Patrice! I need your expertise!
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    Today I pulled a male shiba inu from the humane society. While he was in no immediate danger of euth (they are a 50/50 shelter), he was beginning to mentally deteriorate. I've seen huskies in this shelter rapidly deteriorate and I didn't want to see that happen to Hanzo.
    I volunteer at this shelter (first shiba that I recall!), and I watched a few people take interest in him - mostly pity because he only has 3 legs - but since he does NOT like other dogs and isn't all that affectionate, no one filled out an application for him. He is non reactive to cats, though.

    So I pulled him, knowing he doesn't like dogs, and having 3 dogs of my own..
    We are going to go through a very structured intro period.

    Currently, he is comfortably behind a gate and view barrier in the kitchen with a water bowl, pee pad, loofa dog and a warm bed. This alone is much more than he had at the shelter, so I'm already happy for him.
    My goal is to keep him separated from my 3 for at least 1 week, then take away the visibility barrier and let them see each other on the other side of the gate in week 2. Hopefully we can begin to walk them together near weeks 2-3.

    He snaps at the dogs with a little growling when he is close enough to do so. Tsuki lost a few fuzzes when she got to close. He's clearly not inhibiting his bite all that well. He might be in pain, older that I think, or any number of other reasons for this doggy hatred.

    Are there any other things besides time and positive reinforcement that will help him warm up to the idea of my shibas while he is living here?

    Do you have any resources that can courtesy list him as adoptable for me? I can give you more info and a picture if you'd like.
    shibas, beagles & more!
  • Ok you will need to take it slowly. It can take more than several weeks at least. He looks confused and a bit sad to me, i.e. doesn't know what/where his place is. I would not have him meet your own shibas face to face in an enclosed environment at this point at all. I would get him on a routine first alone and then see if you can walk him with another one of your dogs in about 10 days. Be sure to keep things in a forward motion when walking but no face to face contact. Observe to See which one of the dogs he is least insecure, least interested in or least aggressive with. Introductions have to be done one dog at a time, when he is ready. IT has to be carefully staged since you don't want to set your own dogs back in the social department.

    It is hard to say which one he will get along with if any at this stage of the game though. Keeping them separate is a good idea for awhile. Usually I use a double barrier. Meaning a gate that has a gully in front and then another barrier such as a half pen to keep your own dogs from sniffing him at the gate and setting him off.

    Patricia McConnell's book feeling outnumbered is good starter.

    Let me see if there is someone who can courtesy list, but you need to evaluate him a bit more so you know what he is about. He won't begin to unwind for awhile.

    It sounds like you have it down!

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2008-10-28 01:44:20
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    Thanks, SnF! I think the reason I keep signing back on is to read your posts!

    I have the double barrier, he has about a foot where he can see out, and there has only been one muffled growl, but my 3 are separated by at least 2 1/2 feet from him in total, so they cannot get to close right now.

    He does look lost, and a bit sad... I tried give him a wash cloth rinse yesterday. He wasn't interested, but he did let me rub his belly and brush him with the rubber brush. We also fasted him at the shelter all of Sunday so come Monday when I brought him home he'd be better to switch foods, plus for the last week he had bad diarrhea at the shelter. He had a solid this AM from the wellness core ocean I'm giving him mixed with steamed sweet potato.
    At the shelter, he hadn't really slept in weeks, he was starting to pace and whine and really get bad, but I think last night he actually slept comfortably on my pile of towels and afghan because I didn't hear a peep all night.

    We will try walking them close probably this coming Saturday, I think I will have my hubby walk a few feet behind us while I walk the 3 in front. Then maybe we'll do that for at least a week then try them one on one together.

    My husband thought, for our dog's safety, we should buy a muzzle just in case when come week 3 or so we try to walk them together. Does this ever produce good results? I've never had to muzzle a dog before.

    I'm going to order that book today! I love Patricia McConnell's work.

    NYCSR said they will courtesy list and sent me a form to fill out. I can't honestly answer most of it, so I think I'll wait to fill it out for at least a week or so. If anyone else can cross list him, I can try to fill out questions within a week or so about him so far.

