PDA

View Full Version : My heart is breaking, VineyRidge to the rescue - the Angel saga continues.



Pages : [1] 2

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 06:54 PM
I did not want to ever have to post something like this, and didn't want to put on the 'feel good' thread about Angel, but the unthinkable happened this afternoon.

It is hard to type this through my tears.

Angel and Cubby got into a nasty dog fight this afternoon. It was probably triggered by the excitement when one of my daughter's friends parents came to pick her up. I had walked out with the young girl to make sure she could get out the gate without any of the dogs escaping, when I heard the sound you never want to hear, two dogs fighting to the death.

I did what you should not do, attempt to break it up, screamed for my husband, all the humans came running out of the house and we did our best to break up the fight before any blood was shed. At several points we were all on the ground, wrestling with the individual dogs, I had Angel, my husband had Cubby, and somehow Angel got away from me, and went back for the attack, and would not let go of Cubby's neck. It was at that instant that I knew I would not be able to trust her ever again.

We managed somehow (not sure how, it was all so horrible) to get them apart, I chased Angel into my house and locked her in my office. My husband brought Cubby in, and bathed her, and checked for damages. She has a large scratch (not a gash thank the Lord) and a few nips on her ears, and Angel has a small tooth puncture on her cheek.

I do not really know what triggered this, and it breaks my heart, especially now, Angel is sleeping at my feet as I type this, and I am reaching for another tissue for my eyes.

My saint of a husband came in and checked on Angel when he was done with Cubby, which also broke my heart, I really thought he would hate her after what happened. We have all been trying to figure out if there is any way we can deal with this, but I don't think there is, we are not physically or mentally equipped to deal with any sort of visciousness in our dogs, or how to train it out of them.

I know the dogs view me as alpha, and I suppose if I could have reached them and "broke it up" before it got into the "red zone", maybe it would not have happened, but I cannot police them 24x7, and would hate to come home from dinner some night to a dead dog.

I called my neighbors, but they are not in a place to be able to take her at this time, they have their hands full with the GSD pup. I asked them to check with their barn helper to see if she could take her. I'm waiting for them to call back tonight or tomorrow morning.

This is killing me, Angel is such a sweet dog, but evidently she has a dark side, and it may well have been Cubby that started it, but Angel was going to finish it.

So, tomorrow, with a very heavy heart, I will call the Humane Society, and bring her in. At least they are a no-kill shelter, and hopefully they can find a home for her as an only dog.

God that made me cry - I so wanted to save this dog and give her a loving home for the rest of her life, and I really thought that was going to happen, and now this. And it kills me to think of how confused and betrayed she will feel. I don't know if I will be able to get over this.

Please, please do not flame me for looking out for my other dogs, you have no idea how hard this is. Jingles for a better home for Angel would surely help right now. She really does deserve a family to call her own, that can love her forever, until her time to cross the bridge comes.

dalpal
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:03 PM
No flames..I had a foster here at one time that caused total mayheim with my pack...I broke up several fights until he found another home (thank goodness)....he would get into the red zone. We were very fortuante to find a home who was willing to work with him and last I heard he was doing well.

I have one suggestion just in case....get yourself a wire muzzle when she is around the other dog. Thought I'd throw that out there just incase it would be helpful to you and the situation.

harveyhorses
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:09 PM
No flames, some tears yes. I know how hard you have worked for her and with her. You do have to look out for your pack. Hugs...

pintopiaffe
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:12 PM
oh, sweetie... no flames here. :cry: :cry:

I am so, so sorry for you. I am sorry for her.

You did your absolute best you went SO FAR above and beyond anything 'necessary' for her...

My heart breaks for you. My boys fight, but I know the trigger (changing food) and can mostly avoid it. And I live alone. And no children. And rarely visitors.

Some may come up with ideas, or say you do have a choice... I think you are doing what you know in your heart is right for your family and other dog. The RIGHT thing is hardly ever the easy thing.

I'm just so sorry for you. You did your best. Sometimes our best isn't good enough and it's just not meant to be. Please KNOW that you taught her it's ok to trust and love humans again, and we'll all pray she finds her own human who needs her.

Alagirl
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:15 PM
No flames.

I have heard breeders tell horrific stories of female dogs living together and one day carnage breaks lose.

Hugs to you, because it's the toughest decision yet.

There is no light and dark side to animals, they just are.

Casey09
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:17 PM
Oh, I am so sorry. It sounds like she definitely needs to be in a "one dog" home. Perhaps another male would be ok, but I would agree that you probably need to re-home her.
Good luck.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:40 PM
Thank you all for your kind words. I wish I knew where the muzzles that we have somewhere in this house were hidden, as that might be an alternative until I can get her to the shelter tomorrow.

I just got done doctoring up both dogs, I found a few puncture wounds on Cubby, and loaded them up with Animax, she will go to the vet tomorrow, and one on Angel, she was so good about letting me doctor it, that I began to cry again.

I don't think I will sleep well tonight. Or for many nights to come.

I know I can't save them all, but Angel is special to me, wormed her way deep into my heart in the past year and a half.

elizabeth
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:45 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this.

I missed something, though. Why can't she be an outside dog, since that is what she was before you brought her in? That's what my B.O. has. Two outside dogs, with very nice digs.

Cindyg
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:46 PM
I know I can't save them all, but Angel is special to me, wormed her way deep into my heart in the past year and a half.

Awww...so sorry...she wormed her way into all of our hearts in the past year and a half. So sorry.

JanM
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:49 PM
MM-You did your best for Angel and you're doing your best for her and the rest of your pack now. I know you don't want to do this but you have to accept reality and keep your entire family safe. Angel adapted to your home and I'm sure she'll now adapt to a home as an only dog. Make sure you post her information in the giveaways on here and I'm sure she'll find a good home. You did your best, and now you're doing the right thing for all concerned. The pack you have has to come first, and my heart aches for you.

Many people would never have made the long effort to capture her in the first place. And this may not have a good outcome for you, but because you captured her, and she is now a house dog she has great chance of being adopted to a forever home. You and the rest of your family have given her a chance for a great life, it just won't be in your pack. And if it had happened at my house I would have had to make the same decision you did.

AKB
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:52 PM
Are you sure this is something that might repeat itself? I am no dog expert, but two of our girls seem to have a horrible, loud, all out fight, about once a year. We always get as far away from them as possible, and the fight is over in a few seconds. There are always huge amounts of saliva on the dogs, but no blood or wounds. I think this is some sort of alpha dog ritual, and as long as no one is hurt, I ignore it. It seems to happen only when there is some sort of stress at home, such as when I am frantically cleaning house and cooking to get ready for a holiday.

vineyridge
Nov. 22, 2009, 07:55 PM
No flames, but . . .

What happened is very normal when a new dog comes into an established pack. It takes about (in my experience) four months before the new dog will make an attempt to assert dominance over other dogs in the pack.

What you experienced was not at all a fight to the death or anything like that. When a dominance fight is involved the wounds will all be to the ears and head--mostly to the ears. When a fight to the death is involved the wounds are to the legs so the other dog will be hamstrung and less able to move away from attack. If you haven't found evidence of leg wounds then the dogs were having a dominance fight, which is normal and common and to be expected, especially when one of the dogs wasn't properly socialized to household living.

When the people who witness such a fight get involved with screams and yelling commands, the animals don't listen to anything except the tone of voice. Usually they interpret such sounds from bystanders as encouragement to continue.

This is just a phase that your dog pack is going through in establishing the level of each member, and everything would probably work itself out if the people didn't interfere. However, I do know that that is extremely difficult and not something that most families can endure. My dog family has been through many such situations; and some times it resolves to neutrality and sometimes it doesn't. But mostly now, even when it doesn't, the confrontations are primarily noise and not blood.

I'm thinking now of my puppy who, when she reached sexual maturity, was slashed often in the face by another bitch who would no longer tolerate pushy behavior. I'm also thinking of two dogs who lived together for years in armed camps after the first few fights and the damaged ears one had ever after.

As long as the only damage was to ears and around the muzzle, neither dog was trying to kill the other. Angel was just attempting to establish a higher place in your dog pack over another bitch.

elizabeth
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:07 PM
I totally did not read the initial post with care. I think Viney has it right.

Your dogs have ear/face scratches, not "I'm going to kill you, bitch," scratches.

I'd re-think things, and give it a few days.

I would be happy to chip in a few bucks for a dog trainer to come to your house to assess the situation, and I image other people who support rescues would as well.

Again, I'm sorry for your situation.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:09 PM
Vineyridge, thanks for your very informative post, and I am sure you are 100% correct as to what was going on. The part that concerned me was this - as soon as we had them separated, I was telling my husband to turn Cubby away, I already had Angel facing the opposite direction, thinking that breaking the eye contact and eliminating the sense of threat from both dogs. I was saying it in as calm a voice as possible, and Angel still went back and attacked as soon as she got away from me again.

It was at that point I knew that this was not meant to be. Also, Cubby has been in "guard mode" ever since, and probably would not hesitate to start another fight. I cannot have this in my life, I thought for sure I was having a heart attack after it was all done, and I am not kidding.

You are right that this is not something we can endure in my family, my husband had a heart attack 4 years ago, my father in law is a sextuple bypass surgery survivor, I have a teenage daughter, and I am not as young as I used to be either.

I am not faulting either dog, I do know that sometimes this is what dogs do, but when neither of them was willing to back down. . . that was the part that I could not live with. Cubby was here first, and we never had any issues like this in my pack of dogs ever before, and honestly I could spend the rest of my life happy to never have to experience it ever again.

I will always love Angel, for the sweet dog that she is, and pray that the right person will come along and adopt her quickly. Everyone that meets her falls in love with her. Maybe I was not meant to be her forever owner, just a stepping stone to a better life that she can fill a home with love.

As to letting her back to living life outside, I thought about that, but I would have to fence the entire pasture in no-climb to keep her in. I cannot afford that, and cannot risk her living like she did before, with me constantly worrying about cars and shotguns and dog fights, or coyote attacks.

vineyridge
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:26 PM
Funny (odd) thing is that the fight could have been triggered by something as innocuous as Cubby and Angel both trying to go through the same door at the same time. It's just as likely that Cubby started things as Angel. :(

Hello, Elizabeth. Nice to see you back.

Zu Zu
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:30 PM
OMG !!! I am sooo very sorry for all involved ~ please know we are all broken-hearted about this ~ certainly a no blame situation. Thoughts and prayers for all dogs and humans. Please keep us updated on Cubby's condition as well as Angel's new placement. Jingles for a quick and happy solution to your dilema.

sdlbredfan
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:31 PM
I found the original thread about her but could not wade through all 80 pages.

A couple of things I'd suggest, before giving up also are, did you ever get a harness on her? If not, use a horse halter upside down. You know, the nose part slips over her head, the jowl part under her tummy with you sticking her legs through the appropriate slots on each side, and then buckle the crownpiece around her tummy. Once it is on, praise her, treat her, and leave it on. It is quite possible that you've been so stressed out about it that she just picked up on the stress level too. Once the halter is on, it will be much easier to grab her if you do need to nip some behavior in the bud.

Crate train her. If you want to find a way to give her some time out time, first let her learn that the crate is a happy place, treats, toys in there and just a chill out place good for a nap. If you are concerned that you see a sign of some problem brewing between her and one of the others, distract her by getting her into her crate.

I agree with the folks that say that was not a fight to the death to be all upset about, seemed like normal dominance skirmish to me. Did you ever get a picture of her? With the references to her singing that I saw in what I read of the other thread, I cannot help wondering if there is some Samoyed in the woodpile, but of course without a picture I have no clue. Good luck, and 'chill' for a few days on PTS'ing or rehoming her.

Oops, sorry did not see this before, which does put things in a different light, the ' I thought for sure I was having a heart attack after it was all done, and I am not kidding. You are right that this is not something we can endure in my family, my husband had a heart attack 4 years ago, my father in law is a sextuple bypass surgery survivor, I have a teenage daughter, and I am not as young as I used to be either.'. I completely empathize on that one (am not a spring chicken myself, either).

EqTrainer
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:35 PM
I am so sorry :(

I had this happen once when I had GSD's. I had taken a foster dog and she and my other bitch tried to kill each other.

The comment about the legs, I think, is correct. One of the dogs had an incredible number of punctures on her legs, the other one had one very serious slash to a leg that almost bled out.

My vet told me that it was very difficult to have two female dogs in the house and that I would have to rehome one or I could expect it to happen again. Luckily I found a home w/a K9 policeman for the second dog.

Hope Angel finds the perfect place.

kdow
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:42 PM
Before you actually rehome her, if at all possible, I would really suggest getting a proper dog behaviorist (NOT just a 'dog trainer' - look up Patricia McConnell to see the sort of person I mean) to come in and look at things.

Even if you don't feel able to keep her, bringing someone who is experienced in to assess the existing situation where the problem arose should REALLY help get more information about what kind of home situation she would be best in. There can be really very complicated social things going on beyond just 'she can't be with other dogs' and it would be helpful to have an idea of exactly what the issue is.

That way when she is rehomed, you can have more confidence that she'll be in a situation where she's not likely to get bumped again later down the line.

Also, I don't personally trust any dog trainer who ISN'T interested in coming to assess things at home/with the other dogs and people before making statements about the dog. (This is particularly the case given the number of dogs you have and the number of people around at the time the incident occurred. There could have been all kinds of subtle social things going on that no one noticed and so for the dogs it wasn't a sudden thing at all, but rather a reasonable progression of events.) (I'm not saying this to make you feel bad, btw - I probably wouldn't be able to recognize those subtle things, either. That's why we have dog behavior experts. :) )

Again, I don't want to say 'oh, you should keep her' because obviously you and your family need to be realistic about what you can handle. I just want to suggest you get a proper expert in to make sure that your idea of the situation is realistic (so you don't get rid of her if you don't really need to) and to make sure you have as much information as possible for rehoming her.

I do agree with some of the other posters that this might just be a case of 'growing pains' with the dog social structure, though. One of the trainers we talked to when Pirate and Foxy were having some issues right after we got him said that it can take up to a year for a dog to really settle in to a new place and bring the full personality out. Now, with Angel, you did know her before, but it's still a very new situation for her. (Heck, we've had Pirate a year and a half now and he's STILL getting more himself every day.) That's one place where an expert assessment in the home might really help.

MHM
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:48 PM
I'm so, so sorry this has happened. :(

(I must admit, I was relieved it was not worse news after I saw the title of the thread.)

You've done amazing things for and with Angel, far above and beyond what most people would have even considered. You know what you can cope with, and if you know the situation needs to change, then it has to happen. If she needs to be an only dog, sobeit.

If there is any doubt whatsoever about her fate at the local shelter, please consider the rescue run by Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw. They do an amazing job placing each dog in the right situation. www.dannyandronsrescue.com (http://www.dannyandronsrescue.com)

Bless you for your continued care and concern for Angel. I think she crossed paths with you for a reason.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 08:57 PM
My mother in law just came in to see Angel, and that really broke my heart, I am sobbing as I type this.

Angel is spayed (as are all my dogs) up to date on all shots, and microchipped.

God, I hate this!

I have had nothing but female dogs for the past 30 years, and never have I been through anything like this. And yes, multiple female dogs at a time. We have had 4 dogs for the past 5 years now.

Maybe Cubby did start it, but trust me, she is not going anywhere, she has never had an issue with any of the other dogs in the house. Because she is a herding dog, she does nip at back legs and is known to grab a tail, and maybe Angel just got sick of it. I don't blame her, it must means that this is not the right place for her, as much as I wanted it to be.

Trevelyan96
Nov. 22, 2009, 09:00 PM
MM I completely understand your feelings. My friends have a similar problem. 2 miniature schnauzers and a giant. The giant is the newest addition, she's now 2 years old, and she and their female miniature go at it on a regular basis. I think if it were up to the wife, the giant would have been rehomed ages ago, but her husband loves that giant.

Although it's 'normal' behaviour, its still upsetting, and can also be dangerous.

And flame suit in place, I think I recall that Angel may have a bit of pit bull in her. And although I don't buy the stereotype of all pit bulls being dangerous, I will say that if she's got typical terrier jaws and tenacity, she is more than capable of killing the other dog. There is a reason they are the dog of choice for dogfighting rings. My little guy is only 17 lbs., but he can destroy a hard nylabone made for the toughest chewers in about a week.

I think its thoughtless and irresponsible to ask MM to just 'let the dogs be dogs and work it out.' She wants a peaceful home and to protect her other dog. In the same situation, I think most responsible people would try to rehome the dog to a loving, one dog home.

Its heartbreaking for many of us who followed Angels progress over the past year, but MM is doing what she thinks best for her family.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 09:11 PM
Trevelyan, thank you so much for your support. That was the most frightening part today, was the re-attack and refusal to let go. And I was idiotic enough to actually put my hand in her mouth to try to pry her jaws open (and yes, I have a nicked finger to show for my efforts).

I do have to draw the line on owning a dog that will draw blood. I cannot emotionally handle it. I'm sure that it was not a "viscious dog attack", it was just a dominance fight, but I don't have the mental or emotional stamina to let them "sort it out", for fear of the outcome.

I am not afraid of Angel, or any of my other dogs (well, Candy is another story, but she is not really my dog, belongs to my in-laws).

What amazed me is that none of the other dogs got into the fracas, not even Candy (who I think was too busy watching the humans in the driveway to notice). But then again, they are not the alpha dogs, they already know their place.

Oh dear, I am crying again.

feed lady65
Nov. 22, 2009, 09:25 PM
I had a pitbull mix (female) and as soon as I brought her in the house, she went after the female lab mix. I must have separated the two of them 10 times in the first year. Once they were both bit up enough to need vet attention. On the way to the vets office, the pitbull was licking the labs wounds.
She really seemed to be apologizing. I had that dog for almost 10 years until she passed away. I always was extra vigilant with her around other dogs. Eventually her and the lab worked things out and were best friends, often sleeping in the same crate. But the first 2 years were terribly nerve wracking.

If I weren't in the process of moving to a much smaller house, I would take Angel in. Unfortunately, this is just not a good time. I'm sure there is someone out there looking for a dog just like her.

Feed Lady

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 09:31 PM
Thanks FL, I do hope that the right person comes across her picture at the shelter and gives her a forever home. But God, I will miss her.

I just had a flashback to my youth, after many years of being dogless, I convinced my mother to let me get a dog, a male beagle with perfect markings. But, he was untrainable, especially in a family with a single working parent, and two children in school all day. After he bit me the second time, my mother took him to a pound in NH, where hopefully some farmer adopted him as a hunting dog. And I still cried my heart out as my mother was driving away.

vacation1
Nov. 22, 2009, 09:47 PM
The attempt to renew the attack is troubling; a dog who stays that charged up and bold even after its utterly clear that the humans are strongly against the whole affair, is out of control. Angel may be very sweet 99% of the time, but that's true of most dogs who end up causing utter heartbreak through uncontrollable aggression. I don't want to hurt the OP, who's already in enough pain, but I don't think it's ethical to rehome a dog you think is capable of murderous violence toward another dog. OP has had this dog for over a year without seeing this behavior; what are the odds the new owner will not see the behavior for a similar length of time and begin to think "Oh, the first owner must have been wrong" and then - a dog park, a leashless run in public, a play date with the neighbor's dog. And someday, another dog rubs Angel the wrong way and bam.


Angel got away from me, and went back for the attack, and would not let go of Cubby's neck....My husband brought Cubby in, and bathed her, and checked for damages. She has a large scratch (not a gash thank the Lord) and a few nips on her ears, and Angel has a small tooth puncture on her cheek....it may well have been Cubby that started it, but Angel was going to finish it.


What you experienced was not at all a fight to the death or anything like that. When a dominance fight is involved the wounds will all be to the ears and head--mostly to the ears. When a fight to the death is involved the wounds are to the legs so the other dog will be hamstrung and less able to move away from attack. If you haven't found evidence of leg wounds then the dogs were having a dominance fight, which is normal and common and to be expected, especially when one of the dogs wasn't properly socialized to household living....As long as the only damage was to ears and around the muzzle, neither dog was trying to kill the other. Angel was just attempting to establish a higher place in your dog pack over another bitch.

I think you may have not read the OP closely enough. The wounds that Angel was ultimately able to inflict may have been minor and largely to the ears, but that was likely because she was hampered by having humans screaming and grabbing at her. If she was going for the throat and re-attacking, this was a blatant attempt to severely injure and kill the other dog. Yes, dogs do the hamstring manuever but the jugular is another popular target in a murderous attack. I've had two dogs seriously attacked, and in both cases the aggressor went straight for the throat.

sdlbredfan
Nov. 22, 2009, 09:53 PM
Before whatever happens to Angel happens, could we please see a picture of her!? Thanks!

seeuatx
Nov. 22, 2009, 09:57 PM
I don't think you are in the wrong. I discovered very quickly with my rescued Dal girl that she is Alpha female and food aggressive to other dogs. She tolerates other adult males, but will kick another adult female's butt if they do any little thing she deems out of line. She is the best puppy babysitter though, and she "adopted" hubby's JRT pup and tried to let him nurse. She lives happily with "her puppy" (who is no longer a puppy), but when my brother brought his 4 month old Viszla over, she gave some warnings and I am no longer comfortable having her over.

Anyway, my point is that she is still a great dog but I am very aware of her issues and take appropriate measures to control them. I hope Angel can find the only-dog home she needs.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 10:31 PM
Before whatever happens to Angel happens, could we please see a picture of her!? Thanks!

Sure, as hard as this is, I will always love her.

Here are some photos when she was still untouchable as a stray:

http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid22112544

And after we caught her, and brought her to live in the house:

http://www.PictureTrail.com/gid22363936

As to the aggression - she has only been a house dog for 4 months. I had not personally seen any other aggressive behavior from her before this, but then again, she was untouchable prior to July of 2009. She never had any wounds that indicated that she had been fighting with any other dogs, although she was a pretty good cat chaser, and did catch birds and baby squirrels when she was feral. Also, the vet said that she showed no signs of aggression in the 3 days that she was recovering at the clinic, and she did get along just fine with my neighbors GSD pup and the other neighbors JRT.

I think this is just a case of two alpha dogs living in the same household and it came to a head today.

I did just write a letter disclosing all that I do know about her history and behavior, to hand over with her other paperwork when I take her to the shelter tomorrow. I do not think that is being unethical. In my heart, I do think that she will be a great dog for the right person. I thought I was that right person, and maybe if I didn't have other dogs, or one alpha dog in particular, that might still be true.

I guess it was just not meant to be.

Jaegermonster
Nov. 22, 2009, 10:40 PM
[QUOTE=sdlbredfan;4513248]
I agree with the folks that say that was not a fight to the death to be all upset about, seemed like normal dominance skirmish to me. /QUOTE]


I agree with this. Had that been a real dog fight the injuries would have been much much worse. This is coming from someone who had a dogs earcanals and throat rebuilt last year twice after about a 30 second dog fight.
That was a dominance skirmish. They can't sit down and negotiate like weo do, that's the only way they can get it done.
I think I would wait a day or so until the dust settles and everyone calms down and then reevaluate the situation.
The decision you make could be life or death for Angel after all that she has been through.
I have 10 dogs (had 11, lost Megan to a rattler in July), several are female (incl a 100 lb rottie, a female lab, 2 pit mixes, a terrier mix, and a wolf hybrid) , everyone gets a long. No problems except for the fight last year where my Aussie was badly injured but that has been worked out and all is well now. And that was between two males.

I'm so sorry you have to go through this after all you have been through with Angel, but I am glad you found a no kill shelter that has room. That is a tall order these days.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 11:06 PM
Well, I hope they have room, will see when I call tomorrow at 10 AM.

