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Help needed with BC/Black Lab mix Marajade - Fostering


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Good morning, Most likely I will make this too long but I need some help. I foster for a rescue that takes in mainly mixed breed dogs. Last Wed. I took a female Bordie Collie/Black Lab Mix puppy that was said to be 5 1/2 months old. Unfortunately this happened so fast I had not time to do any homework. Now, I have started and I am fearful that I am harming more than helping this pup. There are three other dogs in the home. A female Boston Terrier that belongs to my sister, a foster male boxer that has few manners...that is being worked on by my sister and a Shitzpoo that belongs to my mom.

Marajade (from Star Wars) is her name but I have shortened it to Jade. The story that I can eke out about where she came from was that there were three females all BC/Lab mix being sold for $10 each. One of the volunteers of the rescue saw this, went and got the pups and when she got there, they were outside with 25 other dogs. At the rescue, Jade was with her three sisters (they were only there for 24 hours before I got Jade). She stayed behind her sisters and laid on the bed. Sat most of the time with her back to everyone and her nose in the corner. When I picked her up to take her home she yelped like I was killing her..didn't last long but startled me.

 

When we got home, I held her close to me and introduced the other dogs and that went fine. Didn't spend any time together...just wanted her to know that they were there. Gave her a bath because she had soiled all over herself and really needed the back end cleaned. She did OK. Didn't freak out or anything.

 

Then I put her in a crate in the front room with all of us so she could get used to noise and people being around. I also put a collar on her. I tried carrying her outside and putting a leash on her and tried to lead her but she got extremely aggressive and I stopped. Left the collar on and picked her up and took her back in the house. Kept her close to me the rest of the evening in the crate.

 

I have a small area between a hall and the kitchen where laundry area is that I can close off and it is ceramic tile so soiling is easier to clean up. Put down papers and pee pads. She used these just fine and actually when she was finished she would whine for someone to come and clean it up. Then Friday the rescue scheduled her to be spayed...so not enough she has all the trauma of being moved she has to go back to the "pit stop" and left for the day. The up side of that was that she was put in the same room with her sisters and she seemed to be OK with that.

 

Picked her up Friday night and she was pretty mellow as you can imagine. During this time I had been hand feeding her but on Saturday had her eat out of her bowl because I was concerned she wasn't moving enough. Also added a exercise pen to the laundry area (that went into the dining room area) to give her more room to move. I also, allowed her to find her way out of the area into the living room (which we had done on Wed night) She was in a hiding mode and went behind the dog bed and crawled in and slept with the Shitzpoo. Have been trying to introduce toys and chew bones. There is a soft toy that squeeks that she likes and will lay on. I had her beside me on the couch, just so I could get her out of the little area and she was doing fine until the boston terrier jumped on me and she lunged and tried to bite her. Yesterday she was out all day in the living room in the dog bed doing fine and the boxer had walked by several times but once she lunged and tried to bite him. I carried her outside numerous times yesterday so she could potty outside but it is extremely difficult to get her back in. We are experiencing in the single digit/below zero so I can't just put her out and let her find her way back in. She cowers when I go to pick her up but is not aggressive and truely doesn't seem to mind being carried outside. I am fearful to take her too far off the deck since she runs from me when we are outside. The yard is fenced but it is a very large yard) so I am not so worried about her running away but I am worried that she will run and hide and won't come in the house and I can't leave the patio door open for long periods of time.

 

Last night we laid on my living room floor in the basement and she got very close to me. Then I put her in bed (I know I know...I don't intend to make a practice of this but I am just trying anything I can for her to feel safe with me and trust me) with me and she slept all night...layed right up against me and then when we got up licked my hand without any coaxing.

 

I am trying to work with her on her name. I am using very small piece of hot dog to lure her back in the house on her own.

 

I know nothing about border collies other than the little I have read but I suspect that I may be doing more harm than good. Her face looks like a border collie, some of her personality appears to be border collie but she also has some of the black lab personality. Her fur looks lab like. I don't know how to go about working with the leash with her. Do I just put it on and leave it wherever she goes...but then how do I start introducing using the leash...she does freak out anytime there is any pressue applied to the collar. Then getting her to know her name...I use it all the time when I talk to her. I try to use a very light voice and even baby like talk with her which she seems to like. When she first arrived no movement of the tail. Now if I do come towards her or talk to her the tail goes a mile a minute but she still cowers.

