For 40+ years we've helped over 300,000 dog trainers just like you!

Learn more about Leerburg

$6.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Learn more
Ask Cindy Our Newsletter Free Catalog
Leerburg » Leerburg Q&A » Answered


Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3322 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Rescue Dogs

Q. The dog I've adoped from the shelter has killed 8 of my neighbor's rabbits, destroyed thousands of dollars in landscaping, and is now attacking me. What should I do?
Hello.
While searching the internet for "2 weeks after Neuter. my black lab is attacking me," I found your website and information on why dogs attack.

I called one of your staff members today and told her my plight, she didn't know the answer so she guided me to your email address.

Of all the websites I've searched, and all the phone calls I've made, some how, I've been lured to your site.

Anyway, here is my story:

2 weeks ago, I went to the local humane Society to find a dog. I found a black lab/Shepard mix, with no real information only that he is 2 years old, has his shots, is an "escape artist" needs a large yard and needs to be neutered and that he was found wondering the local streets and that no one has come to claim him in 1 month of his stay.

OK, not much info, but he's beautiful, I take him out of his pen, visit with him each day for a few hours, I love him, ready to sign the papers.

Murphy is what we name him, put it on his tag on his collar and begin to purchase $500.00 worth of food and supplies. My yard is a few acres of beautiful botanical like gardens, koi ponds, etc. Already he's found to be basically Trick trained, he can "Sit" "give Paw" "lay down" and "roll over" on command, clearly someone trick trained this dog, well.
Well, I realize after 1 day of ownership, that he has killed one of the neighbor rabbits... How you ask? He jumped the mutual fence and got to the rabbit cage.

The next weekend, we built a stronger and taller fence.

1 week in, he's destroyed $5,000.00 worth of landscaping, killed Koi and 8 more rabbits, has began to run loose into neighbors yards.

2 weeks in, he's destroyed a total of $10,000.00 of prize roses, trees, landscaping and has taken down one of the fences. Not too mention, he's now attacking me whenever I go to try and take him for a walk, or bring him his food, or toss about a toy. He lunges at my clothing, tugs at my flesh and then clamps down on my wrists to the point of drawing blood.

I can't punish a dog, but last night, I held him down and smacked his butt and said "NO!", he lunged up and bit me in the face, teeth showing....

Needless to say, everyone around me is begging me to take him back to the pound. Have I already bonded with him, after only 2 weeks? Well kind of. But, this dog needs to be "Put Down!" as my neighbor of the dead rabbits, puts it.

Ed,
I'm at a loss, Do I keep him, and purchase expensive training with a trainer, let him do what he wants to my property, risk loosing a body part when I want to give him love, or take him back to the humane society and tell them... This is no Black Lab/Shepard Mix, more like Black Lab Pit bull or worse....

[Sorry for the detailed story... ]

Rick

A. The problem is that this dog isn't being shown any leadership whatsoever. Taking a known escape artist straight from a shelter and turning him loose in a big yard is basically giving him permission to do what he pleases. Dogs chase and kill small animals, it's a genetic thing and they need to be taught what the rules are. If you can't supervise the dog, he should be in a secure escape proof kennel or crate. When he's with you he should be on a leash at all times, no exceptions.

When you held this dog down and smacked him he was merely defending himself, I really don't blame him for biting. From his point of view, you were attacking him. He sees you as a subordinate, which is why you can't control him. You have basically given him complete freedom to do what he wants and now you either need to take back control (which will likely be very uncomfortable for both of you at first) or you should return him to the shelter. His behavior will likely get worse the longer you let it go unchecked. There are no quick or easy fixes here, it will require you completely restructuring his life and being consistent.

Owners of dogs like yours underestimate the genetic power of "PACK DRIVE." Pack structure is not something new and it is not optional, and if you don’t provide the structure and leadership a dog NEEDS then he or she will behave as canines have for thousands of years and will structure your family and household their own way. Your dog is simply being a dog, a dog that needs some guidance and rules. If you want to fix a problem like this you can but it takes some work.

I would start by running your dog through our groundwork program and the video that picks up where the article leaves off; Pack Structure for the Family Pet. Here is a DVD that I would recommend titled Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs. If you go to the link on this DVD you can read about what it covers. You will also see a detailed outline of what’s in the video.

We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you.

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q & A’s, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes
  
Recommended Products
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
$50.00
3 Hours, 30 Minutes
In my DVD, I provide 3 1/2 hours of information to help people solve their problems with dominant dogs and aggressive dogs. This information is based on 45 years of experience training dogs. For the last 30 years I have studied the art of protection training dogs. I was a police K9 handler for 10 years, and was chairman of the training committee for the WI police dog association for a number of those years. I have bred German Shepherds for police service work for 28 years. During this time I have bred over 350 litters of working dogs. I have dogs from my kennel working in law enforcement, Search and Rescue and competing in Schutzhund all over this country. No one I know in the United States can make these claims.

$50.00
 
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
$45.00
4 Hours
The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves. Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact, far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply do not know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a pack leader or they may have heard they need to be an ALPHA with their dog but they do not understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.

$45.00
 
Deluxe Full Tread Aluminium Dog Crate
Deluxe Full Tread Aluminium Dog Crate
$655.00
This is a premium crate with full tread-brite construction through out. It is a beautiful thing to behold. This is a substantial piece of equipment. Like all of the aluminum crates we offer at Leerburg, this crate is Tig welded.

Option 1:
$789.00 
$655.00
Out of stock
 
The Power of Training Dogs w/ Markers
The Power of Training Dogs w/ Markers
$40.00
3 Hours, 33 Minutes
Marker training (also called clicker training or operant conditioning) is one of the most profound systems of dog training that I have seen in my 50 years of owning, breeding and training working dogs. In its most basic form, it's a method of communication that is very clear for dogs to understand. Dogs learn the marker language quickly and when they do they thrive in training. The marker system produces dogs that love to train.

$40.00
 
Metal Ex Pen with Door
Metal Ex Pen with Door
$57.00
This exercise pen is durable and affordable. Exercise Pens are good playing ground for your Pets whether indoors or outdoors. This exercise pen is made of Acri-Lock™ Acrylic Coated Gold Zinc for long lasting protection. It has a secure double latch door access to make your pet secure. Also, this exercise pen is easy to set up and you don't need tools to build this one. It's a versatile exercise pen; you can even have a variety of pets in it.

Option 1:
$57.00*
 
Deluxe Full Tread-brite Powder Coated Dog Crate
Deluxe Full Tread-brite Powder Coated Dog Crate
$765.00
This powder coated aluminum crate is very durable. The crate has a very hard finish because there is a special coating process that is done in two steps. It is because of the two layers of coating on this crate that the finish is not only very hard but also extremely durable.

Option 1:
$849.00 
$765.00
Out of stock
 

30% off Raising Your Puppy with Michael Ellis stream 24 hours only