Please read the letter from Janine regarding Tiberius as well as my commentary/response in yellow. This boy has seen the worst that people have to offer, now lets show him our best. Please help me find him a forever home or at least a loving foster home while he waits for his forever home <3
I am the shelter manager for Parke Vermillion County Humane Society in Hillsdale, IN. On June 8, 2017 we were called out by the Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department when they found an adult Rottweiler locked inside a wire crate, inside a house that had been abandoned for over a year and a half.
Tiberius is gorgeous but thin (he weighs 72 lbs and should probably be closer to 85-90) he is around 4 years old, current on vaccines and negative for heartworms. He has been dewormed with Drontal and treated for fleas. Medically he seems in decent shape.
Behaviorally, he will guard food (completely expected given his condition when discovered). He can be distracted with toys, and does not care about the bowl once it is empty- both are very positive attributes as this shows that his guarding is merely out of hunger and that it is not so overwhelming that he cannot be distracted. I have also given Janine some tips to help with his resource guarding and she reports that since implimenting the techniques I told her he has come leaps and bounds! Unfortunately one of the worst mistakes that can me made (and equally unfortunate that it is the most common mistake) with a dog that is resource protective is to constantly take his resource away. People/trainers mistakenly believe that they need to constantly usurp authority over the item to teach the dog not to guard it. This almost always has the exact opposite effect. If a dog is resource protective, it is because he feels the resource- usually one that has not been provided on a regular basis- will be taken away. When you constantly take it away, all you do is prove him right and exasperate his fear that someone will take his resource (food, toy, treat, etc.) away. What you want to do instead is keep a drag line on him (this is a cheap lead/leash that he can drag around so that you can safely both correct and control him when necessary). If he stiffens or shows even the slightest sign/body posture that he is guarding the rescue, you pull the drag line and walk him away with a stern no. When you walk him away, keep him within eyesight of his resource. Let him see that no one is touching it or taking it and, once he complies (calms down/relaxes) you can walk him back to his resource. This is a game of patience. You might have to do this over and over and over and over. Remaining calm and patient is of the utmost importance. He must learn to trust you- to know you have no desire to remove his resource and that it will continue sitting there undisturbed, to know that you will not get frustrated or angry with him, and to learn that his action is unacceptable and will be corrected, but his resource will remind safe. Constantly claiming dominion over a resource, taking it away from him, tricking him (distracting and then snatching it away), etc. will only deepen the mistrust. It might be a short term way to get what you want, but ultimately, it will do more harm than good. He has great ball drive.
He does get nervous when you restrain him or approach him with unknown objects. He will stiffen and growl, but since he has been here he has NOT made any attempt to bite. We did muzzle him to vaccinate him and draw his blood (always better to be safe), but even then he stood still and growled. He never struggled, he never snapped. We feel he is just traumatized and insecure. He recovers very quickly, wags his little stub most of the time, and if food or handling is not involved, is loving and will lean against you. We feel he will soon recover and blossom in a loving home environment.
He has not been tried with any other dogs but he will meet them through a fence or walk past them without any reaction. I would not trust him around any other animals with food until he understands he will not be starved again, but we do feel that he would probably do okay with other animals.
Tiberius would flourish out of the shelter setting, We are hoping with no medical needs and only mild behavioral issues, he can be accepted into a rescue and begin his journey of healing and love. Please let me know what we can do for him. He will be neutered before joining his new place and we would be happy to help with transporting.