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Thread: Please help - 2 household dogs fighting

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Please help - 2 household dogs fighting

    I have been madly trying to seek advise on the below incident that happened last night between my two very much loved dogs.

    I have 2 dogs one is a StaffyxRotty 18 months Spayed Female and the other is an American Bulldog 8 months Not Spayed Female.

    They have grown up together - yet last night they had a VISCIOUS FIGHT it was devastating and I could not get them of each other. Eventually I did with cold water and the Bulldog came out worse for wear but not seriously injured just scratched up here and there. They have had a little tiff here and there but last night it was like watching 2 stray dogs fight I could not believe it. They were standing by there food bowls at the time of incident but there was nothing in the bowls.

    I have the bulldog booked in to get Spayed on Friday and am keeping the dogs separated until she has had and recovered from the procedure. I have mixed responses on this saying that it WILL NOT work and that it may have an effect?

    But will getting the bulldog Spayed really help the situation? I can see that the bulldog is trying to be the alpha dog of the house she pees in her bed and she constantly “annoys” the older dog and can sometimes get jealous but she is a fantastic dog aside from that. She will keep on hounding the staffy x but nothing has ever happened like it did last night.

    People all have a different opinion and the vet said that having her Spayed may get rid of the aggressive hormones especially considering she has not yet been on heat. But i'm petrified that I get her Spayed then leave them alone and come home to find the Bulldog ripped to shreds.

    Neither of them have ever been aggressive like this towards each other aside form the occasional push & shove. They are both loving family dogs – yet the bulldog over the last 2 weeks has been pushing the Dominance boundary.

    I don’t want to give either one up but if ultimately I have to part with one to save one then I will have to but i’m willing to try anything ! I have been told to keep them seperated and i have since last night but should i continue to do this until i get a behaviourilst in? Wont this make the situation worse? Am i kidding myself thinking that these two breeds can ever get along again after such an intense fight? Am i ever going to be able to get the dominant aggression out of the bulldog?

    Any advise or help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    If you're worried about them killing each other while you're out, you may have to invest in two crates and keep them separate when you're not there.

    Giving them separate space / territory such as two separate crates may help.

    Both staffies and am bulldogs can be dog aggressive, you may not ever be able to keep them both together. Dogs that have grown up together have always been in competition for resources like your attention, and their fighting may just get worse and worse. This is why adopting siblings from the same litter can be bad. It's not always a problem but it often is.

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    Having the AB spayed may help the situation, and it certainly won't hurt it so I'd go ahead and do it asap.

    I have 6 dogs and all bowls are removed after they have eaten so I know there will be no food aggression.

    I think juvenile dogs can have more fights than older ones as they settle on who is going to be the more dominant. The more we interfere the more serious they have to get. This fight may or may not have sorted that out.

    If you keep them separated then yes bringing them back together can sometimes get touchy. Staying calm and relaxed as you bring them back together is important. When I've had to separate dogs due to seasons I take them all for a lead walk to settle them back down.

    I find a lot of the time when I've gone to houses where dogs fight they are more likely to do so when the owners are around.

    Establishing yourself as a good leader thru basic obedience and joining your local obedience training club is a great way to do this especially as I've already said that most fights seem to happen in the presence of the owner.

    Sometimes when dogs return from a stay at the vets they smell different so you need to handle anything that crops up then carefully.

    Also while you may think the older dog should be the boss it may be that by letter the younger one take on that role things will settle down.
    Last edited by mouseandchicken; 07-14-2010 at 04:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JADED81 View Post
    They have had a little tiff here and there
    Over what, and how did you react?

    They were standing by there food bowls at the time of incident but there was nothing in the bowls.
    It doesn't matter if bowls were empty. They claim it as their possession.

    I have mixed responses on this saying that it WILL NOT work and that it may have an effect?
    It probably won't. Spaying does not affect the relationship issues between dogs. My little dog is spayed but he will eagerly guard his toys, bone etc. from other dogs and will get in to quarrel/fight over another female even worse if she's in heat. I have to control it.

    But will getting the bulldog Spayed really help the situation? I can see that the bulldog is trying to be the alpha dog of the house she pees in her bed and she constantly “annoys” the older dog and can sometimes get jealous but she is a fantastic dog aside from that. She will keep on hounding the staffy x but nothing has ever happened like it did last night.
    Again, I don't think spaying will cure the issue. YOU have to. YOU are the one who has to have things (dogs) under control. They both have to look up to YOU if there is an issue. Your bulldog does not recognise you as an authority and does what she does because she's jealous and she wants to claim you as your possession. Nothing really to do with "alpha" or not.


