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Old 09-26-2011, 09:13 AM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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Default Bamm growling and lunging at people

I don't know how many of you were a part of this forum when I first got Bamm, but those that were may remember some of the stuff we were struggling with at that time. He was underweight for one thing. He had really bad DR especially onleash. He also kept freaking out with certain people, primarily men. He went after one of my male roommate's a few times and it was completely unprovoked.

I did a ton of socializing with him and trying to get him used to new people. He improved a ton and the past couple years we haven't had any issues with him going after people save a few incidents. Those few incidents he was onleash so he wasn't able to actually reach the person he would try to go after but he would lunge at them on the leash and growl. I chalked a lot of it up to his past and lack of socialization in his original home especially since he improved so much with me working with him on it.

Now I'm not so sure that's the case and wondering if there might be something more medical behind the way he sometimes acts? He has always been a bit sketch since the day I brought him home. He is great with me but with other people he can be fine one minute and the next minute he is giving whale eye and his whole body freezes up. I know Stef has mentioned being wary of him before though she does like him. Cristy is the only other Chazzer who really knows Bamm more and I'm not sure if she has ever felt uncomfortable around him or not? He is a great dog at home but his unpredictableness bothers me because he'll react fine with a situation but the next time freak about it and vice versa.

For the most part its been easy enough for me to manage and like I said I've always worked with him on it thinking its more of a behavior related issue than anything.

Recently he has gotten worse. I've noticed the past two weeks when I walk him he freaks out at every person he sees. A kid came walking up to us really fast last night and I pulled my dogs off to the side but Bamm lunged and tried to bite the kid as the kid walked past us. I can't have him trying to bite people and I may have to put a muzzle on him during walks until I get him to a vet.

My boss did a behavior evaluation on him and she thinks I should definitely have a thyroid panel done on him. He was fine when he met her. But.. she walked out of the room and when she came back he focused real hard on her and growled. I'm worried about my dog. I don't trust him not to hurt someone right now. He has been totally fine with me and Josh. He has also been fine with my sisters.

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Old 09-26-2011, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by skittledoo View Post
He was fine when he met her. But.. she walked out of the room and when she came back he focused real hard on her and growled. I'm worried about my dog.
This part sounds like something I could have written about Tipper. She doesn't lunge or try to bite (she's more of the run and hide type) but I am constantly worried it's going to evolve into that. And she does the same thing with people. The other day my brother took her into the backyard to play ball and she fetched twice and then hid under a chair and wouldn't come out. My brother LIVED with us for two months - she obviously knows him and spent a considerable amount of time with him. And she will do ANYTHING for fetch. It was weird.

Sorry to vent in your thread - I was originally just going to second a thyroid check and say I know where you're coming from. We ran a thyroid panel on Tipper - the full screening, plus a second more intensive one and it came back normal. Just be prepared for that possibility - I'm considering getting a MRI done for Tipper but I can't justify it quite yet.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:49 AM
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I have no advice, but (((((hugs))))) and ((((((vibes))))) that everything will be okay with your Flintstone dog! If it is something medical, maybe once you find out WHAT it is, some kind of treatment will give him a complete turnaround and he'll lose his aggressiveness altogether. Please keep us updated!
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:52 AM
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Aww poor Bamm. Definitely get that thyroid checked. And I would work on his reactivity to people like you worked on his reactivity to dogs. I don't think I would have people approach and give treats at this point, I would just do what I could to have a dog who behaved on a leash, so that he can be controllable.

I never felt uncomfortable around Bamm, except for when he used to get on the couch with me and stand over me with his face in my face. That never felt like a friendly gesture, almost more like a challenge, in a way. But I would just put my hand on his chest and gently but firmly push him away while saying "out of my face!" Yeah Bamm was never like Middie who I could wrestle and pick up and do whatever to, but I never felt unsafe around him. And he seemed to like Brandy when we came over.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:04 AM
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Ya he is not even allowed on the couch anymore partly for that reason. He's done that to me a few times. It's just so weird because a lot of the time he is his happy go lucky self and then all of a sudden he just freaks out. He definitely seemed fine with Brandy. But... He seems better with people here in the house. It's moreso when we are somewhere else that he tends to react more aggressively.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:37 AM
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Is there any heeler in him lol?!

