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 Aggression. Is there any hope?

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acrespin12
Newborn
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Female Join date : 2018-06-20

PostSubject: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:47 am

Hello all. Awhile back I posted about potentially adding another husky to my family, and I brought home a puppy yesterday who was actually given to me by a friend as a surprise. My friend knew I recently lost two other dogs in my pack, and knew I was not having any luck finding any suitable older huskies at any rescues that were in driving distance.

Unfortunately, my worse fears have come true. I'm already accepting the hard reality that I might have to rehome the new puppy, but I wanted to hear others thoughts about my situation since I am new to this experience, and might be overreacting. I realize this is my failure as a owner and that the dogs are in no way at fault, and I understand that I will have to mend the situation no matter how much it will hurt to give the puppy up.

First, let me say that a professional trainer isn't accessible where I live. I would have to drive the two dogs three or more hours out of town, and couldn't do it everyday or enough times to make any significant progress working with a professional. I thought immediately of that as a solution, but saw immediately that it would be very hard.


Here is my situation. Bandit, who is 1 year and 7 months, is very dominant, but I feel like I've made a lot of progress with him so far, and am very proud of him. He won't just attack other dogs unprovoked, in fact, he wants to play with every dog he meets, but once they growl at him being nice is out the door. The puppy is 8 weeks old, a purebred husky, and he's very small still, which is likely part of the problem, but it's causing fear aggression.

For the first introduction, Bandit was way too hyper and scared the puppy. The next time I introduced them after Bandit and I went biking, and he was pretty tired. I was hopeful, because Bandit actually laid down and waited for the puppy to approach him. I praised Bandit and petted him for being good and laying down, but the puppy got extremely aggressive and started growling. I was going to remove Bandit immediately, but before I got Bandit to stand up the puppy lunged at him and Bandit got mad as soon as he saw the challenge. Nobody got hurt, I managed to take Bandit away quickly on the lead. We gave both him and the puppy a time out, and a few hours latter tried again. Bandit was willing to be patient again, and sat down for the puppy to approach him, but this time the puppy just growled immediately and started barring his teeth.

I guess what I am asking, and I know nobody can actually know the answer but,  should I keep trying to introduce them, or is the behaviors I am seeing a sign that it likely won't work out?

Has anybody experienced this?

I know things take time, but I don't want to get any more attached to the puppy than I am if the best option will be for him to go to another home. I decided to give it a week, is that enough time?

Am I being oversensitive or am I rightly concerned?

I'm trying every method possible to have a successful introduction.

I introduced them on neutral ground
I gave treats.
I remained as calm as I could.
I didn't coddle the puppy.
I've made sure to give them both equal attention.
I've removed food and toys to avoid resource aggression.

Is there anything else I should try? I am really scared and sad. I feel like such a failure as a dog owner. I wish I lived in a more dog friendly town that had trainers, dog parks, and dog daycares, but the reality is that we are lucky to have two veterinarians.

I'm really heartbroken, and even some friendly words will be nice, if advice is lacking. Thank you.
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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:45 am

A couple of comments, just because.

A puppy is a dog in miniature, they're just learning how to be a big boy (or girl) they're learning how to hunt and protect themselves and they depend upon a guardian to help them learn.  They take advantage of every opportunity to learn how a big dog behaves.

Bandit, on the other hand sounds like he never got the chance to learn how to be well behaved in dog society.  So maybe he's having to learn how a puppy behaves - which can be rough on everyone's nerves.

Most well behaved dogs grant a puppy a 'thing' called a puppy license - the right to be a brat - up to a point, when the puppy crosses that point then the adult will effectively tell the pup to 'behave!' How? Mostly by turning away from the pup (leave me alone), walking a ways away (leave me alone!!) and finally with (air?) snaps that may or may not make contact depending upon how bratty the pup is (I said leave me alone!.  I'm not there so I can't say whether Bandit is out of line with his actions or not.

