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New dog biting and aggressive: WWYD?


againstthegrain
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I want to talk about safety.

 

We adopted a dog 3 weeks ago. An older beagle, our only family pet. We completely grasp the trauma this dog has been through in placement in a shelter and then in our new home. That being said, we are now believing the children in the previous house mistreated him. He has bitten my husband, drawing blood. He has bitten our six year old (no blood but bruising up her arm) and this morning he growled and then lunged to attack (I managed to grab the collar to stop him) our eight year old.

 

The bite to my husband could have been a miscommunication/learning who the alpha was/etc. 

 

My daughter was in the hallway, out of my sight for 30 seconds, when the dog bit her. I don't know exactly what happened, but she didn't try to hurt him. It may have been a miscommunication.

 

My son literally did nothing this morning, just walked into the room. Thinking he startled the dog, I asked him to try it again. He left, dog calmed down and came back and dog repeated lunging more aggressively then the first time (I had the collar the whole time). He was not protecting anything nor was my son coming to the dog's area, he was walking to the corner. The dog has shown a fondness for my son and we thought there was a good relationship building. I'm 100% sure had I not had the collar he would have attacked him and based on his aggression level, bit him at least once. 

 

The dog is quarantined in the basement right now, the animal rescue league we got him from didn't help us this morning when we visited (their behavioral specialist was in a meeting) and they implied there was something we could do to fix this. I get the dog is transitioning and in trauma but his aggression keeps picking up the longer we have him/the more comfortable he gets. 

 

 

My only thought right now is to protect my children - and I am not ok having him even off a leash around them as of this morning. To me, that says we cannot fix the long term damage this dog has sustained, am I wrong? We were told he was surrendered because he had nipped at a child in the previous house and was surrendered for behavioral reasons. The ARL stated he had no behavior concerns and no child restrictions after their in depth review. 

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I would take the dog back to the shelter.  Biting hard enough to draw blood, especially with children in the home, is not something I would deal with.  NO WAY. NO HOW.  Not even a question, Not a moment of hesitation.  

 

It is also better for the dog to not get used to your family before it is taken back.  

 

My MIL used to run a cat rescue and she personally has over 40 cats. Her rescue would have 100+.  My other MIL used to rescue Large dogs (rots, etc).  So, while we are a pet free family, I have spent a lot of time around rescue animals.  Biting, its not something that I would be willing to take a chance on with kids. NEVER.

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I'm sorry, I have to agree with the others. It may be possible for the dog to be rehabilitated, if everyone around the dog knows its triggers and can treat it appropriately. Unfortunately, there's no way to guarantee that everyone will follow that sort of protocol with kids around, especially when the kids have friends over who aren't familiar with the dog.

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Kids before dogs, return the dog.

 

 

Actually, my first thought is to have the dog put down. Did you get him from a rescue or a county animal shelter ?

 

A rescue center.

 

Being turned away this morning from the rescue with the dog in hand asking for assistance... we discussed putting him down.

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If you put him down consider paying the extra $20 to put him to sleep before the drug to end his life is administered. Sometimes the drug does horrible things before ending the animals life and it can take a while.

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I'd send him back.

 

the animal rescuse sounds sincere  in their wish to place an animal  rather than destroy one, but they also need to be realisitc to the dangers.

 

my mother had a dog who, we think, was mistreated by a previous owner.  she NEVER bit, never growled, never lunged, etc.  but she would not *ever* come within three feet of us when called if we were standing up. not even for treats.

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A rescue center.

 

Being turned away this morning from the rescue with the dog in hand asking for assistance... we discussed putting him down.

 

 

yeah - they know the dog has problems, they don't want to deal with them and are trying to foist them off on you.  that sort of behavior gives rescues a bad name.

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A rescue center.

 

Being turned away this morning from the rescue with the dog in hand asking for assistance... we discussed putting him down.

The place you adopted him from, turned you away when you sought to return a problematic placement? That's terrible.

