New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

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clareb73
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:49 am

New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by clareb73 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:49 pm

Hi, my name is Clare and I am a new Patterdale owner. Jess is 5, and I rescued her from a backyard breeder. She's been with me 3 weeks now and so far she is a sweetheart! No history on her other than she has been used for breeding and 'has a good nature' which has turned out to be true. I would consider myself an experienced Jack Russell owner (I have a 9 year old JRT rescue who I've had since 4 months) - I've never had a Patterdale, I don't know any Patterdale owners past or present, so needless to say I don't have any experience of them, so I would greatly appreciate any general advice, information, signposting etc. I've read as much as I can but there's not much general advice on looking after a Patt as a pet.

More specifically, I'd appreciate any advice/insights on an incident that occured on Sunday. I was walking the dogs early and throwing a stone along the ground so that they could burn off extra energy as we were walking. My JRT (Olly) likes to covet the stone which doesn't normally bother Jess (she likes to run but doesn't challenge for the prize) I was bending down to get the stone from him and she brushed past him a few times then quick as lightening grabbed his neck and head with her jaws and clamped down. My first thought was 'oh my god, she's going to kill him' - he was squealing and I panicked and grabbed her jaws and tried to prize them open which obviously didn't work and after what seemed like forever but probably lasted a minute, I put my fingers in her nostrils and pulled back and she let go. I separated the two dogs, and then she lunged and latched again. I did it again, picked Olly up, there was blood everywhere. I got home, put Olly in the shower and found that the blood was mine - I'd sliced my finger grabbing her teeth. Olly has a bruised head and scratches but nothing too serious. After a cup of tea and a visit to A&E I eventually burst into tears sat in the hospital car park, no-one to talk to.

This wasn't a fight or an aggressive attack. There was no snarling, growling, Olly didn't retaliate or fight back, Jess didn't attack me or bite me when I got involved. When we got home I put her in the kitchen whilst I sorted out Olly and myself, and gave her some food (as per the daily routine) - she didn't eat it and she was subdued all day. I can only conclude that she got over-stimulated and snapped into hunting mode. If you think I'm wrong, please correct me, I could really do with the insight. What I need help with is how to manage this long term?

- how can I assess what makes Jess 'switch' without putting Olly or other dogs in danger? She seems to love meeting and greeting dogs and is very laid back about it, but I daren't let her initiate play with Olly or indeed any other dogs. What if she comes across a nervy dog, or dogs playing rough? Or small toy breeds? I don't want to avoid dogs altogether and end up de-socializing her.

It's still early days but now I've seen what she's capable of I want to put my best feet forward for her and everyone she will come across. I also don't want to lose my nerve and end up 'avoiding' situations instead of managing them, which I did for quite a few years with Olly when he was young and I was less experienced. I'm crate and lead training her at the moment - she has great recall and has learned to sit and lie down both inside and out - she genuinely loves to please you, so there are a lot of positives.

I'd appreciate any advice at all as although I have successful experience of helping a rescue terrier with issues (anxiety, fear aggression) I'm by no means an expert and on my own so could do with some morale support too!

Many Thanks in advance from Clare, Olly and Jess.Xxx :thanks.gif:

Julieh
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:08 pm

Re: New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by Julieh » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:34 pm

I'm afraid I don't know anything about patterdales, but wanted to say You're little one doesn't sound aggressive,but this incident was obviously triggered by something . I'm sure someone on the forum will be able to offer sound advice , there is an enormous amount of knowledge and experience here. Good luck.

clareb73
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:49 am

Re: New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by clareb73 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:45 am

Thanks for your message - I forgot to mention that Jess isn't yet neutered, I have to wait until she has another season so the vets can spay her at the right time, so that might be a factor.

Julieh
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:08 pm

Re: New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by Julieh » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:04 pm

That's definitely an important step. Have you also thought about a behaviour therapist ? And perhaps a muzzle when you are walking to help build your confidence ?
You're obviously committed to helping this one , I'm sure things will improve .even though I know very little about patterdales I'm more than happy to offer a listening ear. Xx

sweetpea
Posts: 1375
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:58 pm

Re: New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by sweetpea » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:34 am

I would hold back from asking a behaviourist in until she has been with you longer. ..3 weeks is no time at all ...i agree with using a muzzle whilst out keeps both dogs safe thumbs.gif
Ive always had JRTs and never owned a Patterdale but a friend has always had them ...got to say well done to you for having her offlead already ,some patterdales never go off lead in an unsecure area for their own safety as many have zero recall ....
She sounds lovely .....my JRTs and my bedlington are always grabbing each other by the neck and head it looks terrible but its only play ,i wonder if thats what she was doing playing and putting your boy in his place!!!!!
Alot of vets neuter anytime especailly stray dogs as there is no history, i would ask another vet re neutering asap .... :goodluck.gif:
Keep us updated on her progress :bye.gif:

clareb73
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:49 am

Re: New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by clareb73 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:42 am

Thanks for the support and advice! I've thought about the incident alot and it might have been play and I misinterpreted it - the fact that my JRT was screaming made me 'switch' into protective/panic mode - I think that was the only thing that escalated it and still makes me question the intensity of her bite and therefore her intentions. Was she playing, or was she hunting?

Whatever it is, it's not aggression. We were out walking last night and two boisterous dogs came bounding over, the owners calling them back frantically. I thought 'oh no' - called out to the owners, 'will they be ok?' - no answer. The dogs both on Jess, a bit of a scuffle - Jess didn't retaliate at all, she even let them have a sniff begrudgingly once the bluster was over, then we were on our way. They were both cross breeds, one slightly larger than her, one about collie size.

It was naive of me to have her off lead so soon, I have her on lead now much of the time although I live in Snowdonia so I'm lucky in that I have lots of safe areas to walk them. I usually walk them in a forested area near my house that goes down to the sea, and we walk along the shoreline then back through the fields. I start and end these walks with lead training, and I keep her on the lead now on my morning walks. I have to say though that she has excellent recall, the best I've ever known! I've even called her back when she's in 'hunt' mode (lots of rabbits about - thankfully on the other side of a secure farmer's fence) and she - so far - comes back in an instance, so that's a real positive point in terms of her trainability.

Thanks for the advice re: spaying. I'm anxious to get her spayed asap if I can do so safely. I will also order a muzzle today - I hate how owners immediately think 'red dog coming, let's get out of here' but the safety aspects outweigh the bad connotations.

sweetpea
Posts: 1375
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:58 pm

Re: New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by sweetpea » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:57 pm

Brillant .....you sound like you have given her a fabulous home ....living in snowdonia im so jealous Hi ya!.gif

clareb73
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:49 am

Re: New Patterdale owner and my first act of forgiveness

Post by clareb73 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:57 pm

Thanks! Believe me I think that every day! Beaches, mountains, rivers and forests - it's a doggy dream :D

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