Fostering rescued pit bull with mysterious past

Discussion in 'Dog Rescue Forum' started by j0equ1nn, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. j0equ1nn

    j0equ1nn Sean Smith

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    1/2
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Yeah, the girl who found Sam called the number on his collar and it was out of service. The vet he was taken to was able to identify the clinic the tag was from, but nobody was able to get in touch with any owners or anyone looking for him. The way Sam behaved when I first got him, between submissive peeing and food aggression, as well as being so young, it seemed likely someone could have abandoned him. But all the looking into that was done by the girl I got him from, who takes in a lot of stray animals and does this sort of thing a lot (she's thinking of trying to open a shelter).

    Sam is doing good by the way. He's finishing his food more often, but progress is very very slow. Our strategy is to just leave him alone when he eats. At this point I can walk right by him or even touch him and he almost never growls. It's also easier to tell when he's getting nervous - you can see him stiffen up - and I just back off, maybe talking in a high voice, and give him his space. The only problem usually is when he loses interest in his food, and it stays there, and every time someone goes anywhere near it he runs to it, but will barely eat it. At first I tried to trick him into not paying attention when I removed the leftover food and bowl. More recently he won't seem upset as long as I don't do it when he's at all thinking about actually eating it.

    Anyway what we have done about it is:
    -make him lie down and stay while we put the bowl down, and wait for a release command before eating
    -don't touch him while staying or when eating and give him some space
    -decrease the portions slightly
    -bury a couple of small treats in the bottom of the bowl (Zukes mini-naturals, salmon flavor - Sam doesn't like a lot of dog treats, but would do anything for these)
    -praise him and give him a treat if he finishes his food and doesn't guard it, as soon as he's done.

    His darting at things during walks is also still going on. It's happening less and less but again progress is extremely slow. He's gotten really good about most other things about being walked, but when there is a squirrel or rat nearby it's like he has no control over himself. He needs to sprint to it. So I'm still usually the one walking him. I think he got a little bigger even.

    We got this face harness thing called the Gentle Leader. I gave it a try because all I had that worked for when he got like that was a pinch collar which I'd rather not be using. Sam had to get used to it, but it works. He can't pull with it on. If he pulls, he is pulling against the ring that hangs right under his jaw. A thin strip of nylon goes over his nose, and is connected to the ring below. Normally it applies no pressure (and he can open his mouth as usual). If he pulls, it tightens around his muzzle which is not a way that is comfortable to tug in. He cries a lot sometimes but only because it's working and he can't do what he's not allowed to. He is amazingly good at healing with this leash on, it's completely different if you try to give him a few feet. So he's usually walked now either healing right next to me, or doing his thing with the harness and retractable leash.

    He still does not like the face harness thing, and will try to take it off. But most of the walk he's able to forget about it. I still take him to the park every day, and use the retractable leash and harness. But the first time he goes for a bird or something and doesn't stop when I tell him to, he's back on the face leash thing and we do the rest of the walk like that. He seems to be understanding those consequences and has passed up some temptations recently that really impressed me.

    And finally, I'm not kidding, Sam prefers baby dill pickles to bacon.
     
  2. SevenSins

    SevenSins Guest

    Congrats, it sounds like the DOG has YOU trained extremely well. He's already won, and you're too ignorant to see it.

    There is nothing "gentle" about a Gentle Leader. Especially on the face of a reactive Pit Bull. If you're not capable of correctly using a prong collar, you most definitely don't need to be messing with those.

    You seem to be using this thing because it sounds "nicer" than a prong collar. Do you know how many dogs I've seen with injuries from those things? All it takes is a reactive dog trying to bolt after something for their head to get whipped around and cause all kinds of injuries. Not to mention what I've seen happen when a dog panics and tries to get OUT of one. Those don't belong on highly reactive dogs, period, and especially a reactive Pit Bull.

    The dog doesn't know, and/or doesn't respect what you're asking of him.

    Pray tell, why on earth are you walking a human aggressive Pit Bull on a retractable leash? And WHY are you walking a dog that you know is a puller, who doesn't respect you, on a harness?

    I think you have a very serious problem comprehending a dog's level of understanding when it comes to "consequences." You know the dog is probably going to react to something. You're setting him up for FAILURE, and then when he predictably fails, you implement a "consequence" that you seem to think the dog understands, but in reality, the dog doesn't understand nor does he respect you. He may somewhat respect the pressure from the tool you're using because it's unpleasant, while you're actively using it, but you haven't actually TAUGHT the dog anything. All you've managed to do is slap a bandaid on and call it good enough.
     
