Some bad news about Shadow (Dog I rescued) - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Some bad news about Shadow (Dog I rescued)

Shadow, as previously mentioned, is the dog I rescued from a bad situation with a meth addict. She is a 75-ish pound golden retriever, anywhere from 4-12 years old (We'll be finding her age out today at the vets hopefully. We are taking her for a check up, shots, and so they can look over her records) She loves me to death, she follows me faithfully and when Im not there she just sits by the door waiting for me to get home. I can touch her anywhere and do anything with her...but she doesn't much like other people.

She's snapped at my mom and dad before and actually BIT the PetCo woman who was trying to put a harness on her to see if it fit. She's also dog aggressive in a way, she'll sniff them for a few seconds then start snapping and growling and lunging. We are 99% sure she was abused and manhandled in her past, so that's most likely the issue here.

What kind of classes/trainer would be able to help her (hopefully) with these issues? I'm already starting obedience classes with her but I'm not sure what other types are out there.
Thank you in advance, and please no negative feedback.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 12:14 PM
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I'm just going to put my $0.02 in.

Be very careful about who is around her if she snaps. I rescued a pit who we believe was used as a bait dog. He snapped at my Great Dane so I had to keep him seperated with my shepherd since that was the only other dog he liked.

Yeah well he got out and almost killed my Great Dane. And back to the rescue he went. I wasnt taking that chance again.

Be careful and get a GOOD trainer.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 01:47 PM
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Sounds like your dos needs some kind of rehab trainer, you can contact the trainers in your area and explain your problem and then ask if they can help or not, and if they actually have experience with biters.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 01:51 PM
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I have rescued dogs, and been very lucky.
Snapping at other dogs to sort out the pack order, fine.

Bite a human? I would be taking it straight to the vets to be put down.

Get a very, very good trainer ASAP. The last thing you want is for her to snap at a child.

Best of luck.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 02:15 PM
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I'd look for a trainer who has experience and can deal with this issue. We've always had rescue dogs and some (like yours) have even been untouchable for months. I will say this to some dogs it's natural. Some dogs have a very strong pack mentality and do not like having other people around. (I had a blue heeler/husky mix who was like this to the 100th degree). In that case you have to socialize them on their terms. I put mine on a leash and had the person to be introduced sit on the couch, when she was quiet and non aggressive she got to go sniff and get a treat; when she wasn't she was at my side (I had to do this for weeks before she might accept the person). Another thing is that even though that might not be the case, and she may just be acting out from her situation, some dogs never get over it. We had a dog a few years ago who never liked anyone else but my grandmother. He got a little better as he got older but she just worked around him when company came over. I've come to find through me and my family's years of rescuing that some dogs are never 100% right afterwards and have their tics. Most of them though go back to being about 90% right though. In both cases though it can take years to get them back to some semblence of normality. Good luck though! :)
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 09:54 PM
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Look for a trainer who uses POSITIVE methods, none of that 'alpha' trash, no chokes or prongs or yelling or jerking.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-22-2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastureSongs View Post
Look for a trainer who uses POSITIVE methods, none of that 'alpha' trash, no chokes or prongs or yelling or jerking.
....and one that's not too much "gentle" either. Beating a dog has no excuse, so I'm not saying look for an abuser, just for a competent trainer. The "too gentle" risk telling you to put the dog down, because they can work just with unproblematic dogs and they don't know how to fix the problem.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-22-2013, 06:52 PM
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some rescues (my friend's for instance) are really nervous around new people but after awhile she warms up, people often think she's scared or trying to bite them case she pulls away when you pet her, really she just isn't too keen one people "suddenly" touching her you have let her see your hand coming first and in general she prefers playing to cuddling so she may jump playfully to tell you "I want to play! Chase me/throw my toy!" maybe this dog is similar in tha she'll take time to warm up to everyone else

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-23-2013, 07:00 PM
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Its for sure she was abused. I suspect repeatedly. It takes a lot to turn a golden. But I also believe you can turn it back around. If any dog can be, its a golden.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-24-2013, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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She's been such a good girl lately, she's made friends with smaller dogs and breeds other than goldens. I even took her to PetSmart and she made friends with a dog and also the dog trainer there, and several people who petted her. She only growls now when she's been out too long and is overwhelmed, and she accepts new people. She never growls at my parents or me, and she's met my two sister's, their husband/boyfriend, and about ten of my friends. All went without incident. I can also now put a harness on her and she accepts it just fine.
I'm taking her to a new vet who better understands aggressive dogs, but I think it was just an adjustment issue and she's comfortable now and on the right track!
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