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Older Dog Injuring New Puppy

ccoa
August 28th, 2010, 08:24 AM
Hello there! I am in desperate need of some advice.

About 6 months ago, my 4-year old lab Jasmine died from the heart condition she'd been fighting her whole life. We still had our 10 year old lab Bear, but we decided not to get any more dogs for a while.

However, when I was at a local craft fair a nice couple came by with a beautiful pair of Alaskan Huskies. They offered to trade one of their litter for a necklace I'd made, and in a moment of weakness I said yes.

Akira was 9 weeks old at the time we brought her home. We introduced the two dogs slowly, and Bear seemed friendly and interested in the new puppy. He had been very good with Jasmine as a puppy and is an extremely well behaved and obedient dog, so we let them play together after about two days of sniffing at each other through the dog crate. Bear seemed patient and happy about the puppy, allowing her to climb over him and pounce on his tail.

About 5 days after this, out of the blue, he attacked her. He has never attacked anyone before, dog or human. He bit her head so hard she nearly died, and may have neurological problems the rest of her life - one eye doesn't function and there is paralysis and weakness on her left side. It took her two weeks of recovery just to be able to walk again.

We were devastated, but thought it might have been something the puppy did accidentally, like biting him somewhere sensitive. After we brought her home, he acted the same way towards her as before - friendly and interested (although this time, we kept them separate at all times).

However, two days ago my youngest son let Kira out of her crate to play while Bear was still in the house. He had her favorite toy. I didn't see what happened, but from what he said Bear just attacked her out of nowhere while she was trying to get the toy. This time she got lucky - two stitches in her forehead but no additional neurological damage.

At this point I am still keeping them strictly separate, with Kira always crated when Bear is around and a lock on the crate to prevent children from opening it. My vet has told me I must rehome one, but no one is interested in taking poor Kira since her vet bills are likely to be very high in the months to come and she is likely to be partially disabled for life. Bear has been a part of our family for 10 years, and parting with him would be like giving away a child.

Is there any way I can get these dogs to be safe around each other, at least enough that I don't have to lock one up just to take one through the house and out the door? I'm really at a loss what to do about this situation.

catlover2
August 28th, 2010, 10:11 AM
I don't have any advice but I sympathize with your dilemma, and hope things can get turned around quickly with your Lab to accept this pup. I'm sure you'll get some good feedback from some of our dog experts.

LavenderRott
August 28th, 2010, 03:23 PM
Just out of curiosity, did you take your older dog to the vet?

From what you have written, this behavior is completely out of character and came on rather suddenly. I can't help but wonder if there is something going on, medically, with your older dog. If so - then treatment should clear things up for you.

If there is nothing medically wrong with your older dog - then I think you will be much better off keeping these two separate. The injuries to your puppy are VERY severe (as you well know, I am sure!) and not the normal "older dog correcting younger dog" type of injury.

we3beagles
August 28th, 2010, 10:33 PM
I have been going through the same thing with my foster dog and my dog Kobi. They lived and played together for months and then all of a sudden the foster attacked Kobi for no reason whatsoever. After that they couldn't be together or they would kill each other. I have had my fair share of agressive dogs and usually after a fight they walk away and forget all about it. Kobi and my foster held a 6 month grudge. I asked a behaviourist friend of mine that said when they hold a grudge like that they won't get over it and I should find a new foster home which was next to Impossible. I would sugggest finding a new home for the puppy for her safety. Otherwise, you might try getting a behaviourist involved. Who knows, she might have a successful method my friend has never seen. If so please share. I tried everything from taking walks together to positively reinforcing every sight of each other and nothing worked. Will no rescues help you rehome the puppy? Poor little pup. Maybe it's just too soon for your older guy and he still misses your heart dog?

ccoa
August 30th, 2010, 07:50 AM
I've scheduled a vet appointment for him, we'll see what they say. He isn't displaying any abnormal behavior or symptoms besides this, but it's possible and would present a potentially easy solution if so. If nothing else, I can talk to my vet about possible solutions or behavior modification training.

The only animal rescue organization in my area is the Humane Society. I have talked to them, they can't help me rehome her unless I turn her in. However, they have told me they don't give her good odds of being adopted with her medical difficulties, and that their policy is to euthanize any animal whose vet bills exceed a certain amount. I don't really care for those odds. I have been keeping her in the paper, Craig's List, and Freecycle for the area, but although several people call each day, none of them want her after I explain exactly what the medical problems and care she needs are.

As far as I know, there are no dog behaviorists in this area. Small towns tend to have fewer specialists.