I've been sitting here reading at ton of information on the internet on dog aggressive behavior, particulary dominance related, and there is a bunch of it out there.

Apparently you can try to retrain the dogs, it takes a ton of work and time, and in some cases medication.

And they all say that this is the age where the dogs start to show it - 18 months to 3 years - as social maturity. Well, Cubby just turned 3 and Angel is about 20 months (best guess). Probably not a good combination.

And thinking back on Cubby humping Angel, it was a dominance thing, and I probably didn't help the situation by telling Cubby to get off - I should have let her assert herself as dominant, and let Angel submit to it, but then again, it might not have made any difference.

Lord, I am tired from crying tonight.

Thanks again for all your support through all of this.

LLDM
Nov. 22, 2009, 11:14 PM
Would you consider moving her back into the barn for a little while? So many people have read Angel's thread and have come to care about her. If you gave it a little time, one of the them might be able to take her. At least then it would be someone who really knows her recent history.

SCFarm

MHM
Nov. 22, 2009, 11:22 PM
What about your neighbors who were mentioned recently on the other thread? The ones who originally hoped Angel might live with them? Would they want her now that you can't keep her?

Just trying to think of all the possibilities.

mustangtrailrider
Nov. 22, 2009, 11:42 PM
I know that this is not easy for you. You are doing the right thing by getting rid of her, but I think you should rethink of placing her in a no kill shelter.

With all due respect, there are so many dogs that have done nothing wrong waiting for homes in shelters right now. I do not believe that a shelter is the right place for a dog like this. Shelters are high stress environments. I do not believe she will do well.

Our local no kill shelter is full. Why should a dog with aggression issues take a spot in a no kill shelter?

I have had two very aggressive dogs that turned at age 5 and at 1. Both dogs were euthanized. I am sure they would have been fine as only dogs, but I will not risk another life.

Please MM, take my words as they are meant, with kindness and not hatred. It is very difficult for you. You have done amazing things with this dog. You have done everything you can. My heart goes out to you. I wish you the best of luck. I certainly hope you can find peace and a quiet household.

I will not tolerate dog aggression in MY house. Yes, they will work it out, but they always don't do so. After having many nasty dog fights with much blood shed, the dogs turned on us. I will not have an aggressive dog in my house.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 11:49 PM
What about your neighbors who were mentioned recently on the other thread? The ones who originally hoped Angel might live with them? Would they want her now that you can't keep her?

Just trying to think of all the possibilities.

Thanks, they were the first people I called after the incident, once I had stopped hyperventilating (no exaggeration either). When they called back they said, sorry, now that we have the puppy (who is quite the handful I might add), they cannot take her. They also asked their barn helper, who was mad at us during the trapping and tranqing days, but grateful we didn't turn her over to A/C. She cannot take in another dog either, due to the bad economy, she is living with her parents, and already has a bunch of cats and dogs of her own to tend to. The neighbors did offer to help, like going with me to the shelter, and offering money to the shelter to pay for her keep. I told them thanks, they have already gone way above and beyond to help her. The husband did say that he was very sorry, and sorry that he didn't get to meet her, so maybe I will find a way to have them come in the AM before I have to take Angel away.

As to taking her back to the barn, there is nothing to prevent her from coming back to the house and the back yard, and possibly attacking Cubby again when my husband takes her out for walks. Also, my barn is not set up to keep her confined, I suppose I could consider getting a kennel and a dog house, and keeping her down there, but that seems so cruel to keep her penned up all the time, as she has gone from total freedom to house dog with dog door life, I hate to see dogs penned up like that. And if I just let her roam like she used to - back to the worries of cars, guns and other animal attacks.

I'm between a rock and a hard place, and the pressure is killing me right now to come up with the best solution for all concerned.

I commend all of you that have dealt with a similar situation in the past, or living with dogs that have shown aggression towards one another, this is new territory for me, and I am heartsick over it. I could not in my wildest dreams imagine anything as horrifying as watching two dogs that you love tearing each other up like that.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 22, 2009, 11:55 PM
I know that this is not easy for you. You are doing the right thing by getting rid of her, but I think you should rethink of placing her in a no kill shelter.

With all due respect, there are so many dogs that have done nothing wrong waiting for homes in shelters right now. I do not believe that a shelter is the right place for a dog like this. Shelters are high stress environments. I do not believe she will do well.

Our local no kill shelter is full. Why should a dog with aggression issues take a spot in a no kill shelter?

I have had two very aggressive dogs that turned at age 5 and at 1. Both dogs were euthanized. I am sure they would have been fine as only dogs, but I will not risk another life.

Please MM, take my words as they are meant, with kindness and not hatred. It is very difficult for you. You have done amazing things with this dog. You have done everything you can. My heart goes out to you. I wish you the best of luck. I certainly hope you can find peace and a quiet household.

I will not tolerate dog aggression in MY house. Yes, they will work it out, but they always don't do so. After having many nasty dog fights with much blood shed, the dogs turned on us. I will not have an aggressive dog in my house.

mustangrider, I appreciate your words, and I know exactly how you feel, my very first reaction was to take her to the pound and let them deal with her. Then the sadness took over, and I am trying not to make any rash decisions. I did say to everyone in the house that God is not a bad owner, and if it comes to that, so be it.

But I really hate to condemn Angel for acting like a dog, as any dog would in a situation of dominance aggression, I think in the right place, she will be wonderful. She has been nothing but submissive all evening, but then again, I have been keeping her in confinement in my office and the only other dog she gets to interact with is Murphy.

I guess I will get to sleep on it for tonight, and see what tomorrow brings, but I do know that I will not be able to keep her here and have any peace of mind for a long time.

AiryFairy
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:09 AM
[QUOTE=MunchkinsMom;4513477]

And thinking back on Cubby humping Angel, it was a dominance thing, and I probably didn't help the situation by telling Cubby to get off - I should have let her assert herself as dominant, and let Angel submit to it, but then again, it might not have made any difference.
/QUOTE]

I think that's where it all went wrong, frankly, BOTH DOGS should defer to YOU, there should only be one alpha in the house, and that is you, the human. Cubby shouldn't need to assert herself, not should she be allowed to by humping. Angel isn't submissive, she just took it as long as she could and then went for it. They should be peacefully coexisting looking to you for leadership. Allowing them to duke it out for themselves just reinforces their dominance over each other. I've lived with (strong-willed, single-minded) sighthounds for 12 years, all of them bitches, and while there may have been a snarly at first, it was made clear right then that no one was allowed to do that in my house, I made the rules and governed the behavior and and it never happened again. I'm naturally dominant, having horses you have to be or you can get killed, but it does translate to dogs too. I think you really have to have a heavy "my way or the highway" attitude with a pack of dogs.

You've done right by Angel in getting her assimilated to being with people, hopefully that will be helpful in finding her a new home if that's what you choose to do. She will need a very dominant owner, because as someone else mentioned, she still thinks she has to fend for herself and a sideways glance at a dog park could be devastating.

dalpal
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:10 AM
Funny (odd) thing is that the fight could have been triggered by something as innocuous as Cubby and Angel both trying to go through the same door at the same time. It's just as likely that Cubby started things as Angel. :(

Hello, Elizabeth. Nice to see you back.

Yep....my friend had to break up a bitch fight in her house over who went through the doorway first.

I have been blessed with my two girls (I have two girls and one boy)...they've been together for over 3 years now and they all get along and know their place in the pack. One of my girls is an alpha, the other is happy to be the Omega....so it works here.

RainyDayRide
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:14 AM
I am so so sorry, MM ... this is, indeed, a heartbreaking situation. May you and your furries find peace whatever your decision is tomorrow or thereafter.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:23 AM
I may never be able to forgive myself for this. How can I take a dog that it took this long to get to trust me, and send her away? But how can I get her to live here in harmony with no further bloodshed? My gut reaction is that she will have to be re-homed, and whenever I have overridden my gut reactions in the past, I have regretted it. Every.Single.Time.

I could not live with myself if any of my dogs (including Angel) were hurt worse than what happened today because I didn't do the right thing for everyone involved.

I'm praying for guidance tonight. Thank you all for your support and suggestions and experiences, it really helps knowing that you all care.

dalpal
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:33 AM
I don't see any pitbull in this dog...she looks more like a hound/shepherd cross.

I can tell you that the dumbest fight that ever occurred in my house (back to the foster that I mentioned earlier) was between him and my German Shepherd/Collie mix...want to know what it was over......CAT VOMIT. Yes, Cat Vomit. My GSD mix is a guarder and damnit, that cat vomit was in her house and he was not to touch her cat vomit. I can wheeling down the stairs at break neck speed to find the two standing on their hind legs duking it out...couldn't pull them apart to save my life. I just knew she was getting beat to smitherens since he was the bigger dog...OHHHH, NO....not a mark on her, but she gave him a good nose lashing. I love my GSD mix, but I definitely do think that their guardian instincts can kick in when it comes to protecting their turf.

I will tell you that he was rehomed into a home with VERY STRICT RULES, tough love for months...he was not allowed on the couch (I see Angel loves hers...so do mine, but if you are having these issues...they aren't allowed to do anything without your consent...nor are they allowed to be up high/on furniture. When you have a strong alpha dog.....you really do need assistance in learning how to be the pack leader. Simple rules such as....you eat first, even if it is a bite of cheese before they get their meals, no sleeping on furniture, no walking in front of you, they follow, they don't lead.

Another tip that a rescuer gave me for dog fights....don't get in the middle (I know, it's reaction to get them apart NOW..I've done it, which is why she gave me advice)...instead, if they are locked and you can't get them apart...drag them to a doorway, and shut the door between them..that will snap them out of it and get them apart..one one one side, the other on the other side. May sound cruel, but no human is hurt and the dogs are broken up. I've never personally used it because shortly after, this dog left my household.

After dogs have a fight, it's hard not to anticipate another one....but if you do..it automatically makes your body language stiff and the vibes you set off, can set them off. You have to stay relaxed and calm. I'm guilty of this and I can tell you from experience that if I act nervous, my dog feeds off it, if I just relax...he doesn't tend to get anxious about a new situation. This dog is very sensitive to my body language and incrediably smart. He has figured out that COME means..."MOM sees something and needs to leash me"...so if I command COME, he starts looking around, looking to find what I see. So I'm having to work on this issue with him. Super intelligent dog and super sensitive to body language. When my friend would call me to tell me that she had arrived at the barn (I was already there out in the field with my guys) and wanted to know where I was, so she could bring her dog out to join us...this dog eventually put two and two together..phone call, mom turns around (I would look towards the barn to wave at her)..means friend is here and he would start looking for his buddy.

I'm not trying to convince you to keep the dog....I know how stressful a dog fight can be.....but just trying to give you some tips. I'm opposite in this household....even with two females in the house, I can take in a female foster no problem....but I cannot have any male dogs because my male dog is very territorial towards most male dogs and it is hell on wheels to have another male in my household.

MHM
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:39 AM
Just try to get a good night's sleep and see how it looks in the morning. If they've gotten along for 4 months with just one major incident, you don't have to rush into anything, especially if you have a big enough house to keep them separated while you try to figure out a solution. A muzzle on the two who tangled might be a short term fix.

There are people who just want to have one dog at a time, and who will appreciate Angel for being a good companion to a human. You've gotten her to the point where she is a good companion for a person, so now it's just a matter of finding that person.

She certainly has a much better chance at a good life than she did a year ago, or even six months ago, thanks to you.

FalseImpression
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:15 AM
I am so sorry for you and mostly for Angel. She reacted like a dog and now, it will cost her her happy life. Dogs react, they don't think that their action will have such dire consequences. It reminds me of a recent dog pulled out of a shelter by a rescue. He looked adorable, friendly, full of promise, but he nipped a vet tech's hand when she took his bowl away. He was put to sleep, no ifs or buts. Sad, but unfortunately, those dogs do not get a second chance.

I think I know how you feel about not being able to live with the not knowing. When my daughter was 2, our lab bit her in the face. She provoked him and unfortunately, I was not home and my parents did not see the signs. I loved my dog, but I was too tense to take a chance. Luckily, we rehomed him with a cousin who knew him and had no children, not even as neighbours. He lived a very happy 5 years with him and died of old age (almost 16). We went to visit several times, but right away, I was tense. The dog could feel it and never really came to me during our visits.

We all came to love Angel and we are all hurting and sharing your pain. I just hope that there is someone who is willing to give her the life she so deserves, but you do need the peace of mind! You did so much for her, don't blame yourself.

Good luck Angel!

palaminofancy
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:18 AM
I'm so sorry for you to have to deal with this. Your love for Angel shines through in all your post about her.
I too hope she can find a good home, but if you tell the rescue why you are turning her in, they might refuse to take her, or worse, they may label her as dangerous and put her to sleep.
I don't want to seem cruel, but what happens if after Angel is gone from your home, Cubby should get into a fight with one of your other dogs? Will she have to go too?
Maybe she hasn't done it before now, but since this has happened, she just might. One never knows what goes on in their heads.

Aimee Thanatogenus
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:22 AM
I am floored that after all those months of work you are considering giving up so quickly. I do hope that you will take the good advice given. I've got three bitches all variations on Akita crosses. All rescues. All mentally difficult. When they first came into the house it was WWIII. I found a good trainer.

Don't give in to emotionalism. Or breedism. She's been on her own for a long time and knows how to take care of herself. One of my rescues was like that. When a dog spends a bulk of its life relying on itself, it takes a bit of work.

sdlbredfan
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:37 AM
Thanks for the pix! She is so cute. I do not see any bully breed in her at all, looks a lot like the 2 Rottweiler/German Shepherd crosses the folks next door have had, but the ears really do look like Beagle. (I know you mentioned sometimes she sounds like a Beagle). Considering her background, she has come a long way. No matter what happens, remember you made a tremendous difference in her life, for the better!

Dog pack dynamics are very interesting. We have 3 senior (ages 12, 11 and 10) spayed Samoyed bitches, all rescues. The youngest one was here first, got her when she was 6 from a high kill shelter. She is definitely dominant, sometimes acts snarly to the 12 year old. The 12 year old defers to her, stays out of her way, and although she often will growl or bark back, it does not escalate from her side. The younger one has sometimes needed a reminder to behave, if she tries to be physical, which in her case usually takes the form of her blocking the other dog's path or a sideways body slam. Oddly, the middle one is tolerated by the younger one. We had an even older one, also disliked by the youngest, but the now 12 year old was very kind and appeared empathetic to that one, was very much keeping a vigil as that one was getting close to Rainbow Bridge. The one thing we do insist on is that all dogs know that above all, 'Humans Rule'! We pretty much let them sort out their own hierarchy, unless it looks like there could be an escalation beyond growl, shove or barring another dog's path. So far, they've managed to coexist for years, none the worse for wear. Maybe we are just lucky, but there does not appear to have been any fights while they've been home alone.

kdow
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:51 AM
I know you're very stressed about the whole thing (when Pirate and Foxy had their fight, we were all very freaked out because Pirate is literally twice Foxy's size and COULD have done a great deal of damage - it was a very difficult time while we decided what to do and researched) but I want to repeat that, if at all possible, I think in order to get the best possible situation for Angel in the future, you really should keep her long enough for a dog behaviorist to do an in-home evaluation.

That offers the best chance of figuring out what likely actually happened in terms of pack and house dynamics, which will give the rescue/shelter much more to work with when looking for a new situation for her - if the dog behaviorist can say with some confidence that the issue was likely to do with the pack, and that Angel would be fine as an only dog, it paints a much different future for her than if they just have to assume she's properly dog aggressive. (And honestly, even most of our local no-kill shelters *will* euthanize dogs that they feel aren't safe to re-home, which tends to include dog-aggressive dogs. I would at least ask about that if you think it would make a difference to what you decide to do with her.)

(If you're going to have someone come in, you can keep the dogs apart until then, I'm sure. And when the evaluation takes place, while obviously the dogs need to be able to interact in some way so the behaviorist can see their body language and behavior, I'm sure there are ways to do it safely and the evaluator will know. I mean, these people deal with SERIOUSLY dog aggressive dogs and teaching them to safely be around other dogs in a controlled way, so getting dogs close enough to see what's going on without endangering the dogs involved should be a fairly typical job problem for them. :) )

Finally, you did say one thing that I kind of question - you're worried that if Angel went back to being a barn dog, she'd still be able to come back and 'get' Cubby, and I don't know how realistic that fear is. Certainly from what you've been describing previously, it doesn't sound like Angel has the kind of issue where seeing other dogs kicks her prey drive into gear and that's that - it sounds a lot more like something created a social situation in which fighting seemed the 'appropriate' response. Moving Angel to the barn (so she has 'her' space and isn't in Cubby's all the time) might change the dynamics enough to remove the issue entirely. Again, a good dog behaviorist should be able to discuss that option with you after an evaluation, if it's something you want to consider.

Parker_Rider
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:02 AM
Oh, MM, I'm so sorry to hear about this terrible decision you have to make. No solution is going to be the easy one :( However, I doubt anyone on this board thinks you'll do anything but what is best for Angel and your family... as someone who's read your saga and can feel the pain radiating through these posts, I hope you'll be able to find a way to keep her. Sometimes a good nights sleep to let your subconscious figure it out can be the best thing. {{{hugs!}}}

Pocket Pony
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:11 AM
I'm so so so sorry for what you are going through and I know the feelings you are experiencing right now. This summer Mr. PoPo and I took in a dog from the shelter. He was an adult dog and clearly had not a good life before us. He had scars around his head and he was skinny. He was very sweet and submissive toward us and got along with all our other pets wonderfully - didn't care about the cats, got along with our other dogs, waited outside the barn gate for us while we did chores.

But he bit someone. Actually two someones. Without warning. No growl, no bark, no warning to say stay back or else. We could not keep him. It broke my heart like my heart has never been broken before. We did have a trainer come out for an eval and to work with him and of course he was perfect. We had no idea what had ever set him off, but we could no longer trust him.

We took him back to the shelter with full disclosure. We volunteer there so we know everybody and could keep tabs on him. Everyone loved him. He did get re-homed to someone whose lifestyle was conducive to keeping him and dealing with his issues. (We have the invisible fence but not a perimeter fence and anyone who comes on our property could come into contact with our dogs if they're out...we have lots of friends who just drop by and just could not risk another biting incident. New owner has two no-climb dog runs separate from the yard/general public area.)

We were prepared to have him PTS if a better home was not found for him.

I don't have any advice to add. I just want you to know that I know your heartbreak and wish you the best...and the best for Angel, too. :(

LessonLearned
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:19 AM
I am so sorry (and saddened) to read this. I remember Angel's saga and had hoped for the best for her.

I know well the problems of putting dominant females together. I had no idea that this could be a problem when I got my second dog. After about 3 months of dramatic posturing and general snarkiness, one evening it all culminated in a huge dog fight that left all three of us bloody and a coffee table smashed to smithereens. Believe it or not, it all started because I was sitting on the couch with a bowl of broccoli cheese soup that apparently everyone wanted to get close to.

I did bring a behaviorist, who worked on assessing both dogs and me. We never had a problem again, but I don't know what to attribute that to. I had made the decision that if we had one more incident, Brandy would have to be rehomed so I know what a horrible choice you are facing.

At the end of the day, you need to do what is best for you and your family (both human and canine). Many hugs to you. Sleep on it. Look for options and know that whatever choice you make, you did make a difference in the life of this sweet girl.

AiryFairy
Nov. 23, 2009, 06:45 AM
I am floored that after all those months of work you are considering giving up so quickly. I do hope that you will take the good advice given. I've got three bitches all variations on Akita crosses. All rescues. All mentally difficult. When they first came into the house it was WWIII. I found a good trainer.

Don't give in to emotionalism. Or breedism. She's been on her own for a long time and knows how to take care of herself. One of my rescues was like that. When a dog spends a bulk of its life relying on itself, it takes a bit of work.

What Aimee said, MM. Good morning, take a deep breath and try to get back on top of things. I think a good trainer can help YOU take control of the pack dynamic, and also address the negative behavior. Angel just plain doesn't know how to be submissive to you - that can change, but IMO it's your position that has to change, Angel doesn't respect you as leader. This has been a long and difficult road for you, giving up now would waste it all. I've been through dog fights and they can be the most frightening things you've ever seen, but you need to get over it and control things so it never happens again.

Bluey
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:02 AM
After over 30 years in dogs, I can tell you that, just like people or horses, some are just not socially acceptable and we need to do something to protect the rest.

Some dogs are dog aggressive, even if only in some conditions and I don't think it is right to make a family and their dogs have to live stressed about how to manage so the troubled dog doesn't kill another or bite the humans trying to manage the situation.

Would anyone want to live with a sociopath, even if 99% of the time it was sweet as the sweetest one around, but you knew you were one little mistake away from getting hurt or killed?

Dogs are what they are.
Some owners choose to try to manage and in some situations it works, but here, I think that rehoming or euthanizing the dog is a sensible solution, over keeping a household in dissarray trying to manage such problems.

Just ask any small animal vet, that gets to patch them up after such fights regularly.:no:

bf1
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:05 AM
I hope today is better for you. It is a tough decision to rehome Angel, but you do have to think of yourself and your family first. You are not giving up, you are just realizing that it is not going to work out. You have done so much for her already - take some comfort in that.

Perhaps some of the dog experts on this board have the time and energy to devote to Angel. Let's hope one of them thinks about taking her in.

Just keep your head up and go forward the best you know how. Only you know what is best for your situation.

BelladonnaLily
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:26 AM
What Vineyridge said on page 1.

I have dealt with 2 dogs like this for years. It has been a work in progress and it has gotten much better, but it has been a tough one. My heeler has mangled ears as a result, and our labx has had several surgeries to remove scar tissue from her chest. They get along 99% of the time, but as soon as someone let's their guard down and leaves a bone, a treat, a toy, something to fight over, they get into it.

Sounds like you had a harder time breaking them up. Fortunately, much work and training over the past few years and mine pretty much back down with a word from me. The most I have to do is stick my boot in the middle and yell and they back away. My heeler will even stop cold in the middle of trying to kill a groundhog and leave it now. But, this has taken years and has not been easy. Once these dogs are gone, I will be VERY careful about the breed of dog I have next. And probably just one, because it has taken so much energy to keep this situation under control.

And never have my dogs had a fight that was a "fight to the death". You'd be amazed at how nasty it can look and not be a fatal fight. But, no one would blame you for rehoming one. We looked at that option years ago in the height of our "heeler problem".

BelladonnaLily
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:33 AM
And I have to agree with those who don't see any pit bull in this dog. I am by no means expert, but that looks like a run of the mill shepherd/hound cross to me. It wouldn't even cross my mind that that dog had any bully breeding in it...who told you it was a pit bull cross?

shea'smom
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:47 AM
How heartbreaking. I have had similar things happen. I had a young dog kill my oldest cat. I have thought hard about trying to find him a home, but I am a sucker for worrying that he will wonder where I am and all his friends.
It is a difficult heart rending decision.
My only advice, give yourself a little time. Hugs to you, your family and Angel.

FalseImpression
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:53 AM
I hope you could sleep on it... I kept waking up and thinking of you and Angel. Will you try talking to your vet? She seemed pretty amazing and knows the story of Angel. Maybe she will have some suggestions?