  3. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Too Many
    Location:
    West Missouri
    :wall::wall:
     
  4. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    There isn't a battle to be 'won' when it comes to modifying behavior. There is also nothing wrong with allowing a dog to eat his meal in peace. Quite frankly, while I would like to see the OP actively working on the RG through trading games and creating positive associations with humans being near food, giving the dog his space is also incredibly important and the next best thing. Instead of looking at this as "the dog has you doing what he wants and has 'won'", I look at it as the dog is clearly and effectively communicating to you his level of comfort via growling. This is a great opportunity to use that communication to improve how he feels about the OP approaching his bowl.

    I don't understand which part of the RG thing you are criticizing.
     
  5. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    8,070
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Cats, Dog, Leopard Gecko, Gerbils, Fish, African C
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I agree with Tucker&Me, I think leaving the dog alone while he eats is MUCH better than what the OP was doing before. Resource guarding is the type of thing where doing nothing is a lot better than doing the wrong thing. If the dog doesn't continually feel threatened during meal time he's probably a lot less likely to lash out, or will do so with less intensity, on the rare occasion the OP does get too close. the dog will be less concerned with his owner being around the food if he never tries to take or touch the food.
     
  6. SevenSins

    SevenSins Guest

    Is it April Fool's or are you actually suggesting that an acceptable solution to a human aggressive APBT is to sing-song "there there, good doggie, good doggie" while averting eye contact and backing away from the dog? I'm sorry but how in the **** is that a viable solution? Are we really that deep in the "furmommy" society that...this...is "ok?" It's not just leaving the dog alone while he eats (which is, again, a bandaid and not a fix), it's the walking on eggshells around the dog while offering no real solution that just makes me want to punch something.
     
  7. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds like the dog needs a dirt nap to me. Holy moly.
     
  8. yoko

    yoko New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    It sounds like an dog who would be good with an experienced owner and not one who has no idea what they are doing.

    Personally I think this person is a troll. The visit once a month around the same time to stir people up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  9. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    Um.. Ok. I guess I will try to address your points one at a time.

    1. It's not April Fool's. This dog is not human aggressive, he is resource guarding. The vast majority of dogs I have heard of and seen who display these behaviours do not want to engage in conflict with a person, they want to be left alone with what they consider 'theirs'.

    2. I don't understand how being a 'furmommy' and being too lenient plays into this. It comes down to having a rudimentary understanding of dog behaviour; the dog is scared of having his 'things' taken away, which motivates him to behave in ways he think will prevent that from happening (warning people to back off through growling and posturing). The OP essentially has two options here, manage the dog for the remainder of his life or actively attempt to modify the behaviour. Obviously I vote for a mixture of both - managing him to prevent an incident and improving how he associates people approaching his bowl. However, as Maxy stated, an issue like RG can get ugly really, really quickly if not dealt with appropriately. Since the OP has a history of using punitive, dominance-based approaches to training, than yes, I would actually prefer that they diligently manage than try to apply such methods and make this issue much worse. However as I stated earlier, clearly a mixed approach to manage and change the behaviour using appropriate methods is much more preferable.

    3. Management can be a viable option for people, and there are folks out there that regularly manage things with success. For example, keeping multiple dogs with a predisposition to be DA in a house together, dogs who aren't trustworthy off-leash and are managed by being kept on leash (;)), dogs who are afraid of children, dogs who are kept intact, etc. While in this case I think modifying the RG is easier than managing and is ultimately much more preferable, lots of people manage issues with their dogs just fine.

    I don't know if you realize it or intend to come across that way, but when you post you can be quite condescending and aggressive, and that can make people less likely to take your posts as seriously. Also, please don't punch me :p

    What is a dirt nap?

    I agree. I think this dog would really benefit from the owner seeing a certified behaviourist, and I encourage the OP to contact one. As for being a troll, eh. That's a lot of effort and long posts for a troll.
     
  10. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    One husband of 15 years
    Location:
    Southeast
    I can’t remember if it has been brought up already in this thread, and I’m sorry, I just don’t have the energy to go through and find if it has, so apologies in advance if this has already been said.

    I think in addition to management and b-mod/trust building, this guy needs some ROCK solid obedience commands on him. This way, if there IS growling and posturing over a resource, and its something that he really can’t have, you can get a leave it, drop, and come here and not risk escalating the situation.

    He sounds really stressed, so stressed he won’t eat but still guards the food. Not good. This level of stress is going to impede any significant learning.