    Thank you for everything, Patrice!
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • 1. MASR should be able to courtesy list for you since the try to help for that area too.
    You will need a small write up and two decent photos but not too large in size. Those can be sent to

    (Make sure this boy is up to date on vaccinations, rabies in particular).

    2.Please fill out the following from
    Although it says intent to surrender it is a standard form used for courtesy listings too.

    3. You may want to list with national shiba rescue also.

    4. See if NYC Shiba rescue will courtesy list also.

    Take a look at Feisty Fido by Patricia McConnell that should help with the leash anyway.
    Given that he is in such a state I would not use a muzzle. Muzzles on shibas are a though thing.
    They don't stay on well and restraints usually cause more behavior issues. Some Shibas just do not like other dogs. It can take a long time for a dog to tolerate others, sometimes the come around sometimes not. It really depends on the dog to dog dynamics. If he has not been around other dogs then the chances are slim that he will like all of them. That's the reality.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Oh when walking side by side initially you will have to do it the Cesar way for leash handling. This is the only thing I really agree on (in terms of Cesar) for tough love dogs. Have the greyhound collar up high under chin (not choking) and keep the dog on the opposite side of yours. Do not allow play in the leash where the boy can snap around to your other dog.

    Basically you want to desensitize to the point that even if he does not like other dogs he will tolerate being the vicinity. This takes time.

    Take it one step at a time and we can revisit issues as the come up.

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2008-10-28 12:12:36
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    I wanted to ask your opinion - last night on our evening walk, we decided to use Hachi to walk on my other side opposite to Hanzo. I chose Hachi because she is the most calm outside and has the most dog appropriate social skills.
    my hubby walked the other two about 5 feet or so ahead of us. I didn't let Hachi or Hanzo interact. He did great.

    Then this morning, I walked the 3 first, then went to walk Hanzo and thought that I'd bring Hachi just to see if he'd be ok twice in a row. He was fine. They even got pretty close when I went to scoop up some lawn art, Hanzo sniffed the side of her face and got slightly tense - but didn't make any noises, so I slowly separated them a bit more. And that was it. No issues.

    So, in your opinion - is it possible that a damaged dog can help another damaged dog? I've always used Tsuki as the ambassador because she's the one with no behavioral issues, she's a great, hardy little dog. But I think in this situation, Hachi might be best. Of course I will make ever single effort to not create a situation where any incidents can occur, as I think that would cause a setback for both, but I think Hachi is it this time.

    And I'm waiting on his heartworm bloodtest to come back. I don't have a very good feeling about it. He has a cough - but not a kennel cough hack - just a cough, and he's very lethargic and barely eats. He gets tired after one block of walking. He also has some cracked and rotting teeth so he won't eat kibble and he has a scratched cornea in his left eye and a cataract in his right eye. He's got bite mark scars all over his body, and he's a 3 legger. He's all sorts of messed up.
    I don't know if anyone would even adopt him in this state...
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by tsukitsune at 2008-10-30 10:40:38
  • If he is not feeling well his behavior with other dogs or people is not going to be what it normally would so in assessing it won't be accurate and it all can change down the road.

    I don't think it is about a damaged dog helping the other one that is damaged, I think with shibas it is the dog they are least reactive with, for whatever reason. They pick their friends... As a human you may never figure out what the something is though. Disinterest is a good thing.

    Keep in mind on leash is quite another from off leash though. However, its great it is going well in close proximity while you are walking. I also think Hachi probably has pretty good dog to dog social skills since that is what most of her life was about, not humans.

    From what you describe it sounds like Hanzo has had a few good knocks so expect him to be reactive with dogs even if he shows no signs of it now on leash. Be cautious, like you are doing.
    Don't push things too quickly.

    It certainly sounds like he needs a full blood panel work up in general before you proceed with other medical decisions. He may have anemia that could be caused by either HW or really poor diet or even the gum disease. The other thing is, we don't know why the leg was removed if he was hit by a car, if he has had cancer or the previous owner just had bad gambling debts. Who knows (LOL).

    Whatever the case the blood work needs done to rule out any underlying serious condition. Don't get discouraged at this point just take it one day at a time. There are plenty of people willing to adopt a three legged dog, it just takes more time.