I so feel for you... I frankly don't know what I would do, but I was thinking during the night that if I really could not keep her, I "may" discuss with my vet putting her to sleep. What are her chances of finding another home with full disclosure? She will eventually meet other dogs. Is her aggression only related to your pack or to any dog? We don't know because she has only been in your pack, right? Will she revert to the shy and scared dog and then, when she gains confidence again (hopefully), will she again try to become a leader. Frankly, I don't see her as a leader. She does not strike me as one. I don't think I could live with knowing that she is stuck in a kennel, with the noise, etc. Just thinking of it, I start crying. How is that shelter, do they keep contact with you or once you have surrendered, you will never have any information on her?

I hope our collective shoulder helps you, just a little bit. However, only you can make the decision, but please, try to talk to your vet as well.

elizabeth
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:03 AM
I have offered once and I will offer again:
I will happily send you a check for $70 toward a dog trainer coming to your house if you decide you want to give the situation a little more time.

FYI, my sister's dog (female) and mine (female) have these dominance fights periodically. Sounds like hell, and it happens only when I stop making clear that *I* am the top bitch. When it happens, I go after the instigator (sister's dog) like the world is ending, giving her about 40 seconds of thinking I am going to kill her.

Then we have peace for about 9 months.

The two dogs CANNOT have toys together without me supervising their play, making clear that the toys are MINE.

Good luck with your decision.

grayarabpony
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:19 AM
To me she looks like a PB/ GS mix, especially with her stance and the width of her head.

A dog like her probably would be best in a one dog household. If the OP loves her this much, why wouldn't someone else?

Bluey
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:21 AM
I say, let the OP make her own decisions, it is her life and she has to live with the dog.

To the OP, do what you think you need to do, don't do it because others are pushing you or you want to please them.
The only ones that should matter here is you and your dog.

I know families, some good dog trainers, that have been thru this and made it work, but they will say never again and some times, when someone was not extremely attentive, someone got hurt.
This happens often in dogs raised as puppies together, that never decide who is boss and as they mature those fights become extremely serious.
That happens also with some dogs, that just are basically more aggressive than others and instinct tells them to go to battle with other aggressive dogs.
It is not because this dog was feral, but just because of it's personality and that of some other dog that may set it off.
Happens in the best of households, with the best bred and trained dogs.
Dog to dog aggression is part of how some dogs are made.

I feel sorry for the dogs involved, made to live with sworn enemies, when each one could have their own peaceful home, or at least one could, if the owners were not so hardheaded.:no:

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:25 AM
I have to say, thanks to all of you for your support, even those of you that feel that I am not doing the right thing. I am the only one that has to walk this horrendously painful mile, I have not cried this hard since my two-year old gelding broke his leg 4 years ago and had to be put down.

Even my husband said that perhaps we should wait to see what the vet says, if they have any advice. I've done my internet research, read each and ever post here for a glimmer of hope, and for those of you that have shared your experiences with a similar situation, I can honestly say I cannot live with it. I have two elderly in-laws living with me, guests that bring smaller dogs to visit with them, a teen age daughter with a very active social life, etc. I cannot physically be with the dogs 24x7 to keep them from doing this again.

I know it is not Angels fault, nor is it Cubby's fault, and perhaps it is my fault for not nipping it in the bud. When they are were in the house, I never ever let it get to a dominance issue stage, I was always the dominant one, and perhaps if I had been next to them before it started, it might have been avoided. But (and this is a BIG but), I cannot watch them every single minute of every single day, and could not live with the thought that they might hurt each other worse than they did yesterday.

The other issue is that I would have to get everyone in the house on board with training, monitoring, etc, and that won't work here, my father in law refuses to do what I say when it comes to dog training, my mother in law is not physically up to the task. . . so it is a losing proposition.

I can tell from Cubby's posture in the house, even when sniffing at my closed office door, that she is still in territorial dominant mode, despite the fact that she was taking the brunt of the fight yesterday.

I had a long tearful talk with my husband this morning and told him that I think what we have here is two dogs that have reached the same social maturity age at the same time and they will continue to battle it out until one is the victor, and I really do not ever want to witness anything like we had yesterday. Not Ever.

Some of the websites say it is up to the owners to determine which dog is the natural alpha, and to reinforce that (through your interactions with the dogs - even down to feeding the alpha first), and I honestly could not decide which dog would be the natural alpha in this situation, they are both evenly matched I think. 3 months ago when Angel was so timid, Cubby was the winner, but I think now that Angel feels more secure, that this unknown tendency has surfaced.

I am not worried about Cubby doing this with the other dogs, before Angel came to live with us, the other 4 dogs had already established their pack order, and yes, Cubby was the leader, even over Candy. Candy is very stubborn and protective of our property and people, but she has no interest whatsoever in being part of any pack, she really is a loner when it comes to that.

I have already written up a page to take with me, explaining Angel's history, and that the main reason that I cannot keep her is that I am already breaking my deed restrictions with 5 dogs, and that recently she and one of my other dogs are not getting along. I will answer them honestly when they ask, it was too painful to write down. If they turn us down, then so be it, I will do my best to rehome her on my own, but I felt that having the help of a good organization that has the system of screening in place was a better option than me tossing an ad out on Craiglist, as I do not have the resources to do the right kind of screening. And I know that if my last resort is the county pound, that her days will be numbered.

Right now she is out in the front yard, with all the other dogs trapped in the house for the time being.

vineyridge
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:28 AM
Is anyone in Florida coming this way for T'Giving? If we can set up a rescue train to anywhere in central Mississippi, I'll meet and take her to my farm, where she can be an outside or inside dog.

She was feral for so long and used to her freedom, that she might just have snapped under the strain of living with so many other people and dogs. At least here, she would have her freedom.

I really mean this. I'm offering her a home on many square miles of farm land, with a dog door and other dogs when she wants them. I have a hay shed where she will be warm and toasty if that's what she wants, but I also have a dog door for coming and going if she would want that.

vineyridge
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:34 AM
And I have to agree with those who don't see any pit bull in this dog. I am by no means expert, but that looks like a run of the mill shepherd/hound cross to me. It wouldn't even cross my mind that that dog had any bully breeding in it...who told you it was a pit bull cross?

She kind of reminds me of a wonderful, but alpha bitch that I once had who was part Rottie. She and a rescue Chessie male got into it on my back porch over which one would go through the kitchen door first. :)

Zu Zu
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:38 AM
Jingles continue for you and Angel and the entire family during this painful time. I am so sorry this has happened ~ alot of hearts are broken ~ but thank goodness no serious injuries. Take care ~ Thinking of you !

FalseImpression
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:50 AM
Hoping you can take Viney's offer... that would probably be better than any pound or shelter. At least, Viney knows Angel's story, has the experience and is willing to try. If I was not in Canada, I'd offer to drive a leg of the rescue train. I have done it as recently as last Saturday.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:51 AM
Is anyone in Florida coming this way for T'Giving? If we can set up a rescue train to anywhere in central Mississippi, I'll meet and take her to my farm, where she can be an outside or inside dog.

She was feral for so long and used to her freedom, that she might just have snapped under the strain of living with so many other people and dogs. At least here, she would have her freedom.

I really mean this. I'm offering her a home on many square miles of farm land, with a dog door and other dogs when she wants them. I have a hay shed where she will be warm and toasty if that's what she wants, but I also have a dog door for coming and going if she would want that.

Vineyridge, that is incredibly kind of you. I would be willing to drive her myself, if we could meet about halfway, which would be either Mobile or Pensacola I think?

It sounds like a wonderful place, and you appear to have lots of experience with dogs like Angel, and I really do want her to have a good home.

Once again, my heart is breaking, Angel is outside at the far corner of the front yard, staring out - as if she is thinking that she had it better when she was wild and free. I hate to think that by actually catching and domesticating her that I did her a disservice, when I actually meant the best for her.

vineyridge
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:59 AM
Happy to meet you in Pensacola.

PM me for when.

Pocket Pony
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:01 AM
viney, what a generous and loving offer. I really hope it works out that Angel can go live with you - it sounds like a wonderful solution for everyone involved. :sadsmile:

Alagirl
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:04 AM
Vineyridge, that is incredibly kind of you. I would be willing to drive her myself, if we could meet about halfway, which would be either Mobile or Pensacola I think?

It sounds like a wonderful place, and you appear to have lots of experience with dogs like Angel, and I really do want her to have a good home.

Once again, my heart is breaking, Angel is outside at the far corner of the front yard, staring out - as if she is thinking that she had it better when she was wild and free. I hate to think that by actually catching and domesticating her that I did her a disservice, when I actually meant the best for her.


You know that feral dogs have no chance. You did what you could for her, you tried.

You have given her more of a chance than she ever had. Just some dogs don't play well together, like some people. and it might not even be a sure thing that Angel attack any other dog, just she and Cubby can't see eye to eye. it is better to know when to walk away than to stick it out till the bloody end.

Like I said, I have heard of the old Queen or King of the pack being dethroned in a bloody coup. I am sure with bigger dogs with real teeth it's more of a possibility than with little dogs, but I am sure they, too go at it.

It is no fun to live in a war zone like that, neither for you nor the pets.

it is quiet possible that Angel's real personality came out with good food and some confidence, or that just the self preservation kicked in, who knows for sure.

You said you have 4 dogs before Angel showed up. Pack dynamics can be tricky, like herd dynamics in horses, take on out, add one, and all hell can break lose.

You tried. And realizing that things are beyond one's capability is not a bad thing at all.

Continued hugs and jingles!

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:11 AM
Vineyridge, I am now crying tears of joy. I just spoke with my husband, and he is all for this, and I did send you a PM with my phone numbers. We could even go as far as Mobile, which is a bit closer for you. He offered to go with me, or even take her himself.

We have company coming for T-day, but they are leaving Friday, and my daughter has a football game, she is in the marching band, and this is playoff season, so she has to be there, but we are free and clear all weekend, how does your schedule work?

arabhorse2
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:14 AM
Munchkin, my heart goes out to you. My Great Dane bitch is an 'only' dog for a good reason. She challenges any female that comes within range. She gets along fine with male dogs, but means deadly business if she comes into contact with a female. She's even challenged other female dogs on their own turf, which is why she's never off leash when we're not at home.

palaminofancy
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:26 AM
MM, please don't think I was being snarky. Didn't mean to come across as such. You did everything right for her, but sometimes their natural instinct just takes hold of them - no matter what we do.
Hopefully she can get to Vineyridge and then we all can continue to read about her life.
Thank you Vineyridge for offering her a home. Hope it can happen.

Bluey
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:38 AM
A friend called yesterday about coming over with one of her dogs, so it can play with mine, that is a social butterfly and has never met a stranger.

That friend has several dogs at home, but has to isolate them in groups and two will fight seriously.
Good that she has kennels with outside yards to do that.
This one dog is left out, gets picked on in any group, as displaced aggression, when the aggressive ones are hot and can't get to the one they really want to maul, they jump on the meekest one.

I think that is wonderful that someone else can try to give this dog a new home and see how this works out.
It may yet in a different situation.:)

LauraKY
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:41 AM
MunchkinsMom I completely understand. My brother had a situation with his dogs and he tried to put his hand in to break them up. He almost lost the use of a finger and ended up on IV antibiotics, all while trying to renovate the plumbing in his house. A fiasco, if I've ever seen one.

He ended up keeping the new dog (a Chow Chow), BUT he lived alone and rarely had visitors that were not "dog aware". They were OK after they sorted out the whole alpha order without putting anyone else at risk.

That being said, sounds like you have a full household already, and quite frankly I would not take a chance on someone getting hurt, not to mention the chance of the dogs being seriously injured.

Some people are able to live their life on alert. I'm not. We have a new dog (another one dumped on my farm) and he's very sweet; we just neutered him, but he just got in a fight with the last rescue before over food. We are now keeping them separated when dog food, meat or bones are out...seems to be the instigator and will see what happens. They seem to be best buddies, but I don't ever leave them alone. Our dogs are crate trained, so if we're busy or not home, the young ones are in their crates. As a matter of fact, we keep the crate doors open and if they are tired they will go in themselves to take a nap.

We run a boarding farm and have lots of people in and out, so it's not something I can put up with if this new guy is destined to be in a one dog household. Just have my fingers crossed. When he showed up I just couldn't send him to the shelter (it's a kill shelter) and all the no kill shelters are full.

Tazzie
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:41 AM
I hope this story has the happy ending! I was so sad to first read about Angel going to a shelter, though I certainly understood and supported your rearsons for doing so. But if vineyridge takes her, all I can say is WOW.

MM - you won't get any flaming from me. It's obvious you have Angel's best interests in heart, regardless of what happends from here. I trust you and will be one of many who will support you as needed.

Vineyridge - that is beyond wonderful that you are willing to step forward and take Angel. If you do, I hope you will be able to continue to update us on her on her progress and new home.

Jingling that Angel has a new home with Vineyridge by xmas!

cvl
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:42 AM
MM - my heart goes out to you as well. What a difficult decision. Please don't beat yourself up over this minor setback tho. Celebrate your many victories with Angel. You have prepared her well for her next journey in life. I have been following your saga from the beginning and I am so happy to hear about the opportunity that opened up with Viney. I am sure there will be many who are jingling that this works out for all of you.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:43 AM
Words cannot express my heartfelt thanks to all of you, the incredible acts of kindness that I read about every day on this BB restore my faith in mankind.

I'm very optimistic about this latest turn of events, and everyone in my family is also hopeful that this comes to a long and happy ending for all involved.

Vineyridge, I am still overwhelmed by your generosity to offer a home for Angel, and to help a total stranger. (dang, that made me cry again, but good tears this time).

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:48 AM
LauraKY - my heart goes out to you also, Angel was not the first stray dog to appear on my farm, and probaby won't be the last, and as much as I hated to have to call AC for the others, it was for the best, and the officer (who I am on a first name basis with, due to all his trips out here to get the strays), said they all were adopted, even the dog that was trapped last year that was dumped here with Angel.

Zu Zu
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:54 AM
WOW !! THE POWER OF COTH !!!! Jingles for this to work out to a happy ending ~ Vineyridge thank you from all of us who have been following this story of MunchkinMom's "Angel" ~ now you are the ANGEL !!!! Bless you for your compassion and generosity.

wilhemina
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:59 AM
Vineyridge, you rock!! Kudo's to you for your wonderful offer and understanding Angel's situation so well. I hope everything goes smoothly!

danceronice
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:13 AM
Props to vineyridge! It sounds like that might be the kind of situation Angel needs, and if MM is really over her limit, some dog may have to go anyway-this way works out for everyone.

I do agree with those who say it does not sound like a 'fight to the death' situation. Dogs do not usually kill each other in dominance fights. One eventually backs down. But if there's an option that's not the shelter or the needle that can make both dogs happy, why not take it?

FWIW--I really do not see characteristics of pit bull in Angel's pictures. Whoever told you pit, MM...well, every dog in shelters ime is either a pit mix or a shepherd mix, regardless of what they actually look like. She looks like a shepherd mix of some kind to me.

moonriverfarm
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:27 AM
As some of you read on my thread about my adopted pit bull Belle, I have been thru this with a sadder ending. The one good thing was that Belle is now in a one-dog home and is loved and loves back without risking another dog's life. It is absolutely heart wrenching to be in this situation. I know exactly how you are feeling and how hard it is to deal with something you can't make sense of. So i send you hugs and sympathy....it is what we who love animals hope we never have to deal with.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:31 AM
FWIW--I really do not see characteristics of pit bull in Angel's pictures. Whoever told you pit, MM...well, every dog in shelters ime is either a pit mix or a shepherd mix, regardless of what they actually look like. She looks like a shepherd mix of some kind to me.

No one told me pit, might just be conjecture here on the BB with some member's thinking they see some pit in the mix. I will admit that I am not an expert in breed typing. The vet put shepard mix on all her paperwork, that was their best guess also. My guess is shepard/beagle/??.

My husband just took Cubby to the vet to check out the puncture wounds. Angel seems to be fine with her one spot, no swelling, bleeding, heat or tenderness, hopefully cleaning and getting the Animax in there right away will fend off anything.

Running out right now to get a harness that fits Angel, and I will manage to get it on her, as I will have to continue the seperation for about 5 more days, and will most likely have to resort to leashes for the two alpha dogs at times with company here, especially if they bring their little rat dog (Yorkie-Poo) with them (my apologies to those of you out there that have little rat dogs, this one is cute, but not my cup of tea, and not well trained - big sigh). I don't want him to trigger any more hostilities in my house. Yes, he has been here before, but Angel did not live in the house then.

I have to tell you all, she spent the night confined to my office and did not do one distructive thing, she didn't even get into the overflowing trash can - now, that is a good dog. Even more amazing after all her newspaper shredding days when she lived outside on her own, and that she did shred one magazine here in the house when she first came to live inside. As I said, she is incredibly smart, usually you only have to tell her "NO" one time, and it sticks.

FatPalomino
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:41 AM
MM- I've spend some time with a DVM Behaviorist (which I'd certainly recommend you see, if there is one near you). In the entire time I was there, I didn't see one dominance aggression issue, and the vet says she rarely ever sees one. I don't know Angel's entire story, but she was a very scared stray at first, right? That makes it a lot less probably that it's dominant aggression, and more likely fear, or anxiety based. Throw the Ceaser Milan recipe out the door and definatly read something by Patricia McConnell, Karne Pyror (Don't shoot the dog), Jean Donaldson (Culture Clash).

We have a female that I adopted out that is now aggressive towards people at 9 months, so I took her back. She is a female, and well socialized with other dogs as a pup, but around bigger ones, she is very scared. She has been conditioned out of growling, and goes right for the bite. If you watch her body language, she is very afraid, leaning backwards, ears back, worried brow. Her aggression towards people is also entirely fear based. We have a 2nd female pup (about 1.5 yrs now) who was bottle fed when her mom died, and although we tried socializing her, she was very afraid of other dogs at first. We never "conditioned out" the growl, as it's a good warning for other dogs (and us) that she's afraid. We've taught her to get higher than the other dogs when worried (jump on the bed, or on top of the concrete tunnels at the dog park) and she feels much less scared. That said, these pups love their dog family here, ad they know them, are farmliar with them, are not afraid of them, and have never fought with their housemates.

I've seen two instances of dog fights amoung housemates where one dog ended up dead (or very close to it, multiple broken bones) at the vet's. Both ended in the euth. of the aggressor dog, or the dog who didn't get along. I think it was a very respectable, responsible decision, and after seeing the injuries inflicted I wouldn't hesitate to make the same one myself if confronted with those circumstances. One case were rescued dogs, the other had been able to keep the dogs seperate until one day, a visitor put the dogs together.

I had a foster dog of mine die as a result of a dog fight at a pet-sitters, and the aggressing dog, the owners did nothing, which is the source of an entirely other conversation. Initially it started as some quarrels like you described, which I wasn't aware of, otherwise I would have moved my foster dog, who was there for 2 weeks. The rescue recommended this pet sitter... The aggressing dog pinned my dog down on his back, and all my dog's injuries were on the ventral side of the neck. He rarily missed the trachea, but did damage the recurrent laryneal nerve and tore the jugular. It was horrible, esp. as my dog was a tough ole' stray who hung on for a week in critical care afterwards before dying.

I'm sure I paint a grim tale, but it's the reality I've seen. There is no "cure" for aggression. After ruling out any medical issues that may cause aggression at the vet's, if Angel were mine, she'd go to dog heaven at my side with a burger king meal fresh in her belly. Esp. having a farm and all the houseguests you describe, it is responsible, rather than having her go to a new strange environment (what a scary thing for a frightened ex-stray to have to do) and potentially having to live in a kennel alone for the rest of her life. The potential that a dog aggressive dog will never ever see another dog, will never get loose, and can never have dog friends seems unrealistic to me.

Lots of hugs in the very tough days to come for you :(

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:00 PM
FP - thanks for sharing your stories, as grim as they are, they are a reminder to us all that dogs are still dogs, and things like that can and do happen, and any responsible owner will do what they can to prevent it.

Trust me, if I felt in my heart that Angel was truely dog aggessive, she would be at the vet's right now being send to heaven. But I do not think this is the case, as she was never aggressive towards any other dog in my house, or in the neighborhood when she was a stray. I really do feel it is just a case of one alpha dog (Cubby) and Angel "coming of age" at the same time, and fighting for the "top dog" spot. So, in the interest of safety, she and Cubby will not have any other interaction, the door to my office remains closed, with Angel in here with me, and when Angel does have to go outside, all the rest of the dogs get put behind closed doors as I make the transfer. Yes, it is more work, but really is the only way.

I think Vineyridge is going to be Angel's next hero, and I will say that Angel amazes me as to how quickly she does adapt. She survived on her own for 14 months in the wild, to being caught and confined to a cage and leash for 3 days, to being a house dog. So, I do not think it is cruel for me to find her a suitable home, with a knowledgeable owner, and a chance to live a long and happy life.

Even everyone at the vet's office said they didn't think she had a mean bone in her body, as fearful as she was while she was there, she did her best to overcome it, and made friends with the entire staff. I know they will also be sad to hear about this latest turn of events, but perhaps glad that she has a chance at a better home.

bryn
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:48 PM
Viney, I support everything you have written in this thread and I applaud you for stepping up to help Angel.

MM, I know this is a terrible thing to go through, but sooner or later in a multiple dog household there will be arguments - dog style. I know this was your first, but sadly, I hate to say, it won't be your last. It is part of pack behavior. As someone posted - they can't negotiate or sit across a table with a glass of wine to settle differences. Even when we are strong pack leaders, a slip up will occur within a pack when one forgets the rules.

May I make a suggestion? The safest way I know to break up a dog fight is to grab the hind legs of the dog on top, lift up and walk backwards (like the old fashioned wheel barrow game we played as kids, but walking backwards instead of forwards). The dog will be walking backwards on his front legs only. You will have the hind legs. If you have a second person present that person should do the same thing with the other dog. The lifting up will cause the dog to let go - 99.99% of the time. It also protects you from being bitten. Keep backing up until either they calm down at which point you can stop and grab hold of the collar OR keep going until you can separate them by closing a door between them.

Thank you MM and Viney for giving Angel a future.

FalseImpression
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:51 PM
Thanks Viney!

I am hoping this will work out, but just the idea of Angel confined to a kennel in a noisy shelter brings tears to my eyes. I think letting her go to heaven if things do not work out would be more fair to her (and in the long run, to you. You never would wonder what will happen/happened).

I am jingling so hard that things work out and that Viney has only older dogs that would teach her the ropes and put her in her place without her feeling she has to assert herself. Are you only isolating her from Cubby or from all the dogs?

SPF10
Nov. 23, 2009, 12:58 PM
I'm sorry, female to femail dog agression is usually worse than male/male, we brought an abused dog home and yes they did get in 2 bloody fights, trigger, my daughters attention, fortunately for us we had a very different ending, now they are inseperable and we love them both dearly. I can't imagine your pain.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:05 PM
Here's the update on Cubby. She is on antibiotics as an infection prevention. No stitches or anything, just a few funny shaved spots, and some topical spray to put on them. The vet didn't have much to say/advise, my husband said he didn't think they were understanding the visciousness of the fight. She did give us the name of a trainer to call, but in all honesty, what happened just 10 minutes ago has convinced me that I am not ready to deal with this.

