Announcing the arrival of Duke (9/10/15)! Duke was pulled from a kill shelter and placed in a Mastiff Rescue. I was lucky to find him at his foster home just 20 minutes from my house. After a two week recuperation from being neutered, he was finally ready to come to his forever home.
I picked him up on a Thursday evening and he did fine with Zeke, my Chihuahua. I put the gate up when I went to bed, locking Duke in the main part of the house and taking Zeke with me. Duke whined a little then settled down and was good all night. On Friday he started getting into things. He pulled some packaged bar soap out of the bathroom and brought it out to his bed and was chewing into it when I caught him. He also grabbed Maggie’s bucket of glucosomine/condriotin treats out of the closet. I took it away from him before he was able to get into it.
I decided to see how he was going to do alone in the house and drove to the end of the road and back. Took me 4 ½ minutes. When I came back into the house he had pulled every carton of soda out of the closet and taken it to his bed. He was in the process of shredding the shrink wrap and had made quite a mess. I tried crating him but he was one unhappy dog in that crate. He’s never been crate trained. He was scratching at the door and carrying on in there. I was afraid he’d hurt himself. So… I called the foster that I got him from. I was thinking of taking him back as I do have to go out of the house every now and then—like to church or grocery shopping. The foster came over, brining Duke’s blanket and one of his stuffed toys. He stayed for about an hour while we put Duke into the crate, waited for him to lay down and let him out again, all the while praising him up. Then we started leaving him in the crate for a longer time and finally went outside for a while. When I was comfortable that I could handle it he went home and I continued crate training. I kept increasing the time a little at a time for the next few hours.
Monday, and the crate training went well but new problems developed. Duke waqs now territorial over his toy, blanket and crate. Saturday night he snapped at Zeke three times for just walking too close. Sunday was better. I separated them with a gate, only letting Zeke out into the main part of the house after I’d put the toy up. Of course, Duke being the size he is thinks it’s ok to put his feet on the table and get his toy back. :\ Had to give him a firm NO to that one. They seemed to do ok if the toy is out of the picture but I still didn’t let them together unless I actually had eyes on them. I locked Duke out of the bedroom at night, just to be safe. I don’t think Duke would hurt Zeke on purpose but if he’s pulling the aggressive card he could accidentally hurt him and besides, I don’t want to be woken up to a dog fight in the night. Not my idea of fun.
By Wednesday it looked like I couldn’t trust Duke around Zeke. I’d been trying the dogs together a bit but mostly keeping them separated by a gate. Tuesday when I moved the gate to let Zeke out, Duke charged passed me and tried to attack Zeke. Scared me half to death. Scared Zeke too. Took me a while to find him as he went and hid. I put Duke in time out, making him lay on his blanket. He never moved off of it the rest of the night. He knew he’d been bad.
I talked to my vet’s daughter about the situation. We’re going to try six weeks of basic training to teach Duke manners and obedience plus she’s going to come out to the house and work with him on the aggression problem.