Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: ANOTHER dog question

  1. #1
         
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    3,519

    ANOTHER dog question

    This is for all of you dog owners out there. As most of you know I adopted a big fat old lab a few weeks ago. I have not had any problems with her, she is loving and great with the boys. I leave her in the backyard in the mornings for excersice then go home at lunch to let her in so she doesn't get too hot. Apparently she has been getting out of my yard, I have no idea how but I came home a few days ago and she was on the front porch, I came home yesterday and she was in the backyard BUT the was a letter from Animal Control .
    The door hanger said my dog was running at large, tried to bite the neighbor and the officer. So I call animal control (immediately on the defensive) and told the officer that my neighbor antagonizes my dog (they don't like dogs)...well it was a different neighbor. Apparently Sandy (the dog) was in a neighbors backyard and growling at her. The animal control officer said Sandy was very aggressive, so aggressive she couldn't even catch her to take her in, she just got her back in the yard and that she would be sending me a summons. She went as far as to call her "Cujo".
    So, naturally I am very concerned, I have a 7 and 3 year old in the house with this dog. I did not raise her so I don't know her personality THAT well. She has been wonderful with the boys and myself, not even a growl. I think she was scared and reacted, the officer told me "she wouldn't have that dog around any child"...I have had Sandy out in the front playing with other kids and dogs on the street and have never seen aggression. My gut says she was scared and wouldn't do that to me or the boys, but I surely don't want to wait and find out.
    Any thoughts on this? Am I crazy to keep her around the boys? Could she have just been scared and protecting her home?? Any thoughts or suggestions, please!!

  2. #2
    Hi Jaxspra, these are my thoughts:
    1. In my experience, labs are incapable of being "two-faced". They're either bad tempered or they aren't. The nearest I've come to a vicious lab is a grumpy gun dog that bit me, but I had it coming as I was pulling her whiskers. And no I don't recommend that as good treatment for a lab! If she's fine with you, she should be fine with everyone else provided that they don't do anything to aggravate or intimidate her (however, see point 3). She should continue to be fine with your family. If she's shaping up well, it might be a good idea to get here a check up with the vet, check she's not prone to any diseases that could to lead to discomfort and/or disorientation, now that she's running about. Things like seizures, headaches and dizzy spells can wreak havok with a dog's temper as they don't understand what's happening.
    2. Fix the hole. Or however it is she's getting out of the yard. It could take you ages to find it, and she may even be getting help, but this needs to be stopped. Chances are that she found her exit by accident, which might explain the upset behaviour, but by now she will have learnt where it is and will continue to use it until stopped. The most expensive solution would be to get a run with shelter put in the yard if you have room. You could also put her on a long chain or rope, but be careful she can't injure herself and that she doesn't chew (or attempt to chew) through it.
    3. Introduce Sandy to the neighbours. She might know that the family pack is ok, but she might be unsure of other people, particularly without you around. Now you don't have to go straight to the neighbour that she (allegedly) growled at, but it is worth while introducing her to other (adult) people and letting them stroke and fuss. That way, if she is getting out, she will be okay with people and they will know her and bring her back (hopefully). It depends how neighbourly your neighbourhood is, I suppose. It might also be worthwhile asking the animal control woman to come round with you there and meet Sandy, if she has the time. Also, is there anyone in your street who doesn't work during the day who could use some company? Perhaps she's getting bored and lonely - someone to take her for walks during the day might be the answer.
    Those are my immediate thoughts. If I think of anything better, I'll add to it
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Encroaching on something
    Posts
    2,738
    I have shown dogs for almost my entire life and have found that Labs are very capable of this behavior. I know, people will not believe me, but it is true. Labs and Goldens have a great reputation of being "family dogs" but they do have their share of tempermant problems too.

