Tuesday 30 January 2018

Fear or Aggression?

When dogs are collected or brought here many show initial signs of aggression, whether it be full on attack mode, or low level growling. This is when I have to take the time to get to know the dog, and understand if the behavior is fear, or straight forward aggression. Every dog gets a chance, and many will work through the initial stages, and go on to became amazing family dogs.

Fear in dogs is so common, and they display their fear in many different ways. some signs are insignificant and others extreme. Dogs can be afraid of everything in the world, men, woman, noises, other dogs, cars, you name it some are simply terrified. Some dogs that come here you cannot even get near for a while, they either run away, or hide in the corner peeing themselves.

All dogs react in four clear ways:

FLIGHT- this is where they want to escape, they run, and run, trying to find an exit point, and will go through you to escape. The dog wants to get as far way from you, and the situation regardless of how that happens.

FREEZING- Many dogs will freeze on the spot, refusing to move, and hoping that you go away. No matter what you do they become a solid object.

FIDGETING- Some dogs fidget, they sniff, lick, play with toys, then move on to something else, then back to the first thing.

FIGHT- This is the hardest one to deal with when the dog comes at you, teeth showing, growling or barking. Most of the time the dog is simply scared, and warning you to get out of the way with no intention of actually attacking. However, there is the odd dog that will bite, and will attack no matter what, which sadly never ends well.

When you drop your dog off to the pound they will be terrified, and after a few days in the busiest, noisiest place they have ever experienced they will be on edge. This is when we step in and will often get bitten, or peed on due to the fear these dogs are experiencing. Sadly some are terrified to the point they want to kill the people who are actually trying to help.

The dog in the video was collected from the pound on Sunday. She is tiny, yet took three of us to get her in the car without being bitten. It then took another 35 minutes to get her out, all the time she was trying to kill us. She is so scared, and all I hope is that she realizes that I am here to help. Time will tell....

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