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Intro and rescue dog suggestions

Hi all, I've randomly posted here and there but never introduced myself.....I'm newly married ( tied the knot in April) and work in higher Ed.  My husband and I just brought home a rescue on Thursday.  She's approximately 11 months old, American Bulldog mix, big, strong girl about 60 lbs or so.  This is my fist dog and I've never grown up with dogs so she does things that scare me bc I'm not sure if its aggression or play.  She's hard to walk, a huge puller- my shoulders and elbows hurt from tying to hold her.  Today we tired her out with a looking walk and she was very mouthy when we got home, no growling, just opening her mouth and trying to bite out hand/ arm but tail was wagging.  We say " no!" And out an appropriate toy in her mouth.  We are tAking her to obedience class on Tuesday.  Her early life is unknown but the woman who fostered her swore on her life she has zero aggression and has so much potential.  I hate being nervous.  She does well for my husband but not me so much.  Any thoughts or suggestions?  Is she still a puppy?  Is she maybe still adjusting to our home?  I want to be a responsible owner and help her be the best dog she can.  We wanted to rescue bc we thought it was a good thing to do. 

Re: Intro and rescue dog suggestions

  • I think obedience class will be good for you. A good trainer will be able to teach you a lot about dog behavior. Ask tons of questions! 

    I'd look into an Easy Walk harness, or a Gentle Leader (both by Premier). The harness clips on the front of the dog's chest, so when the dog pulls, she simply gets pulled sideways. The Gentle Leader works on the same principle, but it's a head collar rather than a harness. Some people confuse it with a muzzle, but it's not (it wouldn't work to prevent a dog from biting someone). 

    The mouthing sounds like she may never have learned bite inhibitation. You're doing good by saying No! and redirecting to a toy. It'll just take a lot of repetition -- be consistent!

    Nothing you described indicates aggression at all. I have a pit bull, who "play-growls" a lot. Body language tells you a lot -- this online pamphlet is geared toward people with new babies, but there are illustrations of dog body language that are very good. 
    http://www.americanhumane.org/interaction/programs/humane-education/pet-meets-baby.html 

  • Yep, obedience classes. She probably had no obedience training in her former home.

    Good luck with the new pup.:)  And we need a picture.:)
  • Thanks!  I'll try and figure out how to attach a pic.  So my husband and I were going to put in an electric fence but now I'm hesitant - we have neighbors with 2 dogs who are terrible owners- the dogs get out all the time and wander the neighborhood and they don't do a thing nor do they seem to care.  They wandered over onto our prooperate last night and our girl was beyond over stimulated .  She's not dog aggressive but she outweighs one of the dogs by 50 lbs. I'd be terrified if she hurt them....if they came over and she was outside.  My husband doesn't want a privacy fence and said our neighbors poor dog owning isn't our problem.  I said it is if our dog hurts theirs.... What to do?

     

  • imageWildFlower2350:

    Thanks!  I'll try and figure out how to attach a pic.  So my husband and I were going to put in an electric fence but now I'm hesitant - we have neighbors with 2 dogs who are terrible owners- the dogs get out all the time and wander the neighborhood and they don't do a thing nor do they seem to care.  They wandered over onto our prooperate last night and our girl was beyond over stimulated .  She's not dog aggressive but she outweighs one of the dogs by 50 lbs. I'd be terrified if she hurt them....if they came over and she was outside.  My husband doesn't want a privacy fence and said our neighbors poor dog owning isn't our problem.  I said it is if our dog hurts theirs.... What to do?

    Electric fences typically aren't very well received on this board, and the reason you listed is often cited. 

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