Please help with advice - EXTREME fearful biting behavior - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 08-16-2014, 11:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You sound like a very interesting kind man .
This dog is going to be very difficult , huge risk. That is the reality.

I mean when the vet says
"The vet doing the surgery called me around 8:30 and asked me if I was aware he was "extremely aggressive." I said no, I had no idea. She said that when they were getting him ready for his surgery, she "tried to take her face off, as in 'seriously', not a warning."

then a day or two later , because he had not been aggressive , you (quote) " let him have the run of the bedroom the next day, with his crate to return to if he needed or wished................ At night, he did not want to go back into his crate, but wanted to sleep on the bed with me.
I allowed him to sleep on the bed, and he huddled against me the entire night"

Oh my how lucky you were . You did not know anything about the dog . The vet had warned you.
The dog could have ripped your ear, your scalp , with so much as a sneeze or turn in the bed . You could have been pinned or bitten had you gotten out of bed to use the facilities .
Far far too much freedom.
The same to be said about meeting with the neighbours in three separate encounters, Maud and Ken and John -- you saw the potential violent reaction the dog could produce.
Then to introduce the dog to your wife - another bad experience , and the too hasty freedom with her dog Snow , which was injured from some nasty bites inflicted on it .

When you don't know a dog you have to be cautious and take your time .

I honestly think this dog is out of your league in the ability to manage it so that no harm comes to anyone of any animal.

I don't think the dog can be rehabilitated --- you don't know if it has a past bite history and someone dumped the dog , abdicating their responsibility .
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Bill said "At this point, euthanasia is not even on the table. Perhaps that is overly naive of me,"

This could be totally out of your hands . The dog may/will bite . You have had 4 warnings in a very short frame of time .
Should it come to a bite , which will be serious , even the VET could not speak up on your behalf as they had given you warning about the dog .
If it went to court , the Vet , not even the neighbours could say that to their knowledge it was an accident , not normal behaviour for the dog . You would be in trouble for harboring a dangerous animal without proper control or precautions. You could loose everything , and I am not talking about possessions or finances .

If you were to sell the dog I think the law can reach backwards and include you in charges if the person you sold the dog to was negligent in the extraordinary care needed to manage this dog .
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Wow Bill, sounds like you are tying your best. And that you care about this dogs life.

I would get a pet behaviorist as soon as possible. Tomorrow! Hook up with a trainer too, so you can get two opinions at least, go for a another trainer if you think it fits better, and for three opinions on the dog.

What i concerns me about the dog is that it sounds like he goes in for quite the bite.. Not a warning bite.. What kind of muzzle are you using?

Keep him on leash at all times with a muzzle when anyone else is around. No bed, no couch, etc. Make sure he gets plenty of exercise and mind stimulation.

Every time he is about to bite, he freezes up and stares at them. You have to be the interrupter to that train of thought in his head and what follows, if there is anyone who is going to be hurt, its going to have to be you- since he is your dog. How long does he stare at them and freeze before biting? Even a few seconds is enough for you to be quick in reaction time to be an interrupter.
Sounds like he is trying to control his space, if he is fearful that would make sense too.

But definitely get that trainer and behaviorist in as soon as you can! Hard core management for now!

Good luck! And remember that you are giving this dog, what no one else would. Your are giving him another chance. If you have to be the one to make that hard decision on his life, remember that. Makes you wonder what this poor dog wen't through, what kind of poor genetics he has too.. Poor kiddo
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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bill i know you came here for advice and opinions and you are getting good responses from some very experienced people so far. please be careful and ever more watchful with Wheelie until you formulate a plan that is safe for everyone.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am going to recommend a GSD club in Hanover Park, IL. You can call there and ask for Vince. They will evaluate and help if they can. They are good people and they know GSD's. By the way welcome to the board. I don't live to far from you at all
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Though I haven't been in your situation and I can't say for sure what I'd do I doubt I'd euthanize. I'd do my best to manage and work with him though never trusting him and always on guard and see how it goes.
However, if this isn't what you're willing to put up with (and it's a lot of work and inconvenience and almost no fun) then I'd euthanize. Rehoming isn't an option. No one wants and only a few people know how to manage one. And they're not looking for a project like this.
So unfortunately it's now your problem.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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gosh bill I was up half the night thinking about your situation. rehoming is not a good option, it's way too easy for dogs like this to meet a bad ending. there are "bundlers" in our area who sell to research and fighters. these are exactly the kinds of dogs they look for. they recruit women and children to pose as "families", they have very good, well thought out stories. please be very careful and if you decide that it's not in your family's best interest to keep him, just PLEASE do the right thing. no matter how hard or unpleasant for you. unless, of course, you have a good friend you can thoroughly trust who has no kids or family, works from home, wants a dog who will likely require lifetime management...just kind of an impossible situation. I SO feel for you because I know how fast and easy it is to completely fall in love with these dogs.

