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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I adopted an 11 month old F GSD (not spayed) who is very skittish- raised in a barn to be a breeder. She has been in the home for 10 days separated in the basement to get calmed down and used to me. I spent at least a few hours downstairs bonding everyday with her also long walks and taking Chopper the male Rottie (neutered)7 years old down daily and putting him in his crate away from her so they can at least see each other. I have a 14 year old Chi that loves everyone and is very dog savvy so she keeps her distance and acts like she doesn't notice Cairo.

Yesterday morning I decided she seemed to have calmed down over the week. I really felt it was time to bring her upstairs to be a part of normal life. All the dogs have a huge crate of their own in the livingroom to spend time in. Basically I read everything on the Crate and Rotate process and am doing it. My home is not huge and the livingroom is basically 25x20.

Cairo the 11 month old is not dog reactive but in her crate if a dog gets within 4 feet of it she snarls and acts like she wants to eat them. In my mind I truly feel she is bluffing and it's out of fear she is behaving that way. I don't allow him to mess with her in the crate. The closest he's been is 4 feet. He just minds his own business. While in her crate she eats well, sleeps and relaxes.

I guess what I am asking is this a normal behavior from Cairo? How long did it take before the reactiveness settled down and the dogs started to accept each other? I'm not trying to rush things - just don't want to push her too far too fast. On the other hand I feel she needs to be socialized and exposed to my dogs.
 

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Some dogs are fence fighters and will do this even if they are fine with dogs with no barrier in between.

They usually don't stop doing it after exposure, in fact it could get worse. So if that's the new dog's deal she may be best off only being crated in isolation or only crated if you make sure the other dogs don't get within the "zone"

You're doing the right thing in the way you're trying to acclimate the new dog, but unfortunately if she has barrier aggression it isn't going to work right.
 

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I've never seen a dog get better about reactiveness without intervention. If the other dogs are staying away, Cairo's strategy is working and she has no reason to change it.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you..

Some dogs are fence fighters and will do this even if they are fine with dogs with no barrier in between.

They usually don't stop doing it after exposure, in fact it could get worse. So if that's the new dog's deal she may be best off only being crated in isolation or only crated if you make sure the other dogs don't get within the "zone"

You're doing the right thing in the way you're trying to acclimate the new dog, but unfortunately if she has barrier aggression it isn't going to work right.

Thanks for your input..I am really hoping it's just an adjustment period. I am definitely going to keep in mind what you said

Fingers-crossed.
 

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I've never seen a dog get better about reactiveness without intervention. If the other dogs are staying away, Cairo's strategy is working and she has no reason to change it.

Good luck.
What can I do to change it? Yesterday was a big change for her. From what I have read sometimes it can take weeks for dogs in foster situations to adjust to being around other dogs and not reacting.
 

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I've never seen a dog get better about reactiveness without intervention. If the other dogs are staying away, Cairo's strategy is working and she has no reason to change it.

Good luck.
 

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Do you have access to an experienced trainer? Try to find someone who has worked successfully with similar issues. Counter conditioning takes time and skill and if you do it incorrectly you can end up sensitizing the dog to their trigger.



10 days is also a very short period of time. The dog is not even adjusted yet and likely hasn't really bonded to anyone yet. It can take months for a rescue to truly adjust to a new home and feel comfortable in it. If she is not okay with your other dog near her crate then keep him away, don't put her in a position to rehearse aggressive behavior. If your other dogs will not stay away set up an ex pen around the crate so your other dogs can not approach it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you have access to an experienced trainer? Try to find someone who has worked successfully with similar issues. Counter conditioning takes time and skill and if you do it incorrectly you can end up sensitizing the dog to their trigger.