    I’m assuming “dirt nap†is a crude way of saying the dog should be PTS.
    I don’t think any of us are qualified to advise anyone to PTS a dog without ever laying eyes on him. And yes, I do think this dog very possibly would be just fine in a qualified home.
     
  11. yoko

    yoko New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    5,347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Yeah it means to kill.
     
  12. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    Huh. Putting a dog down for chasing rodents, pulling on the leash and RG seems a bit excessive. I didn't read the rest of the thread but based on the new update putting the dog down seems like a huge overreaction.
     
  13. j0equ1nn

    j0equ1nn Sean Smith

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    1/2
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    more morons

    First of all, the reason I only post about once a month is because my experience with this forum is that I usually get advice that is either contradictory, or ignorant and self-righteous. Having said that, the reason I do continue to post occasionally anyway is because there are some people on here who seem to genuinely care about my situation. During the time that I am not posting, obviously I am continuing to live with, get to know, and work with, my dog. Also obviously, these are things that nobody else on this forum is doing, and so whatever opinions you may convey it seems clear that you should admit they are based on limited information. Nonetheless, I want to try to stay positive here, and thank Tucker&Me and Maxi24 for saving me some need to defend myself against the usual ridiculousness.

    My first questions have to do with not being a regular practitioner of internet dog-training lingo: what does OP stand for (I gather that it refers to me but I don't know what those letters stand for) and what does "furmommy" mean (unless it's just another jocko term for sensitivity in which case I'm not interested)? After a little thought, I gather that RG means "resource guarding," but I would request that you keep in mind that I'm not familiar with your abbreviations, so if you want your comments to have an effect on Sam and me, please enlighten me as to what they mean in the future.

    Next, thank you for Danefield for pointing out that people who never met my dog are not qualified to say that he should be euthanized. I'd like to further elaborate that reading a comment by someone who has never met your dog, that says he should be euthanized, is all the more impersonal when you have to stop and figure out what PTS stands for. Who exactly is your audience? If it's not me, then you should be off somewhere working on a book about all your magnificent opinions, or better yet keeping your mouth shut. This Barbara! who thinks I'm a "troll" might find it easier to believe I'm only here to upset people, but on the other hand if you find my critiques apply to you then maybe you need to wake up and figure out what it is you really want to accomplish here, when someone who took in a pitbull with some issues, was looking for some help, and found your attitude to be disgusting.

    Now, I'm not sure how seriously I should take this SevenSins person: it seems (s)he is already recognized as flippant and aggressive, but I want to clarify that my approach to Sam's meals is in no way characterized by the phrase "walking on eggshells around the dog." Neither me nor anyone else who comes over here is at all afraid of Sam. He is extremely friendly and affectionate, and at this point we know that when he growls over his food, it is really just an expression of fear. Giving him space seemed to me, after trying several other approaches, the best way to approach the situation, because the bottom line is that we want him to know we are not in any way interested in taking away his food. I think I described my reactions pretty accurately, so if you understood them as a "sing-song 'there there, good doggie, good doggie' while averting eye-contact and backing away," then I think you had a picture set in your head before you attempted comprehending any information. I don't know why I spend time talking to people who aren't capable of listening, I guess it's for my own piece of mind.

    Moreover, I do not think Sam's behavior should even be categorized as aggressive. Despite everything that's transpired, Sam has never really tried to bite me. In fact, almost every time he emits a growl over something outside of the food context, it is immediately followed by extremely submissive behavior. In the beginning it took the form of peeing on the floor. Now it takes the form of running up to me with his tail tucked and pressing the top of his head into me or licking me. It's almost as if the growl is involuntary. My fiance has been reading books on dog-training and one thing that rang true to me is that if you punish a dog for growling, you are not punishing the motivation for the growl, you are punishing the growl. And telling a dog that he shouldn't alert you to his feelings of discomfort could lead to more dramatic consequences.

    Likewise, it's inaccurate to categorize Sam as human-aggressive. A lot of people in my neighborhood are afraid of him because of the popular prejudice against pitbulls, but Sam has never expressed anything but affection for the people he meets, and the people who do not have a pitbull-prejudice quickly became friends of his, whom he greets every time he sees with a wagging tail, eager to be pet. At this point he's not even dog aggressive. If you are so quick to say this dog should be PTS, maybe *you* have a fear that needs to be resolved.

    During the early days, when I did not know Sam as well, and I thought that he might attack me when he growled, yes I was guilty of trying to establish dominance by pinning him on his back and holding his muzzle until he submitted. I wish I hadn't been so ignorant now, but I have a feeling folks like SevenSins and Barbara! would not even have the courage to get so involved, because doing away with the dog via death is apparently such a ready option.

