Hi there, thank you in advance for reading and any help you can offer. I'm having difficulty with one of my apbt
mixes and her aggression and I'm unsure how to proceed. I apologize in advance for the lengthy read but want to be thorough.
Some background on our situation:
We adopted Ruger (11 months old, male, neutered, the brown and white dog in the photo, just over 50lbs. He is laid back and a lover) about 6 months ago from a rescue that took him from the local animal control. He is very submissive, wants to play with every dog he sees, listens very good 1 on 1 but still working on training with distractions. No behavioral problems.
Now onto Remi - my concern.
Two months ago we rescued our second dog, Remi from another local animal control. (Female, 9.5 months old, spayed, black and white dog pictured, just about 30lbs. She is normally very happy and playful, not as much of a "snuggler" as Ruger is) She was found on the streets very underweight and starving. The place we adopted her from sent her to the vet to get spayed and we took her home from there. She was about 20lbs when we got her and she was pretty sleept from surgery. The doctor have us pain meds for her and told us to give them to her that night with a little bit of food.
When we got home we put her in her crate to rest and recover and I put a little food in with her. Later I went over with her pain meds and noticed she hadn't eaten anything. I reached in to attempt to hand feed her and she growled and snapped at me. It caught me off guard because I had never experienced that before. This was the first alarm we needed to keep a close eye on her. (Side note: she also was sent home with 7 or 10 days of antibiotics since she had a little bit of a cough)
It really scared me so I began researching as much as I could on how to handle the situation. I immediately began feeding her by hand, making her sit before eating, petting while eating, adfing food to the bowl, giving her better treats while eating, etc. Initially she would growl at me when I got too close to her food, but now even thoughshe ismore tolerant of my jusband and me and doesnt growl she still is very anxious. (Sometimes her fur is up a little, she is very tense and rigid, sometimes she will stop eating or eat slowly, she crouches low, tall between her legs and sometimes she even will shake)
She is less tolerant of Ruger getting close to her bowl, although if I am holding the bowl she doesnt mind him coming around. A few times she has snapped at him and went after him if he got too close, but thankfully he seems to have no interest in engaging in a figth with her because he immediately retreats. (Although when they are playing, he definitely has the upper hand and seems like the dominant one)
Remi acts especially possessive over the "Busy Bones" and had started to become possessive over elk antlers too. (She is not toy aggressive whatsoever, basically over things she can eat) and turns into a completely different dog.
Side Note: We have been planning on sending both of our dogs to a 2 week board and training facility that specializes in bully breeds and can handle dog aggressions that I found immediately after Remi's first display, however we haven't been able to send them yet because Remi's little cough, two months later and age several vet trips and chest xrays and a consult with a vet specialist checking out her xrays...Remis cough turned into some sort of longer-term kennel cough that has *finally* just now stopped after being put on steroids and a longer/stronger dose of antibiotics. She has about 10 days left before I can ship her off for training that I really hope will help her and us.....)
Last night I took Remi and Ruger with me to my parents house and I gave them each a bone. Remi immediately was tense and guarding her bone and growling at anybody who went near. I have never seen her act so mean.
When I got back home I told my husband about how crazier-than-normal she acted so he have her the none back to try to work with her, except she didn't get nearly as crazy as she did at my parents house earlier, in fact she just laid down and showed little interest. (? Why an hour before she was obsessed over the bone and willing to fight for it and the second we get home she is back to being okay with us taking the bone and mildly growling at Ruger if he got too close? )
And then the last thing that made me come to this forum was that tonight when I was heading to bed Remi was crawling under our bed. (She and Ruger both love to hang out under there) If I lether stay under there she would play all night. She wasn't listening to me to come out so I grabbed her and started to pull her out (which I've done many times before) but this time she growled a little growl at me. Not acceptable. My husband drug her out anyway, despite her growling a little at him too and held her down and she didn't growl any more and she went right to sleep.
Again I'm sorry for the long post, I just hope somebody can help us. We still have at least the 10 days before we can get professional assistance but she is really starting to worry me. I start to feel hopeful that we were getting the situation under control and then I feel like we took some steps backwards.
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