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Lizzie, our really BAD white Lab

She is a wonderful dog, to people, but not to small dogs. She has attacked our small dachshunds several times, the last two resulting in terrible puncture wounds about the head and face. Over a period of several months, while she showed this intermittent aggression we tried many things and finally thought that we had the problem solved by separating her from the other animals any time food was involved, or when company and lots of excitement were present. The last time the dogs were in the yard together, out of the blue she jumped on our young, under 1 year old puppy. Perhaps was over something as simple as a discarded pistachio hull but we don't know for sure.

That was the final straw. We initially decided to give the dog to someone else, anyone who didn't have other small pets or perhaps some farm setting with just big animals. There were no takers, so our next option was to either give her to the pound or put her down. I was not willing to confine the animal to a cage or cable run. After much thought, we came up with the following adjustment. It was sad to come to this point, but the dog simply can't be trusted around our small dogs.

Lizzie is now exiled for life, from being around her great friends and herd. She and Miss Cleo loved to play chase and other games plus generally ranged our large fenced yard of about 5 acres. My plan was to fence off a subsection of the five acres. That ended up being about 1/8 or 1/10 of an acre. Lizzie lives there during the day and the dachshunds have run of the yard. At night and when we are away on trips, Lizzie gets to roam the yard, but never at the same time as the dachshunds.

In the process of trying to solve this problem I also spent much more time training Lizzie. The other day when moving her from the pen to the open yard, our young pup named Callie bolted out the storm door and immediately attacked Lizzie, barking and biting at her hind quarters. I shouted for Lizzie to sit, and she immediately collapsed to the ground, paying the little dog almost no attention. Lizzie also does a great job of heeling now. Without a leash, I can tell her to heel and she stays to my left and behind me. She also will immediately go to her dog house when commanded. This extra control is very helpful and gives me added confidence in handling the dog.

Hopefully all of these adjustments will avoid the aggression problem in the future and also give Lizzie the best balance of freedom and safety than we can arrange. We continue to be sad over how this played out though, as Lizzie was raised with two small dachshunds from 8-10 weeks of age. We would never have thought that she would have this persistent trait.

Lizzie's exile pen:

Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

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Super Green Thumb
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:cry: So sorry you are having such issues with your much loved dog. It sounds like your training efforts are helping. IF all else fails and you are forced to find a new home for her try showing her at Pet Smart or Pet Co on Saturdays. You have the opportunity to interview prospective families and discuss her special needs.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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You are probably doing the very best you can for her, Alex.

Yes, I would also see if it is possible to find her a very special home for her very special needs. I don't know how some folks can be so lucky with multiple dogs when they can vary in size from 5# to 200#.

From training stock dogs, I believe that the good behavior Callie is now showing in being so quick to obey while ignoring the smaller dog is that she thinks of the other dog as "belonging" to you. They are yours to do with as you will, not hers. Still, these are all dogs no matter what their size and they will react to each others behavior. It may not ever be possible to allow them much time together.

I am puppy-sitting today with my DD's tiny dog. She is a lot of fun but I am very concerned about her future with my daughter if there is ever a baby in the house. DD is my youngest child and hasn't decided to have children yet. When she does Bonzo may well be destined to be re-homed, right here. That could work out fine, I certainly enjoy her but how it will play out in her relationship with a baby, I just don't know . . .

We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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