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Old 12-02-2012, 07:50 PM   #21 (permalink)
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yvette she is in chicago area
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:37 AM   #22 (permalink)
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honestly i would return the dog to whoever you got her from. its not fair to your resident dog Sasha to be constantly on guard from heidi, not to mention your child seeing his dog attacked. there is no guarantee that heidi will calm down after spaying. sometimes some dogs just dont like other dogs of the same sex. it will be a crate/rotate life for the next 15 years if heidi doesnt calm down after spaying.
I've actually tried reaching the previous owner to see if Heidi had started to go in heat when they had her. However, she unfortunately (and tellingly?) won't respond to my calls or emails. While perusing the petfinder and Shepherd rescue sites, I decided to look on craigslist and that's where I found Heidi's ad. I spoke with the woman and she said that Heidi was her sister's dog and that her sister had surgery and couldn't care for her any longer. She said they wanted to keep Heidi, but that they had too many dogs already. Now, of course, I'm wondering if Heidi had been showing aggression towards their other dogs. She told me that Heidi was good with other dogs, cats, children, etc. And she is for the most part.

I go back and forth on what to do. It's been almost two weeks and there have been at least four fights between the two of them, two in which Sasha got injured. The first time was the stitches and second time this past Saturday was her ear got a little scraped.

My husband wants to see if she will improve after spaying, but I then I also think of Sasha practically tiptoeing and walking slow towards us in case Heidi sees her. He just wants to keep them separate with a gate until we know for sure what happens after she is fixed. But just breaks my heart to see Sasha so scared. My husband is going to talk with animal control and then a shepherd rescue to see what they think. I don't even care about the money that we've spent thus far anymore. I'm giving myself a migraine over all of this.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:40 AM   #23 (permalink)
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You need to get a good trainer on board. Ask the GSD rescue for a good trainer to help. And keep them separated so they can't even see each other if possible. 4 fights in 2 weeks has their stress hormones in high gear.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Interbitch/female-to-female aggression isn't uncommon. It's so not uncommon that the rescue shouldn't be surprised to hear of it.
I realize you've never seen it, pink, but it's very common and not a cause for concern unless you can't deal with it, or don't want to, and nobody would blame you for that, for the reasons listed above (Sasha's mental well-being and that of your son).

Do talk with the rescue, and if they have room, please consider surrendering her there.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I've actually tried reaching the previous owner to see if Heidi had started to go in heat when they had her. However, she unfortunately (and tellingly?) won't respond to my calls or emails. While perusing the petfinder and Shepherd rescue sites, I decided to look on craigslist and that's where I found Heidi's ad. I spoke with the woman and she said that Heidi was her sister's dog and that her sister had surgery and couldn't care for her any longer. She said they wanted to keep Heidi, but that they had too many dogs already. Now, of course, I'm wondering if Heidi had been showing aggression towards their other dogs. She told me that Heidi was good with other dogs, cats, children, etc. And she is for the most part.

I go back and forth on what to do. It's been almost two weeks and there have been at least four fights between the two of them, two in which Sasha got injured. The first time was the stitches and second time this past Saturday was her ear got a little scraped.

My husband wants to see if she will improve after spaying, but I then I also think of Sasha practically tiptoeing and walking slow towards us in case Heidi sees her. He just wants to keep them separate with a gate until we know for sure what happens after she is fixed. But just breaks my heart to see Sasha so scared. My husband is going to talk with animal control and then a shepherd rescue to see what they think. I don't even care about the money that we've spent thus far anymore. I'm giving myself a migraine over all of this.
We have been through a very similar situation to what your family is experiencing now. We adopted a 1.5 y/o female GSD off of craigslist, however she was spayed when we got her, and all introductions went well with our two other females so we took her home. Within a few months the GSD, Sasha, and our Cattle Dog mix, Scarlett, were true enemies. We worked and worked to try and figure out their issues, even getting to the point where we tried to re-home Sasha but were already too attached after a year of working with her to actually let her go (plus there were some other issues that kept her from being a good candidate for adoption.)