 

I agree with others. The dog should not stay in your home. But the shelter should provide you with directions. I'm sorry they aren't helping you. However, I find myself wondering at how they made such a placement to begin with (aggressive/reactive dog in a home with young children).

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Look at your original agreement with the rescue.  Usually it says that if you cannot keep the animal, you need to return them to the rescue/shelter.  If it says that, then you need to take the dog back and insist that they take possession of him (and get a receipt).  If there is not such an agreement in place, then you will need to do what needs to be done.

 

I am sorry this has happened to you.  I'm surprised that a facility that has a behavior specialist on staff would refuse the return of an animal who is not in a "good fit" placement.  

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The place you adopted him from, turned you away when you sought to return a problematic placement? That's terrible.

 

I agree with others. The dog should not stay in your home. But the shelter should provide you with directions. I'm sorry they aren't helping you. However, I find myself wondering at how they made such a placement to begin with (aggressive/reactive dog in a home with young children).

 

Yes, they turned me away with a card stating all people who could assist were busy until 4-5pm. I asked if I could make an appointment for 4-5pm and they said they couldn't do that, didn't have the behaviorist's schedules and could not guarantee if I showed up they would be there.

 

I can't even get anyone to answer/return my call about returning him to the shelter.

 

 

My father suggested trying to rehome him into a home without kids, but I see that as a major liability - DS has been bitten while selling door to door cub scout items when an owner couldn't keep the dog inside. 

 

 

 

Sigh. I feel like a horrible person, but I don't see much option other than returning him. The rescue league states on their adoption agreement I have 5 days to return him. It's been 3 weeks. The incidents didn't start until a week in and when he bit DH we felt it could have been a trauma of placement issue, but the last two weeks have shown it is something to do with the kids -- which leads us to the thought he was mistreated by kids in the previous house. I feel stupid though honestly. They told us at adoption"He nipped a child, age unknown and circumstances unknown, in the previous house. He did not draw blood, it was stage 1. We feel after review in our behavior dept there is no behavior concerns and there are no child restrictions on the pet."

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you know - this shelter/rescue probably uses their placement rates in their advertising to bring in both funding and business. the dog previously nipped at a child.  they  knew the dog was aggressive, but to put it down would undermine their placement rate.  (so instead they knowingly placed an aggressive dog with children.) 

 

if they do indeed use those numbers for funding/et.al, - it is in the interest of their business to NOT take the animal back (or make a behaviorist available - a behaviorist assisting with an aggressive dog they placed would also go in their records). 

 

do they have a yelp page or a bbb rating?  I'd file a complaint and/or leave a negative review.

 

if you have to take him to your country animal control to be put down, you do what you have to do. I'm sorry.

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That's terrible.  We recently adopted a dog from a rescue and sadly had to return her after just a few days (allergies).  The rescue gave us a certain amount of time (I think 30 days) to return her with a full refund, and specifically stated that if we ever needed to re-home her after that, they would ALWAYS take her.  

I would call the rescue, NOW, and say, "This dog has repeatedly bitten family members. I cannot safely keep him in my home.  If I do not get a response this afternoon, I will be taking him to be put down."  My guess is that they don't want to deal with him anymore.  And I'd leave negative reviews of how they handled this in every possible place.  This is not a reputable dog rescue. 

I'm very sorry.

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Look at your original agreement with the rescue.  Usually it says that if you cannot keep the animal, you need to return them to the rescue/shelter.  If it says that, then you need to take the dog back and insist that they take possession of him (and get a receipt).  If there is not such an agreement in place, then you will need to do what needs to be done.

 

I am sorry this has happened to you.  I'm surprised that a facility that has a behavior specialist on staff would refuse the return of an animal who is not in a "good fit" placement.  

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

You absolutely need to read your adoption paper work and see if you're required to return the dog to them. It's a legally binding contract. If it says you're supposed to I'd take the dog along with a written statement (keep a copy for yourself) documenting all the incidents. And hand over his leash and leave. 

 

If you aren't required to return him to the rescue then humane euthanasia is probably the right choice.

