyhounds as a breed in the first place is because they aren't known as incessant barkers and they're typically used to being handled by strangers due to the kennel environment - both traits that are essential given my wife's line of work. Luckily, the singing and loud sounds don't seem to phase him at all. The first two weeks in our home he hardly payed any attention to the students, I think because at that point in his adjusting to our home there was very little differentiation to him between his relationship to them versus to us. The following two weeks we were essentially snowed in together, so no students came to the house and during that period is when he truly became acquainted with us and began to bond to us. However, since my wife began teaching again about a week ago he has growled, barked, and sometimes lunged at her students on several occasions. Again, he didn't pay any attention to them at all for two weeks at first so we had thought that he was comfortable with guests at the house. But now that he is comfortable with the house and with us he seems to perceive visitors as a threat. Now we are wondering what to do, especially if we can't get it under control soon. We can't afford to sacrifice my wife's livelihood for the dog. Ever since he began acting out I have tried to carefully oversee and observe all of his introductions/interactions with the students. All of the students have been very gentle, non-threatening, and respectful in how they approach him. In fact, he never starts out the gate barking or posturing aggressively. Typically, he'll come over in an innocuously curious fashion at first just to see who has arrived, and then after 10-30 seconds he'll suddenly bark aggressively and assume a defensive (and aggressive, from the student's perspective) posture without warning. Clearly, for some reason or another he is fearful of them in that moment even though they haven't done anything to warrant that response. After we intervene he calms down and pretty much doesn't pay them any mind for the remainder of their lesson. Overall it's a pretty minor interaction, and if you have prior experience with dogs it's pretty easy to recognize that he's not acting purely out of aggression and that there's no need to be fearful. However, my wife has no prior dog experience, and it's clearly a rattling experience for her students as well. Plus, he's a big boy, which in itself can be intimidating. Also, although I discourage it, lately he's started following them around afterward out of curiosity to the point of being uncomfortably close in some cases. I'm sure this is very intimidating for the students, and if it led to another outburst that would be very bad. My primary question is are there any exercises or training we can be doing to accelerate the process of him becoming comfortable with strangers in our home (and in general)? I'm sure that in a few more weeks/months he'll naturally acclimate to the parade of strangers in our home, but I don't think we can afford to keep up the "I'm really sorry, I don't know why he did that" response for much longer. Also, I have been working from home as well during the entire time since we adopted him. So not only have I been around to oversee his interactions with students, but I've been primarily responsible for his needs throughout the day and he spends most of the day following me around. However, I go back to work exactly a week from today, and if there's anything we can be doing between now and then to make him less fearful of strangers it would really help give me peace of mind. Given my wife's overall inexperience with dogs I worry about something happening while I am gone. Clearly the obvious solution is to crate him up whenever company is here, but I really don't see that being a long term solution given the large number of people we have over during any given week. However, perhaps in the short term that would possibly help to get him accustomed to the frequent visitations and perhaps reduce any associated stress he may be feeling? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks! - Derrick -
