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About 2 months ago, I adopted my first poodle, Jack a 10 month old mini, from a "rescuer". I knew he had issues (very timid, but not agressive) and took him in with the goal of working with him and giving him a good home. I thought I was making headway with him, because he was following me around, and jumping up on the couch to sit near me, and was letting me pet and groom him a little. Now, he spends most of his day in the crate. He will still jump up on the couch next to me, but if I move at all he jumps down and goes into the other room. About a week ago, he was on the couch next to me and I put his leash on so that I could be able to keep him from jumping down so that I could brush him. I guess he sensed this and jumped down before I could get a good grip. I tried to put him back up on the couch, and he bit me. It wasn't bad and I attributed it to the fact I probably startled him. Then two days ago we wanted to take out of the house for some good exercise(he ONLY appears happy when he out side or knows he is about to go outside). My huband got out of the car to fill up the gas tank and Jack jumped out the door. My husband caught him mid jump to keep him from getting away and he bit my husband. Again I think it's because he was scared but I would have thought that in 2 months he would start to understand that we aren't going to hurt him, and that he would be making some real improvements. I don't know what to do. What if he tries to bite my kids? I know it's not me, and that he just doesn't really like people in general, but everytime he runs away from me I want to cry :((and sometimes do:bawling:). I want so badly to have Jack feel like a part of the family, and I don't know what else to do. I wouldn't be so concerned if he seemed to be getting even a little bit better but he actually seems worse. PLEASE HELP!! I don't know what to do! My husband wants to get rid of him and get me a puppy. I don't want to get of him, but I'm starting to wonder if he can be helped. What do I do if he never gets better? I can't imagine having him around for the next 10+ years and never being able to cuddle or play with him. :love-over: Does anyone have any ideas, encouragement, or advice? Do I keep trying to work with him, or is my husband right :deadhorse:and he's a lost cause? This is killing me, I just want my dog to at least not hate me...

Thanks,
Chancie
 

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Hi Chancie and welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you have your hands full with your little rescue. Have you consulted with a trainer or maybe better yet a behaviorist???? It seems to me you need some professional help from someone experienced with this type of problem.
 

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I agree with Poodlelover. I don't think he's a lost cause, but he sounds like more than you can deal with. Maybe his rescuer or a local shelter/rescue group will have contact info for a behavioralist. He sounds like a candidate for the "Dog Whiperer" or "It's Me of the Dog."
 

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It sounds like he is fear biting... which a lot of rescue dogs do and end up being euthanized for because people don’t know how to correct the behavior. Doing obedience training can help, but you need a behaviorist to tell you how to show him that you and your family is not a threat and that biting is not acceptable.
Even if a dog gets startled... it’s first instinct shouldn’t be to bite! This is dangerous - especially around people who has children.
If you feel like crying you are actually intensifying his fear, since that emotion is considered “a weak emotional state of mind” in a dog pack and is only practiced by the weakest link in the pack. You can’t be the weakest link in the pack if you are trying to help him.
Here is a website that gives some great info on fear biting and some advice on how to start working on a fear biter, but you would need to see a professional behaviorist to cure it completely.

http://luv-pets.blogspot.com/2008/06/about-dogs-fear-biting.html

PS: This is an article from leerburg on how to introduce a new dog into your home and become a pack leader.... you can also search this site for information on fear biting. I love this site and this guy is a no nonsense trainer and has a lot of experience in what he does!
http://leerburg.com/pdf/packstructure.pdf

Good luck!
 

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Sounds like he is asking for some boundaries-maybe he feels your pity and looks at it as a weakness-that's how animals are. Our trainer says treat your dog like a DOG for the first four weeks and you will have fewer problems later. We just don't allow dogs on our furniture as we don't want to deal with extra possible territorial or possessive issues.
 

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You might try always having his leash on him when he is out of the crate. That way you can grab the "drag leash" and not him.

