OK dog whisperers - advice please

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Steely, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I think you all know the story, but I will do a brief re-cap.

    Matt moved to AZ last July, and wanted his dogs to live with him. They were always "his" dogs, as they were given to him as gifts, so I let them go back to their "Dad". God I missed them. I had cared for them while he was in his programs, and of course even before that they slept with me. We have had them 5 years and I was definitely their mommy. We also had Chester who was a little cocker spaniel and he ruled the house. When Diesel and Steele moved back in with Matt, Chester basically died of grief. He was 15, and that was just it for him. OMG it was horrible. Horrible! I had to put him down 2 weeks after I got fired. %$^& :frown:

    I waited months to get another dog, because I just had to get over MY grief. Then I put tons of thought into which dog to get because I wanted the new dog to get along with Diesel and Steele. Diesel is 1/2 Husky and 1/2 Pit - and Steele is 1/2 Coyote and 1/2 Lab - both are a bit dog aggressive. However, Chester could take them down with one bark. So I decided on a 6 week old female, who was obviously very submissive -Tesla who turned out to be a Carolina Dog.

    I started immediately introducing Tesla to D and S by dropping over each day with her. It did not go well. She did all the right things, rolled on her back, no eye contact, bowing. Steele hid - because that is his M.O. - but Diesel was literally shaking as he resisted the urge to attack. When I had Tesla on my lap to protect her he would sniff and be OK - but if she was on the ground then he would growl and bear his teeth. There was curiosity there, and some restraint, but it felt dangerous. So I stopped the whole process, and accepted that perhaps Diesel would not be broken of his natural aggression.

    So now Matt is leaving for Idaho for a month. Although in the other post I said it felt like he was just dumping the dogs on me - he has actually made me a list on how to take care of them, and is very concerned for their well being. He told me last night that he would never move without his dogs, they were his babies. So that is positive. However, while he is gone, I would really like for Diesel and Steele to be able to come over to my house with Tesla.

    What could I do to make this experience one that would not endanger T? I am not too worried about Steele, because he is very submissive, and one command to stop, and he stops in his tracks. It is Diesel that has the strong pit bull upper body and the energy to go with it that I am worried about. Tesla is about 40 pounds, and lean and lithe. She is made for running, but not for defending herself.

    Any ideas? Maybe it is hopeless - and I can accept that. It would just be easier on me if somehow they could all get along.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Can you keep them separated? He may well sense her potential to be dangerous and a challenge to his alpha status. When was the last time they were together?
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh yes, they will be separated. They are at Matt's house, and T is here at my house.
    It was about 4 months since the last time they were together.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I bet she's a lot bigger now, isn't she? Is she fixed?
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, she is fixed and yes, pretty much full grown. 40lbs or so.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hmmm.... never know, she might rule the roost now.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yea, you are right. I guess it is worth a try, huh. I have seen her interact with lots of dogs and she is just the biggest sweetie, always bowing and licking their ears. How can another dog not like that???? :)
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I had one that was great like that most of the time, but she could whip the **** out of many dogs twice her size (generally she did this to her brother, lol - he was bigger, she was smarter and faster).
  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    For some reason about a year or so ago, our boxer Maggie was absolutely fed up with the Jack Russell and attacked her. Even though the Jack is the Alpha Dog, Maggs didn't care. We have to keep a cloth muzzle on Maggie when she is around the Jack. One thing I did notice was the Pit, who knows Tilly our Jack is the alpha dog and always keeps her place, when she heard Tilly yelp she tried to go straight in and join the frey of lets eat the little dog.

    That last part totally freaked me out so am very very careful knowing that once a fight will start, the third dog will go join in. Maggs has tried to take Tilly on but can't because she is muzzled. Vet said I can never again let Maggs around Tilly without a muzzle. Its a pain all day long to lock up Tilly so Mag can go muzzle'less -especially since Tilly is so stubborn she will bark and scratch at the door for absoute hours till she is let out.

    We have the same behavior if one of the three is gone for a period of time and comes back in the house as well

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    THIS is going to come off as a very harsh suggestion but it will be harsh for Matt - not you. I think Matt has some tough decisions to make. These are HIS dogs. He's moving. He wants to move and make Seattle his permanent home.

    Your home and Tesslas home is in AZ. Tessla is JUST getting acclimated to her surroundings. Things are JUST starting to settle down for you BOTH. It has been a VERY rough couple of years for you, and it has been a rough life for her. Introducing two strange dogs that are dominant and aggressive to a household that is just settling down? Without help and support of someone as fantastic as Caesar? Brother sister - I don't think so. I'm no expert, but I'm getting older and even though we take in the occasional stray? It's been VERY stressful on our oldest Bull. He is dominant, and aggressive, and have to be kept apart at ALL times. Some dogs can not be untrained - he is one of them. He is a difficult pit that has a killer instinct. Not with every dog, but I've paid too many vet bills for faces demolished to take a chance. So we shuffle this one out - take those three in - those two out there - these two here. Olivia needs to find a new home soon. This isn't fair to anyone here. I'm afraid it won't be any different with Tess and you - and oddly enough to Diesel and the other.

    Since you have been doing well to draw boundaries - maybe here's another set you want to map out. I know you, and I know you love helping and animals probably more than most people. BUT - like any good foster person you have to ask yourself - WHAT is BEST for the dog that LIVES here and me? How long is Matt going to be gone, what happens if he's gone - longer? What then? Could he pick the less aggressive dog and you just deal with that dog? Could he kennel them both and you offer to help pay for that? That way he'd be sure to come back for his dogs. Or could he just say - take them NOW to the ASPCA and let someone find them a home and not have this worry all the way around.