    Get to the bottom of any major health issues first. The cough could be any number of things. The cornea scratch may heal. Don't run him in for dental until all the other medical
    things have been ruled out. He may need to be on antibiotics before any dental is done if his teeth are really bad or he has an abcessed tooth.

    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    Well I've got some good news - he is parasite free (including Lymes, Heartworm).

    His teeth - he has two cracked teeth, not deep but pricey to bond - and his other teeth are just really worn down and sensitive and no abscesses. We are going to wait on any dental procedures, I gotta really balance everything else before we can think about doing that for him...

    The vet thinks his cough is from his throat, it looks swollen and scratched, so he's on antibiotics for that. The vet thinks this might have been from a fight since he has corresponding skin scars.
    His eye (scratched cornea) is fixable with drops.
    Ears are healthy.
    His blood panel showed a basically healthy dog with mild anemia so we just have to get him to eat and he should rally.
    He might have a heart murmur - the vet wants to check when we come back for a followup on his throat and eyes.

    We discussed different supplements and I'm going to be giving him a skin (fish oil), joint (cosequin)and heart (Co Q 10) supplement.
    I need to find a good multivitamin - do you have any suggestions?

    His leg is a mystery - the vet thinks trauma but isn't 100% on the reason for removal.

    So basically, he's just a beat up stray who needs some TLC, which is the best news I could hope for.
    I'm delighted. If he eventually learns to accept the other three dogs, I might even consider keeping him - but in the meantime we are still doing to be searching for a home because he's confined to one room of the house most of the day which isn't fair. He needs his own person, too. He's such a love with people.

    Thank you for caring, Patrice. I'm finding more judgemental words than encouraging ones lately, but such is life I guess!
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • That's great news. quick fyi the anemia, murmer, and cough could all be related. Nutrition should help along with coQ10. The only thing I can suggest for vitamins is the Missing Link and mixing it into warmed meat patties - natures variety makes pre frozen ones so you don't have to knock yourself out. Since his teeth are sensitive I would avoid extreme temps either too cold or hot for food and avoid really hard objects. The boy is probably a lot older than he looks. Shibas fool you in that regard.

    Just keep monitoring him and go back for another blood panel to see if the anemia goes away. If it does not then the cause will have to be further looked into along with the other symptoms.

    Wow he really reminds me of capt. Ahab, black beard, or captain hook (but not quite as sinister).... What a veteran. A tough guy for sure! (LOL)

    You'll be surprised (most likely in a good way) what he turns into once he has more energy and is healthier. Take it slow, one day at a time.


    PS: Finding a home is good so that he can have his own person eventually. However, keep in mind being confined to one room is far better than other alternatives. So if you can stand it and can divide you time just go with it for now, he will learn to adjust.
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2008-10-31 14:03:15
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    Thank you again! I wish I could send you some flowers for your time and the help you've given me!

    Last night we tried him in our bedroom with my husband for the night and I stayed on the couch with our other three. I feel that at least my three have each other, but when my hubby is home we split the time between them. Good practice for kids I guess!!
    He is completely at peace when he's full o' food, walked and has his cushion bed with a person within his eye/ear range. He would keep a retired person company in a very dedicated way!

    And even though he is in solitary confinement during my work hours, he is better off, his water is fresh, his food is nutritious, and he has carpeting instead of concrete and daily walks and attention instead of whenever volunteers are available... :)

    How old do you think he is? The shelter guessed 4-6 but the more I look at him and compare him to some older shibas that I know of in contrast to Kitsune (my 2 y/o male) - he just seems to be at least over 6 - AT LEAST!
    His teeth look quite weathered, dull and worn down. His eyes look tired and dull. His coat is fairly soft but has a slight 'old' odor to it. He has limited energy but he has short bursts of puppiness that are so endearing. I have to get it on camera - he'll pick up a toy and run circles in joy when I come home and open the door to his room... its beautiful! But he gets tired after about a minute of joy. Naturally having been a stray and being malnourished explains a great deal of that, but his age is also a big factor, right?

    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll get some missing link for him!
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6185
    He's a charmer..
    From Hanzo!
    shibas, beagles & more!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00