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Fearful/anxious Boerboel/Lab mix in shelter - how can she be rehabilitated?

Discussion in 'Dog Fostering and Rescue Forum' started by Africanis, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    Well, I have been keeping an eye on a surrendered Boerboel/Lab mix at our SPCA. She is kennel stressed and she has been moved to the puppy kennels where it is a bit more quiet - in the hope that she will start coming out of her shell.
    Well, she has started walking in the kennel now, but as soon as a human comes into the picture she retreats into the furthest corner - curls up, all tense and stares with huge eyes. I chose not to approach her as she apparently has aggression issues too. Well, one day I was told she bites and the next day I get told she doesn't hmmmm
    Anyhoo, I suggested to the Manager to give her a friend - a lively, forward going and human friendly male. She said that she would rather give her an older and quiet dog. Both versions have their pro's and con's. I think that a lively goofball (if she can handle the energy) would be the way to go - she gives me the impression that that is who she is deep inside, call it a gut feeling.

    What would you lovely people suggest? She is on the 'list' if she does not show improvement soon.

    Oh as to the breed, this is a Boerboel - as South African breed - descendants of Mastiff
    [​IMG]

    And see here more about the breed - see the temperament section
    http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/boerboel.htm




  2. Lia

    Lia Under Dog Pack Leader

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    ooooooooo Carmen! Beautiful dog!!!

    A happy go lucky dog might help... If she can handle the energy of course. If she can, I dont think a laid back dog will help. The girl needs someone to mimic as to what to do... to teach her that people arent the enemy.

    On the "list"??? Send her over!!! You know my thing for Mastiffs so... :D but then again... you can always bring her to your place!!!
  3. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    lol - what is your address???? A foster home would be ideal for her, but we are still in the process of setting the foster program up properly....
  4. Marieke

    Marieke Easter Egg Pack Leader

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    This could be a difficult dog. Boerboels aren't an easy breed as I understand it, so a fearful Boerboel mix... I wouldn't know what the best dog companion would be. I hope it helps, whatever dog is chosen.
  5. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    I have reservations as well. I want to give this a shot, if she does not improve considerably with a companion it would be too dangerous to re-home her to just anybody. Again, it would be a similar case as with Seal and there are not many people that have the know how and patience for that. There are actually quite a few adult dogs at the SPCA that fall into the same category.... Surrendered for suddenly growling at owners, biting owner/children etc. Surrendering is easier than working on oneself and the dog or going to put the dog down oneself - passing the bucket. In my opinion people who surrender their dogs due to such issues should be banned to have a similar type dog or any dog in the future. Not possible here....
  6. Marieke

    Marieke Easter Egg Pack Leader

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    Unfortunately I guess your shelter has to make decisions, just like many in the US. If you have too many dogs to be adopted, you will have to decide which ones to put down. It is only wise to put down the most difficult and potentially dangerous ones...

    It is hard when you think you would be able to rehabilitate such a dog. I remember I once spent some time working with a nervous black shepherd mix (many years ago). In the end he was put to sleep because they deemed him too difficult (my shelter didn't euthanize many dogs, only a couple a year and mostly for medical reasons). I still feel he would have been good for the right person. Problem is, you need that right person to come along...
  7. lenkelf

    lenkelf Nutter Mutt(er) Pack Leader

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    aggenee! nie nog een nie!

    Carmen, if i lived in windycorner, boy would i be there taking her home, issues not withstanding.

    strongly urge you chat with behaviourist lady for her take on the doggie and then push for appropriate action going forward
  8. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    lol behaviorist lady has umm I think 12 dogs... whereof 7 or 8 are white Shepards...
  9. oshwyn5

    oshwyn5 Mature Dog Pack Leader

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    I fostered this mystery. We thought he was a boxer mastiff cross
    img_0088a.jpg
  10. lenkelf

    lenkelf Nutter Mutt(er) Pack Leader

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    pete, if that dog was here in rsa i'd say ridgeback / boerbull cross.
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  11. oshwyn5

    oshwyn5 Mature Dog Pack Leader

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    Here he is with his forever person
    img_0005b.jpg

    Oh and my input on rehabilitating a fearful dog is that it is always easier with a stable pack.
    I think that was crucial for my little rottie mix. Seeing that the things that scared him were of no import to them (or me) that we basically ignored these "fearful" noises and events made it much easier to familiarize and desensitize him through repeat exposure. The more things you can get them to ignore the easier it becomes to deal with the remaining fears.
    I also found that "moving fast" helped. If we were running, he was so caught up in the moment that an oncoming bicycle or clanking lanyard on a flagpole did not create the same depth of reaction as they would have were we walking slowly towards them.
  12. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    Seeing him sitting down - look at that deep chest and small bum - I'd bet Ridgback (face) and Boxer cross :) Guessing the breed it fun lol
    More on my visit to 'Goldie" later
  13. Marieke

