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Rescued Adult Male With Bad Fear Aggression

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#1
mullett-man

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WARNING! THIS POST HAS GRAPHIC TEXT THAT MAY BE UPSETTING TO SOME READERS. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED OR DO NOT CONDONE NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT/PHYSICAL DISCIPLINE OR STORIES ABOUT DOG ATTACKS!

Hi all, I have a big problem with a crested and was looking for some help. I googled it and it came back to this site every time, but nothing I found here was quite like my particular situation.

First, I'll start by introducing the dog. He's a 6 year old HHL crested who was rescued by my girlfriend at about a year old. When Mullett was taken from his previous home by the authorities, he was found tied to a tree with cigarette burns on his belly, abrasions, bruises and the like. Suspected backyard breeders or possible puppy mill, he was wanted for a stud but his testicles were inside of him, making him no good for breeding. He has since been neutered. He was rehabilitated for a couple of months prior to being adopted by my GF.

He's an absolute "velcro dog" when it comes to her, she's had him for about 5 years now and hasn't really lived with anyone else, only her. He has separation anxiety in that he will poop or pee in the house when she's not home. But he's very eager to please her, is fairly well trained for her and well behaved when in her presence.

He's absolutely terrified of me, and for that there's a long story.

She's military, moves around for different postings. Her other dog is a mantled blue merle great dane. The two dogs live in harmony, but rarely interact with each other. She sometimes has to keep them at boarding kennels or get friends to look after them when she's gone for work.

I'm a civil servant whose job is very directly and closely related to animals, both wild and domestic. I love animals, I have a cat myself and can't stand the thought of an animal being in distress. However, I do have to make tough decisions sometimes regarding animals in the interest of public safety or for humane reasons.

She and I started dating back in July and our relationship has been like a house on fire. The only problem is Mullett and I. 

She went away for a week in August, and I dog/house-sat for her. Keep in mind I haven't really looked after a dog since I was a kid about 20 years ago. And I never dealt with a rescue dog before at all. A lot has changed since then in terms of how dogs are trained, cared for and I didn't even know what a Crested was until I met her. Mullett displayed his separation anxiety (I wasn't warned this could happen) by pooping on the carpet several times in one evening. I showed him his mess at first, gave him a stern "NO! BAD DOG!" and put him outside. The discipline progressed each time until I rubbed his nose in it (it was always an accepted practice back when I had dogs years ago, I know people strongly disapprove now and knowing what I know now about Cresteds I realize it was a mistake) and put him outside for a longer period of time. He managed to escape from the back yard the last time, and when he was returned by a neighbour he proceeded to hide under the shed for an hour. 

I felt like crap for what had happened, got over the poop on the floor and tried to clean the poop from his hair by wetting my rubber gloved hands with water from a garden hose and then gently massaging it out. That was successful in making him scared of the hose. Though my GF can still bathe him in the tub same as always.

She came home again, life went back to normal and Mullett and I seemed to be cool again, like he forgave me for my mistakes. He'd cuddle with me on the couch, lay down for treats and come when called.

The dogs are crated when they are home alone (such as when we're at work) and one day I was last to leave the house, so I proceeded to put the boys in their crates, which are in the basement. Mullett decided he wasn't going downstairs that day, and cowered in the corner at the top of the stairs. I gave him a gentle root with my foot in the direction of the stairs. He ran the three steps to the top of the steep stairs, leaped off the top step, hit the third step on the way down and fell the rest of the way down, pee and screeching coming from him all the way down. Now he's afraid of stairs, too. I ran down after him, and the closer I got to him to see if he was OK, the louder he screamed at me. I checked him over, he was fine, albeit full of pee. Crated him and went to work as per normal. Told her what happened at the first opportunity. He seemed on edge around me after that but still OK, not aggressive at all.

A couple weeks later, she went to a night class for a couple hours. Mullett disappeared for a little bit, lo and behold he pooped on the floor again in the spare bedroom. I yelled out his name, and he ran to the door to be let out (on his own accord). My back yard wasn't fenced at the time, he had to be hooked on to a tether. When I bent down to hook the tether onto his collar, he snapped around and bit me between my fingers, only once but drawing blood. I finished hooking him on and scolded him as he went out the door. It was raining, so I let him in after only a few minutes. He didn't bite again on entry to the house, but was cowering and hiding from me the rest of the night. I left him alone and told her what happened again.

