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Hi guys, I have recently become a volunteer at a humane society. Most of the dogs that are there have obedience problems such as jumping up, pulling on leash, toy and food possesiveness (the majority of them AmStaffs and APBT) and etc. Anyway, these things don't concern me very much. There is one dog there that I am actually afraid of. He is a 6 yr old Doberman. He does NOT like strangers at all. When you go by his cage, he barks and bears his teeth =/ Does anyone know the proper way to approach a dog like this? Because he needs to be taken for walks and I am too scared to take him out. :?

Anyone have any experience with human-aggressive dogs?
 

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I'm sorry, but if it were me, I wouldn't even attempt it. It is sad that the dog is like that, but I think that if there is any hope for him he needs an experienced trainer.
 

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I hate to say it too, but maybe the best thing is to be put down? How would he ever be re-homed? Sounds dangerous. How sad. :( I'm no expert though, so please don't go by my opinion. Lisa or Peter might have better thoughts on this... let's hope they see this.
 

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LuvaBULL said:
I hate to say it too, but maybe the best thing is to be put down? How would he ever be re-homed? Sounds dangerous. How sad. :( I'm no expert though, so please don't go by my opinion. Lisa or Peter might have better thoughts on this... let's hope they see this.
Well, the Humane Society won't put him down. I'm assuming the dog trainers will work with him, but as for now, I'm really scared of him and because he's aggressive, he probably only gets to go out once a day. I feel bad for him.
 

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think like a dog. Would YOU be happy if you were taken from your home and put in a cage with strange smells and cold concrete? I would be a little pissed, myself and stressed.

You must have a trainer that works with your humane office. Let him/her assess the dog.

See, I think dobermans are sharp (not really good for rehab), especially the show ones. However, it is hard to say.

I will tell you this. If YOU show fear, they can smell it and it makes them more "pushy". If you fear this dog, get someone who does not fear to do the work. YOur fear will make the dog nervous. He is wondering why you are nervous if you have nothing to hide.

Just be calm with him and feed him some weiners, if you feel comfortable. You are a volunteer. You don't have to do anything you do not like. Just don't stare him down or make quick movements. Let the trainer asses the dog's temperment. It it actually has courage and nerves (I doubt it), then it will have NO problem finding a home.

What do you mean they will not put it to sleep if it has temperment flaws????? That is stupid.
 

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Peter, would you want to hold eye contact with a dog like this, or would that make them more angry? I think I read somewhere that they perceive that as a threat. Should she try to divert her eyes away, and just pretend to be very casual?

I haven't had any experiences with human aggressive dogs, other than being chased by a few when I was little. Luckily I was obsessed with dogs back then too, so I used to read tons of books about them, and I knew what to do. I would just stop in my tracks, (or stand behind my bike if I had one) so they wouldn't see me as a running target... I would kneel down a little, and hold my hand out, and just speak in a soft, friendly voice, as if it were my own dog. They ALWAYS backed down after that, and went without incident.

But none of them were barking or baring their teeth at me either. It would be hard for me NOT to show any fear. I really don't know what I would do as a volunteer, but obviously do not jeopardize your safety. If they do not euthanize human-aggressive dogs, that's a scary thought. I hope the dog gets into the right hands and is not allowed near children!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
PeterC said:
think like a dog. Would YOU be happy if you were taken from your home and put in a cage with strange smells and cold concrete? I would be a little pissed, myself and stressed.

You must have a trainer that works with your humane office. Let him/her assess the dog.

See, I think dobermans are sharp (not really good for rehab), especially the show ones. However, it is hard to say.

I will tell you this. If YOU show fear, they can smell it and it makes them more "pushy". If you fear this dog, get someone who does not fear to do the work. YOur fear will make the dog nervous. He is wondering why you are nervous if you have nothing to hide.

Just be calm with him and feed him some weiners, if you feel comfortable. You are a volunteer. You don't have to do anything you do not like. Just don't stare him down or make quick movements. Let the trainer asses the dog's temperment. It it actually has courage and nerves (I doubt it), then it will have NO problem finding a home.

