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 At my wits end with Sheba

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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyFri Nov 01, 2013 11:28 pm

This is probably going to be long, so please bare with me.

I don't understand this dog. I simply don't understand her. So I guess I will start from the "beginning".

She is a rescue from a puppy mill who I got when she was 8 weeks old (I think), so a majority of her life has been spent with me. When I rescued her, I had a male Standard Poodle foster and Kennedy. Prancer, the Standard, did not put up with her BS. He gave her strict boundaries, and punished her when she crossed them. He left when she was 6 months old. Kennedy however, let Sheba walk allll over her. Kennedy didn't care about her throwing her butt into her, or anything like that. However, Sheba respected Kennedy 90% of the time. They did have spats as Sheba matured, but when she was a puppy, Kennedy let her get away with murder.

As for me, I worked on boundaries with her right away. She has no problems with trading games with me, she has no problems "sitting" and "waiting" for things, no problems waiting for me to release her.. Anything like that. She of course has challenged me on occasion, but nothing that has alarmed me. Everything normal.

Now, her behavior is.... I just don't know. At home, half of the time she is normal, the other half she is out for murder. I can't have this continue as I will be bringing a Standard Poodle puppy into my home sometime next year, and I can't have her just "go" for it.

So with Ares, if he even *looked* at her wrong, she would go after him. If he walked by her, didn't even need anything AROUND her or him, and she would go after him. She starts with the ears back, steely eyes, and lips bared. Half of the time, she doesn't even give a growl, she just GOES. 90% of the time, she latches on and you can't get her to let go until you like, beat her (not literally, please don't freak out). However, there have been times I have had to hit her to get her to let go. One time, and I watch my dogs very carefully, she went after Kennedy for no reason. Kennedy is the most chill dog I have EVER met. If I hadn't of been there, there is no doubt in my mind one of my dogs would be dead. I stupidly got in between and got a pretty bad bite. I had to beat them over the head with a shoe for them to let go.

With Luna, she could just be walking by and Sheba will raise her lips at her and growl like she is doing something wrong. She's doing absolutely NOTHING wrong, and Sheba is trying to, I don't know, put her in her place?? Luna is also very non confrontational, and half the time she doesn't even notice Sheba giving her a dirty look.

I don't know what to do to get Sheba to "shape up". Help??
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MGoBlue
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MGoBlue

Join date : 2012-06-13
Location : Denver, CO

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyFri Nov 01, 2013 11:49 pm

Unfortunately, I don't have any advice. But have you talked to a trainer or looked into it at all?
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyFri Nov 01, 2013 11:53 pm

I don't see what a general trainer will do. It's not an obedience thing, at I don't think so. I've thought about bringing in a behavorist, but like I said.. I can't predict when she will go after Luna or why. So I'd be shelling out money half the time for no reason, you know?

She has been to a trainer before, but that was for on leash reactivity issues due to be attacked by off leash dogs.


Last edited by Sheba&Kennedy on Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyFri Nov 01, 2013 11:58 pm

At the dog park, she is perfectly fine as well. Never gets into fights over like, a water bowl (I've seen that happen waaayyy too many times), never tries to fight over a toy if someone stupidly brings one in..the only time she has ever had issues is when someone brings in a 5 pound dog. So it is basically confined to the "home area". I don't get it.
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cinnamonbits
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cinnamonbits

Female Join date : 2012-11-03
Location : San Antonio, TX

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 12:10 am

Sounds like she's territorial over her "home" and her "things." Is she fixed? It could be a hormonal thing. Is Luna or Kennedy fixed?
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MGoBlue
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MGoBlue

Join date : 2012-06-13
Location : Denver, CO

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 12:12 am

I meant behaviorist, not trainer. My brain is fried =)

I agree with Roxy that it sounds like it could be a territorial thing.
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wpskier222
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wpskier222

Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 12:35 am

Do you have any other friends that are into huskies/dogs in your area? It could help to have someone come over and watch her. Sometimes it helps just to have a more objective opinion. Since you know her so extremely well you might be writing something off that is normal/quirky behavior for her, but that someone else would notice. Smile
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 12:37 am

She is not fixed and neither is Luna. However, like I said, she did this with Ares too, who was fixed, and Kennedy is also fixed. I do not leave toys or anything else that is deemed "valuable" on the ground. My dogs have to "ask" my permission before they are allowed on the furniture, so that is why I am at a loss.

I definitely think it could be a home thing, but like I said, she just flips a "switch" and it's on. Over half the time they all live in peace and harmony, but when she does snap, she goes for blood.


Last edited by Sheba&Kennedy on Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:39 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : autocorrect is an asshole)
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 12:39 am

LOL. There is definitely not anyone near me that could fill that quota. I live in BFE; people think the way I take care of my dogs is WEIRD. People think having an inside medium size dog is WEIRD. People think feeding something other then Iams or Purina is WEIRD.

