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 Dog fight

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TwistedTale
Puppy
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Female Join date : 2014-07-26
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Dog fight    Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:08 am

I have four dogs, three males one female, and for years they have all gotten along. Out of nowhere my two oldest boys Bartok (4 this coming July) and Luke my Shepherd (He will be 2 in May) got into a fight. Now I am used to rough play and this was a fight. They didn't draw blood or hurt one another, my husband and I broke them up pretty fast, but they were tearing into one another like they wanted to hurt the other. My Shepherd grabbed Bartok's scruff and shook him hard and Bartok tried to get a hold of him too but Luke is 75 pounds to Bartok's 49. In muscle, strength, and reach Luke could hurt him badly.

Now I know its Bartok's fault, I saw the warning signs seconds before the fight started. He was trying to pull rank on Luke but Luke didn't tolerate it. Bartok was posturing and picking and trying to make Luke back down and away from everything. This was yesterday, we honestly thought it was a fluke or they were squabbling over a ball because Bartok is a resource guarder. This morning it happened again. Bartok was non stop trying to goad Luke, humping and pawing and harassing. We kept calling him off over and over until Luke had enough. Same thing, the scruff grab and shake, the flipping and trying to pin and loud howling. Again no one was hurt.

People are telling me now that this is starting they can never be together again at all. And my husband is saying if we cant make this work out between them then someone has to go and my heart can't take it. I need advice or an inkling of what is going on between them! They have all been raised together without problem until now.
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:03 am

Well, I think we have to answer some standard questions.

Is everyone fixed?

Are they all crated when you are gone?

Has anything new been brought into the house? Could be toys, could be furniture.

New dogs in the neighborhood?

What does their daily exercise consist of?

There's no reason that I see that says that they can't get back to normal. Just gotta figure out what has changed.

_________________
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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:38 pm

You say that it's Bartoks fault and from your description it sounds like a typical dominance 'discussion.'

Now, I tend to agree with Jenn that something probably caused it; the problem with that is even if you remove the offending changed item they'll probably still have discussions.

My next comment is going to be difficult to work with but from my experience dominance issues must be worked out between the dogs - if you interfere, they don't have the chance to finish the 'discussion.' If, as you say, there was no blood then I'd watch them but let them discuss it as they will.

I have two - a young, smallish female and an older, larger, heavier female who regularly (I just wish it were regular!) have such discussion and as I've seen that no one really gets hurt I've decided that it's best to just let them discuss the situation. With mine it's every four to six months (they're both spayed), lasts for 3-5 minutes and then they're back to being their normal selves.

If your nerves can handle it, once the discussion has ended they'll probably coexist as normal until the next time ... If Bartok has been the dominant one in the pair, I'd suggest that it's simply Lukes age that's letting him consider revamping the situation.

Caveat: Obviously if there's any major blood (not just a nipped ear, for example) then you have more than a simple dominance issue.
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MiyasMomma
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:20 pm

Great advice and will add my experience, although semi limited. Miya my husky mix is 5 and half and Sofie my gsd will be 3 in August. Miya is the leader, dominate one if you will. This is typical in many multi dog homes. The one there the longest rules the roost. I have never had a full blown fight (argument) with mine, but from my understanding males tend to be yellers and females are the ones who go for blood. As I said mine have never had an all out fight, tho last week we did as Al mentioned, we waited out the argument. These two breeds can have same sex aggression issues, but you as the owner can make slight changes in order for any blood shed should happen. Watch body language, let them talk it out, if it gets too heated I would remove both. Crate when they are home alone. Serious conflicts that I have read about people who do not want to get rid of either dog, crate and rotate.
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NovasHuman
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Female Join date : 2013-04-08
Location : Alabama

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:43 pm

I would not stress about getting rid of one of them yet. Honestly I would have stepped in myself before it escalated to that extreme, it sounds like Bartok is being a bit of a bully and not listening to Luke when he says to back off. When you see Bartok start up watch Luke and when he starts giving Bartok signals he doesn't like whats going on (think body freezes, lip licking, hard stares, avoidance behaviors, lip curls, growls, teeth showing) correct Bartok.