  2. Hello everyone - In desperate need of help with new Grey, Mollie She came to us from a shelter about eight weeks ago. I've owned dogs by whole life, but not Greys. We noticed in the shelter she was standoffish and would not come to us but thought she would settle in. She was okay in the house but very wary of the new situation, understandably. I would take her out for little walks but she was always reluctant re-entering the house. She was with us about 24 hours before she slipped her lead and ran off into the fields. She was loose for nearly four weeks in cold/wet conditions. We received calls and texts from the people in the community saying she had been sighted - we would try and catch her without success. Anyway, by accident she did find her way back to our property and was eating food from the back of the house which I left out for her - this went on a few days before we lured her back into the house. She was emaciated scared and so, so tired. She would have been more scared I think but the opportunity to sleep and eat meant she put up with the fear. I had the vet visit and was instructed in feeding her for recovery, which I followed. Gradually Mollie was able to regain physical health and she has become more and more comfortable with me in the house. We have a nice time chilling out while I work from home during the day. There are a number of MAJOR issues now though. As she slipped the first lead, I ordered a harness and martingale collar so that would not happen again. It took some time to deliver (snow storms slowing things down more) and in the meantime she's been staying with me in the house. There is an empty room I let her wee and poo in. I couldn't really attempt toilet training anyway because she was eating such small meals for the recovery and needing to do small poos about 5 times a day. She has another small sleeping room that is her own and she has only pooped/weed in there a few times which I have discouraged. Anyway, now the harness and collar have arrived I attempted to take her out to start walking her and to get the toilet training started. Unfortunately, she is now a 'freezer'. She stands outside and does not know what to do. She won't even walk a few steps. She is taking in the smells, the wind, the noises. But it is all too much for her. I cannot get her to move more than a few steps. My father in law wanted to give me some (very helpful advice) so approached us this morning while I was out with her. Her whole body was shivering in complete terror. I have to carry her in if I cannot get her to move. The sad part is once she is in the house she spends her time looking outside, it almost seems like she wants to be out there but when I take her it is just too scary. The father in law who knows best says I should attached her (with harness) to a long rope and just let her chill outside in the garden while she gets used to the smells and wind and noise. I think she will just be more petrified. There is no question of her pooing or weeing while outside currently, as she is far too scared for that. Every time a car drives past she gets completely distracted (this happens in the house too if she can hear a car). I have tried a few techniques outside to get her to walk - if she does a few steps I give her a treat. But when she freezes it's also like she dissociates so it's difficult to get her to focus. Really this is all way above my skill level or experience and I am just floundering and no doubt causing her more and more anxiety. Some things I thought were positive developments in the house might also be just be signs of anxiety - shadowing me if I walk around, for instance. If I get up from my chair she also has to get up. Another huge issue is her fear of my husband. She did not mind him the first day we had her - But after returning from being loose her fear of him is getting worse. When she hears his van pull up of an evening she runs to her bed, and has to be coaxed out for dinner. Again I notice her shivering a bit when he is around. Husband is losing patience, I supposes because the behaviour is inexplicable and getting worse for no apparent reason. My theory is he was the one out trying to catch her for those weeks she survived the elements and she is remembering some of that. I also feel that her extreme hyper-vigilance is what helped her survive in the elements with no shelter or adequate food for weeks. So her adrenaline and fight/flight response served her well - but now it's just dominating her life. So in summary whilst we are getting on okay in the house - I really need to sort out house training, I want her to be able to go for walks and get some exercise as I think this would help mentally and I would love for her to fear my husband less. It's all so overwhelming. I feel like the shelter who provided her to us had not given her any type of behavioral assessment, which would have revealed some of these personality traits. But as we are responsible for the time she was loose I do not want to return her to the shelter more traumatized from her experience with us. It's my responsibility to help her but I'm finding it heartbreaking to watch her live in such a constant state of fear. Please, please help me to help Mollie.