Fast forward another two weeks or so, I went into the room where his crate is at lunch time (I went home for lunch that day, we were both working) because there is a fridge with leftovers in the same room. He used to be kept in a rodent's or bird cage, the type that has a plastic pan on the bottom and wire on the top and sides, with the access door in the top. This day he got really mad and nasty inside the cage, growling, barking, screaming, scratching and charging the cage in my direction to the point where the cage came apart in two pieces. It was like he had rabies (except for the froth at the mouth part). I knew he would need to be removed in order to fix the cage or transfer him to another crate (we have another traditional end-loading plastic crate as well) and I also knew he was pissed. So I put on frisk gloves to protect myself against potential bites, and sure enough he bit. He full on attacked my hands when I tried to get him out and hook a leash onto his collar. I ended up having to pick him up by paws and around his little body to get him out. No injuries to me this time as I had PPE on, but he peed, pooped, screamed, bit, thrashed and really caused a scene while I was hooking him up. I brought him outside and hooked his leash onto his long tether, he was at the end of the tether away from me until I had to put him back inside after the crate was ready. I unhooked the leash from the tether and brought him inside without much issue, except he was crying a lot and cowering, tail between his legs. Once back at the crate, he would not let me unhook the leash or put my hands anywhere near his neck. He fought, bit and squirmed like a cat while I was trying to unhook the leash, and after some time I was getting frustrated with his lack of co-operation. Finally I smacked his head, open hand but fairly hard until he gave up fighting long enough to unhook the leash and put him back in the cage. Probably 3 or 4 times. I was disgusted with myself for hurting Mullett, but I felt I had no other choice in the matter as I needed him to stop attacking my hands long enough to put him back in the crate.

He healed up, we decided that some changes needed to happen and that he would now use the smaller, traditional end-loading crate covered in a blanket to keep him calm. Also, he would be muzzled when in my presence alone (except for feeding) and he would wear a harness so I didn't have to go as close to his neck with my hands.

All well and good, except he takes the muzzle off within five minutes every time. I also committed to building a fence so as the dogs could be let in and out without need for tethers. While I was home from work one day (building the fence for them) I left to go to the hardware store for lumber. When I got home, both dogs were in the their crates in the basement howling, loud enough to be heard outside by the neighbours. I went in and let the dane out in the hopes Mullett would calm down on his own, but that only made him worse. He screamed worse than when he's getting his nails cut! I took the chance, put on the frisk gloves, let him out and attempted to hook on the leash. He was actually somewhat OK, just licking his lips, showing teeth a little but not biting. While he was outside, I absent-mindedly picked up the garden hose for something and the terror struck Mullett like a freight train. He cowered away at the end of the tether, and I thought 'uh-oh'. Sure enough, when it was time to go back in the crate he caused such as fuss, despite wearing a harness and my hands not going anywhere near his neck. In order to get him to stop viciously attacking my hands, this time I tried the 'pin him to the floor on his side until he calms' method. That didn't work, in order to get him to stop the screaming, biting, peeing, pooping, etc. I had to grab the harness and twist it in such a way as he was rendered immobile. I managed to get the leash off of him and get him back into the crate before while he was still stunned from the squeeze.

The fence is done now at the cost of several days of labour and a few hundred dollars. No big deal to me as I want Mullett, the dane, my GF and I to be safe and happy.

She is currently house-sitting for her (also military) friend who has three non-Crested dogs and has Mullett there with them to keep him away from me as we can't have issues when we're not around one another, unsupervised. I go to visit and Mullett hides behind her, but will not attack where she is. Thank God she's understanding (she routinely refers to him as a "little f*cktard" in jest, but still loves him unconditionally yet understands what he can be like).

I feel guilty for hurting him, but I don't see any good being done by backing off and leaving him alone (giving him what he wants) when he's being very aggressive. We're not talking about a little nip here or a growl there...he's being full on savage when faced with me alone.