These people around here don't know jack, and that's me being nice.
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arooroomom
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arooroomom

Female Join date : 2009-12-13
Location : South Fl

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 1:52 am

Is she food motivated at all? You can start with simple counter conditioning with LAT (look at that) which is just click/mark and treating for acknowledging the other dogs by looking at them. It would probably be beneficial to control her interactions with the dogs, especially her main targets, for a while.

You can also teach her to walk away. When she looks at another dog she has the choice of interacting, ignoring, or retreating. It may be best to highly encourage walking away. It's essentially BAT with your own dogs.

And it also may be due to her being an intact female. Sometimes they can be a bit overly possessive over "their" things. Such as space.

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Cheyenne, Mishka, Mickey, Rodeo, & Odin
At my wits end with Sheba 6877191385_f831cf231c
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Jennet&Embry
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Jennet&Embry

Female Join date : 2010-09-15
Location : Eau Claire, Wisconsin

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 1:55 am

Is there a reason you aren't spaying her? If there isn't, I would schedule an appt soon and see if that fixes it. Yes all the other dogs are fixed but she isn't, and she's the one with issues. Intact bitches do tend to have a lot of aggression issues, especially in sibes since they tend to be very dominant. I know if I wouldn't have had spayed Zoey when I did, we would have a lot more issues then we've had already. she's been spayed since 5 months and she HATES other female dogs in our house.
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arooroomom
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arooroomom

Female Join date : 2009-12-13
Location : South Fl

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 1:55 am

Also teaching "away" has helped us specifically with my Aussies and Rodeo. All for different reasons and purposes, but being able to have them walk away from something is a great tool. I teach it by tossing food away from whatever it is they're after. I have a small gate at work so I have put a bowl of food on the other side and as they go up to it I will call them and say away! As I roll a treat across the floor in the other direction.

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At my wits end with Sheba 6877191385_f831cf231c
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fuhongnie
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fuhongnie

Male Join date : 2013-10-14
Location : Camp Pendleton, CA/New York City, NY

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 2:16 am

Jennet&Embry wrote:
Is there a reason you aren't spaying her? If there isn't, I would schedule an appt soon and see if that fixes it. Yes all the other dogs are fixed but she isn't, and she's the one with issues. Intact bitches do tend to have a lot of aggression issues, especially in sibes since they tend to be very dominant. I know if I wouldn't have had spayed Zoey when I did, we would have a lot more issues then we've had already. she's been spayed since 5 months and she HATES other female dogs in our house.
I second this, sometimes you'll be fine with not having them fix but with multiple dogs and her showing aggression it might be best for you to get her fix and see if it corrects the probelm.
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 11:49 am

She will be getting spayed, but I am waiting until she turns 2 per the advice of my holistic vet and my decision based on my own research. I do believe it will help as well, but I don't believe in using it as a crutch, you know?? I have no shadow of a doubt her being intact plays a role in it, but I'm not going to place all my bets on her being intact. There is still a problem and I want to correct it.

She has always been a dog that pushes the limits and boundaries, but it worries me that she rarely, if ever, gives a warning growl. She just goes for it. And I honestly think she would do serious, serious damage and that worries me. She seems very insistent on having her "personal space", but her space always varies. Sometimes she is fine with her and Luna (for sake of argument) being pet and loved on right next to each other, and other times you have to walk in a 5 ft diameter away from her or she gets pissy. I don't get it.
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 12:05 pm

Kristina, could you send me some links to those training methods or are they in your training thread?
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cinnamonbits
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cinnamonbits

Female Join date : 2012-11-03
Location : San Antonio, TX

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 4:39 pm

Well and that could be her hormones. You, being a girl, should understand that there are times when you just don't want to be touched and you don't know why. Maybe she feels the same? Has her growls been ignored by the other dogs before? Because if they have, she has probably decided that growling gets her nowhere because they don't listen anyways so I'm just gonna tell them off to start off with. Just some things to think about. To be honest, I don't know if I would foster with her not being spayed and acting like this. It would worry me too much.
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UndarthAngipoo
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UndarthAngipoo

Female Join date : 2012-06-16
Location : Toronto, ON, Canada

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 9:50 pm

Just curious, what sort of developments happen between a year and five months vs. two years in terms of not getting her fixed?
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jbealer
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jbealer

Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 10:02 pm

No real advice but it sounds like she is acting like eddys coco, she will snap on a dime, and we are all on our toes when we have our dogs all together, she waa abused before eddy got her and she is also a malamute. But he has not found a way to break her of the actions after all these yrs.
good luck

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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySat Nov 02, 2013 10:50 pm

I don't see a problem fostering with an intact female. I do my best to keep confrontations at bay, and they have happened less and less. However, it's her constant lip curling and steely eyes that have me concerned the most. Neither Ares nor Luna were planned fosters; they both kinda fell into my lap. Trust me; my whole goal was to get Sheba's behavior under control until my new puppy came home. However, it is what it is and Luna is no where near ready for a new home. She brushes Sheba's actions off her shoulder like they never happened, that is why she is still here.