 

I work so my 81 year old mom is home with her and she can't pick her up and put her outside so until I can get her over the leash fear she has to stay in the exercise pen area during the day during the week.

 

I hate to see her so fearful and I don't want to add to her issues. Any advice that you can give me would be much appreciated. I take my rescue dogs life very seriously and if I only want to help them be the best dog they can be before they are adopted.

 

I also, would entertain any ideas on how I interview a new family for her. Like what type of things should this family be willing to do. I know the basics like when we get over this part, if we can, she needs a family that will give her plenty of exercise and mental stimulation...but how do they do that. In Iowa, is just running with the owner enough...I don't think it is. Should I be requiring that she go to a "farm" type environment.

Sorry so long and probably fragmented and maybe not making any sense but I am trying to get a lot into a short space.

Thank you

Teri

 

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Thank you for fostering this dog (or any dog for that matter). You have a lot of questions, but I will try to answer a couple that I feel I might know something about.

 

At this stage, I wouldn't worry about her "BC-ness". Maybe next week or next month, I would start thinking about how to engage the BC mind and body, but right now, I think you need to work on building her confidence - similar to any other breed of dog in this same situation. She clearly likes you and likes being near you - which is a huge step right there.

 

Continue with the soft voice and saying her name and reward when she responds to her name.

 

Leash - I would leave a leash or a piece of nylon rope (or mountain climbing rope) with a snap on one end at all times when she is not in her crate (inside and outside). Try putting it on her, drop it and walk away. Is she still fearful at that point? My guess is she may not be, and that her 'leash response' is because you are holding the other end and she is fearful. Dragging a leash around will help acclimate her to the leash and also allow you to 'capture' her without having to get too close - which may be threatening to her. I have a fearful foster right now. I use an ~15 foot piece of rope with a snap. She doesn't mind dragging it all over, pays it no attention. If I need to get her (since she still will run and hide), I can just step on the end of the leash and gently as possible pull her towards me (or I can go to her without having her run into another room). Once we are close, I throw treats at her or if she will, I try to get her to eat out of my hand. I have to keep her on the rope outside since I do not have a fence, but I let her walk at the end of the rope. (I make sure to wrap the end of the rope around my hand several times since she is spooked easily and would run off like a deer if she got loose.) She is quite good a following me - just not too close. In your case, I would still keep a rope on the dog outside to capture her as described above.

 

The fact that she is quite young is in your favor. I bet she will come along rapidly.

 

Here is a link to another recent (and ongoing) post describing a situation/dog very similar to yours:

Well, for some reason my copy function isn't working, but look up the topic "Need assistance with my newly rescued BC"

 

Good Luck,

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gcv border - Thank you so much. I have been so fretting that I might be really messing up with her especially with the guarding and lunging issues. She is not fearful of the leash on her when she is dragging it. Doesn't even act like she notices it is there. The only time that I tried to actually use the leash she went into attack mode and I nearly got bit so I haven't even tried to pick up the leash with her on the other end of it. :) I do think she likes me as once I get close to her she will let me pick her up and not fight and not really be totally submissive either. I will keep working with her name and talking lightly to her. She really has comes leaps and bounds since Wednesday night so I know there is hope! I am able to get her through the patio door if I use very small pieces of hot dog and throw them inside the door far enough that she has to walk in and I can quickly close the door behind her. She doesn't want to see me standing there either. :) But once she is in I can get to her and pick her up to put her wherever she needs to be at the moment.

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gcv-border. I have another question. Since Jade has lunged and tried to bite twice, is that something that will get better as she gains confidence. I have never had a dog - foster or my own - that has deliberately tried to bite.

 

I understand that I am only a foster and she is a mix---not purebred---but I do not want her leaving my house without as much information as I can gather to make her be the best she can be. Am I expecting too much when she is only 5 1/2 months old. I have never had a pup that is so fearful...even the last dog - part pug part terrior or daschund - who was fearful - didn't try to bite. I have read some of the other posts and am wondering how I prepare her and her adoptive family to have her be the best she can be. I guess I will try to see if there are any border collie organizations close by that can lead me in the direction of a good trainer. Thanks again for listening and responding.

