our dog

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jena, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Jena

    Jena New Member

    so i just posted an ad in our local paper with-a picture of our big dog to see what type of responses i get.

    he's a sweet dog yet he's been an issue since we got him. today he went too far, he got out again and proceeded to chase the mailman down the block. the guy was afraid to get out of his truck. than when he did my dog was barking at him, circling him, i thought the guy would pee his pants. my dog is HUGE. he was beginning to bite the mailman's ankles when i told the guy just get in your truck, i gotta get my husband.

    he runs away everyday almost 2 times a day. so far we've been luck he always comes back and has never gotten run over. yet at home he jumps at our living room window ea. time anyone comes near our door. he's pushed the window out so far we have to go outside and shove it back in once a day. he scratched up the entire wall underneath window.

    i've stuck it in with him for a year now since i got him from the shelter, it's been rough. i love animals though. yet we do not have a fenced in yard which is what kills it for us with-him.

    we've tried training him obedience classes he got kicked out. you name it, he's a real marley dog.

    sad to do it yet i thought new puppy would help him yet it hasn't. last week my parents came to visit and he actually bit my stepfather. it was a warning bite, yet that's a first for him. he does always "act" aggressive to anyone that comes near our home. whenever we have ppl over we have to put him outside unless it's someone who isnt' afraid of big dogs and will be brave enough.

    hate to get rid of him yet out of ideas for the big guy. to me animals are like family
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    He might be protective of the little guy now. Have you looked into an invisible fence or (hate to say it) a remote shock collar?
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think that you may be obligated to send him back to the shelter that you got him from. Often when you get a dog from a shelter you have signed something saying that you will bring the dog back there if you decide you can't keep it. Also, check to see if there is a rescue group for his breed? It sounds as though he has anxiety issues, and they can be almost impossible to deal with if you're not on them 24/7. Most people can't do that. There are medications for it, but I could never get it prescribed for Bubba. I'm not sure why...

    Good luck to you and to your pup.
  4. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Jena -

    You're in NY. There's what's colloquially known as "the one bite rule" here in dog bite litigation. The dog bit your dad - that's one. Did you know that you are required to report bites to the Health Department? The dog almost bit the mailman. You'd better make sure your homeowner's insurance is paid up because you could be sued by the next person and you can lose. I defend this type of case (amongst others) for a living and I have seen horrific things. Frankly, if it were my dog (and we have had 7 over the years, one of which - a standard poodle - was sent back for biting the heads off of baby guinea pigs), it would be gone in a NY second. If the shelter won't take him back, find a rescue group. Failing that, I would have the dog put down. A biting dog, especially one as huge as yours, is very dangerous even to you and your children.

    Good luck.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I would never have a dog put down. any dog mostly that is bites because it wasn't trained properly by it's owners. there are rare circumstances due to over breeding etc. that yes they'll be off. that isn't the case with this guy.

    witz any idea what that medication is??

    anyone have any ideas besides killing him?? LOL not an option and he'd never hurt the kids by the way.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    You could always muzzle him.
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    First off, the medications. They're pretty much what we take or used to take for anxiety. Clomipramine, Prozac, or Amitryptiline. You'd have to find the right vet, though because these ARE prescription medications, and not all vets will prescribe unless they are certain that you have done EVERYTHING possible and/or you're going to put the dog down. I stomped out of the one vet's office and told him to go ahead and shoot the dog if he thought he was such a danger to everyone (I WOULD NEVER DO THAT!) but wouldn't prescribe the drugs. The one I saw insisted on behavioral therapy for him. He was fine around us, and fine if we opened the door, how were WE supposed to do anything with him? Our only problem was barking as a greeting to strangers. Who were we going to get to come to the door and greet 75 pounds of snarling muscle 5 times a day? No one! So, he went in another room or a crate and we had very few visitors because of him. But we couldn't get the medications. Here's a link to a site about it but just google "dog anxiety medication" and you'll find plenty.