  3. Hi Everyone, This is my first post here, I'm hoping to find some good conversation as a first-time greyhound adopter. Our newly adopted greyhound is 2 Years old. We assume that he didn't qualify as a racer, he is registered as a racer but does not have a racing record. He has a low prey drive and was turned over to the rescue group at a young age. We adopted him 3 months ago. 2 Weeks ago he bit our dog-sitter, and we have since employed a trainer to help us modify his behavior. Marco has a bit of a bite history. When we adopted him, we were told that he had bitten a young child at his previous home, and returned. They hadn't seen any evidence of this kind of behavior while he was at the rescue facility. We don't have kids, and he got along great with us and our tiny Boston Terrier, so we decided to give him a chance. He is very polite with us, and has shown a lot of trust in us since day 1. His daily schedule: 7AM - 20-30 minute walk 7:30 AM - Breakfast 12 Noon - Dog-Sitter break (while we are at work) 5:15 PM - Dinner when we get home, then another walk later in the evening Here are the events that led up to him biting the dog-sitter: Marco began to show a lot of anxiety in his crate anytime that we were away from home - he tore off the bars and destroyed his water bowl one afternoon and we feared he could hurt himself in there. At that point we let him out of the crate for short periods while we left. We monitored him with cameras and he showed far less anxiety. Now he is doing great out of the crate and is no longer anxious when alone, sleeping soundly. The dog-sitter was aware of the new situation on his first full day out of crate. However, as soon as she opened the door to enter the house, he bit her hand - requiring a trip to urgent care, a tetanus shot, and 2 stitches on her knuckle. My thought is that this was very much a fear-based bite in a new situation. I take full responsibility for not foreseeing this, but he had never shown aggression toward the dog-sitter when he was crated. She had been working with him for almost 3 months. In the past, he has shown some fearful aggression during feeding time and when new people arrive at our front door, especially food delivery. He is doing well with positive training, no longer allowed on the couch (doggy beds only), and we are working with him on his "WAIT" before feeding and when anyone moves between doors or enters/exits the house. We also installed gates at the entryways so he has plenty of time to see who is entering the house. We are committed to modifying his behavior through training, but we are anxious about future incidents, and creating a safe environment for a dog-sitter. Any thoughts that you have would be greatly appreciated. Has anyone had similar experiences?
  4. Hi all, We are first time dog adopters and have just adopted (month and a half ago) a sweet 2.5 year brindle named Stella. We had a rocky start as it took a while to sort out that she did not want to be crated during the day (bent the bars and would not stop soiling the crate) and then she had a tail laceration a week in that has resulted in some serious trust issues with us and a serious fear of her muzzle and vet. I feel like we have come a long way, although she was likely not the best match for our busy family, we've invested a lot of emotional energy into trying to provide her with a secure home. We have her on anxiety meds, and are able to leave her during the day for work without too many issues. She shows signs of bonding with us - tail wags and excitement when we return home, acting like a velcro dog for pets BUT she is super smart and stubborn. We feel like once we get her through a new situation (walk in local park with other dogs around - which she did great), she develops a new phobia- now for some reason refuses to go out our back deck down to the yard to do her business. Then on recommendation from our adoption group, we tried her for half a day at a dog daycare, which she did fairly well, likely a little stressed but did settle and lie down and watch the other dogs for half a day. Now, the morning after, she is now being stubborn about putting on her collar, and going outside at all (at least with me). If I had to take a guess, I think she thinks I'm going to take her again today. I know it is early days, but we have young children and a schedule that is not fixed. We love Stella, but she will need to be a dog that is adaptable to change and feel confident among other dogs and people. We don't intend to have in day care full time, but would like to be able to have her there from time to time to help with socialization. Are we rushing things? I know if up to her, she would be so happy living with a retired couple in the country. We have invested a lot of emotional energy with her and I do see improvements, but with every new thing/improvement, it feels like she takes a huge step back on another skill that she was previously good with. Now and then there is a glimmer of wanting to cuddle, but I feel like she is still looking at us with some distrust (or is that the way all of them look!). Is this typically new adoption behaviour for greyhounds - any advice other than hang in there and patience? I apologize for the long post - first time posting...appreciate any suggestions.... Thanks! Kim