Teri

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Hi TD Foster! My BC was in a very similar situation. I actually posted the thread that GVC recommended. If you have time, you can skim through it and see all the advice I was given. This is actually my first dog so all of this is new to me and I don't know how much advice I can give, but definitely, hands down, the most helpful advice that was given me was go at her pace. Give her plenty of time to get used to being in a new environment and new people, especially since she's a fearful one. It took me about 3 weeks to get Dexter, my pup, to let me touch him and about a month to let certain others. Try not to force anything upon her as that could enforce her fear of whatever she's afraid of. One thing that really bonded me and Dexter was finding out that he'll go to the moon and back for his ball. You might have to cycle through a few different toys to find out what she likes, or maybe she just needs some time to get used to the environment before being able to actually focus on playing with you.

 

As for requirements for a new family, in my experience with Dexter, you'll need to find a family that has a lot of time for her. She might be like Dexter and may take quite a while to get used to a new owner. The more time they can spend with her, the faster the process will go. Once she's quite comfortable with the owner, then can come the mental stimulation. It was impossible for me to formally train Dexter in the beginning stages. There were times where I would toss him a treat and he would just look at it. At first glace, you might think that he wasn't very food motivated, but after owning him for a month, he'll do anything for food now.

 

I hope I was able to help. If you have any specific questions or need some suggestions on specific things, feel free to pm me or email me at dlum125@yahoo.com. Also here is the link to my thread with Dexter: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=35956&page=1

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dereklum - Thank you for your response. I have skimmed through your threads and plan to read them in much more detail. I am guessing since she isn't full blooded BC not so many people want to weigh in on this conversation. My biggest concern with her is the lunging and the act of trying to bite. I am trying to be very positive in her interaction and I don't quite know how to deal with this without 1.) just ignoring hoping it stops as she gets less scared and she thinks it's OK or 2.) If I even say a firm NO, scaring her some more.

 

I saw a huge step forward this morning, after the 2nd night of sleeping with me. I carried her outside, took her down stairs with me, fed her, and let her be. Then I called her and hit the side of my leg and she came bouncing towards me and took the treat. Then retreated very quickly but I am so excited that she was actually bouncy and came when I called.

 

She is not liking staying in the penned in area during the day. It took quite a while last evening to get her to calmed down last night when I got home.

 

I have fostered dogs for a bit but mostly small puppies 6-8 weeks that go to homes pretty quickly and a few larger dogs so this being so scared in a pup is really new to me. I have some of those food games that the dogs have to find the treats with their noses or their paws and she does enjoy them. Tennis ball we are trying and she will chew on it, some other toys have been tried but nothing so far really engages her...but maybe that comes with time.

 

I am still hand feeding her most of the time and I see her sitting up in a more regal manner when she is eating from my hand. She will look at me and eye contact seems to be OK...she doesn't give me the evil stare anymore.

 

Working on the leash as gvc suggested. But she is so horribly fearful of it when you touch it and apply any pressure that I am wondering if we will ever get there.

 

Warm weather but we helpful I think. Then maybe she could go outside and run. I am very concerned that she spends the majority of her day laying down and appearing to sleep or just be bored.

 

Thanks for listening. I will keep working with her because she truly is a beautiful pup and hopefully find the happy medium for her and find her a good home where she can flourish.

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I doubt anyone's avoiding your questions because Jade's not purebred. Many people here have border collie mixes. :)

 

It may be helpful to keep her separate from the other dogs for a while until she becomes more confident and less likely to have a fearfully defensive reaction toward them. Any time she gets to practice that behavior -- especially if it's successful (i.e. the dog retreats) -- it will become more firmly established and harder to modify.

 

I would have (and have!) done the same thing in taking her to bed with me. Sometimes the warmth and comfort of a body is what a pup needs to feel safe.

 

As for the leash, I suspect it will take some time until she's comfortable with it. I'd suggest letting her drag a leash when you're around to make sure she can't get hung up on something and get stuck. And it'll make it easier to catch her if you need to.

 

Probably the most valuable thing anyone can tell you is to be patient, not push her beyond what she's capable of doing without fear, and let her progress at her own pace.

 

There are 2 very good threads of people's experience working with shy dogs. Both are long, but well worth the time to read. They'll give you both an idea of the journey shy dogs take and many useful suggestions for confidence building.

 

Derek already gave you the link to the one about his dog, Dexter. Here's the one about Kelso: http://www.bordercollie.org/boards/index.php?showtopic=31080&hl=kelso

 

Please take the time to read them carefully. There's a ton of useful information in them.