I know I have made mistakes in this situation (ie: rubbing his nose in the poop back in August) but I can't understand why time is making him worse with me instead of better? There was no need for him to lose his shit in the crate that day when I went to the fridge to get some lunch. I accept responsibility for my actions, and she knows this.  

We live an a remote area where there are no dog behaviour specialists (Dog Whisperers).

Does anyone have any ideas as to what, if anything, can be done to fix this situation we find ourselves in? Has anyone else ever encountered anything similar to this with a Crested before? I want to make it right for all of us. I have patience for most anything, except being bitten. I just want it to stop so we can at least have a functional relationship.

Thanks for taking the time to read and provide input. I know how easy it can be to judge sometimes, and what was written looks bad, but believe me, this is not a case of senseless cruelty. 

 



#2
jakksmum

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it sounds as if this poor little dog needs to be rescued from you....he is obviously terrified of you

please get him into a good home where he will be loved and protected



#3
mullett-man

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it sounds as if this poor little dog needs to be rescued from you....he is obviously terrified of you

please get him into a good home where he will be loved and protected

He is terrified of me, I admitted that. I'm asking for help to rebuild our relationship, not to terminate it. He's not my dog, so I can't make the decision to give up on him. Both of us need to learn to trust each other. As he is afraid of me, I'm afraid of him too. There has to be a way to get us back on track, and I'm determined to seek it out.



#4
jakksmum

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I don't know where you live....but there are probably classes that the two of you can go to , to train both of you in how to treat each other. The first thing you have to learn , however , is ...that under NO circumstances do you EVER ''pin him down'' ....''smack his head ''....''root with your foot'' or ''rub his nose in messes''. These little dogs are extremely sensitive ....and in my experience can only be trained with positive reinforcement....never with yelling or hitting .

Find a class soon....please



#5
Davyde

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Hi MM,

 

I don't have any quick answers for you, but perhaps a few pointers.

 

Our Dog Dizzy also came from a bad situation (8 years ago), and was - is - very fear aggressive. He has always been very loving towards my wife, Rie, but has bitten me, the vet, Rie's Dad, our daughter...

Diz is also a master of "the protest poop" (and occasionally a vindictive pisser!)

 

You've got off to a bad start with Mullett, and probably made things worse, but if you are serious about wanting to set things right, and prepared to be patient, very patient, then I think you will be able to achieve it.

 

I agree with Jakksum that the negative reinforcement methods you have used simply won't work, and will make things worse. Mullett is partly behaving as he does because he is scared of you, and pinning him down etc will just make him more scared and more aggressive. (I did the same with Diz once, not long after we got him, and he ripped the hell out of my thumb!)

You have to learn how to be calm and disregard Mullett's bad behaviour. The less scared he is, the less likely he is to poop in the house. If you don't make a big deal out of it if he does crap indoors, then he will start to become less scared of you and less likely to do it again.

I'm not saying he'll stop altogether; Cresteds can be very highly-strung, and it sounds like he is a bag of nerves, like our Dizzy.

 

As for biting:

Be calm in your movements around him, reassure him and don't startle him. Remember; you are a giant in his eyes, and it is very easy for him to feel intimidated by you.

You haven't said how big Mullett is, but I am assuming he is a fairly standard sized crestie, so his jaws are not that big. When you reach for him, do it slowly and present him with the back of your hand, or a very relaxed fist. Don't give him convenient finger sized targets.

Otherwise, wrap your hand in a small towel.

Again, the fewer times he snaps at you, the less likely he is to try again.

 

Sorry if that isn't a lot of help. I wish the three of you (and the Dane) luck in working things out.


Put a sane man alone in a room with a teacosy, and it is only a matter of time until he puts it on his head.

#6
mullett-man

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I don't know where you live....but there are probably classes that the two of you can go to , to train both of you in how to treat each other. The first thing you have to learn , however , is ...that under NO circumstances do you EVER ''pin him down'' ....''smack his head ''....''root with your foot'' or ''rub his nose in messes''. These little dogs are extremely sensitive ....and in my experience can only be trained with positive reinforcement....never with yelling or hitting .

Find a class soon....please

"Pin him down" and "smack his head" was to stop a full-on attack to get him unhooked, put into a crate, etc. Not meant to train or punish...