I got Cubby and Jenna closed in with my husband, and attempted to get Angel to go outside for a while. She was having none of that and then Candy came in to see what was going on. Angel got excited to see her, and jumped on Candy, putting both paws on Candy's neck. Now, I know they were only playing, but my heart was in my throat, I told them to knock it off, and Angel dropped to the ground and cowered. So, it is now a human trust issue, and even my husband said that as much as he loves both dogs, he cannot trust the two of them together, and I don't think a trainer would be able to work with all the people in this house to deal with it. Truely, I do not put all the blame on the dogs at all, it is a human thing. What is worse is that my in-laws don't get it, my MIL did the worst thing, used treats to try to distract them, which in my way of thinking only rewards them for unwanted behavior, and I cannot get them to understand this at all.

bryn, I did have Angel by the back legs both times, the first time it did break the fight up, but only until she got away from me, and the second time it did nothing, she had a death grip on the side of Cubby's neck. Thank heavens Cubby has a lot of fur, as I think the damage would have been far worse.

moonriverfarm
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:07 PM
The dogs in my situation were both spayed females, too. And my female chihuahuas also get into it on occasion, but my male just gets under a blanket and hopes it all goes away.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:11 PM
Thanks Viney!

I am hoping this will work out, but just the idea of Angel confined to a kennel in a noisy shelter brings tears to my eyes. I think letting her go to heaven if things do not work out would be more fair to her (and in the long run, to you. You never would wonder what will happen/happened).

I am jingling so hard that things work out and that Viney has only older dogs that would teach her the ropes and put her in her place without her feeling she has to assert herself. Are you only isolating her from Cubby or from all the dogs?

Trust me, I had the same reaction to the thought of her back in a kennel, she was not happy for the 3 days she was in the kennel at the vet clinic either, so I really didn't want to put her through that, she is a senstive soul.

Right now she is isolated from all the dogs, although when I do let her out, I do trust her with Murphy - who is a saint, and has never had a dominant moment in her life of 11 years.

The other "heart in the throat" moment a few minutes ago was as I was stepping in to break up the play session with Angel and Candy, didn't the foolish pomeranian come over and start to growl. She got a good speaking to also. Just what I need, for her to get attacked, how would I explain that to her owners?

dressagetraks
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:14 PM
Just saw this thread. I'm so sorry about Angel but glad that Viney can take her. Best of luck to all of you.

I just got a wonderful dog in the last few weeks whose only problem is that she wanted to be solo dog. Things had not escalated to outright aggression in her former place, but she was stressed and not happy there, and things weren't going well. Much happier now and starting to relax. Sometimes a change in environment is just what is needed.

My SIL, who is very dog experienced, has had two very alpha bitches at the same time and has the scars herself from it. She eventually rehomed one after trying everything else first and says if it came up again, she'd rehome one even faster.

Best wishes to all of you.

LauraKY
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:15 PM
LauraKY - my heart goes out to you also, Angel was not the first stray dog to appear on my farm, and probaby won't be the last, and as much as I hated to have to call AC for the others, it was for the best, and the officer (who I am on a first name basis with, due to all his trips out here to get the strays), said they all were adopted, even the dog that was trapped last year that was dumped here with Angel.

Unfortunately, in my county, the "shelter" keeps them for 5 days and then puts them down. I asked if I could drop him off for the 5 days and have them contact me if no one claimed him and they said they "weren't set up to do that" and if he was still there when I called (you can read into that what you want) I was more than welcome to pick him up. They also "adopt out" cats that haven't been neutered.

I'm working on the situation...looks like it's my next soapbox after the Polo Pony Retirement Foundation disaster and it's right in my backyard.

FalseImpression
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:23 PM
I remember the "heart in the throat" moment with my first lab, after he bit my daughter!
I felt I could never trust him again although he certainly had been cornered and had no way out! But I was a nervous wreck when the two of them were in the same room. The dogs will sense that and nothing good can come of it unfortunately.
You are doing the best for her and I am so grateful to Viney for offering to take her.

Bluey
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:27 PM
Unfortunately, in my county, the "shelter" keeps them for 5 days and then puts them down. I asked if I could drop him off for the 5 days and have them contact me if no one claimed him and they said they "weren't set up to do that" and if he was still there when I called (you can read into that what you want) I was more than welcome to pick him up. They also "adopt out" cats that haven't been neutered.

I'm working on the situation...looks like it's my next soapbox after the Polo Pony Retirement Foundation disaster and it's right in my backyard.

Our local animal control shelter can only keep them three days.
The local rescue organization leases pens there and if a dog seems adoptable, we can move them over when the three days are over and keep the dog for a week or two, hoping someone may come by to claim it or adopt it.
Those dogs are also featured several times a week in the news and that does get many inquiries and some adoptions from that exposure.

You may want to try something similar.

Some dogs are sadly over the top aggressive in the right situation.
Those are just too dangerous to have around, for the dogs they may attack and the people caught in the middle.

Some others may be managed and get by, but you never know until you are in that situation and some times, by the time you find out, it is too late for one of the dogs in the fight.

A local fellow got two blue heeler puppies, raised them together and they did fine for three years, when one day, they started fighting it out and, after a few severe fight, one day they got into it and now only the female is still around and they won't tell us what happened, they just say it was terrible.
I wish that was the only, rare such story, but sadly it is not.
It is up to us to have enough sense to do what is right for all, the aggressive dog/s and the families involved.

danceronice
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:31 PM
I can't really blame the county shelter with the five-day rule--the no-kill people took over the county shelter where my parents live and now they are at max capacity and are turning people away. Guess what's jumped through the roof? (If you guessed "animals dumped on back roads", you're right!)

You never know how dogs will get along, even good dogs. My parents' spayed beagle mix does not get along with other females at all and has been testy with males, and we were concerned about how Puff (another COTH rehoming story, who is currently sacked out on 'his' chair since I'm not giving him any of the soup I'm cooking RIGHT NOW) would get along with her. It was like they'd always lived together--instant click. Neither has any trouble with the other visiting "their" house overnight. Angel may need to be an only dog or she may just need to be with a certain dog personality type, like Molly.

sdlbredfan
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:00 PM
Vineyridge, you rock!! Kudo's to you for your wonderful offer and understanding Angel's situation so well. I hope everything goes smoothly!

I am just blown away by seeing, once again, the magic of COTH camaraderie, helpfulness and compassion kick in. Viney, you are awesome!

dalpal
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:37 PM
Happy to meet you in Pensacola.

PM me for when.

Vineyridge....I am sending you a big COTH hug..this is the second time that you have stepped up to the plate to take a dog in need in your home.

Viney and I have spoken on the phone before when she was taking in a dalmatian who was slated to die at the pound....I can tell you that she is a wonderful and caring person who loved that dog up to the day that she passed.

Angel couldn't ask for a better home.

dr j
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:58 PM
MM,

I am so sorry you are going through this, after the love and time you have invested in Angel.

I lived a very similar situation for over 10 years... only difference really was they were not rescues. We had a young male ( neutered) terrier and thought he would be better with a companion so we bought a female ( also spayed at 6 months). They did great for about 2 years... and then it began. You have received much good advice here.... I am a vet and we actually consulted with probably "the" top behavior vet at the time. Angel sounds much like our female... she is not the alpha- and Cubby is - thus Angel is challenging CUbby, who ignores it until she decides to finish it. I could control our male with my voice alone most of the time- but when I couldn't it was horrific (he would look at me like "sorry Mom, A guy can only take so much, I have to kick her ass now!" and it was on). The triggers were much as you have experienced, any exciting event basically or something as simple as going in and out. The halter ( on the underling) did work for awhile, my little troublemaker was so subdued with it on though it was almost sad. One time the other dog actually chewed off her.... like he was itching for a fight! LOL

While Angel is still with you it is very imperative you edify everyone that is above her ( esp Cubby). Cubby gets to do all the important things and do them first ( greeting you, doors etc). It was hard...very hard to do all that - our Alpha was so easy going..... he would go lay in his crate and just be a good boy while the little pistol was a hellion in the crate yet crating him and having her loose sent exactly the wrong message.

We did a lot of behavior modification - including Prozac but in the end for us, keeping them apart was the answer. It was a pain.... ANgel as a single dog, would be fabulous. Her behaviour is going to jeopardize her happiness and life with any other dog.

I also don't think these are fights to the death but they are NOT pleasant and certainly do not contribute to the zen you like to have at home! Not to mention the vet bills ( I have sutured mine on more than a few occasions). My DH and I both were bitten on occasion - we knew to walk away but it's MUCH easier said then done. One time I made the mistake of picking up my alpha while we were out walking - not realizing that position, being held above - demonstrates vunerability to the other dog...... she went nuts trying to get him, so of course I couldn't put him down. As she got more agitated, he escalated. By the time we got back to the house ( we were out in our fields) she was jumping to the level of my face and I was holding him over my head. I came very close that day to putting her down. Fortunately DH drove in right when I got in the yard and probably saved all 3 of us!! So if you have to scoop someone, scoop Angel.

After my older dog died, our troublemaker was hands down the best housedog you could ever have. In all her life she never had much interest in playing with dogs and even with people. Life was very serious business. She was heck on ground hogs ( had killed over 20! She never weighed more than 14 lbs), she was obedient to people ( unless in a fight!) - was the classic, at your feet, at the foot of the bed etc type. She just didn't have any need for a canine pack. Angel sounds the same.



I hope Angel finds a great home. There is something about the problem child that tugs your heart....

FatPalomino
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:02 PM
For clarification- is Cubby a female, also?

RainyDayRide
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:05 PM
For clarification- is Cubby a female, also?

All five dogs in the household are female - and I'm pretty sure that MM has said that all of them have been spayed.

FatPalomino
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:27 PM
Thanks, Cubby sounded like a boy's name to me :D Same-species housemate aggression is definatly the WORST. The 3 cases I saw that resulted in death were all male-to-male.

So sorry you have to go through this MM. :(

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:34 PM
Yes, all 5 are female, all are spayed. Only one other was an adult rescue, that is Candy, the big 60 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback/Boxer mix. She is the one were were most fearful of in the begining, she is very fierce and protective of the property and her people, but she really is not part of the pack, rather aloof to most of it, although she does play with Cubby and Jenna, and the funniest is to watch her play with my neice's little Yorkie Poo, you would think she was going to eat him whole (and he is hor-dourve size to her), but all he gets is slimed. And she lets the Aussies clean her teeth - which in my mind is a submissive behavior on the Aussies part, so maybe they do all view her as the total alpha most of the time, I don't know. The other three dogs, Murphy (the brittany) Cubby, and Jenna were all raised from puppyhood with us. We were warned when taking Cubby and Jenna as they are littermates, that there might be issues, but they established their hierarchy a long time ago, so bringing Angel into the mix may have been a problem, except that it didn't rear it's ugly head until yesterday. And it may well be that because they are about the same age, and energy level, etc., that it came to a head. If you want to see the whole pack of dogs, check out the photos in the link I posted a few pages back.

Vineyridge is my new hero, I am still blown away by her selfless act of kindness, I can't even begin to describe my feelings of eternal gratitude. And I bet Angel will be the same way as soon as they meet.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:39 PM
Thanks, Cubby sounded like a boy's name to me :D

That's because my husband loves female dogs, but not female names, or anything that he feels is too "frou-frou". And since she is his dog to replace his beloved Abby (he let me name that one) our dearly departed brittany spaniel, he and my daughter picked her name. Same thing with Murphy (think Murphy Brown from the TV show), he wanted a non-female name. Candy and Jenna came with their names from the rescues that we got them from. Cubby's rescue name was Leha, but she really did look like a little golden bear cub when we first brought her home.

kdow
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:41 PM
I'm so glad someone is going to take her who knows the whole story - it quite simply sounds like you're all ready for a different situation for her at this point.

(I want to say, though, that my suggestion of a behaviorist visiting was not so much with the eye towards you guys keeping her as just being able to send her on with the best possible information about the type and cause of the problem.)

It is amazing how much you've done for her prior to this incident - when I started reading the other thread the entire idea of her being ABLE to be sensibly rehomed would not have occured to people because in order to get anywhere near her in the first place you'd have had to trap and sedate her! You need to remember that. :)

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 04:03 PM
I'm so glad someone is going to take her who knows the whole story - it quite simply sounds like you're all ready for a different situation for her at this point.

(I want to say, though, that my suggestion of a behaviorist visiting was not so much with the eye towards you guys keeping her as just being able to send her on with the best possible information about the type and cause of the problem.)

It is amazing how much you've done for her prior to this incident - when I started reading the other thread the entire idea of her being ABLE to be sensibly rehomed would not have occured to people because in order to get anywhere near her in the first place you'd have had to trap and sedate her! You need to remember that. :)

Thank you so much for understanding the entire complicated story. That is why this is so hard for me, because of all that Angel and I have been through to get to this place.

My husband is up for sainthood also, he is as broken hearted about this also, and was the first to offer to drive her whereever it was that would be a good fit for this special dog.

And now Vineyridge will have to help me write her life story I think :)

SmartAlex
Nov. 23, 2009, 04:48 PM
Yay Vineyride... I haven't been following this closely, but when I read the first message, my initial thought was... Angel ain't goin to no ASPCA. ;) Someone here will take her. :D

KentuckyTBs
Nov. 23, 2009, 05:39 PM
MM- sorry this had to happen. I agree with the others who say that it is a dominance thing. I am so glad that Viney is going to take Angel in. Hopefully that will all work out!

I must admit, I did breathe a sigh of relief (and chuckle to myself) when I opened her pics and saw she is not a Pittie... anyone who thinks she is part Pittie hasn't seen a purebred Pit... I worked with a local high-kill shelter when I lived in Paducah and my fiance and I took in overflow dogs and worked with them and adopted them out. We took special liking to the ""aggressive"" breeds... For him its the Chows- me, the Pits. You wouldn't believe the aggressive dog and bite cases we'd get in that were labeled "Pit Bulls" - LMAO most were Lab mixes with NO Pit in them what-so-ever. One was even a Jack Russel/Lab/Collie type mix... again, NO PIT! Yet people think that if a dog bites or attacks someone or another animals it is a Pit... LMAO- I was bit more by little "frou-frou" dogs and Labs. I have NEVER been bit by a Pit... and I've worked with probably 150 or so Pits and Pit mixes.... and owned/fostered 10 over the years. Still own 1 and he's not going anywhere. We've also had 5 Chows, 1 Rottie (who actually was so food aggressive I did take him back to the humane society to have him euthanized... can't have a 125lb dog that is severely food aggressive being placed in a home...), an Akita, and a Bull Mastiff... so we've dealt with our share of "aggressive" dogs. And *ALL* but 3 of those 18 dogs lived in large kennels with at least 1 other dog.... Never had anything more than some dominance scuffles.

Anyway, getting off my little "support the pit bulls" soap box! LOL (Can you tell I love my Pits?!)

Angel is a cutie pie and I think Viney's offer and situation will lend to her being a happy dog who can live her life peacefully. :-)

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 06:32 PM
Angel is now sporting her brand new shiney royal blue harness, and it was not as traumatic as I thought it would be for her. This way at least I know that if we stop on the trip to Pensacola, that she can't slip out of the harness, as she is a pro at pulling her head out of her collar. I'll spend the next few days teaching her to walk with it on on a leash.

Right now she is sleeping peacefully here in the office with me. It still breaks my heart, she so wants to go be with the other dogs, and I just can't risk it, even when they are calm and quiet - yes, I am still gun-shy about yesterday's incident, and watching Cubby's posture outside my office door when she walks by is not giving me the warm and fuzzies. I do let Murphy go outside with her, as it seems to give Angel some confidence, it also breaks me heart to see that she has regressed a little bit, and has become more timid.

But, when she was in the front yard alone this afternoon, she did bark at the UPS man when he drove up. Unfortunately it started a frenzy of barking and running inside the house, I spent quite some time "dominating" all the dogs, just by body position and fierce look on my face, to get them to settled down. They need to know that I am no longer going to tolerate these types of shenanigans. My fault for allowing it in the first place.

monstrpony
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:40 PM
My hat's off to Vineyridge for helping yet another CoTHer dog-in-need. I'm glad we'll be able to continue to follow Angel's story. It sounds like an ideal situation for her. So sorry you're having to go through this after all you have put into bringing Angel into your family, but just very glad that there is an option for her.

cheval convert
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:48 PM
MM, when I first started reading this my heart was breaking for you. Viney has changed my mourning into dancing!

So MM, heartfelt sympathy for this very difficult, but correct decision and Viney, you are the best for stepping in. (But you do realize that you are now the new author of the continuing story of Angel! Can't wait to see your first post. lol)

Addison
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:49 PM
I do not think that you would have been able to prevent what occurred...sooner or later it would have happened and it is better that you were there to break up the fight.

One way to look at this situation with a lighter heart is to recognize how much you have done for Angel. If you do take her to the Humane Society she has a chance at being adopted and loved by a new family. Without your time and patience she would not have such a chance. You are not betraying her. You are taking care and ensuring the safety of your other dog.

It is a terrible situation and I am sorry this is how things turned out for you all, but please accept the fact that you did a great thing for this dog.

AiryFairy
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:27 PM
At what point is taking a feral animal in, socializing it, teaching it to live with humans, and then sending it to live with another human family a "waste"???

Take things out of context much?

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:54 PM
Please, don't turn this thread into a trainwreck, I came to this BB for help last year in trying to find ways to befriend this sweet yet troubled dog, and the outpouring of support was more help that I can ever tell you all. Your success stories, your heartbreaking stories, your cheering for every single one of Angel's baby steps. . . priceless memories to me.

And when the dog fight happened yesterday, I turned to my friends here on COTH for a shoulder to cry on, knowing the love that everyone has sent to Angel in the past year via this wonderful BB.

And once again, your support brings tears to my eyes.

And while I feel in my heart that Viney will love this dog as much if not more than I do, I am still heartsick over what has happened.

I found was I think is a really good article on dog dominance aggression, and while it may not work for me at this time, I did bookmark it and thought I would share it here in case anyone else is dealing with a similar issue on the farm.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/inter-dog-dominance-aggression/page1.aspx

kdow
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:04 PM
Unfortunately it started a frenzy of barking and running inside the house, I spent quite some time "dominating" all the dogs, just by body position and fierce look on my face, to get them to settled down. They need to know that I am no longer going to tolerate these types of shenanigans. My fault for allowing it in the first place.

It may be worth looking into getting a behaviorist to come in even once Angel is gone just to give you some tips - there may well be things that you can do in how you (and possibly your husband) interact with them that will help keep them looking to you for settling disputes, rather than taking them on personally. (Which is really what you want with ANY dog - because it's like bomb proof horses, there's a point for EVERY dog where they're going to go 'I don't know how to deal with this', and what you want is for them to look to you and TRUST you to solve the problem for them.)

I'm not even necessarily thinking in terms of 'training' the dogs so much as the behaviorist may be able to help train YOU to be more aware of what's going on in the pack. With Angel being there and then this happening and her leaving, the pack dynamics may well change a bit and you want to stay on top of that so you don't end up with issues developing with any of the other dogs.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 09:18 PM
Thanks kdow, that is good advice, we did get the name and number of a local trainer from our wonderful vet (yes, the same one that came on her day off in her riding breeches and paddock boots to tranq Angel and take her to the clinic to be spayed). I may be giving them a call.

At any rate, the barking and running when the UPS man arrives has been going on here since we moved here. They hear the truck, and bolt out the dog door to bark at him at the fence. The difference today was they could not get out the dog door, so they were running from window to window, not barking at each other, although I will say that Cubby seems to ratchet it up a notch when she saw Angel outside also running and barking.

It's a dual edged sword. Living out in the country on a farm, I do like for everyone to know that I have dogs here, and that the dogs mean business when protecting the property. But I do not want them to take it to the next level as they did yesterday, and turn on each other. Also, it is very handy as an "early warning system" for them to let me know that someone has pulled into the driveway.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 10:43 PM
I hope all is well with Viney, I have not heard from her yet. She might be having second thoughts, and if so, that is fine, I can' still explore other options to find a better home for Angel.

I don't know if dogs hold a grudge or not, but Cubby spent some time tonight laying outside my office door, and every time I opened it (there is a dog gate across the opening also, she would just stare at Angel, and Angel would look away and crouch down in a very submissive fashion, so that tells me that Cubby is still acting very alpha in my estimation. I'm not sure what to do with that information, all the information on the internet says for me to reinforce the alpha dogs position in the hierarchy, so I did pet and praise Cubby, and then closed the door.

Right now Cubby is in my husband's office with him, and Angel is out and about with Murphy to let her stretch her legs and do her business. At first she was very clingy with me, but then relaxed and went outside. I will call her in for the night in a little while.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:04 PM
Aww, Viney was just too polite to call late at night, your momma will be proud of you.

Angel forgives me, she was way outside in the front yard, and I called her and she came running. Broke my heart, but I was so proud of her, she has come a long, long way.

vineyridge
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:24 PM
Take things out of context much?

I think the language you quoted was actually a huge compliment to MM for making Angel into a far more socialized dog than she had been.

It's going to be an adventure for the both of us as her personality unfolds.

You know, it's funny. I had an Angel before. I got him from the local shelter eaten up with heartworms. He had been living feral also, and his condition was so bad the heartworms couldn't be treated with what was on the market at the time. So I kept him for the rest of his days, with love, food and warmth. He's buried now in my dog graveyard under a huge native pecan tree out in the back corner of my yard. He was just an old yeller dog, and I always sort of wondered if he were a Carolina dog. Sure did look like one. He had the most beautiful face and eyes. That's why Angel for a male.

feed lady65
Nov. 23, 2009, 11:30 PM
If I would have been on here reading not happy news, I think I was totally prepared to take Angel in and my own precarious situation be damned. Thank god someone saved me from my good-samaritan-at-all-costs tendancies.:lol:

Thanks Viney, you are a wonderful person.

Feed Lady

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 12:45 AM
You know, it's funny. I had an Angel before. I got him from the local shelter eaten up with heartworms. He had been living feral also, and his condition was so bad the heartworms couldn't be treated with what was on the market at the time. So I kept him for the rest of his days, with love, food and warmth. He's buried now in my dog graveyard under a huge native pecan tree out in the back corner of my yard. He was just an old yeller dog, and I always sort of wondered if he were a Carolina dog. Sure did look like one. He had the most beautiful face and eyes. That's why Angel for a male.

Aww, that was so sweet of you to do that for your first Angel, and I think this Angel will bring you as much love and joy.

I had to go and Google the Carolina Dog, and actually gasped, our dog Jenna looks like one, although she is supposedly a full sister to Cubby, meaning half Aussie and half Golden Retreiver, but we have always wondered about that, as she was the only one of the litter with a shorter coat, and stand up ears. Maybe her momma had more than one "date"?

Jenna:

http://pic90.picturetrail.com:80/VOL2147/2908252/21667865/365043023.jpg

I took Angel's halter off tonight so she can sleep without it, and I am halfway temped to just sleep on my couch in the office with her tonight. I hate having to leave her alone in here, but she is so good about it.

She really is special. I'm going to miss her. But I am taking consolation that Viney will keep us up to date on how she adjusts to her new home.

Jaegermonster
Nov. 24, 2009, 01:05 AM
MM, I am so glad that this is working out. I was monitoring the thread and considering taking her myself if someone else did not say anything, although with as many dogs as I have now I really can't afford another. But we would have made room for Angel to keep her out of the the shelter.
Thank goodness for Viney.

MHM
Nov. 24, 2009, 02:20 AM
I'm also very glad that someone on the BB stepped up so we can follow Angel's progress. I think that would have been the hardest for MM (and the rest of us) if Angel had gone to the shelter- the possiblilty of not knowing her fate.

I would compare it to having a horse pass through your life. Sometimes you might have a horse that is wonderful, but for whatever reason (time, money, ability, soundness), doesn't fit into your life at that moment. The horse may be a perfect fit for somebody else, and can go on to have a great life with that person. :)

If the horse (or dog) came to you very green, the time and effort you put into training it just improved the animal's odds of ending up in a good situation.

