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Old 08-17-2014, 06:13 PM
straw straw is offline
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Default Rehoming a dog with a bite history?

I have been working with a client who is seeing severe resource guarding in their puppy. It started at 12 weeks of age (pup is almost 5 months now). The puppy has now bitten badly enough to cause puncture wounds - twice.

With three young kids in the house and SO many triggers (she guards shoes, clods of grass, furniture, doorways, sometimes presents guarding behavior and the owner has no idea what or where the trigger is) it's not safe for her to stay in that situation.

The owner wants to try rehoming before considering euthanasia. With full disclosure about the dog's behavior of course.

Without getting into the ethics of this, (or your opinion on why or if this dog should/shouldn't be rehomed) does anyone have any recommendations on the how/where of advertising a dog like this? She is already reaching out to rescues to see if they will courtesy post, and is understandably hesitant to use craigslist/kijiji/public flyers.

All I'm looking for is ideas for resources.

Last edited by straw; 08-17-2014 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:22 PM
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I would be kind of nervous putting that dog in any home. I feel that there is too high of a chance that someone who didn't take the risk seriously, didn't truthfully assess their situation or wanted the dog for the wrong reasons would end up with the dog.

I'm not saying that the right home isn't out there. I just think that the risk is higher than the chance of finding the perfect home.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:22 PM
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What kind of dog is it? Rescues are good. Perhaps as a trainer, forwarding the information about the dog to your own contacts could help too. Someone might know someone looking for the right project.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:29 PM
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Farm mutt. Golden/collie/lab/shepherd? She'll probably end up a 50-60lb dog.

Thanks Crazed. I'm going through my brain and putting it out there.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:57 PM
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If I could home it with someone I absolutely knew had 100% capability and the right expectations for such a dog, I'd could rehome it. If not, make the tough decision if you can't keep this dog safe from itself and others. Don't pass it on to someone else thinking you're doing the dog a favor.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
If I could home it with someone I absolutely knew had 100% capability and the right expectations for such a dog, I'd could rehome it. If not, make the tough decision if you can't keep this dog safe from itself and others. Don't pass it on to someone else thinking you're doing the dog a favor.
This hits the nail on the head.

I might approach a behaviourist or accomplished trainer and see if they can offer a bit of support in rehoming, or perhaps even taking the dog on as a project.

5 months, severe resource guarding... this suggests to me that this dog isn't quite right in the head.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:35 PM
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I know you don't want to get into the ethics part of this...but the legal fallout should be considered.

Has the dog bitten badly enough there had to be professional medical treatment given? Has the dog needed to be quarantined in the home as ordered by the police or animal control? Medical professionals, by law, must report dog bites to the police/animal control. If yes, these people need to think long and hard about rehoming if there is a paper trail on this dog biting.

Nothing is 100% certain when managing a dog like this...the risk of a bite to someone is always there. Mistakes can and do happen. If the dog does bite someone and it ends up being a lawsuit...it could come back to the previous owners and they could be named in the legal matters too. There is a reason rescues will not adopt out dogs with known bite histories...it's to protect themselves legally.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:02 PM
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The reason I don't want to get into ethics is because there's no point. This is not my dog. I am not legally or morally responsible for her. I am not trying to rehome her, the owner is. At the end of the day, I have no control over what happens to this puppy, so I'm saving myself the stress and writing her off as 'not my problem'. I'm just reaching out to see if anyone else had ideas on how and where to advertise her, that I maybe hadn't considered.

All of your (collective) input has been thoughtful and helpful, and has already been brought to the table and explained to the owner. I appreciate it all the same.

My job is not to convince my client to make the 'right' decision. I laid her options out on the table, explained the repercussions of each, and told her she'd have my support. My work obligation stops there.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
make the tough decision if you can't keep this dog safe from itself and others. Don't pass it on to someone else thinking you're doing the dog a favor.
Personally, I think you might be smart to stop giving her input about how to rehome this dog...because if there's a lawsuit, they might come back and say that you were the one who gave her "X" idea how to find the new dog a home. I would stick with the responsible answers of "keep the dog and manage it very carefully with the help of a qualified behaviorist" or "euthanize the dog humanely."

That's the funny thing about being sued...people grasp at all sorts of straws to prove they aren't at fault.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
Personally, I think you might be smart to stop giving her input about how to rehome this dog...because if there's a lawsuit, they might come back and say that you were the one who gave her "X" idea how to find the new dog a home. I would stick with the responsible answers of "keep the dog and manage it very carefully with the help of a qualified behaviorist" or "euthanize the dog humanely."

That's the funny thing about being sued...people grasp at all sorts of straws to prove they aren't at fault.
Totally agree with this statement! If it does some how go to a lawsuit it will most likely be a 'she told me to do this to rehome and we would be safe'. If the next person's safety isn't important to you at least consider your wallet.
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