  5. I fostered Kit, a three-year-old female, when she first came off the track in March of this year. She was quite nervous when she came to me and I learned right away that she had a fear of men. As she calmed down, she took a liking to me. She was a sweet, yet more subtly affectionate dog. She always followed me around and she would sit next to me on the couch with her head laying on me. She discovered her love of plush toys and would play all the time. As I was trying to expose her to as many types of people as I could, I learned that she did like women and children. She was actually wonderful with children. From the day that she met my mom's boyfriend's kids (ages seven and nine), she let them hug her and walk her and she would take naps with them. She was really calm and relaxed around my little cousins, too (ages one, five, and seven). I thought that she'd be a great therapy dog for children. By the end of the month, I had made the decision to adopt her. Later that week, while visiting my mom's house, my mom's cat was sitting in a chair when Kit walked up to her and bit her. The cat wasn't injured but after that, I didn't feel comfortable having Kit around the cats. I'd seen how Kit plays with her plush toys and I couldn't risk the chance of her doing the same to my mom's cat. It was hard but I made the decision that Kit needed to be in a home without cats. In April, Kit left me and went to stay in a different foster home. Later that month, I was really regretting my decision to give her up. I asked for her back but the rescue had already promised her to another home. At the beginning of May, our rescue organization had an event. Kit was still with the other foster family and came to the event. I was able to spent the entire day with her, pretending that she was my dog again. We interacted with many different people and Greyhounds and she was not afraid at all. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to her again. Shortly after, Kit went on a visit to her potential home. I had given up on ever getting her back and it crushed me. In early June, I got a phone call telling me that it did not work out with Kit's potential home. I was shocked. I didn't hesitate to take her back. I knew that there was a huge possibility that she could've developed some more behavioral issues after being bounced around but I was just so happy to have her again. I expected that it would take some time for her to open up to me again but I didn't think that she would be a completely different dog. Here's some of the things that have changed since she's been back: - She seems more afraid of men than ever. Whenever my dad and brother return home, she barks at them while avoiding eye contact and backing away. She hides in her crate whenever they come in the room. Before she had left me, she had made so much progress on her interactions with them and would actually walk up to them to be petted but now it is back to square one. - She's now afraid of almost all strangers, including women and children. There are very few people that I've had her interact with since she's been back that she's actually been okay with. - She is now completely terrified of children, including those who she had previously spent a lot of time with. She'll try to get as far away as possible if she's near any. I took her with me to visit my mom's boyfriend's kids and she refused to be around them. She wouldn't even let them get close to her. While the children played outside, she hid in the backseat of the car for the duration of the visit. - When she came back to me, she was almost completely bald on her neck, stomach, and thighs, along with some other bald spots. She had been completely furry when I first got her. - She used to walk really well and she liked to go on walks. She still gets excited when I grab the leash but once she gets outside, she doesn't like to be out there. She freezes (with no obvious trigger) and refuses to walk. - She could now go for days without touching her toys. - One of the things that upsets me the most is that now many days, she acts like she wants absolutely nothing to do with me. She'll spend most of the day just sitting in her crate, in the far corner of the room (instead of on the couch or her dog bed). If she does happen to sit on the couch and if I go to sit next to her, she gets up and leaves. If I try to interact with her she avoids eye contact, licks her lips, and starts panting. She's been back for over two months and she's only laid her head on me once. - Overall, she is just very anxious and lethargic dog now. I did adopt her and I've been working with a trainer but instead of making progress, it seems that Kit is getting worse. For the first month or so, I was just so blissful from having her back but now I am just so upset because I feel like she is a completely different dog than the one I had missed so much. It makes me so sad because I don't know why she has become like this and I feel that nothing that I am doing is making it any better. I just want her to be comfortable again.
  6. I adopted my first greyhound, Daytona, just under a year ago, he's about 3.5 years old and a retired racer. He's only dog in my house, and adjusting wonderfully to being a pet. Of course, I think he is the best dog in the world but I'm sure others would disagree with me He has become absolutely terrified of children. It wasn't this way when he first came to live with me - he was nervous around them but ok. Now if he even hears them we have turn around on our walk and go the opposite direction or straight back home. He'll do the "horse" move, I call it - when his front feet go up in the air and wave around as he tries to make me go where he wants to go. He hasn't had any bad experiences (or good, really) because I have no small children, don't socialize with anyone who does - he simply isn't exposed to them at all. We only encounter kids on walks or sometimes at the dog park. I figure the change from nervous to terrified is probably just one of those quirky things about greyhounds, but I want to know how to help him overcome his fear. Especially with warmer weather coming, we'll be outside more and so will kids. I don't want every walk cut short because he heard some kids playing. Has anyone else had this problem? I didn't see it addressed in the previous posts, and could really use some help.