I also thought a lot about what carmspack said about how lucky you were to let him sleep with you so early in the game without incident. please be careful. in case you haven't figured it out yet, I am the worrier of the group, lolol...

thinking of you and your situation as I go about my day.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you're facing this situation, Bill. I completely understand how you feel about this dog, and I'd feel the same way. I would probably choose to keep him, if I was in your shoes. But I also understand that it might be impossible, under the circumstances. As a wife, and coming into a home where my DH already had a dog of his own, I know that this is a rocky road when the dog has issues. If you can come to terms with the fact that you can never let your guard down with this dog, then you could be very happy that you decided to stay with him for the long haul. But things could really spiral downhill fast if you forget what he's capable of. This is a tough decision to make, and it really depends on how much micromanaging you want to do. Good luck with everything, this is truly between a rock and a hard place.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Bill B., what a kind soul you are for opening your heart and home to Wheelie (and all the other animals you have brought in over the years). You are in one of those situations that just doesn't provide easy (or often happy) answers.

In my experience the "No Kids" on his shelter paperwork was indicative of the shelter seeing behaviors that were troubling. But, as is often the case, they wanted to give the dog every chance at a successful adoption. Perhaps he was loving and sweet with one employee who advocated for him. Perhaps they all saw signs of a dog that just wanted his own person. The "No Kids" was a middle ground. The shelter would have better served Wheelie if they had acted on their own concerns and euthanized him before he ever made it to the adoption floor.

But they didn't and now you have him. And your heart is big enough to want the best for this dog, but your head is accepting that he might not be the best fit in your home.

The cold truth is that there is no place to take him. Or, rather, the reputable places that would take him are so few and far between that they might as well not exist at all. The good trainers that would be willing to take him already have a dog just like Wheelie. Sanctuaries like Best Friends? Waiting lists that will effectively preclude him from ever getting in. So-called No Kill shelters? Won't take him because of his bite history. An open admission shelter would take him, maybe. But because of his history, he would never make it to the adoption floor.

You could advertise him as available to a good home. But he would be a very, very difficult dog to place responsibly. And the types of people who would be attracted to him because of his history are the very types who shouldn't get him.

I see this play out a lot. I think, based on my experience, that you have two choices. Find a good, reputable trainer who has experience working with aggressive dogs. A behaviorist trainer who can address two different issues independently (training issues and the aggression). It will be expensive. It will take time and it will be a big commitment of your time and effort. And a huge commitment from your wife, who needs to commit her support in keeping Wheelie.

Even with all that time, effort and money? You will most likely end up with a dog that can't be "fixed" or made safe. So you have to be okay with a goal of management rather than a goal of "All Better Now". That means that your life must change. The dogs will have to be managed as separate pets, with rotating access to you and your wife. And he might always need to be muzzled during his "people time". The pigeon is not going to be safe uncaged. Because my experience has been that all it takes is one time for a tragic accident to happen. A door you thought was closed is nosed open and Wheelie walks in and it is all over before you have even been able to comprehend that he is actually in the room.

You have to be okay with all of that. As does your wife. Personally, I would euthanize him. His human aggression means that even his time with you (when it is his turn) will have to be managed. And so even that experience, which should be a time of peace and contentment for you all, is going to be weighted with worry and frustration. That isn't fair to him. Or to you. Or to your wife. Or your other pets, who were there before him and whose needs should take precedence over his because they were there first.

I worked in an open admission shelter for years, and volunteered for even longer. I have been involved in rescue for years. Dogs that shouldn't be made available for adoption sometimes make it to the adoption floor. From the information you have shared, I think Wheelie is one of those dogs. I know it is a sad thing to consider. But sometimes the most humane, loving thing we can do is to let them go. At least he had the chance to sleep on a bed, to be given a name and to be mourned when he is gone.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I am thinking about you and your family as you wrestle with the decision.
Sheilah

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Old 08-17-2014, 01:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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people are so quick to suggest euthanasia for a dog thy haven't seen. maybe the handler Is the problem (bill, no disrespect. I suck myself as a handler, still learning and that's part of the reason I'm bringing it up)
yes, I know, the vet. how many dogs on this board need to be muzzled at a vet?

I just think people should see the dog before condemning him.
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