My name is Ingrid and I have two wonderful Golden retrievers, the joy of our house and to be honest, my loyal companions and the ones that saved me from depression and sadness. You can imagine how I feel about them, they are my best friends. I have 3 kids, my daughter is 23 and moved back home at the beginning of this year, and my two teenage boys 16 and 12. They loved my dogs. I have a 5 year name Tucker and when we got him he was the easiest dog you could ever ask, but because he deals with allergies from the beginning and got sick frequently we spoiled him and filled his life with tons of love and attention. Back in 2017 we decided it was time to get a second dog, Tucker spends long hours at home by himself and we felt like he need it a brother, and since he was the perfect dog, we figured getting another one was no problem right! Not the case!! We got ourselves an extra fluffy and oversized golden retriever, at 10 weeks the little turkey was that, a stuffed turkey and weighed 29 pounds. We were not told his weight at the time that we picked him up, but couldn't helped to notice how big he was, but from the moment we got there, even with having 20 puppies all over us, he picked us, and we were instantly in love with him. He came to the house after a 4 hour car ride and simply fit in with us. His name is Dallas and he is 1 1/2 old now and is a joy. Smart, loving, loves to cuddle, loves to play and run, and man he is energetic and go go go all day! We loved him from the beginning but couldn't help to noticed how shy he was, and got very afraid and nervous every time people would come over, or would asked to pet him, but he is a golden retriever, we figured he would outgrow that and grow up to be a nice temper, gentle giant LOL!!
Well that never changed, he hides when people comes to the house, at times if they touch him he pees and shakes and is so sad to see him like that, so we just avoid getting him anxious. He started too realized how big and strong he was at about 7-8 months and used that to bark, charge at other dogs, and he definitely got his way. This of course was a new situation for us and decided that maybe he need it to socialize more, since we sheltered him and kept him away from other dogs, other than his older brother. So we took him to puppy classes, and the next class after you complete that, and kept practicing what we learned and use it in a positive way, also decided to venture and took him to the dog park. Bad idea, he would just show his teeth, growl, bark, and charge at other dogs and it was so heartbroken for us, because here we have such a wonderful creature that is simply a joy at home, but with dogs he can get so angry. Also, the shy behavior with strangers never got any better. The other thing that I want to add is, if he noticed a loud tone of voice from us when we are correcting him, he gets extremely scared and pees because he can't handle it, is almost as he gets anxious and scared. For the most part, Dallas is the most obedient, smart and easy to handle. He learns anything you teach him very quick and is just easy when it comes to leave him at home alone unsupervised as long as him brother is with him.
A year ago we moved to a new house that we built with a big yard and more space, thinking about our dogs too. Moving in to a new home was easy transition for both dogs, as long as there is no people coming and dogs walking by, but when Dallas sees a dog, if it wasn't for the electric fence, Dallas would go after them and we don't know what he would do. My husband has intervene every time he gets in to a confrontation with another dog and at times he's end up on the ground, all because again he is so strong and big.
We got use to the idea that he is just who he is, but a little less than a month we had an incident where kids between the age of 7-8 years decided to ring our doorbell and run, and after repeatedly doing it, my husband surprised them when the door open and caught them running away, screaming because they got caught, Dallas went chasing after them and manage to push one of the boys to the ground, and grabbed him by one of his arms and pulled his pants, leaving teeth marks and bruises all over the poor kids. Worse day of my life, I think about the little boy and can't even imagine how he felt. Right away my husband ran after Dallas and stopped him from doing keep grabbing the kid. One thing we noticed is, Dallas didn't bark, growl, or acted angry, he right away stop and got in to a sitting position waiting for my husband to help the kids and right away knew he was in trouble. This end it up being an incident where the police was called and they open a case and register the incident. The parents claimed Dallas attack and bite their son (which I totally understand) and put him on a 10 day quarantine, which we followed and ever since are more careful about him around people and other dogs. Sadly this past weekend we were on a short walk and one of the neighbors and his kids asked if the dogs can be pet and with a little of hesitation we said yes (which we feel very anxious, and stresses immediately) but my husband kept a tight grip on Dallas leash, trying to keep him calm and well behaved. To our surprised he was very well behaved, and let the girl touch him and even hug him. But once she stopped and took off, Dallas went after her and grabbed her from her arm, again leaving teeth marks that later will turn in to a bruise. My husband grabbed him quick and after getting firm and loud at him, Dallas stopped right away and just laid down, which is what he does instantly when he is naughty. I don't need to tell you how horrible, sick, and sad we felt. I kept apologizing to the parents and offered any help, and took total responsibility for the incident. But as it was expected the parents were very angry, rightfully so. They simply said unacceptable and dismiss us. Itís a friendly neighborhood and unfortunately has a facebook page, so we heard about the incident on social media and couldn't help but feeling defeated, sad, and scared for Dallas and his future at home and in the neighborhood. I understand the parents feelings and put myself in their shoes, but I wish they can also understand the difference between a dog attack and this type of incident and accept that the kids never got any broken skin, bleeding or nothing major "Thank God" but maybe that's just my love for Dallas that makes me see things that way. They are now considering calling the cops and report it (which will make it a second incident). I feel so sad, and unsure about Dallas future, but I so wish he can be given a chance. Ever since we noticed how he is, we isolate from people and other dogs, simply because we want to avoid anything that may cause trouble and unfortunate events. I literally hide at my house, which by the way is their heaven, they both love being at home and simply going out in our yard, enjoy the sun, grass and limited times outside, just to keep Dallas from being labeled as a dangerous dog.
My boys are so sad, they keep asking me to post videos of our interaction with him at home, but I know this won't help the situation, but I also don't want to send him away. I feel like he won't have the loving life that we provide for him. And I really believe that all dogs with behavioral issues deserve a chance, but he's already the talk of the neighbors.
I just need to know what can I do to help and I would like to hear peoples input. Is it me being wrong about keeping him and finding ways to avoid contact with other? Does he have what it takes to be a good dog around other people? Am I being selfish by thinking that the incident wasn't enough to escalate and get the cops involved.
I need someone's help and advice and reassurance or opinion.
Thank you for reading my long post, but I just wanted to share my story in this forum with people that are animal lover just as much as I am.