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    Why would a nice dog turn aggressive in seconds.

    Asked Aug 9, 2007, 06:11 AM 18 Answers
    I found a super dog. She was friendly wagging tail, lay her head on your lap. You could wrap your arms around her neck and hug her. She would try to get in your lap. Not one thing seemed to bother her. You could hand feed her she took food gently from your hand even though she was very hungry, you could put your hand or an object around her food no growling, nothing! The only thing was she would jump,flinch if she had her head down eating and something was dropped or there was a loud bang. But she did not growl. This is the number of people that came into my yard to look at her. 2 men, 1 woman-> checked her to see if she was in heat, and checked her appearance by touching different parts of her body. 1 lady petted her from over the fence. 4 differrent teenagers were around her and myself and my husband. She was always on a leash as she was a fence jumper. She was taken to the park daily and walked and ran with before bedtime. She never barked or scratched at the basement door , she may have whimpered a couple of times at the door. She never showed any signs of aggression to my dogs( but did not get close to the.shot, disease?? ) My cats did get near her and she was fine with them. So I find this lady that was willing to take a stray I drive 115 miles to her. We meet in the parking lot. We talk a few minutes she does a visual assement of her , she goes to put her collar on her and the dog lungs at her face. Growing and barking. Thank fully I pulled her back and she did not eevn try to bite me. I got her calmed down and the lady and I continued to talk. So we decided it may have been her Big Dark sunglasses. So she takes them off and we talk awhile walk through the lot. The dog is fine . She tries to approach the dog again. She tried to attack the lady again, but with more intense theis time. This lady that rehomes 200 hundered dogs a year was shocked!! She was afraid for me to even get in the car with the dog and wanted me to call her every 10 minutes or so to make sure the dog did not attack me in the car. But I felt very safe with the dog and told her that I would call her when I got home. The dog and I made it safely to where I lived 2 1/2 hours later. Please tell me what you think of this? I have gotten help from another rescue group so I went to them they are not breed specific, and are a no kill shelter. We got there and she was fine wandering around smelling the doggy smells, we even talked to a worker walking a dog. She sends a man out to get the dog from me. The dog goes nuts, It was really scary, even worse than with the woman. So we take a walk and the man is instructing me on how to hand the dog to him. She had a loose collar on and a chain leash. He told me to wrap or fold over the chain until it was about four inches and to step to the other side of her and he would reach out and take it. As soon as she realised he had it, she tried to attack. (he was good not a scratch or bite from her). I turned as instructed and started toward my car, this dog dragged him up the small hill (he weighed about 120-130 pounds barking and clawing toward my car. I was crying and trying to talk to her to calm her down, He said go, she will like us to in a few days. Do you think she was really aggressive? Or was it just because she was afraid of going to a new place? Btw while I had her she did not bark 1 time, not even when my yappers would bark! I only had her about 2 1/2 days.

    Last edited by bushg; Aug 9, 2007 at 07:59 AM.
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    18 Answers
    Stratmando's Avatar
    Stratmando Posts: 10,857, Reputation: 488
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    #2

    Aug 9, 2007, 06:54 AM
    Sounds like the dog has had bad experiences you are not aware of, She took to you, and thought she found a home, She may have sensed possible separation.
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #3

    Aug 9, 2007, 08:35 AM
    That is a little puzzling. There is no getting in those furry little heads for sure. I think she has found living with you far better than before. You may be the first one to treat her decently. Dogs are extremely perceptive. Mine always love to have other dogs visit, but from day one know, and react negatively when one moves in for good, or at least as until it is a year old.

    I am sort of surprised at the first lady not having similar experiences. We shuffle dogs between us and our friends all the time. Last Wednesday Holly was left with the girl that was showing her in 4-H. Thursday we left Aster and Samson, a several week guest with us, with our friend that is the 4-H leader. I think she took Holly home after the state fair show Saturday. Monday night, we picked up Holly and Aster. Samson went back to his partner Tuesday. These dogs have little or no bad experience with people and it is people they know. Your boxer may feel everybody except you are abusive, and acts accordingly when it knows you are leaving it with somebody else.

    You may not be in a place to give her a forever home. I would suggest, to try letting other people, that she knows won't be taking her, work her while you are around. I think the key is to let her learn there are other good people. I look forward to seeing what RubyPitbull has to say about this.

    BTW, Holly placed first in a handful of dogs in her class at the state fair. She also excelled on her hip X-ray today.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #4

    Aug 9, 2007, 08:53 AM
    Labman the second group took her, I will probably never see her again, They work with all types. I too was surprised by the first lady. She called last night and spoke with me at great length. She said that she was really surprised that the dog showed no aggression until she approached it. She may have taken her under different circumstances but her husband has lung cancer and she had just been given the news that she has bladder cancer. She was 75. She came highly recommended from a couple of boxer groups as well as a pug rescue group in Columbus. I guess to many factors going on in her life to committ. She also said that I was probably the 1st person to be good to her and to feed her on schedule. I just wondered if you, with all the labs that you have trained come upon anything like this or know of anyone that has encountered this. I know ruby will probably give me a good reason why. This group that has her will do a good job with her I am sure. My idea is, it will be a long time before she goes up for adoption. I know Aster was a theraphy dog that came back to you after her service was finished. Has she ever shown aggression or fear to another person ? Or for that matter any of your dogs.
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #5

    Aug 9, 2007, 10:33 AM
    Aster wasn't a therapy dog, but a dog guide. We raised her as a puppy and the longest she went without seeing us was from October of one year until May of the next.

