Be responsible, be compassionate, pets are for life.
Karma and Eris have both been making great strides in their training in the two short years that I've had them, Karma with her aggression and Eris with her hyperactivity. Recently, a new dog moved into our complex who seems to have little training and serious dominance issues, every time I go by him with one of the dogs he gives threatening stares and even sometimes barks at us which the owner consistently fails to correct. This dog has really been testing Karma's self control. Yesterday, I took both dogs out for a walk not realizing that the aggressive dog was with his owner at the dumpster which is located at the base of our stairs. I didn't see them until it was too late. The dog of course was on a very loose leash and was allowed to glare and lunge towards us. This sent Karma into complete hysterics, she was redirecting at everything including myself and Eris which then sent Eris into defense mode and a full fight broke out between the two of them. It was all I could do to try to keep them separate so they wouldn't kill each other bu there was no way I could them far enough apart for them to stop. It also didn't help that this idiot girl and her dog just stood there watching us like it was a damn show. I yelled at her to please take her dog and leave because it was making things worse and she just yelled at me defensively that she "didn't do anything!" (stupid bitch). Finally some neighbors came out to help pull the dogs apart and then it was my turn to go into hysterics, puking and crying and everything! Lol. Thankfully, neither dog was badly injured, just bruised, but I having been in the middle of it and refusing to let them go ahead and kill each other, received several bites and scratches. We are all recovering today but now I have the difficult task of reevaluating how I will continue to care for them, with their safety and my own in mind. Since I will be moving to a house by myself (so that they can have a yard to exercise in) I worry that if something similar happened again, if I would be able to stop break it up quickly. It is my hope that the yard will help release extra pent up energy while keeping them safely away from other dogs that might trigger Karma's agression, but this may or may not be a solution. It is likely that they will have to be separated for their own benefit so that Eris can't be harmed and so that Karma can get the intense training and supervision she likely needs, though I hope with all my heart that I don't have to give either of them up as I love them dearly. I am making an appointment with another behavior specialist asap to have her evaluated and receive more direction on how to help both my girls. Please wish us luck and strength on my part as this is going to be a very difficult decision making time ahead.
Please, if you are a new pet owner, do your research. Don't be like my neighbor who doesn't understand shit about dog behavior. I knew what I was getting into by adopting rescued dogs with no previous knowledge of their background or temparaments. Talk to a vet, talk to your friends, watch animal planet, read some articles, hell if you have any animal questions at all feel free to ask me via email or in a cam show. There are so many well meaning but misinformed owners out there and it can often mean the demise of another animal or person. Don't kid yourself either that your dog is better behaved than you think or that you can handle everything they throw at you all the time (as I did). I am still learning to this day and accept this responsibility to continue to learn for the lifetime of my animals. Not everyone can be a pet owner, but anyone can do the right thing. Be responsible, be compassionate, pets are for life.