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Question
Please help. I have a gorgeous little 5yr blonde pomeranian,  sweet as pie. We got a companion 3 years ago to keep her company. Little did we know about this particular breed- but we got a Shiba Inu, black and tan. We were very inexperienced with training him.  However he has come a long way and we adore him. Today I came home from work and found my pomeranian with dried blood under her eye and on her nose..she seemed fine but I can only assume she wanted the shibas bone and he didn't want her to have it. This is the first time he has hurt her. At times he plays a bit rough and a few times I have pulled him off her for a split sec it seemed like he was going to attack but never acted on it. I'm lost at this point. Have I put my pomeranian in a dangerous position?  What should I do?

Answer
This is dog to dog aggression, a predictor of dog to human aggression.  You have here a rank opportunism problem, at best.  The dogs cannot be left alone for any reason.  We don't know who the perpetrator is: Pom or Shiba Inu (very difficult breed).  I'm afraid you need an in person evaluation by a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist.  There are far too many variables in this situation, where blood WAS drawn (so this is not a "casual" experience) for me to answer it in a text box.  Questions need to be asked; dogs need to be observed; at least two hours of interview must be done.

To find a CAAB (NOT A DOG TRAINER and not someone "calling" themselves a "behaviorist": a person with educational credentials and solid references, veterinary and client) call the veterinary college in your area or see the following sites:

http://certifiedanimalbehaviorist.com/page6.html
http://www.animalbehavior.org/ABSAppliedBehavior/caab-directory

I would ordinarily suggest NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free) for both dogs but cannot determine which dog should be fed first, greeted first, etc. from here since I can't see a thing.  Put a house tab on the Shiba (very lightweight leash) only when you are at home.  Until you are able to obtain in person evaluation from a CAAB, if the Shiba demonstrates any true aggression toward the Pom, say nothing, no eye contact, pick up the house tab, put him behind a closed door, count to ten, let him out, hold onto the tab for a few minutes, then release.  Show no anger and no anxiety (if possible).

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.

Expertise

I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.

Experience

30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for ThePetChannel.com for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, K9Shrinks@egroups.com. Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Organizations
Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Publications
Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Education/Credentials
Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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