Re: On the edge,
Oh she still interacts with him. She's walking free around the house with a short lead on, just so I can grab her. She sleeps next to him an sniffs at him, it's just when the ears go or there's a muscle twitch she is on him. It's not a play thing nor is it a let's wrestle this out and see who wins, it's a going for the throat i'm gonna take you out thing. That's what worries me. So if the lead is on her I think she knows I am in control I did take the lead off and within 5 min she was on him and it took 2 of my sons to get her off. She never goes for the person, only him. She was put in her crate and that's where she was until she cooled off. Now the lead is back on and she's mopey, but walks freely around the house. I praise her just for being good and walking or sitting near him and not attacking. The downside I have noticed today is that she isn't playing with her toys. But I also stopped letting her on the couch yesterday. So it may be a lot of change at once for her. I don't know. Just trying to make it work.
Re: On the edge,
I'm so sorry you're having this problem with little Stella. I know how awful it is because I lived through a similar thing four years ago. It sounds like you are doing all the right things and have gotten good advice from other members here.
I've been debating about whether or not to tell my story. I decided to go ahead and tell it, because you might recognize something to help in your situation. And maybe someone down the line will read it when they have a similar problem. It's a long story so I'll try to be as brief as possible.
So, I had 3 dogs: a male boxer Rhett (10 yrs old), a female boxer Lily (6 yrs old), and a bulldog puppy Annie (1 yr old) and I babysat my sons boxer Henry (6 years old) quite often. Everybody got along fine. We'd have little tiffs once in a while over a toy or something, but Rhett never put up with any fighting. All he had to do was give a look and move in the direction of the tiff and everybody would shape up! Anyway, Rhett was diagnosed with an untreatable cancer and we had to put him down about 7 months later. A couple of months before Rhett died, we rescued a female boxer, Bella, who was at death's door. We got her healthy and spayed--everyone is getting along great. But then we lost Rhett and that's when the trouble started. Bella, who was feeling great now, started attacking Lily (boxer) for no apparent reason. Lily, who had never been aggressive at all fought back. And it wasn't a tiff--it was "to the death" fighting. After working with a trainer, we decided to find a new home for Bella, which we did, and she still lives there and her family loves her to pieces.
So, a couple of weeks after that, Lily and Annie started fighting the same way. I could tell that Lily was definitely the problem. She would look at Annie, and that look was saying "I know you're going to attack me." And then the fight would start. I hired two different trainers to come to my house to work with the girls--we did everything they told us to do and anything else we could think of and nothing ever helped. I have to say, it was the most awful, most stressful time in my life. Bad things happened. I got bit badly trying to break up a fight, had to get a tetanus shot which meant the doc had to report to animal control--it was a mess. I was having to keep the girls separated all the time, and we decided we just couldn't live that way--not good for Annie or Lily and not good for us.
I made the decision to find a new home for Annie and it just broke my heart. She had become one of those bullies that is a soulmate. I found a family who had a male bulldog and talked them into taking Annie on a trial basis. I think it was love at first sight for Tank. He adored Annie (she rules the roost I hear) and she moved in like she owned the place. I was so lucky to find such a good home for her, but I still miss her and regret having to let her go. I made the decision to give Annie up because Lily was here first for 5 years and because I knew Annie would adjust to a new home better than Lily would. And I didn't want to give Lily to someone with her issues. Annie's still in her new home and her family adores her. I'm still living with the guilt of giving her away!
I've always thought that nothing in the world could make me give up a dog. I mean, if I was in New Orleans during Katrina, I would be one of the people who would stay behind with my dogs. But living with two fighting dogs was impossible for me. I had a friend once who had 2 female dobermans who would try to kill each other--she lived keeping them separated for 12 years! I just couldn't do it.
There's actually more to this story, but I'll omit the rest (that's the end of the bully part). I guess the things I wanted to point out is that sometimes it can be the other dog actually instigating the fight as Lily did. Also, losing a dog, especially the Alpha dog like Rhett, can radically effect the dynamics in the pack.
I hope you have good results with Stella--I do think it's possible. My heart goes out to you, I know how rough this is on you.