Pet Rescue/Adoption/Dog Bite


We just rescued a new dog she is a chihuahua corgi mix and has been doing very well adjusting to her new life. TOday my wife brought home students from the school she worked at and roxie had an episode. She was very standoffish which is different from her usual attitude. She appeared to be overwhelmed by all the students and when my daughter went to put her in the kennel because she was growling, roxie snapped at her and barley pierced her skin. None of us want to get rid of her but we are wondering what the next step is and if training is a a good option or if she just needs to be more socialized. What should we do?

Those are very nervous and not very socially outgoing breeds of dog as it is, and if she was an abused or neglected rescue, it just gets even worse. Your dog had a nervous sensory overload and was not being dominant aggressive, but she is what is known as a "fear biter". Socialization IS training, and yes, any rescue dog like this needs training with the help of a professional, but most of all YOU need training. These dogs don't just get over this sort of thing without the right handlers, and the ones most needing training is the family in understanding how to set boundaries and be consistent with the dog. If you do nothing, it will not get solved and may get worse. If you socialize and reward her properly (as well as appropriately correct her), and you are consistent, then she can possibly overcome this, but the most important key to the puzzle is you and your family and your consistency until she learns a new way to behave. She needs to be exposed slowly to new situations and be rewarded for proper behavior.  

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I am the co-founder of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue ( Wichita Falls, Tx. ). We provide temporary to permanent sanctuary, medical care, and adoption, to needy reptiles of all types ( turtles, tortoises, lizards, and snakes ). We are, first and foremost, reptile educators and care advisors. In this way we hope that we can prevent many animals from needing to be rescued or re-homed in the first place. We are experienced in many different specific reptile species, including: Geckos, Anoles, Iguanas, Bearded Dragons, Monitors, aquatic and box turtles, tortoises, colubrid and venomous snakes, and Horned Lizards. We can advise you about a variety of captive care issues, and are available to speak to the public about the study and conservation of reptiles in the wild. We also have previous experience in dog and squirrel rescue organizations, with rabbits, and with some wild and domestic birds. We continue to rescue squirrels in our area with much success, and work closely with our partners, of Southwest Oklahoma Animal Rescue. We can assist in emergencies with these and many other animals; or, direct you to someone or another appropriate rescue group who can help.


I am an amatuer herpetologist, with 20 years experience with reptiles. I am a reptile rescuer and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service, and member of the Horned Lizard Conservation Society. I have medical and scientific resources available, and have had to learn herp medical care over the years. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct a few in the past, as it related to reptiles. I have a yahoogroup dedicated to the conservation and husbandry of Horned Lizards. My specific area of expertise is in Chelonians ( primary- Box Turtles ), Phrynosoma ( Horned Lizards ), and Crotalids ( primary-Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes ); though I have some knowledge and/or experience also with aquatic turtles ( Red Eared Sliders ), tortoises, monitors, many other smaller lizards, and with some colubrid snakes. I am currently the caretaker of 13 Horned Lizards ( 10 rescues ), 9 Box Turtles ( 7 in rescue ), 1 Tortoise, 1 Red Eared Slider ( rescue ), 2 Leopard Geckos, 1 Golden Gecko ( rescue ), 1 African Wall Gecko ( rescue ), 4 Mediterranean Geckos, 2 Bahama Anoles ( rescues ), 1 Ca. Kingsnake, 1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa, 1 Bullsnake, 5 Fox Squirrels ( in rescue ), and 1 Budgie.


Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue
Horned Lizards YahooGroup
Horned Lizard Conservation Society

The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 26 pages of care information. Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content.

20 years of field and captive husbandry EXPERIENCE.

Past/Present Clients
I was requested to provide my care sheet on the Desert Horned Lizard ( Phrynosoma platyrhinos ), for the Montreal zoo.

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