    Secondly, with Bubba we exercised him to the point that he did not really want to run. He & husband or M went for a 2 mile run every day until he was 7 years old. Sometimes twice a day if he was antsy. And there was always someone home with him. He was never crated as he chewed his feet to the bone when we did. Because there are no parking strips to run on where we live now, we had to stop the daily running. Our dog Mandy runs on the treadmill. We trained her with a hot dog and she figured it out in about 2 minutes. She loves it! Oscar won't go near it. If you have a treadmill or access to one, give it a try. You never know...

    Legal-wise, Sven is probably right. The letter carrier will report him. My husband was one and if they can't make their deliveries because of the dog, you'll get a notice. Maybe that will be your key to a prescription... Which you can have filled cheaply at Walmart or one of the other cheap-o discount places.
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Jena -

    I didn't mean to upset you. Putting the dog down is the last resort as I mentioned. However, you do have to bear in mind the liability that you might face no to mention the guilt if something happened. I know how it feels. One of my dogs allegedly bit a letter carrier several years ago. It was Good Friday and Passover so I was home. My easy child son was outside with the dog when the substitute mail lady began to scream that the dog had bitten her. My son, who was 9 at the time, swore that the dog had NOT bitten her. I asked to see it and she pulled up her pants leg, which was not ripped or torn, and showed me a scabbed over, healing bite. She then began yelling that she had been bitten a few days earlier by another dog. I am a lawyer and I sent my son to get a camera. We took a photo of her leg and the untorn pants. Her supervisor came and made a report. I notified my homeowner's carrier (which was my employer at the time) and then went to the police station to give them copies of the photos. We got a lawyer letter, I called the lawyers and told them that if they wanted to mess up their real case against the other dog owner, they'd sue me because I would testify that she was clearly taunting my dog since my son had told her not to come into the yard and that he would walk over and get the mail but she came in anyway and then started yelling. I was not sued. However, for a long time, my dog did not go out of the house unless she was on the chain in the yard or being walked. I would not have put her down for that episode but if she actually had bitten and persisted in it, I don't know. I still get nervous even though it was almost 5 years ago. If she bites anyone they might count that episode against her even though I firmly believe my son.

    As for the prescriptions, when my daughter was little, she had a friend whose dog took Prozac. The poor thing drooled and ran around chasing its tail.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sven is right on the one bite rule...in some states. In others there is no one bite rule and you are liable on the first bite.

    As far as I am concerned, I wont have a dog that bites. Period, end of story. They get no second chance. I have had two that had to be put down because of it. One bit another dog and the other bit my son. That was it for them. It had nothing to do with training either.

    The dog that bit my son was an indoor dog that we had no problem with before. We have no clue why he went off. He had been my mothers dog for several years...probably close to 4 years without a bit of problem. In fact, that was one of the reasons I kept her in my home for as long as I did before sending her to a nursing home because she still remembered her dogs name. I didnt want to take her away from her dog until she didnt remember him. After she left he was fine for about another year then one day, my oldest son was petting him...and he grew up with my oldest son too, and he turned on my son and bit the snot out of him on the hand and arm. We finally got him off his arm, managed to get a leash on him, dragged him outside and tied him up. Took my son to the ER to get seen and called the pound to go get the dog to have him put down. If they hadnt come to get him I would have shot him when we got home. I wont have a dog that bites. I have too many kids coming to my house.

    Now? I have pitbulls, rotties, little dogs...all sorts of things...but none of them will so much as growl at my kids. They know better. My dogs may bark, but they dont bite.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Jena, I urge you to be VERY careful with your dog and strangers. I was bitten by my neighbor's pit bull in June when I walked over to her house to bring her something. I didn't know there was a pit bull in the house and the dog jumped on the front door when he saw me walking up the walkway. When he jumped he hit the handle of the door and it opened under his weight and this dog came straight for me. There was no where to go. All I could do was put my arms up in front of my face to protect myself. That was the last part that I remember. The neighbor's adult son was home and called the dog off me (or so I have been told) and the next thing I remember was sitting up on the lawn and seeing the son wrestle the dog into the house. To this day I thank God that neither of the kids were with me when I walked over there. They would have seen it happen or they would have been the ones who go bit.

