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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I'm new to the forums but I've been reading a lot of great information tonight - information that I wish I'd had a few days ago.

I should start by explaining that I'm not an idiot (really... I'm not, lol). I've always owned dogs... I've owned a collie, a shih-tzu, a collie/husky mix, a beagle/terrier mix, a beagle/golden retriever mix, a weimaraner and most recently we adopted what we were told is a redbone coonhound mix (not sure if that's true or not). I've always considered myself to be a good dog owner and fairly "smart" when it came to dogs. Apparently the rescue that I work with agreed - that's how I came to be a foster mom.

Back in November we were a 2 dog family. We had Charley, the beagle/golden mix and Molly, the Weim. Both of these dogs are fairly easy-going. Molly is hyper (she's an 18 mo old Weim) -but she's submissive. Just before Thanksgiving I received a call asking if we were still interested in fostering. We were - so Beanie came to stay with us. Beanie came from a farm where there were 10 dogs living. All of the dogs were outside dogs, were used for hunting and all were in pretty rough shape - flea ridden, underweight, dirty and scarred. But all of them had wonderful temperaments. Beanie was no exception. From the beginning she hit it off with my dogs. She was tolerant of a bath and grooming. She slowly gained weight and immediately attached herself to me and became "my dog". In January we made it official and adopted her.

Beanie met my friends Boxer in our backyard and showed no signs of aggression. Beanie went to my other friends house and met their 4 pound Chihuahua and never showed aggression. We had Cooper a small German Shepherd mix stay with us for a month and she did not show aggression. Then Harry came to stay with us. Harry is a large black lab who was also from the same farm. Harry and Beanie got along fine -mostly ignoring one another.

One day a White Shepherd was loose in our neighborhood. My dogs were out in the backyard so I snuck out, caught the shepherd and got the owners number off of her tags. I was standing with her in the house when my son opened the backdoor - all 4 of the dogs came charging in with Beanie leading the way. They attacked the Shepherd. We were able to get them apart and no one was seriously injured. But Beanie showed real aggression - not just warning.

Several weeks ago, I was laying on my bed with all of the dogs when my son came in to lay down with me. Beanie, without provocation or warning, snapped at my son and nicked his nose. This was the start of the "no dogs on the bed" rule.

Harry found his forever home late last week and on the day that he was leaving I was asked to take in a 9 year old white chihuahua, since all of my dogs had met chihuahuas and had never had an issue. I brought him into the backyard and had planned to have one dog come out to meet him at a time, figuring my husband would put those who were not coming out in their cages. Instead, he tried letting one out and all 4 of them came charging out. Beanie grabbed the chihuahua by the neck, picked him up and shook vigorously. I was able to pull her off of him and hand her to my husband and by that time, Harry (the lab) had him by the rib cage and was shaking him.

Needless to say, within 2 hours of having the little guy I was rushing to the vet. He had a bruised lung and air had gotten in under the skin from a puncture wound. BUT - he is expected to make a full recovery and today was able to go home to a new foster home, one who doesn't have any other dogs.

So, yes - I realize that we had 2 very botched introductions and I wish that I'd known about walking them to introduce them... that would have been a help. But I have some questions:

Is it possible that Beanie has a problem with white dogs? Both times she's attacked, it's been white dogs. Do you think it's a fluke or do you think she just might not like them?

Can you train a dog to control their hunting instincts?

How do I move forward? I would still like to foster if possible but more importantly, I would love to be able to take my dogs to my sons football practices, baseball practices and games and feel comfortable that they won't attack a passing dog. I would love to be able to take my dogs to Petsmart and be confident in their behavior. I would like to be able to go to the dog park with them and not worry that Beanie will attack another dog. How do I gain that confidence?

Honestly, I've never been an owner who taught strong discipline - but this is the first time I've ever owned multiple dogs too. My dogs all know "sit" - though the Weim is a little slow. I've been working with them on "check in" - where they all come to me and sit at my feet... right now, I'm just rewarding them for showing up.

I'd appreciate any advice, any thoughts, opinions, etc. I've told the rescue that at the moment, I will not take any small dogs in as fosters and that I am only available for larger dogs on an emergency basis. I want to get my "pack" in line first.

3,391 Posts
Find someone with a white dog and someone with a black dog and meet outside on nuetral territory and see the reaction. Some dogs are known to dislike certain colored dogs, maybe from a bad experience.

Start implimenting N.I.L.I.F, it's a sticky in the training forum up at the top, your new dog may be resource guarding you.

I would tell people you are unavaliable to foster right now until you make sure your dog is not dog aggressive towards stranger dogs.

Start trying to train all your dogs with simple commands like sit, stay, come, etc..this will bond you with all of them, and put you in a "leader" position, so they look to you for advice, not just react without looking to you.
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