Maybe MM and Viney can co-author the book about Angel. :yes:

AiryFairy
Nov. 24, 2009, 06:52 AM
I think the language you quoted was actually a huge compliment to MM for making Angel into a far more socialized dog than she had been.

It's going to be an adventure for the both of us as her personality unfolds.

You know, it's funny. I had an Angel before. I got him from the local shelter eaten up with heartworms. He had been living feral also, and his condition was so bad the heartworms couldn't be treated with what was on the market at the time. So I kept him for the rest of his days, with love, food and warmth. He's buried now in my dog graveyard under a huge native pecan tree out in the back corner of my yard. He was just an old yeller dog, and I always sort of wondered if he were a Carolina dog. Sure did look like one. He had the most beautiful face and eyes. That's why Angel for a male.

My post to MM was a compliment to her for her endless patience and persistence in getting Angel near her and giving her a chance to live a nice, safe life with a family instead of always on the fringe, on her own. Can't take anything away from Munchkin's Mom for that, she put her heart and soul into rescuing Angel, I'm just so sorry to see those efforts come to a screeching halt because of an issue that might well be sorted out with some behavioral training. That said, she's said that she's over her dog limit with 5, the tension between the dogs will probably be an issue again, (and it's heart-stoppingly frightening when it happens) and since you have so generously offered to give Angel a home, perhaps it's all worked out for the best. Good on ya, Viney, and you too, MM for caring about Angel enough to try.

Just a comment on MM's post - there are all sorts of opinions out there on how to handle pack dominance, I haven't yet heard that a dog acting dominant in the home toward another dog should be praised and reinforced - just the opposite, Cubby still walking around staring at Angel should be corrected and stopped immediately, not petted and reinforced, which tells her that acting like that is OK. The owner needs to tell the dog how to act, and in my home, with my string of rescued bitches, that kind of behavior would, and has been corrected very strongly. All it takes is a look to start a brawl.

Chief2
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:08 AM
Sorry to hear the news, MM, but Viney will take good care of Angel. Remember that just because a special animal comes into our lives it doesn't always mean that we are the final destination for them. Sometimes we are simply the pivotal transitioning point needed to get them into their forever home, as is the case here. Without your very hard work to bring her along, Angel would never be able to make this next step in her life. So while I know it hurts, it will be for the best for all involved. We wish you all the best in the coming transition ahead.

Claddagh
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:53 AM
MM - First of all, let me say that I am so very sorry for all you have been going through. You have truly been Angel’s *Angel* and I truly admire you. She is a lovely dog who in all likelihood would not be here today if it weren’t for you and your love for her. The fight that took place the other day was devastating. I speak from experience because we have been through the same thing. It is definitely not something that I would ever want to experience again.

That said, here is some information that warrants serious consideration when something like this happens, especially *out of the blue*. It has to do with thyroid problems and aggressive behavior. Didn’t you say that Cubby is an Australian Shepherd / Golden Retriever cross? The two dogs that we had (not at the same time) who were hypothyroid – one was a Golden Retriever and the other was an Australian Shepherd. Both of these breeds list thyroid problems as one of the health problems that plague their breeds.

So your problem may not be with Angel at all, but with Cubby. She may very well have an undiagnosed thyroid problem which is now beginning to cause aggressive behavior. Angel may have, because of her early life on her own, been merely defending herself from what she perceived as a very real threat to her survival.

My point being that Cubby has two strikes against her due to her breeding – a mix of two breeds with known thyroid problems. And add to that the fact that these problems often show up at the age that she is now, and I think it would be very helpful to get a full thyroid panel testing done on her. Once Angel is gone, this aggressive behavior (if indeed caused by a thyroid problem) could easily become directed at any of your other dogs. And to *cover all bases*, I would have Angel tested too – she is also at the age when these problems often start to show up and she was one half of this horrible dog fight.

In a study done by Tufts, of 57 dogs who were brought in because of dominant aggression, 75% improved to completely resolved when given thyroid medication at appropriate levels.


This quote is from Tufts University:

“Hypothyroidism may be linked to a number of different behavioral conditions. Aberrant behavior may be one of the earliest signs of thyroid deficiency. The condition is clearly more prevalent in some breeds than in others, and a genetic predisposition is probably involved in the expression of the disease.”

“At Tufts we have seriously considered obtaining a thyroid panel on all dogs presented for evaluation (for behavior problems/aggression), and we feel that it is a very good screen for a condition which may underlie a wide variety of behavioral problems, and one which is relatively easily and cheaply treated. It is our recommendation that hypothyroidism be considered as a rule out for dogs and horses showing inappropriate aggression.”


Sometimes a basic blood test can detect thyroid problems but often it does not. A full thyroid panel is needed. There is a vet, Dr. Dodds, who is *the expert* on thyroid problems. She will perform the comprehensive tests with a blood sample sent by your vet. And it is not expensive at all. Here is a link to her website which has lots of very informative articles linked to it. You might want to consider this route as a way to discover whether the fight was true aggression or something caused by a medical condition that is easily and cheaply treated. Just like in humans, a pill can make all the difference in the world with an underactive thyroid. In fact, our hypothyroid dogs took human medication (Synthroid) for years until a good veterinary medication became available.

Here is the link to Dr. Dodd’s website:

http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM

and some articles about the thyroid:

http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM



I hope this can help you. Speaking as someone who has experienced both the dog aggressive behavior and the thyroid problems (with medication solutions) I sincerely hope that you will consider this as a very real possibility in the case of Angel and Cubby.

SOTB
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:46 AM
I was very bummed to read about Angel's dog fight - dog fights are so scary! BUT, I'm so glad Viney is taking her and you'll know she is in a good home! It's great when COTH connects people like that.

Alagirl
Nov. 24, 2009, 12:04 PM
Just a comment on MM's post - there are all sorts of opinions out there on how to handle pack dominance, I haven't yet heard that a dog acting dominant in the home toward another dog should be praised and reinforced - just the opposite, Cubby still walking around staring at Angel should be corrected and stopped immediately, not petted and reinforced, which tells her that acting like that is OK. The owner needs to tell the dog how to act, and in my home, with my string of rescued bitches, that kind of behavior would, and has been corrected very strongly. All it takes is a look to start a brawl.


Well, most uf as are just too human to get the down and outs of pack dynamics. We are busy with our people stuff and are largely oblivious to what goes on with our fuzzy kids until it breaks out into the open.

maybe the OPs situation could be remedied with training, but it seems she has not the right setup to even try.

The deal really is, we make our mistakes, by projecting our dynamic onto the animals. most of the times it works. It's not until we are confronted with the big issue do we realize that we need to go about it differently.

We live and learn and thankfully both dogs get to as well.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 02:45 PM
Just to clear one thing up, I think there is a vast difference between reinforcing dominant behaviour vs reinforcing the position of the alpha dog:

"Help establish a stable social hierarchy. To do this, owners should consistently support the more dominant dog in his rightful social position. The only difficulty comes in determining which of the two dogs should be dominant and this is not always an easy endeavor. Factors that come in to play are temperament, age, length of time in the household, size, and breed. If there is any doubt about which dog is dominant, it is probably best to engage a senior support program initially. This is a program in which the elder incumbent dog is supported over a newcomer (especially if the challenger is a puppy that has just reached puberty and has begun to challenge the more senior dog's rank). Once it has been decided which dog to support, that dog should be first in everything and the other dog should be obliged to follow. The dominant dog should be fed first, petted first, praised first, allowed through doorways first, exercised first and played with before the other dog.

If this causes problems, the more subordinate dog may have to be put into a crate or tethered so that he is compelled to watch the owner interact freely with the more dominant dog. "

This is what I was referring to when I said to support Cubby's role as the dominant dog. I never meant it to mean that I would support her aggressive behavior. I think that if you support the position, in other words, you as the true alpha dog, set the hierachy within the rest of the pack, it will help prevent dominance fights. Ultimately to acheive harmony, the human (or all humans) in a house hold should be the leader of all the dogs. Similar to working with our herds of horses and their pecking order. The humans should always be the boss mare of any herd.

Now that I have said that, in my household, I am dealing with elderly in-laws, my FIL is pre-Alzhiemers, deaf as a post, can't remember things we tell him an hour later, so how can I expect him to be able to remember how to interact with the dogs, I can't even keep him from letting them eat off his plate at the dinner table. I have to be ever viligant not ony of the dogs behavior but his too! My mother in law is also too lenient with the dogs, but at least she tries her best to do as I say, for example, she came in to give Angel a few treats this afternoon and asked if that was okay (well, it was after the fact, but whatever, that was okay to come bring treats to the dog that is basically in "jail" right now). But when it would come down to even remembering which order of feeding should be done to maintain peace in the pack. . . not so good. Those are just a few of the factors as to why I feel that training (while it is a good thing) is not a good option in this situation for me. For anyone else - absolutely! I feel all dogs should be trained, obedient, loyal and above all trustworthy, and that only comes with fair, firm and consistant training and handling. Just like our horses, we have to remember that every single interaction we do with our dogs is a training session. And I get that, but not everyone in my household does.

Claddagh, thanks for that insightful information, I will look into that asap, as I am a bit concerned about Cubby's behavior. Even though Angel will go to live with Vineyridge (and yes, I welcome her with open arms to co-authoring Angel's book, or I write the first book, and she writes the sequel), I will be monitoring Cubby's behavior a lot more closely. Luckily I do have a wonderful vet that is always listening to ideas from her clients and exploring them, so even if she didn't offer that as a possible cause at this time, I will bring it to her attention.

In the meanwhile Angel is doing okay in exhile, she stays with me in my office, and when I do let her out, Murhpy can be with her, while the other dogs are in temporary confinement either in the bedroom or my husband's office. It is a bit more work, but sure is less work and stress than breaking up a fight.

Looking on the bright side, in my trip to the panhandle to meet Viney, I get to see a part of my home state (of 5 years) that I have not seen yet.

Janet
Nov. 24, 2009, 03:09 PM
Didn’t you say that Cubby is an Australian Shepherd / Golden Retriever cross? ...– one was a Golden Retriever and the other was an Australian Shepherd. Both of these breeds list thyroid problems as one of the health problems that plague their breeds.

Interesting. What about
Jindo and Saomoyed. Are either of them associated with thyroid problems?

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 03:33 PM
Just a comment on MM's post - there are all sorts of opinions out there on how to handle pack dominance, I haven't yet heard that a dog acting dominant in the home toward another dog should be praised and reinforced - just the opposite, Cubby still walking around staring at Angel should be corrected and stopped immediately, not petted and reinforced, which tells her that acting like that is OK. The owner needs to tell the dog how to act, and in my home, with my string of rescued bitches, that kind of behavior would, and has been corrected very strongly. All it takes is a look to start a brawl.

I agree with you there, that any aggressive behavior should be nipped in the bud or redirect the dog as soon as you see the first sign, but many of us (myself included) miss the early signs of trouble brewing.

Just wanted to post this from the website that I quoted from earlier, it is the second paragraph:

"Safety and reinforcement. Because treatment is not immediately effective and may take three or four months, it is a good idea to have both dogs wear body harnesses or head halters and trailing leads around the house. This way, fights can be broken up safely by applying gentle traction to the leads to keep the dogs just far enough apart that they cannot injure each other. The owner should hold the dogs apart in this way until they calm down. Following a fight, or near fight, the dominant dog should be praised, petted and played with while the subordinate dog is ignored or taken out of the area for a time out.

For most people, behaving this way is counterintuitive, but resolves the problem. At the conclusion of the program it will be found that the more dominant dog is less anxious and protective because he now knows he is being supported in his true alpha position and the subordinate dog will stop competing and will be comfortable in his "number two dog" role.

If fighting is severe, or refractory to initial treatments, it may be necessary to advance to a more comprehensive rehabilitation program "

I think the key in that paragraph is to not do any praising or reinforcing of position until AFTER the dogs are calm.

Also, another article on thyroid problems in dogs:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hypothyroidism-in-dogs/page1.aspx

Claddagh
Nov. 24, 2009, 03:35 PM
Interesting. What about
Jindo and Saomoyed. Are either of them associated with thyroid problems?

Just did a quick search. I have never met a Jindo and wanted to see what they look like. And, yes, they do site thyroid problems as a health issue with the breed.
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/jindo.htm


It appears that Samoyeds also have problems with thyroid disease. "Many breeders are benefitting from recent research indicating the need for Thyroid testing and evaluation of their Samoyeds", according to the Samoyed Club of America.
http://www.samoyedclubofamerica.org/sca/sam_u/sam_care.html

And many Samoyed breeders are registering their dogs thyroid test results with the OFA Thyroid Resistry.

Janet
Nov. 24, 2009, 03:44 PM
Thanks.
Will get them both tested.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 04:24 PM
I have a bit more work to do with Angel in the next few days. Because she is confused by the change in routine here, she is reluctant to go outside, or maybe she is the type of dog that doesn't need as many "potty breaks" as I am used to. So, I put the leash on her and tried to see if she would walk around the back yard. She made it about 20 feet, and dropped to the ground shaking. So I will work on desensitizing her to the leash. Do any of you think I should just attach a lightweight leash to her for now, and just let her wear it? She has her harness on.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 06:48 PM
Sorry to hear the news, MM, but Viney will take good care of Angel. Remember that just because a special animal comes into our lives it doesn't always mean that we are the final destination for them. Sometimes we are simply the pivotal transitioning point needed to get them into their forever home, as is the case here. Without your very hard work to bring her along, Angel would never be able to make this next step in her life. So while I know it hurts, it will be for the best for all involved. We wish you all the best in the coming transition ahead.

Thanks Chief, you always did know what to say to me to help in times of trouble. I have not cried this hard or this long since Dunkin died. And Angel is still with us, and I know she has a good future ahead of her.

I know you are right, if they had managed to trap her last year when they got her friend, she would probably been deemed unadoptable due to her fright, and she would have been put down, so God was looking out for her I think.

I learned so much in the past year in my attempts to make friends with her, and now I am stuggling to find a positive lesson to learn from this heartache. Maybe the lesson is that I still need to learn more about dog behavior in general, including agressiveness, for the betterment of any dogs in my present or future? To learn to read dog body language as well as I can the body language of my horses?

fivehorses
Nov. 24, 2009, 07:29 PM
Hi, I am sorry to hear about all this.

Until Angel goes to Viney, can you get a muzzle for both of them, and then you don't need to worry about things so much? or change too much of the routine. Just a thought.

Again, sorry for all the emotional stress you are now dealing with.

FatPalomino
Nov. 24, 2009, 07:35 PM
Understanding canine body language makes you a lot more intuitive I think, and compassionate, when you realize just how many dogs are really scared out of their skin, NOT dominant, pushy, alpha, etc.

It was explained to me as, if you understand learning theary, and understand the species, you can train almost any animal to do almost anything. Pretty cool.

There's a lot of info on dog behavior- but just like horse internet info- don't trust it all. There's some really good authors (Pyror, Donaldson, etc) and many not so good ones.

If you can find a vet behaviorist, they will explain any medical conditions that may increase aggressive tendancies, and help set up a behavior modification plan to work with Angel (or Cubby, or both). In a case like Angel's, with so much going on, a specialist instead of a regular vet would be a wise choice. Here's how to find one closest to you (there are only 52 in the country). Some more info on what they can help with:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/what-can-a-veterinary-behaviorist-do-for-my-dog/page1.aspx Finding a GREAT trainer can be helpful, too, but finding one can be tough.

Behavioral problems are the #1 killer of dogs. You're not alone.

AiryFairy
Nov. 24, 2009, 07:36 PM
For most people, behaving this way is counterintuitive, but resolves the problem. At the conclusion of the program it will be found that the more dominant dog is less anxious and protective because he now knows he is being supported in his true alpha position and the subordinate dog will stop competing and will be comfortable in his "number two dog" role.


Y'see, that's where I disagree - the only 'dominant dog' in your house should be YOU. All dogs should look to you for leadership and direction, praise and discipline, food and comfort. They shouldn't fear you but they SHOULD fear the stinkeye you give them and what comes after it if they don't change their behavior. I don't think I've ever had to do that more than once, after that a loud "EYY!" is enough to stop the evil eye or staring or whatever they're doing. You can't have dogs acting "outside the pack", and if you're supposed to be in charge, having them fight with each other is counterproductive. It might be a matter of innate personality, I'm naturally dominant and I think a lot of that comes from having horses before dogs - you learn very quickly that not being able to dominate and control a small brained equine can get you killed. After the horses went it naturally translated to the dogs, and after all those years you get really good at reading body language. I think you're right, that to turn this into learning experience for yourself to develop your powers of observation would be a really positive thing. You already do that, you could read her as she was getting closer to you, this aggression is probably something you've never had experience with before, that's how we all learned.

As for her leash, try leaving it on her but 'ignoring' it - if she'll take treats, reward her, and distract her with treats while she drags it around. I kind of suspect that when she's dropping to the ground, she's not tempted by food. Try to get her to follow you with food, while holding the leash but not tugging on it, she'll get used to going forward and hopefully forget about it, as much as she can, obviously it's a source of terror for her, poor girl.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 07:40 PM
Hi, I am sorry to hear about all this.

Until Angel goes to Viney, can you get a muzzle for both of them, and then you don't need to worry about things so much? or change too much of the routine. Just a thought.

Again, sorry for all the emotional stress you are now dealing with.

Thanks. I did think of the muzzle thing, the tough sell would be my husband, as it is his dog that would have to wear one also. And right now, it would rub in all the bite wounds that we are trying to heal on Cubby. And with any luck, by the time they heal, Angel will be living with her new mom.

Also, just to toss the question out there, if you have a pack of 5 dogs and two of them have to wear muzzles, do the other dogs that used to be lower on the totem pole now start to attack the wearers of the muzzle, once they realize that the alpha dog(s) cannot defend themselves? (yes, I am still a little gun-shy, even good natured warning growls set me practially into panic mode now, stuff that used to not phase me in the least).

cvl
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:15 PM
As far as leash training, is there another one of your dogs who is leash trained? If so, try taking Angel for a walk - maybe out to the barn(?) - with that dog. We adopted a rescue Aussie who was afraid of the leash. But she learned very quickly when we took her out for walks with our other dog who was leash trained. Good luck!

kdow
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:23 PM
Also, just to toss the question out there, if you have a pack of 5 dogs and two of them have to wear muzzles, do the other dogs that used to be lower on the totem pole now start to attack the wearers of the muzzle, once they realize that the alpha dog(s) cannot defend themselves? (yes, I am still a little gun-shy, even good natured warning growls set me practially into panic mode now, stuff that used to not phase me in the least).

I think there's a lot more to dog interaction than 'I can use my teeth' so chances are good that there won't be troubles unless you have dogs who are actively trying to compete anyway.

Given how gun-shy you are with normal dog interaction right now (understandably so) I would really strongly suggest getting a behavior-based trainer to come in sooner, rather than later. I promise the dogs are all noticing your nervousness and anxiety, and that can cause problems because the dogs will probably be guessing at the source of the anxiety and may be reacting strangely with each other. You don't want to be unintentionally causing problems. Plus, understanding more about dog body language, which a good behaviorist could teach you, should help with your levels of anxiety, because you'll be more confident about your ability to determine if something IS just a play growl or a minor squabble or prelude to a bigger issue.

I know you have issues in your living situation where not all of the people can be relied on to maintain a training program, but honestly I think dogs are socially intelligent enough to deal with that, provided the training solution is set up to take into consideration that not all the people are going to be following a strict system.

Casey09
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:49 PM
My biggest concern about the muzzles would be that if the 2 "muzzle wearers" got into it, the other dogs might join in - and the 2 wearing muzzles could be injured.
If I were to keep 2 dogs together who were challenging one another, I would probably have a trainer come in. People I have known who have done this have used a lot of crates and baby gates. However, I understand that because of the number of people in your home, that may not work for you. I do think it would be safer than muzzles, though.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:55 PM
I think there's a lot more to dog interaction than 'I can use my teeth' so chances are good that there won't be troubles unless you have dogs who are actively trying to compete anyway.

Given how gun-shy you are with normal dog interaction right now (understandably so) I would really strongly suggest getting a behavior-based trainer to come in sooner, rather than later. I promise the dogs are all noticing your nervousness and anxiety, and that can cause problems because the dogs will probably be guessing at the source of the anxiety and may be reacting strangely with each other. You don't want to be unintentionally causing problems. Plus, understanding more about dog body language, which a good behaviorist could teach you, should help with your levels of anxiety, because you'll be more confident about your ability to determine if something IS just a play growl or a minor squabble or prelude to a bigger issue.

I know you have issues in your living situation where not all of the people can be relied on to maintain a training program, but honestly I think dogs are socially intelligent enough to deal with that, provided the training solution is set up to take into consideration that not all the people are going to be following a strict system.

You are so right on my body language *palm to forehead* ! Going to work on that right now. I have always been a very confident relatively calm dog owner, and I can't let this rattle me. I liken it to getting bucked off a horse now, I need to shake it off and get back on and leave the nerves behind, and let it impact the rest of the pack. Thank you.

LLDM
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:25 PM
Just wanted to a big Thanks to Vineyridge! I had a feeling someone on this board would step up. Tag team adoption and all. Sounds like she has a good set up and a good handle on the issues.

MM- would it be possible to move Angel back out to the barn for a couple of days? She was comfortable there and didn't have to share you out there either. It might help settle her, even if she had to live in a stall or the tack room until the weekend or whenever you all meet up. Just a thought, but it might help you both right now to have some one on one time without worries.

SCFarm

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:46 PM
Just wanted to a big Thanks to Vineyridge! I had a feeling someone on this board would step up. Tag team adoption and all. Sounds like she has a good set up and a good handle on the issues.

MM- would it be possible to move Angel back out to the barn for a couple of days? She was comfortable there and didn't have to share you out there either. It might help settle her, even if she had to live in a stall or the tack room until the weekend or whenever you all meet up. Just a thought, but it might help you both right now to have some one on one time without worries.

SCFarm

Unfortunately, no, that was one of the issues with my barn when we were trying to catch her all last year. I don't have a "tack room" it is just a stall, and all my stalls have hinged track style gossip doors that do not go to the floor. Also, I have dirt floors with gaps between the walls and the floor in the "tack room", and it would take her no time to tunnel out. To say nothing of the fact that my neighbors dog Zach (remember the "bait" puppy?) would be over in a flash, dragging his owner behind him on the leash like a puppet.

Hopefully this is only for a few more days, and she seems pretty content to just hang out with me as long as I am in here, and even over night, when I come in the in the AM, she has eaten her food, and is very happy to see me, and has done no damage to anything, she doesn't even get in the trash.

I do let her out several times a day with Murphy to play in the yard, do her thing, stretch her legs. . . all that good stuff.

I wish we could put Cubby's collar back on (her neck is that bad that we can't yet), so then I could possibly put leashed on both of them and have them together in the house, but on leashes at least. I'm feeling a bit exhiled myself, but then again I am in here all the time working anyway.

citydog
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:30 PM
http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/fighting

Hooray to Viney for taking the dog. :yes::)

Reading through this thread I ended up with too many quotes that I wanted to address, lots of good stuff from kdow in particular, and lots of inaccurate and emotional posts from others. (Not that it isn't an emotional topic!)

Dog fights are scary. Dog squabbles and skirmishes can also be scary when folks don't know what they're looking at and don't know how to deal with it. A "fight to the death" is going to leave at least one of the dogs with more injuries than just a couple of punctures and nicked ears. It sounds like MM has a lot on her plate and logistically and emotionally can't handle sorting this out right now, and is doing right by Angel in getting her to someone who is willing and able to continue working with her.

