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Thread: Small dog aggression

  1. #11

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    OK Sorry. The forms were not actually from the Refuge, but a couple of other orgs that are involved in the Pet Rescue network. They were designed for people that foster dogs, but the orgs just use them for anyone adopting a dog as well. It got up my nose that they did this, as the forms were completely inappropriate, asking me to sign for stuff like, for instance, the fact that dog remained the property of the org and that I would be willing to let people see the dog if required at any time, or that I would take it to the vet, at my expense, if the org said I shoiuld. All they needed to do was create another form, basically removing some of the existing one, but they did not seem to see either a problem or the simple solution.

    I may talk to the family, but they are seriously of the opinion that these dogs are just like that, and speak almost affectionately, with a bit of a chuckle, of the scraps the dogs are always having between them (which hardly happens any more I might add). The dogs were hardly walked, and always on lead. So basically little effort has ever been made to work on the situation. That makes it tough.
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  2. #12

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    OK Sorry. The forms were not actually from the Refuge, but a couple of other orgs that are involved in the Pet Rescue network. They were designed for people that foster dogs, but the orgs just use them for anyone adopting a dog as well. It got up my nose that they did this, as the forms were completely inappropriate, asking me to sign for stuff like, for instance, the fact that dog remained the property of the org and that I would be willing to let people see the dog if required at any time, or that I would take it to the vet, at my expense, if the org said I shoiuld. All they needed to do was create another form, basically removing some of the existing one, but they did not seem to see either a problem or the simple solution.

    I may talk to the family, but they are seriously of the opinion that these dogs are just like that, and speak almost affectionately, with a bit of a chuckle, of the scraps the dogs are always having between them (which hardly happens any more I might add). The dogs were hardly walked, and always on lead. So basically little effort has ever been made to work on the situation. That makes it tough.
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  3. #13
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    The fact that the scraps between them are hardly happening any more clearly shows that you are doing a great job, Nick! It is sad to think that they have been so confused for all these years and this is probably the first time in their lives that they feel truly safe and less anxious with the boundaries and structure you are giving them.

    The form story is just ridiculous. I would never sign a document like that to adopt a dog! Unfortunately some of these organisations are taken over by people who care more about power and being selfrighteous than about the job they are doing. The rescue orgs that I have dealt with were not like that though.

    I also find it quite shocking that they ask their foster carers to pay for vet costs? Or do they get reimbursed? I would never sign up for that either! We all know how vet costs can blow out.
    Last edited by Beloz; 02-03-2012 at 10:10 AM.

  4. #14
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    Wow what a task you have taken on from your relative. A very nice thing to do.

    I'd take the dogs out separately. I wouldn't take the little dogs to an off leash area. Just walk them on a lead. And take your own dog to the park.

    Managing aggressive dogs who know no differently doesn't mean you failed.

    I volunteered in a small dog rescue for two years and myself have always grown up having Chi as a housedog.

    People always think it's little dog aggression from being overspoilt etc etc. Well why else do you buy a small dog if not to be able to sit it on your lap and carrying it etc etc. And yes while this doesn't help it's not the only cause.

    IMO big dogs and little dogs shouldn't be running around a dog park together unless all are highly socialised with each other. Lay on the ground, not just crouch but get right down as low as those dogs are and watch a large dog come bounding up to you and despite how good it's body language is see how prepared you are to stay on the ground and possibly get jumped on.

    Offence is a form of defence and even a well socialised small dog will often growl at a larger dog so as to achieve personal space. Even big dogs do it.

    The main difference is a large unpredicable dog is not very often let off lead, one that missed being socialised etc and that's what people with small dogs also need to do. Trust me if they are snapping at the occasional dog at the park then it is not enjoyable to them.

    I personally hate dog parks. They can make or break a dog depending on the experience they get at them. I know we all want the perfect dog but dogs like family packs, ones that don't necessarily constantly change. Though many including some of my own enjoy the dog park it's not necessarily the end of the earth if they don't.

    I understand that they don't suit your current dog, but by the sounds of things it's also early days and they have gone thru an upheaval & introducing two on one is hard and you shouldn't beat yourself up if for everyone's sake they must go to a no kill shelter.

    I haven't posted any tips on what to do etc because others have already done that, but just wanted to post that apart fron the aggression between themselves which is not surprising since they weren't walked and were probably stir crazy they sound like a large majority of small dogs & I wish you all the best with whatever you decide.

