At loss on what to do... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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At loss on what to do...

Hi. Iíve been round a bit but donít post often. Iím a reactive dog owner, the owner of a reactive Jack Russel Terrorist mix.

Things went from bad to worse with between Lily (reactive terrorist) and Mocha (the sweetest most submissive St Bernard pup ever). Two days ago I found a swollen bite mark next to Mochaís eye and since Lily had attacked her earlier that day I had my suspicions...which were confirmed this morning. Lily ran up to Mocha and started beating on her for no reason, and it was escalating fast. I yelled, Lily ran into her room, and Mochaís face was bloody again.

I donít know what I can do. Lily is my childhood dog, I got her when I was ten, trained her myself and she was impressively well trained until she became reactive after being attacked by a Great Dane. She has snapped at people before too, so she must be put away if anyone comes over apart from a few family members. Especially if they have little kids.

Mocha is the new girl, Iíve had her for four months and sheís lovely. No complaints. There is absolutely no reason for Lily to attack her, Mocha is 70 pounds but falls onto her back if a five pound puppy growls. Stupidly submissive, there is not a hair of mean on her body.

Lily is 20 pounds, Mocha is 70.

There is one other dog in the house, a pug. But heís a lil man and just lazes round and ignores the other two unless heís snuggling or playing with Mocha. Once in awhile he plays with Lily but she gets too rough and prefers people to play with.

They are fed separately, walked separately, trained one on one, etc.

No suggestions of putting to sleep, please.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 09:57 AM
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The way I see it you have a few options.

Muzzle Lily. With proper training the muzzle can be a positive thing and might even help you work her through her reactivity (this depends on her and isn't a guarantee).

Crate and rotate, one dog out at any given time and the others in crates. With proper training the crate is a positive thing and the dogs like being in them, because they satisfy the denning instinct.

Rehome somebody - probably Lily, since she's the instigator and might instigate with the pug if Mocha leaves.

Or the one you don't want to hear.

The one thing you absolutely CANNOT do is allow your reactive dog to continue to be a danger to your other dogs.

MAKORA THOROUGHBRED SPORTHORSES
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post #3 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
The way I see it you have a few options.

Muzzle Lily. With proper training the muzzle can be a positive thing and might even help you work her through her reactivity (this depends on her and isn't a guarantee).

Crate and rotate, one dog out at any given time and the others in crates. With proper training the crate is a positive thing and the dogs like being in them, because they satisfy the denning instinct.

Rehome somebody - probably Lily, since she's the instigator and might instigate with the pug if Mocha leaves.

Or the one you don't want to hear.

The one thing you absolutely CANNOT do is allow your reactive dog to continue to be a danger to your other dogs.
They are both crate trained. I already rotate if Lily is having an extra bad day.

Nobody would want Lily, and sheís my best friend, I couldnít give her away. She would need a young single or even a young couple that are very active and have no other kids or dogs. Who would want a reactive mess?

Muzzle training is a possibility. Her leash reactivity is mostly under control, sheís just explosive. What kind of muzzle would you recommend? She has a shorter nose because sheís part Boston terrier so most wont work.

I know, I know. Really, I understand that. I donít want her to hurt anybody anymore than you do. Sheís never off leash, never out when company comes and is walked miles every night.
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post #4 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 10:19 AM
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How old is Lily?

I know you don't want to hear certain answers but sometimes that is the answer.

I'd say find homes for the puppy and the pug and let your childhood friend live out her life.

That doesn't address her accidentally being left out or turned loose and injuring a human which is a possibility. Which would mean muzzling until she is absolutely reliable but that personally I don't see happening.
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Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.

Last edited by QtrBel; 10-03-2020 at 10:26 AM.
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post #5 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
How old is Lily?
Lily is 6 years old.
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post #6 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 10:33 AM
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Was she snapping at people before the incident with the other dog?

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #7 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 10:45 AM
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The safety of people comes before the dog. I say that after being your age owning a dog that bit a child in a case of mistaken identity. The child was accustomed to literally jumping in the face of my older dog and hanging from her ears (my parents took her with them when they moved). I was home visiting with her daughter that I kept. She bit the child in pain and surprise. Fault all the way around could be placed. That is one of the hardest decisions to make.

My ex mother in law refused to make the decision with a small dog that cost them thousands in vet bills over the years for attacking their own dogs as well as neighbor's dogs when he accidentally got out. He also would go after people. MIL had had him since a puppy that had been abused. She felt sorry for them. Paid high fines because of him attacking mail people. He went after my Great Dane, who at first took it. We had a few vet bills that were caused by this little 10 pound terror. Then came the day he was accidentally turned into the yard during my dogs free time. He attacked and to say my dog took the crap out of him is an understatement as not only did that happen but his ribs crushed, lungs punctured and blood splattered us all. It was the most horrible death I have ever witnessed and never would wish on anyone.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #8 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Nubs View Post
They are both crate trained. I already rotate if Lily is having an extra bad day.

Nobody would want Lily, and sheís my best friend, I couldnít give her away. She would need a young single or even a young couple that are very active and have no other kids or dogs. Who would want a reactive mess?

Muzzle training is a possibility. Her leash reactivity is mostly under control, sheís just explosive. What kind of muzzle would you recommend? She has a shorter nose because sheís part Boston terrier so most wont work.

I know, I know. Really, I understand that. I donít want her to hurt anybody anymore than you do. Sheís never off leash, never out when company comes and is walked miles every night.
Make crate and rotate normal, not just on "extra bad days", because all it takes is one second.

Some trainers like taking on project dogs. Who would want a reactive mess? Somebody who wholeheartedly believes that they can help that dog. That being said you've said you won't rehome so that point is moot.

Dean and Tyler do a range of muzzles in sizes that suit dogs of many different shapes. One of their sizes fits Boxers, for instance, while another is small enough for Dachshunds. The Freedom is the one that's usually recommended for bite risks, as their leather range is not biteproof and the classic basket muzzle doesn't allow enough room for the dog to pant. https://www.dtdogcollars.com/Wire-Muzzles-s/342.htm

MAKORA THOROUGHBRED SPORTHORSES
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post #9 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 11:17 AM
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Where do you live? There are trainers who specialize in dog-aggressive behaviors. One of the best lives in western Canada, and he might know someone near you. Or you could ship Lily out to him. She's got a lot of years to wreak havoc left in her, it would be worth it.

Believe me, the very very very last thing you want to happen is a lawsuit. And she's a time bomb.

Short horse lover
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post #10 of 40 Old 10-03-2020, 12:57 PM
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I would suggest a muzzle for Lily when around the pup. Barbara Woodhouse, British (?) dog trainer, used that technique with success for getting dogs to interact. Sorry, canít recommend a brand or type. Thereís training techniques like distraction followed by reward (usually food) that may work also but now youíre getting into a required skill area so have the choice of trainer or researching on your own.

I would also suggest remembering these misadventures between Lily and pup. When the pup gets older, he may develop a different attitude that relates back to these episodes.

This may not be a popular thing to say but if there are little kids about, I would not like to see Lily wearing her muzzle and having the kids pick on her or tease her (whether intentionally or unintentionally). That would be very stressful and unfair. It would be better to have her stashed in a safe room.

Hope it works out well.
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