Dogs fighting - please help

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Eric_L, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I need help. My family has two dogs who are almost two years old. They each are about 80lbs - they are both pound pups - one is mostly hound the other is some sort of border collie/lab mix. They are both female.

    Early this afternoon they got into a fight. They would not respond to my wife. I was at work at the time and it went on for a long time. It was over a new bone.

    This evening they got into another one over a dog toy during playtime with us. They refused to respond to me until I swept the legs out from under the on that was on top. (There was no water hose nearby) There was some blood - ear.

    I have three young children - we cannot have this sort of behavior around them - particularly in the house and particularly if the dogs will not respond. However the kids have become close to the dogs (had them since pups) and until today the dogs have been reasonably well mannered.

    The dogs are current on their shots. Their feeding schedule is regular. The only thing different is we have let them sleep in a different room lately (the kids 'camped' in the living room the last three nights)

    So what should I do? Obedience school? Humane Society? Potato sack and some rocks? I don't know what to do and I could really use some knowledgeable and experienced advice.
     
  2. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    I am sorry that you are put in this position....it is certainly not an easy thing.

    2 female dogs are not an easy thing. Both of these dogs are thinking that they are the alpha of the 2. When a bone or toy is in the picture....generaly the alpha takes it and the other dog can take it when done. Some people may say....just make sure they each have their own toy....it is not that simple as the alpha will simply claim both. Here are my thoughts and what you should do (IMO):

    1) This is not always easy to hear but to be blunt....it is not the dogs fault...it is yours. The fact that the dogs are not listening to your commands shows that they do not recognize you as being the REAL ALPHA. Just because a dog sits and lays down on command does not mean that they think of you as the boss.

    2) Do not give the dogs ANY TOYS OR TREATS AT ALL. They obviouslt are not in a position where they can accept these "gifts" yet as they have not earned them.

    3) They need serious obediance class work and you need to make sure they know who is boss. Dogs will scrap from time to time...the are K9's....the second you put your foot down though, they need to stop IMMEDIATELY. This goes for the rest of your household as well. The dogs need to not only recognize you as boss....but EVERYONE in the house as boss.

    4) If none of this works then Iw ould give 1 or both up to another family without kids.

    I obviously do not need to tell you this but as you know....your children's safety is the most important thing here. Dogs are wonderful pets but ultimately they are a creature of habit. You need to either make sure the habits change ASAP or move on.

    I whish you the best of luck and please let us know how everything goes.
     
  3. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

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    I am not sure how this would help in your situation but here goes. My dog was a stray and very independent when I got her. It took being leashed to me whenever I was in the house for about 4 days to break her of this. Basically I have a leash that I would clip to myself. This forces the dog to follow you all the time and not just on walks. This is the quickest way I know to show the dog who is the leader of the pack.

    Anytime she starts to get the idea she is in control I clip the leash to her collar and she gets to drag the leash around the house to remind her of her standing in the pack.

    The other thing that you need to do is see if you can figure out the more alpha dog between the two of them and then treat that one special. It is hard to do but with two dogs one of them has to be the leader and you need to defer to that one more to keep the pack order.
     
  4. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    Are both spayed? If not, then that will help.

    True fighting and not play fighting will be very difficult to train out. That's dominance behavior. You may have to separate them.
     
  5. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Don't laugh but I've got some good tips from watching that Dog Whisperer guy on TV. I've learned a lot from watching his show and it's amazing how his techniques can be used within minutes.

    I remember one episode where some family had some highly food aggressive bulldogs. Fascinating stuff. Make the dogs see you as the alpha and everything calms down. In Wolf packs nothing goes on unless the alpha approves of it.

    Jeff
     
  6. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    Potato sack and some rocks?????? Um, no.
     
  7. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I'd take the potatoes out first!! -JK

    The dogs are spayed. One does seem to show dominant behavior and is the preferable one had I to choose. The fight was actually over TWO bones - the second fight was over a toy during fetch.

    The dogs do see me as the alpha. The trouble is that I'm not home during the day - my wife is and she does not seem to get the same respect from them. Oddly - she walks them more often than I do - though we are admittedly negligent in walking them enough.

    They are both very affectionate - the hound in particular is very sucky. They do compete for attention and the hound can be quite domineering to the other. She'll try to push out the other during petting. She will 'steal' retrieved items (but won't retrieve them herself!).

    My opinion why they give me more latitude is that I am not afraid to use negative reinforcement - usually a rolled up newspaper. The sound is often enough to get their attention. My wife refuses to.

    She is looking into some local obedience school our vet suggested. For now they get no treats and they get separate playtime.
     
  8. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like you are on the right track. I have 2 dogs myself and one is VERY dominant and the other is EXTREMELY submissive. Whenever we play it is always separate from each other too. It isn't uncommon to do this. I thought it was at first but after talking to many people, most of them do the same thing. Keep us updated.
     
  9. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Good advice from Evan and Jeff
     

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