    The best rule of thumb is that if you have any doubt about the dog with your family, the best thing to do is to return the dog. I was faced with a similar issue not long ago and there is a reason that my prized champion dog is not around my child. I do not tolerate that behavior from any of my animals. My dog is now living the life with a friend who is in law school. Older dogs are great pets, but sometimes they do not mix well with children.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    IMHO, and sorry if this is harsh, but it is irresponsible to leave a dog outside when you are not home. Period. I am a dog owner and have "rescued" poorly socialized dogs in the past. This dog's background is a red flag that she should not be left to her own devices. Dogs get bored, and a bored dog is a wandering, inquisitive, often destructive, dog.

    Walk the dog when you get home, and give her a high quality dog food designed for older dogs. She'll eventually lose the weight. I wish you good luck, adopting a troubled dog can be very rewarding!

  5. #5
         
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    3,519
    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    IMHO, and sorry if this is harsh, but it is irresponsible to leave a dog outside when you are not home. Period. I am a dog owner and have "rescued" poorly socialized dogs in the past. This dog's background is a red flag that she should not be left to her own devices. Dogs get bored, and a bored dog is a wandering, inquisitive, often destructive, dog.

    Walk the dog when you get home, and give her a high quality dog food designed for older dogs. She'll eventually lose the weight. I wish you good luck, adopting a troubled dog can be very rewarding!
    I agree, now. I never thought it was a problem to leave her in the backyard if I wasn't home, especially when I came home 4 hours later to let her in. But now I know. The animal control officer was going to write me a summons, I asked her not to and she asked me how I was going to fix the problem. I told her I would not leave her outside anymore unless I was home with her. I often left the back door open so she could go in and out, I won't be doing that anymore either. I do feed her high quality weight management food for senior dogs.


    Journeymouse - I agree about taking her around the neighborhood and meeting the nieghbors, I am afraid she may have scared the one so much, she wont meet her anyway.

    Thanks for all of the advice. I have solved the problem of her getting out, she is staying in the house while I am at work. I am just going to give this a few more weeks and see if I see ANY behavior that makes me think she would hurt one of the boys. I just hope that isn't irresponsible, but like I said I haven't seen any aggresive behavior from her.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    440
    I'm assuming this dog is full lab? If so I'd be shocked if you had Cujo on your hands... I've been around labs and retrievers quite a bit. Something doesn't seem to be adding up. Don't get me wrong I've seen labs growl and bark, but majority of time it is that higher pitched kind when it sees a cat, squirrel, yada yada... My lab rarely barks or growls at people, but has on occasion when it feels threatened by someone at the door, or if someone spooks her. We don't have any kids but she is great around them... I'll tell her to sit and stay and kids will climb all over her, which isn't a problem to me as long as they don't hit her or pull on her ears, etc...

    As far as leaving them out, I leave my dog out sometimes and not other times. It is hard to keep a lab in a fenced yard, they'll get out if they get bored.

    I guess if you haven't had the dog long you might just keep an eye on her, maybe she wasn't treated well, and is bit defensive? It doesn't sound like that though if she is good around the kids?

  7. #7
         
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    3,519
    Quote Originally posted by Vlaude
    I'm assuming this dog is full lab? If so I'd be shocked if you had Cujo on your hands... I've been around labs and retrievers quite a bit. Something doesn't seem to be adding up. Don't get me wrong I've seen labs growl and bark, but majority of time it is that higher pitched kind when it sees a cat, squirrel, yada yada... My lab rarely barks or growls at people, but has on occasion when it feels threatened by someone at the door, or if someone spooks her. We don't have any kids but she is great around them... I'll tell her to sit and stay and kids will climb all over her, which isn't a problem to me as long as they don't hit her or pull on her ears, etc...

    As far as leaving them out, I leave my dog out sometimes and not other times. It is hard to keep a lab in a fenced yard, they'll get out if they get bored.

    I guess if you haven't had the dog long you might just keep an eye on her, maybe she wasn't treated well, and is bit defensive? It doesn't sound like that though if she is good around the kids?
    I haven't had her that long, few weeks, but she has been in the family (sort of). She is not agressive, she is old...the boys dont climb on her but they play with her and know better than to poke or pull ears. She is full lab, and I haven't known her to be agressive at all. She barks at me if she wants me to pet her, but not a scary bark, just "Hey pet me, or play with me" She doesnt even bark or come running to the door when I come home, I often have to call her to come downstairs to go outside...I don't think she was treated "badly/abusive" I think she was somewhat neglected (stuck in the house a lot, with very little excercise)...I am just going to keep an eye on her, the boys already love her too much to let her go.