Blitz will be like this(just this bark and lunge on leash that weirds people out) when we take him out,or even in the car going past people, for the first five minutes or so and then he is fine. He is just so raring to go he needs to work it out a bit in his head. Personally I would never let him around kids,not so much because he would bite but because he would bowl them over and trample them. I do see this with some other herding breeds,looks like your boy may have some border collie? Not sure what you think he may be... I know my corgi is the same way where she gets overwhelmed and barks and barks and starts herding the other dogs

Some dogs are just not social butterflies though. Taking them out in public to much may do nothing but produce anxiety making it worse,they snap mentally. You make just need to find a comfortable balance where he can go on walks and behave but not take him into places like petsmart that are to busy for him. I have seen people do that with dogs that just have meltdowns.

They also think my home,my couch when someone else comes over. Floor only if this is what he is thinking now.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:39 PM
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I'm sure I'll be the unpopular opinion here, but if you get him seen by the vet and find there's nothing medically wrong, I would PTS. I would never own a dog like that.. major liability and I would never have a dog I couldn't trust. What if he had bitten the kid?

If you won't do that, then I certainly wouldn't be taking him out in public. If he's better in the house, leave him there.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:28 PM
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I would go with thryoid, but second to that it could be a loss of hearing or eyesight thing. I knew a dog who would, seemingly randomly, react similarly. His eyesight was going and so the stress of meeting new people (that he was never very good with) plus the stress of not being able to see them clearly made him react the way he did.

Until then, I'd use a muzzle coupled with a natural calming aid. Try Proquiet Amazon.com: ProQuiet Calming Supplement for Cats and Dogs, 60 Chewable Tablets: Everything Else it has that hormone found in turkey that makes you relaxed and kind of sleepy (I mean, it not as strong as a sedative, but it's still pretty good) and that helped Duncan. (I gave it an hour before walks)
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:31 PM
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Kady, you are not alone in your opinion. It absolutely kills me to think about the idea of putting him to sleep. It really does. This dog is my heart dog. People know how crazy I am about this dog. I love him so much. Josh and I have discussed the PTS option though if medically he turns up fine and if the behaviorist route doesn't work. Right now I don't trust this dog. I trust him with me, but I don't trust him 100% with anyone else. Most of the time he is totally fine. But... It only takes that one moment for him to decide he is going to freak out and its unpredictable when that moment will be since he doesn't always show the warning signs that he is going to cross his threshold.

What happens when Josh and I have a baby? That's something we have been discussing and while we aren't exactly trying right now we haven't been exactly preventing either. Can I trust him with a baby even under supervision? Honestly right now there's absolutely no way I could.

We live in an apartment so I have to walk him out around the apartment building so he gets his exercise and potty time. We don't have a yard we can just let him out in. Right now I've been trying to make our walks shorter and play in the apartment and do a lot of training to exercise him physically and mentally while indoors.

My boss happens to also agree with you and she trains dogs for a living. Upon meeting with Bamm she determined that he is very smart but something is definitely off about him. He gets so focused on something and nothing you do can pull his focus away. During a walk if he locks focus onto a dog or person I have to practically drag him the rest of the walk. He will continue walking but will not look away from whatever has his attention.

As far as breed. I know he is half border collie. The rest is a mystery but we think sheltie and akita.

I got this dog hoping I could fix him and I have done a lot with him. He has made a ton of improvements and he is definitely not the same dog I brought home. Still.... It's like he's backslidden or something. It really makes me feel like I've completely failed him since he is doing this lunging at people thing again.

Anyways. I know he is not rehomeable. He is way too much of a liability to rehome. If there's nothing medically wrong and if its something we cannot fix with a behaviorist involved than pts will definitely be something I need to further consider even though I really hope it doesn't come down to that.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kady05 View Post
If you won't do that, then I certainly wouldn't be taking him out in public. If he's better in the house, leave him there.
I think a basket muzzle would be a good compromise. Also like Alicia said - is it possible his eyesight is going?
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