    Marieke Easter Egg Pack Leader

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    Oh, I forgot to tell this. Might as well do it here. A week or two I met a gorgeous dog in my park. He turned out to be a 4 month old pup (already bigger than my dogs and 2 times as heavy...). He was pitch-black with adorable white front feet, a white patch on his breast and a ridge on his back. He was a staff/ridgeback cross!
    You people here would have loved him!
  14. Adrienne

    Adrienne Kiss me! Pack Leader

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    My rational is a dog with a docked tail had a mother with a docked tail. And it's likely she was a purebred, if her tail was docked. People don't pay a vet to dock tails just because...they have a reason. The most likely reason is to pass off the pups as purebred, or to make them more valuable. The dog looks like a Boxer/Rott, to me...but really...who the hell knows. :)
  15. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    If mom was Boxer and dad Ridgeback? Look at this face
    [​IMG]
  16. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    I went to Goldie today - things where a bit crazy, I arrived extra early but staff was already busy cleaning etc so it was very 'restless' outside :(
    When I sat in her door, sideways and looking away, I chucked her some polony. She smelled them and ignored them.

    This is her during the first minutes of me sitting with her - polony already chucked.
    http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa429/Africanis/?action=view&current=CGsittingatdoor.mp4

    After ten minutes she put her head down
    http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa429/Africanis/?action=view&current=after10minsitting.mp4

    I then went out - the cleaner came and I video'd her reaction to his presence from the neighboring kennel
    http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa429/Africanis/?action=view&current=Cleaner.mp4

    Then I fetched her buddy (whom is bullying her and now has been put back into his original kennel) (Adrienne, he is an Africanis, see his cut eartip)
    http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa429/Africanis/?action=view&current=GoldimitWeimi.mp4

    Then the cleaner moved through the other kennels and see how she reacts
    http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa429/Africanis/?action=view&current=Cleaner2-3kennelsaway.mp4

    We decided to try her with a Lab whom was surrendered. The initial meeting was a bit iffy - she went for his throat, but once everyone calmed down and with some work we let them off leash.

    http://s1197.photobucket.com/albums/aa429/Africanis/?action=view&current=GoldiandLab.mp4

    I don't see much Boerboel in her, but the owners said she is a cross...
  17. oshwyn5

    oshwyn5 Mature Dog Pack Leader

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    Initially I did not see fear so much as a dog which had shut down. She looked like she just wasn't interested in life.
    Yes when the cleaner came in and started with the dust pan clanking around she did change; but I was unsure if it was actually fear or a "are you going to make me move" look.

    With the lab the significant difference I see is that it is outdoors. That would be my question, does she appear to interact with other dogs (and people) differently out in the yard and in the kennel?

    I think I would try her on a leash and if she is passable take her for a run and see what difference she exhibits. But that is me; I often feel that I learn more about a dog on a good run and followup walk than just by seeing them.
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  18. Nutmag

    Nutmag stray dog Pack Leader

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    She needs out and she needs a pack. She needs a stable dog like my Mari. A dog who keeps the upper hand but not in a bad way, in a teaching way. It is really painful to watch this.
  19. Africanis

    Africanis Wild Dog Pack Leader

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    What i missed to say is, that it is a not very clear video - when the cleaner came in with his shovel to shovel up the poop she started shaking.

    Marion, there are many such dogs :(
  20. Jofi

    Jofi Everything will be alright in the end,trust me Pack Leader

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    She needs a lot of help, I caught this on my tablet late last night, but the thing that struck me first is her body language shouting, I agree with Pete, she has reached a point of shutting down, the way she places herself in the corner so tight and turning her face that way to me say's " if I make myself any smaller , no one will notice me" she is not completely there yet but very gentle hands with this girl Carmen if you are going to work with her, I would indeed bring a dog in like the yellow lab to help her out of her shell, perhaps mowgli or Bagheera might be a good idea, then she will see how they interact with you, I don't think she has any problem about other dogs, her reactions are towards human, so that is the bond I would work on with the help of another dog.

    She needs to be the one to come to you, if people keep moving into her space then she will completely shut down, you must must encourage her nose.
    She is really lovely Carmen, but the biggest thing with this girl is time, patience and encouragement of any sign of curiousity. I would also use swimming as a means to relax her, that means getting in with her and helping her relax.

    thanks for the film love.

    metta

    Asa side note, I would also get low and closer to her, at this moment she is too far shut down to take food or even venture out of that corner when a human is near, so say about 2 feet away from her side on or back slightly to her and just sit, let her scent you, perhaps use something like vanilla scent and spray into the air near her, just up and in front of her, I wouldn't even attempt to talk to her yet, nor touch her nor give eye contact, not that she is giving it back .
    Come and find me if you want to chat more, you know I would love to help you with her, these are the kind of dogs I like to work with Carmen the most, thank fuly I don't see to many with her sadness.

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