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Fear aggression behavior. Possible rehoming
  • Post edited by sunyata at 2015-09-14 08:08:41
  • I am having some anxiety after posting this.. I hope I'm not embarrassing myself. I tried, I have. But I can't help him, and the boyfriend is really not liking him anymore. He deserves better :(

  • How old is Denso? Had he actually bitten anyone? Fen went through a reactive period just after his first birthday, but it was also a time of change for him.

    You are not failing Denso at all. You obviously just want what is best for him.

    I am sick in bed, so don't have your address in front of me. Remind me where you are?
  • Just looked up - you're in so cal and he isn't even a year old, right?
  • Post edited by Nikkitine at 2015-09-11 21:10:13
  • I remember when Jade was struggling with Fen and talked about returning him to the breeder. We were both so glad we worked through everything with him!! I agree with nikkitine - make sure he doesn't have a health issue that could be causing this. He could be in pain from something.

    When Fen was being reactive we changed the way we interacted with him. We also put him in puppy time out when he was displaying undesirable behaviors, and we reinforced all good behaviors, even the tiniest thing like standing for us to put his leash on. No idea what set him off (well, yeah we have an idea) but once we changed things up a bit his reactivity decreased significantly.
  • I know he is still young, I want to wait until he is an adult. But the thing is that his behavior will get worse and it won't be good. I cannot afford to get him help, and that bothers me. I would rather him get help, than to me selfishly keep him like this.
    I want to wait, I do, but how will that affect him? That is what I'm worried about.
    Then of course my boyfriend cutting most ties with Denso. It isn't fair to Denso, or me for that matter. He wanted a companion, which I understand, and he doesn't want to deal with a fearful dog like this. I wanted a "normal" dog too, but I love Denso and I would definitely pay money for him but I just can't and I'm not sure when I will be able to. I am lucky that I have a place to live right now.

    After today, I am lucky I didn't get bit. I was really scared of him during that episode and stayed away. I was shaking for a while. I never had a dog do that to me.. Yes, I am in San Diego and he is 9 months this month.

    I wasn't aware of the free evaluation. I will definitely look more into that for sure. I am not giving up on him yet, but it is a possibility that he will have to go :(
    I am still thinking of what else I can do. Denso has come such a long way since I started with him, he is a good boy, he just has some issues to address..
  • tysaaantysaaan
    Posts: 122
    I have a pup the same age as yours, 9 months. He isn't reactive, but he does have issues that I am still working with such as leash pulling and playing too rough. I wish the best for you and Denso, just remember that what you are doing is whats best for him.
  • Post edited by Nikkitine at 2015-09-11 22:31:46
  • You know, I just remembered: my mother in law has a dog that has attacked her and her adult daughter after she sweeps the floor or runs the vacuum. Fen would attack the vacuum but not me.

    It really is very sad about your boyfriend. I'm sorry. Is there any chance he will come around?
  • People may not agree with me, but I'll tell you what I did when I got Fen back from my mom (renitiadb) and he was very reactive and aggressive. He even scared me a couple times at first. But he became a total sweetie again within a couple months.
    Every time he was aggressive he went to the other room for a while until he calmed down. Away from all the people and fun.
    Yes he would fight me sometimes, I just grabbed the back of his collar and (yes I know not very friendly but effective) put my arm in his mouth. I know not a lot of people don't approve of that method, but it didn't hurt him, just made him uncomfortable, and he stopped snapping at me. I grabbed his snout sometimes, so he couldn't bite me. But my ADULT shiba was DOMINANT not fearful, so for Denso...

    -room or cage away from people when aggressive
    -Take him on lots of walks
    -socialize as much as possible!
    -Feed him by hand (resource control and gives a soft mouth training exercise)
    -If he does go to bite you shut him down, biting is not acceptable

    Finally, don't be afraid of him. He's little. You can easily overpower him. Fen bit me pretty hard and didn't even break skin, after that I wasn't afraid at all.

