(Closed) Problems w/ dog I adopted 2 weeks ago, not sure what to do.

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
1170 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

No really good advice, but maybe hire your own trainer to do an unbiased evaluation in him?

Post # 3
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Can you hire an in home pet trainer? They could work with you one on one in your environment with the behavioral problems you’re concerned with and give suggestions. 

Post # 4
1117 posts
Bumble bee

I stand firmly in the camp that once you get a pet, it’s yours. It sounds like the dog just needs some training. Can you afford a trainer? If not, you can go online to leerburg.com–they have affordable training videos you can purchase. Good luck! 

Post # 5
9679 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

This breaks my heart for you and the dog 🙁 I think PPs have the best advice – try to get a trainer to come to you so you don’t risk exposing him to smaller dogs at group training sessions. See what the trainer has to say during his evaluation and go from there. I usually feel strongly about people keeping their commitments, but I feel as though the shelter didn’t give you the complete info on the dog, and his aggressive behavior could bite you in the ass down the line both literally and figuratively. 

I’d also be really concerned if you plan on having children, or have small children around.

Post # 6
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Have you tried a gentle leader? They can really help with the pulling. It sounds like professional training is also a must. Only 2 weeks in, he is still adjusting and settling in. I hope you will stick it out and give it a chance. That said, it’s quite possible that he may not be great with cats- a lot of dogs aren’t. As long as you don’t have cats, this shouldn’t be an issue. I would also recommend staying away from the dog park for the time being at least. I used to love dog parks but I avoid them like the plague now. I’ve seen way too many fights there involving otherwise “good” dogs. 

Post # 7
5954 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

Petals2002:  I have a dog that wants to eat people, too. The difference is he only weighs 20 lbs. He has made life for us very difficult. Did you consider a trainer or behavioralist?? I would also get a gentle leader for him. It comes with a DVD so you MUST watch it to put it on just right. You need to hold it up to his nose with treats on the other side so he gets used to it. He won’t like it at first, but IT WORKS. You could probably walk him with your pinkie finger then. Try working with him for a while. Basic obedience skills and the Humane Society usually has classes as well.

Post # 8
4943 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I volunteer at an animal shelter, and I’d say more times than not, dogs (regardless of their size) are prey driven, unless they’ve grown up with other animals (cats, ferrets, rabbits, etc.). But as far as the behavior, why don’t you try with your own trainer, or even having the shelter’s trainer come to your house. Work on some of the behavior issues and then see how that works out before throwing in the towel. Most shelters I’ve worked with will allow their behavior staff to work with animals adopted from them. He’s in a different environment than he was at the shelter, perhaps that might have something to do with it (he feels the need to protect his pack/his home whereas at the shelter, this wasn’t an issue). Also, try using a gentle leader (aka face harness), an EZ Walk Harness or a weiss walkie when taking him out on a leash. Also, is he stimulated at home  ie is he exercised, is his brain stimulated (treat puzzles, enrichment activities, etc.)? And, I wouldn’t necessarily blame the shelter – many times an animal’s behavior is different outside of that environment, and also the shelter might not know of all of these things if the animal wasn’t an owner surrender where the former owner could tell them and give them a behavioral history. Worth a try! Good luck!

Post # 9
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

FutureDrAtkins:  I do agree that the aggression towards the OPs aunt is a concern. 

Post # 10
6272 posts
Bee Keeper

Does the centre you adopted him from have a trainer behaviourist to help you and carry on training with you? 

Post # 11
668 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I dont have any advice but I have had two seperate friends who adopted dogs, and I dont want to say the shelter straight up lied about the dogs personality. But in both cases the dogs were incredibly agressive once the were home, even though on each dogs profile they said they were friendly to humans and animals. One friend eventually reached back out to the dalmation rescue after the dog bit her boyfriend and her on two seperate occasions both causing them to get stitches. It was pretty bad. 


The agression towards your aunt is a huge red flag. I would be careful. 





Post # 12
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

How old is he?

My pits were TERRIBLE to walk during puppyhood (<1.5yrs) but now they’re like totally different animals. If they had him on a treadmill he just needs to be trained and get used to a leash. If you google “pulling on a leash” with the breed there are awesome suggestions. These dogs are just notorious for that.

The aggression is an issue, but since he’s from a shelter there’s a very good chance he hasn’t been socialized. Depending on his age this could be easier or harder to break, but still not impossible. It just involves patience. One of my dogs is very aggressive with ONE specific dog, but otherwise is a gentle giant and if anything is afraid of a lot.

I suggest hiring a trainer, but if you can’t afford that I second everyone else’s suggestion of looking online and investing in training treats.

Post # 14
1980 posts
Buzzing bee

Getting a well-trained, obediant, socialized, older dog (that’s okay with cats) from a shelter is a tall order. Most of this just sounds like something a professional trainer can handle.

And while I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t necessarily get too hung up on his reaction to your aunt. It appears that he was protecting your home. It may just depend on the person, if otherwise he’s good with meeting people. Obviously you don’t want to risk him attacking, but it takes a lot for a dog to actually attack, and there are plenty of nonverbal signs you can observe (I’d read up on dogs’ body language, such as whale eye, lip licking, etc.). It could be solved if you do something like keep a jar of treats by the front door and have new people slowly be introduced and give him a treat to earn his trust.

Not all shelters are super reputable, and otherwise oftentimes it comes down to the fact that they just don’t have the resources to really evaluate a dog in every situation. You’ve only had him a short period of time, and I think there could be hope if you get a good trainer and work with him a bit.

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