update on cookie and dog trainer

posted 3 months ago in Pets
Post # 76
Member
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

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misslucy :  sadly, I was thinking the same thing. Your fiance certainly doesn’t want you hurt, but I think he gets a kick out of having a dog that is so possessive of him. His willful blindness is cruel and is most likely fueled by ego.

The gaslighting by him and his parents will not end if Cookie is rehomed. Every day you’ll hear about how great Cookie is doing in FIL’s home, the problem must be you, you should give Cookie another chance, etc.

Even AFTER the bite, your FH didn’t think of his dungeon solution until AFTER you brought up moving out? So, if left unprompted, he would have left the status quo? And he still doesn’t want to tell the vet about the bite?

Maintaining a relationship, your physical safety in the home, and your mental health should not be this hard. Your FH is practically setting you up for another attack. You, the dog lover, is now afraid of labs, even though they don’t have a reputation for aggression. This is CRAZY. I know you see this, and you’re processing all this. 

I don’t think there’s anything left of this relationship worth saving. You’re not safe in your own home. Your partner has abandoned all common sense, and you. He’s broken your faith in him, and he and his parents are just enabling each other by pointing the finger at you. I don’t see the point of an ultimatum. Your FH has crossed too many lines. 

Post # 77
Member
1157 posts
Bumble bee

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kaitlyn8298 :  I haven’t commented before because a lot of people have been weighing in and emotions are high on this issue.  I’m not going to engage in arguing on this thread.  I’m just going to say that I have observed this situation twice–a dog so nervous and territorial that they are willing to bite.  Before I moved out of my crazy parents’home, we did a lot of animal rescue, fostering, training and placement.  We did extensive obedience training and behavioral training.  The first case I saw turn bad was my friend’s dog– a doberman puppy they found in an alley.  I love dobies and have nothing but great things to say about the breed, but this dobie pup was a nervous, skittish pup who was growing fast.  After observing the dog’s behavior, I warned my friend and her mother that they needed to socialize the dog to help him accept other people and other dogs and to get over his over the top territorial and possessive behavior, he was possessive of the mother and was only bonding to her  I explained how to socialize the dog, but the mother said no.  She wanted it to be a guard dog and bond only to them (the family) and otherwise protect the household.  I pointed out that he was showing early signs of aggression and he was defensive against anyone except the mother.  I warned that it was only a matter of time before he bit someone and I told them flat out that it would be the five year old child he bit when the child got between the dog and his mother and the bite would most likely be in the face.  I wish I had been wrong but I was right.  I warned them twice and two months later the dog bit the child in the face.  Luckily the child did not scar noticeably.  The dog?  Submitted to animal control and matched with a behavioral trainer.  She tried many things but the dog had already learned to bite and continued to show aggression.  He was put down four months after he bit the child.  I believe the whole thing could have been prevented with training while the dog was young.  But do I blame the child?  No.  He hadn’t even tugged on the dog.  He was a victim.

The second episode was with a rescue fog my dad took in from a breeder he knew. The dog had been abused by his previous owner and the breeder didn’t want to place the dog with someone who didn’t have training and experience with rehabilitating dogs.  We treated the dog kindly.  He was great with us kids (the breed is known for being very protective of children and never harming them).  He loved my dad. He loved our other dogs and played with them.  But he would not tolerate visitors.  We put him in a separate room before letting anyone in the house.  He wouldn’t tolerate dogs that weren’t ours.  My dad opened the front door to step out once and the dog darted out and attacked the neighbor’s golden retriever that was minding its own business in its own front yard.  My dad ran after him and pulled the rescue dog off the neighbor’s dog quickly but the damage was bad.  The other dog recovered well after receiving many stitches over his face and head, and my dad paid the vet bills, but that was a heads up that the dog was willing to bite and attack.  The rescue dog then took a dislike to my stepmother.  It’s not surprising.  She treated us kids terribly and the breed is protective of children so….But also, she was someone who stood between him and my dad.  He resented her.  One day his paw got caught under a the seat of the car.  My stepmother tried to help get him free.  She got his paw free but got bit for it.  My dad didn’t blame the dog because he was in pain.  I agreed but my brother and I both thought it wouldn’t be the last time he bit someone.  A week later he attacked my stepmother when she walked in the door.  She had no warning and it wasn’t just a bite.  He ripped her arm up pretty badly and she required a lot of stitches.  When my dad ran to her aid, the dog bit him too.  He also required several stitches.  He backed out, shut the door to keep the dog in, and made the difficult decision to call animal control.  The dog was put down.  Yes, the dog was a victim but regardless of the cause, he was dangerous. Once a dog has crossed the  threshold of aggression to the point that they’re willing to bite, then danger is what’s ahead.  The bites will get more severe.  The dog can’t tell you in words.  The bite tells you that the dog has decided what it will not tolerate.  And once it’s gotten over the initial inhibition to bite, then there is nothing holding it back.  The question is not IF it will bite again, but WHEN.

