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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Default Dog Dilemna: Opinions wanted

    Ok, so my friend and his fiancee, both in their 40's, who live in a small apartment in the city, adopted two Vizsla/German Shepherd mix puppies, one male, one female. And guess what? It's not working out. Either dog is manageable by itself, but the two of them together go nuts whenever they see another dog. The male is aggressive with other dogs and shies away from and/or growls at other humans. The female is not aggressive by herself, but when they are walked together, they are a bad influence on each other. So they have to be walked separately. These dogs need a lot of walking.

    They can't have people over because they are afraid the dogs will hurt them.

    The fiancee says it was a mistake to get them both, that they should find a good home for one of them.

    My friend says it could get better. They are fine at home. In a couple of months, they will put each one in a different doggie day care, so since they behave when they are separated, they will each be fine in their own day care. And these issues will work themselves out.

    What do you all think? What would you do in this situation?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Saslou's Avatar
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    Although slightly different, my mum somewhat recently brought a Bengal kitten for £395. Being little tigers, it turned out to be crazy. It would dart for you and at the last minute turn thus the scaring the living daylights out of you. Would try and climb the wall to attack the clock. Attacked people and the rest of it. (He was called Zenrawr, i personally called him ADHD)

    My mum held in there for 2 months thinking that if she gave him up, she's some how failed as he was cute and adorable (when asleep) but in the end she had to do right by the kitten and took him back to the breeder. She didn't even ask for the money back. Turns out his behaviour was down to living in a small house, protecting the home thus attacking people on arrival and bored to death as my mum didn't want him to go out and possibly get kidnapped.

    In the case of the dogs, i would think that being in a small apartment, they are bored so when they get the opportunity to walk outdoors they are going in crazy mode. I think the owners have to ask themselves what's in the best interest of the dogs?
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
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  3. #3
    Member Undeclared's Avatar
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    Any dog can cooperate if they are trained properly. My sister in law works at a kennel and trains dogs too. She has a Pitbull right now and its a beast, but its also the nicest dog you've ever met xD. He listens very well.

  4. #4
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think I would look for a local "dog whisperer" type trainer first, to make sure there's nothing they could do to facilitate their getting along.

    Though it does seem like it would be better if the two dogs didn't live together. Perhaps they could seek a german shepherd rescue group and offer a cash donation upon surrendering the pup, so as not to add to the problem.
    Something Witty

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    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    if it's not too hard to choose they could just pick one to keep since it's the together thing thats the problem or they could try training classes and make sure they're getting enough doggy socialization from going to dog parks n such.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  6. #6
    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    I echo the above but simplify with two words.
    Dog Trainer
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  7. #7
    Senior Member giegs's Avatar
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    Hold dog by muzzle.
    Flip it on its back and hold it.
    Scold, but don't repeat yourself.

    Repeat until obedience is achieved. This has worked for every dog I've had to deal with. The synergy of two dogs may make it less effective, but who knows.

    Their solution doesn't seem like the issues will work themselves out. It seems like the issues will be compartmentalized so they don't have to address the need for proper training.

  8. #8
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Dog trainer is the best idea upfront.
    But, some people don't have the will power or volition to apply the training once the trainer's work is done.
    If this is the case, it would be best to find one of the animals a good home.
    Pets are supposed to enrich your life, not be a burden.
    An aggressive canine is a liability, not a gift.
    If someone ends up with an aggressive animal and doesn't have the balls to get it in shape I would rather they find it a good home than try half-assed to tame it and then fail only to have a local toddler mauled and scarred for life because of their inabilty to control the animal.
    It's easy to preach from the high road on this issue, that is if you've never been there before .
    When I was in 9th grade my Mom and Dad bought a Siberian Husky.
    He was a beautiful dog, but he grew to be the prototypical alpha male.
    They spent a ton of money with professional dog trainers to try and tame him.
    All was well until something registered over and above the normal level of stimulation they were used to.
    Once that happened he tore free and did whatever the hell he wanted.
    He stole a sandwich right from my brother's hands and growled fiercely while he ate it.
    He ate all the leather inserts out of my Father's Bostonian business shoes as a snack one day.
    The next door neighbor's kid was a little piss ant and teased the dog through ourt fence.
    One day when he ran past our dog the Husky bit the boy's hand.
    Shortly after he mauled the same neighbor's poodle after it pissed in our front yard and the lawn guys accidentally left the side gate to our yard open.
    Once the poodle was mauled we gave him to a carpenter that did work on our house, and who had a big yard in the country.
    The Husky turned on his wife, she was pregnant at the time.
    He brought the Husky back to us and let us know what happened.
    He was not fit to live amongst people.
    We had no choice but to have him put down.
    It broke my heart to take him to his death, buit it would have hurt more if the Husky would have mauled or killed a child in our neighborhood.
    And that is exactly what he would have done if he wanted to provided he had the opportunity.
    We did everything possible to spare him, but not everything is within your control, and you have to know when to call the cards in favor of your pet, or that of the greater good of mankind.