As for the development thing; here is a "note" from FB shared by one of my friends. Of course, I also did my own research as I had always thought doing it before 6 months was the right way. Now, I think differently and will do so differently unless in a contract with a breeder. -> https://www.facebook.com/notes/melissa-terri/how-to-raise-a-healthy-pet/10150608703794315 All of the information in this note is publicly available, and there is plenty more. However, this is one of those debates you'll find just as much information for and against the issue; it is then up to you to decide what you will do.

Thank you Jennifer, I try my hardest to understand her.
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liamdav6
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liamdav6

Male Join date : 2012-12-26
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At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptySun Nov 03, 2013 6:10 pm

What are the other dogs reactions when shes curling her lip and staring at them?
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyMon Nov 04, 2013 2:38 am

It depends. Sometimes she can be laying on the ground and they walk by her, sometimes she can be on the chair and they walk by her, sometimes I am petting her and they walk up to me, sometimes they can be laying down and she walks up to them and they move to look at her, sometimes they are standing not even looking at her or moving towards her. It really is a space issue with her, but I have no idea how to go about fixing it.

This also happens only every once in awhile. She used to be *very* unpredictable so we are making progress, but it feels like we have taken a couple of steps backwards. Over half the time she is perfectly fine with me loving on her and one of the dogs coming up and getting love at the same time. She is also fine with cuddling, with sharing toys (when I allow them to play).. It just depends..
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wpskier222
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wpskier222

Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyMon Nov 04, 2013 11:11 am

This may be totally wrong, so I'm just throwing it out there since it sounds like you've been working on a lot of the 'normal' recommendations on resource guarding. To me, it sounds like she feels like she has to establish herself as the top of the pack (I'm talking the dogs here, I'm not into the whole dog/person pack leader thing). She is insecure in the pack and feels like she has to constantly 'explain' to the other dogs that she's at the top of the pecking order. Has it gotten worse since Ares left? That could have caused a disruption. Also, could either one of them be close to a heat?

If I'm wrong, I know someone will let me know, and of course, YOU know your dogs best, but if it were me, I might actually support her position rather than correcting her. Work on teaching Luna and Kennedy a yielding or scram command, so that when you see that look come into Sheba's eyes you can tell Luna to walk away. If Luna wan't well socialized before she came to you, she may not be picking up Sheba's 'get lost' signal, or, she might be challenging Sheba in subtle ways, so Sheba feels like she has to teach Luna a lesson. When you feed them, put the other two in their crates and work one on one with Sheba like you would if she was resource guarding from people. Hand feeding etc. Feed Sheba first, give her the best toys and bones, show her favoritism. Play trade up games (with the other Luna locked up, but Kennedy around) to build trust with Sheba, and then when you feel comfortable eventually allow Luna in the room, but away from you and Sheba. If Luna approaches while you're petting Sheba, send Luna away, or have a go to place command on the other side of the room. It sounds like it will take some juggling, but it might help. After she starts to feel more secure, and you start to feel less anxious about the interaction, you can then start to teach her that the aggression is unacceptable. When the look comes into her eyes, try and calmly send Luna/Kennedy away (place/crate/etc), and then put Sheba in timeout for 10 min or until she calms down.

In terms of a puppy, I have a feeling the problem will be much less severe, vs. another adult intact female, although you are right to want to get her more under control before bringing a puppy home, and I think regardless of how far she comes a muzzle will be in order for the first few interactions, only for safety. Most adult dogs will let puppies get away with murder until they are older. Growing up, we had a dog aggressive golden, and I was really nervous when we got our first husky. He had bitten people and other dogs over resources, but he would allow Tasha to walk right up and take the bone from his mouth as a puppy. It was pretty amazing.

In terms of spaying, it will only help if the aggression is caused by hormones, seeing that she was going after Ares as well, it seems like hormones aren't necessarily the issue here, unless it was redirected aggression that she took out on Ares.