When you posted that the dog nipped at you in your first thread, I knew it was only a matter of time before a more serious bite happened.  But I didn’t post anything because people would’ve reacted with scathing anger that I would predict such a thing.  But the behavior of a nervous, possessive dog is not hard to predict.  Now the dog has communicated very clearly that he will not accept you or tolerate you and he is willing to bite you.  He will bite you again.  It’s not IF, it’s WHEN.  Training will not fix this.  There is no way that anyone can guarantee your safety around this dog and that is not acceptable.  You have a right to be safe where you live.  Oh, and you realize that your little dog is in danger too, right?  People blaming you are missing the point.  Blaming you for getting your own dog is not seeing the forest for the trees.  Of course bringing another dog in would be a problem…. because Cookie had already rejected you.  You were in danger the whole time, it was evident when Cookie first stood over your SO and growled at you.  NOT getting a dog wouldn’t have changed that.

In your shoes I would absolutely move out.  Your SO has chosen the dog over you and is blowing off your safety.  If he can’t find a safe place for the dog to go to re-home him then the only option is to re-home yourself so you can be safe. When Cookie bites again it will be more severe.  He is less inhibited now that he has crossed that line.  I can’t believe it’s gotten this far.  If my SO blew off my safety the way this guy is blowing off yours, I’d be out of there in a heartbeat. If your SO cares about you then he should care about your safety more than he has.  He has also been neglectful of the dog by not getting him treatment before now.  I know you said he had him checked out by the vet but the dog should have been medicated a long time ago.  Now he still needs medication but it is not enough to guarantee your safety.  Cookie is a big dog.  He is capable of causing catastrophic injury to you.

What to do with Cookie?  I don’t know, but it is clear that the two of you cannot share the same space.  Locking him up in the basement is animal abuse and I can’t support that as a solution.  Let your SO keep him safe at home I guess.  It’s not your problem to solve.  But it is your right to be safe.  I would not wait for the next bite.  I would leave now, not just because Cookie is dangerous (he is, it doesn’t matter that it’s not Cookie’s fault.  He’s dangerous and that’s that).  I would leave because your SO shouldn’t be someone who neglects a dog and blows off his girlfriend’s safety.  You deserve better.

Post # 78
Member
1751 posts
Buzzing bee

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gimmepretty :  Thank you for posting this. I never agreed with the blame the OP got with the last post she made, and I certainly don’t agree with it now. Whether or not she should have gotten a puppy or not (and I can certainly see how she hoped it would be a bridge to her since he loved the last puppy) she was always a clearly caring individual who was bothered by her dislike and wanted to do the right thing. I thought her dislike was understandable. 

I do feel awful for Cookie. I want this dog to feel safe and happy. I want the OP to feel safe and happy. I want the OP’s little dog to be safe and happy. I think that the only way it can happen for now is if the OP moves out, at least temporarily, while this is figured out. Everyone knows the basement room isn’t the answer. The answer is for the dog to live with FH parents or ex. I think that if FH would stop downplaying the situation and could express how important this is to his parents, they might reconsider taking him. They of course have the right to refuse but the way his entire family is downplaying the situation makes me think that they haven’t seriously considered it. 

Post # 79
Member
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

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gimmepretty :  absolutely agree with you on this.  

I am also absolutely baffled on why OP would stay in this situation given the lack of care shown by her partner (towards her and the dog). I would issue an ultimatum (Cookie is rehomed) and if it is not agreed to 100% and immediately, I would move out.  I would not consider returning or ever being in Cookies presence again.

Post # 80
Member
500 posts
Busy bee

It does seem like the dog is representative of some sort of weird power struggle between you and your fiancé, or you and the ex 

Post # 81
Member
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2019 - USA

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gimmepretty :  Amazing post

The moment I am bitten by any dog is the moment I never go near that dog again, period. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. There are so many different reasons why dogs end up behaving aggressively, however by the time they bite it seems that it is often too late to do much about it. Not impossible but…a dog who has bitten is a liability and I don’t understand how your Fiance can’t see that.. 

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wonderwedding :  You know, I kind of had that thought too about the fiance and his family, like somehow if Cookie behaves aggressively toward someone, it’s because it’s THEIR fault and thus aren’t deserving of being part of the family “pack”. When really, they are intentionally cheating Cookie out of the opportunity to have had some intensive behavioral training from the first sign of these problems so he would have never had these issues with the OP (or any other strangers) from the moment they were introduced. Any dog’s behavioral issues ALWAYS say more about the owner than about the dog. It is clear that OP’s fiance would rather keep Cookie and give himself accolades on being the “favorite” while his better half is getting broken bones. 

Post # 82
Member
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

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missmollybee :  all of THIS

OP, I think Cookie liked his ex a lot better. She probably took much better care of him, as evidenced by FH’s obvious neglect, and the fact that Cookie’s behavioral issues began after the breakup. They probably had a huge fight about whether to separate the dogs. In FH’s mind, getting to keep Cookie was a “win”. If he gives Cookie to his ex, he “loses.” This is why when you asked if rehoming with the ex was an option, his knee jerk reaction was, “Cookie was MY dog first.” Not, “She won’t want him back now,” or “Cookie needs me,” or “Cookie is my responsibility,” or even the white lie of, “I don’t have her contact info anymore.”