This comment concerns me a bit "the puppy lunged at him and Bandit got mad" - you don't say what Bandit actually did so I can't even begin to say whether it was appropriate or not (actually probably not since Bandit doesn't seem to be respecting the license to be a brat.)

The puppy is being a puppy, he's trying to play in the ways that he knows how to play (and it's all learning how to be a big dog.)  You (with heart in hand) are going to have to give Bandit the liberty to actually get closer.  You have to be able to tell if he's telling the puppy to 'lighten up, juniour!' or if he's really intending damage because he doesn't know how to really behave as the big dog guardian.
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:52 am

Sounds like your pup needs some time to be socialized with other pups its size. It may not have many experiences with dogs larger than it but might have been around some smaller pups or dogs that it is comfortable with. It's trying to say that it is uncomfortable. I had a pup for a bit that was this way. My female hated that puppy and the puppy would growl because it was scared. They can get over it, but it's really hard work and you do have to be able to socialize and redirect and work on getting them to ignore each other. My female who is very dog aggressive is usually introduced to new dogs through a crate. New dog safely tucked in the crate where she can't get to it and where it can't get back at her, and then that allows them to sniff and start acclimating to each other a bit with some safe barriers that helps lower my stress level. If you are nervous that puppy will be even more nervous and I know you can't just shut off your nerves once you've started dealing with a dog that is reactive. But putting in concessions so that neither dog can harm the other definitely helps. Let them be until they calm down. Allow sniffing through the crate or fence. If someone hits the fence remove them, put some distance between them and start again in a bit.

Puppies are definitely harder to introduce and take longer with reactive dogs. Especially if the puppy is really too young to have been taken they tend to have not learned proper interactions in return. How old is this puppy?

After a week you should see some level of progress and it seems like Bandit is willing to meet. Your bigger challenger is the puppy. Do you have a Petsmart of Petco around? It would be worth the drive at least a couple times to let the pup play with some dogs that are closer to its size and socialize and have some good experiences before throwing it continually back in the ring with a dog its unsure with. There will be larger puppies there and more hands and eyes to help you with the pup's reactions. Body language is so much and knowing how it goes with other dogs other than Bandit can tell you a lot about how long this may take.

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acrespin12
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Female Join date : 2018-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:56 am

Thank you so much for your comment. I’m afraid I’m miss reading Bandit’s reaction but he growled back and went toward the puppy. I got so scared that I didn’t allow him to make contact. Part of this is my fault. I should be more certain of Bandits behavior but when it comes to other dogs it seems so unpredictable.
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acrespin12
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Female Join date : 2018-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:00 am

Thank you for your comment. The puppy is 8 weeks old. I would be willing to drive him to a petco if it would help. I fear that maybe Bandit didn’t get enough socialization either. When he was little he had one doggie friend about his age and they used to play beautiful but he hasn’t seen that friend for months and has only been around my older dogs who wouldn’t tolerate him at all.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:56 am

Yes there is hope. For both dogs. Several on here have written about their struggles with reactive dogs, me included. Here is the beginning of my saga, not entirely pertinent as both are older dogs and one of my boys is a love to everyone and anyone, the other...well, he has come a long long looonnnnnggggg way.

http://www.itsahuskything.com/t16630-blazze-becomes-z-ev-follow-his-journey-from-death-row-to-member-of-the-family?highlight=blazze+becomes+Z+ev

I would take things slow, develop routine and structure. Your first priority is keeping the pup safe so I would suggest crate training. Work on basic training with both (not at the same time), get one rock solid command with your older guy ("Sit" works for me)

Anybody that can help you - particularly to hold a leash? Being outside with the 2 together but on leashes will help (pup probably will be a major pain in the butt on leash, chewing it, tugging it, rolling around, etc etc etc but that is the puppy thing lol! )

In house, if they don't rapidly acclimate to each other (which is more, rather than less, likely) I would keep each tethered in the same room but not close enough for the big guy to damage the little guy. Maybe for half an hour at a time, just "be" - you can sit, read, do whatever, while the dogs just exist in one another's presence.

