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kami

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  1. Well, i think today confirmed that the two dogs, well, just aren't destined to be besties. Rusty races up and play bowed and put on the full works - Annie just kept avoiding avoiding avoiding!But no snarks at him. She was super anxious around people with him there (but eventually settled) she clearly feels (despite some serious effort from us) that Rusty takes time and attention away from her. She is so much calmer without him there. She basically blanked him. I think Thistle has it in one - Rusty is such a friendly forgiving boy that Annie ignoring him was making him anxious, and making him try harder, which was making Annie more nervous - an ever increasing spiral. Probably resolvable except for the lack of any interest on Annies part, but they should tolerate each other at family gatherings ect.
  2. I think so showdog. Rusty and Annie (and both of us!) seem happier and calmer with the two dogs split up. Mum and dad seem rather reluctant for Rusty to go back to the shelter ("you mustn't make any hasty decisions") and are taking steps which show they see him as more than a temporary inhabitant (reinforcing the gaps (about 10 cm on the back gate to ensure he doesnt get out - even though he was meant to leave today...). so we have taken the steps to call the rspca and cancel the surrender for now (at mums encouragement). They should be reasonable doggie parents - are happy to walk him twice a day (has had 3 walks in 24 hours!) will need to be taught how to loose lead walk him, or with a gentle leader. He would have a very large suburban 1/4 acre block to live on and is a 5 minute walk from the beach. My only caveat if they want to keep him long term is that I must persuade my mum to do training with me once a week to ensure he keeps his good manners, and teach them how much more effective positive reinforcement can be. I figure its a good excuse for mother/daughter bonding - but will also stop rusty from developing bad habits, and teach my parents good ones. I will also have to teach my mum and dad some self control when it comes to feeding - love can be shown through playing not just through food! I have given them guidelines on appropriate amounts to feed and explained a beagles stomach is, essentially bottomless. We have agreed to take Rusty for holidays if they keep him, so we would put him on a diet when he comes to stay if needed. If this doesnt prove an effective option for Rusty or my folks, it gives us loads of time to find him a good home through Beagle Rescue or save a dog, so that he is matched with an appropriate home (maybe as an only dog!) In the future. All the cute pics I am sent from my folks show him calmly sleeping or lying on their rug, or walking on the beach. Will take Annie to visit him today, which will be interesting. Will post back on the final outcome with some pics if my folks agree to take him for good, or to update if we rehome through a rescue group.
  3. How Would You

    Hubby and I decided we will rehome the more easily adoptable, stable tempered dog. Given Annie's recent behaviour I am not sure she would pass a behavioural assessment. As Taliecat stated with her dog, we would not feel comfortable in rehoming the neurotic dog with significant ongoing behavioural issues to someone else. Even if in our hearts we are developing a stronger attachment, and would be better suited to, a life with rusty the beagle - we might well be consigning our bonkers one to a short or miserable life. It does hurt to make a choice which actually makes us sad and isnt actually the best choice for us - but is the seemingly best choice for both of the dogs overall.
  4. Thanks for everyones advice. We have taken Rusty to my parents for the next few days unti we have to take him back to the rspca, so that we could have a trial separation as it were, in case Annie turns out to be rather happy to see him after a few days, and to make sure we can really do bring ourselves to do it. Rusty has been impeccably behaved at my parents place (we gave them the rusty guidelines) and so far no accidents or misbehaviour at all. I wonder if Annie also makes him nervous, as he is so calm without her around and visa versa (maybe it is a good change for him too to not be around her). Our house seems very empty, quiet and peaceful without him around (a little boring too, but not at a continuous high stress level) . He looked for us a little, but perhaps having all his familiar things and having visited my parents a few times it mustnt seem so scary. Whatever happens we will send all his things - crate bed toys ect with him to make any move less stressful on him. There is a little part of me that hope that Rusty might worm his way into their hearts ...... they have had dogs before but not one so well trained and beautifully tempered (an indictment perhaps on the old school training techniques they had trained their old dogs with). They are continuing all his positive reinforcement and crate training while he stays (we have shown them some basics). Rusty has already lost his nuts. Save a dog does sound good - we don't want him to really go somewhere without any interest in maintaining obedience. We will have a chat wth the behavioural team at the rspca - take this time without him to really ponder the options.
