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Author Topic: Mals and Shelties  (Read 4287 times)
FurTornado
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« on: October 24, 2008, 01:13:05 PM »

I just took on a 4 year old female malamute. She was intact and shortly went into a short heat due to stress and an infection. She had a lot of stress because she was my cousin's who recently died and was suddenly ripped from her home to a new one.

I know that some mals do not like small breeds of dog. When I first introduced them to my group.... she was okay with only my sheltie (7yr. old female, altered). When she went into heat, her acceptance turned. They had a couple minor squabbles... one due to food that was mistakenly left of the floor (I knew better... the sheltie is a food-a-holic). Nothing big, pulled apart easily and neither had any harm. I separated them and after that, the mal looks at her like prey through a gate. Even after the heat seems to be over (like I said it was not normal, she already had a heat cycle earlier in the year), she still acts like she is just a good morsel or after dinner mint.

My question is... could the heat have triggered some female/female aggression? After spaying, do you think it can be easier to resolve (please understand I know I have work ahead of me... the sheltie does have an attitude Smiley )

Now, I am not too worried at this point, but am looking for perspectives so I know where to go as things go along. I've only had her for less than a month and have quite a lot of work to get her into my pack and knew it would be a slow process...

Just some more fyi... She is fine with my dobie (10mo. pup, male, unaltered), and sometimes is good with my weim (11yr. old male, altered) so they are also separated until I am sure she is no longer nervous with him.  No fights there, but I have seen her give signals that she is still a bit nervous.

Thanks for reading..
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 01:20:16 PM »

Same sex aggression is "common" in Malamutes. I use the term "common" loosely though. By "common" I mean that most female Malamutes, if never exposed to or consistently around other female dogs, they will naturally, most likely be aggressive to them. As opposed to being around male dogs, you will likely have fewer issues.

If your cousin never had his Mal around other female dogs to socialize her with them, it's very possible she's same sex aggressive. And considering her age, I would guess that she's past the age of learning to ever accept females. This sort of desensitizatio n to dogs of the same sex must be continually enforced when the dog is young if it will ever be expected to interact well with other female dogs.

Mals are stubborn. And have a high prey drive. She looks at the Sheltie as prey because that is what she is to her. And I've yet to see a Malamute's mind changed about what is and isn't prey.

I wouldn't suggest trying to put these 2 dogs together again, unless you have good reason to see that the issue between them has been resolved. The fact that she is okay with your other male dogs proves the point. Spaying may or may not help, but it couldn't hurt. I doubt it will help though.

Good luck to you; Mals are a great breed, but definitely not for everyone. Her nervousness is due to being in a new home. I too would let her take time to settle in a bit, and until then, give her company with the dogs she gets along with to help her adjust well.
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Marissa

Zoey- Alaskan Malamute, 4 years
Dolly, CGC- Saint Bernard, 4 years
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"To be loved by...any animal should fill us with awe-for we have not deserved it."
FurTornado
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 03:23:33 PM »

"sigh" I know that she was with males before. I couldn't take his male (he's with another cousin), because I knew that a male with attitude would have problems with my weim.  I was just wondering if the heat is what triggered the problem. I know that they were fine for the first few days and she actually preferred the sheltie at that time.

Oh, and don't worry... they won't be together unless I am certain the sheltie would be safe.

Thanks for the response.
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FurTornado
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2008, 07:14:26 AM »

Thank you so much for that nice response.

My guess is that she was the leader of the household because my cousin had been sick for awhile and my aunt is pretty frail. She seems fine giving the leader role to me. I'm sure she is happy about that (most dogs are). I'm sure it is new to her and will take time. It does mean placing a lot of trust in me. And you are right... she doesn't have much training. It is much tighter rules with a multi-dog pack. She is slowly learning the rules.

Hm... I don't think the sheltie believes she is the queen... but maybe the princess..  Cheesy She does love picking on the boys. The boys don't mind it and just let her nip at them (she is also a rescue and doesn't have all her teeth). So, I already knew I couldn't keep the 2 females together without supervision. I also know I have to work on her behavior around the mal. I'm sure her reactions to the mal now have also triggered the prey drive. I'm hoping that within some large amount of time I'll be able to get them together with supervision again.

You have no idea how right you are about the dobie!  :lol: You should have heard his vocalizations wanting to be around her! She gets spayed on Mon. We had to wait awhile because of the infection had to be cleared up and we wanted to get some weight off of her (she was 20+ lbs overweight). No puppies... no thanks. Smiley Could you imagine? A furry dobie? Roll Eyes

One more question... the mal doesn't seem to have a high value motivator. Not a big treat dog. Might change with time, but can't quite find that one thing she'll do almost anything for... I've been able to teach her some stuff with praise, but need something "big" to help her along with the rest. Any suggestions?

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FurTornado
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 06:47:08 AM »

The spay went very well. She is a bit upset that she cannot go for walks. She got a new soft squeaky toy she doesn't have to share, and that also made her a bit happy. The dobie has been beside himself because he cannot visit her and play right now. He just loves everyone and can't wait to be next to everyone.  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 02:45:13 PM »

My Jack Russell couldn't care less about food while I was training her. Her big motivation was squeeky toys and toys with bells. Most toys in general, but we would save one out for only training times. Maybe there is a special toy she likes. Clifford, my Newf, total food driven. I can even use his own kibble as a treat to do training.
Good Luck, I'm happy to see you know it will take some time for her to adjust.
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FurTornado
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2008, 09:00:43 AM »

She does like her toys, but actually loves to tease the dobie with it more. She is all for putting it on the ground making it look enticing and then protecting it. So, I haven't found one that it motivating on it's own. Cheesy I'm still looking. Haven't given up. I'm hoping to find one when she is more comfy.

My dad has wondered why I still have them separated. He forgets that usually I have put a lot of thought and tested them before accepting them in my home. So, usually I have almost immediate blending with the pooches. This one was quite different and I have to remind him of the circumstances. He forgets that not all dogs immediately love each other. He puppy sits for me, so I hope he remembers. Smiley

Btw, Clifford... I love the avatar.
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