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Recent aggression shown in my Shiba Inu / Terrier mix

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Barked: Tue May 21, '13 7:56pm PST 
Hello, I have never posted on a forum like this, so please excuse my inexperience, but I am hoping that someone can give me some insight. I have an 11 year old Shiba Inu / Terrier mix. She was born in Okinawa, Japan and brought over by an American military family. They gave her up when she was 4 and we were lucky enough to adopt her. She has always been amazing and we have always loved her. Often times, we would comment that we can't believe someone would give her up, as she is the best dog my husband and I have ever had. We had her for 5 years before we had children. I treated her as my baby (slept in bed, kissed her, laid with me on couch). Then our first daughter was born and everything changed. Foxy had always been good with kids, but she always had a problem with my daughter, which I attribute to the decrease in attention once my daughter was born. When my daughter started walking and playing with Foxy, Foxy didn't like it and began showing aggression to her (although the ratio was low for the amount of times that my daughter went up to her compared to the amount of times that Foxy showed aggression). No matter what we tried, the aggression continued (not all the time, but sporadically). Foxy has now snapped at my daughter on two occasions, one time getting her in the face (superficial cuts). Two weeks ago, Foxy snapped at a service man that was at the house. I don't know what to do. I can't keep her anymore (as much as that kills me as I have never given away a dog in my lifetime), and I am afraid that I won't be able to find a home for an 11 year old dog with a snapping history. I say snapping because she has only actually bitten one time, but snapped 3 times. Her vet said that Shiba's are known to become more aggressive and ornery in their old age. I have heard the suggestion of putting her to sleep a lot; however, she is still a healthy dog, even though she is 11. I don't want to put her to sleep, but I can't keep her and I am getting very discouraged. I am also worried about liability issues if I re-home her and she bites someone else. Can anyone please help me or give me any suggestions? It would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Wed May 22, '13 11:24am PST 
You might want to ask to have your post moved to behavior & training forum or cross post there as well. I'm sure there are people there who can help you to manage the behavior and be able to keep your pup instead of rehoming her. There might also be some who could advise you on rescues,trainers and behaviorists in your area. Good Luck.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Thu May 23, '13 9:06am PST 
At 11 years of age the first thing I would be doing is getting her vet checked to see if she's starting to have old age pain. She might be worried the baby is going to touch her in a spot that she's tender and cause more pain.

In the meantime you could put them on opposit sides of a babygate and toss treats to her when the baby wanders near the gate to teach her good things happen when baby's around.

Also I know it's hard but even 5 minutes of special time for her might make a world of difference. When the baby's down for a nap I'm sure you have a 100 things to do but take a moment, cuddle your dog, tell her she's the best and give her some kisses.

Edited by author Thu May 23, '13 9:08am PST


Member Since
Barked: Sat May 25, '13 11:16am PST 
Thank you both very much for your input. The idea about the tossing the treats with the gate is very good. We contacted a behaviorist and are just waiting to hear back from them...