15 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. I volunteer for a rescue group and I received a msg on FB from someone looking for advice. I am seeking others to help advise this man, here is his problem:

    Looking for some advice/help. We took in a 4 year old Dudley Lab about two months ago from a guy who wasn’t able to keep him. He is a great dog: beautiful,smart, obedient, playful, loving – but he can be aggressive. He has not actually hurt anyone but about a half dozen times he has snapped at someone seemingly unprovoked – a couple of times at little kids. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern of events that set him off. We need to figure out how to control this or find someone who can take him who can spend the time with him it will take to cure him of it. Shelters are not an option and we can’t bring ourselves to consider putting him down. We are his third owner and we fear he was mistreated in home #1. Owner #2 never saw any signs of aggression. Any feedback would be welcome.

    1. In addition to the tests Jennifer mentions, I would also have the vet check for any other pain points or possible ailments. Keep a journal for time of day – some illnesses or ailments are affected by that, and there may actually be a pattern but it’s very hard to see and only evident after documentation is taken. I’ve heard that truly random events without cause like that are very uncommon/rare, so I hope that you are able to figure out the trigger. Maybe also try to capture the behavior so you can share a video for input, you can use a webcam/software to capture ongoing footage which would help considering how unpredictable it is (obviously, not with children – I wouldn’t let the lab around kids until you figure out and resolve this). Good luck!

  2. I am not familiar with the genetic health problems in Labs but in my breed it is common to have low thyroid and eye problems and this is what I test for whenever a dog is aggressive. Is the dog neutered? I had never heard of a Dudley Lab until now.

    1. Second the medical check, especially the hypothyroidism (get the full five panel run by HemoPet – you may have to send it out, heaven knows I do, but I don’t trust Michigan’s thyroid results after a bad experience with them – google HemoPet diagnostics, you want the T5). Vets all too often overlook the possibility for hypothyroidism in dogs that are young and look apparently healthy (not fat, shiny coat, etc.), so you may have to push for it, but DO PUSH. It can make a HUGE difference in a dog to get it diagnosed early and it’s cheap to treat. And don’t let the vet tell you that the dog is too young – I know a Golden with full blown hypothyroidism at age 2.

      Behavioral issues here always, always, always get thoroughly pursued medically before anything else.

      1. I had a dog who was only 1 year old and he had low thyroid. You must have a complete thyroid test done not just the t4 test. Labs can have hip dysplasia and other joint problems, eye problems, and do not forget ear infections. Have a complete vet check done.

  3. After the medical tests have been done, contact a trainer/behaviorist in your area. This is not something to play around with. You might also look at Kayce Cover’s website – http://www.synalia.com with particular attention to her perception modification techniques. Kayce can give you references to a certified trainer if there is one in your area. Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed program may also help. You can get her books through Dogwise or Amazon and there may be a trainer near you familiar with her stuff.

  4. Thank you all for your input! I can’t believe I didn’t immediately think of getting blood work done since I’ve done tons of reading about aggression in dogs where there was none before being linked to a medical issue. I’ve passed on all of your advice and will keep everyone posted as to what happens.

  5. The Animal Advocates of Carroll Co., MD could use some help getting votes to win some money that will be used to spay and neuter cats in our county. Here is the info, if anyone can vote, and/or share it with cat lovers who will. Thanks so much!
    You Can Help the Animal Advocates of Carroll Co. Win!!
    When they win the animals win, too!
    The Animal Advocates of Carroll Co., MD, Inc. has been nominated for a chance to win $5,000 to be used to spay & neuter Carroll Co. cats, but they need YOUR HELP.
    You can help by voting, online. Please visit this website, and register to vote-
    From Jan7th -Jan. 24th, you can vote once per day, per email address.
    Remember to vote for Animal Advocates of Carroll Co./Spay & Neuter Carroll Co. Cats.
    Please ask your family & friends to vote, too.

  6. My parents are in their 70’s. They recently moved from a house with a fenced yard to a house with no yard.

    Their dog, named Broski, is an intact male husky (we have a neuter appointment the 14th) that’s just turned 2 years old. He’s not trained at all, and they can barely walk him because he is so strong. Actually I can barely walk him unless he’s on a special anti-pull harness as he tends to pull a LOT and I don’t have much experience with dogs. As a result of under-walking him when they first moved in, he’s started doing his business in the house and now my folks are thinking of re-homing him.

    I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think his issues could be resolved and he could be house trained properly.

    On the other hand, I think they are ill suited to have such a high maintenance dog. From what I understand, dogs like Broski require a lot more exercise than my parents will ever give him (at least 2 hrs of full running a day is what I heard). They barely manage to take him out on a walk twice daily and my husband and I find ourselves taking up the slack for them for the dogs sake.

    Should I encourage them to find a more active home for him or encourage them to keep him and work through his potty problems?

    1. In my opinion, a more active home would be much better for this boy. If they want a dog, there are many much calmer, lower maintenance dogs out there (and I would consider an older dog, too, considering their ages). I would vote for rehoming and then finding a dog that better fits their needs, lifestyle and abilities.
      Thanks to you and your husband for stepping in, too.

  7. I may be at the wrong thread but would like to send an urgent message concerning the Manchester Tn animal control facility. ANIMALS ARE BEING MISTREATED….., Killed as adopters and volunteers are locked out of building…photos NOT permitted to share for possible rehoming…poor record keeping…missing dogs ….not allowing volunteers to socialize with dogs…..forbidding blankets for cold concrete floor…wet-shivering puppies…oh my God…HELP US !!!

      1. There will be a march at City Hall in Manchester ,TN to call attention to the horrible conditions at the Coffee County pound….Time is at noon….Sponsored by the WATCHDOGS!!

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