Fear aggression, separation anxiety, and food deprivation

Kona was a beautiful powerful Husky/Malmute mix with two different colored eyes, one blue and one brown packed into a solid 22 month old rescue that had just recently been adopted by a smart mature young lady that lived with her parents, a lovely couple in Tempe, Az. When I arrived and put a collar and leash on him in the living room he laid down rolled over and showed me submission. As I proceeded to work him in basic obedience he resisted whenever I took him away from his new owner and her mom. He was bonded with them ergo separation anxiety. I used posturing to lessen his resistance and aggression and diffuse the situation. This dog definitely had deep seated issues from his previous packs.
Once a pup is weaned from the litter they need a dominant demonstrative leader to show and tell them right from wrong. A great leader praises good behavior and warns them when they’re perpetuating bad behavior. For example mouthing pack members whether human or canine too hard can cause injury and excuse the pun must instantly be nipped in the bud. Kona had this problem and since I diagnosed he’d been hit by a male owner and possibly severely abused I had to be careful not to brush up against these triggers created by a previous owner. Raised voices and gesticulating arms seemed to back him into the abused corner from which to interact with a rescue is very difficult and dangerous. Plus Arizona has a two bite law where if a dog bites a human and it’s on record they must quarrantine said dog for 14 days until the rabies test comes back negative and if he/she bites again they’re automatically put down. I wanted to avoid this with this dog. Although I believe it’s a very good law because once a dog bites a human with no repercussions they become “blooded” which essentially means they’re more apt to do it again. For the most part if you don’t scream and holler and chase dogs into a corner and hit them, you’ll never get bit by a dog. If a dog gets aggressive and approaches you I’ve found if you stand still they won’t bite you. They might pee on your leg, growl, and maybe even prod you with their snout but if you stand still they’ll generally get bored and leave you alone.
Anyway back to Kona and his first session where he mostly vocalized his objections towards me which is natural because Huskies are big talkers. The second session we power walked him for a mile or two and then worked him outside in the driveway and when we came back in the house the owner gave him a rawhide chew about which he became incredibly aggressive vocally. She asked me if I could get it back from him and admitted she nor anyone else in the house could retrieve it. So I made a loop at the end of my leash and slipped it over his head while he growled at me then snugged it up, closed off his carotid artery with my hand until he spit it out. I held him fast, flipped the bone to the owner and shortly therafter took the leash off him where he proceeded to vocalize a stream of Husky invectives at me until I eventually left.
The third session when I tried to corrall him by grabbing his collar he bit my left wrist which thank the lord was protected by my stout stainless steel Invicta watch so he didn’t draw blood so I didn’t have to report him. I diagnosed that because he was older he’d gotten very territorial besides being abused so we took him outside to work him in neutral territory. Quite frankly his deep distrust of male humans made the exercises dangerous for me and this woman would be better served with someone of the opposite sex. I sold them a nice slip(choke) collar and a leash, wished them luck and headed out hoping that they could work through this and gain some control while earning his trust with daily walks and exercises.
If this dog was youger and less abused I might have been more successful. I also would like to point out that most rescues are submissive at first but as they get more comfortable in their current setting their true nature comes out and they become who they truly are. In Kona’s case his lack of bonding with a pack by age 22 months was creating severe separation anxiety, his previous abuse, and possibly food deprivation made bones, treats, and food dangerous zones for his immature fragile growth. Physically this dog was 22 months of age but mentally and psychologically he was more like 8 to 12 months of age if that. It was going to take a lot of powerwalking, training, love, and consistency to bring him back. I firmly believe the young lady, Gabriela with her dogged detirmination had as good a chance at redeeming this fine animal as anyone. As I drove off from my last session I prayed for their success.

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