Around Christmas of 2010, the animal control officer from Hull called us about Lucy, a 7 year old spayed female boxer. She saw the CSD as Lucy’s only hope. Although Lucy lived amicably with a dog she was severely aggressive to other dogs, especially small ones. The episode that led her owners to consider giving her up was when Lucy escaped from their yard and attacked a small dog that was being walked.
Lucy bit the other dog on the neck resulting in deep puncture wounds which required veterinary care. When we called Lucy’s owners they reported that dog aggression was Lucy’s only problem. She was extremely friendly to people of all ages.
The owners were aware that after Lucy was admitted to the ARLB she would receive both a thorough medical examination and the Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program behavior evaluation so that we could learn as much as we could about Lucy to prepare her for her next home. Lucy’s medical exam revealed some treatable problems. Her Match-Up II personality profile showed that Lucy was very friendly to people, slightly fearful, not excitable, somewhat playful, very trainable and aggressive to other dogs. She received 12 behavioral triage points, 8 for the bite to the other dog on her behavioral history, 1 for growling at other dogs on her evaluation, and an additional 3 for her weight. Her Match-Up II Shelter Dog Rehoming Program results did indicate that she was dog aggressive. To learn more about the extent of Lucy’s dog aggression, volunteers accompanied her to numerous shelter dog obedience classes. We found that although she growled at other dogs, she was easy to control. Then, to learn more about her behavior around a variety of people, she lived with us during the day in our offices. She showed that not only was she very friendly to adults, she was also friendly to children.
Just as her owners’ claimed, which we also confirmed through the Match-Up II Program, dog aggression WAS Lucy’s only problem and in fact, was very controllable. As you can see, Match-Up II is a comprehensive, multi-part system, that takes information from many parts of the program in order to get the most information about a dog. It’s not about passing or failing. It’s about understanding every dog as an individual by getting information from multiple parts of the program to find the most suitable home for a dog.
Lucy is now living very happily in the middle of Boston with a family of four, including two children, one 9 year old and one 12. They couldn’t be happier with her and reported that Lucy has in fact brought the family closer together.