My dog was recently attacked and wanted advice. For those uninterested in the back story, skip the next section to the one below it.
My 9yr old Yorkie mix pupper, named Emilee, has been a joy since the day I held her in the palm of my hand as a puppy. Extremely smart, loving, obediant, lazy, playful, and quirky. Brother, his wife, and their 5 dogs moved in due to circumstances. I voiced my opinions on their dogs behavior and the fact they were undisciplined. Unfortunately, my mother talked me down from standing my ground. Months later we have a family get together. One of my brother’s dogs attacked Emilee at the family gathering. Everybody had been staying over for the week, nobody there the dogs hadn’t seen before, and the attack happened right beneath our feet in the kitchen. Pretty close to food bowls I’ll add. No growling, no warning, just attacking. She grabbed Emilee by the throat and began to turn her over, I know I’m not “supposed” to get between fighting dogs but saw my dogs face and just reacted. I twisted her collar up and pried open her jaw as others did what they had to do. Since we were right there the fight maybe lasted 20-30 seconds. The dog was immediately taken outside by brother after she let go, rolled over and peed showing she gave up. Took Emilee into my room and combed through her hair, found a 1 inch gash in her neck and loaded her up in the car to take her to the vet. While I get to the vet my brothers dog attacked him while he was loving on her and he had to shoot her unfortunately. All the paperwork for shots and so on was current. Come to find out later I had been lied to (sister in law finally told me) and she had previously been doing this to neighborhood dogs for no apparent reason. I’d never have allowed a dog with that behavior into my home if I’d known otherwise. Anyways, a one inch gash and a puncture wound, several stitches, and two tubes in her neck. The tubes come out tomorrow (thank God).
5 days after the attack, my pupper still isn’t quite herself. I want advice on things to do to acclimate her back to being comfortable at home and around familiar dogs. I know it hasn’t been long, took her with me on a business trip to get some quality time and because I only trust myself for my dogs care. Especially since the attack happened in our home, at my feet nonetheless. She still follows basic commands, such as calling her, still understands when I snap my fingers or make a short hiss that I mean business and needs to follow direction. Still does all of her tricks if I offer up a treat. However she is overly anxious, especially in the kitchen, fearful of other dogs (even her buddy Koo Koo who was raised with her), stopped eating, will only drink when I bring her to the bowl. On the trip she did pretty well, tubes gave her discomfort, puppy drugs, and new place led to some cautious behavior which is understandable. But at home she only stays on the couch, sometimes burying her head when another dog comes up. If I get her to the kitchen, she shivers, licks lips, yawns, claws at me, and I’ll sit with her and calm her down. Talk to her and love her till she stops but then it’s back to the couch immediately. Won’t eat unless she hasn’t eaten in a couple days and then it’s human food not dog food. I believe in a firm hand but a fair one too when it comes to obediance and training. But I’ve never had to nurture a pupper. Yes I raised her and I’m a softy for dogs, but I’m consistent and firm. I’ve been giving in a bit more to coddling when we returned home, carrying her to water, picking her up when she starts freaking, but I don’t want her to become needy ( I know sounds kinda bad). She’s always been smart and kind of independent, she does her thing, I do mine, and we’ll meet in the middle for play time and bed. Should I be more lenient? Should I stand my ground and try to root out these anxious behaviors? And how? Do I continue our kitchen floor therapy sessions or is there a better method someone can think of?
All in all, I don’t want her to be afraid of the food bowl, other familiar dogs, of the kitchen, and wanna do all I can for her. Thats why I’m here looking for brainstorming ideas for therapy since I’ve always been able to avoid these situations in the past. Thank you for your time and patience reading through all this. Just concerned for my puppers mental health and well-being.