I adopted a dog from the shelter today. A border collie/shitzu mix. I might as well start by saying as a job, I work at a dog boarding/grooming facility and take care of the dogs as well as let them all play in a group dogpark setting (up to 30 of them at once) I am well trained in dog behavior as well as noticing aggression but not how to train them out of it.
I've waited 2 years to get a dog of my own after my last dogs passing and my boyfriend and I went to the shelter today and picked out Callie (that's what we are calling her)
In the hallway while we were adopting her, a dog passed by and she bit my boyfriend on the ankle. It was a nip and seemed to be because of excitement so we got her anyways. We took her on a 3 mile hike today and wore her out and she was GREAT!!! She gets along with our cat and is housebroken and just an all around great dog except for one issue....
When she is being told no and has a toy in her mouth or something she isn't supposed to and we go to take it from her she changes into a different dog. She LUNGED at me and if I wasn't trained on how to properly control a dog I surely would have been bit. It wasn't a warning bite, it was a I'm going to really mess you up bite. Now I'm aware that shelter dogs have problems and I've only had shelter dogs but I've never been bit by my own dogs or have ever even feared getting bit by my dogs. She did the same thing to my boyfriend and even when I dominated her (tried to), it took A LOT to get her under control. This isn't a fear based bite. It's a I'm the alpha in the household bite.
I don't know if I should take her back or what. I don't want her to get put to sleep but her level of aggression scares me and I was prepared to deal with problems like house training or chewing but not in fear of getting my hand ripped off. If I take her back I will be placed on a state wide ban from ever adopting a dog again and that upsets me because I love dogs and I plan on rescuing many :( I cannot afford to take off work from being bit and either can my boyfriend and I'm allowed to take her to work with me but after that display, well I can't. I've worked at my job for two years and have been bit only once by breaking up a dog fight (I got in the middle) so I guess my feelings are really hurt. She doesn't seem to be the slightest bit interested in my boyfriend or I either.
TQC, please reassure me that taking her back doesn't make me a bad pet owner :( I want to stick her through but I know with dog training that to correct a bad habit, you have to catch them in it and I KNOW she will eventually bite me if I train her through this. I still want a dog and I know the dog I get isn't perfect but this is a huge red flag to me.
Has anyone ever dealt with this? What do you guys think?
I'm so heartbroken to give her up but I know this problem is way over my head and I don't have the money to hire a professional that deals with dog aggression :(
UPDATE: We took her back to the shelter today. She failed her temperament test :( I'm not sure what is going to happen to her but I expressed my concern that I feel she would do better in a different environment or with some professional training. Luckily we were not put on the ban list and are going to pick a different dog next week. I agree with a lot of you on working with the dog but agression is not an easy problem to fix and is a serious problem.