Whether Cookie goes or you go, that would be a big blow to FH’s masculinity, in his twisted mind. He’d be the loser who couldn’t protect his future wife from a dog. His parents don’t want him to be such a “loser”. He doesn’t want his ex to know he’s a “loser.” That’s why FH and his parents are ganging up on you. If you’re the loser who just didn’t try hard enough, then FH can’t be the loser.

I say this not to gossip or to beat my point to death. There was something off about the extent of your FH’s delusions, but I could not quite articulate it. I hope this helps you find the truth and your decision faster, before you or your boxer get hurt even more. Once you are out of the situation, I am certain you will realize there were many more red flags about your FH that you just had not seen at the time. 

Post # 83
Member
350 posts
Helper bee

I know the OP feels terrible about the situation, so I wanted to share this:

I showed my husband this thread and he said “OP has the patience of a saint, to be honest.”

Post # 84
Member
562 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2021 - City, State

I really think you need to sit him down and say “It is either the dog or me” you have to remain safe and you are not safe. I am also concerned for your boxer too and he deserves to be in a stable and safe environment too (Dogs sense a lot more than you think).

I am glad a lot of animal trainers said their piece. I have experience in behavior analysis and as much as the great animal trainer Karen Pryor says “Don’t shoot the dog” as a title of her book you have to watch out for herself and early intervention is key. Due to his age and your fiance not intervening when it was a little problem and allowing it to escalate, it is beyond the point of no return.

If he treats his dog like that, how will he treat your future children if they have behavioral problems? I have seen a lot of parents back when I did ABA like him that ignore their child’s behavioral problems or not take them seriously and as they grow, they become a lot more dangerous and harder to manage. Would you want the same thing to happen with your kids?

I really think for your safety you should consider leaving.

Post # 85
Member
11349 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

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missmollybee :  

Any dog’s behavioral issues ALWAYS say more about the owner than about the dog. 

Not necessarily.  DNA has a *lot* to do with canine behavior.  Socialization and good training are mandatory, *but*, the dog’s genetics set the parameters.

Why can’t you teach a Bichon Frise to be a guard dog?  Genetics.

Certain breeds have more natural aggression than others and need more expert handling, again, it’s the DNA.

Then there are dogs who are just plain crazy.  They can’t read the environment correctly.  They respond with fear aggression to non threatening stimuli.  It’s very easy to see by their body language and vocalizations.  There are many different types of aggression.

Over 30 years, I have also seen many dogs, again, because of their inherited temperament, could be locked in closets for their first six months and come out loving all of humanity.

Too many people insist it’s all about how the dogs are handled which is a dangerous posture.  Some aggressive dogs just cannot be rehabilitated.  It takes an expert to identify them

This is a *great* argument against reckless breeding.  This is how these kinds of genetic nightmares are produced.  The only goal any breeder should have when putting two dogs together is to improve the breed.  And she had better be able to articulate, in detail, how these dogs and their ancestors can do that.

Post # 86
Member
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2019 - USA

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sassy411 :  I totally agree with the genetics thing, this is a really great point. I was talking more about a dog who has *unaddressed* behavioral issues, because if that is neglected then I think it absolutely says more about the owner. 

Post # 87
Member
1234 posts
Bumble bee

This is an excellent post, OP you should show your Fiance this thread and this post especially. 

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gimmepretty :  

But not before you first move out and give him an ultimatum about the dog. But honestly, I truly feel like something is fundamentally wrong with your FI’s personality/ values/ character enough that I would question the relationship as a whole including his ability to be responsible for any kind of life including a baby. 

It’s not about the dog, it’s him. He’s got a problem. Right now you’re living in fear and have no time or energy to ponder about your FI’s behaviour, it’s fight or flight mode for you as much as it is for the dog. But once you remove yourself from this environment and situation, including your relationship, looking from the outside in I think you’ll find yourself astounded you stayed for so long and realise in no time that your FI’s attitude and behaviour towards you is not acceptable.

Removing the dog situation, what else could happen in the future and how will he deal with it? Life is long and there WILL be another situation. The situation will be diffferent but your Fiance will remain the same. It’ll be the same problem manifested in a different way. Before you know it you might be living in fear or anxiety over something else 5 years later, again because of you FI’s lack of care and irresponsible attitude and behaviour towards those around him. 

I really hope you remove yourself from the situation and carefully rethink tying yourself legally to this man and much less procreate with him after which point you’re tied to him for life regardless of marriage. Think of your future children, how much pain you could be creating for another little human being their whole life (much like Cookie but manifesting in a different way) if you make this guy their father. Not talking about abuse but there is lot of bad parenting attitude and behaviour one can adopt that will ruin a child’s life and your Fiance is definitely demonstrating it.

 

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