I come to you seeking advice, yet again. (Because you guys rescued me from my year-long hip problem...a foam roller along my IT band after every run and before bed every night. Problem solved. Thanks-so-incredibly-much.)
After running the Pear Blossom on Saturday, I found myself at home with no kids (Cole was at a friend's, Courtney was at her mom's and Annie was at her Grandma Jo's) and no husband (Guard Duty).
So I decided to take some movies, some junk food and my puppies (Shelby, our seven year old lab and Shindand, our 11 month old German Shepherd) up to my mom's house for a nice, quiet evening.
As soon as I let the dogs out of the back of my car, Shindand starting in on his regular routine of herding and mouthing Shelby (which is what German Shepherds were bred to do) and I immediately knew there was going to be trouble.
It used to be that Shelby would just pummel Shindand to the ground every time he did this. Then he'd whimper and relent, only to start herding and mouthing her again 15 seconds later.
Lately though, Shindand has been responding to this with growling and nipping which has only escalated the situation into mild fights that seem to end quickly as soon as I leave the room/vicinity.
So a mild fight ensued just a few minutes after getting to my mom's house, so I decided to fill a large pitcher of water to keep close-by in case it happened again. (From experience with my sister's dogs, water seems to be the only thing that will break up a serious fight.)
And sure enough, it happened again just a few minutes later.
Only this time it was a serious fight.
I ran for the pitcher of water and threw it on them, which broke them up long enough for each of us to grab a dog.
Shelby (who is a just a timid, docile, 60lb. female dog) didn't have a scratch on her, but Shindand (who is just a crazy, slightly neurotic, 90lb. male puppy) had blood shooting from what looked like a severed artery that ran from the corner of his right eye all the way down to his nose.
After a few seconds of trying to gather our wits, we put Shelby in the dog-run and loaded Shindand in the back of my moms car, where I sat for 45 minutes (my mom lives in the boonies) trying to hold down a 90 lb. puppy who wasn't too keen on the idea of having constant pressure applied to his nose.
By the time we found a nearby vet with emergency hours, the back of my mom's car looked like a murder scene and I looked like the victim.
Shindand had surgery and stayed the night with a fracture in his skull, a large gouge above his eye and a severed artery.
So my question???
What in the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks do I do?
Shindand is on heavy medication for the next two weeks while I try to keep him somewhat immobile and I'm alternating time with Shindand inside/Shelby outside followed by Shelby inside/Shindand outside, but I can't do that long term.
Do I try to train him to think Shelby is the alpha dog by greeting her first, letting her in the house first, etc. Is that a waste of time? Psycho-babble? Even possible given their temperaments?
Do I try to find a trainer who can work with Shindand in a pack setting to try to train that herding/mouthing thing out of him? Is it even possible to train that out of him? Where do you find someone who does that sort of thing? Crazy Dog-Whisperer-Psycho-babble?
Do I have to find a different home for one of them? (That's what my sister had to do once the intensity and frequency of the fights increased between her own pups and she's totally into all that doggie-psycho-babble.)
Any chance my new foam roller can cure this problem too?