    Maybe this advice is totally wrong, but based on my personal experience and knowledge that is what I would try. BUT I have not worked with fearful dogs very much, so try some things, do what makes you comfortable. I think a small dog is within your ability to control aggression if you really commit.
  • That is true nikkitine. Young children have to be taken into account.
  • @Nikkitine
    By normal I mean without issues, such as Denso's fear which was because he is a mill puppy (which we didn't want to get either, because of that reason, but it happened).
    I love working with dogs, but I don't have experience with those types of issues. He is my first owned dog as an adult (I had one as a child, and she passed a few years ago), but I've trained (as in commands and things) and been around dogs a lot until Denso. I fostered a Finnish Spitz once too. But as far as owning by myself, yes he is the first.

    He's barked at the vacuum before, but only once because it was too close and he didn't have the chance to run into the other room. I always make sure he gets to safety before starting the vacuum now. But other than that, nothing. And to go as far as to do it to me instead of the vacuum, and for that long, is what's worrying me now. I wasn't doing anything except sitting on the floor untangling a cable, and when I would get up to do whatever, he would act as if I'm backing him into a corner and get really defensive towards me (cue big eyes, barking, fast loud snapping, lunging, and trying to nip).
    I was able to pretend harness him, and put him in his crate. That was enough from him, after doing it multiple times. He calmed down after that and I let him out.

    I assume my boyfriend would want to keep him, if his issues were being resolved. He doesn't like re-homing animals either, but he doesn't want these behaviors. It's stressful for everyone, and he doesn't want to deal with it.
    So I'm sure if we had a miraculous way to hire someone, or something, that he would be more than fine and re-bond with Denso. It's not that he hates Denso, he just hates how he is.


    Thank you so much for posting. I have been doing warnings and time-outs with his barking since he started snapping at me. It seems to just be getting worse anyway. His barking is much better sometimes after starting it (his barks aren't as random and pointless), but his defensive/high alert/whatever issue is increasing.
    When warning him to hush, he would do a tiny snap showing that he disapproves of us interrupting. I started doing time-outs from then on. Then the snaps got bigger. Then the growling started. Then his hackles would be up, as well as the above. And now he tries to get to what he's barking at (ex. bolting out of the door to bark at a car) all while doing all of the above. The time outs DO work, but only for the barking.
    I tried crate timeouts first, but he would just continue in his crate so he didn't get the message.

    I do try to socialize him, but he hasn't been getting better with that so far. He warms up to people in our house fine and all, but taking him to big public stuff he's still terrified of. I still need to make a park day for him to watch people, but my son has been super cranky mode the past month (two teeth are in!).

    I don't really believe those methods will work for him, since he is fearful, but I could give them a try once I do more research on them. The last thing I want to do is make the worse even more worse. :(

    But this boils down to not just what is happening with his issues, but the other point that my boyfriend lost his bond with Denso because of it as well. And if I can't work on his issues, they will probably just get worse and he will bite someone and be put down.
    I also rent and my landlord, being the caring soul she is, is letting us continue to live here and pay her as we can. She can kick us out in a second if she wants. And if she hears that we have an aggressive dog (who has charged our neighbor before), that will not be good and at that time I will be on a time limit to rehome him or leave. And a time limit does good for no one, especially with behaviors such as Denso's.

    There is just so much to think about :(

  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    It sounds like Denso is quite stressed at the moment and I wouldn't take it too personal that it is you he is directing it to and not the vacuum, for example. He is trying to release his stress only.
    I don't know your financially situation but there are some aid you can buy that may reduce his stress and make him easier to train. DAP/ Adaptil which is a Feromone is quite effective. I have also used something called Serene UM Calm which is supposed to reduce aggression. Noone of them will make him drousy or sleepy and they are no miracle cures either but they may just get him down one level, so to speak.
  • I looked up a few trainers that do evaluations and I'm going to reach out to a few rescues and the like, to see if I can get help before making my decision. Good news though, is that I have the perfect person to home him to if needed, who is actually a friend of someone on here. So I have a backup plan at least, that I am comfortable with.