    Now that I'm done dealing with all that nonsense, let me end this post before I exceed my limit, and I'll post again with what I signed on to say.
     
  14. j0equ1nn

    j0equ1nn Sean Smith

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    1/2
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    The food guarding has diminished a lot. Most meals, he eats them up and then runs to me to get his treat. To me this seems like a great way to communicate to the dog that I *want* him to eat the food, which I think is the opposite of me wanting to take his food. In fact, when he doesn't finish, now he generally just leaves it there, doesn't rush to the bowl when I enter the room, it feels more like he just doesn't want it or isn't hungry.

    I actually agree with SevenSins about the Gentle Leader. Sam hated it. He would much rather have a pinch collar on than that. I don't want to get pissed off again, but I do know how to use a pinch collar, I just don't like using pain-based training when I can avoid it. The Gentle Leader though, started leaving a mark on his muzzle. And every time we came back from a walk with it he would be rubbing his face like it was really irritated. I wasn't sure how to deal with this for a while, but he was still good about being walked on a short leash on the harness. If the leash is hooked to the front of the harness and very short, he will heal pretty well. He would pull sometimes, but I would just stop walking when he pulled and make him sit before starting again. He got that message pretty fast and now almost never pulls on a short leash like that.

    It's also important to let him have the long leash sometimes because he needs a lot of exercise. So the new thing I started doing that I wish I'd thought of earlier, is that every time he hits the end of the leash I call him. When I call him (command is "Come here") he has to not only come to me but sit facing me and look at me. Once he does that I release him again (command is "You're free"). And I would just do that every time. Sometimes he would just run to the end of the leash 7 times in a row, but not usually now. After a couple weeks of this policy he started avoiding the end of the leash, so doesn't even get up to the point where he's pulling. In the event that he doesn't come when called, I walk up to him quickly, switch the leash to the front, and make him heal for a good 10 minutes or so, sometimes the whole rest of the walk. Lately he is a pleasure to walk. I'm really happy about that, I never thought he would get to this point so fast.

    And... he FINALLY learned the "Bring it" command! I had been working on this with him forever, but I watched some Youtube videos about teaching a dog to fetch that gave the very obvious instruction (that hadn't occurred to me) that you can teach him this by throwing something, then as soon as he picks it up you tug gently on the leash until he heads toward you. So I modified that by, instead of saying "fetch" before tossing the ball, I would toss the ball then as soon as he picked it up I would say "bring it" and tug on the leash. Once I started doing that he learned the command in 2 days. I had him "bringing" a tennis ball consistently for the first time a few days ago and was so happy he understood the command. He won't bring it as soon as he picks it up, but as soon as I say "Bring it" he comes to me with it quickly, wanting me to throw it. Today I had him doing it with a stick, which is harder because usually he wants to take the stick somewhere and chew it. But this is big progress in my opinion because bringing something to me is basically the opposite of being afraid I'm going to take it. This is all stemming from advice from Maxy24, so thanks for that.

    My main concern right now is just that he seems so sad when he's in the house. He just lies on the couch waiting to go out. When I say "You wanna go out?" he wakes up and gets happy, but the rest of the time the dude looks downright depressed. I try to give him toys to keep him entertained but he looses interest quickly. He is very cuddly in the morning when I'm waking up, but other than that and going out, he seems to just lie on the couch looking sad. Not sure what's with that. He's only 2.
     
  15. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,940
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Dog, 1 cat, 2 lovebirds, fish galore
    Location:
    B.C.
    I would tend to think that he reacts with the growl because he is uncomfortable, and he has been conditioned to believe that he when he growls he gets punished... Cue 'appeasement' (don't be mad at me!) behaviour. Essentially, he is asking you not to hurt him for being scared because he has learnt that the two go hand in hand.

    Very, very, very true. I am glad you guys have found time to do some more reading and that the puzzle pieces are falling together for you. It sounds like you are making great progress and I am very happy to hear that Sam seems happier. Keep up the good work and drop in for an update now and then, it always makes me happy to hear progress :)

    What makes a forum so great is also it's downfall. Try to ignore the dramatic and condescending posts. I know it can be difficult but there are people here who do care and want nothing more than for you to achieve your goals and succeed with a dog who needs help. It sounds like you are learning as you go and that is awesome. I would be lying (as would most of the other people here I am sure) if I said I never made mistakes and used poor training methods before I knew better.
     
