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Alsea's picture
Joined: 2010-05-31

Alsea is a 3-year old female spayed doberman my partner and I rescued from a dysfunctional family who wanted to put her down after she got aggressive with their other dog, a golden retriever.  At the time she was 2 and in heat, so we had her fixed before she ever got to our house.  She has been pretty happy ever since as one of three dogs, she's got a great big yard to run in and she loves her sisters, an older cairn terrier and a 7-year old sweetheart of a golden/chow mix that never hurt a flea.  Alsea is definitely an anxious doby, and has separation anxiety which we have tried to address, mostly be removing important things we don't want her to chew, not leaving her alone for too long (4 hours, but sometimes unfortunately longer), leaving the radio on, shutting the curtains, and did try some puppy prozac for a while but didn't see any improvement so discontinued some time ago.  Mostly she is a love, who sneaks into our bed when we're fast asleep and cuddles us, can share a bed with one or sometimes two of her sisters, and is worth all of the trouble.  I used to do better at walking her, which helped with her energy level, but she was very bad with other dogs, kids on skateboards, squirrels, and the ducks and geese we meet on all of our walks.  She has gotten better, but I of course have not and and the weather isn't much help, raining the past 5 months pretty much solid.  But something happened on a recent camping trip, she was so anxious from the sights and sounds and new surroundings that she got very aggressive with our golden/chow and she just hasn't seemed quite right since.  We had to come home because she was so bad, and we were lucky that no serious damage was done this time.  It's like she forgot she was her sister (okay, I know that is anthropomorphizing, but anyway, the relationship shifted).  We are so worried that we can't leave them together any more, and just can't face the fact that this might be a permanent condition.  But we can't risk the safety of our other two.  But we can't give up on her without exhausting all of the possibilities, but we're just not sure what that is. 

^,^'s picture
Joined: 2010-04-13

Hi Alsea's mama, Welcome to the forum! So sad to hear of Alsea problems how awful for you both. 5 months of rain WOW that would make me aggressive for sure. I need sunshine!!! Anyways I am glad you are here cause here is where you just might find the help you need. I read where Prozac made some dogs worse. But that is hear say and not proving. There are other meds out there that may work where Prozac didn't.

It's seems you have done everything humanly possible to alleviate her anxiety...Alsea needs more than what you can do, she need medicine and if she don't get it it will only get worse as you have seen cause it is a brain malfunction!!  She can't help it!!! Nor can you...that I know of.

You can learn more about Anxiety below...



Others will be along to give more help.  I hope this does help in some way!

rgreen4's picture
Joined: 2008-10-26

I highly recommend looking up some of Victoria Stilwell's episodes of "It's Me or The Dog" on Animal Planet. Her take on most dogs with separation anxiety is that they key on the owners. Her advice to a couple with three out of control Great Danes last week, was tell them to be good dogs and leave. No long goodbyes and worried statements about "It's going to be OK".

This is where the value of crating your dog comes into play. As far as her aggression toward her Golden Retriever "sister" is concerned, have you tried the word "NO"? What you may be seeing is the new younger dog trying to take the dominant position from the older dog that has a place. One of the reasons it has just come to the fore, is she is getting more comfortable in the house. Canines live in a pack and in the pack there is a definite pecking order from Alpha to Omega. In your household, you MUST be the Alpaha. That means you control them.

I highly recommend watching not only "It's Me or The Dog", but also Cesar Milan in "Dog Whisperer" on National Geographic channel. They both cover control situations like this and restoring an out of control dog to balance.

This will not be a quick and easy solution, for you basically have to undo the damage that was done in her previous home. I think they just let her do whatever she wanted, and a dog is not happy in that situation.

You commented that she is hard to control on walks. That is the place to start, gain control while walking. Start by walking in an area where there are no distractions. If she tries to surge ahead, turn around so you are in control of the walk, not her. Keep at it, Kate can tell you what the rewards of a rescued dog are.