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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We adopted (or rescued) Gracie at 21 months old recently. Took her to our long time vet as agreed in the contract. I think we would have brought her anyway. So, Gracie had a little history of kennel aggression. The vet looks into her mouth, sees a black spot about the size of a dime and says "well there's your answer right there, she has a black spot, that's an aggressive trait". I had never heard this before. Got out in the car and googled it, and it appears to be an old wives tale. He's an old timer, and we've been with him exclusively for the past 15 years and have gotten some other questionable advice when our dogs were dying. My wife and I agree to see one of the other popular vets in the practice going forward. Any thoughts on this black spot thing and aggression?
 

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That's completely uninformed and has zero basis in anything real....

I'd hazard a guess that at least 50% of the conformation bred Goldens in the US have at least one spot on their tongue by the time they are a year old.

Probably a good idea to go with a vet who is a little more in the know. Black spots on the tongue do not mean they are part ChowChow either, just in case you hear that one. And good luck with Gracie! Kennel aggression has its roots in several things that you will probably never see once she's used to your home. I'm glad for her she has a family of her own!!
 

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Definitely an old wives tale... our Belle had a black spot - very normal and just like a freckle.

It's just a deposit of extra pigment - just like a freckle... I've got a bunch on my nose, wonder if I'm also aggressive lol
 
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I guess that means my Tugg is doubly aggressive. He has two black spots on his tongue !! In reality he is four years old and hasn't met a dog or human he hasn't loved.
Enjoy your Gracie, I am sure she is happy to be in her forever home.
 
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The only negative behavior that I think she has carried over from her kennel days is rushing, growling and barking at the chain link gate across my driveway when people approach. It indicates this same behavior on her first rescue record that came in her folder. It's a strange behavior because once that person on the other side of the gate enters she's all love and kisses. It's just something about that black chain link that gets her every time, or being behind the fence. Her second rescue placement was with a foster home so none of this occurred. (we are her 5th home). We have had her for 3 months now and I do see that behavior starting to extinguish. Otherwise, she is a sweet heart. We are driving from NY to NC and she is coming with us, this is one dog that I would never board. I will copy and paste something I had to write for a Petco grant below so you can see her story:

About four months after the loss of our dog I came across a picture of a beautiful young lady named Sky in a group of pictures listed by SGRR on PetFinder. It was love at first sight. I sent out the application which was quickly followed by a phone interview and home visit. We were approved! Then came a call from foster mom Kay Anderson. I learned that we were going to be Sky’s fifth stop on her way to a forever home…and Sky sometimes had a bit of an attitude toward strangers. Rightly so, I thought.
Sky’s first stop as a puppy from the breeder was for one year with a family with small children who apparently used Sky as a trampoline. Unfortunately, not all goldens are tolerant of that sort of thing. The family must have felt something for Sky as they did have her for a year and even sent her to doggie boot camp. But, ultimately, she went back to the breeder and was now labeled as not child-friendly.
Sky’s second stop was from the same breeder to a family with other existing dogs. Well, one of the other dogs was a known instigator and harassed Sky frequently until she turned around and bit the other dog. You go girl! The family admitted that as much as they loved Sky no one would adopt the harassing dog so they placed Sky with her first rescue organization.
Sky’s third stop was with a very well-known rescue organization that uses kennels for housing. Something about the kennels made Sky seemingly more aggressive. She would rush, bark and growl at anyone walking past. I really don’t want to think about this. Another aggressive label was applied. The rescue did have the sensitivity to hand Sky over to SGRR and I thank them for that.
Sky’s fourth stop was with SGRR foster mom Kay Anderson. Well, I can write volumes about how fond I am of Kay and the insight, dedication and sensitivity she has toward the dogs she fosters on what I call the “chicken ranch”. It’s like doggie heaven in New Hampshire. And this brings us back to Kay’s initial call regarding Sky.
It seems Sky now wanted a “say” in whoever it was that would adopt her. Seems Sky had had enough. Kay stated that Sky would now give the dreaded “stink-face” to anyone she didn’t approve. Exactly how the stink-face looks needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. It’s when a dog raises one side of its upper lips as if to say “YOU STINK, GO AWAY, NO ADOPTION TODAY”. Turns out that a woman had made the trip to meet Sky a week prior and earned the stink-face. There was no adoption that day.
My wife Anne and I made the trip from Long Island to the chicken ranch on this past 4th of July weekend and was met at the door by Kay, her husband Tom and a herd of dogs! I think there were 6 dogs…dogs everywhere. Kay introduced us to Sky from a distance but I kept losing her in the crowd. Eventually the dogs settled down and we all talked inside at length. Sky eventually came over to me, as did all the dogs, for a hello and a sniff…no stink-face! Anne also received a hello with no stink-face! Eventually, we all went on a long walk with the dogs to team-build and things were only better after that. We were okay in Sky’s eyes (and Kay’s) and at the end of the day Sky jumped into the hatch and slept through the long drive home.
Sky, now known as Grace or Gracie as we call her, is definitely a SGRR success story. She had been through so much up to the age of 21 months. She didn’t experience any of the health issues some of the other rescue dogs suffer but there’s also the mental aspect, and that was my concern. Gracie was handed over with a file almost a half-inch thick full of reports from owners, vets, and rescues. Some of it was hard to read. It’s been two months since Grace joined our family. She is a different dog than what we brought home, in a good way.
Gracie loves everyone, and it seems everyone loves her, however, I am mindful of children. Gracie accompanies us to every store that is pet-friendly. She walks calmly at my side against either leg and is very friendly toward everyone that wants to pet her. We go on long walks every morning and evening through the neighborhood and parks. People seem to gravitate to her calm and soft personality. Gracie has accompanied me on 4 home visits for SGRR this summer and the people we’ve met have all been grieving to different degrees the loss of dogs. They all seem to find some kind of comfort in Gracie, some even getting down on the floor with her for extended hugs and kisses. The last home visit took forever because the applicants weren’t paying attention, except to Gracie. I have had many offers from applicants offering to dog-sit Gracie if we go away. I have to admit that Gracie is my therapy dog also.
Anne and I get uncontrolled Gracie face licks at bedtime. Gracie has a ritual of jumping on the bed, slobbering all over us and then jumping down before going to sleep. It’s real special in a real messy kind of way! I think she knows that she has a forever home. She is a very well-adjusted girl and I don’t sense any lingering effects from her journey. I can go on and on, maybe I’m biased, but we feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with Gracie. She’s perfect, and I believe these things happen for a reason. I used to think those “Who Rescued Who” car stickers were kind of lame, but I really get it now. Gracie really helped us more than we could have ever helped her.
 

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Such a beautiful story. Sounds like Gracie found a wonderful forever home. And my Lambeau at 15 months has a black freckle on his tongue and Lambeau is probably the most mellow dog I have ever seen. From day 1 he has been layed back with absolutely no aggression not even as a puppy.
 

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Congratulations on your adoption of Sky, hope you'll share pictures of her with us.
Her story is wonderful.

As others have said, the black spots are quite normal and have nothing to do with a dog being aggressive. Some people call the black spots on dog's tongues "treat" spots.

You may want to contact an animal behaviorist/trainer about the problem you're having with her.
 

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Congratulations on adopting Sky/Gracie :) I enjoyed reading her story and hope to read many more!
 

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Hey Mike!! Better watch out for that vicious love-bug of yours! :wink2::wink2: Gracie is a melt your heart sweetie! Still having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that someone who is smart enough to earn a veterinary degree would actually believe that and say that to you! My Sunny (still in my signature until I figure out how to change it) had a beautiful tear shaped drop right in the center of her tongue. I loved it.
 

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We had a golden named sandy she had a black spot, we always laughed at it in pictures called it her beauty ,ark. Furthest thing from the truth. She passed at 12 in my arms I still miss my girl today she used to sit at the end of the driveway everyday watching for the kids to come home. FYI with lived beside an adult group home she would go over with my girls and play cath with the adults with Down's syndrome xo
 

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The OPs vet makes me laugh... My first golden had a black spot on her tongue... She was the most gentle dog I ever owned. I hit the million dollar with her and mellow, kind, loving temperament. She would lick a fly so that it's wings wouldn't work, but it wouldn't die. I had a home daycare and kids laid all over her... IF that's from her black spot on her tongue, I sure hope Daisy develops a few! HAHAH
 
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