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rescued lurcher .......

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Justine Thompson, Jun 8, 2018.

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  1. Justine Thompson

    Justine Thompson New Member Registered

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    we recently rescued a 5 year old lurcher on bank holidsy Monday,so just under 2 weeks ago ,he's a very good boy house trained and seems good with the kids but the last few days he's gotten progressively protective of us and is nipping at visiting relative and one of our own who isn't always here in the day . is there anything we can do as we don't want to give up so easily but also have kids to think about

    Thanks for reading Justine xx
     
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  2. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    It's early days. I wouldn't throw in the towel. :)

    Set him up for success - 1st, management:
    * SETBACK from the entry, by which I mean distance. 8-ft is minimal; 12-ft is much better.
    * safe confinement:
    A secure tether that he's clipped to every time, B4 U approach the door, or behind a gate he cannot leap.
    A solid door that's latched & preferably locked will work, too. In any case, a trustworthy barrier between dog & arriving person.

    a good source for tether tips & how-to, including making one:
    Tethered to Success | Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

    Once U are certain no one will get hurt, U can start training him. Teach him that arriving visitors = Good Things.
    DO NOT however, give the visitor treats to hand directly to the dog's mouth! -- Too close, too fast, too risky.
    He's on the tether, U admit the visitor, & YOU give the treats.

    If the visitor wants to give some, I'd do it this way:
    Retreat & Treat

    U throw the tidbit PAST the dog, dog goes to find / eat it, & turns about for the next. All done with the dog 8-ft or more away, on a secure tether. [Not tied with a leash - clipped to a nylon-coated bicycle AKA airline-cable.]

    - terry

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  3. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm not an expert, but here are my thoughts:

    I would manage this - give him an area away from the main bustle of the household where he feels secure and he can be shut away from visitors. This could be a 'den' under a table, a room where he can be behind a stairgate, a crate if he's happy in one, or in your bedroom if he's allowed there (this could be a reason for allowing him there!). No one should disturb him when he's in his 'safe' place, it should be his refuge.

    Whenever someone comes to the house, encourage him to go to his 'safe' place and give him a treat - you want him to see people coming to the house as a positive. You might find that once guests have settled down, he'll be OK if he's allowed in to say hello to them. Personally I'd not get them to give him treats unless he seems really relaxed - sometimes a treat can lure him closer to someone than he would otherwise and once the treat has gone - 'Ooh, scary person!!' If he's fine when they're all seated, I'd put him back in his safe place (with a treat) when they want to get up again, even if just going to the loo, until you think he can cope with this.

    If he isn't happy even when everyone has settled down, then I'd leave him in his safe place with something like a frozen kong to keep him happy.

    It's very early days, and it'll be a while before he gets all his baggage unpacked.
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Crossposted with LfL!
     
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  5. Justine Thompson

    Justine Thompson New Member Registered

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    he's fine with them when they come in he goes to them and greets them and seems fine to have them in his house but when my mum came he was fine she hugged 3 of the kids and when she went to hug the fourth he jumped up and nipped her arm then he came to lick her better . about an hour later he was lay on the floor in the living room and when she went to walk past him he jumped and nipped her wrist and then came to lick her better it's as of he's saying sorry, it's a really difficult situation to read and if we close him in another room he barks and cries to come back in
     
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  6. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    In that case, I would suggest that your mum doesn't hug your children in front of the dog... remember, this isn't for ever. It would also be good if you could encourage him to lie somewhere she (or anyone else) won't have to walk too close by, though I know it's not easy when they just flop down and sprawl out!

    My dog (who is a little special needs) can sometimes jump up when someone stands up from a sofa - I think he likes everyone to be settled in their seats so he can keep tabs on us all. What works with him is to ask him to 'wait', and raise a finger which he recognises as a 'wait' (or stay) command. It might work if your mum got his attention before she walked past and asked him to stay there - and then threw a treat to him when she's gone past. Lurchers can be very sensistive to body language and facial expressions so he might understand this more easily than you can expect - also, he's probably jumping up and nipping as a reflex action, so this can give him some warning of what's going to happen.

    Does he break skin or bruise when he nips?
     