    I will do more with this tomorrow.
    I appreciate all of the replies
    Post edited by Frillface at 2015-09-12 02:31:20
  • @Nikkitine

    I will read that tomorrow :)
    The main issue with Denso's triggers though, is that they are random and inconsistent. He is also scared of (and barks) at noises. Sights are worse, but noises get him hyped up as well which makes it harder to determine and control..

    I will look into that as well. Anything helps!
  • @Frillface Even though there may seem like no trigger, Denso could be reacting to something. Dog attacks are hardly ever "random" and finding out exactly what puts him in this state should be your first option.

    When socializing, it needs to not exceed his comfort level. If he goes to an event and sees a lot of things/people, but ends up getting overwhelmed and stressed, it wont do him any good.

    To me it sounds like he is going through a fearfull stage.

    I hope you all figure out whats best. Shame on your boyfriend for being so quick to kick him to the curb. Just like a child, you never know how your pup will grow and develop, and what behavior issues will pop up, but you can't just rehome a child when it gets too expensive or the going gets rough.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
  • @Shiba_Surprise
    Oh yes, I know there is something but I don't know what that something is. He isn't consistent with what he is scared of, or barks at. He could be scared of my neighbor one day, then love him the next. It's random, and it makes it much more harder and frustrating to deal with because I don't know what to do. :(

    I didn't think of that @zandrame

    Denso has always liked my son though, my son is his actual favorite human. He never cared about his cries or noises since I took him home, he would just ignore him really. So I wouldn't think that my son would be affecting him like that, also because my son is generally quiet, especially at home. He'll get whiney when we go somewhere when he is feeling cranky, but my son isn't a loud baby like I'm sure you are thinking. That also being said, we actually don't stress about my son a lot either, since he is such a good baby. But Denso scares my son. If Denso is barking, or hyped up, my son feels that and starts crying. So it's like the other way around..

    I'm not saying my son isn't scaring him somehow! I don't know, I can't read Denso's mind. But Denso has always seemed calm around him, and always ignores him if that is happening.

    Even when everyone is calm, which is the majority of the time, Denso is not good at settling down. After a month or two of having him, he just doesn't sleep or stay still. He won't lay in just one spot, and he does this at night too. He's always moving around in his crate, and it always seems like he's awake. He doesn't seem like anything is wrong, he just won't relax. I don't know how to describe it. That could be normal, I don't know, I just noticed it recently.

    Denso is actually very inconsistent himself.. He's also inconsistent with his triggers, and it makes it hard to do things with him or figure out what is wrong. I know I cannot provide a very stable home, because of my son, but he has always been on a routine and everything.

    Either way, I'm not disagreeing, I'm just putting in what I've seen and noticed.
    I very much agree that he needs a quiet and more stable home, and of course someone who has the time/funds to further help him with his issues.
  • He gets a morning walk (about 30 minutes), 2 play times (about 15-20 minutes each), and his evening hike which ranges from an hour to 2 hours.
    He always has energy lol. We could come home from a long hike and he wants to play!

    I could try setting up a small afternoon walk if you think that will help.

    That makes sense. Oh how I wish our Shibas could speak! Then again, that might not be a good idea ;)
  • Post edited by Nikkitine at 2015-09-12 14:47:51
  • I didn't know that actually! I'll swap one of his play times with command time and see how he does. I'm sure he'll enjoy the treats
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Usually every night after our evening walk Juni will want some activity indoors. I try to vary the play/training sessions and just now I came up with a "semi new" game. I taught her to step on a postit note to get a treat. First by just putting it on the floor in front of her, she sniffed it-nothing happened, touched it with a paw I said YES and gave her a treat. After a few times of that I placed postit notes around the apartment and she had to go search and step on them to get her treats.
    Super fun and after about ten minutes she was exhausted and content and went to bed.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    You have to be quick and reward before she starts shredding (Juni also loves shredding paper) or maybe use a different sturdier items like books? Plates?
  • because I didn't see this anywhere, so sorry if I missed it. Has he been fixed yet? Both of mine didn't calm down and actually listen to me and such until they got fixed. If he isn't fixed, look into doing that. Its possible it could help a little with his anxiety.
  • That's a great game idea Juni!
  • @Juni
    That does sound fun! What a cool idea :)
  • @MoxyFruvous

    He is not. I also read that neutering a fearful dog could make him worse, and I'm not sure what decision to make.
  • @Kira_Kira

    I completely understand.
    I'm just hoping with more gathering of information and help that maybe I can lay it all out and talk with the boyfriend.
    But even if I get boyfriend approval, we might still need professional help and I do not know when that will be possible.

