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My turn now....fighting dogs

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  • Mayhem&Chaos
    started a topic My turn now....fighting dogs

    My turn now....fighting dogs

    I thought I was so smart, posting in the other post about female dogs fighting because we were doing so well...guess I jinxed us!

    Our two girls, one a 15-month-old full Great Dane (Chaos) and one a 2-year-old Great Dane/Weimaraner mix (Mayhem) have gotten along famously until the last few months. They started out with some squabbles and now are seriously fighting. We got a trainer in, a really good one, and things looked up for a bit. This past week, all hell broke loose and we are back to square one. We are to the point of separating them entirely, which they don't understand because 90% of the time they are best buds and play like crazy.

    I should also mention that the Great Dane already has behavioral issues and has been prescribed alprazolam and fluoxetine for some pretty major anxiety issues, including fear of men, strange situations, and various and sundry other things. Another reason for the trainer, who is absolutely amazing.

    I'm at a loss. We also have two littles, a mini Dachshund and a Ratshire Terrier, both under 15 pounds. While the big dogs tend to leave them alone, if Chaos is in her crate she becomes very territorial and lunges at anything that moves, including me, the little dogs, and Mayhem. It's the only time she goes after me or the littles. This is a totally new behavior and even a crate cover isn't helping this behavior. Thank goodness there are no children in the house.

    The trainer is helping us calm down but isn't available 24/7, nor should she be. The vet's answer is the fluoxetine and alprazolam, which appears to be making things worse instead of better. These past few days have been awful as we keep them separate, and with Chaos lunging at anything that goes past her crate (we have a small house despite having four dogs), it is scary.

    Does anyone here have any ideas? Is this a unique situation or are Great Danes predisposed to anxiety/behavior issues?

    We adopted her from a supposed breeder who said her temperament was too shy for breeding. We've since found she has congenital cataracts (but they don't impede vision--she's been to ophthalmology), these behavioral issues, and possibly allergies of some sort. She's only 15 months old. We've racked up five incidents this week before we started just separating all the time. We had tried to just watch for the signs to send them to their crates, but that obviously wasn't working.

    Anyway, sorry for the long-windedness. I'm just really upset about my girls.

    Thanks for any advice. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong and would love to hear what it is.

    Cam
    Last edited by Mayhem&Chaos; 01-05-2019, 06:30 AM.

  • SeaTheStars
    replied
    I actually wrote a draft earlier suggesting that you put her to sleep but ultimately decided not to post. I think you'll find that most experienced Dane owners are in agreement with your decision. Chaos was suffering and you are doing the rational and humane thing.

    Unfortunately, the stakes are higher with dogs like Great Danes. What is merely annoying behavior with a 5 pound dog is outright dangerous and potentially deadly with a 120lb+ boarhound. It's unfair that we and our dogs are held to a different standard but that's just the reality.

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  • kahluadanes
    replied
    I'm sad to hear this, however sometimes it is the only recourse. Some dogs just can't be fixed...some are simply wired wrong, some because of horrific experiences just can't cope with life, some are just poorly bred...it is a hard decision and one I know you didn't enter into lightly. Take care and thoughts are with you.. You made a very unselfish although very hard decision.

    Leave a comment:


  • Charlene
    replied
    cam, i'm so sorry it has come to this but you are absolutely doing the right thing. this was going to be my suggestion when i read your previous descriptions of chaos' behavioral issues. sometimes, even though it's tough to admit, some dogs are just wired wrong. it's nothing you did or didn't do, it's just there and no amount of training or loving will ever improve it. temperament issues are very often due to genetics, too, and that is obviously something we have no control over.

    look at it this way, chaos is not a happy, carefree dog. she is emotionally miserable and it isn't fair to keep her going under these circumstances. she needs to be at peace and you need to get to a place where you are not living on pins and needles wondering what will happen next. i have known several people who dealt with danes that were unpredictable and had aggression issues. i can think of 2 right off the top of my head (members of DOL) who have euthanized their dogs as the only resort.

    don't beat yourself up over this decision and don't let anybody tell you that you should have tried harder! i wish you peace with your decision and i support you 100%!!! (((hugs)))

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  • Mayhem&Chaos
    replied
    We hit rock bottom with Chaos going after one of the little dogs and us sweeping in to rescue her (the mini Doxie). After a long discussion with the trainer, it has been decided that we will euthanize Chaos. I know that will be an unpopular decision here on the boards. However, we would have to rehome her and I cannot, in good faith, put a dog out there who A. attacks other dogs, B. attacks humans (men), C. has known behavioral anxiety and other issues. To me, that is not only irresponsible but unethical.

