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Hi everyone. My fiance and I recently adopted an 8 year old female purebred GSD rescue (60 lbs), who is not known to have any aggression issues with other animals or an overly traumatic past. We also have a 6 year old male pom-chi mix (about 11 lbs). We tested the two dogs together and everything seemed fine. After a two week trial, in which there was one minor incident when the pom-chi got in the GSD's face and the GSD warned him to back off, there was no aggression and the two seemed to be getting on very well. We have watched them closely and do not leave them unmonitored. Last night, the GSD began to stare very intensely at our smaller dog. This morning, as I was laying down and she was laying beside me, she unexpectedly sprang towards our pom-chi, who was on the floor, facing away. The GSD was growling loudly and turning in circles, trying to get to our pom-chi, who was yipping loudly, terrified, and moving away. The whole attack lasted maybe four seconds, as I separated them immediately, but could only do so by physically restraining the GSD. My pom chi was not hurt, but we're concerned that now that the GSD is settled into the home, she will begin to display more aggression. We feel we must return the GSD to the rescue (it's reputable and the dogs are well cared for), as we don't want to risk our smaller dog. Any advice?? Are we doing the right thing? My fiance is devastated and wants to keep her, but we are both concerned for our smaller dog.
 

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I'd return the dog to the rescue, unless you are fully able and willing to separate. This isn't an easy fix.

Agree ^^^...your pom-chi could be killed in an instant.if you drop your guard....some larger breed dogs don't do well with smaller dogs that have "attitudes"....
 

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Unfortunately, you don't know anything about this dog. You've only had her for a few weeks. Worst case scenario....you can constantly monitor them but all it takes is 1 second for the GSD to grab the Pom and shake/bite it. And before you can get it out of the GSD's mouth, the Pom could be dead. At that point would you still keep the GSD? Probably not. And would a rescue take a dog that just killed another? Probably not. Some sort of law enforcement and/or dog rescue would have to put it down after it killed another, I suspect. So save the life of your Pom and this GSD and return her. Give someone else a shot at this dog...one that doesn't have a small dog in the household. Oh, and make sure you tell the rescue that this GSD should not go to a household with a small dog. We thank you for trying to save a GSD. Maybe someday...
 

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The honey moon is over and your Pom's life is in danger. Return the GSD and enjoy your peace again with your little dog.
 

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No matter how quick you react to a situation, it will most likely be too late to prevent injury or worse. Contact the rescue with the details and return her.
 

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I agree with everyone else and I know how disappointed you must be :( This is not your fault, look up "post adoption shut down periods" for dogs. It is a well documented phenomenon where you honestly do not see a dog's full traits until they settle and feel comfortable enough to be themselves. Typically 3 to 4 weeks.

You said "no known dog aggression" which leads me to believe it wasn't thoroughly tested. BEST bet for someone with other animals and/or kids in the house when adopting- go through a rescue that adopts out dogs that have been fostered in a home for at least a month. In your case, look to dogs that have been fostered in multi dog foster homes. A good foster will be able to tell you how they are with other animals etc.

Sorry this happened this way for you. If they really are a reputable rescue they will take her back and then place her as an only dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you so much for the responses, everyone! They were very helpful and made us feel less guilty/ more at peace about having to part with the GSD. She's a wonderful dog and sweet girl and we hope she finds a loving home, but we understand that her home cannot be with us. We very much hope to find a more compatible GSD in the (distant, post small dog) future! We will certainly alert the rescue that she needs to be placed in a home without other pets. I'm so glad we got this advice before something worse happened.
 
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