  7. Justine Thompson

    Justine Thompson New Member Registered

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    he bruises but doesn't break the skin I really don't think he means to do it I'm sure it's just instinctive he was a stray and he has marks from being attacked around his neck and chest I don't think he's dangerous or I wouldn't have him around the kids I think your suggestions are good it was what I was thinking too hopefully he'll stop doing it once he settles in a bit more and yes he does just flop and sprawl he's such a character
     
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  8. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ah, the poor lad - yep, act first, think later can be a good survival strategy, though not so successful for a family pet! I'm sure he'll mellow as he settles in and learns he has nothing to worry about. Some dogs do always need a degree of management, though, so it would be good if he could learn to relax in a room away from you eventually. You can work on this very gradually though, and again as he relaxes he'll feel less of a need to have access to you the whole time.
     
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  9. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    QUOTE, Justine Thompson:

    he bruises [the bitee], but doesn't break the skin -
    I really don't think he means to do it... I'm sure it's just instinctive.

    he was [picked up as] a stray, & has marks from [attacks] around his neck & chest.
    I don't think he's dangerous, or I wouldn't have him around the kids. ...

    _______________________________
    .

    Errm. A-hem... :oops: Sorry to be Debby Downer, but what, exactly, would be "instinctive" about biting someone AFTER they've gone by, if it's spozedly a self-defensive, automatic, impulsive action? o_O
    What threat do U attack only after it's past? It sounds more opportunistic than instinctive. Scared dogs who are over threshold do this; they lack the gumption to bite face-on, & bite sneakily.

    I agree that it might be, & probly is, "impulsive" in a limited sense, that he has poor impulse-control. However, biting is not something he does unconsciously or accidentally - dogs have exquisite feedback, they know to the fraction of a gram how much force they exert with their teeth, from one second to the next, & he BRUISES the ppl he bites - he's not air-snapping, he's not nipping, he's exerting force. It might be brief force, but it's not "a light tap". He's biting.

    To clarify precisely what a bite is, see this website -
    The Bite Scale

    U can download Ur very own copy. // I'd score him as a solid 2, & possibly, b/c of the bruises, a 3 - even tho he didn't puncture skin, many many dogs puncture skin with their canine teeth, but do NOT leave a single bruise. He's exerting significantly-more pressure than a dog who pokes a few shallow holes, but leaves zero bruises.

    Also, I wouldn't make excuses for him; a bite is a bite. :(
    Yes, it's a behavior that's often addressable & fixable; I don't damn the dog as hopeless, b/c s/he bit someone. But it's not a behavior i'd want to wallpaper-over with appeasing phrases, saying, "Oh, it's not his fault..." . Bites are concerning, & he is biting - he's not dropping his dentures, which spontaneously leap on the nearest person & bite. The DOG chose to do this.
    Some breeds are notorious for "bite 1st, ask Qs later, if at all..." JRTs are one such, Chihuahuas are another, most classic terrierrrists & MinPins do it, too. But they're still choosing to bite - the only exceptions are those few, where the dog is startled, or in pain; those circs can elicit a bite from the most-tolerant & forgiving of dogs, altho they usually pull their punch [e-g, they don't bite full-force] as soon as they realize that they were merely startled, or the pain of being trodden on has stopped, or that it was an accident, etc.

    U don't explain the nature of his scars; they could be from an ingrown collar in puphood, not from any sort of "attack" whilst he was stray. If he was lost wearing a collar & not yet full-grown when he went MIA, the ingrown-collar & the scars could be a consequence of timing, & have nothing to do with intent to harm.
    Were any of these attacks documented?
    Was he attacked by other dogs? - How would a human scar his NECK? Unless werewolves are common where U live, i doubt very much that a human scarred his neck by "attacking him". In the cases i've known of human-attacks on dogs, & there are many, the attacker didn't use their teeth, & they didn't "go for the dog's neck" - typically, they kick, beat, punch, hit with objects, etc, but they don't BITE THE DOG'S NECK to leave scars. :eek: That's pretty hard to do, as the dog hasn't been born who will hold still & let U bite that bl**dy hard, either. Human teeth are not fangs, & they make nasty dirty crushing injuries, rather than clean punctures or divots.