"Root with your foot" was meant to nudge him in the direction he needed to go in at that time. It was not a kick or even enough to really move him, just a gentle nudge. I'm still at a loss as to why he'd jump the stairs like he did. Again, not meant for punishment or training.

"Rub his nose in messes" was a training related mistake on my part, I admitted that and it's not happening again as I now know it was a bad idea.

Trust me when I tell you I'm not some deranged animal abuser, please. I didn't reach out and ask for help only to be told that what I did was wrong and to stop doing it, because I have already stopped doing it. Also, there are no obedience classes here in this remote area. I value your opinion but I'm looking for help, not to be judged. We have taken steps in that I don't handle him anymore when his owner/my girlfriend isn't around, only under her direct supervision so as she can intervene if Mullett decides to attack. Also, he tends to be somewhat more calm when she's near.



#7
mullett-man

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Hi MM,

 

I don't have any quick answers for you, but perhaps a few pointers.

 

Our Dog Dizzy also came from a bad situation (8 years ago), and was - is - very fear aggressive. He has always been very loving towards my wife, Rie, but has bitten me, the vet, Rie's Dad, our daughter...

Diz is also a master of "the protest poop" (and occasionally a vindictive pisser!)

 

You've got off to a bad start with Mullett, and probably made things worse, but if you are serious about wanting to set things right, and prepared to be patient, very patient, then I think you will be able to achieve it.

 

I agree with Jakksum that the negative reinforcement methods you have used simply won't work, and will make things worse. Mullett is partly behaving as he does because he is scared of you, and pinning him down etc will just make him more scared and more aggressive. (I did the same with Diz once, not long after we got him, and he ripped the hell out of my thumb!)

You have to learn how to be calm and disregard Mullett's bad behaviour. The less scared he is, the less likely he is to poop in the house. If you don't make a big deal out of it if he does crap indoors, then he will start to become less scared of you and less likely to do it again.

I'm not saying he'll stop altogether; Cresteds can be very highly-strung, and it sounds like he is a bag of nerves, like our Dizzy.

 

As for biting:

Be calm in your movements around him, reassure him and don't startle him. Remember; you are a giant in his eyes, and it is very easy for him to feel intimidated by you.

You haven't said how big Mullett is, but I am assuming he is a fairly standard sized crestie, so his jaws are not that big. When you reach for him, do it slowly and present him with the back of your hand, or a very relaxed fist. Don't give him convenient finger sized targets.

Otherwise, wrap your hand in a small towel.

Again, the fewer times he snaps at you, the less likely he is to try again.

 

Sorry if that isn't a lot of help. I wish the three of you (and the Dane) luck in working things out.

Thank you very much, your suggestions are quite helpful. 

I know I won't get a 'fix in pill form' for this, but having a response from someone who has/is experiencing the same type of issue makes me feel a lot better in that I'm not alone. I know I did damage to him mentally as well as physically by pinning him down, but something had to be done to stop the attack. He was full-on savage and would not stop by any other means. He actually squirmed and thrashed about, clawing at me like a cat on the two bad occasions we had. I could have stood up and walked away from him, however that would be counter-productive as then he would get the idea that biting makes things better and that's the last thing we need is for him to become a habitual biter with people other than me as well as me.

At least now he can be put outside without being touched as it's as easy as opening the door. That's a huge improvement over what we had. He also stays in the smaller conventional crate, covered with a blanket which seems to calm him down a lot more. As in my last response post to jakksmum, I don't handle him alone anymore, I feed him as much as possible, give him the good treats and reward him when he's not scared. I do speak to him in a "tone" when he does show signs of getting scared that discourages the behaviour but is not threatening to him, it's a calm, assertive air and it tends to relax him without reassuring or reinforcing the scared behaviour. It puts me in control and reminds him that I'm alpha.



#8
Davyde

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At least now he can be put outside without being touched as it's as easy as opening the door. That's a huge improvement over what we had. He also stays in the smaller conventional crate, covered with a blanket which seems to calm him down a lot more. As in my last response post to jakksmum, I don't handle him alone anymore, I feed him as much as possible, give him the good treats and reward him when he's not scared. I do speak to him in a "tone" when he does show signs of getting scared that discourages the behaviour but is not threatening to him, it's a calm, assertive air and it tends to relax him without reassuring or reinforcing the scared behaviour. It puts me in control and reminds him that I'm alpha.

