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Thread: Muffy the Mad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
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    607

    Post Muffy the Mad

    So, I have a foster dog coming to me tonight. Apparently she is bad enough that they are paying me to foster her/assess her/train her before she is moved on to another foster/forever home.

    The details I've been given are as follows:

    "She bites, she's barks at anything, she tries to eat you when you come to the front door - literally trying to savage you through fly-wire"
    "she was almost adopted until, unprovoked, she bit the lady's daughter-in-law - causing her to bleed quite badly"
    "Muffy would never bite her carer. She becomes immediately protective to the point where she will cause damage to others"
    "Muff gets along with most dogs although she dislikes certain females and has been in many fights with Marie's dogs, causing Marie (her current carer) much distress"
    "......although she's great with cats. Just not humans!" <<< I have a very dog tolerant cat, so we'll see how that goes
    AND
    "I cannot put her up for adoption until these issues are sorted as she is dangerous at the moment. I can account for this, she has bitten me so many times and I see her regularly."

    I must also mention that Muffy is a small Maltese cross and that the reason she was rescued from GAWS was "due to her appearance".
    Even though I have not yet met this dog, I can't help but feel like this is learnt behaviour, most likely from fear and the fact that, being a beautiful dog, she was allowed to get away with anything at her previous dwellings.

    I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this. I have my theories on how I will tackle this dog once she arrives at about 6pm, but I'd love some suggestions on how you would handle it, now knowing as much as I do about her.

    Once she settles in, I will get a pic of her and put it up

  2. #2

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    Good luck... I would be preparing my armour and industrial strength gloves lol
    Very lucky dog you agreed to have her.

  3. #3

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    Has she been vet checked at all - or recently ?

    This would be my very very first port of call - before anything else - full bloods - the whole kit and caboodle !

    I don't care how good trainers say they are - if you are dealing with health/mental problems - then training goes from difficult to damn near impossible.

    Also how old is she - and also how many different people has she had to deal with in the foster situations ?

    Good Luck !

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    Usually a dog that bites and draws blood unprovoked (though with children, that can be hard to believe), that's a death sentence.

    They can't ever be trusted again.

    But my dog carries on like she wants to murder people (especially blokes doing door to door sales for energy and telcos) at the front door. And she'd nip too given the chance, and I'm pretty sure she'd grab ankles if they ran and I let her go. Cattle dog.

    We're fine at the park with 99.9% joggers and then we get one that smells, sounds or moves a bit funny and she wants a piece. Fortunately for me - she usually keeps her distance and barks a lot when not home. Home and me - she's recently decided it's her job to "protect". And I don't mind her scaring the crap out of the door to door guys, just as long as nothing actually connects. Sigh.

    So - there but for the grace of ... go I and my evil hound. Good luck with your SWF. Hopefully it's not a brain tumor and she can learn to be polite with people and rude children.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Sunshine coast Qld
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    Im suprised she wasnt PTS straight away and are willing to move her on?? Anyway, good luck with her and it sounds like a great "challange"...need piccies!
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  6. #6

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    I have to say, they aren't my favorite dogs and the idea of taking it on... Part of me wants to laugh bitterly/with relief, cos it's not me, and part of me wants to try to help. The problem is, I can come up with ideas but I can't see the dog, see the responses, see if it is based on terror or that spoilt attitude...

    To start with, I'd probably do a very long, calming massage. I want it to crave more and to want to please me. Once home, if it didn't appear to be terrified, I'd put it in a cage, in the main living area, and let my dogs in to look and wonder at the rudeness of the new dog. I'm lucky, in that I don't have close neighbours. I'd let her have a hissy fit, as long as she wanted, and ignore her. Late at night, I'd shut my lot away, do the loo break, a bit of a massage, something to eat, back in the cage, my dogs back in. However, if she showed signs of fear, I'd put her in a cage, covered in blankets, so only one side shows to the other dogs, give her lots of wonderful treats and watch, to see which of my dogs appeared to be starting a friendship.

    Later, if I had a really laid back dog, and one of those softsided dog carriers, that allows the head to stick out, I'd put her in the carrier, put a snug little muzzle on her, put my dog next to her, and let her foam with fury, without being able to do anything. I think I'd reinforce the neck, to keep it secure. Then I'd ignore her. Make her sit through a 1/2 hour tv show, while I reach across to cuddle my dog.

    Whatever I suggested would depend on all the body language, the state she's in... I realised a while back, I can tune out dog and still watch tv. If it was attitude, she'd get fed up before me. You do have to change things if it's terror OR she's in that state because she's in chronic pain and terrified of being leant on or pushed. This is only the very start of what I'd do but it very much depends on her feedback, to me. Also, my dogs grew very used to having strange, stroppy dogs come in cages and yell abuse at them. They were very calm, well aware they were in the lockup, and to be the new entertainment for a while. Sooner or later, most had become chums.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
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    No tips here but she does sound extremely confused. It sounds like you'll have to start her training and socialisation from scratch as if she were a pup. Albeit one with bigger teeth...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Sunshine coast Qld
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    How is the new going Paws?
    The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    Mohandas Gandhi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
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    SO......

    Things are settled, so here's the update.
    What a sad little dog. It seems from the 1.5hours we have had her, that all her behaviours stem from fear.
    We met at the nearby reserve to introduce our dog Luke to her. They seem fine, so we headed home (with the Rescue group director and the current foster carer). From the second I spoke to the foster carer I could tell it was her reaction to Muffy's behaviours that were exacerbating the problems. Patting/hugging the dog after it had done the wrong thing along with not wanting to put it on the ground while meeting Luke for the first time.

    When we brought everyone home, Muffy was fine. A little curious, a little anxious (bit of panting, tense) but generally pretty good. We left her and Luke on lead for the time being. She jumped on Luke's couch with permission and coaxing and settled down. My fiancé leant in to pat her (test her boundaries) and she gave him a fear growl. He didn't move and gave her gentle, yet authoritive, bite (with hand) to let her know the behaviour was unacceptable. Then hell broke. She screamed her horrifying scream like we were killing her and tried to bite Andrew in every possible way, so Andrew held on. I grabbed her lead so, in the event he let go, I would have control of her and prevent any bites. After approximately 20 seconds of screams she quietened down. During these 20 seconds, she urinated and defecated on the couch blanket in fear. After the screams finished she remained tense, so Andrew continued to hold her until she relaxed. After about another 30 seconds she calmed down and relaxed and Andrew let her go.

    Her foster carer was quite stressed during the ordeal and after she hopped off the couch she asked if she could pat Muffy to comfort her. Of course, our immediate response was NO. Muffy was fine, even returning to Andrew for a treat a few minutes later. We asked her carer if she had ever dealt with her this way before, but her carer said she had always let go whenever Muffy growled or screamed at her. This was obviously strengthening the behaviour.

    We gathered more information about Muffy. She was a stray, the owners didn't want her back when contacted, so she remained in GAWS until rescued She is approximately 3 years old. Supposedly she is pretty quiet for the first 2 weeks in a new home, then tries to dominate and gets into fights. SO, I guess we'll see what happens in two weeks.

    At the moment, we are ignoring her mostly, letting her take in her environment without intimidation. We have slowly been building trust with some treats, of which she seems quite eager to have. She seems like she will be very easy to train up. We shall see what happens over the next few days, once she settles in a bit more.

    Thoughts?? Ideas??

    oh, and here's a pic of her.
    Attachment 8625

  10. #10

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    Sorry the link didn't work for me.

    So - 'The Pawfectionist' you asked for - 'Thoughts?? Ideas??' - fresh out sorry !

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