    Getting him away from these situations where he has bitten is step #1.
    U can't continue to leave him loose while Granny hugs & greets the children; there's too much going on for him. He needs setback meaning distance to where he is no longer reactive, but can be calm; he needs positive associations built between these events & him, & lastly, he needs to be taught impulse control - which won't happen in a few days.

    if he cries behind a door, then install a tether, use an airline-approved shipping crate, put him behind a gate - but U've got to do SOMETHING to get him out of the melee. He cannot have the option to bite.
    Empathy is a good thing, but empathy won't stop him biting. B-mod will, & B-mod starts with management. :)

    U can buy a used airline-approved shipping crate for about one-half its retail price, new. They're the safest way to transport a pet, plus they safely & comfortably confine the pet at home. The size that is correct is the smallest one he can enter, U-turn, & exit from - if he must back out, it's too small. U can "try them on" by going to a pet-supply & trying out the floor models.
    PreLoved, eBay, CraigsList, GumTree, etc, are all possible sources. Sometimes shelters sell used crates very cheaply - they were donated with a surrendered pet. The Hampton SPCA in Virginia used to sell large cat-carrier / 30# dog-size crates for $5 cash. :)

    - terry

    .
     
  10. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    this is one of the many ways to habituate a dog to enter & enjoy a crate -



    Pam is a fellow USA-apdt trainer; I'm sure that KikoPup has crate-training & crate games, too. :)

    .
     
  11. Justine Thompson

    Justine Thompson New Member Registered

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    he didn't bite after she passed him he did it as she approached him and when I say bruises I mean dots where the teeth nipped the skin he's done this twice in the almost 2 weeks we've had him thanks for the advise and the marks on his neck are small patches of missing fur in places random places not from a collar in my opinion
     
  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    OK - sorry, correction, he bit as she approached.
    Nonetheless, my comment on B-mod & the absolute need to control the situation stand. :) . He can't be roaming around off-leash in the room with Grandma & the kids; he needs to be attached to someone, or someTHING, that will keep him away from any opp to bite. End sentence. That's the distillation of my over-40-years of training dogs, & my time specializing in B-mod since 1985.
    To quote Brian Kilcommons, "Manage first - then, train." Just as U cannot teach recall to a young pup who's off-leash on the beach with other dogs running about, ppl playing fetch with their dogs, small children walking around with food at dog-mouth height, & picnics on blankets, plus dead fish & other yummy trash in the tide-wrack, U cannot teach Ur adopted dog NEW behaviors while he is free to repeat the same un-wanted behaviors as before. 'Cuz he will. And the more he does it, the more he will do it. Practice makes for fluency - we don't want him biting fluently!

    If U can't stand the idea of putting him on a tether, tether him to U - put him on a hands-free waist leash with less than 4-ft of length, so that he cannot possibly grab anyone. It's then up to U to keep him over 4-ft away, & moreover, keep him at a distance that allows him to relax.
    That's when U can start to build those happy associations with Grandma, the kids, visitors, someone knocking at the door or ringing the bell, etc.

    But he cannot be AT THE DOOR, yet - he needs to be *away from the stimulus* to work on changing his emotional response to that trigger. Changing how he feels about it is how we alter his behavior, in the situation, permanently. We teach him it's not only okay, it's GOOD, & then he feels safe & happy. :)

    But it all starts with controlling him - i-e, management.
    - terry

    .
     
  13. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    We could argue - I mean discuss;) - for hours to what extent a dog has a choice in this, given that at some level in his brain it's a response to a situation that makes sense to him. And we could consider which part of the brain controls the 'decision' - the frontal lobe or the deeper, reptilian levels. And we'd end up arg... discussing not just neurobiology but free will and determinism to. Personally I wouldn't 'blame' a dog or say it's 'his fault' as such, even if he just ran off with the Sunday lunch despite me shouting 'LEAVE!!' because that could suggest that the dog is 'bad' and deserves some sort of punishment rather than training/behaviour modification/management.