10 days is also a very short period of time. The dog is not even adjusted yet and likely hasn't really bonded to anyone yet. It can take months for a rescue to truly adjust to a new home and feel comfortable in it. If she is not okay with your other dog near her crate then keep him away, don't put her in a position to rehearse aggressive behavior. If your other dogs will not stay away set up an ex pen around the crate so your other dogs can not approach it.
Thank you! Yes I put up a barrier in front of her crate so there is zone around it. He has been very respectful of her space and not crowded at all. I am very happy with his response to her. He turns his head and walks away. Not even a bark back at her.

I am really hoping it's an adjustment period but if not I have a trainer that I trust to work with her.
 

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If you do research into the "7-day shut down," the rescue people involved "that breed that shall not be named" seem to say the shut-down should happen in a separate room, away from other dogs. Their breed has a reputation for dog reactivity, so I think that they may be onto something with reactive dogs -- being away from other dogs for a few days means the cortisol levels can come down from their elevated levels (from being in a strange place) without feeling vulnerable to other dogs. They know they're around but don't have to interact -- at least at first. It's stages of expectations.

With dog-friendly dogs, I've always done the shut down in an area where they can see and smell my dogs, but I don't let my dogs go up to the kennel. I want to control the introduction, later. I just want them absorbing the routine of our household, without the stress of having to wonder what to do or how to fit in. Some foster dogs are ready to participate in the household in just 3 days. Others take a couple of weeks.

The real challenge though are the dogs who don't know how to speak dog. They react because they're confused, and it's really hard to get them un-confused. My trainer does it over time using a stable pack in a large-field socialization exercise. I hope that's not what you're dealing with, but be alert to it.

I do really think the "shutdown" has enormous value for these kind of dogs. I came to it as a skeptic thinking it wouldn't make any difference, and I'm now 100% convinced that it makes a BIG difference in their transition. It probably won't solve dog reactivity though -- it just transitions them into your home and give you a chance to work with them with less fear and stress.

Anyway, food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
If you do research into the "7-day shut down," the rescue people involved "that breed that shall not be named" seem to say the shut-down should happen in a separate room, away from other dogs. Their breed has a reputation for dog reactivity, so I think that they may be onto something with reactive dogs -- being away from other dogs for a few days means the cortisol levels can come down from their elevated levels (from being in a strange place) without feeling vulnerable to other dogs. They know they're around but don't have to interact -- at least at first. It's stages of expectations.

With dog-friendly dogs, I've always done the shut down in an area where they can see and smell my dogs, but I don't let my dogs go up to the kennel. I want to control the introduction, later. I just want them absorbing the routine of our household, without the stress of having to wonder what to do or how to fit in. Some foster dogs are ready to participate in the household in just 3 days. Others take a couple of weeks.

The real challenge though are the dogs who don't know how to speak dog. They react because they're confused, and it's really hard to get them un-confused. My trainer does it over time using a stable pack in a large-field socialization exercise. I hope that's not what you're dealing with, but be alert to it.

I do really think the "shutdown" has enormous value for these kind of dogs. I came to it as a skeptic thinking it wouldn't make any difference, and I'm now 100% convinced that it makes a BIG difference in their transition. It probably won't solve dog reactivity though -- it just transitions them into your home and give you a chance to work with them with less fear and stress.

Anyway, food for thought.
Thank you! Lots of great info there. Have done lots of reading on that once I realized how unsocialized she was with people. She was around lots of dogs where she came from. Day 1 one had her in a shutdown period for 10 days in the basement. For 7 days, no interaction with anyone but me and the vet's office - couldn't help that one as she need her shots. Over the last 3 days I have allowed Chopper downstairs in his crate (15 feet away) for 30 minutes so they could see each other. Everything seem to go well with that.

BTW- at the Vet's office she was very dog friendly- no reactiveness at all and we saw all types dogs. Just normal dog reactions. I had to snap at a guy who was carrying a puppy and walking a Chi on a flex-leash and he thought it was funny when his Chi walked right up to Cairo' butt and started jumping on her. Actually, she even saw a cat and didn't attempt to go after it.
I am giving her time. She is a smart dog and has seemed to bond to me as much as she could in a short amount of time. Before she flinched when I touched her. Now she sort of leans into me to be touched.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In case anyone is following this drama. "Wink"

Just came back from a long walk with Cairo. 2 Weiner dogs ran up on us, owner let them out to potty- didn't see us. They circled Cairo and she just looked at them- and sat down.
She seems to have a good grasp on dog lingo.