I think it is a trust issue. The trainers that I take Roxy to teaches a "passive restraint" technique to help establish trust between the dog and his owners.

I'm attaching a pdf of the details on how you do this. Maybe it would help. It's worth a shot.

Well, the pdf wouldn't work... so here it the website:

http://www.puppymanners.com/puppaccino/passiverestraint_.asp

p
 

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I think you have some great suggestions to work with and concur you would really benefit from a behaviorist. Biting is definitely a sign of his fear and attempt to control the situation. It's important to get a handle on the situation before it escalates any further. One thing you really don't want to do is treat aggression with aggression. This will only escalate the problem.

You are doing the right thing and headed in the right direction. It's tough taking a rescue dog and it takes a LOT of time and patience. Only you know what is right for your family and when it is time to make a change.
 

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Hi and welcome.

It sounds like you have received a lot of good advice here; which is what the forum is known for. I hope you find the right solution for your family and your little rescue dog.
 

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Two months is NOT a lot of time at all. It's a HUGE adjustment for him, and he's still in the healing process (as it seems he might have been abused in his past home). I can't imagine how hard it is, but rehabilitating a dog takes A LOT of patience, lots of work, lots of tears, but in the end, you'll have LOTS and LOTS of triumphs.
Have you tried building his confidence through training? Try implementing NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free), where you make him sit for he wants. For example, before you feed him, make him sit. Before taking him out, make him sit, etc. Praise Praise Praise him!
Also work slowly. If he initiates contact (jumping on the couch) just give him a treat. Don't touch him. Do that for a few weeks. If he seems to be initiating MORE contact, pet him a few times and treat him then leave him alone. Do that until he is comfortable with petting sessions.

Consult a trainer/behaviourist for more help.

And another thing...if you feel that this is too much for you, be honest with yourself. You want what is best for Jack, and while you love him, he might need more than you can give him. What's best for Jack may actually mean a more experienced home. You cannot risk your children getting bitten, and if your husband wants to get rid of him, those are not good feelings to have in the house. Do not feel bad about it, you got him out of a bad situation. I'm not saying you SHOULD find him a new home, but I know that it is probably the last option you want to consider, but it's an option you should at least consider.


I wish you all the best with Jack.
 

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Whatever you do, make certain that the trainer is in line with what you deem to be acceptable. Last week I took Inca to agility. They also do obedience there but not with the same person. I had asked the obedience trainer how to do a pivot (I need it for my doggy dancing). He demonstrated the move on his young (large) dog. This week when I said we were doing great with it, he grabbed Inca's lead and dragged her round into position. She had a slip lead on (so I can get it on and off in a hurry for agility runs) and began to choke. He said it wasn't him that was doing it, it was her for resisting. I grabbed the lead and said that I would deal with it. Even now, I feel I have let her down for allowing this to happen. Fortunately she is quite a confident dog and still does the move with me (off lead and with no coersion).

Go with your gut instinct. There are a lot of people out there who think they are dog behaviourists and trainers.
 

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What do I do if he never gets better? I can't imagine having him around for the next 10+ years and never being able to cuddle or play with him.
One thing you must take into consideration is he may never be a cuddly dog. I agree with Locket 2 months is a very short amount of time for any dog to start to fully trust its new humans.

We rescued a female toy poodle named Poppy on Christmas day and it took her more then 5 months to trust us, she still runs when you reach for her and has issues with med and children. A few weeks ago we placed her in a home and she is very happy but her new owner under stood that she will never be the kind of dog that wants to lick your face and begs for a cuddle.

I have a rescued Rat Terrier/Beagle mix named Betty whom I have had for 4 years and she just now will let my mother touch her but still barks and my sisters and her family. I know she will never be anything more then she is and I don't ask it from her.

So along with the good advice given, I suggest giving him more time and do not force him into anything. And to realize he may never be a Velcro dog. You just have to accept him as he is and work with him very slowly. It may very well come down to needing to re-home him.
 
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