Date of intake:: 9/23/2021
Spay/Neuter status:: No
Means of surrender (length of time in previous home):: Owner Surrender
Previously lived with:: 2 adults; 1 child
Behavior toward strangers:: hard bark, growls, lunges
Behavior toward children:: lived with a 4 y/o; would jump on the child, but also reported to sometimes play
Behavior toward dogs:: Fearful during interactions with other dogs
Behavior toward cats:: reactive
Resource guarding:: Major will bark and growl at you if you try to touch his food or bowl while eating, and if you take his treats. Major is not bothered if you take away a toy.
Bite history:: none reported
Other Notes:: Major will destroy things indoors and barks a lot. He will hide if he hears fireworks or storms, but is not bothered if you take a toy away or if you push him off of the couch or furniture. Major will bark if you try to hold or restrain him. It is unknown what he will do if you disturb him while sleeping. He is not bothered if you give him a bath, and is friendly if you brush him. Major is not bothered if you trim his nails. Major will bark and growl if someone unfamiliar approaches his house or family members.
Major has been kept mostly outdoors and slept in his dog house. He is not house trained, and if inside will have accidents daily. major usually goes to the restroom on grass or the pavement. When left alone Major will use the restroom indoors. Majors has not been crate trained. When on the leash Major will pull very hard. When off leash Major will keep his distance and is hard to catch.
Summary:: Major has displayed fearful defensive behaviors (lunging, growling, and hard barking) both in and out of his kennel. Major has been observed to warm up slowly to handlers, taking some time to acclimate before seeking attention or displaying social behavior. When a new handler meets Prince he is tense and avoidant and continues to move away. Due to Major's defensive behaviors, out of concern for his overall stress level, an assessment will not be attempted at this time.
Summary:: According to Major's previous owner, he has spent time with other dogs and is fearful of them. He will not play with them.
9/24: Major is highly defensive in his kennel and difficult to remove. Due to his behavior and large size, he is being given decompression time before the Behavior Department conducts a dog-dog introduction.
9/30: Major has not been able to attend playgroup due to being diagnosed with CIRDC. But when out with handlers, he has been observed to become stiff and starts grumbling when he sees other dogs.
Date of intake:: 9/23/2021
Summary:: lunging, hard barking, double leashed and brought into building
Date of initial:: 9/23/2021
Summary:: Lunging, hard barking and growling. Sedated for exam and tasks
IN SHELTER OBSERVATIONS:: 10/1: During a walk, Major become fixated on a novel handler was walking behind him. His posture stiffens, hackles raise, and he crouches low. The handlers walking Major call his name and use a squeaker in an attempt to refocus him. But it is difficult due to his size and strength.
9/28: (1) While on a walk, Major stopped walking and began to grumble at a stranger that was exiting a building that was in close proximity. The handler walking him was able to refocus him with coaxing and treats. Major resumed walking and shook off. (2) Major jumps on familiar handlers in greeting before resuming his walk.
9/25: Major sat when cued and when the handler turned and reached over his head to pick up something on the table, he flinched, closed his eyes, and slightly crouched to the floor. He recovered quickly and accepted treats from the handler.
BEHAVIOR DETERMINATION:: New Hope Only
Recommendations:: No children (under 13),No cats,Single-pet home,Recommend no dog parks,Place with a New Hope partner
Recommendations comments:: No children (under 13): Due to Major's resource guarding and fearful/defensive aggression, we feel that an adult-only home would be most beneficial at this time.
No cats: Major's owner reported that he is reactive towards cats. Further detail was not provided. Due to this, we recommend a home without cats or smaller animals at this time.
Single-pet home/recommend no dog parks: Major's reported to be fearful of other dogs and during his stay at the Care Center he has been observed to stiffen and grumble at other dogs when he sees them. We feel that Major should not visit dog parks and be the only resident dog. The Behavior Department recommends that he be socialized in a more controlled setting until his behavior towards other dogs can be further addressed. Reward-based, force-free training can be utilized to help Major associate dogs with things he enjoys like toys or treats.
Place with a New Hope Partner: Due to all noted concerns displayed in a home environment and in the Care Center, the behavior department recommends Major be placed with a New Hope placement partner who is able to provide an experienced adult-only foster home. A period of decompression is recommended to allow Major to acclimate comfortably to his new environment; force-free, reward-based training only is advised when introducing Major to new and unfamiliar situations. Consultation with a professional trainer/behaviorist is highly recommended for guidance to safely manage/modify any behavior Major presents with outside of the care centers.
Potential challenges: : House soiling,Resource guarding,Destructive behavior,Basic manners/poor impulse control,Handling/touch sensitivity,Fearful/potential for defensive aggression,Strength/leash pulling
Potential challenges comments:: House Soiling: Major is reported to have frequent accidents in the house, and appears not to have been housetrained in the past, and will likely need guidance with house training. We recommend positive reinforcement, reward-based training only. Please see handout on House Soling.
Resource Guarding: Major was reported to resource guard food and treats in the previous home. He is described to hard bark and growl when engaged with the items when attempting to remove/touch them. For this reason, we advise against ever removing items from Major's possession without safely trading for an item or greater or equal value. Please see handout on Resource Guarding.
Destructive Behavior: Major is reported to show destructive behavior and bark in the home, limited details were provided. We are unaware of what, if any, attempts were made to remedy this behavior but we suggest to future adopters that Major will need to be provided with physical and mental stimulation and with a variety of appropriate and engaging chew toys so he can engage in necessary chewing behavior without damage to human objects. Please see handout on Destructive Behavior.
Basic Manners: Major jumps up on handlers, almost knocking them over due to his size. It is recommended that default behaviors such as "Leave it", "Sit/Stay", "Down" are reinforced to substitute any frustration and teach him to control her impulses instead of simply reacting; proper management is also advised. Force-free, reward based training only is recommended.
Handling/touch sensitivity: Major has been noted to become uncomfortable with handling at times, especially when a person is reaching over him. It is important to always go slow and give Major the option to walk away from any social interaction. Major should never be forced to approach anything that he is uncomfortable with or to submit to petting or handling. It should always be Major’s choice to approach a new person or thing. Major may do best in an initially calm and quiet home environment and should be given time to acclimate to his new surroundings. Please see handout on Handling/touch sensitivity.
Fearful/Defensive Aggression: Major has escalated to growling and lunging both at intake and during his time in the care center. His signs of discomfort must be respected; Major should never be forced to interact, he should always be given the opportunity to walk away from situations or people he finds uncomfortable. We recommend a slow approach and we recommend ONLY force-free, reward-based training methods.
Strength/Leash Pulling: Major is a very large, strong dog with the capability to pull over an average adopter. His adopter must be prepared and able to handle a dog of this size and strength. It is recommended that he be walked on a front clip harness or head halter, which helps diminish his strength through leverage, and that he be trained using positive reinforcement, reward-based training to not pull on leash.