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Scared of big dogs

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Tabitha, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Tabitha

    Tabitha Premium Member

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    When my fiancé and I rescued Whistle, a pit bull mix, she was skin and bones. She is now at a healthy weight of 65-70 lbs, but when we found her she was only 25. We tried to find where her owners were but no one claimed her. She and Jody got along great and Jacob, my fiancé, and I fell head over heals in love with her. She seemed to get along great with other dogs and was always so excited when we went for walks. So I took them to the dog park on a slow day. She did wonderful! Any dog she met she would play with. Her favorite dogs were the little ones. She liked to topple them over and lick their face. We were smitten.

    So one day we took a trip to Jacob’s family farm for a few days and introduced her to Mia, Jacob’s yellow lab. They got along great the first day and actually slept together that night. The next day Jacob was working on a car in his shop when Whistle jumped on him for attention. Being a busy man hard at work he pushed her off of him and told her no. Well Mia did not take that well. Apparently thinking that Whistle had hurt her person she lunged at her going for the throat. We just barely got them apart before they could really hurt each other, but it was too late for their friendship. That was about 8 months ago and they still hate each other.

    We’ve tried gently reintroducing them but it never works. Last time Mia broke her leash to get to her and that time we had to rush Whistle to the vet because she had a bad bit on her eye! Thank goodness she didn’t loose it. The vet said just a little higher and she would be in surgery.

    They are both happy and healthy now, physically anyway. But Whistle is so traumatized because of this whole ordeal that she’s afraid of all dogs bigger than her. She growls at any big dog she sees and lunges at them if they get too close. Going out on walks is very difficult to say the least. I feel so bad for my poor baby! She’s such a sweet girl but she’s scared and I don’t know what to do to help her! I was thinking about getting her a caged muzzle so she can still breath comfortably but can’t bit other dogs if she got the chance. But I don’t know if that will really help her.

    My baby needs help and so do I.
    E1C283B9-BFFB-4942-BF26-CCE24E938A8A.jpeg
     
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Is she desexed?
     
  3. JacqueZ

    JacqueZ Forums Enthusiast

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    I'm so sorry to hear you guys are going through this. I know just how it is to have your loving friend suddenly flip like that. :( . It's so hard to see them suffering and not know how to communicate with them to help.

    (And whistle looks like the sweetest of souls). A rescue I follow posted this graphic today...it's the basic method we used with mango... although what we did was less formal...

    https://www.facebook.com/forgetmenotanimalrescue/photos/a.647949402004123/1568480499951004/?type=3

    After a year and a half, Mango can now walk past other dogs without breaking out into barks and lunges. So I can attest, that with patience, and time, it does work. I also spent about two months picking her up when we went past other dogs, which I think reassured her that I wasn't going to make her meet them, or let them get her. Not sure if that possible for your girl anymore.

    I wish you the best of luck working through this.
     
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  4. Tabitha

    Tabitha Premium Member

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    Yes she is. We got her fixed in August last year. She about two or three
     
  5. Tabitha

    Tabitha Premium Member

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    Thanks Jacque! I will definitely look into it!
     
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  6. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Some dogs never get over their fear of bigger dogs (my little Tully is an example), but I guess at this stage you'd be happy if she didn't react aggressively? It sounds like Mia also has some issues that need working on so you are definitely right to keep the girls apart. It's so hard when you don't know her background either. Have you ruled out any pain issues?
     
  7. Tabitha

    Tabitha Premium Member

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    Yes. She reacts every time she sees another dog that’s as big or bigger than her. If she feels threatened she’ll start growling or lunging
     
  8. Tabitha

    Tabitha Premium Member

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    Jacque, was it this post that you were talking about?
     

    Attached Files:

  9. JacqueZ

    JacqueZ Forums Enthusiast

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    Yes. That is largely what we ended up doing with Mango, although I hadn't seen that training at the time, so we never used the clicker. As we'd approach I'd tell her to focus, and take out the biscuit so she'd look at me and walk closer. Then I could tighten up the leash so there was less room for her to react, and make sure she was on the opposite side of me from the other dog. When possible on trails I'd also move her off the path into the tree's so she'd have something blocking her, have her sit, hold the biscuit and tell her focus. It seemed hopeless at first, but over time she got better and better, to the point where we were able to introduce her to my sisters dog recently. (which is all of five pounds, but I'll take all the successes I can get when it comes to new friends!)

    Another thing,which maybe helped, was when possible if a dog passed, I'd try to walk far enough behind them where Mango wasn't reacting, but close enough she was still smelling and seeing them in the distance, so she could get used to the presence wherever possible.

    Good luck!
     

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