    The dogs in the dog guide program are carefully trained to be friendly to strangers. I just discovered a problem with Holly. She is a small (47#), sweet dog. She terrorized 2 people yesterday by going to them on the bus, a passenger in the from seat in the morning, and the driver in the evening. I gave her a slack leash to scramble up the steps and she enthusiastically greeted her new friends on the bus. Unfortunately, they were both scared of dogs. I am not sure she had a bus ride before. I have never seen other problems, even though, many times a dog is turned over to somebody they never saw until 5 minutes ago. My work schedule often allows me to help transport strange dogs back and forth to the dog guide school. Our lifestyle allows us to take in guests frequently. In some cases it is a dog we never saw before. Even Belle, the Shepherd did fine with us 3 years ago, at the most maybe having seen us as part of a group before.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #6

    Aug 9, 2007, 11:01 AM
    Lol I guess you couldn't call that aggression. I have never had a puppy, But someday I will have one.
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    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #7

    Aug 9, 2007, 12:54 PM
    bushg, this is troubling news for sure. Labman gave some good info and I don't know if I can really add much to it. We don't know what her past experiences have been. Two or three days is not enough time to properly assess a dog. They are on their best behavior because they are confused and don't know what is going on. There is a very good possibility, due to the condition she was in when you found her, that you were the first decent human contact she has had. She felt safe & secure with you, there was plenty of food to be had, she had a comfy place to sleep, positive handling and surroundings, and she wasn't tied up and left alone. Since we don't know her background, hard to say if she was physically abused but she was most certainly neglected. She sensed that these other people were there for her and to take her away to another unknown situation. In these cases, it really is best that the person who brings the dog in doesn't see the dog again, unless they are willing to adopt it. Honey, considering her reactions to these people, there is a very good chance that once she became completely comfortable in your home, she may have turned upon you or a member of your household. I have seen this happen frequently. You did absolutely the right thing in surrendering her to people who know how to work with dogs that have issues. They will do an assessment, and will attempt to work through her problems. She will adjust to her new surroundings and after retraining, they will eventually find someone who will adopt her who knows how to handle her. I know it is upsetting and heartbreaking for you, but as I said, I have seen seemingly good dogs do exactly what this dog did. They are accidents waiting to happen. It is for the best that she be with people who will do their utmost to undo the damage that has been done to that poor dog.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #8

    Aug 9, 2007, 01:01 PM
    Thank you fro answering I will respond when I am ca;mer.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #9

    Aug 9, 2007, 01:14 PM
    I saw on here where someone said that if the person on the other end of the leash was not comfortable then the dog would react. I was so afraid that I did something to cause her to react negatively to these people. I just wanted her to have a chance at a good life. I hope that it was not my fault that she reacted bad to those people. I can't see what I did other than if Maybe it was because I was tired after working till midnight and getting back up at 6:00 am. And driving such a distance & getting lost.. I do hate to drive. Do you think maybe she was reacting to my tiredness? It just boggles my mind that she was so sweet I would have allowed her around anyone. I am cautious My son was attacked by a dog, so I do not just let any dog interact with my kids. I guess I just want reassurance that I did not cause her already hard life to be any harder, and that I did not put my kids in unnecessary danger.
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    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #10

    Aug 9, 2007, 01:32 PM
    I don't think the dog was reacting to your tiredness. You might have been nervous or upset about letting her go to a stranger and she picked up on that. bushg, please don't be upset if this is what occurred. It actually will bode well for her future if that is what happened. This issue can definitely be worked through.

    Honey, please don't beat yourself up and drive yourself crazy over this, trying to figure out if you did anything wrong. The only thing that was wrong for this dog were the conditions she was living under prior to you finding her. You went out of your way to do the right thing by this dog. Most people don't do that. They look at a dog that is wandering and figure someone else will take care of it. You should be happy and proud of yourself that you have given her a new chance at life. Nothing bad happened at home, so there was no harm done. Don't dwell on the "what ifs". And, just remember, you are teaching your children an important lesson in caring for those that can't care for themselves. You most certainly should be giving yourself a pat on the back instead of beating yourself up. SMILE! She will be okay.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #11

    Aug 9, 2007, 01:42 PM
    Well I can say for sure that she will be taken care of for the rest of her life. Even if she is never adopted out. The cruel ba$tards that had her will never see her again and even if they happen to, well their bad. I don't think even with the best lawyer they could afford to get her back from this group. Ok, so I will stop boo hooing. I will accept things as they are and leave the what ifs alone.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #12

