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I need help...
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    Things are getting worse now in my house. My bigger one, Ray, who we rescued five month ago, made a very big mistake last night. He bite my husband very seriously, because my husband tended to get him out of his cage where he had his bone treat. Apparently, his food, especially his bone aggression, became so strong that he even yelled and bite his owner (he never bite me though). My husband got a very deep puncture in his hand, even the fat is exposed out. We ended up going to the emergency room after midnight and came back after 2:00 am...

    Ray, is almost 2 1/2 years old now, but he has been changed his owner three times already. So he is very insecure to anything and very resource guarded. At that time, when I got him, I told myself, that would be it and he would never change home again. Our house would be his forever home. However, the longer we had him, the longer we realized that his temper is unpredictable and he cannot control himself. We educated ourselves a lot on how to solve food aggression and tried lots of ways to change his behavior, but still we found him attacked our little shiba, Mango. He attacked our friends' shiba Maya. And now he even attacked my husband. I just don't know if he still have time to prove that he can be rehabilitated. My husband has a strong will to send him away right now because he did not want Ray to do any harm to our family, especially Mango.
    I know he is a good dog, most of the time. I know five months may not be enough to completely change his temper. But right now, the damage is there and it is so big that I feel hopeless to convince my husband that Ray is a good dog and he can be better...

    [mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 10:03:56
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Why did your husband corner him and try to take his treat away?
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    He was not taking his treat away, but want to take him out for peeing before we went to sleep. Normally, he did not have his treat in the crate, but last night we separated our dogs on purpose by putting them into their separate crates, so that we can give them bones as treats.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Maybe try to give a treat that can be eaten quickly in their crates. Don't give him any bones in his crate, especially since he is resource aggressive. Crate is too small a confined space to have a bone that won't be finished in a short time. A milk bone or just a regular treat would work
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    I don't know how comfortable you are with hand feeding him, or even just leaving a treat in your hand for him to take.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Has he had full bloodwork done recently, including a thyroid test?
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • WendyNCWendyNC
    Posts: 257
    My rescue experience is with Goldens, so I don't know if this rule applies to Shibas, but we find that it generally takes at least half as long to fix them as it took to break them, in the best case.

    It is also our experience that not all dogs can be rehabilitated. Some problems come from the way their brains are wired and, sadly, there's no fix to that. In those cases, it can be kinder to euthanize.

    By all means, begin by ruling out medical causes. Then, I'd encourage you to have Ray evaluated by a veterinary behavior specialist. These folks are licensed veterinarians who have taken advanced training in behavioral issues.
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    @kumaDUDE. Yes, we always hand feed them, for treats other than bones, he is all OK. That is the thing we really got frustrated, because we really do not know when and where he will be out of control. For example, he is doing fine with Mango at home to eat together, even those high quality food. However, when we camped outside, even for kibbles, he will try to guard and attacked Mango.
    @curlytails. No, we did not do a full bloodwork test I believe, other than physical exam. But Ray is not a high energy dog. He is just fearful, skittish, and insecure all the time.
    @WendyNC. I am not an experienced dog owner, but I am trying hard to learn as much as I can. I hate to see Ray cannot be rehabilitated because of the way their brains are wired, but I do believe it is because he was lack of good training and well socialization at his early age.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    This book covers on resource guarding..
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    @Saya. Thank you Saya. I'll definitely read it. Sandrat888 also recommend me one book that is written by Sophia Yin. I am reading it now. I just try my best to save him, other than send him away.
  • WendyNCWendyNC
    Posts: 257
    @garyoo, I only mentioned the hard-wiring issue so that you could be aware of the worst-case scenario. Frankly, this doesn't sound like that, but I'm no vet, haven't met your dog, etc.

    Time, patience and planning are key. Y'all learned a hard lesson about planning ahead with the bone-too-close-to-bedtime issue. It can be really tiring always trying to anticipate what will happen now, an hour from now, and several hours from now--and then having to switch thoughts in mid-stream because things don't go as expected. However, it can be really worthwhile as you build on successes.

    Your husband has my sympathy. I've had that bite (breaking up a fight), the ER visit, and the antibiotics and it's no fun.
  • kayla4554kayla4554
    Posts: 169
    Oh no your poor husband!!
    I want everyone to know that what @garyoo said is true. We have met Ray and he really is a great dog. He got along just fine with Maya and they even shared food for a little bit and then Ray just didn't feel like sharing anymore.
    My heart goes out to you guys and I can understand why your husband may be fed up, thats a serious injury! Plus you are worried about Mango, it's a tough situation. I'm sure everyone here will have the best advice for you to follow. Good luck and keep us posted.

    kayla and maya <3
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    "he even yelled and bite his owner"

    So.....Ray warned your husband and your husband ignored it and reached out at Ray?
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    Yes. Because my husband thought he needs to completely respect him and should not yell him or even warn him...
  • WendyNCWendyNC
    Posts: 257
    Oh, my. Sometimes dogs are easier to train than spouses.
  • I'm not an expert, but I think you need to find one to help you...a professional behaviourist (positive reinforcement, no Cesar, alpha types)

    In the meantime, I would take no chances and do not expect anything from him -

    "he needs to completely respect him"...that is putting the cart before the horse...You know he has issues and needs help and rehabilitation - it is not fair of your husband to demand that from the dog at this point.

