St. Bernard havoc

by Lauren

Genuiss was raised by his previous owners who divorced & rehomed him with us. We have had him 2 months. The first month he was sweet (he still is) but in last 3 weeks he fought with Mastiff (male) and they both suffered serious injuries. He got a "balloon neck" that had to be shunted. Mastiff is near lame in back legs from neck shaking & bites. Then Genuiss (st. bernard) almost died from a flipped stomach. He was in vet for total 10 days tween these issues. there was only 2 or 3 days in between these issues. He had been home again a few days when our little shi tzu simply walked by his bone. He came charging over and raised her up in his jaws then put her down and backed off. She was TERRIFIED. she recieved "only" one staple on her head & side of mouth, but had to go back to vet that nite cuz she was not moving and held her head strangely. They kept her last nite & tonite.
Im concerned now that this dog will continue to be a problem. I was told he was trained, had grown up with a pit bull and they got along fine altho pit "picked on" genuiss. We were warned to be careful when he had a bone tho so I almost feel like its human error. we have 4 shi tzus, the mastiff and him. Are we in over our heads or is this going to taper off IF we keep sharp eye out? My husband already wants to rehome St. but kids (30, 24, 19, 17) dont. I cant decide ... but my heart wants to give him a seconc chance. Is it any part that a male shi tzu died this week after being sick? (heart & renal fsilure) He actually died at vet, but was sick here for 2 or 3 weeks.

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Aug 08, 2014
sad ending
by: Lauren

I am very sad to say Geniss has to be rehomed For no reason we could fathom he attacked mastiff again and nearly killed him. He would not release even though we used his name and then resorted to using a wooden gate to try to pry his mouth off Ludo's neck. It was horrifying to watch as our dog went limp and we thought he was dead. We carried him to car and to the vet where he is in bad shape but will live.

Meanwhile Geniss acted immediately afterward as if nothing at all had happened. We took him to vet separately & boarded him til we find a home. We are all saddened by the whole situation We cant figure out what happened. We had been giving treats in a line with each name for weeks and no problems We had just given out frozen eggs to all & left the room. We came rushing back when we heard the fight. (yes, we think part was a people error but there hadn't been problems for weeks) We wonder, could his nearly dying twice have caused some neurological damage? He never did give warning and I've read that's the worst kind, No growl first, fight later He just attack all 3 times.

We love him but realize we cant control him and we don't have the ability to keep them separate for the rest of their lives. Plus we have 4 little shih tzu to worry about and he had given one a staple in her head over a bone she just walked up to. I have lost trust in him and I realize I do not have what it takes to train and control such a large animal:(

Aug 04, 2014
Nothing In Life Is Free
by: Adam G. Katz

Employ the "Nothing In Life Is Free" approach, so that your dog starts to view you as the "pack leader." If your dog doesn't see you as the leader, then your corrections will be meaningless. So, if you're doing subtle things (inadvertently) to undermine your leadership role around the house-- it will be counter-productive.

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All the best,

Adam G. Katz is the author of, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" -- which you can find at

Aug 04, 2014
applying help
by: lauren

I watched "nothing in life is free". Then I had my family watch it. Then we discussed where we could be going wrong.

We had many areas we errored in just 2 short months of owning him! I really was amazed at how the "little" things like who goes out the door first, no "free" treats without sitting, etc MATTER.

Geniss is a big dog & he has bully tendencies due to his previous home where he himself was bullied. The consequences of our NOT applying anything we could to stop his bad behavior were just too overwhelming for us to be passive or willfully ignorant. (re homing, injury to other dogs) There is no magic pill nor special circumstance. It IS a people problem! WE had to step up.

We have been doing all the steps the video explained and reading all the material we can. In just over ONE WEEK he is a completely different dog!! (or are we completely different people?!) He allowed other dogs to lay in "his" area. He did not show any aggression over his bones with us or other dogs!!! Its unbelievable really.
We are glad because it was such a stressful situation with no good outcome otherwise.

Us people were becoming hesitant to approach him or correct him. The other dogs were fearful too. And Geniss couldn't find a place in our pack:(so he wasn't happy either). Now the whole atmosphere has shifted! We feel confident in handling him & the overall calm has returned.


We are committed to ongoing education for ourselves so that we can be the best caregivers for our pets.

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