    Nov 28, 2007, 12:58 PM
    Well the boxer is up for adoption, I saw her listed on the rescue's site she has no warnings beside her name. That must mean that she has not shown any signs of aggression. Apparently they have worked through her problems that she showed that day.
    She has gained weight and she was smiling in the pic, one of her descriptions was that she wagged her hinney when she was around people, which was very true with my family. Hopefully I will read soon that she was adopted. The rescue named her Rally, I did Rally to save her and so have they, so it seems suitable.
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    RubyPitbull's Avatar
    RubyPitbull Posts: 3,575, Reputation: 648
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    #13

    Nov 28, 2007, 01:54 PM
    Excellent news bushg! See, all the worrying was for nothing. You definitely picked the right rescue group to surrender her to. :) When you get a chance, can you PM me with the link? I would love to see what she looks like.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #14

    Feb 15, 2008, 08:07 AM
    Feb, 15, 2008 I just checked the website of the rescue that had Rally. She has been adopted!! yah Ralley and to the foundation. Jan 2008 she went home with a family.
    This is one of the best feelings in the world to know that these wonderful, kind and loving strangers have worked so hard with her, to overcome her problems of being starved and nelgected. Btw they people at the foundation are all volunteers. Hats off to them.
    All those miles that I drove only to turn around and come back with her and all those tears I shed on that hot August day was not in vain. I helped her a little and the foundation helped her a lot but she helped herself the most, to go through hell and still let her wonderful spirit shine and trust again. Not all dogs are that lucky.
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    katrina27's Avatar
    katrina27 Posts: 92, Reputation: 13
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    #15

    Feb 15, 2008, 10:01 AM
    You did everything you could for that dog. She is in the best hands now, and will be hopefully reabilitated. You probably gave her the best bit of love she had ever known. You trusted her and it seems she trusted you. And she was right to, because however hard it is you put her in the right place. She will be fine. You are a very good person.
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    tashamarie80's Avatar
    tashamarie80 Posts: 62, Reputation: 5
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    #16

    Feb 15, 2008, 07:32 PM
    This isn't an answer but we adopted a newfoundland from a shelter many years ago, great dog. My Grandma lived with us at the time as she had cancer and was doing Chemo, of course all of her hair fell out so we got her hats and things to cover. One day my mom and I came home and my little 90 lb Grandma says hey watch this, she stood up put her hat on and our mild mannered 100 lb puppy attacked and knocked her down (she knew it was coming, she thought it was hilarious but it was a pretty big concern for us) we never were able to break him of this, we figured he was abused by someone who wore a hat, who knows? He also did the samething to my mother when she got home from work wit a hard hat on, so we never wore hats.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #17

    Feb 15, 2008, 07:58 PM
    Tash. I used to live next door to a German Shepard that would attack anyone in a long black leather coat regardless of what nationality was wearing it. I mean growling ,full speed run and grab the bottom of the coat She would also attack black people.. I saw her run across the street after a little black girl and the little girl took of running and screaming and fell. When the dog owner yelled the dog stopped and came back to the yard.
    The owners were not to good about keeping it on a leash. The worse thing was they allowed their 11 year old son to take it outside and sometimes as kids will do he would take his eyes off her and if her trigger came along she would take chase... now I don't know if she would have bitten or held you.
    The police that I called told me that as long as they could command the dog to stop then it was considered under the people's command and a leash was not required. They would not even make a visit to the neighbors.
    I was thrilled the day they moved out.
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    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
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    #18

    Sep 6, 2008, 12:24 PM
    Today I was in a town near the rescue that accepted this boxer. I was sitting at a redlight and who came around the corner but... this very same boxer! A man was walking her along with an Airedale Terrier lol they were both pulling on their leashes ( but not too bad)poor guy. She looked very healthy and happy. It made my day when I saw that she was adopted, but to get to actually see her looking so well... I swear that dog actually smiles, while she is wiggling that little cute tailess butt.
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    RWuest's Avatar
    RWuest Posts: 50, Reputation: 5
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    #19

    Sep 7, 2008, 07:30 PM
    Dogs react mostly to you and your body language, and their environment. My pitbull has terrible bathroom problems if we take a long drive, due to stress. He's never been aggressive towards a human, and he is perfect when it comes to other dogs mingling, but it's become apparent to me that the way I react causes him to react. When him and another dog meet, and I can tell that the other person is comfortable, I too am comfortable, the leash is loose and I'm calm; however if the other person is trying to hold the dog back and encouraging me to do the same then the hair on his neck raises. Another example is when we were walking today and passed a chain link fence with another dog behind it. My dog, Boss, was sniffing the fence and the dog ran up barking, they sniffed at one another for a second and then the other dog attacked the fence, Boss just stared for a second, and then once I was startled and tried to pull him away frantically he also attacked the fence. Pretty frightening. Your pup could have been stressed from the car ride, and also sensing tension on both ends, from being nervous to meet a new dog, the woman putting a collar on, where the dog couldn't see her hands, or you just being sad to see her go.

    I've also seen leash aggression in my apartment complex. A very nice mastiff and lab mix is fine with humans and dogs, but once he's on his lease he turns into a maniac.
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