I spent three days last week at a series of seminars with Dr. Nick Dodman (head of Tufts' behavior department) and Dr. Ian Dunbar (a phenomenal vet/trainer/behaviorist) whose video on fighting (http://www.dogstardaily.com/storefront/dog-aggression-fighting-video) has some mighty fine information in it. I would highly recommend folks with an interest in canine behavior check out http://www.dogstardaily.com which has a lot of content from Dodman, Dunbar and others, and is a wealth of sound dog training and behavior information. Articles by a great many top trainers and behaviorists, full books, videos, tutorials on body language, etc. Good stuff, and almost all of it entirely free.

There is a lot of gross oversimplification and misidentification of dominance and the whole "alpha" thing, and that wretched Cesar Millan doesn't help (see: http://www.askdryin.com/dominance.php). It unfortunately leads to a *lot* of dogs being written off and put down due to ignorance and misunderstanding.

All future happiness to Angel and Viney in their future together and kudos to Munchkin'sMom for helping Angel as much as she did. :yes: Sometimes we simply aren't the right home for a particular dog, or combination of dogs even when the dog/dogs is/are simply showing (from MM's description) a normal range of canine behavior, that under other circumstances would likely be quite fixable.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:52 AM
Hooray to Viney for taking the dog. :yes::)
(edited out)

All future happiness to Angel and Viney in their future together and kudos to Munchkin'sMom for helping Angel as much as she did. :yes: Sometimes we simply aren't the right home for a particular dog, or combination of dogs even when the dog/dogs is/are simply showing (from MM's description) a normal range of canine behavior, that under other circumstances would likely be quite fixable.

Thanks, I read the information in your links with interest. I tend to view all public dog training information (TV, internet, print) as a source of information and then think about what is being shown/written, and see if it a) makes sense and b) works for your situation and animal. As we all know, any training is not one size fits all, each animal is an individual and needs to be treated as such, using the best training technique for that individual.

And thanks for understanding that part of what breaks my heart is that my life right now (with the in-laws, job, etc) does not allow me to fix this, and get the dogs to live in harmony. Because I am not giving up on any of the dogs here, and if my circumstances were different, I absolutely would be working this out for however long it takes (heck it took me over a year to get Angel to this point). The problem is that I cannot take the chance that my FIL opens a door and lets the dogs out, forgetting that we have new rules and routines needed to get this fixed, and I'm back to watching the dogs tear each other to bits. And I can guarantee you that it would happen! Before we put in the dog door, he would let the dogs out, and forget they were out there. Or he goes on the porch, the dogs follow him out, and I come back an hour later to find a dog or two still on the porch because he forgets to bring them back in with him.

I am a bit worried, on Saturday that we are to deliver Angel, my mother in law is working two jobs and will not be home all day, that means I must pray that the old man doesn't burn the house down or leave the dogs on the porch. Oh lord, pray for my dogs while I am gone. :eek: This is one reason why I rarely get to leave the farm.

At any rate, my daughter cleaned her room, and Angel is going to sleep in her room with her tonight. It's cute, right now she would have the run of the house with Murphy, yet she chose to lay here in the office with me and sleep. Go figure. I thought for sure that after being confined in here for two days that this would be the last place she would want to be. I guess I don't think like a dog, or maybe her bond with me is strong.

kdow
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:12 AM
At any rate, my daughter cleaned her room, and Angel is going to sleep in her room with her tonight. It's cute, right now she would have the run of the house with Murphy, yet she chose to lay here in the office with me and sleep. Go figure. I thought for sure that after being confined in here for two days that this would be the last place she would want to be. I guess I don't think like a dog, or maybe her bond with me is strong.

One thing I would do when you take her is to have a blanket/towel/shirt/fabric thing that you're willing to not get back, and make it smell like you - rub it on yourself (get the most stinky areas, like armpits!) or else just wear it the day before or something. (When Pirate had to go in for his teeth, I just put an old towel in my bed the night before and slept with it, then sent that in with him.) You could rub it on some of the other dogs, too. (Maybe not Cubby. :) )

That way, she has something familiar smelling with her when she's in her new home, and it might help the transition. Our cocker spaniel's breeder did this with all the dogs in the house and other puppies in the litter before we brought her home, and I swear it made a huge difference to her settling in, because she had her nice familiar smelling place to curl up in.

Thomas_1
Nov. 25, 2009, 04:46 AM
I'd also have a dog put down if it was excessively aggressive to other dogs or people

Addison
Nov. 25, 2009, 07:29 AM
Angel does not need to be put down just because she has shown aggression toward one other dog. She needs a new living situation where the alpha dog question does not exist.

The muzzle is a great precaution.

Good luck to you MM and VINEY. I hope Angel finds her forever home.

JanM
Nov. 25, 2009, 11:00 AM
I think the way this is working out is for the best. Sometimes it's just a matter of the wrong situation at the wrong time. I think Angel will be fine with another pack, and maybe this is how it was destined to work out anyway.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 11:35 AM
I think the way this is working out is for the best. Sometimes it's just a matter of the wrong situation at the wrong time. I think Angel will be fine with another pack, and maybe this is how it was destined to work out anyway.

I sure hope you are right. She really has not shown any signs of aggression towards any of the other dogs and definitely never towards a human, and it may very well be that Cubby started the whole thing (although I cannot say that to my husband ever, and he may be thinking the same thing, but Cubby is the light of his life in the canine world). And I am doing my best not to blame either dog. In my mind it's like a bad marriage, both parties may be great apart or with other people, but not together.

And I don't think beating myself up over "coulda, woulda, shoulda" is going to change anything or make anyone feel better about what has happened. It just is what it is.

I owe Viney eternal gratitude for this, and I'm sure that Angel will also. It has amazed me that once we got Angel into the house, how comfortable she is with total strangers, anyone that comes in she greets and allows them to pet her. So I think she will bond with her new family very quickly.

Equino
Nov. 25, 2009, 11:50 AM
i haven't read all the pages, but wanted to chime in my 2 cents. I strongly disagree that all dogs can work out pack order safely, or that they even should have to. My parents used to breed Boxers and we went through various pairs that could not be together. It started with two adult males. My parents brought in a well respected trainer who recommended muzzles and letting them sort it out. It never worked. They would fight, exhaust themselves, retreat. And then restart the whole thing again. Right now, they have one male Boxer who HATES my male Aussie. The Aussie is completely non-agressive and throws himself on the ground and lays motionless, yet the Boxer will spring in to attack mode every single time he sees him. We just keep them separated-why should the Aussie become terrified and have his confidence destroyed because this one dog views him as a threat for whatever reason?

We've had dogs who could be crated side by side, walked together on lashes, went to dog school and could care less their "enemy" was there, even would sniff noses with wagging tails through the fencing but could not be loose together in the house. Mother and daughters, littermates, didn't matter. Once they seemed to seek each other out to fight, we separated them. Sure was not a fun way to live. In our case, we found there was a genetic heart condition and we speculated when they would get excited, their hearts gave them trouble, and they were associating that dog with pain. So, my folks no longer breed that line (and this is a very prominent Boxer show dog line, not just pet puppies).

A suggestion in separating dogs that have latched on-nail polish remover. Splash on your hands and shove under their noses, then be prepared to grab dogs quickly when the let go for that initial moment. We keep a small bottle in practically every room at my parents house, and it works like a charm.

dawglover
Nov. 25, 2009, 11:53 AM
I'm so glad that this thread has a happy conclusion.

I'd been lurking and I was saddened when it first appeared that Angel might go to a shelter. I've visited no kill shelters and some of them are very overcrowded. Yes the dogs are "alive" but spend a lot of their time confined to small runs or crates and simply don't get the social interaction that they crave.
As much as I love my dogs, I'd euth rather than send them to be warehoused like that.

MM has done such a great job with Angel and I feel she is doing the right thing by placing her with Vineyridge.

Viney, you are my hero. :yes:

I'm hoping that Angel's transistion from MM to Viney goes well and that Angel settles in and lives a long and happy life.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 11:54 AM
One thing I would do when you take her is to have a blanket/towel/shirt/fabric thing that you're willing to not get back, and make it smell like you - rub it on yourself (get the most stinky areas, like armpits!) or else just wear it the day before or something. (When Pirate had to go in for his teeth, I just put an old towel in my bed the night before and slept with it, then sent that in with him.) You could rub it on some of the other dogs, too. (Maybe not Cubby. :) )

That way, she has something familiar smelling with her when she's in her new home, and it might help the transition. Our cocker spaniel's breeder did this with all the dogs in the house and other puppies in the litter before we brought her home, and I swear it made a huge difference to her settling in, because she had her nice familiar smelling place to curl up in.

I'm bringing her dog bed, some toys, food, biscuits, and anything else that Viney and I think will help with the transistion. Viney seems to be very knowledgeable about dogs, and I feel so much better about this every day.

Last night did not go well in my daughter's room, only because we had a big thunderstorm blow in around 1 AM. At 2:30 AM my daughter finally gave up and came to get me to tell me that Angel would not sleep because of the storm. So I brought her with me back to the office, and was going to sleep with her on the couch, but even that did not help, so I left her alone again in the office, there was no crying or anything, and she was fine this morning, and is now sacked out on the floor with me again.

I have a feeling that she is a house dog now, and I hope she (and Viney) can make that work out in her new home. She is such a loving dog, but not a needy dog.

FatPalomino
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:14 PM
Angel does not need to be put down just because she has shown aggression toward one other dog. She needs a new living situation where the alpha dog question does not exist.

Please please please stop it with the alpha, top dog, dominant, My-dogs-all-need-to-cower-when-I-look-at-them themes. Did you know that 40% of people who assert the alpha role on their own dog get bit doing so???? (in a scientific, peer reviewed, published study).The OP keeps saying how scared Angel is, but how she has to use dominance theory to correct the problem. Does anyone else see this as the oxy-moron? Without intervention, I'd imagine there is very much the potential for a dog fight resulting in death to occur. The dog who killed my foster dog "only" had problems with certain dogs- and enough so to kill mine. If you aren't willing to do the intense behavior modification to understand aggression, and aren't willing to accept that there is no cure for it, euthanasia is the only responsible option.

We pride ourselves on knowing so much about nutrition, genetics, pathology, diseases.... but so little of us have any formal training in the realm of behavior, the #1 killer of dogs. Dogs are resilanant, and we can use aversive treatments and they will still come back to us for food. Poor guys.

First, we thought dogs were like wolves with the "alpha". The term alpha wolf is pretty outdated now:
http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/iwmag/2008/winter/alphawolf.pdf

Our theory that dogs are like wolves anyway was fatally flawed:
http://www.4pawsu.com/dogpsychology.htm
Some food for thought:
"Dogs are not tame wolves"

"Observations of free-roaming dogs throughout the world reveal that dogs are social animals, using displays of submission to keep the peace, not displays of dominance. "
(I very much agree with this, after watching free-roaming dogs in other countries).

Instead of reading one of the many good books that's been recommended, here's some articles that hopefully someone will give a moment to:
Forget about being alpha:
http://www.kathysdao.com/articles/Forget_About_Being_Alpha_in_Your_Pack.html

"Power struggles with dogs communicate no more leadership than an adult human in a physical struggle with a small child or an armed bank robber and his hostages."

Alagirl
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:15 PM
i haven't read all the pages, but wanted to chime in my 2 cents. I strongly disagree that all dogs can work out pack order safely, or that they even should have to. My parents used to breed Boxers and we went through various pairs that could not be together. It started with two adult males. My parents brought in a well respected trainer who recommended muzzles and letting them sort it out. It never worked. They would fight, exhaust themselves, retreat. And then restart the whole thing again. Right now, they have one male Boxer who HATES my male Aussie. The Aussie is completely non-agressive and throws himself on the ground and lays motionless, yet the Boxer will spring in to attack mode every single time he sees him. We just keep them separated-why should the Aussie become terrified and have his confidence destroyed because this one dog views him as a threat for whatever reason?

We've had dogs who could be crated side by side, walked together on lashes, went to dog school and could care less their "enemy" was there, even would sniff noses with wagging tails through the fencing but could not be loose together in the house. Mother and daughters, littermates, didn't matter. Once they seemed to seek each other out to fight, we separated them. Sure was not a fun way to live. In our case, we found there was a genetic heart condition and we speculated when they would get excited, their hearts gave them trouble, and they were associating that dog with pain. So, my folks no longer breed that line (and this is a very prominent Boxer show dog line, not just pet puppies).

A suggestion in separating dogs that have latched on-nail polish remover. Splash on your hands and shove under their noses, then be prepared to grab dogs quickly when the let go for that initial moment. We keep a small bottle in practically every room at my parents house, and it works like a charm.


I'd rather not stick my hand there in between, maybe one of them duster wands? :lol:

Cloverbarley
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:38 PM
Well what a thread with a wonderful ending (or perhaps with a wonderful new beginning, is more relevant).

Gosh, a rollercoaster of emotions for me reading this thread. To hear of a dog fight always makes me concerned for the person dealing with them as they are never nice to watch or try to break up. Then to hear that the dog was going to be taken to the humane society, how terribly sad. I could never do that to any dog of mine, no matter what :(. Finding a good and suitable home is always preferable to taking them to a shelter. And finally to hear that Vineyridge has offered to take Angel, how fabulous it was to read that. Well done Viney, such kindness and I hope you have many happy years with Angel. :)

So happy for you MM that everything sounds like it will work out well. I can understand just how hard this all must have been for you and I do think you are doing the very best thing for Angel and your family, given the circumstances. :)

Good luck to everyone involved!

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 12:58 PM
"Observations of free-roaming dogs throughout the world reveal that dogs are social animals, using displays of submission to keep the peace, not displays of dominance. "
(I very much agree with this, after watching free-roaming dogs in other countries).

Instead of reading one of the many good books that's been recommended, here's some articles that hopefully someone will give a moment to:
Forget about being alpha:
http://www.kathysdao.com/articles/Forget_About_Being_Alpha_in_Your_Pack.html

"Power struggles with dogs communicate no more leadership than an adult human in a physical struggle with a small child or an armed bank robber and his hostages."

Thanks FP, my favorite line from your link above (and how I like to think of my relationship with my dogs) is this:

"we can aspire not to be dominant pack leaders. but good "parents" instead. that is, excellent care-takers and teachers of our dependent dogs"

I may have been using the wrong terminology in some of my previous posts. You are correct that with a submissive easily frightened dog like Angel, that any threatening "dominant" type interaction is counter productive. It is because of her submissive nature, that I was totally shocked by her aggressive behavior on Sunday, especially after I literally had her bodily pinned to the ground with my 115 pounds laying on top of her, and she still got away and went back for the attack. And that she attacked Cubby while my husband had Cubby literally in a bear hug. In my simple mind, both Angel and Cubby were way beyond any reason at that point, it was pure animal instinct driving the behavior.

At any other time if I were to apply that level of physical restraint on Angel, she would be quivering like 40 pounds of Jell-O.

So, I don't want this thread to turn into a fight about whose training method is better (let's not go down that rocky road please), as to each their own. I personally agree, that the methods of using reward vs punishment is an better method, as most (not all) dogs really want to please, and it is important to understand animal behavior of any animal that lives on your farm (horse, dog, cat, chicken, whatever), so that you as a person can be the best care-taker that you can be for them.

In my mind, when I think "pack leader" what I mean is to be a calm, fair, confident teacher of my dogs, and to taylor the method of instruction to each individual dog in the household. Up til now, this method has worked well for me, no dogs get pinned to the floor here, they may be "sent away" from undesirable behavior (with the point of a finger in the direction I want them to go, and some body english (not physical touch) and stern tone of voice to express my displeasure, and always rewarded for good behavior, mostly with petting, scratching and kind words of praise, and the judicious use of treats.

Do I think that I could make this work in my household right now with this situation - maybe, if I had a few months of time and no other issues to have to distract me from the goal. I really do think that part if my issue is also too many dogs, and a mis-match of temperment and energy levels when Angel came into the mix.

Do I think that taking Angel to live with Viney may be the better option right now, absolutely!

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 01:01 PM
P.S, this is really reminding me of the hundreds of threads on horses with the same theme - "do I keep the horse and keep trying, or re-home the horse and find one more suitable". In this case it is best for all that Angel gets the right home, and yes, I am honored that she choose me as a step in that direction.

moonriverfarm
Nov. 25, 2009, 01:08 PM
Good for you, MM. And blessings to Angel in her new home!

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:44 PM
I went back and read some of my posts, and it made me think. I have a theory that I would like to explore and see if you have any thoughts on it.

When the fight broke out, and I was the first on the scene and intervened, is it possible that both dogs (Angel and Cubby) then kept up the attack on each other as an attempt to protect ME? In other words, Cubby viewed my distressed state as danger from Angel, and vice versa? Or is that a bit over the top?

I know it is water over the dam, but I am trying to make this yet another chapter in my education, as I feel that knowledge is our best defense, to learn by our mistakes, so that we are not doomed to repeat them.

Now, that has nothing to do with whatever triggered the fight in the first place, from reading some of the good links posted her by other people, I'm leaning towards the theory that Angel did not receive the correct levels of socialization as a puppy, due to whatever her start in life was, and being dumped out here at a young age (we guess she was about 4 months old then, and in the company of an adult dog), and that perhaps she overreacted to Cubby in the excitement of the moment. But it might explain why they continued to fight even after we had seperated them.

FatPalomino
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:43 PM
When the fight broke out, and I was the first on the scene and intervened, is it possible that both dogs (Angel and Cubby) then kept up the attack on each other as an attempt to protect ME?

Doubtful. If Angel is as scared as you say, and cowers when walked on leashes, is fearful of storms, etc, then she's the opposite of the confidant, fearless dog, who can not only prtoect himself but protect people. A lot of times dogs will be aggressive on leash and owners think they are being protective, but really, the dog only has 4 feet to escape from the fearful stimulus, and that 4' also happens to be close to you.

When is she going to her new home?

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:50 PM
We are taking the trip on Saturday, still determining if one of us needs to stay home so that my FIL does not burn the house down, let a dog escape, etc. Tough call for us as my husband and daughter want to come on the trip, and we will visit friends on the return leg for dinner since we will be passing through their home town.

And thanks, I will stop speculating on what I could have done to prevent this, gee, I said I was not going to do that, didn't I?

fivehorses
Nov. 25, 2009, 06:42 PM
hey, don't beat yourself up. Your introspection and very thoughtful lifestyle is why you also rescued Angel.

I think for what its worth that Angel and Cubby could have gotten more excited with your yelling and intervention.

Usually when a dog fight breaks out, I walk away or yell and scream. But, when a more aggressive dog walks over to my dog, I find my dog gets more aggressive thinking it must defend me.

Hey, those of us who are introspective and want to know why, are the best caretakers to these 4 leggeds we all love.

Do in your heart what you need to do. No one needs an explanation.

FatPalomino
Nov. 25, 2009, 07:55 PM
Have a safe trip (I had to chucke with the FIL burning down the house line!).

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 08:06 PM
Have a safe trip (I had to chucke with the FIL burning down the house line!).

Thanks for the safe trip, wish more that I come home to my house and dogs intact. I was not exactly joking about the FIL burning down the house, he did manage to start the riding lawn mower on fire once, and didn't even notice, parked it in the garage smoldering away, smelling like a dog-turd campfire, thank heavens I was just coming back up from the barn and managed to get it outside. He was sitting in his recliner when I burst into the house! We took away the keys to it after that. I spoke with my MIL about this, she is sensing my concern, but not sure what to do about it. That was 3 years ago.

At least I know that my MIL will get all his food ready for him so all he has to do is put it in the microwave, so far he manages that without burning the house down.

I just got off the phone with Viney, we had a lovely chat, she is a kindred spirit, and her animals have the good life with her for sure. Angel will be in farm dog heaven there I think. I am feeling very positive about this.

Zu Zu
Nov. 25, 2009, 08:42 PM
Sending Jingles for a Happy Turkey Day ! as well as for a smooth transition ~ You have given Angel a Wonderful start ! Please know she loves you and will always remember you for all the sesame chicken and play time and for taking her into your home. Angel has been twice blessed ~ first with MunchkinsMom and second by Viney! Angel is truly a LUCKY DOG !!!! I hope this thread continues with Viney updates ~ looking forward to Angel's new adventures. MunchkinsMom YOU DID A GREAT JOB !!!!!

vineyridge
Nov. 25, 2009, 08:49 PM
One thing I've been told and find works frequently when something starts between dogs, and before it gets to the level of actually fighting, is to laugh at them and tell them with a happy lilt in my voice how silly they are being. One thing they do not need is encouragement from my own "barks".

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 09:29 PM
Good point! What I do is firmly say "Time Out" and then redirect the dogs if they are barking at each other. If it is playful type stuff, we do laugh at them and sometimes get them to play a good game of fetch or tug of war with us instead.

I think it will be best if Viney starts her own thread as Angel's new mom, and we can all follow along with Angel's adjustments in her new home. Which sounds like dog heaven to me, I want to come back as one of Viney's dogs in my next life I think.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 25, 2009, 09:52 PM
Humm, I just read another article (was doing some research for another friend who needs information about inter-dog aggessive behavior), and I think what triggered it was this:

"Redirected aggression occurs when a dog that is aggressively motivated redirects the aggression from the source to another. For example, a dog that is barking at the door may redirect his aggression onto an owner that is pulling him back. Dominant dogs often redirect onto subordinates."

Since the fight started when they were all out there fired up barking at the truck in the driveway to begin with, it might have been a case of redirected aggession.

Not that it makes any difference, the outcome is what it is, and I think that Viney and Angel will get along famously.

FYI - my family is here for Thanksgiving, and each of them has come in to visit with Angel, and then I let her out while all the other dogs were confined to my husband's office, and she was just fine and friendly with everyone. Nice to know that she is still okay with the humans, and with Murphy.

Casey09
Nov. 25, 2009, 09:56 PM
That is an interesting theory, MM. I regularly walk by my neighbor's house - there are BCs and an Aussie. They go absolutely nuts barking at me/my dogs, and then they often start attacking each other - I guess because they can't get to what they really want to get to.

MHM
Nov. 25, 2009, 10:05 PM
That is an interesting theory, MM. I regularly walk by my neighbor's house - there are BCs and an Aussie. They go absolutely nuts barking at me/my dogs, and then they often start attacking each other - I guess because they can't get to what they really want to get to.

I've seen that pattern, too. Not among my own dogs, but with another dog group in the neighborhood when my dogs and I have passed the neighbor's place.

FalseImpression
Nov. 25, 2009, 10:27 PM
I just wish you could explain to Angel that it is for her own good and out of love for her that you are sending her to a new home. Even though, you know it is for the best, it will still be hard on you. I remember when my lab left to live with my husband's cousin. I cried so much.

I am sure she will be happy with Viney and I cna't wait until Viney introduces us to her dog family and we can once again, follow Angel.

Have a safe trip, a happy meeting and a positive return trip, not a sad one!

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 26, 2009, 12:26 AM
I just wish you could explain to Angel that it is for her own good and out of love for her that you are sending her to a new home. Even though, you know it is for the best, it will still be hard on you. I remember when my lab left to live with my husband's cousin. I cried so much.

I am sure she will be happy with Viney and I cna't wait until Viney introduces us to her dog family and we can once again, follow Angel.

Have a safe trip, a happy meeting and a positive return trip, not a sad one!

Oh, you should hear the conversations that I have with Angel (who is laying here snoring up a storm right now), telling her what a great life she is going to have, and what great friends she has here on COTH, all these folks looking out for her and sending love her way, she is one lucky dog. I tell her how grateful I am that she chose me to help her in her life journey, and what a blessing she has been to me in our time together.