    The dog actually belonged to the her other son, who moved to Arizone three months before this happened. The neighbor shipped the dog to her son because she didn't want the responsibility of watching over him after this happened, and from what she told me the son in AZ keeps the dog muzzled whenever he takes the dog out. She said to me that the dog was really "the sweetest thing alive". Well, he may have been with her, but he still bit me quite badly.

    She had to put a claim in to her insurance company about the incident and from what I understand her insurer would not renew her policy until she proved to them that the dog was no longer in the house because they now considered him a liability.

  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i appreciate the responses, yet i'm sorry i didnt' mean to create drama or controversery. should of been more direct in my post what i was looking for. things have been insane here with-difficult child so i haven't been on, and wrote it quickly.

    i was really asking does anyone have any ideas or thoughts maybe books on training that may work? i posted the ad as i said didnt' really want to, yet truth is with the difficult child issue going on i have minimal time for the big guy. the puppy is super easy. if a young guy shows up at my door with awesome references and ready to work hard training him, is looking for a companion and really into dogs and willing to give the time he needs i'd sadly do the right thing and give him to him.

    dog's never shown any aggression at all. he's a huge barker his form of communication. i should of mentioned (my fault) the other mail lady who is on vacation he loves she gives him treats. he barks like a mad man at her he is very territorial over his house yet loved her. when someone doesnt' give him the attention he wants he acts like a huge stupid puppy.

    like remember when their puppies and you walk across the room and they go for your ankles? well that's my guy. we've stopped that in the house with the kids when they run and play yet yesterday he got all caught up in the fact this guy didnt' wanna pet him and was showing alot of fear.

    the bite on my step dad to be honest and i spoke to a trainer about it where i got the puppy was a warning bite, if he wanted to rip his arm off he'd have no problem doing so. i have absolutely no fear of this animal i mite mention myself. i have dragged his 90 lb. body into vets and pinned him down for vaccinations, dragged him into tubs for baths, you name it. he has never once gone for me. he knows i'd flip.

    he's just a huge dog that was never trained as a puppy or socialized. we worked really hard the first 6 months to socialize him walk him outside, etc. he was a bit smaller than and able to handle. he had to be desensitized to everything cars, kids walking, buses you name it. i used to walk him can't tell you how many times i fell, he dragged me it was insane. yet i didnt' give up and got him to the point where i can walk him past traffic, ppl, etc. yet as of late my time is limited and it seems like if i dont' work on it everyday with him he goes back out now and reverts backto his old behaviors. just like a kid would.

    make sense? the mail carrier won't report him, id' be shocked if he did. if he does by chance than we'll handle it. yet there was no bite. he was just nipping at his ankles like a huge huge stupid puppy and circling him for attention. yet i can't be outside in my pj's chasing down a dog and doing that. it's absurd. he runs away ea. day and the neighbors here are big dog ppl so they aren't afraid of him. alot of them catch him for me. yet it isn't right or way it should be.

    it's sad that i dont' have the time to give him anymore. dogs are a huge responsibility and i feel like i've ignored him to an extent not meaning to.

    anyway if anyone knows of a great dog book, etc. to share with-me i'd love that. i posted the ad hes' a beautiful animal yet the odds of anyone taking him on are minimal due to his size. that's truly why we adopted him we knew in our hearts no one would take the big guy on.

    believe me he truly is a sweet animal with a good heart. the puppy chews on him constantly he'd never hurt him either. kids especially my step son who has add can be rough with-him and all he does is play with him. he'll mouth him yet as though he were playing with a puppy
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    i had a husky with a head made of titanium, i think...he was hard to train.

    we taught him "cookies", and i've done it to every dog since.

    when i say "cookies" (or whatever word you wnt to use) it means i have a super delicious human food treat for you, you better come get it. the trick to it tho is that its a treat that varies from really good to totally flippin awesome and he doesn't know what its gonna be except good. (this isn't good to use with dog biscuits)

    start in the house, say "fido, cookies" and when he comes, give him the treat (as i say the, mix it up and make it worth his while). wait a while, then repeat. when he gets good, start interrupting his fun...if he's playing with kiddos or whatever he really likes, slip off and get a hunk of hot dog, then call cookies and give him the treat.

    this isn't "come". its optional. but he doesn't get the treat unless he comes to you. if he doesn't come, dont punish (haven't met a dog this didn't work for) just make the treats more irresistable for a while.

    then when he's off on a romp, you'll be able to call him in with the special treat word. thing is there, tho, not to abuse that or he'll learn you only give him cookies when you catch him or whatever. if he's outside playing being good, call cookies, give him a treat, and let him go back to playing when you can, just so he doesn't associate anything else with the word.