    Having been that person with the worlds smallest dog on the end of a lead I know how quickly things can go wrong for little dogs and how it's not so easy to stand there trusting that other person when they say their 25kg+ dog is friendly when I know my dog is not really enjoying having a large and powerful dog looming over him.
    Last edited by MAC; 02-03-2012 at 10:29 AM.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    The fact that the scraps between them are hardly happening any more clearly shows that you are doing a great job, Nick! It is sad to think that they have been so confused for all these years and this is probably the first time in their lives that they feel truly safe and less anxious with the boundaries and structure you are giving them.

    The form story is just ridiculous. I would never sign a document like that to adopt a dog! Unfortunately some of these organisations are taken over by people who care more about power and being selfrighteous than about the job they are doing. The rescue orgs that I have dealt with were not like that though.

    I also find it quite shocking that they ask their foster carers to pay for vet costs? Or do they get reimbursed? I would never sign up for that either! We all know how vet costs can blow out.
    Yes they are incredibly jealous of attention to the other dog. This will be there, but I reckon that we simply interact constantly with them, both commanding and rewarding, and just straight talking and making them part of the home. They are still jealous in that if you pat one the other one will nose in (which I find pretty normal among multiple-dog families ), but the scrapping and sudden barking at nothing seems to have died down a lot.

    To be fair, Pearl (Mum) was weird right from the get-go, being rather snappish at other dogs. I know this because Tess met her when she was very young, and Tess showed great restraint. I was worried because at that stage Pearl was probably a kilo or so and Tess is a 25Kg, powerful dog. But there was no trouble. At one stage Pearl hung off Tess's ear! That scared me, but no.... Pearl's offspring have both inherited that. It takes a lot of work to overcome that, as I am finding.

    Yes I met a couple of the power-needers while looking for a companion for Tess. In the end I would just stop trying, because _everything_ I said was wrong, it seemed on principle. Having said that the job these people are doing for free is a tough and I am sure often thankless one.

    I don't know if they were reimbursed. I did not delve into that aspect, just argued my own bit (to no apparent avail )
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    Wow what a task you have taken on from your relative. A very nice thing to do.

    I'd take the dogs out separately. I wouldn't take the little dogs to an off leash area. Just walk them on a lead. And take your own dog to the park.

    Managing aggressive dogs who know no differently doesn't mean you failed.
    My BIL died after a 4-5 year battle with cancer. You hear of people dying after a battle with cancer, but until you see it happen, you cannot imagine how inexorable and horrible the cancer can be. It was all through him, he had lost organs and parts of organs, was constantly under treatment for the next phase, having to forego treatment for one bit to start to fight another. I just did all I could for him, and as he grew more and more ill and the writing was finally on the wall, for his family. Everybody keeps saying thank you and how kind, but I just felt that I had the capacity and there was simply no other way to go. The only good part was that he kept his spirit and quirky humour right through it, apart from the odd weep and meltdown. He refused to admit that it was doing for him.

    Yes, I agree that it's two separate walks from now on, in different places and with different objectives, at least until something changes pretty radically. It's tough on everyone trying to enjoy our walk, cater for Tess's play needs and manage two dogs the like of which I have had to manage.

    While I am a bit distressed, I do not feel I have failed, but thanks for the support, seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    I volunteered in a small dog rescue for two years and myself have always grown up having Chi as a housedog.
    I am not sure I could stand it....and not just because of the people

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    People always think it's little dog aggression from being overspoilt etc etc. Well why else do you buy a small dog if not to be able to sit it on your lap and carrying it etc etc. And yes while this doesn't help it's not the only cause.
    HAH! Tess is a lap dog. She does not get carried much though!

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    IMO big dogs and little dogs shouldn't be running around a dog park together unless all are highly socialised with each other. Lay on the ground, not just crouch but get right down as low as those dogs are and watch a large dog come bounding up to you and despite how good it's body language is see how prepared you are to stay on the ground and possibly get jumped on.
    The park where I go is pretty amazing in that regard. There are all sizes from Jack Russells to Great Danes. There are a few scraps, but mostly between dogs of same size, not between the tiny ones and the bigger or big ones, even though they play together. I always thought Jacks were trouble, but they are highly represented at the park and do not account for nearly "their share" of trouble.

    I can only think that it's because the Jacks have a lot of self confidence, or at least the ones at the park do. They happily play with Tess and also with other dogs, showing no fear.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    Offence is a form of defence and even a well socialised small dog will often growl at a larger dog so as to achieve personal space. Even big dogs do it.

    The main difference is a large unpredicable dog is not very often let off lead, one that missed being socialised etc and that's what people with small dogs also need to do. Trust me if they are snapping at the occasional dog at the park then it is not enjoyable to them.
    Yes I find the feeling that a small dog "doesn't matter" if they behave badly annoying. It's not right for the dog itself, for a start. And if another larger dogs reacts, injuries are too easy to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    I personally hate dog parks. They can make or break a dog depending on the experience they get at them. I know we all want the perfect dog but dogs like family packs, ones that don't necessarily constantly change. Though many including some of my own enjoy the dog park it's not necessarily the end of the earth if they don't.