I'm extra blessed that Viney is taking her, so that I can stay in touch, and rejoice in her progress towards a lovely life.

I am not as sad as I was, yes, I will miss her, but it feels like sending a kid off to college, so maybe I needed this as my DD will be heading off to college in 4 short years.

jetsmom
Nov. 26, 2009, 12:52 AM
I tried to PM you, but it says you can't receive them.

I was going to tell you the story of a dog that I took in,thinking I was saving him, that unknowingly had random aggression issues to people and dogs. I ended up putting him down after I was bitten 3 times, 2 not seriously one pretty seriously. It killed me to do it. It was almost a year ago, and I still get choked up thinking about it. I couldn't even tell anyone at the barn for about 2 months. The guilt I felt and still feel are horrible, yet I honestly think I had no choice. Rusty had just come into the home about a week before I had Yeller put down. (The biting incidents started before bringing Rusty into the home)

I understand why you can't keep her, and am thrilled that Viney is taking her. Bless you Viney!
You did a wonderful thing teaching her that humans are ok. Don't ever feel like you failed her.
And I think it was either female aggression for dominance or redirected aggression on one of their parts, with the other not giving in. Some of the worst fights I've ever heard of have been between females.

FatPalomino
Nov. 26, 2009, 01:09 AM
Angel is my first "abused/rescued" dog, and it really hit home today - as soon as I snapped the leash onto her harness, she sunk to the ground, and when I moved it, she began to shake and cower, as if anticipating the beating. I wanted to find whoever would do something like that to a helpless pup and give them a good beating, at least that beating would be well deserved.

FWIW, I've seen a few dogs act this way that we really don't think were ever beat. Just unsocialized and very very afraid of people. Either way, it stinks.

MM, I found this article you may find really interesting:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/inter-dog-fear-aggression/page1.aspx

It had some interesting points, like
" Fear aggressive dogs usually remain aroused for some time after an altercation."

" Dogs with a low level of dominance and a high level of fear are the classical fear-biters. "

Please keep us updated about how Angel does in a new home, she's very lucky to have found you.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 26, 2009, 02:26 AM
I tried to PM you, but it says you can't receive them.


Sorry about that, I use the buddy list on most BB's, because I am using the work PC, and for some unknown reason if I fully enable it, funky things start to happen with the PC. I'll add you.

Sorry to hear about Yeller, sometimes we cannot save them all, and you did the right thing. As folks have said before, God is not a bad owner, and you set him free of whatever mental demons in his mind caused him to behave that way.

FP, thanks for the link, I have been spending quite a bit of time on that site gathering information (it's where I got the quote on the redirected agression), I'll go check it out tomorrow.

Equino
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:13 AM
I'd rather not stick my hand there in between, maybe one of them duster wands? :lol:

Not a bad idea! I swear, the moment they smell nail polish, they break right up. Of the many fights we've broken up over the years, never had a bite, but who knows.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:33 AM
Not a bad idea! I swear, the moment they smell nail polish, they break right up. Of the many fights we've broken up over the years, never had a bite, but who knows.

Would it break up a fight where one of both dogs had their jaws clamped on the neck of the other dog? I'm just curious.

In my case, the fight started at the far side of the 1/2 acre front yard, so by the time we could get to them, quite a bit of physical damage would be done I think.

I have to tell you all the past 18 hours has proven to me that trying to manage this is exhausting. Constantly riding herd, figuring out which dogs are where and when. . . and now we added my neices neutered male yorkie poo to the mix (who's main mission in life is to hump Murphy), and to put the icing on the cake, he tore his ACL last week, and is supposed to be quiet and resting. ARG! I think I have aged 5 years in the past 4 days.

On the plus side, the too small harness that I bought for Angel two months ago fits the yorkie poo to a t, so he is wearing that right now, which seems to subdue him a bit.

For Angel's sake, I will be so happy for her when she gets settled in with Viney, as this chaos is confusing her, but she is being a good sport about it.

092556
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:23 PM
I haven't read all the pages so if someone has already suggested it I'm sorry. If they usually go for the neck maybe a pair of spiked collars might be helpful.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 26, 2009, 03:29 PM
I haven't read all the pages so if someone has already suggested it I'm sorry. If they usually go for the neck maybe a pair of spiked collars might be helpful.

Thanks, no one had suggested that yet, and while it will not work for me, perhaps it will help someone else dealing with a similar situation, now or in the future.

I guess I am having a bad mood day, having trouble drumming up any happy thanksgiving spirit today. Spending most of my day in exile with Angel while the family is hanging out in the rest of the house.

Alagirl
Nov. 26, 2009, 04:28 PM
Thanks, no one had suggested that yet, and while it will not work for me, perhaps it will help someone else dealing with a similar situation, now or in the future.

I guess I am having a bad mood day, having trouble drumming up any happy thanksgiving spirit today. Spending most of my day in exile with Angel while the family is hanging out in the rest of the house.

If you were closer I'd come and relieve you! :) Have yourself a big slice of pie and a helping of liquid spirit - or some good coffee! :yes:

sdlbredfan
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:11 PM
Isn't there a 'senior day care' place you could take FIL for the day? If not, does your local Visiting Nurse Assoc or similar ever have an in-home caretaker that could keep an eye on him (referring to the ' still determining if one of us needs to stay home so that my FIL does not burn the house down'). If FIL has dementia to the point that you fear what happens if he is home alone, surely you can find some local social services to assist?

bludejavu
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:48 PM
Thanks, no one had suggested that yet, and while it will not work for me, perhaps it will help someone else dealing with a similar situation, now or in the future.

I guess I am having a bad mood day, having trouble drumming up any happy thanksgiving spirit today. Spending most of my day in exile with Angel while the family is hanging out in the rest of the house.

Oh Munchkins Mom - I'm just now reading this and my heart goes out to you! I can't believe after all this time, that you and Angel are in this predicament.

I have no words of advice to offer but I'm sending you a ((((HUG)))) because you sound like you sure need one. You were so supportive of me with Sweetie and I wish I could do something to help you.:(

MissCapitalSplash
Nov. 26, 2009, 09:14 PM
I'm with Viney on this. I'm so sorry this happened to you.
Sibling rivalry can be scary. But it sounds like both dogs have decent bite inhibition and the reality is the situation would likely resolve itself with management and a "support the senior dog" program. If it doesn't work after a bit, you've supported the wrong dog and switch. You can PM me for more info if you want.
I just spent 3 days at a Dodman/Dunbar seminar and the sibling rivalry stuff really interested me. I grew up with no less than 8 dogs and they had their fights, some scary, some not so scary. We always supported the dog that was in the home first in EVERYTHING and the situation eventually resolved. Pack dynamic changes many times for many reasons. I've got a new Boston terrier bitch right now that is pushing my older bitch's buttons.
Now, for truly dog aggressive/trying to kill the other dog cases...there isn't much hope other than an only dog home, but even then, there are dogs everywhere in the world.

My heart goes out to you, I too fell hard for Angel!

Citydog- We were at the same seminar! Wasn't it (mostly) excellent???

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:30 PM
Thanks again everyone, for your support, and excellent advice. I'm feeling a bit better now, and I don't really mind being in exile with Angel, it has been a joy to be with her, and I think it may help with her comfort levels with humans, I just hope we didn't bond too much in the past 5 days, so that the transition to Viney's farm will be harder.

As to "day care" for my FIL, he is not that bad yet, it is just dumb forgetful stuff, that I suppose any of us could do, like leaving the heat lamp in his bathroom on after a shower, forgetting to bring the dogs in with him, spilling a pot of coffee on the brand new hardwood floor and not mopping it up, leaving a trail of coffee across the carpet as he shuffles back to his lounge chair. . .and it is partially my MIL's own fault for spending the last 50 years waiting on him and picking up after him. He would really be offended if we even suggested it. Also, there is a part of me that worries if something were to happen to him, say he tripped over a dog, fell and hit his head....if no one was here. . . not good.

The new plan is that I will drive myself to Pensacola, not a big deal, I did a bigger trip that that a few years ago when we moved here, I drove all the way up to VA to meet my friend that delivered my mare to me from CT, we met halfway (16 hour drive one way), spent the night in VA, and loaded up the mare and drove 16 hours home alone.

I think I will go out tomorrow and get a car cell phone charger, just in case my phone battery runs low on the trip. That is the one thing that I don't want to run out.

As to the sibling rivalry, it probably was a combination of that and it was probably triggered by them all being fired up, and in retrospect I probably did support Angel more than I should have over Cubby. What gets me is that it almost seems like Cubby is now still out to get Angel, just in her body language when she does see her through the dog gate. All the other dogs come over with tail wagging, and give Angel kisses over the gate, but not Cubby, she just stands and stares, and Angel looks away, and then I close the door.

Singer
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:08 AM
MM, I'm sorry you are not able to keep Angel. I was holding my breath when you brought her into the house but it sounds like you found a great place for her to go and will be able to keeps tabs on her.

As for the FIL, I watched grandparents and now parents go through the same thing you are witnessing. It's not easy but I see the same things, forgetfulness, spilling things and not realizing it, being unsteady on their feet, etc. Yesterday I watched my mother walk around the kitchen with the turkey pan full of grease and I was afraid of what might happen. It's hard to watch, I understand that, and they make you worry. You have had a lot of stress with everything that has happened recently with the dogs, hang in there!

Equino
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:31 AM
Would it break up a fight where one of both dogs had their jaws clamped on the neck of the other dog? I'm just curious.
Yup. In our experience, the males made more noise and didn't really clamp on (fighting for alpha status than really to rip to shreds) so we could pull apart, but the females would clamp down, not make much noise-SO scary. The worst thing you can do is PULL because they hold on and you'll actually do more damage pulling them apart. We had a female grab a male's ear and my brother's well meaning friend pulled her off, tearing the ear in the process. He needed a few stitches and was fine. So, what we do is splash nailpolish on our hands and be ready to grab their collars as soon as they let go, because it's only a split second you will have.



For Angel's sake, I will be so happy for her when she gets settled in with Viney, as this chaos is confusing her, but she is being a good sport about it.
And for your sake too. It's so hard to accept that our personal situation may not be ideal for the animals we love, but it could end up being a better situation for all involved. We were fortunate to have a big enough house to separate the dogs who did not get along, and my parents are dog trainers, so a large part of the day is completely donated to their care. But it is NOT the easiest way to live and not for everyone. My mom would worry constantly if one dog wasn't receiving enough attention, or if a door would be left open, or when we had guests over, would they accidentally let a dog out?

Addison
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:45 AM
FAT PALOMINO I did not ever suggest that a human can assume the alpha role in their relationship with a dog.

As a matter of semantics, fine, perhaps "Alpha dog" is outmoded among dog trainers and behaviourists. That alone does not negate the fact that if you have more than one dog, one horse...one of them is going to be at the top of the "pecking order".

My post was intended to refute the suggestion that Angel should be euthanized.

MM I hope Angel finds her forever home with Viney. Thanks for sharing the entire saga with all of us and I hope we will get some updates once she is home with Viney.

JanM
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:57 PM
MM-I wished you live where I do. There is a senior center here in town that has transportation to and from home, all kinds of activities, and seniors have a total blast there. There are some people that actually never use their cars except for few weekly errands because of the bus service. Lots of people use it just for a way to meet people, play cards, go on trips and just to get out and meet new people. I wish everywhere had a service like this, and the only ones here who are isolated or lonely are by their own choice. I actually know a few people who turned down better jobs elsewhere so their parents could keep going to the senior center.

I know taking Angel to Viney is breaking your heart, but it is for the best and she'll have a wonderful new home. I think the change in location will be perfect for all involved.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:10 PM
Thanks again everyone, this is my last day with Angel in the house, and she is being a real saint. Even when I let her outside, no matter how long or short that time is, she runs to me with joy when I call her, which does make is emotionally hard to do, but knowing that she can live the life of a dog, which is the life she loves and deserves, means more to me than I can say.

JanM, we have all that available here in Ocala (remember, most of Florida is "Gods Waiting Room" for people), it is just that right now Dad is not that bad yet, he still drives, goes to the gym (a new thing he started last month after my MIL nagged him into it and the heart doctor said he needed more exercise) although we don't know what he does at the gym for 6 hours. He volunteers a few hours a week at the sheriffs office at the front desk.... My MIL has tried everything to get him to get more involved and active, but he is a stubborn old geezer. Such is life.

I am truely blessed that I had the opportunity to do what I did for this special dog, and I hope she brings the same sense of joy and love to Viney when she gets there.

Euthanization for Angel would be a last resort in my mind, as she is never ever aggressive towards humans, despite what might have occured in her unknown past.

slc2
Nov. 27, 2009, 04:10 PM
Two female dogs together is the worst. No, they keep fighting even if eye contact is broken. They want to fight and will fight until one dies or gives in to not being the boss.

I've heard of people using electric collars on both dogs and having success, but you have to be able to see them doing it and activate the collars. I always thought shocking them would just make them fight harder, but it does seem to work.

kdow
Nov. 27, 2009, 06:26 PM
I've heard of people using electric collars on both dogs and having success, but you have to be able to see them doing it and activate the collars. I always thought shocking them would just make them fight harder, but it does seem to work.

Since other people might also read this thread - I would be VERY VERY careful with using electric shock collars in this way, as for many dogs it *does* just excite them rather than make them break off - either because they interpret the shock as 'from' the other dog, or because just the pain adds to the adrenaline they already have racing around.

Some people have used them successfully, but those people are mostly experienced trainers who are good at reading dog body language and so can gauge not just exactly when to give the shock, but also which dogs are likely to respond appropriately to it.

I honestly wish there were more classes out there that weren't specifically dog TRAINING classes, but rather just dog *language* classes - it's very difficult to properly train an animal when you don't actually understand what's going on, so being able to 'read dog' is a very important skill for most dog owners and people who interact with dogs regularly, even if they have no real desire to become obedience champions or something of that sort.

JanM
Nov. 27, 2009, 06:45 PM
MM- I don't think it is a real sign of dog aggression, but more a case of two animals who really didn't like each other and finally went for it. It's like one of us meeting someone new and just knowing that we're never going to be friends, or recognizing someone from day one that you will never trust. Sometimes it just bad chemistry. Haven't you met someone for the first time and the hair on your neck just stood up? I have and it's usually right too.

The senior center here just moved to a part of the brand new civil center so now the seniors have a great new facility with conversation areas, computer rooms, and it's adorable watching the more computer saavy teach the others how to use computers and teach each other card games. It's not a senior care facility but more of a seniors only club house for active people. A lot of people retire here and leave their support systems behind except for a few immediate family, or older military retirees come back here to be close to the VA clinic and the place they came back to repeatedly thoughout their careers, and the center is a great way to reintegrate and make friends for the newcomers. (Fort Rucker is where all of the helicopter and fixed wing Army pilots train, and many foreign students too, and they rotate through here many times in their careers and some are stationed here for a few years at a time, and then retire from the Military and become civilian instructor pilots-they call the post Mother Rucker for a good reason).

And to keep this horse related-we have open horse shows at the post riding stables and a couple of hunter trials a year too. And with the helicopters going by all the time and gunnery practice the horses on post are literally bomb proof.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 27, 2009, 06:48 PM
I honestly wish there were more classes out there that weren't specifically dog TRAINING classes, but rather just dog *language* classes - it's very difficult to properly train an animal when you don't actually understand what's going on, so being able to 'read dog' is a very important skill for most dog owners and people who interact with dogs regularly, even if they have no real desire to become obedience champions or something of that sort.

Sounds just like horse training, those that can adjust their training to the individual animal, and is able to "read" what is going on in the animal's mind using body language are usually the most successful IMO.

And please allay my fears that Angel will try to pull a "Lassie Come Home", and that she will be happy with Viney. I know, I am just getting a bit overboard with this. Wish I could be as carefree as Angel is right now, all stretched out on my couch.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 27, 2009, 06:54 PM
It's so hard to accept that our personal situation may not be ideal for the animals we love, but it could end up being a better situation for all involved. We were fortunate to have a big enough house to separate the dogs who did not get along, and my parents are dog trainers, so a large part of the day is completely donated to their care. But it is NOT the easiest way to live and not for everyone. My mom would worry constantly if one dog wasn't receiving enough attention, or if a door would be left open, or when we had guests over, would they accidentally let a dog out?

Thanks, it is hard, sort of makes me feel like a failure or something. And it has been hard (although the dogs are loving the extra treats that I use to round them up to their seperate rooms to let Angel out). I keep the door to my office closed and a dog gate across the opening also, although I know that both Angel and Cubby could leap it without a second thought if they wanted to, so best to just keep them both "out of sight, out of mind".

Angel did get to spend several hours outside today, to get some of her excess energy expended.

I hope she travels okay in the truck, her longest trip with me was the 5 mile trip to the vet's office for boster shots.

JanM
Nov. 27, 2009, 06:57 PM
MM-make sure you keep her very well secured on the trip over so she doesn't panic and try to escape at some rest stop. And I'm sure Viney will keep her very close until she integrates into the pack.

I really believe that Angel will be fine at Viney's, and I really doubt she'll try to come home from that distance.

My dog had never been in a car for over an hour until I did the two day move to Alabama from Colorado and he did just fine. Of course, when I got to St Louis I thought Sunday afternoon would be quiet traffic-WRONG! Apparently the baseball game got out right before I got there and the dog certainly did better than I did.

RainyDayRide
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:09 PM
Safe journeys tomorrow - MM, Viney and Angel.

annikak
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:13 PM
Indeed- safe journey.
To all involved- MM and VR, what a lovely continuation for the story. Angel has been active in many of our minds (even if we aren't on all the time- we wonder about her!) and am so glad that the COTH magic has once again been seen to exist.

Very kind of you both. Angel, you are a lucky lucky girl!

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:18 PM
MM-make sure you keep her very well secured on the trip over so she doesn't panic and try to escape at some rest stop. And I'm sure Viney will keep her very close until she integrates into the pack.

I really believe that Angel will be fine at Viney's, and I really doubt she'll try to come home from that distance.

My dog had never been in a car for over an hour until I did the two day move to Alabama from Colorado and he did just fine. Of course, when I got to St Louis I thought Sunday afternoon would be quiet traffic-WRONG! Apparently the baseball game got out right before I got there and the dog certainly did better than I did.

Thanks, she will be wearing her new harness with leash attached the whole ride, and I think I will let her ride in the back seat of the truck, which should keep her contained, especially if I raise the armrest/console to keep her out of the front seat. So far, if she feels any pressure on the harness (either from my hand or the leash), she drops to the ground and lays there.

Oh crud, you had to remind me of that - tomorrow is the big UF/FSU game in Gainesville or Tallahassee, both of which I have to drive through, guess I better check to see where the game is. I know kickoff is at 3:30PM so my luck I will be trying to get back home when the game gets over, or the last of the tailgaters are leaving the game.

MHM
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:54 PM
Safe journeys tomorrow - MM, Viney and Angel.

Ditto. We'll be thinking of you.

kdow
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:39 PM
And please allay my fears that Angel will try to pull a "Lassie Come Home", and that she will be happy with Viney. I know, I am just getting a bit overboard with this. Wish I could be as carefree as Angel is right now, all stretched out on my couch.

It's always hard when you need to do something for the animal's benefit and know you can't explain it to them. I felt AWFUL when I had to leave Pirate at the vet for his dental work, even though I knew I was going to see him later that day! But I think this is a good thing for Angel, and you'll be able to stay in touch and even possibly visit her in the future.

I think it will help her settle in at Viney's if she does have all of her "stuff" with her, plus things that smell like you. It will be more of a cue to her that she's supposed to be there now. (I wouldn't let her off leash or anything like that for a while, obviously, until she settles in, but I'm sure Viney knows that. :) )

Angel is obviously very good at adapting to new situations - just look how much her life has changed since you've known her - so I think so long as everyone is clear about what their expectations are of her, she should do fine.

Zu Zu
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:24 PM
Jingles for a safe trip and smooth transition ~ Jingle Jingle Jingle & AO ~ AO ~ AO ~ Always Optimistic ! Thoughts and prayers for all involved ~ wishing GOOD LUCK !!!

vineyridge
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:49 PM
I'm planning to spend the night on the road so it will be just the two of us with no competition from the rest of my pack for the first 24 hours. I know that will help. I've also cooked two slabs of barbeque ribs for the evening meal; and when we get home, she'll be sleeping the first few nights in a wire crate in my bedroom with all of us. The crate will ensure her safety, and her own food and water free of any competition, and the other dogs will be able to get used to her being with us.

My house has become dog central station. When my backyard tenant goes to work, his cocker male treats my house as if it were his. Now a neighbor's bull terrier (pure) adolescent female has decided to do the same thing. :( They are both well behaved, and my pack seems to know they are just visiting for the day. :)

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:56 PM
I've been sleeping in an old t-shirt for the past 3 nights, which is coming with us, along with Angel's dog bed, food bowls, food, treats, toys, heartworm meds, and medical records.

It sounds like Viney has everything totally under control. I am excited to meet her.

I have to tell you all something positive that happened today. As I was doing the dog switch around dinner time, to let Angel out to do her business and stretch her legs, someone lost hold of the yorkie poo. He jumped all over her, and was pretty vocal, barking, etc. Everyone sort of started to freak out, and I went over calmly and picked him up and handed him over to my niece. Angel did NOTHING but wag her tail.

So, everyone stay tuned, I will post how it all went as soon as I get home tomorrow night.

FalseImpression
Nov. 27, 2009, 11:47 PM
Have a safe trip and give Angel a big Coth hug! Thank you again Viney for taking her in. I hope she just fits in and lives happily ever after!!!

(((hugs))) to you too MM. I know it won't be easy, especially since you are travelling alone. Although I think we will all be with you along the way!

Tazzie
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:37 AM
Have a safe trip both of you. I'm looking forward to the updates on Angel's new adventure!

suze
Nov. 28, 2009, 05:09 PM
My heart hurt for you when I read your first post in this thread. You went way beyond what most people would do for a stray and turned her from a terrified soul into a healthy, happy dog, accepted into a family and a pack. None of what happened between her and Cubby was foreseeable or your fault. Ironically, it's probably that she has gained so much confidence and felt so secure that it happened; pack hierarchy is such a delicate balance, and that balance was upset through no fault of you or your family.

I avoided this thread after reading the first page of postings as it made me so sad to think what you were going through. She has become so much a part of your life, and I would get choked up just thinking about your agonizing decision.

I had to check the thread again, finally, today to find what the outcome was . . . Viney, bless your heart. You too are going above and beyond. While it's sad that she has to leave the first home she's ever had and people who love her, she's now going to another home where she will also be loved and cared for.So now I'm looking forward to the next chapter in the Angel saga. And don't forget pics, please!

FatPalomino
Nov. 28, 2009, 06:27 PM
Have a safe trip, Angel!!!

Viney, if you get a moment, can you tell us how you'll handle Angel's aggression? It sounds like you have your hands full with your pack, and have a great plan for Angel's first few days.

We'd love pictures, too :)

Buffyblue
Nov. 28, 2009, 06:56 PM
Best wishes to all involved in the rehoming effort. Have a safe trip.

jetsmom
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:46 PM
Have a safe trip, Angel!!!

Viney, if you get a moment, can you tell us how you'll handle Angel's aggression? It sounds like you have your hands full with your pack, and have a great plan for Angel's first few days.

We'd love pictures, too :)

Having read that Cubby is the one who would stare hard at Angel, and Angel would look away, I don't think Angel is the one with aggressive tendencies. I think it was a matter of self defense.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 29, 2009, 04:38 PM
Sorry that you all had to wait so long for an update, but here it is, and I will try not to make this a novella.