  16. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,348
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I JUST saw this thread for the first time. I haven't had time to read through the entire thing, but I live in NYC (on Long Island at the moment but I'm in the city frequently enough). If you want I can PM you some resources for trainers in the area or meet up if you need help with something specific, from the last few posts though it sounds like he's doing really well.

    Is the main issue right now his resource guarding?
     
  17. j0equ1nn

    j0equ1nn Sean Smith

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    1/2
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I actually just typed out a rather degrading account of why I wasn't going to bother posting on here anymore, without having bothered reading the latest round of posts. Then I decided to just scroll up and take one peek at something and saw those last 2 posts. Well.. you two just convinced me to ditch what I typed and start over. Thank you so much Tucker&Me for the support and for backing me up against jerks. You're right, it would be good to just ignore the nasty stuff, but sometimes it makes me pretty defensive seeing crap like that.

    Anyway, yeah he is doing really good. He has actually been really fun to take out on walks because he behaves. And he can actually play fetch now. I've been letting him sniff around more too, since I can trust him not to dart at something, and as a result he seems to find the walks more satisfying. He seems less stressed out.

    The food issue has been fine too. These days he rarely even leaves the bowl unfinished, and even looks comfortable while eating even if I have to walk by him closely or something. He knows he gets praised and treats if he finishes, so he seems to have associated meals with more positive stuff. He used to just lie on the couch looking anxious when we prepared his meals, now he actually comes in the kitchen sometimes wagging his tail.

    We let him sleep in the bed. He is an extremely cuddly dog, and we think letting him be cuddly seems good for him. I'm not sure what the conventional stance is on that, but I think it's probably to not do it if the dog growls. To us it seems like it would make him very nervous to be ousted to the other room every night. We know there's no danger but sometimes he emits a short growl (I don't know how folks are imagining his growl actually, but it's closer to what Marge Simpson does than Cujo or something). The policy on that was, he immediately gets kicked out. We noticed he would really try to manage himself and not growl. He would sit on the foot of the bed if he was nervous, or sometimes even just leave, knowing he might growl if he got too close. Anyway, one time I was lying in the bed and he darted over and sort of slid into my chest, like spooning position. Then he buries his head in the mattress and growls for like half a second, and kind of freezes waiting to be kicked out. For some reason this time I was just like "you poor thing" and kept petting him, and he lightened up.

    I don't know about comforting him when he does it but I definitely agree that he seems to have connected it to getting punished, and that we need to try to break that connection ... with punishment. Just kidding, sorry. Long day.

    Anyway that's what's up for now. Oh, also FYI remember I kept talking about my fiance? Well she's my wife finally.

    I think I'm just gonna start sorta blacklisting people and take that advice about focusing on the positive stuff. So you arrogant morons on here, be consoled that you'll be concocting your snarky judgements solely for yourselves, or each other, or whatever it is people like that's lives consist of.
     
  18. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why is name calling necessary? You don't agree, that's cool. But don't step up on a moral high horse and then name call. Doesn't work like that.
     
  19. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    One husband of 15 years
    Location:
    Southeast
    Dude, you’re getting free advice. Take it or leave it. No need to go off on folks just because you don’t like what they have to say. Obviously some of what was said sunk in and is working. You figured out not to punish the growl and your dog is improving. That’s good. Focus on the good.
    Bear in mind that a lot of the people who have so kindly given you GOOD, workable advice are people who generally get paid to help people with problems like yours.
    Think of it as a free buffet line. Fill your plate or just take a few samples here and there, whatever floats your boat. But don’t complain afterwards of being hungry, and don’t insult the cook ;)
     
  20. AllisonPitbullLvr

    AllisonPitbullLvr New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just read this entire thread.

    My overall view of the situation from start to finish is that this dog needs help from a qualified professional. OP (original poster), why haven't you considered getting someone to help you who knows what they're doing, who can see and evaluate the dog in person, and who can give you much better advice than anyone here is able to, simply based on the fact that we have never seen Sam, his body language, his behavior.

    It sounds a bit like you're in over your head, which isn't fair to Sam, as he's sort of been your guinea pig thus far.

    I've dealt with a very similar situation and even with professional help, ended up euthanizing the dog after we deemed her not-adoptable. Now, I didn't have the option of keeping her and managing her behavior, which I would have done but she was illegal here. But if I HAD kept her, you better believe I would have been working closely with a qualified behaviorist just to get her to a point where she was safe to live with.

    Most of the advice here has been good, but as no one here has seen Sam and is simply working off your descriptions and interpretations of his behavior, it's not going to be successful.
     

Share This Page