    I understand that they don't suit your current dog, but by the sounds of things it's also early days and they have gone thru an upheaval & introducing two on one is hard and you shouldn't beat yourself up if for everyone's sake they must go to a no kill shelter.

    I haven't posted any tips on what to do etc because others have already done that, but just wanted to post that apart fron the aggression between themselves which is not surprising since they weren't walked and were probably stir crazy they sound like a large majority of small dogs & I wish you all the best with whatever you decide.

    Having been that person with the worlds smallest dog on the end of a lead I know how quickly things can go wrong for little dogs and how it's not so easy to stand there trusting that other person when they say their 25kg+ dog is friendly when I know my dog is not really enjoying having a large and powerful dog looming over him.
    Tess was not that socialised when she first went to the park and when we got her the dog home said she tended to be a bit dominant with other dogs . She had a few scraps..mostly not started by her, but because she would react sharply to other dogs' snaps if she got too close, and not just let it go with a bit of a snap. She has luckily improved no end. As with many dogs, still the odd "Oi!" but not the more extended fights. Having said that she probably only had ...4...5? fights, that were more than a snap in a year or so. But still very distressing for us.

    I have often commented that we as humans do not experience anywhere _near_ the size difference that dogs do. Imagine facing up to a 500Kg human, 5 times as tall as yourself!

    If Scruffy was reacting to close proximity only, I would find it easier to understand. But as I said, he would be after dogs 20-30m away, completely beside himself. He does want to be boss dog, and I wonder if he is "protecting" "his" pack. I am trying to teach him that _I_ am boss dog.

    I am really appreciating all the helpful and supporting input people. I do love dogs, ......and like most of them as well , and I know I am not getting this all right, but I am really trying.
    Last edited by oldNick; 02-03-2012 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Could not even understand what I had written :D
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  7. #17
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    That's very sad about your BIL. I have a friend who has been battling brain cancer for years and it is extremely hard to watch when there is nothing you can do to fix it.

    I agree on the JRTs! I know plenty (also foxies) that seem completely comfortable with greeting even boisterous big dogs. They are one of the few small dogs I really like though and I think I might get one one day as a second dog. Or maybe a wire-heared foxy. Sorry OT!

    How long have you had the little ones for now? It'll be a PITA to go for separate walks with them... Maybe you should call some rescue orgs to see what they can do for them?

  8. #18

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    Yeah I reckon it was the helplessness that drove me to do a lot for the guy. I mean we were OK with each other but not close friends, really...family gatherings sort of mates. But he was a nice guy and NOBODY deserves what he went through. On top of his cancer, because of the treatment and the illness it sometimes caused, he also had a bad attack of shingles and broke his ankle. It was like water torture on a massive scale.

    We (and Tess) like JRs so much now that the wife and I have seriously considered getting one as a companion for Tess! She is rapt when she p;lays with the ones at the park. We used to call her a 50 lb Jack Russell!

    No worries on the OT. It's all interesting to me. Before the dog park, while I always had dogs and they interacted with other dogs, it was never so intense, or with such a variety on a near daily basis. I have only knowingly met one fox terrier at the park. Yeah. Seemed pretty tough and together.

    Funny thing is I am not a small dog guy, but apart from the dog aggression these two are little charmers: not in a pampered or calculated way, but really friendly, intelligent and responsive to quite complex hand indicators and requests, after only a couple of repetitions or sometimes less. If we did not have Tess, I would take them on happily, aggression and all.

    This surprises nobody more than me.
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  9. #19

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    HAH! My wife is having an arvo nap...with 3 dogs on the bed...I seriously never thought I would see the day...also shows how doggy relations have improved!
    Nick Peg n Benny (or is it Peg n Benny n Nick?)

    (nTess, forever in my heart)

  10. #20
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    I'm glad that doggy relations seem to be on the improve. And I'm really sorry to hear about your BIL. Sounds like you have done the best you can with a tough situation with your family.

    I feel as though I can kind of relate to what you're dealing with, in a way. We adopted a companion for our big boy about 6-7 weeks ago. He's a 7mo Jack Russell? x Fox Terrier? (No-one is really sure). He really is a great dog, but he has come with a bit of "baggage" and a few bad habits as a result of being in foster care for 6 months of his life - multiple foster homes. He is also the first small dog I've owned, so there have been a few learning curves for me.

    I know that training can be tiring, and re-training can be SO exhausting! (And frustrating) But also so very rewarding, as I think you're starting to find out.

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