Two Dogs...big dilemma!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Emeraulde, Jun 14, 2005.

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  1. Emeraulde

    Emeraulde New Member

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    Hi all, I'm new here. I'm posting because I'm really up in arms and need someone to throw in some input. Here's a little background:

    Back in September or so of last year, our two female dogs (both mutts, both large, and both not spayed) were beginning to fight with one another. We had adopted the smaller of the two a few months prior, and I believe she was hitting about a year old when the fighting began. Often there was blood, and once we had to take the bigger dog in for stitches. We tried everything all the experts say, to no avail. It began to calm down, until one November evening, the smaller, more aggressive of the two, broke through the fence and killed the neighbor's two dogs. One a pomeranian, the other a poodle. Both purebred, both beloved. We knew she was excited over small things, but never imagined she would do that. We tried buying a kennel, but it didn't hold them. We kept her tied to a tether most of the time, but the kids had forgotten to tie her that night.

    Dog control asked us to bring both dogs down for observation. We did, and I willingly signed over the aggressive dog to be euthanized. We asked that they return the other dog, since she had not been interested in the fence OR the dogs. A few days later they claimed she was showing signs of aggression and we couldn't get her back. Long story short, we lost both our dogs, and were left with the puppy of the aggressive dog, who then became our only dog. She was 6 mos old. The issue with the neighbors still isn't done, as they have asked for substantial monetary damages. We all feel just horrible. But that's aside from my current issue.

    A couple of months ago, we adopted Spike. He is an intact (for now) 6-8 month old mix dog, of a smaller breed. They got along famously until the last month or so. Now they're fighting, and tonight they drew blood. Sally has just turned a year old. She also likes to chase birds and small things. I'm very afraid that she will do the same thing her mother did. We keep her tethered because she jumps clear over the back fence.

    We just love her, but I'm so scared! Maybe I need to find her another home and keep just spike...maybe we're just totally irresponsible dog owners who should never have dogs at all.

    What would you do?

    Thanks for responding to a stranger.
     
  2. mc2

    mc2 New Member

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    wow... i hope your situation gets better.. it sounds very bad.. i don't know how to help though.. but best of luck to you.
     
  3. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    Why did you breed your dog that was aggressive?
     
  4. Emeraulde

    Emeraulde New Member

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    She wasn't aggressive when we bred her. We thought her tussles with Daisy were just social order stuff. Believe me I did a TON of research trying to solve the problem once I realized what it was....or what I thought it was. She just liked to chase toys and little things like birds. I didn't recognize it as "aggressive".

    On a side note, is it normal for members of this board to take the offensive when newcomers ask questions? Maybe I'm in the wrong place...
     
  5. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Well, personal feelings aside it sounds like your dogs desperately need to be altered, socialized and exercised more as well as not tied up which is just asking for problems.

    I'll get CreatureTeacher's attention. I'm sure she can help you more.
     
  6. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    What? No I was just wondering! I really didn't mean anything by it, in fact it sounds like a prey drive, at least as far as the chasing little birds and small animals including small dogs. My Malamute, Lucas has that and we just have to make sure he stays away from small dogs.

    I really was just wondering
     
  7. Emeraulde

    Emeraulde New Member

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    We exersize them daily, including socializing them. They're difficult, but we've been working with them on the leash for some time now, and in that area they're both showing improvement, though I sense that Sally (the bigger of the two) regards me as "below her". She respects my husband and obeys him, but not immediately, and doesn't respond to me unless she wants to. i am working with her on establishing myself over her, as well as the rest of the family so she realizes that she is not above any humans.

    As far as altered, Spike, yes...but Sally, no. My research has concluded that females with this type of aggression get worse once spayed. That is the last thing we need. The only reason she's tied up is because it's the only method at this point that will keep her in our yard. Nothing else has worked. The tether is quite long, and she has access to 2/3 of the yard, which is large. She just can't go near the fenceline. Spike is not tied up.

    Please don't think we just tie her up and leave her there. We spend a great deal of time with both our dogs, and have been working with them with different methods of training hoping this will get better.
     
  8. Emeraulde

    Emeraulde New Member

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    My apologies...sometimes it's easy to 'read a tone into' text. We knew she was stubborn, but we thought by having a Boxer be the daddy, we'd get a happier, bouncier dog. She is that, but shows alot of her mom. Prey drive sounds accurate to me. But is it related to the fighting?
     
  9. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    First, I'd consider a large kennel with a top for outside hours. Tethered dogs tend to become more aggressive as time goes by. Farm supply stores and co-ops are a good place to find them for a much more reasonable price than anywhere else.

    I realize you're probably a bit raw and defensive right now, but please understand that for the majority of us, the welfare of the animal is paramount.

