Please help advise me how best to rehome this dog.(14 Posts)
Hi - this is my first post after being a long term lurker.
I am hoping I might be able to get some advice from all those people with contacts in rescue.
My sister and her husband have eventually come to the difficult decision that they are going to have to rehome their dog. He is a labrador/springer cross and is about 3 years old. They have decided to rehome him as he bites. This all came to head when the police came round to their house as someone had reported him. They came to check he wasn't a banned breed but as he was 'just a labrador' they were allowed to keep him. (Don't even get me started on that!!) They have decided they can't keep him as they have a toddler and a new born and both work full time and hence don't have the time to spend rehabilitating him.
I realise that with a history of biting, finding a rescue place for him will be extremely difficult and that there would be no point her talking to most large rescues. She is hoping that she will be able to find a home for him without him going in to kennels but I have no idea how realistic this is. (Don't worry - she will NOT be listing him on preloved or such like - I am only talking about homing through rescue.)
This behaviour has been going on (and escalating) for a long time. They had him from a pup and in my opinion (for what it's worth!) the behaviour was triggered by the instability in his life. He has always been a very sensitive boy who thrives on routine and they have lived in 3 different places and there have been 2 new babies in the 3 years they have had him. He is easily upset by situations and spooked by things and his solution seems to be to lash out - it is only recently though that general members of the public have been bitten.
Before you suggest that I take him in - I would really love to as I feel so guilty and responsible. I however have 4 dogs myself squeezed in to my terraced house, the last of which arrived only 5 weeks ago and has nervous issues himself which I'm working on. We genuinely could not take on another dog with such problems.
Well - that was a much longer post than I'd planned. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. He really is a lovely dog who has been seriously let down.
If I have missed out any important information then please let me know and I will happily provide it.
Oh - if you're going to ask what has been done to help him already e.g. behaviourists, T Touch etc , the answer is, regretably, nothing.
Poor dog, both working full time and not getting much time/attention. Deserves better. Good that you are asking for help
He certainly does deserve better.
In fairness to them, the husband does own a pub so he came to work with him every day - however since he bit one of the clients last week this is no longer an option. Didn't want you to think he had been sitting around by himself for years!
It sounds like the dog is lashing out or redirecting when nervous. This can be worked on and with time and effort and lots of socialising (on lead) could be overcome.
But then I dont know the circumstances surrounding what happened to make the dog bite - was it a BITE or a nip? Yes, huge difference; how many times has it done it?
What is his routine? Exercise? Training?
He has lashed out on many occasions. On at least ten times that I have seen/experienced. On a couple of those occasions he has made contact and only once he has broken the skin (my mum's arm). He is just lashing out - the 'attacks' aren't prolonged but he isn't afraid to make proper contact and there aren't normally obvious signs that he is distressed. It is however only recently that this has happened to passers by out in public. Normally it was only in the house or when trying to get him in to the car.
One of the main circumstances that triggers him is if he is in the house and people go to leave. It is guaranteed that he will lunge at someone while the 'goodbyes' are happening.
I couldn't really comment on his routine but he does get walked, off lead, every day for approx. an hour but this isn't at any set time.
He hasn't had any proper training just the usual sit/paw/roll over that was taught at home.
I do believe that with time, effort, patience and inclination, he could be helped but I know he won't get this from my sister so rehoming really is the only option for him.
So what we have is an insecure, frightened/nervous dog. Okay... I know just the rescue but I also know they aren't taking any more dogs in. I'll try and talk them round but tbh I'm in no way confident that I can persuade them. Meantime I can also start speaking to a few others for you. Can you bear with me for a while, will come back to you over the weekend please?
Sorry, didn't have access to the computer last night .
Please do ask around. She isn't in an immediate rush so we can absolutely wait.
Thank you so much for taking the time to help... it is genuinely appreciated.
In the meantime is there anyway your sister could afford a behaviouralist? I don't know where in the country you are but around here they charge around £60 for a one to one session, with one follow up session and ongoing phone support. If they can identify the triggers it will make rescues job easier and it will also make life easier for your sister while she is waiting to find a space for him.
I also know of a rescue that takes in difficult dogs and do not pts ever (Unless on health gounds). AFAIK they are pretty full, but if you are close to the NE they might squeeze him in somewhere.
For the goodbye situation, place the dog in another room before people start to leave, with a nice treat and I'd think of getting a muzzle for walks in public. I adore dogs and I'm pretty forgiving of most things, but if one lunged at or snapped at my dc while we were walking past and it was not wearing a muzzle, I'd be pretty pissed off.
I will suggest the behaviourist and muzzle to her. It is definitely at the stage where he should be out in public with one on. Good idea about the treat in a separate room when people are leaving .
We are in the south east but are completely prepared to travel in order to find somewhere suitable for him.
Again, thanks for your suggestions.
Any more news on rescue suggestions at all please?
She won't be able to start making enquiries until next week but I am hoping to be able to point her in the right direction when the time comes.
Thanks again for any help you can offer.
greatgatsbygirl, I sent you a pm when you first posted - have you not received it?
So sorry. Have never received a pm before so didn't even notice that I had one! Thanks so much for such a thorough response. I have just printed it off to have a good read and pass it on to my sister then I will get back to you asap. Thanks again so much for your time. I will go read it now!
No problem at all - be careful though, I was writing it to you, assuming that your SIl wouldn't see it and I think I might have said something about it "not looking likely that the family would consider a behaviourist..." which may not come across as too complimentary to SIL !
I wouldn't want your SIL to have a go at you for something I said.
Don't worry - I think you were more than reasonable. It's no more than I've been thinking but have been too much of a coward to say outright!
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