That sounds like good progress. The calm, assertive tone is a very good way to reprimand Mullett. I do the same with Dizzy, but forgot to mention it.

 

Being able to let him out without touching him also makes life a lot easier for both of you.


Put a sane man alone in a room with a teacosy, and it is only a matter of time until he puts it on his head.

#9
Esylum

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Oooooph... That's one heck of a story... I will do  my best to not sound too judgie on you, With Pup care,  I know I have done things in the past that I am not proud of, we all make mistakes, what matters now is that you are willing to learn from them and improve yourself. But I would guess that is why you are here...

 

First off, my opinion is that you might need to drop the alpha, I'm the Boss, mentality... you aren't training a Police dog to be a tool as well as family member, this pup, has been almost 100% bonded to no one but your gf for 5 years. He came from Hell, and she made that world a better place. You have brought Hell back. It is probably not you personally, or at least not in the beginning, its what you represent and remind him of. Your past mistakes are just that, past mistakes. Dogs have memories, he will associate you to the negative things that have happened since the two of you have been together... you need to show him that you aren't going to ever do it again... the further you can get from those events, and the more positive moments you can put in that space the easier life will be for you all.

 

He is going to look to your GF for guidance, I think its great you guys are working with him together, as it doesn't sound like either of you are ready for 1 on 1 time yet.

 

You dont have to try and show him who is boss or remind him you are alpha, he isn't competing with you, because in his mind you are just a threat... not a pack mate... You wont ever convince him of that you, will only make him hate your guts, which kinda sounds like you have done a great job at, lol... Sorry... I know not funny... 

 

Sorry it might sound Hokey... but my crested is my heart dog, I would do anything for him, and I know when I look into his eyes that there is more there then the average dog.

 

Cresteds are manipulative, and strong willed, and they can be very spiteful... the trick is getting them to want to like you. I'm not sure how anyone can treat a Crested with a heavy hand, and still have them display the full range of compassion and dedication that they have the ability to... I think there is a fine line between firm and intimidation... 

 

You guys might never be friends, he might always poop on the floor if she leaves to go out, but I think there is hope that you two can both be in the same space together ignoring each others existence  LOL. It's all about just getting him to like you, and he isn't going to do that as long as you are the bad guy. Swallow your pride and grovel a bit... no one is going to think you are less of a person for caving to an adorable crested ;)

 

Good Luck to you guys, it sounds like you might have found a good place here to learn about what really makes a crested tick :)

They can honestly be the greatest thing in your life if you let them :D I wouldn't trade mine for the world!


***just a small kindness can turn a day around***


#10
GrandCynth

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It's quite possible that the abuse he suffered before being rescued, was done by a man, and therefore he may have been frightened by you because of that association. He may never be close to you as he is to your girlfriend, but hopefully with time and some gentle, positive reinforcement, the two of you may be able to peacefully coexist.

I wish you guys had access to a professional who could help facilitate. What about Mullett's veterinarian? Perhaps a discussion with the vet about what's been going on? He might even benefit from medication. Just thinking out loud here....Mullett is psychologically suffering, and since you are remote from help, I would certainly start by reaching out to his vet. Some vets are trained in behavioral issues.
Good luck!

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#11
mullett-man

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Oooooph... That's one heck of a story... I will do  my best to not sound too judgie on you, With Pup care,  I know I have done things in the past that I am not proud of, we all make mistakes, what matters now is that you are willing to learn from them and improve yourself. But I would guess that is why you are here...

 

First off, my opinion is that you might need to drop the alpha, I'm the Boss, mentality... you aren't training a Police dog to be a tool as well as family member, this pup, has been almost 100% bonded to no one but your gf for 5 years. He came from Hell, and she made that world a better place. You have brought Hell back. It is probably not you personally, or at least not in the beginning, its what you represent and remind him of. Your past mistakes are just that, past mistakes. Dogs have memories, he will associate you to the negative things that have happened since the two of you have been together... you need to show him that you aren't going to ever do it again... the further you can get from those events, and the more positive moments you can put in that space the easier life will be for you all.