  7. Hi, this is my first time posting and we need some help. My dog refuses to go outside, even to potty. We got our grey, Shelby, Sept 2012, when she was 2 1/2 years old. For the first couple of months she loved going for walks. Then, suddenly, she had to be coaxed to go for a walk, although she LOVED to run around in fenced yard and would pee and poop out there. We hadn't trained her at that point, and only my husband was able to get her to go out for a walk. Long story short, we hired a very good but VERY expensive trainer for about 4 months in mid-2013. She showed us how to lead Shelby, get her to focus, and we were able to walk her again. Fast forward to about 8 months ago. Shelby started refusing to go for a walk in the morning. My husband leaves for work very early, and sometimes she would come downstairs and he'd let her in backyard to potty. But when I tried to takeher out again around 8:30, she refused to even come downstairs. I tried EVERYTHING to get her down (treats, going outside, starting my car and coming back in with garage door opening/closing) with only rare success. That meant that she wouldn't go out again until around 3:00 pm!!!! She only had 1 accident in the house. Otherwise, she'd go out with husband when he came home from work around 3. She didn't seem sick and had normal poops and pee. We'd take her out at night before bed without any problem, and she was fine then too. However, she wouldn't touch her morning meal - probably because she didn't want to have to poop again??? About 3 months ago, she started refusing to go out at all, even at night. We'd get her leash and she'd run to her bed in the den, or the couch. However, once we were able to get her outside (morning or night) she was fine. Then, about a month ago....it started again, whether on or off leash. On the rare occasions I am able to get her out, she goes down the driveway, pees, and then stops. Maybe I can get her halfway down the block, but after that - she digs in her heels and I cannot and will not drag her down the street. I try the techniques the trainer taught us (that once worked before) but now nothing works! She won't even poop. And worse - she won't even go outside. She won't even go out when out neighbors try to walk her, and she loves them. She used to go for walks with them without any problem. She is afraid of certain loud noises - school bus, "booms", and others - but even when there is no discernible noise she won't go. I do not know what to do! She's a little better with my husband, who has established himself as the alpha, but she won't budge with me. We have a vet appt in a couple of weeks for her yearly, but I don't know how much help he'll be. I'm really worried about her physical/digestive health, in addition to mental health. We cannot afford another trainer or a dog walker. This is not normal behavior. I feel like such a bad parent!!!
  8. Yurtie has been with me for 15 months and is about to turn six. When I adopted him in March 2013, there was another grey in the house (a 13-year-old shy female, who was, despite her spookiness, a matriarch). She died in August. During the five months that they were together, he was a lovely dog. Goofy, silly; not a single problem. After her passing, he started showing aggression with our dog walker (he knew her well, and had always loved her.) She had to stop coming. It escalated to other people who came to the house. Over time, he started nipping my friends, particularly men, on the butt. He then graduated to flat-out trying to attack. It was only when someone came to the house, it is very gradually becoming a bit more general. This past week, he bit one of my coworker's butt and left a red mark. Then he bit the butt of the electrician who my landlords brought in (they were with him.) It left an abrasion significant enough that they assured the electrician that Yurtie was up on his shots. Now the landlords, who love him, have offered to bring Yurtie to their apartment if someone needs access to mine. I am having frank discussions with them. They do not want me to have to surrender him. He is the neighborhood's favorite dog (never shown this behaviour out in the world), but today he tried to attack someone who was walking past the house as we left. (Distance of about 20 feet; Yurtie barked big&loud and tried to fly at him; guy just on his way to work.) I gripped the leash and nothing happened, but I am still shaking. Yurtie adores me. That may be part of the problem. I am small in stature, and non-dominant (I am working on this but I'll always be who I am). I have a gate in the kitchen (if I use it, he panics and tries to chew his way through it), a soft muzzle, his racing muzzle, treats treats treats for good behavior (guests toss him these upon arrival so that he can associate friends visiting with something good.) We are working with a trainer, and Yurtie has started Prozac (too soon to know if it will help.) The adoption kennel is aware of all of this and we are keeping in touch. I should also add that Yurtie is my seventh adopted grey over 21 years. I've never seen this. Please treat this post gently. I am absolutely beside myself.
