Dogs are sometimes aggressive towards other dogs, cats or humans. An agression behavior often is based on the dog VS master treatment and relationship.
6 posts • Page 1 of 1
My dogs have just recently started to fight. Here are the facts:
Lexy: 4.5 yr old Black lab mix (the other half is chihuaha). She was the runt of the litter and picked on by her siblings and her mother. I took her at about 3 months old. I did have another dog in the house, a terrier mix, who was 10, and had medical issues. But they both got along fine, no issues at all with the two of them. The other dog passed away 2 years later. Lexy was the only dog in the house for a short while before I adopted Zoey.
Zoey: Approximately 3 years old, Cairn Terrier Mix. Adopted her at approx 6 mths old from Animal control. We introduced Zoey to Lexy, and they hit it off, got along great, no issues at the center, so we took Zoey home. They were perfect companions, no issues whatsoever between them AT ALL, until about 9 months ago.
Currently: About 9 months ago I was grooming Zoey outside, and Lexy was just sitting by. As soon as Zoey got down from the chair, Lexy attacked her. It was a bad fight. Ever since THAT fight, Lexy has been obsessed with Zoey. She seems to be resource guarding the humans in the house. Anything can set her off now, but it always has to do with us and the attention we are giving to Zoey. She displays dominance over Zoey all the time now, as long as we are around. However, I need to mention that they are still very playful with each other, with no issues when they are playing. Lexy does not guard any other resource (food, toys, etc).
The walk: About 5 months ago, I was walking the dogs, like I do all the time. I walk them over to the canal, let them off the leash, and then leash them when we get back to the street. I had been doing that for approx 2-3 months, when I went to leash the dogs back up, and Lexy attacked Zoey. That same scenario happened two more times (even though I leashed Lexy first) when I went to leash them back up. I no longer let them run loose. I've been walking them together now for 2-3 months, every night, for about 45 minutes. No issues on the walk at all. I leash them up together when we leave - I leash Lexy first, I walk through the door, then let Lexy out the door, and then Zoey. I come through the door the same way after the walk is over, unleash lexy first, and no issues at all.
Lexy seems to be obsessed with Zoey now around us. She is always looking at her, wondering what she is doing, concerned about what she is doing, just totally obsessed with Zoey. They have gotten into about a dozen fights now. We have broken up every fight. The last fight we did not break up, and let them just fight. That lasted maybe 30 seconds, and it was over. Lexy was in another room, must have heard us paying attention to Zoey, and she came into the room, looked at Zoey (with that look) and just attacked her. She didn't even see us giving Zoey affection, only heard it.
We are now at a loss to what to do. We are now not giving Zoey any attention or talking to her, while Lexy is anywhere close in vicinity. We are heartbroken because these 2 dogs who were the greating friends up until about 9 months ago, now are not. We can't think of anything that has changed in the household or how we treat either one of them. The only difference is now Zoey is no longer a puppy. We can see 'the look' from Lexy - we know when she is going to attack. Although she displays dominance over Zoey all the time now, it is 'the look' that we know a fight is going to happen.
Another tidbit - the dogpark. Lexy is totally anti social at the dog park. She has no desire whatsoever to socialize with other dogs. If a dog comes over to her, depending on what size of the dog, she will either let the dog sniff her, no problem, or she will tuck her tail, and then growl and kinda do the nipping action. She has never gotten into it the park with Zoey or another dog. She just basically runs away from other dogs. Also there has not been a problem at the park leashing them back up.
Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. We do not want to give away either dog, we love them both, and want that to be the last resort.
Hello Eisen and welcome to SeeFido......
You know part of the problem already, one is no longer a puppy! The other is two females. Most times females will tend to bang heads rather often and it can turn nasty, much worse than the boys. Have both dogs attended obedience classes? If not, this is the best place to start. As Lexy seems to be the instigator of much of the problem, sign her up and take her in and get some training. If someone else in the family can handle Zoey, sign them both up! Be sure to tell the trainer what is going on too. Zoey is a terrier and they are pretty feisty for sure. Lexy may be showing the chi in her.....how big is she?
Right now, make yourself some scattercans and try that. They are made using soda cans, empty and rinse. Let try. Put about 5 bolts in each and tape the top. When the dogs start squabbling, toss a can near them. Do NOT hit them with it. You want a good loud noise as it will break their attention on each other. Then separate them and both into their own crates. Lexy also needs to learn the command 'focus'. When she hears it, she must focus on you instead of Zoey. Anytime you see her starting to stare at Zoey, break her concentration. Lexy, as the senior dog, should get the attention first. If Zoey is getting everything first, Lexy is probably feeling resentful and jealous and that isn't helping. Put Lexy first. When grooming, she is done first then she can go outside or elsewhere so she can't see Zoey getting groomed and her share of attention. See if this helps defuse the problem right now and get training started.....
You need to work on convincing these dogs that you are the boss. The leader keep order in the pack and doesn't allow fighting. I establish myself as a leader through specialized training that teach dogs I control the rescources. Then I use specilized training to address specific issues with a dog such as jealousy and impulse control.
You need to do some training to teach the dogs to look to you for guidance rather than take these actions on their own. Basic obedience training is a good start, but a lot of dogs need training on specific issues. If you haven't done the basic training such as sit and stay then you need to do that first.
author of Training the Hard to Train Dog
Thank you for the advice. I have not tried the 'can toss' yet, so I will try that. Lexy now has a leash on her, and whenever I see her 'eyeing' zoey, i tell her to "look at me' which she does, and I either remove her, or give her a treat, after looking at me. This usually works to break that focusing on Zoey. They both know commands and obey very well. They both know: sit, stay, down, paw, and lexy knows look at me. Lexy is definately resource guarding the humans in the house. She does not guard anything else, and shares her toys, her food, her pet bed, everything, with no issues at all. I am trying hard to be a more assertive pack leader and getting better at it. I am just sad because these two were best buddies for 2 years. Thank you for the can advice, I will try that
6 posts • Page 1 of 1
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