    (dex only called cookies when he wanted to catch the husky. didn't take husky long to learn to ignore dex's cookie calls. i don;t recall him ever ignoring mine)
  13. Jena

    Jena New Member

    we do the treat thing yet when he's outside he doesn't care. yet the idea of interuppting him while playing with kids is so basic yet so smart and makes perfect sense. thanks it's worth a shot. i'll work with him till i get a response if i get any. which i'm sure i wont'. lol.

    i love him i do, yet i think i need the dog whisperer in my house with him.
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Before you do anything irreversible, I would take the dog in to the vet and get a complete exam and lab work done to rule out any physical problems that could be causing it. There are certain conditions such as thyroid imbalances that can cause aggressiveness in dogs. Also, aggressiveness can happen if they are in pain such as dental problems, etc. And most large dogs need lots and lots of exercise and will become frustrated and just "not right" without it.

    Then you need to make ABSOLUTELY SURE that he can't get out and run loose. I too have a large dog who does not like strangers and would be aggressive if I let her. She is very protective of me and of our house. When she was younger and we lived out in the country she was outside a lot and she ran constantly for fun and exercise, got it out of her system. And I welcomed her protectiveness when I lived alone out in the boonies. But now that I live right in the middle of town with no fenced yard, she's in the house 100% of the time and only goes out when I take her out on a leash. She's ten now and has slowed down and doesn't need as much exercise as she once did. She gets all she needs chasing her brother through the house. Another absolute MUST is a good, sturdy crate. When someone comes in to our house, a repairman, etc., mine is securely locked in her crate while they're here. She surprised me by adapting very well to her crate. She sees it as her refuge, her safe place. A big part of her aggression towards strangers is from fear and if she's in her crate she feels secure and she's much calmer. I would love to have a big fenced yard for her to run in, but this is a trade-off and it seems to work just fine.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I like that idea too. Mandy is a jumper - she kisses noses. Not cool from an 85 pound Labrador. I might have to try "treat, sit, stay" and see if I can stretch it out.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    when i teach cookies, i do it all the time. and i usually start with a rotation of hot dog, hamb, and cheese so its really worth their while. once they learn it and leave skid marks on the floor to come, i slow it down a bit, so it stays exciting.
    and when they are rock solid, i still do it once a day...just to keep it going
  17. Jena

    Jena New Member

    we did do a whole work up on him last vet visit which was sunday. hes' all better as well as the puppy. puppy just has another ear infection yet that's it. i'll work with the big guy tmrw. i could use the break outside with him. tutor's coming tmrw i'm not allowed to leave the house yet i can go outside on the lawn.

    it's just me i love troubled things to fix things, a good pyschiatrist could probably really draw a whole lotta conclusions on that lol. husband says oh man if we had a huge house you would have homeless ppl in it, homeless animals. I said yup would!
  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm assuming the "big guy" is neutered. I mention this because I watched Dog Whisperer today about a dog that became suddenly aggressive (black lab) when given food or approached. He was a well trained hunting dog.

    After Milan worked on this animal's aggression the dog was neutered. Apparently, a male dog will fight to the death over food & over mating.

    Saying that, I've been in the position you're in recently ~ to a lesser extent with our dog who passed away just a few months ago. With the daily "antics" of our difficult children, plus work, family life, etc there is little time left for an animal. Our Sally was here for 5 years before the tweedles entered our home. The poor thing didn't know what hit her; our daily walks & outings to the river were cut drastically.

    Shari, I love your cookies command. Going to start using it with Lenny.