    My husband, the trainer, and I came up with this horrible decision and believe it to be best so will take her in some time this week. The trainer said she's only recommended this one other time in her career. Chaos is miserable. She's anxious all the time, spraying her anal glands in her anxiety all the time (and yes, we've had them checked to the best of her ability to be checked under mild sedation), she cries, growls, and tries to tip her crate when she's in it, and broke out yesterday requiring us to use clips to hold the door on and shut. If we have her in a room with the door closed alone, she tries to tear the door off. And this is on 2 mg of alprazolam twice per day plus fluoxetine. When she's out with us, other than being startled by our Doxie and going after her, she's mostly okay, but mostly isn't a word I like to use with a dog.

    I thank those who took the time to respond and will apologize to those I'm sure I'm going to offend with our solution. I'm grateful I can put Chaos out of her emotional misery just as I would put her out of any physical misery she would have that was untreatable.

    Cam

    Leave a comment:


  • Jasper and Chance
    replied
    Ugh. I am sorry to hear this. I have danes I posted about a few weeks back and we are having similar issues, possibly not as bad as we don't have any general aggression/anxiety. Just issues with the 2 danes. I also have a little Italian Greyhound who appears to be in charge. IDK. We have a behaviorist as well, and I was consulting with the vet on meds for my anxious male, but now I am concerned it may not be the answer. I am working on building his confidence right now, and my dogs, like yours have moments when they are very sweet but something seems to happen. It's very stressful and I am sorry you are going through this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mayhem&Chaos
    replied
    Thank you both. I will ask about using the natural compounds in conjunction with her medications! That's a great idea.

    We do have a special behavioral trainer on board and are working through things. She's a force-free trainer that is well-known in the area as being excellent in her field. She's calling me later today and I spoke with our vet this morning about meds and possible plans with this ramp-up in behaviors. The vet also has a specialty in animal behavioral science. The vet recommends separating them as soon as we can for at least a week but I can't ask anyone I know to take on my problem, and they all have dogs or kids. We certainly can't afford to board her that long. I'm going to wait and see what our trainer advises and the vet agreed with that.

    Today while we were gone she tore her way out of her crate, literally ripping the steel crate lock off probably due to her separation anxiety. She's not in a Midwest crate, she's in an older huge steel one, so this is scary to me. This is a very unhappy dog that I don't know if I can make better, though we've done everything we can think of to do. I'm so sad as I adore this dog, yet am becoming afraid of her at times, too.

    Anyway, thanks for listening. She's still my baby. And I guess I aptly named her. Sigh.

    Cam

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  • kahluadanes
    replied
    It is not a Dane thing..this can happen in any breed/mix...If the meds seem to be making things worse ask about alternative meds..Also instead of just a trainer look into consulting with an actual behaviorist.. Territorial issues often happen at the age of "maturity" or beginning of....especially in intact dogs both male & female although believe it or not females tend to be worse then males...I am also thinking that the breeder was less then responsible and already knew there was an predisposition to temperament issues (also the inherited eye issue tells me they didn't thoroughly health test or test at all which is a big sign of irresponsible breeding practices) Also try natural things such as Vetriscience Composure, Richard's Organics Pet Calm, Springtime Stress Free Calmplex, Mellow Pet Just Chillin and in some cases CBD oil may be of help.. I have personally used all but the CBD oil with good success.. You may need to play around with dosage and number of times to give daily..I know I did..

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  • Charlene
    replied
    is the trainer not giving you things to do/tips to use when she is not right there/available? i don't think this is a problem that is unique to danes at all. i do think that when it IS a problem, it is magnified 100 times simply because of their size and the damage they can do to each other, not to mention your littles and yourself. i got a phone call 2 nights ago from a friend who has a 3 year old dane, raised from a puppy. the dogs were playing and in the blink of an eye, her dane grabbed her rat terrier by the neck, shook him and broke his neck. he died almost instantly. there was no rhyme or reason to why it happened, at least not from what they perceived.

    i think so many times that WE do not pick up on the subtle signs and body language exhibited by dogs. while WE may think nothing at all "happened", sometimes the signs are so subtle that we just fail to recognize them.

    i've never had to deal with this so i can't give you any sound advice but i have known others with this problem who ended up having to rotate dogs forever. i wish you luck and hopefully, you can find a solution everyone can live with.

    Leave a comment:

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