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Babysitting fear aggressive Aussie. HELP!

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Joe

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Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 4:41am PST 
Got a phone call from my dogsitter last night. She was getting ready to leave for her brother's wedding and her dogsitter fell through. Could hubby & I watch Koda for a few days.Our greyhound and Koda get along well, and Koda is always fine here, so I agreed & he got dropped off.

Now, the little guy lives with a huge family (7 kids!), and has never been away from home been, so he's understandably confused, upset and afraid. He's a known territory guarder -- they have to put him outside or in another room when guests come over.

I leashed both dogs to opposite sides of the bed while we slept. I didn't want Koda bothering Joe all night, as Joe gave a couple warning barks when Koda tried sleeping next to him in the living room. I didn't want to crate Koda alone downstairs -- thought that would make him more fearful.

This morning, Koda doesn't want me near him. He rolled over, belly up, when I unhooked the leash, but then bared his teeth and growled. I can't get nearer than 5 feet without the same behavior: roll over then "Grrr" . I tried showing a leash to get him excited about walkies, but no dice. Tried duck Jerky; he'll eat it, but not follow. Tried bring Joe up to see if he'd follow us down stairs, but that didn't work. He's unhooked now with the door open, and I've been hoping he'd come downstairs for the last half hour, but he's petrified and guarding (I think) "his" bed.

How do I help the poor little guy get over this? I'd prefer not to get bitten, and to get him out to potty before I go to work.

Rachael
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Joe

1173568
 
 
Barked: Thu Jul 21, '11 2:58pm PST 
I cross-posted in training & behavior, which is probably against the rules! I was really concerned this morning. Koda is much smaller than my Greyhound, but plenty big enough to do some damage! Here's tonight's update; things are looking up!:


Koda hadn't been crated since puppyhood, and was very upset last night when I crated him immediately after arrival. I didn't want him to have to be alone all night when he's used to sleeping with 4 people and a couple cats. (And I wanted to get some sleep, since he's a whiney-pants!) Having said that, he was crated while we were at work today, and it was good!

He's calmed down a lot, and I was able to lure him out of the crate lunchtime, snap a leash on him, and take him outside to potty with no major problems. I did get the "sideways look" -- kind of an I'm not happy, you're making me uncomfortable expression. At least, that's how I read it! Koda's body language is pretty different my ex-racer's! I think he really hates feeling cornered (Well, duh! I'm dumb, I know!)

Tonight has been fine, so far. Got Joe out of the bedroom and left Koda crated in the living room until he "asked" to come out. Made him sit first. Gave both dogs treats for tricks! Took them out in the yard together; Joe loose, Koda leashed. No problems.

My plan is to keep Koda tethered to me or crated until he's more predictable. Like I mentioned, if he's on lead, he's fine! (Getting the leash on him is kinda scary, but he likes the duck jerky, so he's distractable.) Does that sound reasonable?

Funny thing: Joe went into the kitchen to try to get in the trash, and I called him. Joe ignored me, but Koda jumped on the sofa and put his head in my lap. We're making progress.

Any more advice?

Oh, he still won't eat his regular food. Since he's taking treats, and drank while crated, I'm not concerned health-wise. He's just clearly still not comfortable. It's only been a day. But he was just asking for pets and making it hard to type -- which is the kind of behavior we had last night that made me think he'd do fine in the bedroom. I don't know! This boy confuses the heck out me!
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