Remember if they were really trying to tear into each other then there would have been blood. Especially if one got ahold of the other.

Start taking the two of them on walks together (one per person) make sure that they are having good bonding experiences together.

There are a lot of signals you won't catch if you don't know about dog body language. There are a ton of youtube videos about it, that you can look up. I listed some that you can search in this post.

Also I would find a trainer to help you. Remember it's their job to know about this stuff.
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TwistedTale
Puppy
Puppy


Female Join date : 2014-07-26
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:05 pm

My boys are both intact, Luke is a breeding dog as per my contract with my breeder and Bartok I decided to leave as he was. He hasn't given me any issues so after he turned 2 I just kept him that way. Both are well exercised, Luke does IPO so we train hard there and the husband runs with Bartok not to mention training every day. All in crates when not watched except Luke who gets the bedroom to himself. Nothing has changed at all honestly and as for the people next door I don't see any new dogs. But I live in a city so there could be strays walking by, it wouldn't be a different occurrence... letting them work out their issues supervised sounds terrifying but we could give it a go, along with more walks together. We have 4 dogs so we usually take them in shifts because of the strays around here. If that doesn't work trainer. Thank you everyone!
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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:36 pm

Shortly after I brought Sky into my pack she decided that she was going to confront Sasha. Since they were both under the stool that I use when I'm on the computer it scared the bejeesus out of me.

A couple of "Hey!!", "That's enough!" and they settled and after checking both dogs over to make sure that there was no damage, I left well enough alone. Yeh, it's unsettling - at best - to have what feel like a full on dog fight happening around you - not to say, literally UNDER you. Sky's my last and smallest dog and the one who thinks she has to be the boss....

Next time they go at each other, see if they'll respond to your verbal commands "stop, "enough", "back off" or whatever you use to get them to calm down - if they do then I think it's safe to assume that they're not completely involved in a dog fight, just a challenge.
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amymeme
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:45 am

With 2 intact dogs, I'm not sure things are going to settle down. Any chance there's a bitch in heat somewhere in the neighborhood? I think, if it were me, I would neuter the one not on breeding contract. The timing could also be nothing more than the 2 year old is finally grown up and feeling his oats.
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Kmanweiss
Teenager
Teenager


Male Join date : 2016-09-01
Location : Pierre, SD

PostSubject: Re: Dog fight    Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:54 pm

Even neutered dogs can have issues like this. It may not solve anything, and could even make matters worse as it could affect who believes they have dominance.

We had 2 neutered males (non-husky) that could get into wicked fights over stupid stuff. They were about the same age, and honestly got along pretty good. They'd cuddle, and play, and get along fine for weeks at a time. Then one would offend the other and it would sound like feral wolves fighting to the death. Often times, one, if not both would end up bloodied. Over time they both learned each other's boundaries.

We learned them too, and this was key to keeping things relatively peaceful. While both had lived in an indoor kennel, one dog was no longer allowed to sleep there. We adapted by getting a dog house in the outdoor area of their kennel. Walking them together had certain rules. Feeding them had certain rules. The worst thing we could do was force them to be in situations they weren't comfortable with.

They still had conflicts from time to time, but by adapting to them, we reduced them considerably. It was a love/hate relationship between the two of them. But when the more dominant one passed away, the other dog went through a period of deep depression. You could tell that despite their conflicts, their differences, their limits, they still bonded deeply.

You need to play each situation by ear and figure out what works. Maybe they are just picking out a new dominance hierarchy. Maybe one is challenging for that lead position and will be knocked back into place/behavior. Maybe they'll learn to just not get along but continue to co-exist. Maybe things will only escalate and you will be forced to separate permanently, but you need to identify what the issues are and see if you can help alleviate issues.
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