    I have been told to keep them seperated and i have since last night but should i continue to do this until i get a behaviourilst in?
    Honestly, I believe if you keep them separated it will get worse. Of course, separate them while you're away from home just to prevent things from happening, but otherwise, try to work on obedience on both dogs. They MUST look up to you for everything. They will not eat until you tell them to (even if there's a bowl full of food in front of them), they will not move until you allow them to. It's not about two breeds getting along, it's two dogs, two personalities, breed really doesn't matter here.

    Question - do they ever play together? Have you ever noticed they fought/nipped while you were away (like scratches, scabs etc...)
    Respect and you shall be respected. Animal is always right.

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    Yeah they play together all the tmie. They have been great for the last 8-9 months since the ambull came along. They have had the occassionl rumble but nothing compared to what i witnessed last night. the ambull has been doing all the dominace signs like putting up her paws, mounting the staffyx and trying to possess everyone in the house. I just never picked up on the signs so now i am doing EVERYTHING i can to resolve the issue. Thanks Heaps for your help !

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    What im most worried about is taking the "risk" of leaving them alone but i guess until i have the behaviuorilist come in i should keep them seperated.

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    I have 3 dogs. 2 are brother and sister now 8 months old. They sometimes have fights. Usually I let it happen as it sorts itself (to date no blood)

    The other one is their mother. When she belonged to my Father in law, his bitch always harassed her. There was a huge fight over there recently when she went over with my son. Blood and tearing to the other dog. It seems sorted now that they have found their places. I am not advocating let them get at it, just saying that sometimes letting it not get too out of hand can help settle their issues.

    I find with mine is is the undesexed yet male and his mother, now desexed, having spats or the undesexed male and his desexed sister. For us it is not yet too serious. I would separate if it became so. One in the big pen, one outside and one inside on rotations and possibly another big pen built.

    The male will be desexed soon and I hope too that this may help but am prepared that it may not.

    For you it may settle if the fights do not damage.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JADED81 View Post
    Yeah they play together all the tmie. They have been great for the last 8-9 months since the ambull came along. They have had the occassionl rumble but nothing compared to what i witnessed last night. the ambull has been doing all the dominace signs like putting up her paws, mounting the staffyx and trying to possess everyone in the house. I just never picked up on the signs so now i am doing EVERYTHING i can to resolve the issue. Thanks Heaps for your help !
    Mounting is an ABSOLUTE no no in my house. We've had pack issues here too. One of the worst fights was over an empty bowl. Like Fedra said, there doesn't have to be anything in it, it's still a resource worth guarding. We learned a lot from watching Cesar and Leerburg DVDs. He's got lots of free e-books on his website too.

    Leerburg's Dog Training DVDs and Free Dog Training ebooks

    It might be worth seeking the advice of a qualified behaviourist too if you feel out of your depth

    ETA: All ours are kept apart when we're not home. It's the safest option for us. All they do is sleep anyway, I've taped them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JADED81 View Post
    What im most worried about is taking the "risk" of leaving them alone but i guess until i have the behaviuorilist come in i should keep them seperated.
    OK, so I read through your first post again. What's happening is that your bulldog is in puberty. That's where mounting and bullying most probably comes from. Dogs do that, some more some less. Staffy x is 18 moths old so still young. Large breeds come out of puberty at about 2 years of age (regardless of spaying!). So you have two young dogs behaving like 2 young brats. And of course they compete for their status. Sometimes dogs solve this issue amongst themselves without too much hassle, but sometimes we have to intervene. So, mounting is not allowed, growling is allowed to a certain point because that's how dogs communicate while playing, so listen to what kind of growl it is and stop it if it becomes too deep and strong and is obvious that is leading to something other than just playing.

    I wouldn't be mistaken with "pack" issues, because dogs in our homes don't live as pack animals. They have everything provided for them. It's just the matter of them listening to you and yes, this stage of their lives has to pass eventually. It is important that you are firm and strict in your decisions (not phisically rough, meaning no hitting, scuffing, alpha rolling etc) so their behaviour does not become a habit. Spaying will help with raging hormones in a long run, but it really is up to you how you handle the issue.

    I wouldn't follow Cesar's methods as I think he does more damage then good, but it's up to you, it's only my opinion that also comes from my experience.
    Respect and you shall be respected. Animal is always right.

  10. #10

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    My two girls are fed in separate rooms and my cattle dog is supervised due to food agression in the past.

    My two have had a nasty fight in the past over a toy and both required vet attention. We separated them intially to calm them down but then put them back together a little while later (I must admit I was nervous!!). They even sat on the back seat together on the way to the vet!!

    Good luck with them. I hope it all works out for the best.

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