  8. #8

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Keeping her inside may be the best solution.

    I have to be very careful with my basenji, because although she is UNUSUALLY friendly with people for a basenji, she does not like young children (especially little boys) very much.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,235
    I've seen labs take tons of abuse from kids and just sit there. They're not too smart but make great pets.

    It does seem pretty strange (but I'm no dog expert).

    Have you considered an invisable fence? They have ones now that don't need anything installed in the ground, just a transmitter sitting at the middle of your property.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Under the Table
    Posts
    1,900
    Blog entries
    6
    wow...I assumed that your back yard was fenced...and she was escaping. You should never leave your dog outside by themselves unless they are contained.....my neighbor's very friendly dog teamed up with others and killed one of my cats. It was horrible..as I saw it happen. You could get sued bigtime.... I think a recent case awarded 30K somewhere in the US.

    I think your lab could just be being protective. I would install an electric fence... even an old dog can learn the rules. A shock collar has transformed my howler-monkey hound dog (adopted from foster care) into a much better dog. Sad...we can point the TV remote at him and he changes his behavior. But anyway...now he is much more social.

    I wouldn't opt for tying the dog out during the morning... as they can get caught and choke. A walk at lunch with the dog would be excercise enough, I would think.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    444
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Have you considered an invisable fence? They have ones now that don't need anything installed in the ground, just a transmitter sitting at the middle of your property.

    We've used this exact system to great results on our two-year old lab/heeler mix. She is always waiting on the porch for us and the neighbors have never reported her wandering around the neighborhood. She's trained to the point where we don't actually even have the system turned on anymore. We just put the collar on her and she knows not to roam.
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian urbanchik's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Detroit, MI
    Posts
    120
    All dogs, no matter the breed or personality, are still animals and can be unpredictable given a particular situation or circumstance. I think it is important to teach kids this lesson so they are always careful.

    That said, if the dog is normally good around your kids, I'd say she is a keeper and will be fine. Just keep a careful watch and explain to your kids what I said above. The dog has only been around your family and home for a few weeks, so yes, I think she was probably scared and felt threatened.

    I grew up with dogs and loved the experience and plan to have dogs in the house when I have kids someday. BTW, when I was growing up my dogs, who were gentle and spoiled rotten, once got let out of the house by my absent-minded grandpa. Took me hours to find them, one by one, but when I did, they were scared to death! I didnt see others approach them, but something tells me they would have reacted similarly in that environment (whereas at home, they would lick strangers to death!).

    Good luck.
    urbanchik

  13. #13
         
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    3,519
    Thanks everyone...I don't feel like such a "bad" mom wanting to keep this dog. Like I said I haven't seen any agression towards me, the kids, and anyone else in the neighborhood when I am with her. I do think she got scared and threatened. My yard is fenced, she found a way under it (hard to believe, she is SO fat I cannot believe she could crawl out). She never tries to run from us, she doesnt even need a leash (will always have one from now on though ) as she stays in the front yard when I am with her and comes on command. She really is a perfect dog, as far as I have seen. The boys do know not to take things out ofher mouth, try to ride on her or poke her with things. Mostly they just try to hug her and play fetch. I don't want to invest in an invisible fence as she really doesn't roam, I just can't leave her out when we aren't home. I go home at lunch to let her out.
    Thanks for all the advice!!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Dogs are pack animals and territorial. If they deem you and your kids to be members of their pack, you may be perfectly safe. If the deem neighbors to not be members of their pack but have concluded the neighbor's YARDS are part of their territory, they can be real jerks. In Kansas, my next door neighbor had a very aggressive dog that they finally had to spay and take other measures to control but the dog was, to my knowledge, never a danger to any humans it had adopted (like the owners, their kids, etc). The dog had adopted me as a member of his pack and considered my house and yard to be part of his territory. He would escape his fenced back yard to growl and bark visciously at the pizza delivery man for any suspicious movements the guy made (like the time he dropped something and bent over to pick it up) or follow me down the sidewalk when I walked my kid to school and harass anyone not part of his pack who made the mistake of getting within 20 feet of me. Oy vey.



