Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Pharlap290, Sep 2, 2006.
How do you keep two dogs from fighting?
Depends on why they are fighting. Is it over food/treat. Favorite toy? We need more details before really offering advice.
I suppose I should give the whole story. Here goes.
My first dog was Diver, a Weimaraner. Sadly he was from a puppy mill; at the time I had no idea what happened at puppy mills. I had him for a year before getting a Siberian Husky. They were perfectly fine for a long time, getting along and having no problems. Until I believe my mom and I went on vacation and had to drop them (and the Chihuahua) off at a kennel. It was both of their first times and hadn't really been socialized because I don't really have any place to do that at. Shadow (the husky) was so frightened that the woman dragged him down the hallway with all the dogs barking at him. He was so small at the time that he had no chance. Now I feel utterly guilty about not running down the hallway and stopping the woman. He started to grow bigger and started fighting with Diver over... not really anything, just fighting. They would give each other looks and start growling then jump at each other. I guess Shadow had instinct and used to hurt Diver, I stupidly constantly jumped in and ripped them apart. Now Diver, I guess you could say he's experienced fighter now, can put Shadow on the floor but not without being incredibly scared. It's become too much of a challenge that I'm not willing to risk either of my dog getting seriously hurt or myself losing a hand. Now they do nothing together and cannot be in the same area at the same time. One is always locked up or one in the house and the other in the backyard.
Diver is a good boy, a little neurotic and seemingly autistic, he likes children and is always happy to see other dogs when walking. But Shadow hates children, hates boys, hates other dogs and really is a liability. I'm looking for the right kind of muzzle so at the very least can walk the two together without worrying about a fight breaking out. It disturbs me. I can keep them under control alone, but they lose all attention when around each other.
When at feeding time both will growl at each other if they think the other is going for their food. I feed them both locked in their cages. Sometimes when Shadow is locked up and Diver merely walks past his cage he'll growl at Diver. It's quite a task to have this situation but I love them both and are both equally sweet. Shadow is incredibly cuddly and loves his owners. And I'm worried that if either were given up that both have their drawbacks that no one will take them and would be put down.
I would like to fix this problem so that they could be normal and happy. But I'm afraid to approach this problem in the wrong way. The last time they were truly out together they got into a fight and I pulled Shadow's jaws from Diver's ear, Diver inadvertantly snapped and got my hand and since then I worry too much for each other's safety.
I think this situation is much to much to deal with over the Internet. You need the help of a reputable certified behaviorist who uses compassion and humane methods, not one who uses harsh punishment and force. It sounds like a really difficult thing to live with. I hate to say it, but I couldn't live like that, always worrying about somoene leaving a door open and having a horrendous fight. I'm so sorry you're having this problem. Some dogs just don't get along at all, just like some people. If Shadow is that dangerous, a risk to children or other people, if he were my dog, I'd have to think seriously about putting him down. I just couldn't deal with it. But maybe you can get help from a good behaviorist.
It is actually pretty sad. Children love him and want to pet him all the time. He's like a huge fluffy stuffed animal but it's just not safe. I'm looking into getting a muzzle like a greyhound's just so even if he tried to do something bad he couldn't. I figured it might just be a start to socializing him without having fur fly.
So none of them are fixed.. could you tell us the age of both dogs please.
Diver is about 4. Shadow is 3.
Diver was fixed young. But I had hoped that Shadow would be able to breed but after he was so aggressive I thought getting him fixed would calm him. Now I think he's got too much testosterone for it to matter.
Please don't even think about breeding this dog. His temperament would be passed on through his genes....a terrible thing to do. If you haven't neutred this dog, it should be done asap. Those hormones will disappear when he's neutered and some of his behavior problems, those in relation to the hormones could be improved to some extent. He'd be easier to manage and the risk of him escaping and inpregnating another dog would be gone. This is not a dog to leave intact.
Oh... sorry. He is already fixed and has been for a while. Still very aggressive.
Right, any dog have UP to 3rd years of age to find them self, it takes 3 year for them to actually become "adult" and stay in one face.
The go through 3 stages in life (males that is) and as one is not fixed he is more likely to try to take over the Alpha role or going over at least the other dogs position in the pack.
I know that we all use different methods, but I would check to see who is the leader of them two, then make him awear that you know that, YOU are the alpha first and all, but of them two, sometimes they need a bit of help.