    I know homing him is best at this point, I just don't want to give up :(

    I'm just glad I have a couple of choices to home him to. I'll start contacting them..
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1590
  • I would have to agree with everyone else, that if you don't have the means to get any behavioral help and you're not getting help from your BF, it might be best to rehome him.

    I've never heard of a fearful dog getting more fearful after being fixed, but I guess its possible. I only saw positive changes in my three dogs after getting them fixed. Maybe someone else has some thoughts on that?

    But I do want to suggest getting him fixed before rehoming him so he doesn't end up being adopted by someone who will breed him.

    This might be a long shot, but this stuff helps my cats A LOT.

    Wishing you all the luck.

  • Post edited by Frillface at 2015-09-13 03:43:40
  • I know its very sad/upsetting, but I think finding him a home where someone can work with him and get him the help he needs, will be great for him.

    You're in southern California, right? I believe there is a Shiba rescue down there.
  • @MoxyFruvous

    Yes, I fully agree. I have no idea when I would be able to help him either, and I don't expect to anytime soon. The last job lay off we went through lasted 8 whole months.. That is way too long to wait, if it were to take that long again.

    I know of two Shiba rescues near here, yes. I will be getting in contact with them soon
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
  • Post edited by Jerricadotcom at 2015-09-14 13:24:14
  • At least here in Seattle, the animal shelter will do free spay and neutering for people who are low income. Call around to find out.
  • Did you contact my friend Kathy? She's a great resource. :)
  • I'm going to put this out there - how about getting rid of your boyfriend instead? I'm a huge believer in animals being able to sense how people feel about them and if your boyfriend does not like Denso, Denso can probably tell. OK this may not be realistic but just something to think about :)

    That aside, I am extremely saddened about this post. Mainly because it seems that you have a lot of things you are trying to work through right now and on top of that, you have to give up your pup - the one thing in your life that will absolutely love you unconditionally no matter what circumstance you are in. I hate to see you give up on him when he obviously needs all the love he can get. Are you absolutely sure there's nothing else you can do to keep him and make him happy? I am not trying to make you feel bad but he's not going to understand what's going on if he moves to be with someone else or somewhere else. I saw a lot of good suggestions in this thread, have you tried any of them? Did you look into neutering or the free evaluations or taking him to the vet or the relaxation spray or any of the other things here? It just breaks my heart to see this sort of thing happen to a dog that doesn't know any better.
  • @hmback

    Uh, we've been together for 6 years and have a child. We've had Denso for 5 months. So :P

    It is very hard for me, but I'm not doing it for me, I'm doing it for Denso. He needs someone who can hire a professional to make him feel safe in his own environment.
    I emailed a few trainers and no one got back to me. I will be neutering him soon. I really think I need a behaviorist at this point. He barks and charges everything, even invisible things (I assume sounds), then hides in the back of his crate. He is going mental. He needs a better owner, one with money or experience or something.

    If I had money, I would so love to hire someone, but I don't. I have no one to help me, so he needs a better home. I would be very selfish to keep him like this.

    That being said though, I'm still contacting help while finding him a home. So I'm not fully giving up or anything.
    Post edited by Frillface at 2015-09-19 23:35:31
  • So I know you said you don't have the money for any help, but I just happened to take a look at Groupon and there are some inexpensive training classes you could look into. From $35 and up. Sure, its not a behavior specialist, but it might help and something here might be in your budget.

    I'm not saying you should do it, but it might be helpful until you can find him a home.

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