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Alashay
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Alashay is offline  
Location: canada
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
Female 
 
03-06-2017, 08:37 PM

Thinking about returning rescue dog

Hi I'm currently very stressed out about my new dog..he is a 3-5 year old akita lab? We believe and are thinking about returning him. I have another dog a 9 yr chocolate lab and was thinking for while about another dog. I hike, camp and work at a dog daycare where we are allowed to bring our dogs I do have a second job but have the time to exercise another dog with all the things I do. So i found the "perfect" dog they said he was dog friendly which was a MUST for me and supposedly a great hiking camping partner. Got him home and obviously took awhile to settle in and I was prepared to work through some issues as most rescues will have. He was a stray on a reserve and chained up (which we just found out) he is a great dog inside well mannered we have had him a month now and already knows alot of commands nice with our other dog etc very impressed at how far he's come. But the problem is that shortly after getting him we found out he was very leash reactive with dogs and any type of animal...screaming whining jumping etc whenever anything is seen and growling and more aggressive if the dogs are to close this has really thrown a wrench in everything as he can't do anything that we originally wanted a dog for can't go to work or hiking with our dog groups or camping and this is how I planned to exercise the dog of course now I've made time to walk him but it's a 7 or 9 at night when less dogs are out and working two jobs is making this extremely difficult..i didn't want to give up on him and he has come a long way in the month. I have had a trainer in to help more then once and he's great until he sees something it's like he looses all ability to focus and won't take treats etc nothing he's quite a situation when he gets like this.. and I feel he's needs more then one walk a day and more time then I can give him even though I do try my best. He has also snapped at 3 people in my home biting my mom he didn't break the skin but it was all over the couch which we found out he was guarding so he has been banned from furniture and now lays on his dog bed but recently my older dog walked by and sniffed him and he instantly snarled so now he starting to resource guard. He did bite my dog in the face over food on the ground..in his defence my dog did sprint up to him but still he had never done this before. I am so upset and love this dog and never intended to give up as he is amazing when things arn't going wrong. Great on walks amazing manners for a Dog that was a stray but only if nothing is there but it's all becoming a lot to deal with and I feel he needs a more knowledable home to help him. If I had the time if I was older and didn't work 2 jobs it would be fine but I'm only 18 and I am proud of what I have accomplished with him I just can't shake the guilt and cry everytime I think about giving him back I feel like I failed him even though he has come so far..its just he is not the dog he was advertised to be or I expected to get at all more completely the opposite and having a dog that can't come with me and my older boy to do anything and needs a completely separate exercise plan is very overwhelming and not something I was prepared for the rescue completely understands as he was fostered in a kennel not a home due to a big number of dogs coming in and they didn't know he was like this as he was not leash walked etc but I still feel absolutely awful it's not like I didn't try though I really have am I doing the right thing ? a friend said to look at it like I was a foster that helped prepare him for his forever home as we are the first house he has ever been in and it makes me feel a little better but i'm still so upset
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Gnasher
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Location: East Midlands, UK
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 8,715
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04-06-2017, 09:12 AM
Gosh, he sounds a lovely dog - just needs a home and owner who can cope and deal with his issues of leash aggression and over-protectiveness of his personal space. I am not convinced that as strong a phrase as resource-guarding is warranted here, it sounds to me that this is the perfectly natural behaviour of any animal, including ourselves, who have never been taught rules, boundaries and limitations. To him, he would see it as why should I allow another dog to invade my space by walking past me as I lie on my bed? Why should I allow a human to invade my space when I am lying on the furniture? As very young children, we learn the concept of sharing, acceptance, the rules surrounding obedience, politeness etc. It is similar for dogs who are a social species who live in packs just like us humans. For a domesticated dog, the human pack or family is a pack that he is part of, but behave within the constraints of that pack.

For the first years of his life, he has learned none of these important lessons most likely. All I can tell you it is never too late for a dog to learn. An Akita x lab sounds gorgeous and will doubtless be intelligent, high energy and a challenge for you but I personally think it is a challenge you should at least attempt at before giving up on him. We took on our Ben 6 years ago, an Alaskan Malamute wolf cross aged 5, with no manners and only the basics in obedience training. He had been kept on a running line in the back garden for the first 3 years of his life with no shelter, only concrete to lie on. He had 2 good homes following this unfortunate period, but although I know that both parties did everything they could for Ben, underneath I think they were frightened of him - and understandably so! You could not do anything to him he did not like - ie grooming, chastisement when peeing in the house or any sort of physical restraint such as a hand on the collar. Basically, he was a loveable but potentially very dangerous dog, weighing in at 45 kilos.

6 years later we have a beautiful, biddable, trustworthy Ben who we can and do take absolutely everywhere with us. We cannot leave him home alone ever as he will simply destroy our house!! Aside from that, the only issue we are left with is dog aggression particularly towards male black labs or spaniels! It is only with some dogs, and it has taken us 6 years to learn the signs so that we know when he is going to kick off. Off his own patch he is pretty much 100% now, but on local walks in our neighbourhood he is very "guarding" and has to be kept on a long lead unless we are absolutely sure there are no dogs in the vicinity. I believe what we have now is the best we will ever achieve, but I just want to demonstrate to you how you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I really hope you can work through the issues as we did with Ben - I know you are only 18 and have 2 jobs, only 1 of which you can take your boy with you, but you will achieve great results if you persevere. It will take a lot of hard work and dedication on your part, but once you have won his trust then you will motor with him!

Hth and good luck xx gnasher xx
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Pitrescuemama
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Location: United States
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 49
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28-08-2017, 06:50 AM
First I wanna say kudos to you for adopting a rescue! I know first hand what a challenge it can be, I also know how rewarding it is! I have similar issues with Otis. He loves the dog next door and my friends puppy, but because he wasn't socialized he don't have proper dog manners and has snapped at my friends dog. It was her fault though for bringing Marley face to face with him when I told her not to. He does well though ignoring dogs we pass that act like they want to eat him. He'll start to react but I'll tell him leave it and walk him on. I'm slowly trying to socialize to different people, places, things, and dogs. SLOWLY is the key word.
Please don't give up on him, I know he's displaying unwanted behavior and its frustrating but he's worth the effort believe that.
I've got so much more to say lol but need to charge this lol. Wish you luck hope to hear back from you!
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