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  9. #9
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    They take each dog separately to the dog park. (The dogs are brother and sister, btw.) My friend seems to never really know when the dogs are playing and when his dog is being too aggressive. Sometimes I listen to him talk and wonder if he ever actually had a dog before. I'm also perplexed at getting a Viszla/Shepherd mix and then wondering why it guards against strangers so aggressively. I just don't see these as apartment city living dogs. Am I wrong about this?

    I offered to call Caesar Milan and my friend had a conniption, says he never ever wants to be on tv and especially not to be known as the guy who was stupid about his dog. I'm thinking, that's not why I like that show! Do you think of that show as being about people who are stupid with dogs? I think of it as being about how to handle problem animals. Anyway, there appears to be significant ego involvement around feelings of incompetence/shame about incompetence, ditto about (I think) not wanting to admit a mistake. But I'm worried about what this is going to do to their relationship, which equals his happiness. To me that's the issue to focus on. I'm thinking get rid of both dogs and get a cat, or get one calm, docile, friendly breed of dog. Is this horrible?

    P.S. I'm also thinking maybe it's better if I bite my lip, because of the ego involvement. My conscience of the obligations of friendship makes me want to offer one good, solid, well-thought-out suggestion and then leave it, and whatever else he says, smile and nod. But to me this seems like a nip it in the bud situation. He's engaged, they're living together, and they've had these dogs just a few weeks and are arguing already, and having to walk them separately. They're both busy professionals ... ugh! Hopeless!

  10. #10
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    Why on earth would you get even one large-breed and active dog when you live in a small apartment? These people should start by either re-homing both dogs and finding a pet more appropriate to their lifestyle or moving to a more suitable location. It's entirely possible that the lack of space alone is causing behaviour problems.

    The next step I would take is a minimum of two long walks each per day, preferably in off-leash areas. Since they have no place to run at home, they need to run elsewhere, which is unlikely to happen to the extent needed while on-leash. Beyond that, many dogs behave better (less aggressive/overly submissive, more aware of their walker) when off-leash.

    From there I would look at some obedience training. 10 minutes each per day of positively reinforced training works wonders. The most important thing during this training is that the dog learns to look to people for guidance and be constantly aware of them. A good exercise is to simply say the dog's name, and give praise or a treat when the dog makes eye contact. From there the reward could come if the dog shows awareness for longer periods, or just intermittently. It doesn't seem particularly praise-worthy, but all obedience is built on underlying awareness (ie, the dog isn't listening if it isn't paying attention).

    As for the specific behaviour problems, what you're describing occurs when the dog just isn't sure what is expected and who's in charge. The female is afraid (feeling insecure/unprotected), which suggests that she's not convinced her owner will protect her. The male senses the same thing, so he is filling the protector role. The owner has to step up and make both dogs feel comfortable and secure. He could do this by introducing them slowly to situations that bring out the insecurity (I would start with visitors to the house) while maintaining strict control over the situation.

    I would wait until the dogs both have good awareness and obey a 'down' command when distracted. Then, have someone knock on the door, and put both in a 'down' then answer. Invite the new person in, and then call the dogs over, one at a time, and introduce them. If the dog exhibits any even remotely aggressive behaviour, either correct the behaviour or repeat the exercise as needed. Similar exercises can be used while walking or being introduced to new dogs.

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