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Thread: Muffy the Mad

  1. #31
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    Fear biter.....Probably your for life now....if you can manage her, she is yours. because she can never be trusted 100% by all the other people.

    I have one foster here right now.....4.5 years later. We manage Annabelle and she will always be managed. She is great with us and us in charge, but I could never leave her in kennels or alone at the vets. because people are unreliable and even though she has done nothing wrong for 4 years, i cannot honestly say that she is 100% fixed....the difference is mine is 55kg, yours is most likely less them 10kg.

    Well week 3 will be your real test ( often 21 days plus)..that is when most things happen after often a quiet time.

    I would teach her to crate or place, at ground level........I would pay her minimal attention. Only attention would be when you are doing obedience training. And I would try to make her work for her food. but it is highly likely that as she is a small dog, of that kinda breed, she might not do that.

    I have found with the rescues i take in< always troubled ones, that minimal attention helps...it helps them get used to a routine. I do lots of training with them, but not much other attention. During training is when they get to know us.

    I also allow them some free time with our dogs if they get on.

    Personally I am not keen on the "bite back" and the submissive hold..easily done in a small dog, but often increases the fear. I think good common sense obedience training with the usual good ground rules help the Leardership issues.

    I think you are right the molly coddling would not have helped..it really would have encouraged much of the same.......

    Now I am sure you know all of this stuff.........I have a six year old working with my new Rescue newfie at present, she is his Leader, very cute to watch

    Using physical force of any kind reduces your "rank." Only middle-ranked animals insecure in their
    place squabble.
    To be "the Leader" control the resources. I don't mean hokey stuff like not allowing dogs on beds or
    preceding them through doorways. I mean making resources contingent on behavior. Does the dog
    want to be fed. Great -- ask him to sit first. Does the dog want to go outside? Sit first. Dog want to
    greet people? Sit first. Want to play a game? Sit first. Or whatever. If you are proactive enough to
    control the things your dogs want, *you* are the Leader by definition.
    Train your dog. This is the dog-human equivalent of the "revoking of puppy license" phase in dog
    development. Children, women, elderly people, handicapped people -- all are capable of training a
    dog. Very few people are capable of physical domination.
    Reward deferential behavior, rather than pushy behavior. I have four dogs. If one pushes in front of
    the other, the other gets the attention, the food, whatever the first dog wanted. The first dog to sit
    gets treated. Pulling on lead goes nowhere. Doors don't open until dogs are seated and I say they
    may go out. Reward pushy, and you get pushy.
    Your job is to be a leader, not a boss, not a dictator. Leadership is a huge responsibility. Your job is to
    provide for all of your dog's needs... food, water, vet care, social needs, security, etc. If you fail to provide
    what your dog needs, your dog will try to satisfy those needs on his own.
    Pets are forever

  2. #32

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    Loving this thread and learning a lot. Love you dog trainers and experienced dog people sharing your knowledge and being so open to other people's ideas. Nothing worse than a martyr who is singled minded in how to approach the care/rehabilitation of an animal. You all seem to acknowledge the basics are pretty much the same but every dog has it's own personality and responds to different methods and at different rates. Nothing is black and white. One lucky dog to have some many people interested in a positive outcome for her.

    Paws, this little dog is blessed to be in your care. I don't know much about dog training but she is certainly in the hands of someone who cares about her and has her best interests at heart and for that I am sure she is very grateful (even if it is shown with a little growl!!) The dear little thing .... wonder what her previous life was like to have turned her into such a little beast!

    I am curious as to whether you will be rehoming her (if you don't decide to keep her!) or whether she is to be returned to her foster mum. Sounds like foster mum will need some training too so as your little one doesn't revert to her "old" behaviours.

  3. #33
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    Yes Ratbag jtr...there in lies the problem...........rehoming, is often a huge problem
    Pets are forever

  4. #34

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    You know Newfsie, I am a little shocked at my own thoughts on this little dog. I believe I am quite open and empathic yet if someone was to approach me to take her on permanently I would baulk based on what I have read - even if I was reassured she had been totally rehabilitated. At the very least I would want a trial period. Yet on the other hand I will jump into a rescue knowing there is every possibility I will be bitten, scratched and peed on and that is on a good day!!

    All my dogs bar one have been rescues and I have never had a problem. Three of my pets I have known their history but only after purchase. I guess it raises the question, which is probably a huge can of worms, should people be told the background of a rescue dog (keeping in mind, not every dogs story is known)? And if so, does it jeopardise the adoption or better place the animal in a new home? I wish I had the answer.