    But hey - it probably doesn't matter because I do agree with all the advice & suggestions you've given :)
     
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  14. Justine Thompson

    Justine Thompson New Member Registered

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    I will take all the advise on board after all that's exactly what I'm asking for . we've had rescue dogs before I've got a lot of experience with dogs and my partner has been rescuing dogs for 35 years he is a believer in giving them all a chance but we've never had this particular issue so it's as new to us as a new puppy to a first time owner and defiantly a learning curve . we will be taking precautions to stop this behaviour and I'm training him basic commands and we will be very cautious when we have visitors in the future thanks for everyone's advice and if any one had any more I'll be listening
     
  15. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    I hope you can make progress with your boy because rescuing is a great thing to do. I've had 3 rescues including a lurcher (whippet/lab/staff). Just a couple of points since you're probably overwhelmed with advice by now.
    1. It sounds as though your dog is genuinely having trouble working out who his pack consists of. Dogs don't do surnames! If he's nipping visitors and a family member who's not always there he's just not sure who's in and who's out and who to trust. You can certainly give him help by letting the child who isn't there during the day be the one to put his feed bowl down- obviously under your supervision.
    2. we have a corgi x inclined to take a nip when visitors leave. (he's a herding dog and is just helping them on their way as he would cattle!- DON'T say this to visitors, they may not see the joke). We let him in, let him socialise and then off he goes to his bed well before they leave. If he cries, he cries. Good luck with yours!
     
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  16. Justine Thompson

    Justine Thompson New Member Registered

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    that's exactly what we think merlina he's really confused we are a really big family 5 kids 3 adults it's a lot for him to get used to and he's been fine with the eldest it was just a one off she went to grab something off the little one just playing and he didn't know what she was gonna do not an excuse in no way but I can see why he's doing it so we've said no sudden movements near him and to try and keep things calm hopefully he'll settle in in a few months the rest we can cope with he's running all I've true house and chewing and ripping any thing he can get his hands on that's just a normal dog isn't it we won't give up on him just yet thanks for your reply
     
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  17. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm not blaming the dog, nor do i think he's evil - I don't say "bad dog", even to a dog who's currently doing something i don't WANT her / him to do. "Bad" is a moral judgement; dogs are amoral, they do what they do in response to what's happening around them, how they feel in the moment [pain, ill, tired, irritable...], who's around them, how familiar or novel the context, & more.

    Dogs are no more "bad" than a weed that sprouts in a sidewalk crack. A seed arrived there, found soil & moisture & light, & it's growing - that's what seeds do.
    Dogs can only act & react as their own experiences, learning, & emotions allow them to; well-socialized, thoroughly habituated dogs don't respond to strangers who move suddenly in the same way that "sheltered" dogs who've rarely met anyone outside their immediate family, & who've had limited exposure to anywhere but home & garden, react.
    A bombproof adult dog won't react to a genuinely frightening event the same way as a young pup will - the adult will be scared, the young pup will be panicky.

    But dogs aren't automatons; Descartes was flat-out wrong in his declaration that nonhumans are just biological machines. Dogs, just as humans do, feel emotions, feel pain & other sensations, & yes, think. Since dogs lack words, we can't think the way a dog does, & we, trapped in our own verbage, cannot imagine how they think, but we know they do - & we've got research data that proves it. Dogs make choices. We need to help them choose the actions that will keep them safe, limit their stress, & avoid conflict - all of which can arguably increase the dog's happiness.
    Dogs are all about conflict-avoidance - that big lexicon of social gestures & signals is precisely to prevent needless conflict; when U have 42 shearing & piercing teeth, U need ways to prevent conflict, 'cuz it's synonymous with injury.
    .

    teaching a dog to cope with the various settings they move thru - home, neighborhood, novel places, familiar stressful places [vet, groomer, pet-supply with the occasional dog-jerk who acts nasty...] is part of our job as parental custodians of our dogs. I don't think dogs are the children who never grow-up; they aren't stunted humans, they're dogs, & as adults, I expect them to be quite different from heedless pups who can't hold the same thought for 5-seconds. That said, i don't expect them as adults to go out & earn their own kibble. It's a human world, & they need to know how to navigate it, not just safely, but happily. :) We're all in this together; dogs are our longest human relationship, the fellow beings who knew us when we lived in small bands & were hunter-gatherers.
    We still depend on them, & they depend on us, all these years later.

    - terry

    .
     
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