I'm curious if part of the problem is that Bear was never neutered? He was a gift, but he came from very expensive bloodlines and many local breeders expressed interest when he was a puppy in his stud services, so we have left him unaltered and "rented" him out to them through the years. Jasmine was spayed and our yard is pretty escape-proof, so it was never really a problem for us. Would getting him neutered now make a difference, or is it too late or not a problem?

BenMax
August 30th, 2010, 08:35 AM
I have no idea what rescue groups are out there in the US but if you really look into it you should be able to find one that will take in special needs dogs. Since this pup is a purebred, you can also google breed specific rescue groups. It may cost you alittle in transport if they accept, but I think that this would be well worth it.

I am the last person to tell anyone to re-home an animal but in your case, I think that you need to do this. A shelter will euthanize the pup no doubt, so I encourage you to really try very hard on finding a rescue group to help. Please do not put on any other media such as craigslist as this is very dangerous for the pup.

Is this puppy blind or visually impaired? If so, then I can give you information on an excellent rescue group in Canada, but you will have to network this yourself. Let me know and I will give you the necessary information.

ccoa
August 30th, 2010, 08:51 AM
She's not a purebred - there is no such thing as a purebred Alaskan Husky. The term is a catch-all for Siberian Husky/Malamute/Samoyed/Eskimo Dog/Eurohound mutts that pull sleds.

There are rescue organizations in the US, but I have no money to travel to them or ship to them thanks to Kira's vet bills, and there are certainly none here in rural Montana. The closest seems to be in Bozeman, which is over a 7 hour drive with no stops - which would entail gas, food, and lodging for me and two kids just to travel there. They have no extra money to come to me, either.

Her $2000+ vet bills have tapped out my emergency funds and any spending money I have (including money for several bills which are now late) and I do not own any credit cards nor do I have the credit to get a loan to drive to civilization. The only reason I can afford to take Bear to the vet is because they are willing to allow me to pay for it later.

I do realize it would be best for her to rehome her (I'm not a selfish idiot), but I really don't see a way to do so right this moment. I am going to continue to call and email around, but right now I'd like advice to keep her safe until I can and/or if I can't.

EDIT: Orwellian editing, ho! She is visually impaired right now, but her vision continues to improve and we are uncertain if she will make a full recovery or not - it's a matter of waiting. I can only send her to a Canadian organization if they are willing to meet me stateside - I do not have a passport and it does take a while to get one. Plus the same problems of money to travel, unfortunately.

BenMax
August 30th, 2010, 09:10 AM
She's not a purebred - there is no such thing as a purebred Alaskan Husky. The term is a catch-all for Siberian Husky/Malamute/Samoyed/Eskimo Dog/Eurohound mutts that pull sleds.

There are rescue organizations in the US, but I have no money to travel to them or ship to them thanks to Kira's vet bills, and there are certainly none here in rural Montana. The closest seems to be in Bozeman, which is over a 7 hour drive with no stops - which would entail gas, food, and lodging for me and two kids just to travel there. They have no extra money to come to me, either.

Her $2000+ vet bills have tapped out my emergency funds and any spending money I have (including money for several bills which are now late) and I do not own any credit cards nor do I have the credit to get a loan to drive to civilization. The only reason I can afford to take Bear to the vet is because they are willing to allow me to pay for it later.

I do realize it would be best for her to rehome her (I'm not a selfish idiot), but I really don't see a way to do so right this moment. I am going to continue to call and email around, but right now I'd like advice to keep her safe until I can and/or if I can't.

EDIT: Orwellian editing, ho! She is visually impaired right now, but her vision continues to improve and we are uncertain if she will make a full recovery or not - it's a matter of waiting. I can only send her to a Canadian organization if they are willing to meet me stateside - I do not have a passport and it does take a while to get one. Plus the same problems of money to travel, unfortunately.

Sorry that you have misinterpreted my comments as I was not referring you to a selfish idiot. I am however confused then by your thread if you are or are not interested in sourcing out a rescue or are you waiting for a full recovery to keep?

Good luck with whatever your decision is.

ccoa
August 30th, 2010, 09:24 AM
Right now I am attempting to rehome her while facilitating her recovery. I've been calling and emailing rescue organizations and no-kill shelters that I discover. I want to keep her safe until such a time as I can afford to send her somewhere or can find a good home, but that's looking like it will be at least a month. Possibly more, shipping a dog is ridiculously expensive and I nearly bankrupted myself this last month.

However, after spending so much time and money nursing the dog, I love her very much. The best possible outcome would be a method by which I could keep both dogs. Watching her fight every day to push her boundaries is moving in a way words can't describe. I was hoping that someone would have a way to make this work.