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grtpyrlvr
04-19-2010, 11:39 AM
Over this past weekend I was asked to foster a 50 lb black lab mix that was hit by a car a few months ago. My guys are pretty quiet and laid back so I agreed and we brought her home on Saturday night. It was very apparent the next day that she has a lot of trouble getting up and walking because of the accident. So she sits and plays with her front feet sometimes batting at the other dog. She is only a 1 1/2 old so we made an apt with the vet to see the extent of the injury and see if anything else might help her to move better.

All day Saturday everything was good. She would just sit in the back yard and "enjoy" the sun and grass. She got along good with my gang and they sensed that she was fragile and was very gentle with her. Well last night my puppy is growling at her and nipping trying to get her to play. Before I could stop the habit (I was 2 feet away that's how quick it happenned) they started growling at one another and lunging. I grabbed each of them by the collar and yanked them apart however they were still lunging and trying to get to one another. I finally got our puppy over a gate we use to block off the office and get them separated. An hour later they both went out (supervised) on leashes with me and my husband and were fine.

This new girl is almost the size of my puppy and weighs as much as she does. Well the next morning I was getting the kids ready for school and this is always a "high energy" moment in my household. Winter, our puppy, walks over and starts growling at the lab and there they are again at one another's throat. So my oldest daughter and I separated them. This is now going on anytime that my darling (used to be sweet and loving) puppy goes near this dog. Never did they actually "connect" it was more that warning growl that is given when another dog "picks" on another dog. It's more "loud viscous noise" then anything else. However I do not need it escalating.

I have since moved this new girls crate downstairs into the formal dining room and used 42" gates to block off the room from the rest of the house. I was initially advised to place it in our room where the gang sleeps at night so she would be more comfortable.

So here is my question. Both my dogs are socialized every day (I walk dogs and pet sit for a living), they go to the dog park 3x a week where they play for 2-3 hours in 10 acres fenced and get walked at least 3 times a day as well as an acre to play in outside. They know basic obedience (come, sit, stay, leave it etc... I have never had a problem with another dog in this manner even when we dog sit another dog.

So is my puppy reaching the terrible 2's or does she just sense this dog is "weaker" and does not act like another dog? Could the injury have something to do with it? Any thoughts? Also do you think the separation is a good thing for them?

I have a potential adopted for her already pending her Vet visit on Friday so I would hate to move her to another home just to be moved again. A retired couple fell in love with her today at the dog park. They did not want her to leave and I have known this couple for a few years now.

Milu
04-19-2010, 02:39 PM
I think that for a dog- being well socialized and accepting a new member into the household are two very different things. Have you fostered any dogs since getting your pup? Since it's a temporary situation, I would keep the two separated, especially since the the lab mix is recovering from injury, I hope she is all healed up and am glad that she's going to a loving family!

Jewel
04-19-2010, 03:40 PM
Given the way you described what happened, my guess is that the issue is with the disability of the lab. Your pup senses the weakness of the lab and is taunting it. This is instinct, it's not that your girl is being bad. Socialization teaches a dog to be able to interact with other dogs in normal settings. Dealing with a physically disabled dog is something different that, I would venture to guess, Winter has not had the opportunity to learn about. The lab is feeling insecure because of her disability and is trying to protecting herself because Winter has made it clear she's taking advantage of the lab's disability.

One way to deal with this is to make it clear to Winter that the lab "belongs" to you and she is not to be bothered. You the boss make the rules. You have good control over your own dogs, but Winter seems to be getting the idea that the lab is not "part of the family" and is therefore free game to pick on. Winter is also heading into that period where pups start to act bratty.

The other option is simply to keep them physically separated for the short duration that the lab stays with you. This may be easier to lessen the stress for the lab.

Davey Benson
04-19-2010, 04:05 PM
I concure with Jewel. Pets act pecular when there is an injured animal present, and when they themselves are injured. They will behave in unusual ways.

For the Lab foster, I would recomend some dog biscuts with glucosimine, and also some metacam. http://metacamfordogs.com/ I have my border collie on that, and it makes quite a difference in her mobiliity.

grtpyrlvr
04-19-2010, 04:07 PM
Given the way you described what happened, my guess is that the issue is with the disability of the lab. Your pup senses the weakness of the lab and is taunting it. This is instinct, it's not that your girl is being bad. Socialization teaches a dog to be able to interact with other dogs in normal settings. Dealing with a physically disabled dog is something different that, I would venture to guess, Winter has not had the opportunity to learn about. The lab is feeling insecure because of her disability and is trying to protecting herself because Winter has made it clear she's taking advantage of the lab's disability.

One way to deal with this is to make it clear to Winter that the lab "belongs" to you and she is not to be bothered. You the boss make the rules. You have good control over your own dogs, but Winter seems to be getting the idea that the lab is not "part of the family" and is therefore free game to pick on. Winter is also heading into that period where pups start to act bratty.

The other option is simply to keep them physically separated for the short duration that the lab stays with you. This may be easier to lessen the stress for the lab.

It's good to know that I was not the only one who felt that Winter was picking up on the weakness. Also to answer your question this is the first foster dog we have had since Winter has come into the house at the end of February. The first day they seemed to get along great Winter was even laying on the "communal" dog bed with her.