  9. Hello! I am a first-time greyhound owner as of three or so months ago. River, our 2.5 year old retired racer, has had some shyness problems since we got her. For example, for the first few weeks, she froze (would just stand still and not move or respond) multiple times on every walk. This problem had gotten much better until three days ago. We were outside when a bunch of teenagers about 100 ft away were skateboarding. As soon as River heard the skateboards, she did something we never saw her do before - pulled as hard as she could on the leash to go back inside. This lasted all the way through our apartment complex, and she only started to calm down once we were back in our apartment. Later that night, the same thing happened, and since then she hasn't been the same. She used to respond to "come" much more reliably, and for the past two days, has refused to go outside even when she has to go to the bathroom. We either have to pick her up if we are taking her out by ourselves, or if we both take her out, she will go hesitantly. Today (two days since the incident), she has stopped using stairs which she was fine with before, and is now not even interested in her favorite treats (milkbones, greenies, or ice cubes). We aren't sure if it's still trauma from the skateboards, or if she's just feeling under the weather. We don't want to reward her for her renewed interest in freezing on walks (giving a treat when she finally comes), but we don't want to scold her either. Should we pick her up when she stops, or just wait it out? Do you think the trauma will just take time, or is there something else we can do? Thank you! - Crystal & River
  10. Hi everyone, My partner and I adopted a beautiful 5 year old brindle ex-racer named Chester 3 weeks ago now, and we are completely in love with him. However we are getting quite worried, as he is gradually getting more and more fearful of going on his walks with us. He has been in 2, possibly 3 foster homes before us, and has always been with other dogs. When we first got him, the first few days were great as he was very confident going for walks around the neighbourhood. He showed interest in other dogs but was never keen to get to know them any better than a sniff. Now, we struggle to get him to go more than a few meters out of our home to relieve himself on some days. He refuses to even walk past another dog when he sees one coming towards him, we generally have to give everything a very wide berth. We live in an apartment, so need to be able to take him out for exercise and toilet. I know that the adjustment period can be a long road, and that patience is going to be the only way to get him relaxed and confident again, but I just want to know if this has happened to anyone else? The confident reverting to fearful thing. We don't pull him and try to use confident, happy tones when encouraging him. We haven't found any treats that he is eager to take when outside yet, but are going to try cheese tonight. If we turn around and just let him come straight back home, is that rewarding bad behaviour or is that what we should be doing? We would really appreciate any advice that you would be able to share, we just want our little guy to be happy! Thank you
  11. OK, so I got a foster back Monday night who had been in a home for 6 months but circumstances changed and she had to come back to me. She is 'on alert' all the time on walks, if she can hear dogs barking anywhere, she seems to think the are barking at her. She will walk with her head up and ears up, looking around to find out where the sound is coming from. Last night she reacted twice to dogs. The first was at a fenceline with a barking dog behind. She barked back and thrashed around a bit and I could get her to move on. The second time was when a bully type dog who didn't seem good with dogs himself was walking with his owner. He was pulling on the leash and making himself look big. Mouse responded by going ballistic, barking and going around in circles. I couldn't get her attention or get her to move. She then shoved herself between my legs so I kept her there as the other owner led her dog away. I had Barbie with me as well. Barbie didn't react at all. If anything she seemed like she wanted to get away from Mouse. A couple of times I had to really ensure Mouse didn't tangle herself around Barbie, and she looked like she was going to redirect onto Barbie (good thing Mouse is muzzled). She is very food driven at home, but she is so on edge when she's out the front on leash she ignores treats. I am going to escalate value now, roast chicken and bits of steak are what I will try next. I've only had her back for a couple of days but I really have to work on this - she is a really good looking dog, cat friendly too and a lot of people are going to want to adopt her because of that. I won't let her go to anyone who doesn't have a lot of experience with training and with behavioural problems as she is at the moment. Has anyone had this experience with a greyhound? What training strategies worked for you? Did you manage to resolve the issue? Pic!!! So you can see how we are going to be bombarded with adoption applicants when we start advertising her again.