The trainer is coming over this week to walk Cairo and I am going to walk Chopper. He said to keep Cairo and Chopper apart and just let her observe the daily house happenings. I am really praying Cairo is able to relax and become part of my household.
 

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I adopted an 11 month old F GSD (not spayed) who is very skittish- raised in a barn to be a breeder. She has been in the home for 10 days separated in the basement to get calmed down and used to me. I spent at least a few hours downstairs bonding everyday with her also long walks and taking Chopper the male Rottie (neutered)7 years old down daily and putting him in his crate away from her so they can at least see each other. I have a 14 year old Chi that loves everyone and is very dog savvy so she keeps her distance and acts like she doesn't notice Cairo.

Yesterday morning I decided she seemed to have calmed down over the week. I really felt it was time to bring her upstairs to be a part of normal life. All the dogs have a huge crate of their own in the livingroom to spend time in. Basically I read everything on the Crate and Rotate process and am doing it. My home is not huge and the livingroom is basically 25x20.

Cairo the 11 month old is not dog reactive but in her crate if a dog gets within 4 feet of it she snarls and acts like she wants to eat them. In my mind I truly feel she is bluffing and it's out of fear she is behaving that way. I don't allow him to mess with her in the crate. The closest he's been is 4 feet. He just minds his own business. While in her crate she eats well, sleeps and relaxes.

I guess what I am asking is this a normal behavior from Cairo? How long did it take before the reactiveness settled down and the dogs started to accept each other? I'm not trying to rush things - just don't want to push her too far too fast. On the other hand I feel she needs to be socialized and exposed to my dogs.

I read the whole thread, your dog is not reactive. Want you describe is generally called kennel aggression or barrier aggression. It's really common and you are likely correct, she's bluffing. I can name you a couple dozen dogs that have stayed in my house that do exactly the same thing. I can name you one that actually meant business.
Shadow behaves like she would eat you if you get near her crate, open the door and she is all kisses and cuddles. Lex, one of my previous dogs, acted like Cujo if other dogs approached her crate and she loved other dogs and had not a mean bone in her body.
Look up crate aggression.
Even Sabi enjoyed a round of fence fighting now and again, something about barriers makes some dogs react oddly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good to know!

I read the whole thread, your dog is not reactive. Want you describe is generally called kennel aggression or barrier aggression. It's really common and you are likely correct, she's bluffing. I can name you a couple dozen dogs that have stayed in my house that do exactly the same thing. I can name you one that actually meant business.
Shadow behaves like she would eat you if you get near her crate, open the door and she is all kisses and cuddles. Lex, one of my previous dogs, acted like Cujo if other dogs approached her crate and she loved other dogs and had not a mean bone in her body.
Look up crate aggression.
Even Sabi enjoyed a round of fence fighting now and again, something about barriers makes some dogs react oddly.
Thank you so much for putting a label on what I am experiencing. She is clearly timid dog and I think this is how she is dealing with her new (but hopefully in her mind better at some point) living situation. I work from home (live alone too) and I am basically 7 feet within both dogs most of the day. I give them both freeze dried liver treats to both of them occasionally during the day and she feels relaxed enough to eat and sleep soundly. So, I am thinking she is coming around.

I am googling like a fiend right now on kennel aggression. Thanks! :x
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Went on our first "Pack Walk" today. All went well. I walked Cairo behind Chopper for a half a mile. Then we switched up with Chopper in the back. For the mile walk back both dogs were about 10 feet, then 8 feet, then 6 feet, then 4 feet apart walking side by side.
We are going to walk them everyday this week and see how they are doing.

Trainer said there is no dog aggression at all that they see. Small steps.
 
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