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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Shelter Chronicles: Dogs Bite!

Wow, this has been a pretty frustrating week! We've had several returns at the shelter and many were due to the mishandling of the dog. Let's face it, most times when a dog bites it is in reaction to something going on that triggers this response. Rarely do dogs bite for no reason!

For example, even the most even tempered dog will protect himself. If your dog gets put in a position where he feels he need to protect himself, either from a person or another dog, it's possible he'll bite.

There are many reasons dogs bite such as fear, pain, food guarding to name a few. Many times a bite can be avoided by learning to read your dog's body language and to avoid situations that could cause the dog to be put in a compromising position.

One of the returns was a dog who was known to all the volunteers as a very friendly and easy to handle dog. He was returned because he was brought to a house where there was a dog and rather than introducing the dogs on neutral territory first, they just brought him inside the house. Not surprisingly this caused a fight between the dogs which the person tried to break up. Gee, guess who lost that battle? The person was bitten and that was that. The dog is back at the shelter. So sad.

This incident could've been prevented with some common sense on the owner's part. Whenever possible, dogs should be properly introduced on neutral territory. They should not meet head on, but rather, have them smell each other's hind quarter using the 3 second rule. If that goes well, let the dogs meet again, but not head on. Always approach from a side angle. If things are going smoothly, go for a walk together!

Even though dogs don't come with a handbook, there are so many good books that can teach a new owner everything they need to know to deal with these kinds of situations. The best place to look for a good book on dogs is www.dogwise.com. They have every dog book available and also make recommendations.

Get with it people and stop assuming that dogs are people. They are not!!!

Now, on to our feature presentation...

TIGGER * 3 years old * Pitt Bull * Large

What a goofy gus Tigger is! He is really sweet and frisky, which is fun. However, he is super strong so probably not a good choice for a home with very little kids. He's fine with bigger kids though and actually grew up with them. He's okay with some dogs and cats but again, if he is introduced properly. Mostly, he needs a good leader and someone willing to learn and train with Tigger. He already knows a few tricks and would like to learn more!

ICE * Catahoula Leopard Dog Mix * 2.5 years old * Medium

Ice is a really sweety. She has piercing blue eyes and a adorable face. Her disposition is very good. She's very responsive to verbal corrections. She even knows "sit." Ice just got spayed so she's ready to go home right away. We don't know too much about her, but she appears to be friendly with other dogs (if properly introduced!) and not reactive. She seems like she would be a fine family dog. This picture doesn't do her any justice. She's really gorgeous in person!

JAKE * Rottweiler * 4 years old * Large

I love Rotties! Jake is a beautiful Rottie boy. He is so cute, he just kills me!! This boy is very good even though he was marked as not good with other dogs. The trainer who volunteers at the shelter has tested him and he's done well with dogs his size. However, nothing should be taken for granted since he was in expert hands when he was introduced. He hasn't shown any aggression though and that is important. The trainer feels he is an excellent dog with a good temperament. So, if you are looking for a beautiful Rottie that you are willing to train him, he's looking for a home!

All these above dogs are available now at the West LA Shelter! www.laanimalservices.com

1 comment:

  1. I hate people who assume that their new dog will like their old animal, then return them. YEESH!


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