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Hi, I was fostering to adopt-a-dog and in the process of getting to know her, I found that she had some behavior issues that I don't feel experienced enough to handle. I have contacted the rescue with this information and told her I can no longer foster. When I told her about the behavior issues she basically didn't believe me and felt like it was strange that she "suddenly" has aggression (she came from the shelter as an owner surrender, but was told by the rescue she was a stray). We have talked to multiple trainers and have used positive training with the dog. She has responded well to it, but the dog has severe resource guarding that has become worse and unpredictable (ie. random towels, her harness, crate cover, pot planter). We do have a foster agreement that states we let the rescue know the behavior issues right away and let them know we can't foster too. We have done this and given ample time. The more annoying thing is she seems to have acquired 10 more dogs since I have told her we can't foster anymore!

I gave her a deadline yesterday and she has not responded to me, when she normally responds right away. I don't want to take the dog to the shelter because I think she can do well with an experienced owner. I would like to take her to a different organization if the current rescue doesn't want to help find the dog home. Any advice? What can I do?
 

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That rescue you are dealing with is badly messed up. It appears to me they have everything else in mind except the welfare of the dog. They shouldn't have questioned what you were saying, should be responsive to you, and should be willing to take the dog back. Even if it is taking them a little time to find another foster, they should be talking to you about this. I have worked in dog rescue many years, and there's a chance that the rescue is simply overwhelmed, but I still think it is not appropriate for them not to have at least called you.

If you can, I would give it a few more days. Tell the rescue that you cannot keep the dog and that you will find another rescue to take her if you don't hear from them. At the same time, start scouting rescues. In your position, getting a rescue to take this dog on will not be easy and you may not succeed, but it is worth giving a try.

There are, of course, many things you can do to train a dog not to resource-guard and if you want to give that a try, let us know and lots of people here will help. It isn't a fatal flaw in a dog, and if you like this dog and have any inclination to keep her and make her your dog, you can do the work with her and change this behavior.

I am just mentioning it because it is an option. In your situation, you were fostering, and you had not yet decided to adopt the dog, so it is understandable and seems acceptable to me if you decide you don't want to adopt her now that you know this about her. this is what foster-to-adopt is for, after all. It's like a trial period.

I would suggest thinking it over carefully. If in other ways she is a good dog for you and if you are fond of her and are willing to train her, you can do it.
 

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That rescue you are dealing with is badly messed up. It appears to me they have everything else in mind except the welfare of the dog. They shouldn't have questioned what you were saying, should be responsive to you, and should be willing to take the dog back. Even if it is taking them a little time to find another foster, they should be talking to you about this. I have worked in dog rescue many years, and there's a chance that the rescue is simply overwhelmed, but I still think it is not appropriate for them not to have at least called you.

If you can, I would give it a few more days. Tell the rescue that you cannot keep the dog and that you will find another rescue to take her if you don't hear from them. At the same time, start scouting rescues. In your position, getting a rescue to take this dog on will not be easy and you may not succeed, but it is worth giving a try.

There are, of course, many things you can do to train a dog not to resource-guard and if you want to give that a try, let us know and lots of people here will help. It isn't a fatal flaw in a dog, and if you like this dog and have any inclination to keep her and make her your dog, you can do the work with her and change this behavior.

I am just mentioning it because it is an option. In your situation, you were fostering, and you had not yet decided to adopt the dog, so it is understandable and seems acceptable to me if you decide you don't want to adopt her now that you know this about her. this is what foster-to-adopt is for, after all. It's like a trial period.

I would suggest thinking it over carefully. If in other ways she is a good dog for you and if you are fond of her and are willing to train her, you can do it.
Thank you do much for responding! I'm currently de-condition the resource guarding behavior at least every other day. I knew the first triggers were bones, kong toy, and tennis balls. So those are the initial items I work with, I started with the "least valuable" item first and when she regressed we'd started over. She actually has a pretty good CER (conditioned emotional response) when I do this de-conditioning (looks up, relaxed and expects good things coming). I am ok with this and was happy to work on it with her. The problem now is when she doesn't seem to be "guarding" something, but she might actually be, for instance the planter which she wanted to eat the dirt (never had issues with before, calm body language) and you try to move her off it, she bares her teeth and snarls. Or she decided to chew the crate cover and had no issues with being blocked previously, snarled, snapped and bared her teeth. I manage the environment so she doesn't have anything to "guard" unless we are de-conditioning. Haha so that's why I think she needs to go to a more experienced home, because I don't know what to do when she decides something is valuable that I don't know about. I know dogs with RG tend to have body handling issues and I've read "Mine" by Jean Donaldson. Not to get off topic.

I have reached out to a more reputable breed specific rescue and they simple said it is not their dog and to communicate more with the rescue. It's just kind of hard to communicate with a rescue, if they don't respond or gaslight you. But I will try to reach out to more, but probably right that it will be hard. I know there is a huge problem with people returning dogs due to things reopening too, so that definitely won't help.
 

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I am sorry you are in this situation. One thing you could do, IF you decide to keep the dog, is hire a certified dog behaviorist to come and work with you on this, making sure that person uses only positive methods. But if you don't really want to keep the dog, then I doubt you want to spend that money.

I can't blame the other rescue for not wanting to have to take in a dog who may be a problem. But the situation is very hard for you. Do you have a no-kill shelter in your area? I think in your position, if the rescue continues not to respond to you at all, I would strongly consider taking the dog to that shelter.

The thing is, this is a dog who may bite. And if she does bite someone you are in an even worse situation because a dog who is a biter is virtually un-adoptable. No one wants that kind of liability. At this point, you can take her to a no-kill shelter and let them know she has resource guarding issues and needs some good training, but you don't have to tell them she bit anyone. I know it's terrible to take a dog to a shelter, but in this circumstance if you cannot find a rescue who will take her, and you really don't want to keep her, I think it is your best option.
 
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