Monday, July 26, 2010

Pupdates ... New Foster ~ Roxy

I brought a new foster dog home on Friday. Funny how when it rains, it pours ... Shortly after I made arrangements to go pick up this dog, I mentioned it to another volunteer from the Humane Society who told me about a Dalmation that I should foster (I know you're probably reading this) ... then, the next day I receive a call from a veterinarian in the area about a Border Collie mix at Orangeville (which really isn't my area either) who needs to be pulled for behavioural (fear biting) issues; she wanted to know if I would take the dog and that they may euthanize it since they can't adopt it out. Go figure, eh? Like I said ... when it rains, it pours.

Click the link below to read on. The picture below is from the shelter - I will have more pictures from the farm soon.

When I made arrangements to foster this dog, I did not have a plan for the next foster dog I took so when I happened across Roxy, I thought that this was meant to be. Here's a picture of her that they took at the shelter ... it's a good picture and doesn't show how fat/chunky she is:

I pulled her out because she was at BAS ... I don't know how many of you remember the publicity about BAS from earlier this year or not ... I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions as to why I thought I should pull this dog (read on and you will figure it out!) Here's what BAS says about her:

Roxy is a 2 year old deaf spayed female Australian Cattle dog that initially came to us from another shelter and was slated to be euthanized. The local shelter placed her for adoption for three months but had no luck finding her a home.

Many people believe it is difficult to train a deaf dog but the principles of training a deaf dog are no different from those of training a dog that can hear.

Roxy is a very affectionate dog that loves to be around people and is in great need of finding a wonderful home. As well, she is your typical working breed dog that is energetic and enjoys jogging with the staff. Ideally, we are looking for a home that has no other animals

I won't get too detailed into what BAS told me about her verbally because very little of it was true. Did you know that "Herding breeds don't bond with anyone"?? Yep ... there were many little golden tidbits I learned from BAS on Friday. We had a brief discussion about training ... let's just say that we disagree somewhat. I was not about to argue because at that point I figured that if I did, she would not allow me to remove Roxy from their care. I was proud of myself for not giving the lady a piece of my mind - no matter how much I wanted to.

Here's what I say about Roxy (yes, I can do my own research and call the shelter she was at before to fill in the blanks for what BAS wouldn't tell me):

Roxy has had a tough life but she's not a tough dog (regardless of what she would have you think). She was surrendered by her owners because she would regularly attack other dogs in the house. Upon seeing another dog, she will "zone" on them until they are in range ... as soon as they are close enough she will lunge at them and bite (no growling/barking/etc.). IMHO, she has some inter-dog aggression issues coupled with some dominance issues.

I wonder how much of this aggression is caused by the fact that she is deaf?

I had thought this was a predatory aggression since she will also wait until a dog is in a weakened state before attacking (for example, a dog with something in his/her mouth can't fight back, right?) but now that she's been with us for a few days, it seems more like a defense mechanism ... if she can't figure out a dog or the dog's motivation, she doesn't trust them and therefore will continue to try to bite/attack them. I believe she is trying to attack first to show that she's "tough" (which she's not, by the way).

Regarding cats ... well, don't let them close enough for her to grip because they may not make it through the night. The BAS manager warned me that they aren't recommending Roxy to go anywhere with other animals and that she may kill any cats she sees. I told her that I would manage the situation and that I will take responsibility if she kills my cat.

Roxy is a lovable dog when it comes to people of the two-legged variety. When it comes to people, she is what I would call "bomb-proof". A human could do anything and she will love them forever.

So, she was at BAS from now to December, before that she was at another shelter for 3 months ... that means that this dog has been living at a shelter for 11 months! BAS tells me she's 2 years old but I have not yet had the opportunity to take her to our vet to confirm. If her age is right, then that means she's been living at a shelter for half her life. HOW SAD. No wonder she's so messed up!

Roxy is still listed for adoption at BAS. We do not feel that she will need a long time for re-training before being adopted out, however wherever she goes will have to be firm, but fair, with her.

Also ... we are training her with no food rewards. She LOVES people so much that praise (physical, not verbal) goes a super long way with her.


giantspeckledchihuahua said...

As much as cattle dogs like to appear tuff-as-nails, they have to be one of the most sensitive breeds I've ever encountered. Add deaf to the mix, and without a proper upbringing...who can blame her for anything she does?

Sheesh, no wonder the poor girl's a mess! I am looking forward to watching her bloom!

Thanks for giving her a chance!

Calsidyrose said...

I agree with GSC--Cattle Dogs are sensitive. And we get deaf ones more often than you'd think at our Shelter. No matter what, most of the CDs we get end up staying a lot longer at the Shelter than other dogs. Their intelligence, heart and nimbleness means they need an owner who is able to meet them with the right training tools. Give Roxy a pat from me. She looks like a chunky-butt cutie! Keep us posted on how you handle her dog-on-dog issues.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

GSC ... I will post pictures of her progress as soon as I can. We have taken a few already but they are in RAW format so I have to convert them to JPEG.

Calsidyrose ... You're right; Most places I know have to take more time to place CDs in homes. Mostly because the potential owners aren't really prepared for them or don't understand them.