what to do?

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dmg

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what to do?
« on: January 18, 2014, 00:09 »
Coming home from work today (I Live in) OH told me that our large dog Holly- collie/akita cross had attacked our springer spaniel Bella yesterday, to the extent that she had to be rushed to the vets who said she was within 1cm of damaging/losing her eye.
At the time of the attack the post had came through the door and spooked holly, bella who is timid ran out also OH thinks that surprised holly which lead to the attack. Holly has attacked bella before but jealousy over toys/treats that just lasted a few snaps and growls. The problem this time was OH had to grab holly as she was not stopping and seemed to want to continue even after bella ran off.
They are both around 3 yrs od and both dressed. The other dilemma is that we may be called upon to take on a 3 month old collie male pup who will be fine with bella but now not so sure with holly. There is NO intention of rehoming either as they are both rescues' and had bad owners previously.
What's the best to do?
In the intern we will be putting them in separate rooms while at work but would like to find a solution so they get along all the time.

Thanks,
Dmg

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Lardman

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 17:44 »
Siblings scrap and it may well have just been the combination of unfortunate circumstances.  I'd be more concerned that a vocal command from your OH wasn't enough to stop it, the fact the dog had to be physically restrained is very worrying.  :(

I would take things right back to basics with intensive obedience training, Holly needs to respect a vocal command and obey instantly regardless of environment.  In situations like you've described it's not likely to be malicious attack but you'll need to override Holly's default reaction with the desire to follow your command or behave as you've taught her. You may not be able to stop the odd nip but you should be able to prevent damaging attacks.

I really sympathise - it's a very difficult situation.  :(
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snow white

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 19:08 »
If you are determined to keep them, then how about an animal behaviourist before it gets out of hand?

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shoozie

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 21:38 »
Hi dmg.  I hope Bella is recovering after her traumatic experience.

If I can be perfectly honest, the first thing I wouldn't do, under any circumstances, would be to add a youngster into the mix - for his sake as well as the other two. 

The other would be to think hard whether Bella and Holly really should live together, and whether each of their therapeutic needs are being met right now.  I don't mean to sound harsh, but next time you could have a dead dog and somebody could get hurt trying to intervene.  Often bitches just can't live together even if they haven't gone through early experiences like your girls.

I would speak with the vet tomorrow and get a recommendation on a good behaviourist - and seek professional advice on how best to proceed.  If the vet isn't able to help, call a few local dog training clubs for some advice.  There is a website of qualified behaviourists, and if I can find it I'll post the link.

I really do feel for you, and hope your OH is ok.  let us know how things go.


Edit: here's the link ...

http://www.capbt.org/

and another ..
http://www.apdt.co.uk/

Best of luck
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 21:49 by shoozie »

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dmg

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 21:57 »
Hi Shoozie,
Yes bella is back to her normal self not been fazed by it at all. We did have holly at training school when she was about a year old but she was too distracted by a everything else so we applied the training at home which was successful to an extent. They are due for their annual check ups this week so will see the vet re recommendations, we have moved 30miles from where we were so hope the vet has a few contacts further afield. The biggest danger from holly is her claws so I will try to get the vet to clip as much off as possible.
Further conversations with OH was that holly was in guard dog mode when the post came in a bella who normally runs up the stairs went for the door also which set holly off.
I would be interested in the link if you could find it.

Thanks,
Dmg

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shoozie

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 22:33 »
Glad Bella is ok.  I edited my first post with the links - hope they work. 

Good timing that the dogs are going to the vet this week.  The vet is a good first port of call for local contacts, though don't be afraid to try further afield and travel to get the right advice. 

You've got two very intelligent dogs there.

All the best

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dmg

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 23:23 »
Thanks for the links shoozie,
I managed to get one that has training not too far away and also does home visits - that's what I really wanted.
I have emailed them so hopefully they are available.

Dmg

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spottymint

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 17:20 »
if they are both females, it could be a dominance issue with the attacking dog.
Anything can trigger an attack.

I knew someone who had this issue, vet's advised splitting them, they ignored the advice. The weaker dog lost her eyesight & suffered a broken jaw.

A dog behaviorist is the way forward & take their advice. 

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shoozie

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 22:57 »
you're very welcome dmg, and glad the links have been helpful  - hope you manage to get some advice from the vet this week (they may suggest tests to discount any underlying health issues - a full MOT wouldn't do any harm to put you're mind at rest that something hasn't been missed)  and a response to your inquiry with the behaviourist. 

You're doing the right thing.

Take care

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Agatha

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2014, 17:34 »
So sorry you are having this trouble.  I know several folk who have had dogs who were going to have to be rehomed/destroyed but a good behaviourist was able to sort out the problem and the dog was able to stay, so please don't be too worried or discouraged.  By getting advice as soon as you realised there is a serious problem, you are giving both dogs the best chance of a happy future.

As shoozie says, it is really important to make sure the behaviourist is qualified as there are lots of dodgy ones out there!  Also, make sure you find one who uses positive/reward based training, rather than dominance or punishment training, which has been proven to CAUSE aggression in some cases.

You say they are both rescues - where did they come from?  It might be worth contacting the rescue centre, although some can be more helpful than others!  Also, many rescue centres have links with good behaviourists.  Good luck with it.
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dmg

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2014, 19:44 »
I have contacted a behaviourist in my general area. They are quite happy to work with the 2 dogs.
Initial 3 hour assessment for the 2 is 180.00 and follow ups are 30. Beans on toast for us next month  ::)
She has the initials DipCABT CABP after her name I've still to checkout what they mean

Agatha,
we got holly from the sspca she was picked up of the street with no idea of her history and we are bella's 3rd owner, her 1st one abused her so that's why she doesn't fight back

Thanks
Dmg

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shoozie

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2014, 22:20 »
Excellent point made there Agatha about positive / reward based methods versus those that still hang on to outdated ideas dominance and the use of aggressive techniques. 

Dmg, nothing wrong with beans on toast ....  :lol:  Please let us know how things go. 

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Agatha

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 13:45 »
Dmg, hope all goes well with the behaviourist.  Do let us know how it works out.

I wasn't thinking of contacting the rescue for back history so much as for advice on how to deal with the problem, but it sounds like you are already getting things sorted anyway with finding a behaviourist. 

Good luck, and remember, beans on toast is very nutritious... :)

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compostqueen

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2014, 14:43 »
You could also simply put a mail box outside your home so nothing needs come through the letterbox.

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8doubles

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Re: what to do?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 15:00 »
You could also simply put a mail box outside your home so nothing needs come through the letterbox.

Or put the dog outside..............it will keep postie on his/her toes ! :)


 

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