 

FWIW -- Anyone can call themselves a behaviorist, just as anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. The term means nothing unless there's also a DVM (veterinarian who specialized in behavior) or a Ph.D. and CAAB (certified applied animal behaviorist) behind their name. If you don't see those credentials then most likely the "behaviorist" is just someone with a bit of dog training knowledge who thinks behaviorist sounds more impressive than trainer. I'd be very leery of anyone w/o the credentials calling themselves a behaviorist because it tells me they're trying to fool people into believing they're something they're not.

Edited by Pawz4me
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:iagree:

 

You absolutely need to read your adoption paper work and see if you're required to return the dog to them. It's a legally binding contract. If it says you're supposed to I'd take the dog along with a written statement (keep a copy for yourself) documenting all the incidents. And hand over his leash and leave. 

 

If you aren't required to return him to the rescue then humane euthanasia is probably the right choice.

 

FWIW -- Anyone can call themselves a behaviorist, just as anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. The term means nothing unless there's also a DVM (veterinarian who specialized in behavior) or a Ph.D. and CAAB (certified applied animal behaviorist) behind their name. If you don't see those credentials then most likely the "behaviorist" is just someone with a bit of dog training knowledge who thinks behaviorist sounds more impressive than trainer. I'd be very leery of anyone w/o the credentials calling themselves a behaviorist because it tells me they're trying to fool people into believing they're something they're not.

 

Agreed. I still cringe thinking of the AWFUL advice a "behaviorist" gave me regarding my weimaraner. It was 100 percent wrong on every level. Up to and including the dumb idea that a dog with any aggression shouldn't be allowed to have chew toys because it will strengthen their jaws too much or something dumb like that. She hit my dog in the face, and I never spoke to her again, and was in a position to make sure the vet I worked with never referred anyone to her again. Witch of a woman. And no credentials. 

 

SaveSave

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I don't understand why a behaviorist would need to be available. You weren't asking for advice on how to rehabilitate him You were returning him. All they needed was someone to take the leash.

 

(I'm super biased towards keeping dogs normally but this dog's aggression doesn't seem normal. )

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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A reputable rescue would be en route and taking the dog back. 

It's too difficult to tell what is going on with the dog. A trained certified behaviorist would need to look at him but I agree he needs out of your home. 

Call the rescue & insist that he needs to be taken back and re-assessed. He may have a medical problem that needs addressing but either way, I don't think he should stay in your home. 

(btw, dominance and alpha have no place in modern, scientific evidence based training. http://avsabonline.org/uploads/position_statements/dominance_statement.pdf

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(btw, dominance and alpha have no place in modern, scientific evidence based training. http://avsabonline.org/uploads/position_statements/dominance_statement.pdf

 

Yup. The biggest and most common reason for aggression is fear, which dominance/alpha crap makes worse. The other is frustration intolerance, which people try to say is dominance but is really more akin to learning anger management. Either way, this isn't a safe situation for anyone. I'm so sorry. 

 

If it helps, I've rehabbed aggressive dogs, and I wouldn't keep this dog, not in a house with kids. 

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I don't understand why a behaviorist would need to be available. You weren't asking for advice on how to rehabilitate him You were returning him. All they needed was someone to take the leash.

 

 

 

OP....... I would literally hand the leash to the first person associated with the rescue whom you encounter at their building. And refuse to take it back.

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I owned an aggressive dog for 14 years. We, too, were told before adopting him that he had snapped at a child. We thought, "Well, we don't have kids and we probably never will. And most likely the child did something to provoke him." We had him for about a year, I think, before the problems started.

 

We tried everything and finally had to choose between disarming (removal of his teeth) and euthanasia. We chose disarming, and while it gave him many more years of life and prevented him from seriously harming anyone, his behavior still led to stress in our home. I loved him, I miss him, but I would never advise a family with children to keep a dog like him.  

 

Some dogs cannot be fixed. 

 

The rescue really should take him back.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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If it helps, I've rehabbed aggressive dogs, and I wouldn't keep this dog, not in a house with kids. 

