Date of intake:: 6/11/2019
Spay/Neuter status:: No
Means of surrender (length of time in previous home):: Stray, no known history
Summary:: Leash Walking
Strength and pulling: Mild pulling
Reactivity to humans: None
Reactivity to dogs: None
Leash walking comments:
Loose in room (15-20 seconds): Tense body, trembling, tucked tail, approaches handler readily, licks handler, explores somewhat, ears back, accepts contact, leans into handler
Call over: Approaches readily, low body and tail
Soft handling: Tense-neutral, tucked tail, ears back, closed mouth, lip lick, sits down, accepts all contact
Exuberant handling: Tense-neutral, tucked tail, ears back, closed mouth, lip lick, remains sitting, leans into and accepts all contact
Jog: Follows handler, soft and loose, tail high and wagging
Arousal comments: Solicits attention and leans into handler after third pass
Knock Comments: No response to knock; Approaches assistant readily, tucked tail, low head, soliciting attention, leans into contact
Toy comments: Grips firmly
Summary:: Amber was surrendered as a stray so her past behavior around other dogs is unknown. When initially introduced to a novel male dog, Amber is uncomfortable with a tense body. As she attends further playgroup sessions, Amber immediately becomes reactive and begins growling and lunging; she attempts to bite the male through the gate. Due to Amber's reactvity, the gate is not opened and an off-leash interaction is not conducted. The Behavior Department recommends that Achilles be the only dog at this time.
6/12: When off leash at the Care Center, Amber is introduced to a novel male dog. She is uncomfortable as she greets him and becomes tense when she exchanges a face to face greet. The novel male begins to hard bark at handlers and is swapped for another male. When the second novel male enters the pen and approaches the gate, Amber begins to grumble. Her leash is held and the gate is opened, she becomes tense with a short lip when the male approaches. The male walks away and Amber attempts to dart after him.
6/23: Today was Amber's first day back to playgroup after recovering from surgery. She stands at the gate with a stiff body and hard eyes as a novel male enters the pens. The male approaches the gate and attempts to sniff the gate when Amber pushes her muzzle through the gate and attempts to bite him. The male is led away from the gate and Amber freezes, low growls, and hard barks as she is led away by a second handler.
Date of intake:: 6/11/2019
Summary:: Shying away, though tolerated some handling
Date of initial:: 6/11/2019
Summary:: Tail tucked, head down, shaking, licks handler
ENERGY LEVEL:: Amber has been observed to exhibit a medium level of energy during her interactions in the care center.
IN SHELTER OBSERVATIONS:: Throughout her stay, Amber has displayed social behavior with most staff and volunteers, soliciting and seeking attention. While she has been observed to jump up high towards handlers in a social manner when excited, she has also been observed to become easily overstimulated during these times and is slow to settle. Amber has displayed high levels of stress in her kennel as well as when being removed and replaced from kennel; she consistently has been observed to react to the neighboring dogs. When outside, Amber does not appear to be reactive on leash towards other dogs though she has at times been observed to fixate briefly; she readily refocuses with treats.
8/9/19: While on a walk, two staff members approached Amber and her handler while out of uniform. Amber tensed up upon their approach, fixated on one of the staff members, When they reached, the other put her hand out towards Amber, causing Amber to lunge and snap at the members hand.
7/31/2019: When returning from a walk with Amber, while walking down the hallway she wandered in the laundry room and grabbed a toy. Amber started to walk with the toy though dropped it, handler bent down to pick the toy up and Amber was observed to jump up to grab the toy from the handler's hand, seemingly snapping towards it. Amber was observed to continuously jump up towards handler in attempts to grab the toy which handler was still holding. Amber was observed to mouth/make contact with the handler's bicep area in the process; we cannot be certain whether this was a result of over-arousal, frustration or overall enthusiasm or whether Amber accidentally made contact with handler’s bicep or not. Upon returning to her kennel, Amber began reacting to the dog in the kennel closest to the entrance of the room. As the handler walked through the kennels, he placed Amber in between his legs which appeared to result in Amber head flipping; while being walked down the row of kennels she reacted towards the other dogs, Amber was placed back into her kennel successfully.
BEHAVIOR DETERMINATION:: New Hope Only
Behavior Asilomar: TM - Treatable-Manageable
Recommendations:: No children (under 13),Single-pet home,Recommend no dog parks,Place with a New Hope partner
Recommendations comments:: No children (under 13): Due to Amber's overall timidity and fearful behavior, we feel it would be best for her to be placed in a stable, adult-only home environment to ensure her success. It is advised that the new adopters should be able to exercise appropriate and safe management when handling Amber, allowing her to acclimate and decompress at her own pace. Force-free, reward-based training only is advised when introducing or exposing Amber to new and unfamiliar situations, as well as utilizing guidance from a qualified, professional trainer/behaviorist.
Single-pet home: Due to the concerning behaviors that Amber has shown during playgroup (see DOG-DOG BEHAVIOR SUMMARY), we feel that Amber should be the only resident dog. The Behavior Department recommends that she be socialized in a more controlled setting until her behavior towards other dogs can be further addressed. Reward-based, force-free training can be utilized to help Amber associate dogs with things she enjoys like toys or treats.
Recommend no dog parks- Due to the concerning behaviors that Amber has shown during playgroup (see DOG-DOG BEHAVIOR SUMMARY), we feel that Amber should not visit dog parks until she has had the opportunity to learn appropriate social skills when interacting with other dogs. The Behavior Department recommends that Amber receive dog socialization sessions under the supervision of a certified trainer or behaviorist.
Place with a New Hope partner: Although Amber displays social behavior when interacting with certain staff members, she has recently displayed signs of deterioration. Amber has escalated to lunging and snapping toward staff when approached - observed on multiple occasions (SEE IN SHELTER OBSERVATIONS). We feel she would be best set up to succeed if placed with an experienced rescue partner who can help manage these behaviors and allow her to acclimate and decompress at her own pace. Force-free, reward based training only is advised when introducing or exposing Amber to new and unfamiliar situations, as well as utilizing guidance from a qualified, professional trainer/behaviorist.
Potential challenges: : Social hyperarousal,Fearful/potential for defensive aggression
Potential challenges comments:: Amber displays initial timidity and fearful behavior during her interactions in the care center. She has been observed to exhibit fearful body language (tucked tail, low head and body, trembling), but warms up and readily solicits attention and contact from certain handlers. Since her admission to the care center, Amber has begun to display signs of deterioration and has exhibited defensive aggression, where she has been observed to lunge and snap when approached. Please refer to the handout for Fearful/potential for defensive aggression.
When excited Amber has been observed to jump up towards handlers in a social manner though easily becomes overstimulated and her jumping will intensify. She appears slow to settle though seems responsive when using toys or treats. Please see handout on Arousal should these challenges appear in a new home environment.