 

Good luck, and please keep us posted about Jade's progress.

 

Oh, one last thing . . . you asked about adoption advice. Please don't be too quick to adopt her out. She should really remain in foster care until she's built much more confidence. When she does go to a new home, it should be one who understands her sensitivities and is willing to be patient and not expect too much from her at first. There'll likely be some return of her insecurities at first, so they should expect that. Some of the shy fosters stay in their foster homes for quite a while before being ready to move on, but when they're ready and the right home is found, the dogs blossom in ways that it would be hard to imagine possible. It really is an incredibly rewarding experience. :)

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TDFOSTER, I don't think it is an issue of a BC mix that has people not responding. Unfortunately, the past few weeks there have been quite an increase in posts requesting help with fearful or aggressive dogs. People here are usually very helpful. But, sometimes we just get a bit burnt out. And also, I don't think any of your foster's issues stem from her being part BC. She's just a pup that was not properly socialized. Correcting this would be the same for any breed.

 

I commend you for working with this girl. Be patient and keep at it. Please read past posts of a similar nature. Please let us know how things are going.

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JVW and GentleLake. Thank you so much for your comments. Thank you for letting me also know that just because she is a mix, it is not a reason to not be on this board. :) I will read Derek and Kelso's information in depth. I have scanned Derek's and appreciate his comments as well. I know that everyone is busy and it takes time to read and respond to all of us! I am spending some of my "work" time to write and read so I am appreciative for everyone's responses.

 

My thoughts about her going from foster to adoption GentleLake are exactly the same as yours. I had already sent a message to the rescue and the adoption coordinator that I didn't want to see any apps for her until I let her know. It would not be a good thing for her to go out and end up having to come back. I also want to be able to talk with the prospective adopters.

 

Her behaviour could be just fearful puppy but I have never had a dog as fearful as this and after some of my reading I thought maybe it really had to do with her breed. So it is good to know that it is just puppy stuff. My heart would break if I did something to make it worse for her. Or I didn't do everything I could to figure out the aggression part so it goes no further. I get so attached to my foster's and I want only the very best for them.

 

I will keep her separated from the other dogs for the time being...guess my mistake in thinking that if she was around 25 other dogs she might not be fearful but then on reflection if she was picked on, that might be part of the reason.

 

If she does do the lunge and try to bite do you have suggestions on how to deal with, without making her more fearful. The leash is on her whenever I am home I bought her as light a collar and leash as I could find to start with and then I thought I would add a heavier leash later on. Does that sound reasonable?

 

Still needing to find that toy that grabs her attention. I give her peanut butter in a toy in the evening to give her something to do. Also she is interested in the TV so try to have it on so she can "watch" it when something catches her eye. She quickly figures out the puzzle toys.

 

I dont' think she has had a full vet work up. Seems to me, they bring them in, worm them, give them their shots, spade or neuter as soon as they can, and unless a very obvious issue, move them to adoption as quickly as they can. So my guess is if I want that, I will need to pay for it just as if I find a good trainer I will most likely need to pay that as well. And I am willing to do all that for her. Do you think it is a good idea for a vet visit while she is so fearful? I think the spay went OK because she was back with her sisters. Not sure.

 

I know I ramble and I am sorry...just don't know how to write any other way. I will try not to write too often...just need some reinforcement that I am not harming her. Guess dogs aren't the only ones a bit fearful!

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GentleLake when I click on the link it only takes me to the google log in and when I log in it only takes me to my gmail account. I will do a search and try to find this.

 

Just thought I would do a quick update. Last night when I got home, Jade got up from her space at the far end of the pen and came to the other end to greet me. She bounced around and whined a little. I praised her and talked to her and then she went and set down back on her bed. I also am trying to keep her out of the pen when I am home so she was in the living room and walked up to my mom and sniffed and allowed my mom to pet her under her chin.

 

Later in the evening I took her to my living space downstairs and we both laid on the floor and she slept. Took her outside brought herback in and to bed we went. This morning after I took her out and fed her, I was getting ready for work and she began exploring, taking two of my shirts I had folded in a tub, a sock and a jacket. Then she jumped in the chair and started chewing on paper and as soon as I enter jumps down and acts like she has done nothing. :) Nose is going a hundred miles a minute.

 

So I do think she is becoming somewhat more comfortable. Still running if it looks like I am actually moving towards her.