  5. Thanks for your kind words Snook. They really mean the world under the circumstances. Its so hard because Rusty is finally settled, and generally a very well behaved all round dog. His destructiveness has decreased, and his seperation anxiety is much improved. we are based in the south eastern suburbs of melbourne, around moorabbin.
  6. I would like to thank everyone again for their suggestions. We have utilised some of them, but unfortunately the situation continues to escalate. Rusty is becoming increasingly fixated on Annie, who continues to actively avoid him - to the point of running to find me and hide on the bed so she doesnt have to go outside and have supervised pee time with him Rusty and hubby (with hubby separating dogs before things escalate). Active intervention and redirecting is not working. Perhaps different people, with different skills could get another outcome; all I know is that we have done everything within our capability to get the two dogs to get along, and don't want to compromise Rusty or Annies welfare. So we have taken Rusty back today and met with the admission team at the rspca. Can anyone provide any ideas as to a better way of rehoming him? We dont really know anyone suitable to rehome him to, and was not sure whether taking him to a rescue would be a better option? Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Our back up plan is to surrender him to the RSPCA tuesday - the behavioralist who saw Rusty and Annie together will assess him separately before he can be adopted.she thinks he should be quite adoptable given he has been having lots of obedience training and is now crated trained and toilet trained. My only other thought is to talk to the trainers at our obedience club and see if they know anyone....
  7. Update: We had our session with the behavioural team at the rspca, and it gave us quite a lot to think about. Based on their observations the dogs basically ignored each other, and there was no real interaction between them. No signs of play or acknowledgement. No outward aggression either in public at least, but we didnt expect that. In terms of what we are doing with the dogs and what they would normally suggest there wasn't much they could add in terms of interventions. They were concerned that Annies behaviour had deteriorated, (she also submissively peed while there), and agreed she was quite an anxious dog. I raised the possibility of switching her off prosac onto clopirimide (?mate? not sure of sp.) And they said they would raise it with their behavioural vet (who is someone called Gabrielle Carter, who is well known I believe?) The other possibility was increasing Annie's prosac dose. Essentially they offered a treatment plan, but didnt think it would do much. They also suggested rehoming as the other alternative. Huw and I were more taken back than I expected. We are seriously considering surrendering Rusty, as in the mean time Annie nearly bit Huw accidentally (He was giving her a tablet at the time and had his hand in her mouth) when Rusty caMe over and got too close for Annies liking. She snarled and pressed down on Huws hand, whilst flipping over but not too hard. This happened about 4-5 days ago approx. I have some general questions for the generous DOL community - 1. Is 3-4 months enough time to get an accurate perspective of their relationship? 2. Is it normal for dogs to not interact or play with one another? If not, is it possible to develop this in dogs that appear not to care for one another at all? 3. If we do go ahead with rehoming would you recommend we go through the rspca or a private rescue organisation? They seem confident they would have minimal difficulty rehoming him (which I agree with) but we want to find a good home for him,with dog knowledgeable people, would wont leave him in a backyard, and who will continue the training and stimulation he needs (loads of toys, and interaction). He is a great dog - calm and even tempered with people, does suffer from some separation anxiety , is destructive but this has lessened (but would be fine with a retired couple or two dog household). We are considering a trial separation to see how Annie responds to Rusty's absence. It is very sad for us both as believe it or not, Rusty is the more normal, sane dog - we love him dearly now. We don't really feel Rusty bully's Annie per ce, just that she is not coping with having another dog around. If we didnt have Annie, we would never give him up - but we recognise that Annie needs people like us. He finally learnt to retrieve and play with toys properly with people tonight, which was a happy sad moment :-(
  8. Article :

    I missed this thread! Here is a recent link along the same lines from dogster from the perspective of a person with a reactive dog on 'friendly' dogs and uncooperative humans. A good read for those without a reactive dog (or with one). Dogster article I do not like off lead dogs approaching Annie and I or Rusty on lead. I hate even more when people attempt to pat Annie without asking, as she is highly nervous (Anyone can put Rusty - such a chilled out boy). They interpret her submissive over the top enthusiasm as enjoyment when actually it is anxiety and fear based (if I am really really submissive and nice to you maybe you won't hurt me? Is how our vet described her). All it does is reinforce undesirable behaviour. People really shouldn't assume that a strange dog is friendly or that they should touch someone elses property without asking - just like they wouldn't go hug a strange human without getting to know them first.
