A Little Advice?; My Dogs are Fighting

A Little Advice?; My Dogs are Fighting

This is a discussion on A Little Advice?; My Dogs are Fighting within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Been a dog owner all my life (+50 years). Harley (Neutered Male/G.Shepherd) & Targa (Neutered Female/Boxer Mix) are both ~ the same age (4) & ...

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Thread: A Little Advice?; My Dogs are Fighting

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    A Little Advice?; My Dogs are Fighting

    Been a dog owner all my life (+50 years). Harley (Neutered Male/G.Shepherd) & Targa (Neutered Female/Boxer Mix) are both ~ the same age (4) & about the same size. Been together for +3 years. Lots of people (well-socialized), activity (well-entertained), food (well-fed), affection (well-loved), room to roam (+2 wooded acres). Always got along just fine. Now, they're seriously fighting, every few days. Seems to be jealousy over my wife's & my attention. Am very fond of both & don't want to give either up. But more importantly, concerned one will injure/kill the other...so my "wants" must take second priority.

    Any advice or opinions? I sure would appreciate it! Thank y'all.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.


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    Step 1 - vet exam for both. A sudden change in behavior like this could be a sign that one of the dogs is in chronic discomfort, and is being particularly grumpy as a result.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Thanks Matt! Thought about that (and will do) but there's been no other signs of change in behavior or activities. Seem to be the same active, healthy, happy dogs they've always been, even affectionate toward eachother (licking, socializing, around food bowl(s!), water). Except every few days, with no visable warning (I've been watching closely)...snap, all #@&! breaks loose!
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    Step 1 - vet exam for both. A sudden change in behavior like this could be a sign that one of the dogs is in chronic discomfort, and is being particularly grumpy as a result.

    Matt
    Thats the most likely, but this can also be a result of poor pack structure. They are viewing your wife and possibly you lower in the packs order. The humans in your household need to assert themselves to a leadership position.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Its normal for a spayed female to dominate any male, neutered or not. Which dog is picking the fight? It would be strange for the neutered male to pick a fight with a female and if thats the case, thats where I would look first.

    >>---->
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    can also be a result of poor pack structure
    Thanks again! This may be closer to the cause. It's only happened once in my presence. Seems to occur more often when my wife is trying to pet both dogs.
    Which dog is picking the fight?
    Tough to tell 'cause it happens soooo fast. If I were to guess, it's Targa (the female Boxer Mix).
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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    Member Array spooter66's Avatar
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    May not be anything "wrong" with the dogs. Has anything else changed in the house hold? Has anyones' schedule changed? Any disturbance in their environment could upset the balance and routine they had. Something as small as repositioning their beds could have set them off.
    "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Sir Winston Churchill


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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Thanks again! This may be closer to the cause. It's only happened once in my presence. Seems to occur more often when my wife is trying to pet both dogs.
    Well then, I'm purty darn sure I gave you the answer.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Maybe the wife is the problem?

    Probably kinda hard to get rid of her though.

    Seriously, our dogs (four, yes four) are all attention whores but it's never been a problem at our house. The pack order has long been established. What's the pecking order there? Is the head dog getting the attention first or feeling threatened at thinking he/she is becoming #2?
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    PMS...I put up with it for 22 years.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    The humans in your household need to assert themselves to a leadership position.
    Any suggestions, in pack language, to reassert my wife's position? I (most often) train, kennel, feed, water, correct & recreate the K9s. She (most often) just tries to pet both when she's gardening.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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    Member Array artemis28's Avatar
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    Has she ever been a mother? The "Mom" voice works well on dogs too.

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    I have 2 females, one tended to be grumpy and want her space, and the other is very alpha. So, there were "challenges" at times, but after 2 fights... I let them know "I'm the top alpha and the boss" and fighting was not accepted. They now know who gets rubbed first, and who gets rubbed 2nd... establishing their status in the pack. They get their bones in the same order, their food in the same order. They accept it, once they know it.

    No more fights, no more challenges.

    Sounds like pecking order between them and your wife, is now is question. OR, as said.... one has some issues physically going on. Thyroid, etc. can really change demeanor and temperament.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    Any suggestions, in pack language, to reassert my wife's position? I (most often) train, kennel, feed, water, correct & recreate the K9s. She (most often) just tries to pet both when she's gardening.
    Your wife should take on the feeding chore. She also should take them for walks, and she needs to control the lead. Talking about leads, get a good leather 4ft lead, not one of those horrid retractable garbage things.
    Are they inside dogs?
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Your wife is not the issue here-well, not the major issue. It's not that the dogs see either of you as subordinate to them, or else they'd be aggressive toward you or her. Your problem is that, for whatever reason, whoever was lower in the pecking order has stepped out of line and is being put in his or her place. The leader of the pack cannot instruct the other members of the pack, for the most part, on who gets to be 2nd, 3rd, etc. That works out between the individuals, and everyone knows his or her place. So if you think separating them or fussing at them will fix it, it won't. If your wife is petting the wrong (read: beta) dog first, and the alpha sees it starting to become habit, they WILL step up and defend what they view to be their rights. If that causes a fight, and you take up for the beta dog, you're just extending and deepening the rift. Best advice is to see who comes to the wife first, and stands "guarding" her (eyeballin' the other dog, positioning itself between her and the other dog, walking under her hand when she's petting the other dog, etc.). This is usually the dominant dog. Just always pet the dominant dog first, feed dominant dog first, yada yada. Otherwise you're seeding little insurrections on a daily basis, and it will end in a fight....

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