  12. Has anybody ever used Touch Associated Clicker Training (TACT) with their dog? I read that is is good for fearful dogs, possibly like Iker. There will be a seminar offered in Toronto next month and I'm trying to decide if it's worth it. Does anybody here have experience with it? Has it been successful? Is it worth $135 for a day long seminar? Any thoughts or comments? thanks
  13. We are new dog owners and have had our 3 year old male greyhound Che for 3 months in New York City on a busy commercial street. He is great in the apartment and has bonded with all family members and is a wonderful gentle affectionate dog who has been OK with separation. The only issue is that he gets very scared when we go outside, refuses to go on walks, and turns around to look at our door and pulls to go back home. No progress over time and even regression, have worked with trainer and even treats not that helpful. Hard to identify triggers as it is a very busy street with lots of noise, trucks, loud people on cell phones, night clubs etc. Looking for specific advice about desensitization and how long it may take.
  14. Hello again! Thanks to everyone that previously responded to my other topic regarding Boo and his attack by a rottweiler last week. We are now pursuing legal action for the vet bills he has incurred and is about to incur even more of (wound seems infected). I am seeking advice or stories from anyone who has dealt with dog aggression. This story has two different issues, dog on dog aggression and dog on people aggression. Since the attack, he has developed an entire set of issues that were not present (to this extent) before... When we originally took Boo to have his wounds examined, he (muzzled, of course) became quite aggressive with the vet touching his wounds, so we were told he would need to be sedated. Very expensive. They offered us the option to take him home and try and clean them ourselves where he might be more calm. That didn't happen at all. We tried cleaning the wounds 3 times, and each time got worse. The last time, he was not just snapping, but making serious bite attempts at my husband (I was holding his leash and trying to restrain his head, though somewhat unsuccessfully, and he was muzzled). It was very scary, and we had to stop. He continued to bare his teeth and growl at my husband for a time even when we both backed off. He then retreated and seemed aggressive enough that we were scared to unmuzzle him until he calmed down. His wound seemed to be healing and we decided it was okay not to clean it anymore. Two days passed, and he opened it back up and another wound that had already healed... I think by scratching. Tonight we looked at him while he was lying on our bed. About two feet away... we didn't touch the wound, didn't get near it, but he began baring is teeth at us and growling. We told him, 'NO!' sharply, as we do anytime this had happened but he continued the aggression until we walked away. We were not even touching him. In addition towards us, we are very scared of his aggression towards other dogs. Before the attack, he had once growled and snapped at a puppy that wouldn't leave him alone. We understood this as normal dog behaviour, though we know he has the inclination to get snappy when backed into a corner. He is now TERRIFIED of other dogs he meets on walks. He has only seen two since the attack, both calm, smaller dogs that retreated when he ran away and hid behind me/husband. Tail so far between legs it touched his ribs, and very tense. Both dogs left him alone when I explained the situation to the owners, however, there are many friendly dogs that run off leash in my neighbourhood that have bad manners. They mean well but will chase and pester even when another dog is giving signals to back off. Before the attack, his fear was manageable. Now it is so extreme, I think he will snap or bite. I am carrying a stick on walks for protection, but am scared based on how Boo has responded post-attack. We are wondering whether to muzzle him and carry a stick. I know he cannot defend himself if attacked when muzzled, but based on his body language I think he might snap or bite at a friendly dog out of pure fear, as he is scared of even friendly dogs. Since every dog we meet is essentially an 'experiment' in how he will react, I don't want any other dog sustaining injury. Is it wrong to muzzle in this circumstance? Has anyone had a dog aggressive dog and know what to do during walks? Avoiding dogs, including unleashed ones, in our neighbourhood is unavoidable. Would love to hear any insights.
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