 

 

:iagree:

 

Also agree on the alpha/dominance crap. Dogs and their owners would all be so much better off it that stupid stuff would just go away already.

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Thank you all.

 

I got ahold of the Sheriff's office who told me about a backdoor area they take pets they pick up with Animal Control at this rescue center.

 

We took the dog there, surrendered him and after seeing my 6 year old's bite mark and bruises, we received a very heartfelt apology from the rescue center regarding their oversight on the screening for risk with kids.

 

 

I feel like a dog owner failure. We have waited 6 years until we could buy a home to adopt a pet. We flunked.

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A reputable rescue would be en route and taking the dog back. 

 

It's too difficult to tell what is going on with the dog. A trained certified behaviorist would need to look at him but I agree he needs out of your home. 

 

Call the rescue & insist that he needs to be taken back and re-assessed. He may have a medical problem that needs addressing but either way, I don't think he should stay in your home. 

 

(btw, dominance and alpha have no place in modern, scientific evidence based training. http://avsabonline.org/uploads/position_statements/dominance_statement.pdf

 

This. 

 

Edited: my page was lagging and I didn't see your last post. You didn't fail. You did the right thing! :grouphug:

Edited by zoobie
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Thank you all.

 

I got ahold of the Sheriff's office who told me about a backdoor area they take pets they pick up with Animal Control at this rescue center.

 

We took the dog there, surrendered him and after seeing my 6 year old's bite mark and bruises, we received a very heartfelt apology from the rescue center regarding their oversight on the screening for risk with kids.

 

 

I feel like a dog owner failure. We have waited 6 years until we could buy a home to adopt a pet. We flunked.

 

No, sweetie, this is not your fault. The rescue should never have given that dog to a family with kids. Ever.

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Thank you all.

 

I got ahold of the Sheriff's office who told me about a backdoor area they take pets they pick up with Animal Control at this rescue center.

 

We took the dog there, surrendered him and after seeing my 6 year old's bite mark and bruises, we received a very heartfelt apology from the rescue center regarding their oversight on the screening for risk with kids.

 

 

I feel like a dog owner failure. We have waited 6 years until we could buy a home to adopt a pet. We flunked.

I am so glad you worked it out.  Heartbreaking to have to do, I am sure, but absolutely the right choice.

 

Not every relationship is going to work out.  You picked a pet you thought would work with your family and it didn't work out.  You didn't rush into the situation. You made your pet choice purposefully. You treated the pet with love and care. You gave it a good amount of time to adjust, and you treated the animal humanely.  That is not a failure on the families part.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:   

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No, sweetie, this is not your fault. The rescue should never have given that dog to a family with kids. Ever.

 

In defense of the rescue, I'm guessing they didn't know.  

 

There are some rescues that don't adopt to homes with kids period, but those types of blanket policies don't go over well with the public. 

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Oh, I know in my head we didn't fail. But my heart is heavy. 

 

I sincerely thank you guys for being here to reaffirm what we felt though, it really helped. 

 

 

 

 

The kids adored him too and are bummed. They still want a dog though, so I see that a positive that they were able to see this dog's issues and not indicative as all dog's behaviors.... if that makes sense.

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Thank you all.

 

I got ahold of the Sheriff's office who told me about a backdoor area they take pets they pick up with Animal Control at this rescue center.

 

We took the dog there, surrendered him and after seeing my 6 year old's bite mark and bruises, we received a very heartfelt apology from the rescue center regarding their oversight on the screening for risk with kids.

 

 

I feel like a dog owner failure. We have waited 6 years until we could buy a home to adopt a pet. We flunked.

 

No - the "rescue" flunked. badly. you didn't do anything wrong.  I'm glad you were able to find a way to return him - and the rescue apologized.

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

Also agree on the alpha/dominance crap. Dogs and their owners would all be so much better off it that stupid stuff would just go away already.

please explain what to do about dogs that INSIST on standing on your feet (almost always  smaller dogs).

 

(short of kicking them.  which I've been tempted to do on occasion.  not my dog, I pull my feet away, and the dog does it again.  over and over and I have to demand the owner do something about their dog.)

