There is a Puppy...

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by StillandSilent, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    Who is calling my name. She is a three month old border collie or border collie mix, hard to say at this age. She is looking for a short term foster home, probably 2-3 weeks. She is cute as a button and came right up and let me stroke her.

    Now the bad news. Puppy is usually extremely fearful, to the point where she growled at my contact when it came time for her spay, and apparently bit someone quite hard when startled. She was backed into a corner, and someone foolishly snatched for her. She did break the skin, but with those needle puppy teeth, that isn't very hard to do.

    She was sitting in my lap after a few minutes, and I really feel like if she was removed from the shelter and placed in a loving foster home (cough, cough), I would have very little trouble socializing her and getting her to trust people.

    Or is the growling and biting at such a young age a sign that I should stay away from this one? Since Grimm just walked out the door, I might be having a little bit of puppy fever that is clouding my better sense.
     
  2. Maura

    Maura New Member

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    You know nothing about this puppy's parents. Be prepared to acknowledge there is something very wrong. Some collie lines are extremely fearful. Read The Cautious Canine

    However, puppies do growl and they do bite. Even soft gentle puppies bite each other (think about bite inhibition). Treat her as you would any other puppy. Give her bones and toys to sink her teeth into, give her a dog friend to socialize with on a regular basis, and socialize the heck out of her. Help her to be confident by training her in basic obedience and expecting her to sit at the door before you open it, no treats except as rewards, etc. I would not let her on the furniture, laps, or beds at this point.
     
  3. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I fostered a chihuahua pup that was given up because it was backed into a corner and then bit the owner when they reached for it. He was really a very, very sweet dog, just fearful of big overbearing men with no brains. He turned out to be a very nice dog. Sometimes a dog just needs someone who knows dogs to help them out.
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    A puppy biting in an aggressive manner at 3 months old always comes across as "off" to me. It may be lack of socialization or a bad experience, but at that age it's also possibly just a mental issue.

    I can't say whether to take the dog on, or not. She might turn out fine with a little TLC, she might have deeper issues. Whether or not you want to be the one to figure it out is up to you.
     
  5. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    ^ This.

    Why would this be a temp foster situation? Would the shelter euthanize if you discovered this was a bigger issue or would they ignore it and place her anyway? Are you comfortable with the possibility that she may not be adoptable?

    In situations like the one you describe, it's very useful to look at the worse case scenario and be honest with yourself about whether you're up for that possibility or not.

    I know that when I worked at a shelter we valued the foster homes that would be honest about odd behavior in a puppy, and were incredibly thankful for their ability to be accepting of our decisions when it came to the placement options for pups in their care.
     
  6. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I love Chaz because I know that people here will be totally honest with me. :hail:

    We do know the puppies Mom, she was turned into the pound a week or so after the litter was. The other puppies in the litter were timid, but not as much as Puppy is. Mom is very undersocialized, which leads me to believe that the puppies were also. Born outside, never seen a vet, you all know the drill. Mom is people friendly and gentle, though, which is a big point in her favor.

    I said short term foster because puppies do tend to respond faster to appropriate socializing and handling then adults do. I would be willing to foster her longer, or let her go to the bridge if her problems continued to worsen.

    She will not be placed in an adoptive home if she is showing aggression.

    I have handled puppies that were aggressive from birth, and she seems different then them. She does want human contact, but is very timid and doesn't know how to ask or trust people yet.

    I'll think on it more and let you guys know when I come to a decision.
     

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