    MZ, not a dog person but I have been adopted by a few dogs.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,074
    I have had a lot of experience with labs and would say that they are the best-tempered dogs you can find. Here are a few observations:

    My neighbors have two, and they would bark at me if I went outside after I first moved in. Now that they know me they don't even flich when I am out in my yard. Maybe it just takes time for your dog to get used to the neighborhood.

    My brother had the gentlest lab I have ever known. There was only one time she growled and barked at somebody, and that was the mailman. I took her by the collar and led her away, and as soon as we were out of sight her tail wagged and she looked so relieved. I think it was the uniform that freightened her. I wonder if the same might be true for your dog and the animal control officer.

    My girlfriend has a dog (non-lab) that does not like men. It took a while for her to get used to me, and now she loves to have me around. The GF says she is even getting better with other men. I think it took having a good role model to teach her that men can be good. Maybe your dog has a thing with strangers (if you are not around?) and you might enlist a friend or two to spend time with the dog when you are not there, just to see how it reacts.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  16. #16
         
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    3,519
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I have had a lot of experience with labs and would say that they are the best-tempered dogs you can find. Here are a few observations:

    My neighbors have two, and they would bark at me if I went outside after I first moved in. Now that they know me they don't even flich when I am out in my yard. Maybe it just takes time for your dog to get used to the neighborhood.

    My brother had the gentlest lab I have ever known. There was only one time she growled and barked at somebody, and that was the mailman. I took her by the collar and led her away, and as soon as we were out of sight her tail wagged and she looked so relieved. I think it was the uniform that freightened her. I wonder if the same might be true for your dog and the animal control officer.

    My girlfriend has a dog (non-lab) that does not like men. It took a while for her to get used to me, and now she loves to have me around. The GF says she is even getting better with other men. I think it took having a good role model to teach her that men can be good. Maybe your dog has a thing with strangers (if you are not around?) and you might enlist a friend or two to spend time with the dog when you are not there, just to see how it reacts.
    I thought the same thing about the uniform (it might have also been the big friggin pole with a noose she stuck around my dogs neck, too ) (poor Sandy has a swollen mouth from trying to bite the pole )...No, I know their job is hard, but I do think dogs get frightened by uniforms. I do think labs are even tempered, and I am pretty sure this one hasn't been abused. It probably is strangers when I am not around, I am going to make an effort to socialize her around the neighbors.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    440
    LOL, uhh yeah... I'd think most dogs would growl if a stranger tried to put a noose around them with a long pole... I don't think that is anything unusual. I would expect my dog to do that.

  18. #18

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Labs can indeed be territorial. My sister's lab went bonkers on my basenji because she thought the basenji was competing for food that Kita thought belonged to her. Nothing serious, though. My sister says that her lab can be very submissive, then snap suddenly towards other dogs. Not a good behavior.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    At the dining table
    Posts
    235
    Regarding the uniform thing, our dog went nuts at the postman, at first we thought this was the uniform, but when he started to scream (he had a very high pitched howl) at the milkman, paper man, all delivery men, we were told that it was a part of the pack instinct. Anyone who comes to your door and isnt brought inside (for example a delivery boy who you pay at the door) is thought of by the dog as unwelcome into the "pack" territory and therefore a threat. We just had to keep the dog out the back.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 2
    Last post: 22 Jun 2012, 11:37 AM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last post: 06 Aug 2010, 1:05 PM
  3. GRE question
    Student Commons
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 12 Jul 2007, 9:41 AM
  4. Question
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 05 May 2004, 11:11 AM
  5. A question for BKM
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 06 Jan 2004, 11:56 AM