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Rescue dog is aggressive ...what to do?

(23 Posts)
restopo Mon 05-Aug-19 22:12:37

I really don't understand what's going on.
I rescued a poodle from the kennels nearly two weeks ago.
He had been abused and was dumped.
Anyway he is the most happiest dog,running around,wagging his tail then he changes and stares at you and starts to growl.
Tonight he was happy as can be playing with his ball,went out for a wee.
Came home for bed,lay in his bed and stared at me and started to show his teeth and growl loudly at me.
What is happening?
He's done this a few times now,totally unprovoked.
He goes from being so happy giving kisses and cuddling you to that.

OP’s posts: |
restopo Mon 05-Aug-19 22:13:38

Also my dad tried to clean some muck off his fur and he turned around quick and bit him.
Only a tiny graze but still.

OP’s posts: |
HappyHammy Mon 05-Aug-19 22:16:20

oh dear, do you have a dog behaviourist you could take him too. when you say you rescued him, was it from a rescue site, did they tell you he was a biter and a growler. sorry but I don't think I could keep a dog that was this unpredictable.

Rumours0fAHurricane Mon 05-Aug-19 22:17:50

I hope you don't have children ...

You'd be foolish to keep this dog. You'll have lots of messages urging you to get a behaviourist in but I'd be thinking twice - sharpish!

Sunandrainallconfusedhere Mon 05-Aug-19 22:20:51

My ddog seems to get sensory overload at times. Seek help before you send him back. The foster ddog I had was rehomed and snapped at a dc. He was sent back ASAP and pts after they declared he had had an emotional breakdown. Please give your ddog the support he needs.

restopo Mon 05-Aug-19 22:21:38

It was just a kennels where the warden has picked up stray dogs and if owners don't come forward in 7 days you can take one.
They didn't know anything about him.
I really don't know what to do.
He's eyes change and he just gets this nasty look in his eyes ..maybe the abuse his suffered comes back to his memory,I don't know.

OP’s posts: |
restopo Mon 05-Aug-19 22:22:13

No we have no children

OP’s posts: |
restopo Mon 05-Aug-19 22:22:39

I don't want to give up on him as 98% of the time he is lovely.

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Rumours0fAHurricane Mon 05-Aug-19 22:22:52

Well just carry on then and hope he doesn't really go for you

HappyHammy Mon 05-Aug-19 22:24:09

no one knows his history which is really sad, perhaps he was dumped because he was aggressive, it's a huge risk having a potentially bitey dog, supposed he goes for someone or causes harm, he will end up being destroyed which would be awful. Is this in the UK?

ClaraTA Mon 05-Aug-19 22:25:04

Wonderful that you have adopted! It's still really early days, definitely go back to the place you adopted him from for advice and give him some space. It would also be worth getting him checked at the vets as he could have a health problem/be in pain.

missbattenburg Mon 05-Aug-19 22:25:32

OP no one online can really help you with this I'm afraid.

Take the dog to a vet for a full health check - aggression can sometimes have medical causes that can be treated. If the vet cannot find a medical cause ask them to refer you to an accredited behaviourist for assessment and a behavioural plan.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Mon 05-Aug-19 22:28:05 I hope this link works.
Join this group and read the files.
You can ask for advice specific to your dog but there's plenty to be going on with in terms of the reading material.

Poodles are often a bit mouthy at the best of times. I had one and he was overall a wonderful dog.

There's a difference between a dog suddenly tearing chunks out of a person and a dog growling and using an inhibited bite.

A dog who's rescued is hugely stressed and overwhelmed.
The main things are to leave them to their own space (maybe a crate but don't shut them in - there's crate training advice in that group) and don't take things from them eg if they grab a sausage off the counter, leave them to it and don't put them on the counter anymore.

Hopefully there'll be more experienced folk along soon, and I do think contacting a breed specific rescue or local breeder might mean at least some moral support, but this does sound like something that sometimes happens when you rescue a dog or are otherwise around a stressed out dog.
They often can get past it.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Mon 05-Aug-19 22:29:58

x-posts - no offence to any previous posters who have offered advice etc

nz888 Tue 06-Aug-19 04:59:07

I have a dog that has anxiety and who is aggressive towards me and my family , he has biten bad.
I have taken him to many different places ( dog behaviouralist ) and they gave me so much good advice. I suggest you try a dog Behaviorists as well ( it will be the best option )

Enclume Tue 06-Aug-19 05:37:26

Wonderful you, adopting a rescue dog.

