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 I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone

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ajguil4d
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PostSubject: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:04 pm

Hello, my name is AJ. My wife and I currently have two huskies. Reilly is a 4 year old 39ish pound female siberian husky. We got her about two years ago, when my position changed and I started to work from home. She is not really high energy and is very docile and submissive, pretty much everything you would not have expected from a husky. The only caveat was that see had several separation anxiety at the time. Which was okay since I was home all the time. Reilly has really improved since then, however she still has issues beine left at the groomers and vet.

Recently my wife and I have been looking to get a second husky. We have always wanted two and figured it would be good for Reilly to have a playmate. So we are currently working on fostering to adopt a 2 year old 65 pound siberian husky named Rocco. He is everything you expect a husky to be, a rambunctious ball of energy. However he would nip at hands and get annoyed when he didn't get his way. Typical dominate issues that we have already worked on and improved with discipline and structure.

My real issue has now come down to dealing with the both of them. At first they had started to get along, until a bad fight had occurred over the water fountain. My wife had just set it out the morning after Rocco arrived and had not refilled from the night before. Rocco came out relative find save for a scratch on his face. Reilly ended up with a bad puncture on her nose and a split lip for which she had to get stitches.

Immediately after that Reilly would no longer let him near her. However he would keep trying to play with her, which would cause her to snap at him.

She has since interacted with him more but for the most part she keeps away from him. Right now we are assuming this is mostly due to the meds she is on. This has in a since caused a division in my house between the upstairs and the downstairs. Rocco does not like going or staying upstairs, unless there is food involved, thus Reilly uses this to stay away from him.

This has made it stressful for me to work. As my office is upstairs. If I attempt to limit Rocco from going down stairs he will consistently try to play with Reilly. Which cause her to growl and aggressively try and get him to back off, which he ignores and try to still play with her. (He does the submissive play bow, after first trying to nose her)

This leaves me with three options. I can step in and make him back down. But it only works for a bit, I have to keep at it, and I'm not sure if I'm sending the wrong signal by stepping I for her. I can try and play with him, but he will either lose interest quickly or she will want to take the toy from him. Finally I could let him lose downstairs. But if I'm not down there he will get in on thingsome, or make a mess on the floor. When I am down there he usually is rather calm.

I'm really losing my cool here and I can tell I'm starting to stress out and not get any work done. My wife keeps saying telling me things will work out in time, but I'm not so sure. Rocco would be her fifth dog to own while only my second. I'm trusting her but she isn't here during the day and I'm scared that this isn't going to work in the long run.

I will admit just writing this all out has help emensily. Thank you for reading,
AJ
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:54 pm

How do you exercise them? Group walks together? Walks separately? No walks and just playing in the yard? Knowing this could help us give some tips. For the most part some things can be worked out in time, but you have to set rules for BOTH dogs. Rocco is new and fairly outgoing it sounds. His last place probably didn't set any ground rules so bratty behavior was never corrected. If he is doing something you don't want, correct him. Put him in a time out or just give a firm NO. Same with Reilly. Go to square one. Reilly came first and you need to show her that you can take care of yourself but that you can also take care of her. Not the other way around.

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ajguil4d
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:07 pm

We walk them together twice a day for about 5 miles in total. Though Rocco usually gets an extra quick walk before bed since we crate him.

Surprisingly they do really well together on walks.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:14 pm

You may start doing some training sessions on walks and in the house. Dogs that learn together and walk together build trust faster. Also, if it's only been a couple weeks, not sure if you said exactly how long it's been, it is still really early in their relationship. Anything that goes on all the way up to a couple months can be chalked up to growing pains.

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ajguil4d
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:26 pm

It has only been a few weeks, we got him on the 9th.

Could you possibly provide some examples of what you mean by training sessions on walks and together?

I really want to give Rocco a try according to the rescue we are fostering to adopt him form we are his fifth family. We also suspect that he is probably form a puppy mill where he was taken form his litter early. The rescue mentioned he used to be much much worse.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:49 am

If you mean August 9th then you haven't even had him long enough for him to show his true personality. Take treats with you on walks and have them sit, lay down, or heel at random intervals. Same type stuff you would do when training at home, just outside where there are more distractions and make them do it together so that you are enforcing that they both have the same rules and same expectations.

A lot of dogs that come from puppy mills have behavioral problems, whether genetic because the people were breeding dogs that had temperament issues, or learned because every owner since then didn't take the time to work with them after taking them too early. It takes a lot of patience and time to right these dogs and special people who are willing to do it and not give up on them. Finding the balance between wanting to do right by him and give him the chance in life he needs, and doing right by the dog you already have is the call you have to make. As long as you are realistic about your abilities and your dedication there's never any reason dogs with serious problems can't become great pack members with time and discipline.