 

Today, I made contact with a behavioral vet, the director of the rescue I foster for, and a behavior person at our local Animal Rescue League. Received permission to move ahead to have the behavioral people look at Jade and see if they can help me and I will get her complete blood study done. I am excited that the rescue sees the value of taking care of her and doing whatever we an to insure that she is the best dog she can be when she leaves my house. I am anticipating keeping her for a while until I am comfortable that she is good and that we have the aggressions issue resolved.

 

I hope that you all won't mind if I keep posting and asking questions. I am sure that as she comes out of the shell she is in that I will need lots of help in understanding what the "charge" the clicker really means and how to train using it. I think I get some of it, just not sure all of it.

 

Can't wait for this cold and snow to stop so her and I can hopefully go outside and spend some time.

 

Thank all of you for your comments and thoughts.

Teri

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Hi everyone. Been a few days since I posted tso wanted to update where I am with Jade.

 

Dealing with a lot of dog aggression with the dogs in my house (my mom has a shitzpoo, my sister has a boston terrier and my sister is fostering a boxer) when she is on the couch but if on the floor not so much.

 

Yesterday a behaviorist from the ARL came to the house and worked with me for about 2 1/2 hours. One of the good things that came out of the session is that it does not appear that Jade is wired for aggression and that everything I am seeing is from fear. She brought a clicker, an ace wrap and a showed me the Tellington touch procedure which I am going to use. She told me that the stance at the rescue....face in the corner and back to everyone including her siblings....was sending a message that she felt like she was just going to die so get it over with. This breaks my heart.

 

I have started having her sleep with me for the moment to try and help with trust. The collar and leash is on her 24/7 since she is not crated and I do see some imporvement with me being able to at least touch the leash and hold it loosely and she is not bolting.

 

We had some set back last night as we normally put the other dogs out of the living room in the evenings and try to let Jade come out there and do whatever she wants. Last night, she refused to come all the way in the living room. Only wanted to come a few feet in and lay there and play and sleep. She also didn't want to eat from my hand at first. Finally coaxed her into that by moving the food closer and closer to me.

 

I hope I have gotten the clicker concept down but I seem to struggle with exactly when I should be using it. Going to try and use when we are in the living room with the other dogs and break her focus on them to the clicker and a treat. Does that sound like the appropriate way to use it? I know to use it for getting her to do tricks but right now I want to work on the aggression piece first.

 

She also learned how to climb over the baby gate that we were using so we have had to put a second gate on top. She has a fair space to be in as I have an exercise pen that I am using along with the laundry room space. She is still too fearful to come much out of the laundry room for any length of time.

 

I am hoping the leash comes along sort of quickly now that she doesn't seem to be totally freaked by it so that we can let her out of the pen more often during the day when my mom is home...right now my mom can not pick her up...guessing she weights about 30 pounds....to put her out and can't go outside with her due to the ice and snow.

 

Thank you all for reading and sharing tips to help me. I know that we still have a long ways to get that trust factor but because of your comments and suggestions, I think we have started on the right track.

 

I will keep you updated as the aggression with the other dogs plays out.

 

Again, thank you

Teri

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I am not sure I read your post correctly but it sounds like you are going to use the clicker to distract her or to get her attention with the other dogs. This is not how the clicker is used.

 

You want to click while/when she does something you like-so you are using the noise to mark the behavior you like. So don't click to get her to look at you. .

 

If you want to teach her to look at you while in the presence of the other dogs, you can wait until she is looking at you then at the moment she turns her focus to you; click/treat.

 

Think about how the average dog runs to the door excited when you grab their leash. The leash is like the click - they know leash=outside fun time/walk time. Or the doorbell=person at the door. You want to teach her that the click = tasty treat and she gets a click when she does something you like/ask for (sit, down, eye contract, etc)

 

Did the trainer show you how to 'charge' the clicker with her?

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Waffles, I really know I sound dumb but does charge mean give her a bunch of treats and click the clicker? If so, she did work on that yesterday. And I thought maybe I had the concept down wrong about working with her and the other dogs that I why I posted so thank you so much for writing back.

 

So, do I charge the clicker every time I want to work with her? And when working with her and the other dogs do I get her to look at me through making some type of other noise to break her focus on the dogs and then click and treat as soon as she looks at me? The behaviorist left me a book on clickers that I have not had time to read but hoping to get that done tonight.