  9. Hi guys not sure if you have read this article but thought it may resonate with you guys :) Off lead dogs drive me nuts too, Annie wants to chase everyone of them - frustrating when you are in an onlead park! reactive dog article from dogster,
  10. Willem i appreciate your suggestion, but don't think it would be a great idea for these two guys. Annie is a lovely, intelligent dog who has significant anxiety despite many interventions and strategies to minimise this. She has improved in that her separation anxiety is reduced, she is no longer afraid of men, no longer handshy, less noise phobic. She has shown fear aggression in certain circumstances (at the vets) and redirected aggression onto my husband when we intervened previously during the early stages with her and Rusty (only once, before we sought the advice of our trainers and did work with collar grabs and positive associations). She simply isn't an overly stable dog (although we really love her lots and lots). I don't feel it is appropriate for her to sort out these issues with Rusty, as I believe there is a high possibility of this being generalised to other dogs. She needs our help and to feel confident she can rely on us IMHO. My big fear is that if things escalate, it could potentially turn Rusty from being relatively adoptable (super cute and adorable, appears generally confident and outgoing, jumps minimally now, has learnt basic commands sit drop stay ect, and toilet/crate trained) to potentially dog reactive/aggressive - or the same for Annie. While Rusty initiates by being annoying, Annie is starting to react back, and I have no doubt if she starts something she could finish it of she wanted to. Right now, Rusty is much more adoptable than when we first got him IMHO. We would love to keep Rusty, but not at the expensive of Annies happiness - or his. 10-15 years of spending time with another dog who avoids you isn't going to be much fun for Rusty either. If we can't prove up to the challenge of solving this quickly, with a reduction in aggression, I believe it may be in both dogs best interests to be apart. In the mean time, we watch and wait :)
  11. Thanks Snook hubby and I agree about supervision - no more window supervising for now until we feel there are more respectful and tolerant interactions and time has passed. Will let everyone know what the behavioieal team say, they said they will try and get us in asap given we have already tried loads of stuff they have suggested.
  12. Lol we sure do perse.He was a deceptadog! I believe we would now be his third home in a year (he is one year and three months old). Probably should set of some alarm bells for us! Fourth if he came from a breeder. A lot of disruption and disconnection for a dog so young...
  13. Hi persephone, thanks for dropping in :) At the moment we are trying to minimise time spent together alone for the dogs - so when I have to do stuff around the house, one will be inside, the other outside - with a kong, bob a lot, or frozen lambs neck ect. Sometimes we will crate one, have one out. We try to rotate it to make it fair. We are also doing training together.with simply commands, and rewarding one dog when the other gets a treat to try and build up some great positive associations for when they are together. It seems to be when they are outside alone there are issues, even when kept an eye on. Yesterday they were only alone together for 20 minutes after a walk - when they had their big kerskuffle. We know little about Rusty's past, except that he has been a second dog twice before, had issues with housetraining (now largely resolved, had a recent accident but before that not for over a month) and destructiveness. Strangely his prevoous owners kept him in a choke chain as they said he kept chewing off his own collars (wierd). Apparently previously had difficulty with crate training, but now much improved. Still needs work on being crated without Annie around (we like to be able to take them off alone separately when required to go to cafes ect for doggie human socialisation time one on one).
  14. Thanks for the pointers Mrs. Rusty Bucket. It is clear supervision must be active at all times (which I feel will be hard long term, but certainly we are happy to try in the short/medium term). Collar grabs we can do some positive reinforcement with, and use to give rusty a choice before giving him a time out if need be. Thanks for your recommendations.
  15. Addit: last night they had a near serious blue while outside together while being monitored through a window after their walks (we thought they should be pooped, and that being monitored they were safe). Had to be separated by pulling them apart, no actual punctures but lots of hard bites snarls hackles up and retracted gums on Annies part. Rusty on the other hand, seemed to still think it was play......and would have kept chasing her if not for our intervention. This is despite them spending minimal time together except whilst actively supervised. What happened was that Rusty wanted to play, but Annie didnt. Rusty kept bugging Annie until she ended up getting too aroused, and then chased him and both dogs were standing up on their hindlegs, annies hackles up, tail down, lips fully retracted , biting at Rusty's face, neck and back. No actual damage to Rusty, but she continues to avoid him where possible (goes into crate away from him (we dont let him approach her in the crate). Will wait and see what the behavioural team says but the lst thing I want is for things to escalate to bites with damage.
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