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Rescue Dog behavior red flag?

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Otis

1202322
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 1:59pm PST 
We recently (2 days ago) rescued another dog. She is about 4 - Catahoula + ? - boxer or pit maybe. We have a 2 year old male Catahoula and they get along fine (as in, she tolerates his constant attention very well smile ). We have a lot of dogs in "our world" - dog park for Otis daily, dogs of family members, etc. Some small children too (nieces, nephews < 4 yo). She made a trip to the dog park and did fine - mostly observed. We took her to the family farm and she did fine with 5/6 of the dogs. Got into one pretty serious scuffle with a young Golden. There was a toy involved so we wrote it off. Today at the dog park she was completely unprovoked and VERY aggressive towards a new dog at the park. If we hadn't held her when he came in and then kept her on a leash for a few minutes until leaving I don't think it would have ended well. She has some scars and is missing part of an ear... so she has not had an easy life.

She is wonderful at home. Calm, loving, sits in your lap, no barking, etc. Honestly, she is perfect. But the fact of our lives is that she will be around other dogs a lot. I am literally nauseous as I type this because I feel so awful thinking about giving her back to the agency... but I just feel as though I'm not ready to risk a dog with the potential for severe aggression... just looking for some feedback or possible "try this first" ideas...

Thanks smile
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Duncan

Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

moderator
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 2:16pm PST 
Where do you live? What do you mean when you refer to giving her back to the "agency"? Was she from a rescue group? Was she fostered in a home prior to your adopting her? If so what did the foster home/ rescue report about her behavior toward other dogs?
Otis

1202322
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 2:44pm PST 
Where do you live? What do you mean when you refer to giving her back to the "agency"? Was she from a rescue group?

I'm in UPSNY. Yes - she is from a rescue group with a 20 day trial period.

Was she fostered in a home prior to your adopting her?

From what I understand she was fostered briefly - but not in a foster "home" per se - the rescue group had an awful lot of dogs and I think it was more of a kennel situation than a home situation.

If so what did the foster home/ rescue report about her behavior toward other dogs?

They said she was fine but had shown some aggression over a toy. She was originally from a kill shelter in the south. She didn't come with a history from there so she only has a 2 week history with the group up here.
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Duncan

Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

moderator
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 2:54pm PST 
Ah, I see. Well, many knowledgeable Dogsters will chime in here about strategies for dealing with possible DA, but in the meantime, I have but one suggestion. You should probably talk with your contact at the rescue group asap about the issues you are having. They should try to help with the problems. And if the problems turn out to be more than you can handle, and she has to go back to the rescue, at least they'll have had some time to make arrangements for her (whether in their kennels or with a foster). And, when they adopt her out again, they'll have valuable information from you to share with any potential new adopters. I.e., the dimensions of her possible DA. It's nice that you are on a 20-day trial period to find out just this sort of thing.
Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 8:12pm PST 
It depends too on is there some other options than her having to be a social butterfly? I know you want her involved with family and friend gatherings but perhaps you could find a doggie sitter for awhile when you go to doggie gatherings. Just until you have more time with her. If she gets along with the people and animals in your house it's all good, you don't have to immediately jump to the conclusion it can't work out. She just might need time and careful patience.

Sophie is still sometimes very reactive with certain dogs. I've learned to spot potentially bad situations before they happen. With bullies and boxers you need to always be aware where she is and what she is doing, even when you're relaxing. Dog parks are pressure cooker situations for alot of otherwise social pups. IMHO I would say if she gets on well with your family, just give her time. It took Sophie two years to really get brave and trusting enough to socialize with a wide variety of dogs.
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Nare

Woo-woo- whineybutt
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 23, '12 9:46pm PST 
I think the problem here is that you're expecting too much too fast.
This dog still doesn't know you or trust you. She was uprooted and now is being housed with a stranger. She is probably really stressed!

I suggest looking up the 2 week shutdown / staycaution
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Otis

1202322
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 5:42am PST 
One more thing... here is what is motivating our concern...

besides the dogs-are-always-around stuff we are avid hikers, horseback riders, etc. We have Otis off leash pretty often when we ride and hike. So we are in conditions pretty frequently where we need to know that if she encounters a dog that concerns here she won't immediately go into attack mode. This behavior yesterday wasn't "back-off" it was "i'm coming to attack you".

Otis is a submissive and super friendly dog. He just has that aura that he would never hurt anyone - it is almost palpable when you meet him. Her, not so much.

We just don't know where to draw the line between innate demeanor and behavior that might change over time...
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sun Nov 25, '12 3:02pm PST 
Otis, I really hope if you don't mind that I talk frank. To start, I am a co chair of a rescue that has done a lot of work out of Louisiana. The rescue's director, who has also posted here, comes from there and founded the rescue in that state. I am the adoptions counselor, the behavioral mod person and also the resident all breed expert. As for the rescue director, she's been surrounded by many a Catahoula. We have placed quite a few successfully, and they have run the gamut. One was Louie, who was a very promising rather classic "loco head" Catahoula who now thrives in his multi dog household, but his owner WANTED a challenge. And is now divorced laugh out loud

You need to consider bringing this dog back. You are not a match, from what your lifestyle and expectations are. You don't need to be a saint. If the dog is not right, there is a rescue willing to take him back and find a more suitable placement. The dog is safe, she is fine. Dog aggression is not uncommon, particularly of the SSA ilk. They also are a very territorial breed, which can up your problems. That she has also suggested resource guarding also ups concern.

You asked this question...."We just don't know where to draw the line between innate demeanor and behavior that might change over time."

Your answer there is to know your breed and its potential. You are free to, I invite you, to hit Google and search Catahoula temperament, and I think then you get your answer. She is acting like a Catahoula, and thereby is far more likely to be showing truer breed characteristics.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
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Star BN RN- RA

IM too CUTE
 
 
Barked: Mon Nov 26, '12 5:50pm PST 
Im with Tiller, the dog sounds like it is being a typical Catahoula.

I would contact the rescue and return her. You want the dog to be happy and for you and your family to be happy and comfortable with the dog. This simply does not sound like the right match for you, this does not mean that you are a bad person or anything, it simply means you are not the right person for this particular dog.
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