 

Unfortunately sometimes it takes me asking the same question 2-3 times and sometimes same question a different way for it to connect for me.

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Once you get going it gets less confusing so don't worry, you're not alone in being confused.

 

Yes, charging it is just getting her to understand that a click=something positive like a treat. You only do this now not every time you start a training session. Trust me, she will quickly understand it! It sounds like your trainer has already done this.

So right now, if you have her with the dogs and she isn't offering to look at you or in your direction you can make a little noise with your mouth, then click/treat. Kind of like how when you teach a sit, some people like to do this by luring them into a sit position then fade that lure/treat away or just waiting until they offer a sit then putting the command/cue to the action (sitting). So eventually she will offer a sit or offer to look at you then you can reward or put a cue to it.

 

It might help you to watch a few videos on basic clicker training on youtube. If you search kikopup, she has great easy to follow videos.

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Great. Thank you. I will search for the you tube videos.

 

This is such a challenge for me as I get scared I am going to do more harm than good. She is just so beautiful and when she forgets to be scared it is truly wonderful.

 

I am wondering if she will ever get over the aggression to the other dogs? The behaviorist believes she may have been picked on by the others as she might have been at the lower end of the totem pole so to speak? I didn't think to ask that question yesterday. I was trying to take so much in when we were working with her. :)

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Well, last night wasn't so great. I guess I just don't get what I am supposed to be doing with the dog aggression and Jade. It feels like since Sunday when the behaviorist was there that we have taken mega steps backwords in some areas but big steps forward in other areas.

She has gotten so she doesn't want to eat from my hand since Sunday. I finally convinced her last night but this morning was a much tougher sell and she didn't eat all her breakfast.

 

She lunged and snapped really hard at the boxer we foster last night even though I was sitting right beside her and trying to redirect her focus. I am wondering if I need to get her off the couch onto the floor and have her be around the other dogs. There have been moments when the other dogs have come into the space we are in and she doesn't go into immediate attack mode and seems to sort of ignore them. But is she is on the couch and they approach she is like "get the hell out of my space and I am going to bite you". Does that make sense? Is there something about being on the couch that makes her more frightened do you think?

 

The leash is getting better. I am allowed to pick it up and she sees that and she sometimes just follows along as we go outdoors but if trying to come back in the door, she immediatley backs up and tries to paw it down. I am thinking this is sort of normal and will get better?

 

Thanks for listening everyone and if you have suggestions of what to do with the other dogs around I very definitely would like to her them.

Teri

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Put her on the ground with the others. Let her be a dog and remove yourself from the equation for a bit. See what happens.

 

If she is on the couch next to you or on you and she snaps at the dogs when they approach then you are apart of the situation. Let her be a dog and mingle with the others. If the other dogs are well off socially you shouldn't have much of a problem if you let her learn to cope with them. Stick up for her though if another dog is being over bearing. Remove that dog from her space so she can learn that you or a human will handle the scary(in her mind) dog/situation.

 

Having her mingle with the other dogs outside can also be a better place to start than inside. There is more space for them to move around and feel comfortable without feeling crowded/trapped. My boy used to be so afraid of dogs and in the beginning we set up situations outside here he could mingle and play ball while off leash with other dogs. He was able to move away as far as he needed and never felt trapped by walls, furniture etc.

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Waffles. Thank you. I have been thinking that I am part of the problem and the boxer is a bit in your face want to be friends kind of dog. And I have noticed that if they are on the ground together I haven't send so much of the immediate hackling up and lunging.

 

I think the boston and boxer are pretty social. They have gotten along with all the other fosters I have brought in the house. The only "dog" issue we have had is my son has a female boxer that absolutely hates our foster boxer and we can't figure out the dynamics there. Other than that they have seemed to get along well.

 

It is just so cold here (below zero) that I haven't let her be outside much other than to do her business. Hopefully this week we will get a heat wave - up to 30 - and I can let them be on the deck together for awhile.

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Hi TDFOSTER,

 

I've been following your thread, but have so little experience (as in... none) with the issues you are trying to work through that I didn't feel comfortable trying to offer any advice. I do commend you for the work you've been doing with this gal. She sounds like a lovely dog who just needs to understand her role in the human world. Thank you for trying to help her through the tough times!