    I really and truly have my fingers crossed for this little one. Hopefully there is someone out there braver than myself.
    Last edited by ratbag jrt; 05-12-2012 at 06:28 PM.

  5. #35
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    Yes they should be told and the new owners should be hand-picked......it is the same reasons why we still have Annabelle. I could never have passed her on....She is what I call a "managed" dog. Not a problem in Public or at events such as Trials and dog events, but that is under my control........Should I hand her over to someone else, it might bring all her insecurities back.

    There are dogs that can be brought back. I have had a few fear aggressive dogs that we re-trained to fit in well. But they did not actually have a bite history. Just that lunging and madness that goes with fear aggression. Bite history is a little different. My Annabelle has bite history too.

    But I do believe tha new owners should be made aware and not have kids in the equation.........
    Pets are forever

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratbag jrt View Post
    You know Newfsie, I am a little shocked at my own thoughts on this little dog. I believe I am quite open and empathic yet if someone was to approach me to take her on permanently I would baulk based on what I have read - even if I was reassured she had been totally rehabilitated. At the very least I would want a trial period. Yet on the other hand I will jump into a rescue knowing there is every possibility I will be bitten, scratched and peed on and that is on a good day!!

    All my dogs bar one have been rescues and I have never had a problem. Three of my pets I have known their history but only after purchase. I guess it raises the question, which is probably a huge can of worms, should people be told the background of a rescue dog (keeping in mind, not every dogs story is known)? And if so, does it jeopardise the adoption or better place the animal in a new home? I wish I had the answer.

    I really and truly have my fingers crossed for this little one. Hopefully there is someone out there braver than myself.
    I think that is an excellent question. And in knowing that history, is the new home going to act differently/incorrectly knowing that history?

    I think new homes should definitely be told, and agree with Newfsie, be hand picked. IMO, you want someone who can handle the dog and manage it properly, but not someone who is going to be "fearful" they may get bitten kind of thing and they then treat the dog like some kind of monster at even the slightest ign...if that makes sense

  7. #37
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    Hi Guys,

    Firstly, I must wish all the mum's in the thread a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!

    Muffy had a big day yesterday. We had the arrival of Ray (Border Collie) and then after my last thread post we headed out to walk the Great Dane and Boxer. Five dogs in hand, we headed to the local dog park. When we arrived at the gate with our entourage, about four owners had already picked up their dogs. There were about 10 dogs already there, 9 of which were jack russells or mini 'oodles'. Muffy did really well, going off on her own a little bit (hanging close enough to us for safety) but sniffing other dogs. She put her paws up on me twice, both times I ignored, not to rewarded her anxious behaviour. She didn't snap at any dogs or people. She avoided most people at the park. She was a little scared a few times, mainly due to commotion with other dogs or other little dogs in her face too excited, but we kept an eye on her and stepped in to move the other dogs away when necessary. Not much else to report during the walk, other than that she sat on Andrew's lap for the car trips, leaning against him for support/safety while the car was in motion.

    We got home later and fed the 3 dogs in our house. We fed Muffy in a separate section of the house to the boys, because they would try to steal her food and we don't know her reaction to this yet. We will test this (safely, of course) when we get home in half an hour or so (currently at Mum's). We have had all 3 dogs at my parents house today. Muffy met my parent's dog, Charlie. She is a small fluffy like Muffy. They got along fine. While we were all outside, heavy rain hit the perspex cover we were under. It was rather loud and Muffy was slightly concerned, but she didn't run or hide under anything. She put her paws up on me once, but got down after about 3 seconds as she was ignored by me. She dealt with it very well. We left all 4 dogs outside together during lunch. They didn't fight or carry on once. Muffy (and Luke) sat at the back door. Luke sooked and Muffy scratched at the door for the entire lunch. Luke eventually broke out of the yard and came to the front door in hopes of entry to the house (clever little bugger). We felt it was time to bring them all in at about 5. Muffy settles inside near the table and went to sleep.

    She was fine when my mum patted her. We warned my parents that she would probably ignore them or fear them. She actually let my mum pat her, which was good, though she was a little tense during the pats.

    She has decided that the little bed we made for her is her safe spot for now, as it is round with raised sides to enclose her a little, for safety. She has a fear of being stepped on by the other dogs (and probably people). She cries if they accidentally knock her/step on her or whatever, instead of brushing it off like most other dogs. She also gets a little tense when other dogs around her "fight" (loudly exchange words with one another), but she gets over it once the commotion finishes.