Since we adopted her 3 years ago, she has sent Scarlett to the ER vet for stitches or surgery 3 times and broken skin on both my fiancÚ and me twice while we were either trying to break them up or grabbing Sasha before she could get to Scarlett. They are now tentatively ok with each other as long as we are both there and each handle a dog. Otherwise, we crate and rotate.

Honestly, I would never do it again. Scarlett's once relaxing life has been turned upside down and even though she's fine and has learned to depend on me more, she's visibly happier when Sasha's not in the house. Not to mention, the girls fighting caused enough tension between the two adults in the household that we rarely fought about anything else. I couldn't imagine having to explain to a child why his best friend is now living on eggshells

Find a good trainer, get Heidi spayed, see if you can work it out, but it's my two cents and my experience that makes me feel like it's just not worth having two bitches in the house that you are constantly having to monitor and worry about. Especially if there is the option to re-home her to a good home with no other females or dogs. Good luck with whatever decision you make!
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:05 PM   #26 (permalink)
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We have been through a very similar situation to what your family is experiencing now. We adopted a 1.5 y/o female GSD off of craigslist, however she was spayed when we got her, and all introductions went well with our two other females so we took her home. Within a few months the GSD, Sasha, and our Cattle Dog mix, Scarlett, were true enemies. We worked and worked to try and figure out their issues, even getting to the point where we tried to re-home Sasha but were already too attached after a year of working with her to actually let her go (plus there were some other issues that kept her from being a good candidate for adoption.)

Since we adopted her 3 years ago, she has sent Scarlett to the ER vet for stitches or surgery 3 times and broken skin on both my fiancÚ and me twice while we were either trying to break them up or grabbing Sasha before she could get to Scarlett. They are now tentatively ok with each other as long as we are both there and each handle a dog. Otherwise, we crate and rotate.

Honestly, I would never do it again. Scarlett's once relaxing life has been turned upside down and even though she's fine and has learned to depend on me more, she's visibly happier when Sasha's not in the house. Not to mention, the girls fighting caused enough tension between the two adults in the household that we rarely fought about anything else. I couldn't imagine having to explain to a child why his best friend is now living on eggshells

Find a good trainer, get Heidi spayed, see if you can work it out, but it's my two cents and my experience that makes me feel like it's just not worth having two bitches in the house that you are constantly having to monitor and worry about. Especially if there is the option to re-home her to a good home with no other females or dogs. Good luck with whatever decision you make!
Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear that. That's sort of how I envision it going for us. I keep waiting for my son to call me and say that Heidi did it again. I'm almost ready to say let's re-home her and give her to a GSD rescue that can put her in a good home. Maybe she needs to be an only dog because of her seemingly resource guarding with my husband. However, my husband wants to see how it goes as time goes on and once she's spayed.

He had them sitting together earlier today away from him while he was eating lunch (they would usually sit on each other side of him which obviously wasn't good). I really don't think they hate each other. Obviously Sasha is scared, but when my husband isn't involved, the two actually do get along okay. Well, they actually ignore each other for the most part, which is what we're aiming for. And they both sit by the front door together and watch birds and other dogs walk by. That's why I am hoping a trainer will help. I'm also going to cancel my training scheduled with Petsmart. She either already knew or has learned from us the basic commands (sit, stay, leave it, go potty, she's sooo smart). We need someone to help with behavioral obviously, not puppy socialization class.

If it happens again before then though, I'm not sure. I've grown attached to her, but it's too stressful for me and particularly on my son. I've seen my first and only dog fight at 40, and my son has now witnessed two within less than one week. That's too much for him. Luckily my 6 year old daughter is oblivious to it all thankfully. We knew adding a second dog would require work, we had expected difficulties, but not of this nature. It took almost 2 years before Sasha would come to us without peeing all over the place, and I don't want to get back to that because she is now hesitating to come to us when we call her now.