 

Anyways, I just wanted to share an article that I think every dog owner should read (multiple times ;) ) If this is something you have already read, then great!! If you haven't, and you have 30 minutes of quite time at some point (it's long), I recommend it very highly. http://www.suzanneclothier.com/the-articles/he-just-wants-say-hi

 

There's a lot in this article and many of the things she discussed may not apply to your situation. However, since you are trying to manage a lot of different doggy personalities, I think you will find at least some of this useful. Plus, it's just a great read. It might be one of my favorite articles regarding dog behavior in general. I hope you find it helpful and I wish you and Jade all the very best as you continue to make progress!!

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Camden's Mom, thank you for the article. I have not read it so I will heed your advice and find 30 minutes of quiet time and do so.

 

Yes, we have quite the brood at our house. A shitzpoo (my mom's dog) that is mentally challenged from being dropped on his head by breeder at 6 weeks old, the Boston Terrier we (my sister who lives with me) rescued after she had been beaten so badly they knocked an eye out, spayed her in the middle of a pseudo-pregnancy, and full of worms that are not normally physically seen, and the boxer who is a foster but has been there almost a year as he has a bad back leg. The Boston is quite the little ADHD dog. Flipping and flittering around making everything her business. And the boxer who is very laid back but just has no doggie manners in approaching slowly, just walking up and saying "here I am" and you shoud love me! :)

 

Thank you for your support...that really means a lot. I am so new to fostering and I care too much some of the time and get so involved and honestly get so emotional and forget they are dogs. I just want to take away all their pain and fears. Hard for me to step back and be objective and do what is absolutely right for the dog. So the comments and feedback have been very helpful for me.

 

Also, the bit of obedience training I had with my boxer girls over 15 years ago has changed so dramatically. I have some bad habits to break as well. Looking forward to eventually being able to take an obedience class with Jade in the future.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone! It has been a bit since I posted but I have been super busy with Jade and not taking time to be on the comptuer much.

 

There have been some huge or at least in my mind huge steps forward. She is still cowering some, not coming when I call her and I can tell it is fear, and the dog aggression with 2 of the 3 dogs has not improved much.

 

She had a collar on and dragged and still does drag her leash around with her when she is out of the crate. Up until this week, I wasn't allowed to pick it up without her freaking a bit. Now we have put on a harness and trying to use a loose leash and that seems to be working when she doesn't remember that she should be freaked out! :)

 

One of the things I have discovered is that she is very very resource guarding. She will go gather all the toys and put them beside her wherever she is laying and then she will choose which ones she wants to play with. And don't let another dog even look at those toys or chew bones.

 

I have her in a crate because she learned to climb over the penned in area she was in and almost made it through the opening (which is 36" off the floor) through the area into the kitchen that would have put her right in the kitchen sink. My sister just happened to hear her knocking everything off and she was stuck! We put the crate in the living room which is where she seems to want to always escape to and it is where my mom spends most of her time. Mom locks up two of the three dogs and lets Jade out for a couple hours a day and then I have her out when I get home until I leave the next morning for work. She will go get in the doggie bed and lay beside the shitzpoo.

 

She really wants my mom's dog (a shitzpoo) to play with her but she is so in his face and he is somewhat mentally challenged, that he wants no part of it...but she keeps trying.

 

If the other dogs are out, like in the mornings, Jade will walk a wide path around them but continues to growl, snap, lunge, and bite at them if she is in her crate, or they move towards a toy or towards me or my mom. I have started to work with her in the crate giving her treats quickly when the other dogs come near her and she ignores them. If she growls or lunges the treats stop until she focuses on me again.

 

I am going to try and get started on the "watch me" command and see if that also will help us.

 

Last night, even though it was cold, I put the leash on the harness, took her out our front door, and walked her a bit. She was a little spooky, and would try to run off but when the leash ended she would come back and not freak, and we were able to walk around a bit. I am hoping that I am doing that part right.

 

If you have any other ideas about the dog aggression I would certainly appreciate hearing. I know that just letting her be with the other dogs doesn't work because of the resource guarding right now. We are thinking that the guarding comes from being with 25 other dogs and she probably had to scrap for every piece of food she got or anything else. I can see some scaring on her tummy and there were scabs on her ears when she came so that reinforces to me that she probably was picked on too.

 

Again, thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I really do try to follow your suggestions and it helps me when comments are made that get me thinking in another direction that may help her.

 

I have come to be very fond of her and she is very very loving to me. She actually will even lick me once in a while which I think is a good thing.

Teri

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