    I'd like to mention, we have no intention of keeping her. She seems (at this point) that she will be rehabilitated quite well. We also have no intention of moving her onto another foster home once she is trained up as we feel this would not benefit her long term. We wish to be the ones to hand pick her forever home, as we did with our last foster. We will not be picking a house with children, nor will we be picking a house with an already spoilt pooch. We will meet with every applicant we feel may be suitable before making any decisions. We were told by the Director that they had Muffy on Pet Rescue before they knew she had problems and had 50 applications in the first 2 days. When they realised she had issues they took her down. We will be revealing her issues to applicants to ensure they are aware of her early behaviour and therefore her potential to revert back if training is not maintained. This will ensure they have the knowledge to decide if they are dedicated enough to take her on. As much as she would be suited to an elderly lady as a lap dog, I feel this would be a highly toxic environment for Muffy to move to, as the likelihood of her getting the disciplined lifestyle she will need would be quite low. I would also like to mention that all fosters from this rescue group have a 4 week trial period with their new family to decide if it is right for them. During this time they also have free access to a behaviourist (though for Muffy, that will be me) for any issues that may arise during the transition period.

    We are not overly focusing on obedience at this stage. We are working more on general manners (such as waiting for food and not jumping on furniture) and building up her confidence. Once this is concrete, or semi concrete, we will incorporate obedience training.

    I can also say with 100% certainty that I will not allow her previous foster carer to take Muffy back. It was a toxic environment for her. The energy from the lady was awful. So weak. While this would be suitable for some rescues, it certainly wasn't and isn't the place for Muffy. The director even mentioned in an email that Muffy was getting worse in that environment...So she won't get her back, if only for the benefit of Muffy. After all, what's best for Muffy is all that matters.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    ....the difference is mine is 55kg, yours is most likely less them 10kg.
    Just weighed her. She's 5 kg

    We can pick her up but she is quite fearful of being off the ground. Quite tense, fast heart rate, when in the air. Good thing is she doesn't squirm to jump out as you're moving towards the ground to put her back down.

  9. #39
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    "We are not overly focusing on obedience at this stage. We are working more on general manners (such as waiting for food and not jumping on furniture) and building up her confidence." LOL....I call that Obedience, but should most likely call it Social training.

    Sounds like you are on track.......good luck
    Pets are forever

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    Sounds like you are on track.......good luck
    Thanks Newfsie. It's good to write it all down here to ensure I'm doing the best for her and to get some outside perspective on the situation...even though you can only judge by what I'm typing.

    So we fed Muffy near Luke tonight. Well it was about 3m away. Luke finished his first and had a sneaky sniff towards Muffy. We kept an eye and told him to move back but we wanted him to get close enough for Muffy to know he was there sussing her out to check her reaction to other dogs while eating. It was going pretty well. Muffy had finished and was licking her bowl. Luke got just that little bit close and they exchanged words. It was very much:

    Muffy snapped
    Luke reacted
    Muffy reacted but realised she would lose so
    Muffy screamed and tried to hide behind Andrew
    We said HEY and moved in
    Everything stopped
    (All this happened in literally 2 seconds)

    We had left their leads on from when we got home from my parents house for control. As soon as they stopped I got Luke into a sit, grabbed his lead, grabbed Muffy's lead then headed around the house with them together from a minute. They were fine walking next to each other. After this I let them go and watched. Muffy went back near her bowl, Luke headed towards that way. Muffy saw him coming and moved away from the bowl. I believe she was avoiding further confrontation.

    Thought??

    Luke never bites a dog, he just makes a lot of noise. We need to get this in check as we do deal with different dogs with different temperaments all the time. He needs to learn that we will deal with it. When we say HEY! he stops immediately but we need to work on him not starting it. Any tips on this would be greatful, as he used to be worse, we have got him a bit better, but we're at a bit of a sticking point right now with it. He is at a point where I can call him off a scuff he is trying to get involved in (he barks and tries to get involved if other dogs have started at the dog park) 90% of the time, but no as easy if he's involved, unless we get in there, then he stops immediately.

    I must say, even though he can be a bit of a S*&# sometimes, he has definitely improved 200% from when we got him from the RSPCA He'll never be perfect (too many critical period issues) but I'm determined to get him as close as possible
    Last edited by The Pawfectionist; 05-13-2012 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Just wanted to add that he rarely gets into fights, it's mostly keeping him out of the other dog's fights.

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