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The place you adopted him from, turned you away when you sought to return a problematic placement? That's terrible.

 

 

 

WTH?!? What kind of a "rescue " is that????

 

Glad you were able to place the dog elsewhere. YOU DID NOT FAIL! That piece of **** "rescue" did not place the dog in the correct home, and then acted outrageously when you had problems. I'm really shocked by their lack of professionalism.

 

I hope your kids are doing all right. How traumatic for you all. :grouphug:

 

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In defense of the rescue, I'm guessing they didn't know.  

 

There are some rescues that don't adopt to homes with kids period, but those types of blanket policies don't go over well with the public. 

 

they reported the dog had "nipped a child", but didn't know any of the surrounding circumstances, so they automatically treated it as though the child did something to provoke the dog.

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You didn't flunk. The rescue did. Really. ((Hugs))

I agree 100%!!!

 

I know there are many here who can share great tips for selecting a terrific family dog. You will soon have a fine new companion. Please help your kids to know that they also are NOT failures!

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Don't give up, OP. The perfect dog for your family is out there somewhere.

 

 

No - the "rescue" flunked. badly. you didn't do anything wrong.  I'm glad you were able to find a way to return him - and the rescue apologized.

 

 

 

please explain what to do about dogs that INSIST on standing on your feet (almost always  smaller dogs).

 

(short of kicking them.  which I've been tempted to do on occasion.  not my dog, I pull my feet away, and the dog does it again.  over and over and I have to demand the owner do something about their dog.)

 

If it were my dog I'd teach it to come to a sit beside of people. Just like with kids, it generally works much better to teach a dog what you want it to do rather than punish it for doing something it's not supposed to do. If it's not your dog -- well, I got no advice on that. I don't in general believe in doing anything to someone else's dog unless they ask. It's not my place. I'd probably ask the owner to remove their dog from my feet. Lather, rinse, repeat and hope the clueless human catches on. Personally, that behavior wouldn't bother me. Many small dogs were bred to be feet (or lap) warmers. I suspect that behavior is as instinctual to them as sniffing is to a beagle or bloodhound.

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please explain what to do about dogs that INSIST on standing on your feet (almost always  smaller dogs).

 

(short of kicking them.  which I've been tempted to do on occasion.  not my dog, I pull my feet away, and the dog does it again.  over and over and I have to demand the owner do something about their dog.)

 

The owner should be ensuring their dog is not being a pest so actually I'd *start* there. "Hey owner, can you ask your dog to stay closer to you please?"

 

Generally, I think dogs do it to get higher up to our faces & butts. 

 

I bend down & greet the dog. Once the greeting ritual is satisfied, usually the crowding and foot stepping ceases.

 

If not, my way of dealing with any unwanted bhvr is to ask for an incompatible bhvr. You can't be jumping up if you're sitting on the floor. You can't be begging at the table if you're in a down on your mat. 

 

There are hundreds of things the dog could be doing instead of standing on your feet so I'd get them to do one of those. Play with a toy, play fetch, sit on your lap, get a belly rub, go lie down on a mat etc etc etc 

 

But I don't cue bhvrs from other people's dogs. I expect them to do that. 

 

btw, walking on people's feet is a fun trick. Many people spend hours training it. My malamute  mix used to do it. 

 

like this

 

 

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Don't give up, OP. The perfect dog for your family is out there somewhere.

 

 

 

If it were my dog I'd teach it to come to a sit beside of people. Just like with kids, it generally works much better to teach a dog what you want it to do rather than punish it for doing something it's not supposed to do. If it's not your dog -- well, I got no advice on that. I don't in general believe in doing anything to someone else's dog unless they ask. It's not my place. I'd probably ask the owner to remove their dog from my feet. Lather, rinse, repeat and hope the clueless human catches on. Personally, that behavior wouldn't bother me. Many small dogs were bred to be feet (or lap) warmers. I suspect that behavior is as instinctual to them as sniffing is to a beagle or bloodhound.