What do you mean they will not put it to sleep if it has temperment flaws????? That is stupid.
No, I understand it is very stressful for a dog when they come into the shelter, they miss their owners and have to be couped up in a kennel until a volunteer takes them for a walk (which is basically the only human interaction these poor dogs get.) However, this dog is unique to the other dogs. The other dogs are barking for attention and because they're frustrated. Every dog is assesed by the "canine coordinators," and normally they will make a few points about the dog, but this dog is colour coded RED and it clearly states he does not like strangers. Perhaps he was a guard dog?

Euthanization is an absolute LAST resort. If the animal is sick and the vets cannot save the animal, they will put it down. If they have a dog that the trainers have worked worth (basically tried everything with) and cannot make the dog adoptable then they may put it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
LuvaBULL said:
Peter, would you want to hold eye contact with a dog like this, or would that make them more angry? I think I read somewhere that they perceive that as a threat. Should she try to divert her eyes away, and just pretend to be very casual?

I haven't had any experiences with human aggressive dogs, other than being chased by a few when I was little. Luckily I was obsessed with dogs back then too, so I used to read tons of books about them, and I knew what to do. I would just stop in my tracks, (or stand behind my bike if I had one) so they wouldn't see me as a running target... I would kneel down a little, and hold my hand out, and just speak in a soft, friendly voice, as if it were my own dog. They ALWAYS backed down after that, and went without incident.

But none of them were barking or baring their teeth at me either. It would be hard for me NOT to show any fear. I really don't know what I would do as a volunteer, but obviously do not jeopardize your safety. If they do not euthanize human-aggressive dogs, that's a scary thought. I hope the dog gets into the right hands and is not allowed near children!
Even dogs who aren't aggressive with people, but are very rowdy and rough will not be allowed to go to a home with children. They are very careful when assesing the dogs and cats there. But yeah, I think I'll just keep my distance and let the trainers exercise him. I am really scared of him.
 

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Tara, it is hard to comment on the dog when I cannot see the dog myself.

I have seen many dogs like this become AWESOME AWESOME PETS. However, this is what is going against the dog.

Granted, I would never allow ANY DOG (ANY DOG) that I adopt at adulthood near my own children. I feel that there is too much crap people do to their dogs.

Would you say this dog's aggression comes from courage or fear? There is a HUGE difference. One is good. The other deserves a quick death.

Let me put it this way. Will this dog, in a neutral setting (like a park) act aggressively (in any mannor) to a small child? A small child in anyone's books is a non threat. If this dog is aggressive, then it is fear based or it is just mentally unstable. If it is aggressive towards a child, it would BE TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR DEPT TO let this dog live. He is taking up space that could go to another deserving dog. it is negligent.

Now, if this dog's aggression is courage based (I doubt it.), then it deserves a chance. A courageous dog will not get aggressive with a child.

I actually test every one of my own dogs with a small child. When the dog is about 6 months, I get a small child to grab my dog's feet (hard) and touch/poke the dog's eyes. A dog should act as if that is the best thing in the world and ask for more, in my opinion. It should NEVER shy away or show teeth. To do so would be death.

Some say this is harsh, but ask yourself this. Kids do strange things. What if a dog was eating his raw bone and a kid came from the back and tugged on a dog's wagging tail? Do you think this is unusual? No, AGAIN I REITERATE THAT A PET DOG MUST HAVE NERVES OF STEEL. A PET DOG MUST BE MORE STABLE and I believe breeders should cull to prevent bad nerves to proliferate.

The point is, is your dept willing to take a chance on placing a dog like this? EVEN IF HE WAS A COURAGE MONSTER, which I doubt, I find it would be very rare for a shelter to have trainers experienced in dealing with very hard dogs. These are dogs that require a leather gauntlet underneath your clothes to work with. They can be GREAT dogs. However, can your dept deal with it?

By the way, for a doberman to be 'somewhat' courageous, I highly doubt it would end up in a shelter. A working doberman is a very expensive animal and VERY rare.

Good luck and be careful. Don't stare at it. You will probably scare it. If my guess is right, it is probably a fear biter that has been agitated (backyard work) to show aggression when it sees pressure or stress. So, when it is under stress, the dogs shows aggression. People go away. Pressure is gone.

Good luck.
 
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