Also, being that she's a puppy mill rescue, she may have some genetic behavioral traits, or early traumas, that tend toward aggression. That's not to say she's destined to be dog aggressive forever, or that all rescues are aggressive, but I think it should be a thought when you are working with her, and considering another puppy to bring into your home, that she may be more of a challenge because of genetics, and her early upbringing before she came to you.
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
Location : Nebraska

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyTue Nov 05, 2013 3:16 am

I have always kind of "helped" Sheba feel like head of the pack. She gets fed first, she gets treats first, she walks a little bit ahead of the other dogs.. I feel like she is "insecure" in her spot too. Luna is...a ding bat lol. She doesn't even notice Sheba, that or she does it on purpose, I'm not really too sure yet. I would say it may have gotten a little worse since he left, yes. Her efforts seem more pinpointed to Luna than they were before. No, they shouldn't be! They both finished less than a month ago!

Today I started working on an "away" command with Luna, and it seemed to help a lot. I was doing a training session with Sheba, and Chris let Luna sneak by him and I threw a treat before Sheba really noticed Luna walking up to her and said "Luna, away!". Sheba did a quick glance behind her but didn't raise her lips at all. So, fingers crossed this helps. She doesn't really seem to have an issue with Kennedy, because I have never LET her. She has a respect for Kennedy that I have ingrained in her mind. However, I will make sure she get's "top dog" over Kennedy.

I agree I don't think a puppy will be nearly as "bad" as a brought in foster, but it worries me she will go "over board" in the discipline area lol. I think a muzzle will be a good idea for awhile.

I know she has confidence issues, outside of pack order, so I will work to strengthen that as well.

I don't see spaying as the end all, but I'm sure it won't hurt lol.

I agree that her genetics may play a key in it, so it's just going to come down to training and management. All I know is that I'm so glad she didn't end up getting sold to some idiot, because who knows how damaged she would be.
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wpskier222
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wpskier222

Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyTue Nov 05, 2013 12:21 pm

Yay! I'm glad 'away' seems to be working. Smile She probably just gets pissed that Luna ignores her signals and doesn't really know how to administer a proper doggie correction and goes too far. Instead of 'hey stop it,' she breaks out the baseball bat and goes to town. Also, I'm sure she respects Kennedy because a) Kennedy is older and was there first and b) Kennedy communicates and listens to her when Sheba feels uncomfortable and they have a mutual respect for each other.

I forgot to mention that Krista (arooroomom) recommended a book to me that I asked for because I need to work on Dizzy's over the top excitement called Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog by Karen Pryor. It might have some ideas that can help Sheba. I'm not very far along in it, because it is really in depth, but so far it's great! Smile

Here's an interesting take on temperament and genetics that might help you shape your training program around Sheba. I'm not a trainer by any means, but maybe seeing Sheba with some specific guidelines will help you make a plan and build her confidence. Smile http://www.direwolfproject.com/temperament.html

She is VERY lucky she ended up with you, because quite frankly, she would probably not be on this earth anymore. I believe in a lot of cases the universe plays a role in getting the right person to the right dog and vice versa. Smile

One other thing, and again, of course you know your pack best, you might want to wait until Luna has been adopted before you get the puppy. I have a feeling that once she leaves there will be some flux in Sheba's behavior again, and it would probably be good to let things settle again until you get your puppy. Smile It sounds like the flux of fosters coming and going upsets her and that she is more sensitive than your average dog. I'm not saying you shouldn't foster, just that it's something to be aware of in terms of her behavior regressing. Smile
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Sheba&Kennedy
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Sheba&Kennedy

Female Join date : 2012-08-13
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At my wits end with Sheba Empty
PostSubject: Re: At my wits end with Sheba   At my wits end with Sheba EmptyTue Nov 05, 2013 11:25 pm

Ugh. One step forward, 5 miles backward.

Apparently Sheba flipped off the handle more then once today. Chris has told me she's done this a couple of times, but I thought I had him "trained" to prevent it; guess not.

So when we feed the dogs, it goes Sheba in the corner, Luna in the middle of the room, and Kennedy in the other corner. With me, everything goes fine and there are no issues whatsoever. With him, apparently Sheba tries to go after Luna's bowl and then her. I guess Sheba went after her pretty good today, and then tried to bite Chris. Now, I don't know how "real" the scenario is, but he said she snarled at him when he went to separate them, ran onto the bed, and snarled at him when he tried to grab her. She has NEVER done anything like that with me. I told him that she doesn't respect him and he needs to work on that with her, but I'm not sure he will ever listen to me.

Then, once I got back from taking Luna to the groomers, I had Chris run upstairs to grab her so I could run to the store. Apparently, Sheba and Kennedy opened the downstairs door and met Chris and Luna half way down the stair and she flipped and went for Luna.

And not just 15 minutes ago, I went into the bedroom where Luna and Sheba were sleeping, and Sheba looked at me, Luna got off the bed...and Sheba bit Luna. REALLY?!?! Sheba and Luna lay in the bedroom with each other all the time, and there is never a problem. Then III go in there, Sheba flips.

I'm at such a loss right now, it's not even cool.
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At my wits end with Sheba Empty
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At my wits end with Sheba

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