Potential Rescue Dog: Concerning Behavior (?)

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Potential Rescue Dog: Concerning Behavior (?)

This is a discussion on Potential Rescue Dog: Concerning Behavior (?) within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; We're an experienced dog family, have had a pack of 3 (now down to 1) over the past 13 years. We've had dogs of different ...

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Old 06-17-2019, 11:44 AM
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Potential Rescue Dog: Concerning Behavior (?)

We're an experienced dog family, have had a pack of 3 (now down to 1) over the past 13 years. We've had dogs of different breeds and sizes and dealt with a lot of different behavioral things. We have two kids, ages 4 and 1.

We're considering adding another dog to our family. We're partial to big black dogs and I found a giant Schnauzer/poodle mix, 6 years old, who's billed as being loving, affectionate and great with kids and dogs.

That said, the rescue said that if another dog tries to butt in while he's getting petted, he will sometimes grumble/"object" at the other dog. Supposedly, a gently correction stops him immediately.

If it were just my partner and I, I wouldn't think twice about this behavior, as it seems very easy to work on. But, with two young kids, it raises a flag for me. The rescue said he's never shown aggression toward the other dogs, but I want to make sure I'm thinking about this very carefully.

We are very careful with our current dog to never have the kids unsupervised with the dog, and we're teaching our kids all about the proper way to pet dogs, be introduced to dogs, be kind to dogs, etc. We do/will do our part to ensure our kids' safety and kindness but any dog we add to the family should come in trustworthy enough for general interactions with everyone.

Thoughts? Thank you!
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:08 PM
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With young kids, I would probably go with an adult rescue that has been fostered with young kids and had NO behavior issues whatsoever.


In your case, the fact that the dog can be protective towards other dogs makes me think that he would probably be better in a single dog household though.
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Old 06-17-2019, 03:10 PM
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I hear you, and that's wise. That's actually been what I've been looking for but this guy caught my eye (they don't list this behavior in his profile). I have such a soft spot for big black dogs and they're statistically last adopted. It's odd, then, that they're saying he'd be fine in a household with other dogs.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:52 AM
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How a dog acts towards other dogs isn't necessarily how he will act towards kids or adults.
I've watched a huge lab mix who rumbles. For him it's a sign of affection. I've watched him several times for long stays and he's never shown one sign of aggression towards anyone. My new kitten can eat his food right on front of him, I've also watched pushy small dogs nip at him, bark and act aggressive towards him and he's never done one single thing
Loose in a dog park he can be pushy with other dogs, but just play rough and occasionally hump, nothing truly aggressive.
So it really depends on the dog. I'd ask more specific questions or go see the dog.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:29 AM
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I would probably pass on this dog. I wouldn't bring another dog which is already displaying signs of resource-guarding into an already crowded household, especially with very young children. The dog's color shouldn't play a role in this decision whatsoever; his behavior should.

About five years ago, I adopted two unrelated dogs (Jesse and Miles) from a shelter within a month of each other. After a month-long honeymoon period, Jesse's tendency towards resource-guarding went into full effect, and I became his chief resource. He wouldn't let Miles near me. The best solution for all of us was to rehome Jesse with a friend of mine. He loves being an only dog, and Miles and I enjoyed a peaceful, relaxing home until he passed away in January.

As you said, you and your partner would probably be able to manage the situation well. However, what are you going to do when the new guy gets jealous of your children petting their old friend?

Maybe you won't have a problem, but maybe you will. Would the rescue group be willing to give you a trial period before the adoption is finalized? And, do they guarantee that they will take back this dog if he doesn't do well in your home? These would be crucial questions that I'd want answered.

Last edited by SusanLynn; 06-18-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:37 AM
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Thanks all.

We would NEVER make a decision on a dog based on color alone. I was just saying we're drawn to big black dogs because of our past and their need.

Yes, this rescue offers a 7 day trial period. They take dogs back at that time to adoption fee applied to another dog, but you can always return the dog to the rescue. That all said, I would want to be very sure in our decision before even beginning a trial. No desire to make a dog bounce around more than they already have,

I asked if he exhibits any signs of any resource guarding (food, toys) and the rescue said no. No signs of aggression with other dogs or people.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:23 PM
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Have you had a chance to meet and spend time with the prospective dog yet?

After Miles passed away, I adopted a new dog (Asher) from a rescue group. The rescue brought him out for a home visit a week before I brought him home permanently. We spent an hour and a half together to make sure that Asher and I were a good fit together. He returned to his foster home and I had a week to decide whether I wanted to bring him back home. Then there was a trial period before we all considered the adoption to be finalized.

During our initial home visit, Asher and I already started to develop a bond, and we were all confident that we would be a good match for each other.

The key is to take your time for your family, including your children and existing dog, to get to know the prospective dog at your home before you make a final decision.

Last edited by SusanLynn; 06-18-2019 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:00 PM
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No chance to actually meet him yet. We submitted an application but no response yet.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:40 PM
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I'd love to hear how it all turns out. Please update us when you know more.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:04 AM
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A second opinion...

I will briefly chime in here, knowing that what I am going to say is not to everyone's gusto, nonetheless it's MY experience drawing on my lifelong academic studies and history with DOGS:

It doesn't matter what a rescue center has "in its records" or not: ANY dog, again, ANY dog, can be "rehabilitated" to be SAFER even to the smallest children THAN "that uncle" or "the stepmother" or even ... the very dog owner is to the child. :cough:

The core problem in my own experience is: Way too many (prospective) dog owners have only learned "Obedience Training" nonsense, because that is all that gets proliferated in the millions on "dog blogs" these days. :-(

I always say: Copying is so much easier than producing original, unique, content. That's why most anyone you find online is merely copying.
And so: copying the nonsense that was already copied a million times...

Then understandably dog owners pick up on that nonsense, apply it lifelong themselves, start to believe that after X dogs they've become "dog experts" themselves, and many of them create even more "dog blogs" - with more of that same C . A P

So, I'd say to you tarabee, and to ANYONE considering to get a dog, rescued or not:

Forget all the crap you learned how to behave with dogs, because almost certainly all of that was based on the misleading human concepts of "obedience", "conditioning", "alpha role", "enforcement", etc. None of those apply to canine nature.

Then, and only then, your smallest kids will be 100% SAFE with any dog, rescued or not, having records of "aggression" or not, "being good with kids", "with other pets", and similar concerns of prospective dog owners.




And if you continue with what you've learned from "certified dog trainers" and their blogged copies?

Then NO dog is safe for your kids, or indeed for yourself: Given the "right" circumstances (Read: Stress Level!) any dog incl. the smallest Chihuahua can become a loose "weapon".

And how right I am with this assessment you can take from the occasional media reports where (purebred) "adorable Chihuahuas" etc caused more harm to a child (or grown man!) than that (rescued) Pitbull etc with records of "behavior issues" filed in a rescue kennel (or indead death kennel, high kill kennel).




Yes, dog trauma can stand in the way for an interim period, same as with people: even terrorists are terrorists because *something* in their past caused it that way. :read again:

Nonetheless, I have yet to see a dog trauma case that can't be solved successfully. And if you think you have such case, feel free to reach out. Not to "blogs" again though, I'd suggest.


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No one is obligated to heed my advice, if you are happy with what you've got, I too would suggest you absolutely stick with that. ;-)
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