    He probably did that out of fear and his past treatment - so your husband set the dog up for failure. The dog does not know what he doesn't know.

    At this point you have to set the dog up for success, not failure. feed separately, no bones, no situations that he will want to guard. Take no chances - his life may depend on it. Wait until you have had a consultation with a professional and have them set up a "treatment plan" to work towards success.

    Do not take anything for granted at this point...Just avoid any potential situations - you do not have to experiment with feeding, kibbles while camping etc...just dont...keep everyone safe and happy.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Koji's mom basically said what I was going to say. A Shibas respect must be earned. ESPECIALLY since Ray has a past history that means you have to work twice as hard. You have to be more understanding of where Ray is coming from and more respectful to him as well. Respect goes both ways.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    And I think the key word here is 'trust', not respect. He doesn't trust you yet and to him you haven't shown that you are completely trustworthy yet. I'm sure you know all the situations that can cause him to resource guard- avoid them. And respect his warnings when he tells you to back off.
    Post edited by Juni at 2012-10-29 01:34:10
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I think everyone with experience has given great advice on this. It is about setting them up for success not failure and it is about building trust not just imposing your will.

    It does not sound like you have a Shiba that can't change, just that you have a Shiba that needs patience, love, and trust. These behaviors will not change overnight, but they will change with patience, love, trust, and proper technique.

    It also sounds like you could benefit from working with a professional trainer who uses positive training techniques. A professional trainer isn't so much for the dog, it is for you. Working with a professional their experience will teach you better understanding of a rescue dogs behavior and how to shape and work with that in a positive way building for success.

    The hardest part is going to be your husband. I would imagine it is going to be very hard for him to step back to square one with Ray and keep an open positive loving attitude. I think if your husband can't forgive and trust that this could impact moving forward. If your husband can forgive and is willing to move forward, then I believe you will be able to move forward and give Ray a forever home.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @garyoo - I am going to make this short, because I do not have a lot of time...

    There are several things that you are doing wrong. You have a dog that is a resource guarder. Treat him as such.

    Separate him from ALL dogs when there are resources (such as food, treats, bones, etc.) around, even if he is 'usually' okay. It only takes once for there to be a catastrophic disaster.

    Smack your husband in the back of the head. HARD. This dog is damaged mentally and you and your husband need to earn his trust. If he has issues with bones, STOP trying to take his bones away or messing with him while he is eating his bones. If you can not do this, then stop giving him bones.

    Work with a behaviourist that uses positive reinforcement. This dog can be helped, you just have to know how to help and what the signs are that he is uncomfortable.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Juni, respect and trust goes hand in hand for me but XD trust is definitely the better word! Thanks. Glad you know what i was trying to say!
    Post edited by Bootz at 2012-10-29 14:18:45
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    Thank you all for your kind help!!!! Sincere thanks!!! I talked with my husband very seriously on Ray's problem last night, and I asked him to give Ray another chance with my promise. He agreed finally...

    Now what I will do is to start everything over again. Give extra more patience on Ray and treat him as he is just into my family. I did invite a behavior specialist for an in-house visit before. But I guess one time probably is not enough. I'll do it again.

    On my site, I think I have already gained Ray's trust. Because he is always OK with me taking away any of his treats including bones. Surprisingly enough, I go to work everyday and only spend several hours at home with Ray. However, my husband works at home and he is at all time with Ray and Mango. But, apparently he is not there yet. The most I need to work on is to rebuild Ray's relationship with Mango and my husband.
    I know it is not easy, but Ray's leave or stay depends on me.

    Thank you all for your advice again! I feel very much supported because I know whenever I need help, there will always be kind people here trying to help me. Thank you!
  • You've already got good advice here, but also DO get a thyroid test done on him. Thyroid problems can and do cause aggression. This sounds more like a research guarding issue, but you never know.

  • DebDeb
    Posts: 286
    Best book I've found for this is: Changing People, Changing Dogs by Dee Ganley. AND you need a positive method animal behaviorist as well as your vet on board to help you with this dog, especially if you have never helped an insecure and frightened resource guarding rescue dog before. Even when you are doing everything right, the positive changes don't happen overnight or all at once. It takes a lot of time and dedication, shaping behavior, desensitization, counterconditioning and many positive experiences to build confidence and bring around an abused and/or insecure reactive dog. Think ahead to always be sure the dog is being set up for success. My heartfelt best wishes go out to you for helping this dog and asking for help, too!
    Post edited by Deb at 2012-10-30 01:08:14
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Good luck. Just remember your husband needs to be consistent with you. He as much as you need to be employing correct positive training techniques. Even more important if he spends the majority of the day with the dog. For me that would be a challenge as my husband believes our dog understands NO instead of employing redirective techniques to encourage correct behavior.
  • Hello, I just wanted to check in and see how Ray is doing now with little Mango and your husband!
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    Ray is as 'normal' as usual... He plays with Mango and he still yells at her when she keeps bothering him, but no severe fights. My husband accepted him as he did previously. He understood him more and of course be aware of his temper.
    Ray will still be a 'troublesome' teenager for a while, but we are practicing to gain his full trust and avoid to put him into bad situations.
    Thank you for your care and sorry for my late response, as I only saw this message today.
  • garyoogaryoo
    Posts: 29
    @acmccart8 Ray did good with other dogs and he socialized well in the dog park. We'd like to see your little onyx sometime in the future meetups.

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