Thank you everyone for your advice and posts. I will keep you posted. Heidi goes for a vet visit on Friday to see if she's still in heat. And then we'll go from there.......
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:32 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Why do you take this risk with a small child? I would consider it a valuable but painful lesson and put your sanity and safety first.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:50 PM   #28 (permalink)
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You are not going to like to hear what I have to say on this, but your kid is way more important than this dog.

Yes it is dog-aggression and NOT people-aggression, BUT, if you kid is home and accidently releases the one dog at the wrong time, he can be as injured or more injured than your husband was, and I would not risk that.

I feel bad about this. I think it isn't resource-guarding because you haven't had her long enough to be that important. But I can't really be sure of that. I think this is same-sex aggression. Some bitches just do not get along. They are sneaky and violent, and you have already had serious injuries.

Spaying a bitch MIGHT reduce this if and ONLY if it was due to the elevated hormones during the heat. But bitches have memory. They are jealous, and once they decide they do not like another bitch, it is really NEVER safe to leave them alone together, or to let them lose unless you have two adults, not afraid to do what it takes to get them separated.

Why would you want to live life like that?

Spaying the bitch MIGHT make things worse as it can make bitches more reactive. And I don't think it helps with SSA at all. But that is just an opinion.

At this point, there is a 10-year-old child who is both in physical danger, if he tries to break up a bitch fight, and emotionally it can seriously do damage to how he feels about dogs in general.

Get rid of the new bitch. Send her back to where you got her from, or find a good rescue, or take her to a shelter -- last choice to be sure, but what is important, the most important is your kid's safety.

This dog isn't a bad dog. But she isn't right for your family.

Give it a few months, spend some time with each kid taking the dog you have to classes. Sign them up to train her in agility, or fly-ball, or herding. After a few months or even a year of working closely with the bitch you have, then go for a dog, or a dog-pup.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:55 PM   #29 (permalink)
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You are not going to like to hear what I have to say on this, but your kid is way more important than this dog.

Yes it is dog-aggression and NOT people-aggression, BUT, if you kid is home and accidently releases the one dog at the wrong time, he can be as injured or more injured than your husband was, and I would not risk that.

I feel bad about this. I think it isn't resource-guarding because you haven't had her long enough to be that important. But I can't really be sure of that. I think this is same-sex aggression. Some bitches just do not get along. They are sneaky and violent, and you have already had serious injuries.

Spaying a bitch MIGHT reduce this if and ONLY if it was due to the elevated hormones during the heat. But bitches have memory. They are jealous, and once they decide they do not like another bitch, it is really NEVER safe to leave them alone together, or to let them lose unless you have two adults, not afraid to do what it takes to get them separated.

Why would you want to live life like that?

Spaying the bitch MIGHT make things worse as it can make bitches more reactive. And I don't think it helps with SSA at all. But that is just an opinion.

At this point, there is a 10-year-old child who is both in physical danger, if he tries to break up a bitch fight, and emotionally it can seriously do damage to how he feels about dogs in general.

Get rid of the new bitch. Send her back to where you got her from, or find a good rescue, or take her to a shelter -- last choice to be sure, but what is important, the most important is your kid's safety.

This dog isn't a bad dog. But she isn't right for your family.

Give it a few months, spend some time with each kid taking the dog you have to classes. Sign them up to train her in agility, or fly-ball, or herding. After a few months or even a year of working closely with the bitch you have, then go for a dog, or a dog-pup.
This is what I tried to say in two sentences. Thanks for being honest, detailed and realistic and not afraid of stepping on someones toes/ego.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Oh, yeah, I also should say that the longer you keep this new bitch, the more attached, and the harder it will be to give her up. And the older she will be. I would let whoever you let her go to know that she has a problem with other female dogs. It will be hard on all of you, harder on all of you to wait another week or month, and then give her up.
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