New Subj Line: CL puppy having puppies - help needed from experienced pup raisers
Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post here. I've been reading threads the past couple days and wanted to see if any of you had words of advice for me:
We recently adopted a 9 month old female german shepherd, Heidi about 11 days ago. We introduced her to our 3 year old resident dog, Sasha (shepherd mix), at a park and the introductions went smoothly. (We adopted Sasha a couple years ago from a shelter as well). After the walkings and introduction, we came home and crated her and slowly introduced Heidi to the new house and when she wasn't out, she was in the crate as we didn't want to overwhelm her. At times, we did let her out with Sasha (both on leashes), however, I quickly noticed that Heidi seemed to be guarding my husband or me and didn't seem to want Sasha to come near us when she was 'guarding?' us? There were a few instances in which they growled at each other and we corrected and separated them. We brought Heidi to the vet for a checkover, etc. and she says that Heidi may be in heat, she is either come into it or coming out of it. We are bringing her back next Friday for another checkup. We were hoping to have her spayed as soon as we could but now have to wait to be sure.
On Tuesday, Heidi attacked Sasha, and both my husband and Sasha needed stitches. Both were on each side of my husband while he was on the floor looking in the cabinet (something he shouldn't have done or allowed to happen I think), and suddenly Heidi just went for Sasha's neck. There was blood everywhere from both my husband and Sasha. It was one of the scariest things I've witnessed, and I never want to see it happen again.
I've spoken with a behaviorist who was recommended by a friend, and he believes that once she is spayed, her jealously and aggression will diminish if not go away all together. I hope he is correct. She is completely fine with my husband and my children, no aggression whatsoever during play or food. We keep them separate when we play because any excitement seems to also cause Heidi to go after Sasha. It's a definite juggling act.
While I was out today, apparently Sasha hopped over the couch to get to my husband and Heidi lunged for her who was sitting nearby (I've told my husband to not let Heidi guard him, as she will try to do to both of us). Luckily no serious damage was done this time, except that Sasha went and hid under my daughter's bed upstairs and is even more skittish. They had been tolerating and ignoring each other the past few days until the incident tonight. My 10 year old son is extremely upset and doesn't want to keep Heidi. He is very attacked to Sasha and this is hard for him to watch.
We are obviously wanting to have her spayed but cannot until we know for sure when she is out of heat. I'm wondering though, is the behaviorist right, that her aggression towards Sasha will decrease? When we have had them together in the house, we are watching them and quickly try to redirect or correct any time either get excited or if Heidi looks like she was going to bite Sasha (I was able to correct Heidi when she tried to go after Sasha as I was putting Heidi's walking collar on and Sasha got excited because she thought she was going too (she couldn't because her collar would rub on her stitches so she couldn't go)).
Unfortunately I don't know much about her background. We adopted her through a friend of a friend, and we were told she was friendly with all dogs, kids, cats, etc. That seems to be true except for the fighting between her and Sasha. I'm also worried about Sasha and how this is affecting her.
If there is any advice you can give us, I would greatly appreciate it. I'm so stressed over this. I've been on so many websites and some say the spaying will help, others say it won't. She appears to be somewhat trained, she knows a few commands, and will listen if we say no. But once she starts going after Heidi, there has just been no stopping her.
This will be our second german shepherd, our first one died at 11.5 years. We love this breed and feel she can be a great companion for our family. Some of our friends and family think we should just give her up or put her down. We don't want to do either. But I won't lie that this isn't stressing me right now. We are going to keep them separate as much as possible with switching them in crates, etc. Is there anything else we should be doing? Or do we need to keep doing this until Heidi gets the okay to be spayed? Would having a muzzle on her while she is around Sasha help?? I've never used one or had to.
If you got to the end of this, I appreciate it.