No advice, but I did want to say my aunt has a poodle and she does this- occasionally starts flashing her teeth and nipping. She has never been abused, though. It could be a breed trait?

I am sure the dog knows how lucky he is but it can take years for them to really believe they have found their forever home. We had a lovely rescue boxer who took about three years to relax!

Booboostwo Tue 06-Aug-19 06:18:34

No one can advise you on aggression over the Internet.

Take the dog to the vet for a check up, he may well be in pain, but do tell the vet he has already bitten when handled so he can wear a muzzle. Then contact a reputable behaviourist who will need to come and observe the dog before giving you any advice. Usually there is a trigger, e.g. your father may have inadvertently hurt or scared the dog trying to groom him and the dog is quite reactive so he escalated quickly to biting. It is unusual for dogs to be aggressive with no obvious trigger as you describe. If that is indeed the case you may have a very dangerous dog on your hands.

Veterinari Tue 06-Aug-19 06:27:03

Firstly never punish growling - if the dog is expressing anxiety then respect that a no back off.
Secondly consider muzzle training for safety when out.
Thirdly contact an APBC behaviourist - via the APBC website

TheTitOfTheIceberg Tue 06-Aug-19 06:34:26

Growling is not aggression. This is one of the most misunderstood areas of dog communication. Growling is the way a dog tells you that he is uncomfortable/stressed/unhappy/scared in this situation. I’m sure you’re not, but please don’t ever scold a dog for growling or you’ll end up with one who goes straight to biting with no warning.

If you have no children and you’re prepared to see this through, then yes engage a reputable dog behaviourist. They will work with you in your home and observe the triggers causing your dog to behave like this. In the meantime, don’t escalate a growling situation, just say calmly in a soothing voice something like “okay boy, settle down” and wander away/break eye contact like it’s no big deal until he’s calmer again. Good luck.

adaline Tue 06-Aug-19 06:40:46

I think keeping a truly aggressive dog is actually really irresponsible unless you can keep it under control 100% of the time. Which is incredibly rare in my experience.

Dog bites can kill small children. You may not have a small DC but I'm sure some of your friends do. What about taking the dog out in public? If it bites you need to muzzle it for it's own safety if nothing else. A dog that bites a stranger unprovoked can and should be PTS.

You know this dog has bite history and you also know it growls and can be aggressive with no provocation. Are you prepared to be totally responsible for such an unpredictable dog for the next however many years? That involves leash and muzzle at all times in public and when you have guests. Probably no DC as raising them around an aggressive dog is massively unfair on them. No running free off lead in case the dog attacks and bites someone. Can you guarantee a safe house and garden where the dog will never escape in case it bites?

Taking on an aggressive and unpredictable dog is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are worse fates for a dog than being put to sleep.

adaline Tue 06-Aug-19 06:48:40

* Growling is not aggression.*

Isn't that massively situation dependent? My dog sometimes growls in play, for example - not aggressive. Some dogs growl if they're in pain or you accidentally tread on their tail - again, not aggressive.

But a dog that growls and bares teeth for no reason? And who has already bitten? That's a potentially problematic dog who needs lots of careful guidance and handling. I know a lady who owns a dog aggressive dog and she says it's so so stressful - the dog can't go off lead. It's muzzled all the times it's out of the house. She can't see friends with their dogs unless her dog stays home. All her dog walks are solo walks because of her dog.

It's not an easy thing to do.

theconstantinoplegardener Tue 06-Aug-19 19:08:34

Could it be a form of Idiopathic Aggression - the so-called Cocker Rage Syndrome that affected lots of cocker spaniels in the 1980s and 1990s? It is said to begin with the eyes becoming "hard" and changing colour. You say your dog is a poodle, but as he is from the dog pound it sounds as though his exact origins are unknown and many cockapoos (part cocker spaniel) resemble poodles! I think there is also a form of canine epilepsy that presents in this way.

Jouska Tue 06-Aug-19 19:13:26

You need to get professional help from 1. a vet and then a qualified behaviourist.

It may be easily solved but only a qualified behaviourist can advise on this.

Warning to others that adopting from a pound is a really bad idea. The dogs are not assessed and you have no back up or support. Statistically over 70% of dogs rehomed from a pound will either be PTS or go back to rescue.

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