I think I will just keep them separate at this point. I am hoping the vet visit Friday goes well and I can get her into her new home by the end of the weekend. It's a little hard breaking up 2 (50) lb dogs by yourself. I would hate for the Lab to get hurt more in the process. The women who wanted to adopt her saw the "tift" between Winter and her at the dog park today. She was amazed as well as she has seen Winter play with everyone since we brought her home.


I think she would of taken the dog today had it of not been for the adoption agreement.

grtpyrlvr
04-19-2010, 05:15 PM
I concure with Jewel. Pets act pecular when there is an injured animal present, and when they themselves are injured. They will behave in unusual ways.

For the Lab foster, I would recomend some dog biscuts with glucosimine, and also some metacam. http://metacamfordogs.com/ I have my border collie on that, and it makes quite a difference in her mobiliity.

I have her on all natural joint treats they have glucosomine, methane, creatine, EPA, DHA, vitamin E, Maganese and zinc. They are a small liver smelling treat.

vin63
04-20-2010, 05:56 AM
Regarding the foster situation, I would keep them separated during the periods that you are not able to 100% supervise them.

I would look at it as an opportunity for the humans in the household to assert leadership training. It's important to make sure your puppy's focus is on you and not the Lab - directing her attention to you and not the foster dog. Basically, you puppy needs to learn that she needs your permission/approval. This training can be applied to other behaviors/situations, such as to prevent bolting through open doors, greeting human guests, chasing after other animals, etc.

grtpyrlvr
04-20-2010, 07:24 AM
Regarding the foster situation, I would keep them separated during the periods that you are not able to 100% supervise them.

I would look at it as an opportunity for the humans in the household to assert leadership training. It's important to make sure your puppy's focus is on you and not the Lab - directing her attention to you and not the foster dog. Basically, you puppy needs to learn that she needs your permission/approval. This training can be applied to other behaviors/situations, such as to prevent bolting through open doors, greeting human guests, chasing after other animals, etc.

We do use training to prevent bolting, greeting our guests, weve been working on it with the cats but I think they are just too much fun when they dart. Both dogs are forced into a sit, stay before doors open or they are allowed to approach a guest. Most people are pretty apprehensive about a 100+ lb dog charging you at the door. So since our first pyr we have used this technique. I will definitely reinforce this behavior and concentrate with it from now on.

The first time that she decided to growl and snap at the foster dog I was able to grab both collars to avoid a war because the foster dog growled as well. I got her in a sit stay but the foster dog lunged at her. From that point on I had to hold them both apart till I could maneuver to another area to separate them.

I know my foster does not have great "dog" skills and as I mentioned before I think this has a lot to do with her injury. She used her front paws while she is sitting to "box" the dog she wants to play with. Also she sometimes falls on the other dog because her balance is off. When I had her at the park with 5 other dogs I have known for years, she kept to herself most of the time.

My shep is really good with her because he is a little bigger about 70 lbs and is pretty good with reading other dogs. He lets her "play" but will give a warning growl when she flops on top of him (once again it's her balance). As long as they are both laying down together playing they are very good.

Jewel
04-20-2010, 07:33 AM
The poor lab! Do you know if she's expected to recover full mobility? So glad she's pending adoption already!

grtpyrlvr
04-20-2010, 12:05 PM
The poor lab! Do you know if she's expected to recover full mobility? So glad she's pending adoption already!

She id not receive vet care as she came from a shelter in NC to the rescue that I work with. I made an appt for her on Friday to get her hips X-ray'd and get an evaluation fully on her. She can run but she hops with both back feet. Honestly I feel for what she has went through, that she gets around pretty well. With the exception of when she is playing and "acidently" falls on another dog etc.

I bought winter a muzzle so I could work with the both of them without placing the lab in danger. It seems to of calmed her down a bit. I am hoping it's makes her a little less reactive if the lab accidentally leans on her. Unfortunately when winter starts growling and lunging it sets off that whole viscous cycly between the 2 of them. I am sure due to her disability the lab feels a little threatened when she is growled at.

I am going to ask about possible water therapy for her to streghten those back legs a little bit.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=279905&id=100000190969881

Here they are the day before the brawl started LOL

grtpyrlvr
04-22-2010, 01:52 PM
Just a little update it might help some others who are introducing new dogs to their "pack". I took it down to basic pack instinct. We take 2-3 mile walks together with them behind or beside me daily. When we get home I hold the water bowl and they all share the water with me holding it. Then I have started hand feeding all the dogs while they are sitting or in a down position. This seems to of really helped as Winter is "tolerating" our foster dog without problem. They are not "in love" with each other but she realizes that she is "mine" and you have to behave.

They get 3 similar walks a day like this where we all are working together "as a pack". We have also been very careful to keep the excitement level down. Since winter is a puppy she is quick to excite and "forget" her training. However so far so good.

I do have to say I miss my cuddle sessions with both my dogs :( It's just to big of a chance that a fight will break out if I lay down and "snuggle" them. Keep your fingers crossed that this is a "one" time thing and the next foster gets along much better LOL