    As far as spaying, it only goes to reason to understand that anytime you take dramatic hormonal changes out of the equation your dog is going to be less aggressive, not more. Two of my dogs are pure breed, working cattle dogs who will be purposefully bred for pups that will be, for the most part, kept here as companions and working farm dogs, so they are not spayed at this point. After they've had a litter they will be. One of the ways I can first tell they are getting ready to come into season is by the surge of moodiness and aggression - and increased prey drive - exhibited.

    CreatureTeacher can give you the best advice as to behaviour modification training.
     
  10. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    It's ok I understand. No I doubt the prey drive would be related to the fighting. I would listen to the advice of CreatureTeacher and Renee. They now their stuff :) Good luck
     
  11. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    I highly suggest spaying your dogs. Dogs will fight to the death, especially females. The best thing you can do, in my opinion, is to keep them seperate at all times, have them altered, and enroll them in obedience classes that meet at least once a week.
     
  12. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    First of all, I don't want you to take this as an attack, because I know you are just asking for advice and being honest, but please know that what I am saying is really intended to be helpful, and not just judgmental.

    I am sad that you purposeley allowed a breeding between two mixed breed dogs. Mixed breeds make wonderful dogs and they are always going to be around via human error and ignorance, but I find it very irresponsible to breed mixes on purpose. I don't see a point in it? There is no reason behind it such as improving the breed, carrying on an impressive working line of dogs, breeding to improve your own breeding program of healthy dogs etc. To me, mixes that are bred on purpose, or by accident contribute to the killing of dogs everyday by increasing the pet population and homeless pets. It's just very sad.

    On the other hand, as stated by Renee, hormones play a HUGE role in animal behavior and aggression. Get your dogs spayed and neutered ASAP or things will only worsen. The new male dog you got is by far old enough to get your female pregnant and there will be a repeat of your past situation. PLUS, all dogs no matter what should go to training school. If your dogs are to the point that they are no longer socially acceptable due to aggression or other behavioral issues than I would suggest that you start with a personal trainer or behaviorist, but I would not do anything until they are spayed and neutered.

    I had two dogs that were aggressive towards each other and it NEVER got better, they were two males and both neutered. I kept them both and separated them from each other. I did not get rid of either one, because they were mine and my responsibilty and I made it work.

    I hope this does not come across too harsh, please understand that it is just hard for me when I hear of situations like yours, because as you know, in the end the dogs suffer. Good luck in the future :(
     
  13. moe

    moe New Member

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    I have always been under the impression that spaying aggressive bitches is the way to go on reducing this type of problem, But... recent research has shown that a ***** being spayed AFTER they have aggressive tendancies, can only aggrivate the problem, I have links on the matter somewhere will dig them out in a while if I can. appareantly the reduction of Estrogeon(sp) can make the ***** more aggressive? wether this is conclusive I dont know, but it has made me think slightly different in the matter. it appears to me that you have a dog and a *****, the ***** is dominant, and the male is just being a male and wants top place, they are at the age for trying to sort this out. hence the problems, maybe having the male castrated, will help, he will (hopefully) calm down, and the ***** can take over top place naturally, I would also do as previous poster has said, get a steel dog run with roof if possible, dogs that are tethered do tend to play up more, dogs have the flight or fight thing going on and if the dog can't flight it will fight. similar to on lead aggression. I have malamutes, they have a strong prey drive and the adults can and will attack bird, cats, small dogs, I just dont let them get the chance simple as that. I have two younger malamutes, that I have been intensively socialising with smaller dogs and our own cat, it is working, but I would NEVER leave them alone with a cat or small dog, becuase in this breed it is an inbuilt trait to chase and kill prey, I would definatly forget any breeding from your ***** in the future, and don;t whatever you do add any more dogs into the equasion, as this will only compound the problems you already have.

    Good luck,

    Mo
     
  14. joce

    joce Active Member

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    Spaying the dog will help and don't ever allow them to breed. You should probally stick to the amount of dogs you have now and if it becomes impossible to kepe both in the same house rehome the second one and don't get another dog. There are some females that just will not get along with another dog. THere may be only certain things that trigger it but if you keep them together all the time one of them will end up getting hurt. I'm still confused on how a shelter gave you dogs and allowed you to breed them causing them even more of a problem.

    And I am not trying to be rude but imagine how your neighbors must feel. You already had dogs you couldn't control and now you are getitng more. You really need to be carefull because I'm sure they won't hesitate to call animal control on you if the dogs act aggresive and they see it.If that had happened to me I would make sure you didn't have a dog that growled at my fence. call a behaviorist or maybe even a good trianer and go in for some private lessons. They are the only ones who will be able to get the feel of you and your dogs. Just make sure you get that femal fixed. And don't kepe the dogs outside anymore. Walkthem on a leash to use the bathroom and then put them back inside. Your neighbors shouldn't have to fear your dogs.
     