I'm betting that after the newness is over, your big guy will be delighted to have a playmate and that the little guy just needs some confidence.
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bluemoods
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Location : Arkansas

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:50 pm

Well, if I were the sort to panic ay growls, my now 14 week old Kaila would still be separated form my 3 adults.

Intro 1 - 1 jumping, bouncing 10 week old puppy, 2 5 year old intact males and one 8 year old intact male all growling at her and walking toward the unruly pup. Pup barking playfully, getting louder growls and, teeth snaps. Puppy laying down and rolling on her back, pawing toward the older dogs. Older dogs sniffing and licking puppy, then giving their buts to her for a sniff.

Intro 2 - bounding puppy again, and growling adults again, then lead male mouthing her neck and, forcing her to lay down. Once pup submitted and calmed down a bit, all three playing and running happily together until pup gets out of hand and earns a growl, snap or being paw slammed to the ground by one of the adults.

At 10 week she got pretty much full puppy licence the first time they met, with only a reminder that they are the senior dogs here. Second time, not so much, she had to take her place as the new dog, the follower. After that, time for her to learn her manners and, they are teaching her what is and isn't appropriate.

She's learning and, yes at times it sounds as if the adults are going to tear the puppy a new one, but, they won't hurt her, other than wounding her pride and, teaching her a lesson in dog manners. After a month, she pretty much has it but, gets overly excited and, plays too long or too rough now and then - she gets paw slammed and growled at for that.
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aljones
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Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:50 pm

@bluemoods I really like your description of how well behaved adult dogs are teaching the newby how to behave. That's the way it should work ...

It's funny to see a puppy challenge the adult in play and for the adult tell him he'd better stop that. Puppy then goes kieyieing to someplace safe to come out a few minutes later to try it all again.
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bluemoods
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Location : Arkansas

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:59 pm

Yep, puppy runs off, sounding mortally wounded only to come bounding back for more 5 seconds later. An hour later, adult and puppy curled up napping together and, adult giving anyone that comes close that "Don't you dare wake the brat." look LOL.

You really want to see that in action, just find a video of wolves interacting with pups in the pack. Those pups grow up just fine and, yes the adults do a lot of growling and snapping at them and, a fair amount of paw slamming them. That's natural, it's how they are supposed to learn and, how adults are supposed to teach them. It might sound horrible and, aggressive to us at times but, the puppy understands and, it isn't just the mouth, dogs communicate with their while body.

An adult growling at a puppy with ears and tail up is just the adult telling the puppy to cool it a bit and not be so rambunctious. A paw slam or good scuffing is just a "Hey, that wasn't nice, stop that this minute."

Now ears pinned, tail level or down, neck tense, growling, that I'd be concerned about - that is aggression and, bracing for a fight.
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acrespin12
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Female Join date : 2018-06-20

PostSubject: Re: Aggression. Is there any hope?   Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:53 pm

Thank you Amy. You're idea about tethering is working well. They aren't exactly love bugs with one another, but they once in awhile stand closer to one another for a few seconds. The tether is just long enough that they can't touch touch. The puppy is still really unconfident, but Bandit is acting a bit calmer and not over the top.

Thank you Bev. It makes me feel better to know that I might be overreacting a bit. I'll make sure to read Bandit better around the puppy. I think his tail and ears were up, so maybe it was just a warning. I didn't realize what he was doing was paw slamming, but that seems exactly what he's been trying to do, and I've been doing more harm by pulling him away. I realize that I do need to relax a bit more and interfere less.

Thank you everyone so far I am taking all advice into account and some of these comments have made me feel so much better. I've been more worried than my parents, and even my friends who gave me the pup, so maybe I need to be a little less sensitive and read the situation better.

I have been working hard with Bandit he knows sit really well, and I am having great success making him sit for his food and wait until I let him go get it. I feed the puppy today while they were both tethered far enough apart so they saw that they were both getting meal time and none any special attention.
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