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Placing a "racist" dog....please help!!

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  • Placing a "racist" dog....please help!!

    Here's the problem.

    I had an ACO call me yesterday about a female husky and collie mix dog at the home of some people who had called to have a stray puppy picked up.

    The owners were needing to find a home for this husky/collie because it was causing some disturbances in the neighborhood; mainly barking non-stop at more people than not.

    This is the story that I've been told. About 6 months ago, one of the neighborhood kids was walking by the fence and the dog barked at him. He then picked up a stick and some rocks and stones and began beating the dog and throwing the rocks and stones at her. The dog ended up needing a few stitches and it scratched her eye so though it's healed now and the vet doesn't think there are any vision problems, she's still got a scar from the corner of her eye down about 1/4 inch of her nose.

    The boy was a 12 year old African-American. And ever since them, the dog barks, growls and snarls at EVERY African-American that goes near (even if they pay no attention to the dog--I watched her try to attack a guy last night who paid no mind to her). There were several kids that walked by the dog last night too and she only barked at the black kids and one white kid who was wearing black pants, black shoes and a black shirt. The ACO friend that was there yesterday couldn't go near the dog cause she'd kept barking and growling at her. Then she took off her black shoes and the dog became her best friend.

    I interacted with this dog for almost two hours last night. She plays fetch, jumped up for hugs. She new sit, stay and come. I put her on a leash and with every gentle tug and a "heal" she slowed her walking until she was at my side. She was very excited and very playful and was an overall happy dog. I took my 5 year old daughter with me and my 3 year old female Mal and the three did fine together. The husky/collie played with my 5 year old, returned the ball and would drop it at her feet so she'd throw it again. And she and my Mal, after getting their "sniffs" out of the way, played together almost non-stop until after about half an hour they curled up next to eachother for a break. She really was an overall incredible dog.

    It's just black people and black objects that, probably due to this incident with the boy, she absolutely hates!! I did not bring Momma Dog (who is mainly black in color) along with me so I don't know how the husky/collie would do with black dogs.

    But nonetheless, I'm not sure what to do with this dog. She is a good girl, very sweet and loving and just needs some proper people interaction and perhaps some better training. I think a lot of her other behavior issues (such as chewing through her chain and leaping the fence) is more a result of not getting the exercise a dog her size should get (they admitted to only walking her once or twice a month and only then around a block or two). And though she fetches and is capable of entertaining herself, inside this fenced yard she is on a 15 foot zip line which for a dog her size, is not a lot of room to fully exercise her body or release energy.

    But there is the placement issue too. How can I place a dog that is so warningly aggressive to other races and dark colored clothing? I feel even with fully explaning the situation and though people will probably understand, saying her placement to a white family only would make me look racisit or even prejudice. Though neither I nor her owners feel she is any immediate threat to any race (or child), I still think it's best her placement avoid certain aspects--such as the predominent race of the neighborhood she go to.

    Help me out here........I don't know what to say or what to do. Like I said, she is a great dog she just has this one specific fear that, in the south, may make her hard to place. The owners have 8 days to find her a home before the city takes the dog (because of the complaints of her barking at passer-byers). If the dog is taken to the shelter, because of the variety of races that are volunteers at the shelter, the minute she barks and growls at even one worker she will be labeled aggressive and be destroyed.

    She's not aggressive.......she's just scared. But this fear is one I've never dealt with and don't know how to help her through it.


    EDIT: I just wanted to add that I hope I haven't offended anyone by this question, I certainly don't mean to in the least bit. I just want to see this girl get the time and attention she deserves and not get put to sleep over a totally unneccesary and avoidable situation from some kid who (the parents claim) just didn't know any better. If I've upset anyone, then I apologize now for it.

  • #2
    When placing a dog, you are allowed to refuse anyone for any reason, skin color has nothing to do with it, I may have two identical rotties sitting here for adoption and refuse a family one of them but give them the other because the personality of the dog did not match the personality of the family, but did match the other. You have no need to tell a family why you aren't adopting her to them, mearly that she wouyld not fit their family. On top of which if you are thinking about taking in this dog to adopt out I would take her to a animal behaviourlist (sp) or to some obediance classes first and try to work through this with her. Perhaps starting from the shoes up with reward reward reward. Just a thought.
    The reason dogs are great is they wag their tails, not their tongues.


    • #3
      I agree with the above. Take her in and go to a behavior specialist. If you can't afford that do the best you can with socializing her and getting her use to dark clothing first. And if you do have to refuse someone just say " I don't think she is suitable for your needs". Simple as that. No need for further explanation.

      I'd also start with getting her use to maybe a black food bowl. Or put a black shoe by her crate. (Not inside). You could also pet her with a black cloth like a shirt. Let her see that just because it's black doesn't mean it's going to hurt her.

      Keep us updated.
      Blessed Be

      Salem Witch Child


      • #4
        Is it possible to have a black person feed her?
        Is there any black people that work at the kennel?


        • #5
          I agree with all that's said above. You don't have to give her to anyone she won't enjoy. Perhaps you can even get her to trust again.

          My cousin's dog went through a traumatic incident some years ago. Her and her brother dog had gotten out of their kennels and decided to explore the new building my cousin was moving into. One of the neighbors freaked out and thought they were vicious, just because of their size (they were mutts) and called the police. The police came, tried to capture them. They ended up cornering the male, who then got defensive and snapped at one of the young cops. The cop then shot him, and he died. It didn't help my cousin gather herself, either, when the newspaper came out with a headline: "Vicious Dogs Run Amuck". Since that day, the female has hated men. She growls and barks whenever she sees one, and she won't greet or allow anyone who's not in the immediate family to pet her.

          However, she will let the father and the sons pet her. Perhaps this husky can learn to establish a loving bond with a black owner, but have them aware she may not be friendly to just anyone.


          • #6
            I'm not sure that "simple" obedience alone will get her over her "racism" , a specialist/ behaviorist should be able to help with that. She has too many things going for her and she sounds quite resilient, as is often the case.

            The problem with controlling who adopts her is this; just because she goes to the right match, with the "right" neighborhood doesn't mean that she will never ever be in contact with situations, people and /or objects that might trigger her negative response. Then what happens to her if worst comes to worst and she hurts someone out of fear? I'm not sure I'd want to take that chance.

            She's had the wonderful opportunity to have you on her side. Now's her chance not only to find that ideal new family, but to also heal her fears as much as possible. She's lucky to have someone as caring as you on her side.

            Just my 2 cents. :)


            • #7
              This is really weird. I think you should find her a behavior specialist.