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:55 pm

Let me chime in here since I just added a 'young lady' to my existing pack of two.  
If I'm reading the papers that came with her correctly, I'm at least, her fifth owner. To say that the girl is a mess is an understatement.  At 5 years old she's still not dependably housebroken.  She was chipped in June of 2011 and the next that I know of her was an adoption from a rescue in Oct of 2014 - what happened to her in that 3.5 years is anyone guess.  Since then she's been handed on roughly every six month.

I brought her to her (hopefully) final home on Jul 23 so, like yours, she's only been here for a few weeks.  Sasha (the existing rescue) and Sky (the new rescue) have had 4 'discussions' and Sky has shown a little blood and Sasha has a nice bump on her nose from where Sky got a good nip in.  *In my viewpoint* this is normal and I'm not going to interrupt unless there is some serious blood drawn.  Dogs are pack animals and have to determine their place in their pack.  My two, for the time being, are coexisting but I think there's going to be another discussion since they are 'just coexisting'.

Again, this is a personal opinion, but in my experience I've found that the more I interfere in the discussion (minor fights) while they're determining where they fit in the pack the longer it's going to take them and eventually the more violent the 'discussions' are going to be.  It's very much like having two squabbling kids, the more a parent says stop it - without attempting a resolution - the more intense the squabbling is going to become.

The way they're treating each other now (staying apart) is normal, they're taking a breather to size each other up relative to the fight they just had.  They'll be wary of each other but with luck they'll have figured out where they fit.

As Jenn said, walking them together where they have to listen to you will help consolidate your pack of two.  As they do interact without squabbling, they'll come to realize that they don't have to.  I've had Sky here for slightly longer than you've had Rocco<?> and it's gradually becoming more relaxed.  It helps that the third dog is playful and he'll play with both the girls so they are interacting with him and as a result with each other.

It takes time and a lot of patience to add a new dog into the mix.  When it's a rescue where you really have no idea about his history it takes more patience but in the long run, it's well worth it.
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ajguil4d
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:15 pm

Thank you so much for all the advice.

I never really thought about trying sit, lay down, etc while on a walk as Reilly never needed it. However I am going to start giving it a shot. We have also started walking Rocco with a backpack on and about 4 pounds of weight, it seems to have curtailed his energy a bit.

I would love to just let them hash it out, but I'm afraid right now Reilly might still be hurting and we really don't want her to bust the stitches on her lip. I'm still not sure how much Reilly really wants to deal with him now as even if he gets close to her resting and play bows she will still snarl and bare her teeth, then attempt to nip at him if he gets closer.

However as of this posting they seem to be calm and relaxed, both wanting to sleep as close to me as possible.
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ajguil4d
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:40 am

It's a sad day today. Rocco is going back to the rescue. While on our morning walk he went after and biteven my wife when she wouldn'the let him go after a wrapped tasty cake some had left on the sidewalk. We both don't want to see him go but we know at this point he needs more care and structure then we can provide.

I did manage to get a picture of both of them during one of their quieter times.


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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:00 pm

That is sad to hear but glad you were strong enough to make the right call for all of you. Trying to force a dog to fit or trying to do more than you are comfortable with and have time for could have only made things worse in the long run. It's never easy sending one back, especially ones that have been around the block so many times, but you have to do what you have to do. They are great looking dogs and he will eventually finds the place where he fits.

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:34 pm

AJ from another AJ ... sorry, I've been tempted to do that before but ...

First, I'm going to call a spade a spade - if Rocco picks up a reputation for biting people, and it doesn't take more than a nibble or two to make that reputation, the rescue isn't going to have much choice in the matter. They can't turn him over to someone for liability reasons and they can't keep him indefinitely. 'nuff said.

Second, sometimes, knowing when to call it quits is the more intelligent answer.

I and I'm sure others could offer hopefully constructive comments but it doesn't sound as if we're going to have that chance and that does indeed sadden me. The four of you in that picture make such a good looking 'pack'. Take care, mate and keep in touch, eh??
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ajguil4d
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PostSubject: Re: I'm stressing out and I need to talk to someone   Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:06 pm

The rescue already has others lined up to want to take Rocco in. Including some with anther Sibe about Rocco's age and just as energetic. Rocco had immediately letc go when he bite and showed signs that he realized he went to far. The rescuse's behaviorist says that's a good sign that he can be trained out of it. We just can'take risk it in our neighborhood as there are many untrained children that would run to a dog with food in hand and try to pet them.

We still plan to get a second Sibe but both the rescue and us feel we need to find another Sibe that has similar energy to Reilly. So I will still be hanging around.
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