@ar2003 said in 7 year old Basenji who needs a family:
@DebraDownSouth I appreciate your response to our post. I have to admit though was taken back by a few of your comments.
- ...and if you lie to them (in regards to BRAT).
I also want to add that the situation that we have found ourselves in(meaning Cutler biting children) is new to us. He has not always been this aggressive just seems to have gotten worse for some reason since we have moved.
- ......this dog losing his home because you cannot train your your children is very sad......this one I take great offense too. First of all, my kids are very well trained around Cutler. ....This is what scares me --my family has tried so hard to prevent things from happening but it all happens so quickly.
Lastly, we feel that we have failed and take full responsibility. My husband and I have always had dogs in our life ever since we were little. We have never experienced anything like this before. I wish I could tell you where we have failed! We agree that it is the owners responsibility 100%.
The harshness of my response is from decades of dealing with rescues. I don't know you, you don't know me. But I am all too aware of people desperately wanting their dogs in another home, to get another chance, and lying to achieve it. I am glad you wouldn't... but it was just meant as a general precaution to you and to anyone considering the dog.
Your comment about the newness of this issue has me wondering if the children have hurt him when you weren't home, or if he has thyroid issues or something else going on. If he has not had a full thyroid panel run, please do before you make any decisions. Though generally thyroid would change home behaviors, not just to kids.
Did your trainer work with him on desensitization exercise with kids? Things like having them walk by at a safe distance (where he feels safe, not them) fence, no eye contact, just throw a nice little treat. Over, and over, and over until you see him start looking positive about a child approaching. Then let them get a bit closer to the fence... same boring routine, over and over several times a day for a couple of weeks. Finally, approach closer, say his name, toss treats. Positive response?
Next, in a crate, in the room with the kids, same zero eye contact, toss a treat. over and over, as much variety of kids as you can possibly get. Variety of clothing. Keep it all very short.. from a couple of mins in house and build up to 10 mins. Make sure treats healthy and tiny (like boiled chicken, cut into tiny pieces then baked). IF you can retrain his reactiveness to children, reduce his anxiety and distress, you might be able to make this work with him being put up and not obsessed and upset about them being there. High quality toys, gigantic chew bones he can chew but not digest, frozen kongs... things he might enjoy only when kids there so even though separated, he's okay about it.
Again, the failure part I meant emotionally. If he is unstable, you can't fix it. If he has learned to dislike kids because some have secretly hurt or teased him, you might greatly diminish the response. But the reality is, trusting him with children will always be a "no." Fortunately, your kids are reaching young adult stage, so if you can bring him to a level that being kept from people isn't traumatizing him, that's workable. And if you can get him to a better level, even if you still want him placed, then you have done your job of helping him be safer in case the adopters mess up. Because "adults only homes" still have neighbors and visitors. Therein lies the problem with dogs aggressive to children.