Saturday I packed up all of Angels belongings, and feeling much like Judas, carried her to the truck, as she still did not walk well on a leash.

She did pretty well on the trip, mostlly laid in her dog bed. I did get her out of the truck at the first two rest stops, but by the third, she looked out of the truck, saw that she was not home, and slunk back to her bed.

She would not drink any water the whole trip.

When I finally made it to the state line (had to drive 14 miles into Alabama and head back east to get to the rest stop), I got her out of the truck (physically had to carry her out), and she tentatively walked around and sniffed for about 15-20 minutes until Viney got there.

I think Angel did as well as she could with meeting Viney, considering we were in a strange place, and as Viney so nicely put it this morning, Angel is a "fragile" dog.

At any rate, ironically, both Viney and I had been thinking (about 20 minutes before meeting), that it might be best for Angel if we both stayed with her the first night, sort of as a transition, I would be there as a safety blanket, and Viney could get to know Angel better and vice versa. I was not planning on staying anywhere I was going to just turn around and drive the 8 hours back home, I'm glad I didn't.

So, the three of us spent the night in Pensacola. Viney is a wonderful person, it was an honor and a privledge to meet her. It's so nice to make new friends, even if they are 800 miles away.

Leaving was not too too hard this morning, I had to carry Angel out to the grass to pee (she had not gone in 24 hours), because every time we opened the hotel room door, she would slink back to the safety of her bed, poor confused frightened little dog. That part broke my heart. But once we got her out to the grass, I handed the leash to Viney and she and Angel went for a nice stroll, and I hung back and watched, as it was my time to let go. She was shaking once she was in Viney's truck, so we did not linger, best for them to get on the road asap, so that we would not prolong anyone's angst.

I must say however, that as I got closer to home, my heart grew heavy and my eyes filled with tears, knowing that my little girl would not be here anymore. My home dogs are being rather subdued also, probably because they sense that right now I need a little time to grieve.

I have high hopes that Viney will have success with Angel and her home dogs, from her description of her dogs at home, they are much more accepting of other dogs than Cubby is, and Viney's way of handling all her dogs is probably more conducive to a well balanced dog family.

In discussing the situation with Viney last night, we both pretty much agree that what probably happened was Cubby started the fight, not Angel, but Angel was going to do her best to win. I think honestly if we humans had not intervened, neither dog would have backed down from the other. I am saying this only here, I cannot tell my husband, or he will think that I am thinking badly of Cubby, which I am not, but when I did get Angel away from Cubby before my husband came out, Cubby did not run away either, she also was still in a combative frame of mind. But then again, at that point, I did have Angel off the ground, which I now know will actually cause the other dog to think that the one being held is the weaker of the two and will continue the attack. At any rate, water under the bridge, what is done is done, and I just pray that Angel will grow to love Viney even more than she loved me.

This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done, harder than sending a dog or a horse over the Rainbow bridge.

I did try my best to control my emotions and be strong and upbeat for Angel's sake, to try to let her know that this was really a good thing in her life, and that she was going on to some new and wonderful adventures.

Well, time to feed the dogs and the horses, and go cry in their manes.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers, please keep Viney and Angel in your thoughts as they make the adjustment together.

pinkdiamondracing
Nov. 29, 2009, 04:57 PM
:sadsmile::sadsmile::sadsmile::sadsmile::cry:

bf1
Nov. 29, 2009, 05:02 PM
Thinking of you! I can imagine it is worse than putting an animal down - as you no longer have control of the situation, and you know they are having to adjust to changes. But in time, it will get better. I am sure hoping it all works out with Viney - that will comfort you as well.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 29, 2009, 05:08 PM
Thinking of you! I can imagine it is worse than putting an animal down - as you no longer have control of the situation, and you know they are having to adjust to changes. But in time, it will get better. I am sure hoping it all works out with Viney - that will comfort you as well.

Thanks, I was thinking that once I start hearing about Angel's adjustment in her new home with Viney, and can cheer on her baby steps to a happy life, that I will feel so much better about this. So, I am going to only allow myself a few more hours of "pity party", then pull myself up by the bootstraps and go on.

I must say I have a deeper appreciation for the strength it takes for folks to be foster homes for stray and rescued dogs. I said a little prayer as I pulled onto my road tonight "Please Lord, don't send me any strays for a while, I don't think I could bear it".

danceronice
Nov. 29, 2009, 05:19 PM
Just think, when the first thread started, would you ever have imagined Angel getting rehomed after living indoors? Or ever even seeing a vet without being trapped and tranquilized? It's really sad for you, but think how far you brought her from where she was.

FalseImpression
Nov. 29, 2009, 05:24 PM
Thank you for coming back to tell us. I am not surprised to find that I read the update with tears welling up. I realize it was really difficult. I hope Viney will keep us updated and that Angel will love her new family (human and canine).

I will be so happy to see another picture of Angel smiling at Viney's.

You did well, MM. It is hard, I had to rehome my black lab too and it broke my heart even though he was still within the family and very much loved. Just not with me any longer.

dawglover
Nov. 29, 2009, 05:57 PM
:sadsmile::sadsmile:
Sending you a cyber hug ((MM))

I know how hard it is to have to rehome a dog you've gotten attached to. I found 3 puppies on the side of the road and I could not keep them, as we already have 12 dogs.
I had them about a month, long enough to get their shots and wormings and fall in love.

I found all 3 of them great homes, and I shed tears each time I delivered one to it's new home.

Looking forward to Viney's report when she gets time to update us.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:08 PM
:sadsmile::sadsmile:
Sending you a cyber hug ((MM))

I know how hard it is to have to rehome a dog you've gotten attached to. I found 3 puppies on the side of the road and I could not keep them, as we already have 12 dogs.
I had them about a month, long enough to get their shots and wormings and fall in love.

I found all 3 of them great homes, and I shed tears each time I delivered one to it's new home.

Looking forward to Viney's report when she gets time to update us.

I get attached to even the ones that we put in pens in the garage overnight until animal control can come to get them the next day (happened 6 times here already). But I know it is for the best.

I'm sure Viney has her hands full - a) trying to get Angel out of the truck, b) trying to get Angel into the house and c) getting her settled in. But I do hope she can find 1 minute to call me and let me know that she made it home okay. The traffic on I-75 was horrendous once I got to Gainesville, with everyone comeing home from Thanksgiving.

Zu Zu
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:10 PM
Thank you for the update ~ know it is tough to post when one is grieving a loss in this case a re-home. Thoughts and prayers and HUGE JINGLES for a smooth transition to a "New Angel" thread ~ Chapter 3.

sdlbredfan
Nov. 29, 2009, 07:56 PM
Hugs to both MM and Viney! We definitely will want updates.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 29, 2009, 08:35 PM
Big Sigh of relief, I just got a PM from Viney, she and Angel made it home, and are in the process of settling in. I'm sure they are both very tired, that is one heck of a drive. And I forgot to tell you, Angel woke us both up at 3AM - someone walked by our hotel room door, and Angel did a big guard dog bark, I think she was making sure both her moms were safe.

I'll let her take over the Angel saga, and I will become one of the cheering section now.

I feel so much better, and not as sad. Dogs can be amazingly resilient, even timid dogs, especially when they are loved and well cared for. So I have good feelings that Angel will be very happy before we know it in her new home with Viney.

Equino
Nov. 29, 2009, 09:02 PM
Two female dogs together is the worst. No, they keep fighting even if eye contact is broken. They want to fight and will fight until one dies or gives in to not being the boss.

I've heard of people using electric collars on both dogs and having success, but you have to be able to see them doing it and activate the collars. I always thought shocking them would just make them fight harder, but it does seem to work.

I have to echo what kdow said. Electric collars should be left to those who REALLY know what they are doing. IME, it can be a very harmful thing, creating an even more dangerous situation. I can see using them if a potentially more dangerous situation could occur, like say a dog who chases deer, or cars, but never should be used to alter pack behavior or to learn how to behave around people or other animals (cats!!!).

This is the story I tell people who ask about electric collars. A friend of my mom is a behaviorist specialist. She mostly trains problem dogs, meaning, retraining dogs their owners messed up. She was called to help with a 2 year old Boxer. History: He was the typical enthusiastic Boxer puppy, loved greeting people at the door, leaping, licking, whining, carrying on and on. When puppy became a 60lb dog, it was no longer cute, so they called the 1st trainer (not my mom's friend) for help. That trainer gave them lessons on using the shock collar, said every time the dog got excited and leapt on people, shock him. By the time my mom's friend got there, the dog was snarling, growling and had bitten a couple of people. They had to have the dog crated or on a leash so people could enter the house. The guests would then have to sit quietly and allow the dog to approach, any excitement and the dog would revert to aggression. Well, the dog ended up attacking the trainer and his owner and was euthanized. Displacement aggression-all he knew was people = excitement = shock.

Point is, it is very easy for a dog to misunderstand what he is being punished for. This dog had NO idea his reactions were not wanted, he just knew strangers came to his home and he got shocked. They turned an overzealous dog into a scared, dangerous animal. Leave the shock collars to those who know what they are doing, and only as a last resort.

MHM
Nov. 29, 2009, 09:12 PM
Just think, when the first thread started, would you ever have imagined Angel getting rehomed after living indoors? Or ever even seeing a vet without being trapped and tranquilized? It's really sad for you, but think how far you brought her from where she was.

This.

Think how remarkable it is that Angel was able to wear a harness, travel in the two vehicles, stay in a hotel room, and behave like a good guard dog.

Looking forward to new Angel updates. :yes:

jen-s
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:03 PM
MM,

Many ((((hugs)))) for you and for Angel and Viney. COTH is full of wonderful people but you two just may be at the top of the pack. Looking forward to an update and lots more Angel news over the next decade or so.

suze
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:15 PM
Thank you for coming back to tell us. I am not surprised to find that I read the update with tears welling up. I realize it was really difficult. I hope Viney will keep us updated and that Angel will love her new family (human and canine).

I will be so happy to see another picture of Angel smiling at Viney's.

Me too.

SOTB
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:17 PM
Glad to hear things are going well so far! You did such a wonderful job with Angel and I'm sure Viney will too.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:06 PM
I'm sure Angel is a bit confused and overwhelmed with so many changes in her life in the past 48 hours, I just hope that she settles in for Viney as quickly as she did here. I'll have to go back and read my posts on the original thread to see how she did progress after I brought her home.

It warmed my heart to see how gentle Viney was with her, and how Angel responded to Viney.

citydog
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:27 PM
I've heard of people using electric collars on both dogs and having success, but you have to be able to see them doing it and activate the collars. I always thought shocking them would just make them fight harder, but it does seem to work.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

You sure seem to "hear of" a whole lot of stuff, Slick. This in particular is potentially dangerous and massively unhelpful crap. Please stop passing it along.

Equino's story is a perfect illustration of what happens all too often when people use e-collars or other powerful aversives.

Aimee Thanatogenus
Nov. 30, 2009, 04:36 AM
I'm sure Angel is a bit confused and overwhelmed with so many changes in her life in the past 48 hours, I just hope that she settles in for Viney as quickly as she did here. I'll have to go back and read my posts on the original thread to see how she did progress after I brought her home.

It warmed my heart to see how gentle Viney was with her, and how Angel responded to Viney.



Well, it took quite a while for her to actually trust you enough to let you touch her, so please, don't expect that this transition will be easy for her. I commend VR for what she is doing, but I am disappointed with how quickly the dog was expelled from the home.

I remind you, before I am hit with the torch, that I have three bitches of various ages and dominance, in my home. I took work, patience and more work, but it works fine now.
No, not all bitches will keep fighting.

I'm sure this dog will adapt, but I am sorry to see emotionalism win the day. Perhaps we are lucky you spent months posting here, as someone was able to come forward and rescue the dog.

Thank goodness for that.

Truly there are angels out there for Angel. And that is a good thing. I do hope the take home lesson is that there are times when training can work. So many animals are destroyed because people fail the animals, and not the other way around.

Alagirl
Nov. 30, 2009, 07:16 AM
Well, it took quite a while for her to actually trust you enough to let you touch her, so please, don't expect that this transition will be easy for her. I commend VR for what she is doing, but I am disappointed with how quickly the dog was expelled from the home.

I remind you, before I am hit with the torch, that I have three bitches of various ages and dominance, in my home. I took work, patience and more work, but it works fine now.
No, not all bitches will keep fighting.

I'm sure this dog will adapt, but I am sorry to see emotionalism win the day. Perhaps we are lucky you spent months posting here, as someone was able to come forward and rescue the dog.

Thank goodness for that.

Truly there are angels out there for Angel. And that is a good thing. I do hope the take home lesson is that there are times when training can work. So many animals are destroyed because people fail the animals, and not the other way around.

Well, if you read her whole story then you also know that the OP's plate is quiet full already. it is not like she failed the dog, now is it.

It is a bit different when a capable adult with no major obligations encounters a problem like that or a Sandwich Generation mom with a house full of liabilities.

yeah for Viney to spring to the rescue! :cool:

ASB Stars
Nov. 30, 2009, 07:21 AM
This has been a wonderful journey to follow...but, I have a request...could you please change the title of this thread. With Viney swooping in to help, it just doesn't seem quite apropos any longer...thanks!

dkcbr
Nov. 30, 2009, 07:23 AM
I think it's more important for a dog to end up in the BEST home, which is not always the FIRST home. :yes:

Kudos to the OP for all she's done as a first home, and added kudos for Viney for stepping up to provide a best home!

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 30, 2009, 11:52 AM
Well, I commend VR for what she is doing, but I am disappointed with how quickly the dog was expelled from the home.

I remind you, before I am hit with the torch, that I have three bitches of various ages and dominance, in my home. I took work, patience and more work, but it works fine now.
No, not all bitches will keep fighting.


I'm equally as disappointed that this did not work out for Angel and my family. Shortly after this happened, I got an email from a very good friend who shows Dobermans, and has been doing this for 30 years. The last female that she brought home, took a disliking to her other female (both are close in age), and after trainers, behaviorists, drugs, NOTHING worked (and believe me when I tell you this woman spares no expense when it comes to her animals, they had the best experts in the New England area working with them), and both dogs had to be kept seperated or wearing muzzles - for 7 years! To me, that is no life for a dog, I would rather see one of them in a more appropriate home than live like that.

And thank you all that stuck up for me, if I were living a different life, absolutely I would have turned to training, behavior modification, whatever it would take, but alas, that will not work for me at this time. If I were not working 12 hour days, dealing with elderly in-laws, and teenage children, then perhaps I would have had the time an energy to make it work. But I am also being realistic as to what my situation is and what is best for all concerned.

Yes, Angel was blessed with so many caring people in her life since she was dumped here, both in my neighorhood, and on this BB. I never expected that anyone from the board would offer her a home. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude, and I now have a new friend thanks to Angel.

And to be honest, I don't think I would have been able to take her to the humane society, I would have ended up keeping her at home and doing my best to rehome her myself. Especially after reading that thread on how difficult some of those places can be in adopting dogs.

I am doing my best not to beat myself up over what happened. I'm happy for you that you have managed to make it work with your dogs. You can go ahead and call me a failure if it makes you feel better, but I know in my heart that this will be for the best.

MissCapitalSplash
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:16 PM
Dawglover- I must take another opportunity to say THANK YOU for our little ditch dog. Jack is the best boy, and the apple of my mother's eye. :) I try to steal him every time I visit.

MHM
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:25 PM
MM, please do NOT beat yourself up over this for one second! The rest of us can only imagine how heart wrenching this whole situation must be for you, especially after all the endless time and energy you put into getting Angel this far. Whatever happens with her from this day forward, you went far above and beyond the call to get her to the point where she is tame enough to have options.

You are the only one who knows what is and isn't possible in your home, and you don't owe anyone any explanation, much less an apology.

And to those who feel the urge to criticize MM's actions, even after the fact, perhaps at this point you should remember the old adage:

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!

lcw579
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:27 PM
MM - you did a great thing! And Viney is going to continue your good work.

Don't beat yourself up, you did not fail Angel you did what was ultimately the right thing for her even though it was heartbreaking for you!

Sounds like she was already getting adjusted to Viney before you left her - imagine that scared wild dog of a year ago heading off for a walk with a stranger. You gave her the confidence to start her new life and for that you should be proud. Sometimes animals come into our lives for just a little while, it breaks our hearts but it sets them on the path to a brighter world. Pat yourself on the back, MM, you did good!!

Now, Viney, we need some updates from you!

FalseImpression
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:41 PM
MM, you did so much for her and I am so glad you did not have to take her to the shelter. My heart would have been broken in that situation and somehow, I knew you could not do it either.

I admire any one who has more than 2 dogs... I love dogs and would like to have more than one, but 5 or more. I could not. It seems to me it is a full time job! and you need a full time job to pay for the food and vet care! Love is free.

So kudos to all of you! And yes, we would love an update of Angel's first few hours. Let's hope no news is good news!

LauraKY
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:54 PM
MM, please do NOT beat yourself up over this for one second! The rest of us can only imagine how heart wrenching this whole situation must be for you, especially after all the endless time and energy you put into getting Angel this far. Whatever happens with her from this day forward, you went far above and beyond the call to get her to the point where she is tame enough to have options.

You are the only one who knows what is and isn't possible in your home, and you don't owe anyone any explanation, much less an apology.

And to those who feel the urge to criticize MM's actions, even after the fact, perhaps at this point you should remember the old adage:

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!

Amen. I'm sure that you holier than thou types, and you know who you are, have something in your life that we could all criticize. Give it a rest!

Equilibrium
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:01 PM
I don't visit here very often so just saw this thread. MM big hugs to you because it was not an easy decision you made. You absolutely did the right thing.

Terri

fivehorses
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:11 PM
I am not one to give up. I probably would have done the muzzle route, but who knows.
One thing I have learned is unless you walk in someone's moccasins, you really don't know what they are going through. You can say you'd do this or that, but when it comes time to face the decision, you may surprise yourself at your choice. this comes to animals, this comes to end of life decisions and really any decision that has to be made that impacts on our life.

In this particular situation, I don't think MM recklessy adopted angel, my stars, just look at all the time and effort she put in to getting angel to the point of trusting her. we are talking years, right? at least it felt that way.

I can be critical,(as you know) but in this situation, mm you did the right thing. You really had no other choice. And, you found angel a great home with viney.

Sometimes things don't work out. I don't condemn someone who tries, only those who go about things with no care or concern to the animal's welfare. Or who take on an animal with no finances/time/etc to support them.

Yes, maybe MM could have tried other options, but we don't have elderly parents, long hours on the job or a teenager. Even if she was single and living fat free, mm in her heart knew this wasn't going to work out. She so very obviously did not enter into Angel's life with disregard.
I respect those who are critical, since they are animal lovers like the rest of us who care. I just think in this situation, the care was there on mm's part and maybe they don't understand that.

Let's say cheers for one more dog saved and rehomed.

Viney, we need to hear from you as we continue the Angel saga. Let's be jingling that Angel is doing as best as can be expected, and let's jingle for Viney to find the right method in dealing with angel.

I also want to add hugs to you mm, I know this has to be so sad, even though you know you did the right thing. Give yourself some treats and a pat on the back...really, you deserve it.

starrysky
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:31 PM
MM - I was an avid reader of the Angel thread - I think it was my favorite thread ever on this BB. Thank you for sharing Angel's story with us throughout the past year.

I just found this thread after being gone for almost a week - I am so saddened that Angel's story took this turn, but it seems that she is getting yet a third chance at an amazing life.

VR - please keep us all posted. So many of us care about Angel. I was brought to tears reading this - not the first time on this BB.

Best of luck to you all.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:34 PM
Thank you all again for your support for Angel. I'm sure Viney has her hands full right now making Angel feel secure at her farm, and will post when she can.

SevenDogs
Nov. 30, 2009, 03:23 PM
MM: What you turned out to be was a foster mom to a very special dog who had no where else to turn. If you look back through your early posts, that was the MOST you hoped for. Yes, it would have been great if she had integrated into your pack, but the gift that you gave her supercedes everything else. We all like the perfect little story with the perfect little ending (which frankly, with Vineyridge's help, I think we are pretty darn close to getting), but that isn't real life as often as we would like and rarely so with rescuing animals. You did an incredible job to give this dog a second chance and not many people can do that. You should take incredible pride in what you accomplished using your own instinct, caring, and patience.

Foster parents are the real "Angels" in my book, and particularly those that care enough to work with the most abused, timid and difficult dogs to bring their trust around to being able to find a home. Anyone on this board or elsewhere that would criticize you for anything that you did is just plain wrong (and a few other things that I won't post here).

Thanks to both you and now Vineyridge, this dog has a life. Can we hope to accomplish much more in our lives that to give another living being help when they need it?

Chester's Mom
Nov. 30, 2009, 03:43 PM
Humm, I just read another article (was doing some research for another friend who needs information about inter-dog aggessive behavior), and I think what triggered it was this:

"Redirected aggression occurs when a dog that is aggressively motivated redirects the aggression from the source to another. For example, a dog that is barking at the door may redirect his aggression onto an owner that is pulling him back. Dominant dogs often redirect onto subordinates."



I have a friend whose son's dog has a problem with redirected aggression... MM can you direct me to the original article or website where you found the quote? Thanks!!!

Now back to me finishing reading the thread, crossing my fingers for more good Angel updates!:yes:

pintopiaffe
Nov. 30, 2009, 04:30 PM
This is where/when my old dogs used to fight, and where the current ones did. If I'm HOME, the scaredy-cat dog comes to me and doesn't bark at the door. I suspect when they have fought when I'm not home, it starts as barking at the door or the cat outside, or the neighbor's dog etc. They share food, beds, everything... but it's when they get excited they go after each other...

Also would love a reference if you've got it MM.

And Sending 'peaceful transition' thoughts Angel & Viney's way!!

Equino
Nov. 30, 2009, 06:39 PM
Redirected aggression..that happens from time to time with my families dogs-people would come to the door or my mom would start get their food ready, anything. If it's not fighting with each other, it's chasing a cat. My parents have worked with the dogs to redirect that prey instinct to toys, and sometimes it works. But we have had dogs that absolutely hated each other and we didn't risk it. Lucky for us, we have a big house, and not a lot of people in and out. I know I said it before, but my folks have trained dogs all their lives, my mom teaches classes and pretty much is devoted to the dogs 24/7 so it's a way of life for them. And there have been some dogs we were able to get to live together after fights, ones that would have their scraps from time to time. However, they would eat separately and not be left out alone when no one was home to supervise.

I definitely would not expect most people to live the way we did and I agree with all those who said good for you MM for doing all you did and knowing when to get help and better the situation for Angel. Some of us are able to work around/through situations and arrange to live differently, but I do not think it's the right thing for everyone, and no one should be criticized for not taking on more than they can handle. You should be praised for doing the right thing. I hope Angel finds the right family for her. :)

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 30, 2009, 06:55 PM
Here is one article about inter-dog aggression By Dr. Nicholas Dodman and Dr. Alice Moon-Fanelli

(you can read the article without registering, just close the pop-up when it appears).

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/inter-dog-dominance-aggression/page1.aspx

The one about agression in general By Dr. J. Michelle Posage and Dr. Amy Marder

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx

JMurray
Nov. 30, 2009, 06:58 PM
Just found this thread. I returned a dog I adopted to a rescue after I could not handle it's fear and bite issues in my busy household. They refostered the dog with an animal behaviouist for 9 months and then rehomed it successfully in an envirnment better suited for her. It was the right decision for me and for the dog.

So don't beat yourself up and you have another home for the dog. It's all good.