 

He is going to look to your GF for guidance, I think its great you guys are working with him together, as it doesn't sound like either of you are ready for 1 on 1 time yet.

 

You dont have to try and show him who is boss or remind him you are alpha, he isn't competing with you, because in his mind you are just a threat... not a pack mate... You wont ever convince him of that you, will only make him hate your guts, which kinda sounds like you have done a great job at, lol... Sorry... I know not funny... 

 

Sorry it might sound Hokey... but my crested is my heart dog, I would do anything for him, and I know when I look into his eyes that there is more there then the average dog.

 

Cresteds are manipulative, and strong willed, and they can be very spiteful... the trick is getting them to want to like you. I'm not sure how anyone can treat a Crested with a heavy hand, and still have them display the full range of compassion and dedication that they have the ability to... I think there is a fine line between firm and intimidation... 

 

You guys might never be friends, he might always poop on the floor if she leaves to go out, but I think there is hope that you two can both be in the same space together ignoring each others existence  LOL. It's all about just getting him to like you, and he isn't going to do that as long as you are the bad guy. Swallow your pride and grovel a bit... no one is going to think you are less of a person for caving to an adorable crested ;)

 

Good Luck to you guys, it sounds like you might have found a good place here to learn about what really makes a crested tick :)

They can honestly be the greatest thing in your life if you let them :D I wouldn't trade mine for the world!

Thanks for the encouragement. I know I'm up to a real challenge with Mullett. 

He hasn't really been looking to her for guidance as much as protection. He cowers and hide behind her when I enter the room, and now screams at me if I come too close and bares his teeth when I look at him sometimes. I think he's actually getting worse instead of better as time passes since our bad incidents.

No worries about sounding hokey, I'm a sucker for animals myself and it breaks my heart Mullett and I don't get along better. I'd be willing to accept him if he'd just stop biting me whenever I come handy to him.

One thing I've learned is that he is one manipulative little bugger...he's like that problem step-child, for sure. One minute he'll be licking my fingers indoors, then outside he'll scream so all the neighbours can hear.

We have a long ways to go yet, but still not giving up!



#12
mullett-man

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It's quite possible that the abuse he suffered before being rescued, was done by a man, and therefore he may have been frightened by you because of that association. He may never be close to you as he is to your girlfriend, but hopefully with time and some gentle, positive reinforcement, the two of you may be able to peacefully coexist.

I wish you guys had access to a professional who could help facilitate. What about Mullett's veterinarian? Perhaps a discussion with the vet about what's been going on? He might even benefit from medication. Just thinking out loud here....Mullett is psychologically suffering, and since you are remote from help, I would certainly start by reaching out to his vet. Some vets are trained in behavioral issues.
Good luck!

Funny though, he absolutely loved me the first month...it's like I "broke" our friendship beyond repair when he was pooping on the floor back in August.

Like my above reply to Esylum, at this point I'd be happy if he'd stop biting me and screaming when I come within three feet of him. His tantrums are making me nervous, scaring the Dane and the cat. My GF is getting fed up with his behaviour now too, as she has seen him attack me with next to no provocation (coming too close or accidentally cornering him).

As for Mullett's vet, she is absolutely paranoid about rabies and almost always euthanizes dogs that display changes in behavior, insisting on post-mortem rabies testing. I know this first hand as I have had to take people's dogs after they were put down and send the heads to the lab for testing. (See original post about my job involving animals and public safety) Taking him to the only vet in town and complaining of behavior issues is an almost certain death sentence for the poor guy...I'd rather have my fingers shredded than that.

Positive reinforcement doesn't seem to work very well for us either...night before last I was trying to offer him freeze-dried liver treats and all he did was poop on the floor and hide under an end table. Alas, I didn't get bitten that time...

I'd like to find a discipline technique that my GF (not me, I want no part of punishing him at all) could practice on him to let him know biting is bad and won't be tolerated but at the same time won't induce more fear in him. We have some sedative treats on the way and I'd like to keep him muzzled a bit so I can handle him and not get bitten, but prove I'm not trying to kill him. After a while when he calms down, then taking try taking the muzzle off and see how it goes...if he bites again then immediately replace the muzzle. Repeat until he's either relaxed more or reached the end of his life, whichever comes first... 

