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Mandy - posted on 09/17/2010

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Hi Tracy, I have recently takin on a young very aggerssive Great Dane. She was in a very dominate state. She was my mother-in laws dog and was allowed to do whatever she wanted. I had told them when she was only 8 weeks old that she should never be allowed on any furniture especially the beds. But they never listened. So when she was 6 months old and 90lbs I got a frantic call from my mother in law telling me the dog was trying to kill her. Aparntly she was on the bed and was snapping and growling at anyone that came near it. I went over got her off the bed(got bit and shartch pretty good in the process) and had to roll her to make her stop. I told once again told them what they needed to do to correct this behavior but they didnt listen. So when she turned 1yr old they decided to find her a new home(I told them I would take her, I didnt think anyone could handle her in the state she was in but she just said no you already have to many dogs). The new home did not work out Stella attcked the new owners sister. MIL said she was going to call the Dane rescue but they told her she would be put to sleep. So she gave in and let me have Stella. We have had her for a lil over 6 months now and after changing her diet, laying down rules, and plenty of excirse(we have two achers of fenced in land and 4 other dogs for her to play with) she is a changed dog. We have butted head a few time in the processes but she is totally different. And my daughter is no longer scared of her.



But all dogs are differnet and it depends on the aggersion being desplayed. Do you know the history behind the dog? Was he abused? It is a food aggersion? The more info that can be given the better. There is a book I would also like to recommend. I give it out to all of my families in training. I highly recommend reading it: "Think Dog" by John Fisher

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Tracy
Sorry I'm just now checking this group, it took a while to get members and activity, hopefully it will keep going. Tracy your question is perfect for the group, I intend to help (along with others like Mandy) to have somewhere to go for problems families haven't found solutions for. I have adopted an aggressive dog myself that is now rehabilitated, it took work and persistence but she got over her aggression. It's best to watch and learn your dog's body posture from head to toe before, during, and after aggression shows up. This way you learn how to know when to step in an correct the dog in a timely manner, make note of things that will set him off and be ready to step in but be sure keep your emotions in control during that time, he will react to your emotions and that can cause problems to escalate. You have about a 17 seconds to effectively give a correction to stop a behavior you don't like, if wait longer then that he will feel he is getting away with some of the aggression and that supports his behavior. It takes time to get used to when and how to correct in a way that works for your dog and family, don't be discouraged if you don't always correct soon enough, be consistent and things will work out. If you have any specific aggression issues that happen repeatedly feel free to share them, I can help you work through those. Mandy and I will be around for whatever is needed.
PS Thanks Mandy for your help and suggestions.
Renee

Mandy - posted on 09/17/2010

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It sounds like Nigel missed a very key stage in socializtion period. He was either much to roughly played with by the kids or was never played with them. Either one could bring up a fear of the past or the unknown. The book I mentioned has a section all about this type of fear. I would ask your vet if they know of a trainer in your area that could help with socializing him with kids of all ages. I wouldnt recommend trying to tackle this yourself for any childs safety but an accredited trainer could give you a safe enviroment so no one gets hurt. Here is great site to find trainned and certified Dog trainers: http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/dog... After your no longer afraid to have him around childen regular walks with childern is a great way to reenforce the fact that kids are good. Also after this point if you have any older childern in the nieghbor hood that walk with you and hold his leash that would also help. I hope this has helped you. And I am here for any question you may have. :)

Mandy

Tracy - posted on 09/17/2010

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Thank you so much for sharing that, Mandy. I will definitely go look for that book tomorrow. To answer your questions - from what we know, Nigel's first home was with a family that had 4 kids (one who was autistic - I think he was scared of the dog). I don't think they did much research about the bulldog breed before they got Nige, and we know he ended up living alone in their garage when he was only a few months old. They surrendered him to a rescue. Based on some fear responses he had when we first got him (he was terrified to come out of his crate and would cower down and urinate upon doing so), we think he was physically abused as well - possibly just by kids roughhousing or getting too hands-on. We don't know much about his short-term re-homing except that the new owners brought him back pretty quickly. He is scared to death of kids that are older than about toddler age. When some kids approached us at the park a year or two ago, one little girl accidentally got too close and he jumped up and head-butted her in the face, injuring her. I felt so badly because I had not seen him do anything like that before that experience, but we haven't trusted him around anyone since.

Again - thank you SO much for the advice about the book. You sound like you are very experienced at dealing with aggression issues in dogs, and any additional advice would be much appreciated.

Tracy - posted on 09/17/2010

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Hi Renee. I'm not sure if this is the type of question you would expect, but do you have any advice for dealing with an aggressive dog? We have a 5-month-old daughter and a 3-year-old English Bulldog we got from a rescue. He has always had aggression issues, and we are really having a hard time trying to figure out how to alter his behavior so we can get him under control. We don't want to give up on him, but we are struggling to come to terms with what to do. I can give you more info if you are interested, but is this the type of question you would deal with in this group?

Thanks very much,
Tracy

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