Example, take the dog out that is higer up before the other one, feed the higer one first let the other wait.
Fixing Shadow will not guarantee that he will calm down, and also it might take up to 6 months before you see any signs.
But it might help more then it already does.
Do you do any type of work with Shadow?
Ok I missed the post saying he was... when was he fixed.. how old was he?
Sorry..I must have misread your post. Well, you do have a problem on your hands. I'm really sorry.
What do you mean "work" with Shadow?
I'm not sure who is the alpha between the two. I think that might be the problem all this time. Neither one wants to back down. Shadow is more aggressive but Diver is stronger.
Diver fights with me no matter what. Not literally fights but as far as walks and staying he is just bullheaded. Likes to pull, likes to sneak as close as possible when it comes to human food. He certainly tries your patience and stamina. I would say Diver is wired all the time and Shadow is calm and layed back.
I think he must have beeeeeeen... about 1.. or 1 1/2 when he was fixed. I tried to let his aggression subside. Maybe let the two figure out who was higher in the pecking order, but it was just becoming too scary.
Byt the sound of it, you need to step in... if you see that Shadow is a bit stronger in a way of fighting for it, but the there IS higer.. they you have to make sure Shadow understand it.
Take Shadow on the walk last, seperate them, start over with basic training... you need to get in control over Shadow, and without Diver in the picture.
Work, I mean as a sibirian is end of the day a working dog.. have you thought about starting sleed with him.. (you dont need snow for this lol.).
Get a carrige and a harnes and strap him up.. make him "get useful".
Without Diver... let diver have his time with you, and also later on time together.
If I were you, I would start the basics command.. sitt, lay, heal and all that, from start with shadow.
and also walk them seperate, shadow last.
I do walk Shadow and Diver seperately. I did want to get some kind of harness sled thing for him a long time ago but didn't have any luck finding anything like that. Hmmm. What about that thing like on The Dog Whisperer where they have a backpack on the dog?
Yes I mean you can try anything, if you like I will have a search, you are in the USA, but I am sure if you go into Sibirian sites, they would know more hon.
You just need to "help" them in who is the boss over them two.
And again, just because he is fixed, it does not mean for 100% sure that he will not have the urge to be "man"... it can take a long time for them to actually calm down if at all .
I hope it works out hon, and start from scratch with his training... make him think of something else.. Does he have something that he loves.. a ball?
If he do, as soon as you see they starting.. grab is attantion on to something else.
Nah, he doesn't love anything that much. Where as Diver does anything for food. Thanks for you help. I've got a lot of options to explore!
I think what you're thinking of is just a simple doggie backpack, you can find them at Petsmart or related stores.
I think OC will have the most advice in relation to Shadow; she is around Sibes all the time.
Wow sounds like you do have quite the ordeal on your hands. I''m curious, how is Shadow with other dogs besides Diver? It sounds to me like he had a very traumatic experience at the kennel with Diver and the other dogs present. Did you ask the staff at all about it? Were th two kenneled together? Perhaps they got in a fight and when staff attempted to seperate them something happened to cause mass chaos. Perhaps other dogs escaped and joined the fight?
Lack of socialization is deffinately also going to play a role in this. Where did you get Shadow from? Was it a reputable breeder? Sibes by nature should NOT be dog or people aggressive! Therefore for one to be such would either require bad breeding or bad experiences.
Have either dogs actually drawn blood from the other or is it just a lot of noise and fur flying? If no blood has been drawn then the fight really isn''t that bad. It might look terrible and ferocious but it''s mostly just a lot of intimidation. Of course it''ll frighten you, it;s intent after all is to frighten the other dog.
Unfortunately being that I am unable to witness the dogs'' body language before encounters, during encounters, and after encounters I am unable to offer much in the way of advice to get these two to coexist in peace.
There are many mushers located within the Ohio area who I''m quite sure would be more than willing to help you out both in working with Shadow''s aggression problems and helping get you started with sledding.
Actually finding a job could help a lot with his aggression problems. Sometimes dog turn to aggression when they have excessive amounts of energy pent up which can result in Sibes when they are only walked a little bit or only go for short walks (less than 1/2hr and/or slow) even if they are frequent. These are dogs of endurance, they need something long and at a quick pace to meet their excercise needs. Since you say you avoid walking Shadow due to his aggressiveness then perhaps he does have a lot of pent up energy.