    Not trying to sound harsh? But I can tell you this much as a dog owner - The B will RULE the roost. Eventually? She'd fix the lot - and in the mean time? You COULD have some VERY VERY BAD injuries, vet bills - and with HER set of teeth? WOW - could be some very bad injuries. Not to mention the stress on you an the aftercare. What if it were an eye or even life? Then you get investigated by ASPCA for dog fights? Possibly - not for sure - but it could happen. We were told that since we have bully breeds. You would have a part bully breed. Are they all caught up on shots? Tags ? License? How about flea treatment? Do they walk well on lead? HOW are you going to walk them all on lead? Food costs - vet costs - IF something were to happen - or if they need shots or license while you have them? Spider bites, snake bites - etc.

    Just thinking out loud for you - because I'm just at the age where if someone came to me and said - I NEED YOUTO TAKE my dog - (and they have) I've had to say SORRY NO. Except for my Granddog. And this probably isn't our last "foster" Olivia here - but we really had to look at the condition and quality of our kids first. The only reason we HAVE Olivia is because when her and her sister would come here? It would start a fight with Casper and Bull - and I told Olivias owner if there was a VET bill from a 140 lb and 75 lb bulldog fighting SHE was going to pay for it.....and then Pootie jumps right in the middle cause she has NO sense whatsoever.....and trust me - There is NO way anyone wins in that mess - Pootie would get killed, Casper gets laid wide open and at this point one of them would die because Casper wouldn't stop and neither would Bull - . No win situation anymore. all of this because someone ELSE isn't responsible for their dogs. And NOW I have them. or her.....

    Just think about it. Hugs
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't know much about dogs. We had a lab/irish setter mix growing up but I only took her to obedience classes after gfgbro undid much of the training my mom gave her. I have no clue how to train dogs. I would say that at the very least you will need crates in separate rooms. Tesla with you and the other dogs in a different part of the house IF you can have them together. I would say that MATT has to figure out what to do to take the dogs with him because HE made the commitment that they are "his babies". They are living beings, not something you can just up and walk away from. If this were something like rehab it would be different. But just to go on a vacation? Nope. He either needs to shoulder the expense of kenneling them, pay for a dog sitter to come in daily to walk and clean up after them and feed them, take them with him or rehome them.

    They are NOT your commitment. Not after he ripped them out of your home when he got out of his programs. They knew YOU as their home, regardless of the house. You were the constant in their lives, their anchor and their mommy. Then he took them and said, "you are mine. I am your daddy, your pack leader." It isn't something you can walk away from for a month. Not iwthout making arrangements and being responsible. Dumping them on your mom is NOT that. Esp when one of your dogs threatens your mom's dog. Your commitment to Tesla is the top priority pet wise in your life. Esp if Matt is going to take the dogs with him in a month.

    Part of being an adult, a man, is taking care of your commitments. He chose this one even when it hurt you and your other dog died of grief from his actions. He cannot go back on that - NOT fair to you, the dogs, and NOT taking care of his commitments or dealing with the consequences of his choices.

    If you do care for the dogs, let him know that on X date if he isn't back the dogs become YOURS permanently or they go to a shelter. Give him that date and stick to it. IF he comes back and wants to take them after that, well, it was his choice to leave and his choice to not come back on the agreed up on date. I would insist on a muzzle for the dog that is aggressive to Tesla. Plus working hard to give positive rewards when they aer together. If you have netflix, check out the show Dog Town. They show trainers workign with dogs at a big rescue no-kill place and it has good suggestions.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree with Star.

    I have an aggression issue going on with Molly and Betsy, and let me tell you it is a royal pain in the rear end.

    We kept Betsy out of Precious' litter because she adored Molly......I mean seriously adored her from like 2 wks of age. I wanted a 2nd dog, but didn't want the aggression issues we'd had with Precious who had to be re-homed because of it. (broke my heart) But too many nasty injuries and Precious got a new home as an only dog. Four years Betsy adored Molly. I'm not sure what happened but I have an excellent theory. When I was in school that last year for nursing I had no time for any of the dogs. At. All. husband kept them outside all day every day. They got no attention. Made me feel bad but there wasn't much I could do about it. Then last fall I was in the yard with them. Betsy had gotten some snuggles, she went off to play. Molly came over to snuggle and Betsy tore after her big time. First time I thought it was something we could fix with attention.

    Sadly we can't get the behavior to stop no matter how much attention I give them. Molly will not defend herself against Betsy.....because well, Molly just won't. She loves Betsy. She's not the least bit submissive.....Betsy would have to do damage before Molly would fight and then it would be horrid. The girls are fine together as long as I am no where near them. But we separated them even in the yard for almost a year (talk about a pain in the rear) and have them separated into rooms in the house.

    I will not re-home Betsy. She's 5 yrs old and does not take to strangers easily. I raise my dogs that way on purpose. And I adore her and she's not going anywhere. So I'm stuck having to separate two big dogs in the house. Betsy hangs out in the livingroom babygated in. Molly has the rest of the house. husband and Travis have to take the dogs out.....or at least Betsy if they're adding her to the yard with Molly cuz if I do it, it starts an attack. They have to bring them in. A total pain.

    I never though of getting Betsy a muzzle. I may just do that too. It would let them have time together inside without having to have the baby gates closed all the time. hmmmm