 

I'm standing up, the dog is playing games (and does not give off a "friendly" aire, but a "you're infringing on my territory" one.), it's not about being friendly or trying to warm my lap (I'm standing) or feet (with it's front paws?).  I do need to be more demanding people control their dogs.  too many just don't.  even in the city where they think  a small dog doesn't need  to be taught how to behave in public.

 

The owner should be ensuring their dog is not being a pest so actually I'd *start* there. "Hey owner, can you ask your dog to stay closer to you please?"

 

Generally, I think dogs do it to get higher up to our faces & butts. 

 

I bend down & greet the dog. Once the greeting ritual is satisfied, usually the crowding and foot stepping ceases.

 

If not, my way of dealing with any unwanted bhvr is to ask for an incompatible bhvr. You can't be jumping up if you're sitting on the floor. You can't be begging at the table if you're in a down on your mat. 

 

There are hundreds of things the dog could be doing instead of standing on your feet so I'd get them to do one of those. Play with a toy, play fetch, sit on your lap, get a belly rub, go lie down on a mat etc etc etc 

 

But I don't cue bhvrs from other people's dogs. I expect them to do that. 

 

btw, walking on people's feet is a fun trick. Many people spend hours training it. My malamute  mix used to do it. 

 

like

 

standing on my feet - front paws ( I should have been more clear) - is only going to increase it's height an inch or so.

 

hind legs with front paws on my chest/shoulders - is obviously being overly friendly . . . . I grab their front paws and talk baby talk about what a nice doggy they are . . . . doesn't take long for them to try and figure out how to get down.  they don't do it to me twice.  I'm happy to pet them behind their ears, and they're happy to 'assume' the position so I can.

 

eta: these encounters are in public places!  not the dogs home.

Edited by gardenmom5
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My father suggested trying to rehome him into a home without kids, but I see that as a major liability - DS has been bitten while selling door to door cub scout items when an owner couldn't keep the dog inside. 

 

No. Absolutely not. Never, EVER give a dog that has bitten someone to another person or family. Only an animal welfare agency/rescue should take possession of such a dog.

 

 

 

Sigh. I feel like a horrible person, but I don't see much option other than returning him. The rescue league states on their adoption agreement I have 5 days to return him. It's been 3 weeks. The incidents didn't start until a week in and when he bit DH we felt it could have been a trauma of placement issue, but the last two weeks have shown it is something to do with the kids -- which leads us to the thought he was mistreated by kids in the previous house. I feel stupid though honestly. They told us at adoption"He nipped a child, age unknown and circumstances unknown, in the previous house. He did not draw blood, it was stage 1. We feel after review in our behavior dept there is no behavior concerns and there are no child restrictions on the pet."

 

Having worked with several animal welfare agencies/rescue groups, I have to say that this organization sounds negligent. First of all, an animal with any history of biting should not be offered to a home with children. Ever. Second, reputable awa/rescue groups always take their animals back if the placement doesn't work out. The awa we adopted our first dog from was willing to take him back six years after we adopted him, after we had spent a thousand dollars on a behaviorist (the dog had big issues) and the dog still bit someone. 

 

Were it me, I would go back to the rescue and tell them they placed an aggressive dog in your home and if they won't take the dog back, you will report them. The dog is their responsibility.

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Oh you & I know but I don't think they think of it like that at all. Any bit closer is good to some dogs LOL 

 

as I said - I've never had a "friendly" dog do this to me.  only ones that give off a feeling of "my territory". (even in public spaces.)

 

I've had friendly one's lay on my feet when I've been sitting down - and they promptly lay their head on the ground.  they also get up when told to.  these dogs standing on my feet - are starting at my face - and won't move voluntarily.

Edited by gardenmom5
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I feel like a dog owner failure. We have waited 6 years until we could buy a home to adopt a pet. We flunked.

 

NO!!!

 

The rescue flunked. You did not. Do not ever think that.

 

Let me say it again:

 

NO! You did not flunk. The rescue did.

 

:grouphug:

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