  15. Valkie

    Valkie puppy mom

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    just one question. You say that you are working at training the new dogs, what are you using as a training method?
     
  16. Nyyti

    Nyyti New Member

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    Ok.. forgive me if i missed something, but could you tell me what breed your dogs are? Other was mixed? What breed bigger dog is?
    In some breeds, like Pittbull (and other breeds which are made for dog fights), dogs have different kind of hunting system than some other breeds. Wolf starts hunting with seeking, then (aargghh.. this is so hard to me 'cause i don't speak english.. :eek: ) "väijyy" , eying, chasing, scrab bite and last comes kill bite. Bordercollies inbuilt hunting system stops to scrab bite, but pittbull have only seeking and kill bite. I have seen a video where two pittbulls attack a young child waving their tails and don't even thought doing something wrong. This kind of "figting dogs" bite their hunted to death. It's a programme which is slowly built in their race so hard that mans didn't even notice before they took pittbull a couch potato. That's why pittbulls are "killer dogs" . If someone runs away from pittbull, dog runs after and bites. It's hunting on it's way. It can't warn you, it's instings tell it to do like that.
    We have the same problem couple of years ago. Two of our bitches were fighting all the time. We thought that they have to end it by theirselves and figure which is stronger. But it just get worse. Then we decide to send younger girl away for a little time. She was "fixing her nerves" about two months, and when she came back, we didn't even let them to see each other. They didn't fight ever again. Now that younger girl walks down the rainbow bridge, but for another reason.
    I hope your situation gets better, and you don't need to give up for them! Streght and courage for you..
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2005
  17. Emeraulde

    Emeraulde New Member

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    Not to disagree with you, but I've been researching this since last November when the incident happened with the other dogs. All the canine behavioral experts that I have consulted (both in person and literature) hold the opinion that a dog that displays aggression prior to sexual maturity due to position in the family will most likely become more aggressive when spayed/neutered. Otherwise I would have spayed her a LONG time ago!

    I do have a large 10x10 kennel in the backyard, but she digs out the bottom by creating a hole in the chain link fence. There seems to be nothing I can do to keep her in there, and it's not worth the risk to me to come home from work to find her either out running the neighborhood or in the pound.

    I don't discount the effect that being tethered has on her. I know she is much happier when not tethered. It's possible that now is a good time to try to repair the kennel and find some new way we havent' thought of to keep her in. The boxer in her just loves to jump clear over the fence in the backyard, so she can't be left out alone even for a second. We'll have to see.

    Thank you for your input!
     
  18. joce

    joce Active Member

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    The dog needs fixed for no other reason than to not bring more puppies into the world. It isn't fair to let a dog like that breed and take away good dog homes.
     
  19. Emeraulde

    Emeraulde New Member

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    It is your right to have an opinion on these matters. I don't expect you to share my frame of reference. For me to be upset with you for tactfully stating your opinion on my situation would be like me chastizing you for not being a Christian (not that you aren't, just making a point). It's not my place! I have a right to my faith, you have a right to your belief system regarding pets. I find both views are very passionate :)

    As for JOCE, I'll just pretend I didn't read that, because it's just plain rude. By that post, I don't think that person actually *read* any of my posts!

    Anyway, thanks for your input folks.
     
  20. Emeraulde

    Emeraulde New Member

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    In answer to the question about what type of training we're doing:

    We began clicker training shortly before the whole situation with the neighbors' dogs happened. We kept at it and had her sitting before every meal and obeying for the most part, but *me* she still regarded as below her. I think because my husband was her "master". Gradually we have moved into the "nothing for free" method, although she hasn't taken as easily to it as she did the clicker training. We're still looking for something that will work better for her. I really think that it's an individual thing-what works for one dog won't work for every dog.

    I get the feeling I have portrayed Sally as this vicious aggressive dog. She's really not. She's happy and bouncy, but likes to chase birds. She plays with Spike until he's had enough, but then pushes him a little further til he gets mad, and they fight. That is the only aggression I've seen her display.

    I believe in spaying and neutring pets. I would have had her spayed a long time ago but the research I did made me question the idea. Spike is too short to "reach" her and he'll be fixed soon anyway (was already scheduled). So I never worried about her getting pregnant.

    Those who question why we would have bred her mother...we were prepared to keep any puppies she had, but she only had one. We were committed to finding them permanent homes with a lifetime guarantee that we'd take them back if ever they needed a home. We chose the daddy carefully and did our homework.

    Opinions on dog breeding are many and on every end of the scale. I think it would be helpful if we don't focus on why I was stupid enough to breed a mutt, but rather what are some ways I have not already thought of or researched that might help? THIS is why I requested everyone's expertise. So, please, if you will, keep your answers confined to constructive comments. Thank you.
     
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