If we can find a muzzle that he won't expertly remove within 30 seconds, of course....

Thanks for the suggestions though, you people are very encouraging!



#13
GrandCynth

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There should absolutely be no need for Mullett's vet to try and force euthanasia on a dog with aggression issues, if the dog has a record of being timely vaccinated against rabies! You said you guys live in a remote area, so perhaps people in your vet's area aren't good about vaccinating against it?

I'm more troubled now, than I previously was about Mullett's situation. It sounds like he's gone further downhill, and now your girlfriend is getting fed up with his behavior as well? I can tell you that Mullet isn't having "tantrums" and that ANY kind of discipline at all isn't going to fix him. The kindest thing you could do for him, IMO, is find a rescue who is experienced with broken dogs, and let them take him. He is suffering, and you don't have the necessary skills to try and fix him. Not a slam on you, most people would need help with a professional in Mullett's situation. I know I certainly would need help if he were my dog. Please. Please help this boy have a chance of living a quality life, for what's left of it. 😢

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#14
mullett-man

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There should absolutely be no need for Mullett's vet to try and force euthanasia on a dog with aggression issues, if the dog has a record of being timely vaccinated against rabies! You said you guys live in a remote area, so perhaps people in your vet's area aren't good about vaccinating against it?

I'm more troubled now, than I previously was about Mullett's situation. It sounds like he's gone further downhill, and now your girlfriend is getting fed up with his behavior as well? I can tell you that Mullet isn't having "tantrums" and that ANY kind of discipline at all isn't going to fix him. The kindest thing you could do for him, IMO, is find a rescue who is experienced with broken dogs, and let them take him. He is suffering, and you don't have the necessary skills to try and fix him. Not a slam on you, most people would need help with a professional in Mullett's situation. I know I certainly would need help if he were my dog. Please. Please help this boy have a chance of living a quality life, for what's left of it.

I understand the vet is using too big of a stick here; the vet would be more justified in taking that kind of approach if there was a rabies outbreak occurring now or even if there was confirmed contact with another domestic or wild animal. However, none of those are true and as far as I know, Mullett's rabies shots are current.

I used the word "tantrum" because he has no need to be screaming, cowering and biting just because I come within three feet of him or look in his direction. GF is getting fed up with him in that she is left looking at the ground and shaking her head, not that she gets angry with him. Simply upset that he's getting worse instead of better with the limited/supervised contact Mullett and I have.

I agree he should be rehomed after getting some professional help; however, Mullett is her already troubled dog (not mine) who was introduced to a newer, bigger pack and it is her decision as to what happens to him, which I must respect. She's keeping him, she and I are staying together (though NOT for the kids - lol) so we have to figure this out somehow.

I hope we can make some progress soon as we still have some time to go before we can move out of here to a place where help is available, for all our sakes, not just his. I know he's a good dog at heart, I certainly mean well too and GF loves us both without bias. 

Thanks for the respectful dialogue and thoughts on this.



#15
Chyna

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Wish I could be more help on this, we took our fear biter in for training. However one of the things that my trainer insisted on was that the people our Lily would bite were the people who took the class. In particular my daughter had to be the one doing the training. We don't tolerate her biting us and I can't even remember the last time she has done it. One thing I do make sure of is to not play with her mouthing me in any way. If she uses teeth, I yip Believe me, she knows she has done wrong.
As for my crestie who doesn't trust my husband. I correct her (a verbal, Jezzzzie) and "the look", Corporal punishment, will never work on her. She isn't fond of men in particular loud men. As for you being surprised he jumped down the stairs. I can believe it, he was trying to get away from you. My Jezzie has done similar things. my huband scares the hell out of her. Absolutely terrifies her, and I don't give him a break on it either. Patience is key. A book I got years ago when I first got an abused rescue was called "Just Say Good Dog". It was invaluable, I should pull it out and see what I can do for Jez.
You two need to be a team and from I get from your story, you aren't.
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#16
Esylum

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I would love to look into that book as well Chyna, Do you know who wrote it? I don't think there is ever a level of understanding when it comes to our kids that would stop me from wanting to learn more... the more you know, the more tools you should have at your disposal!


***just a small kindness can turn a day around***





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