First off, Very sorry for the text organization, typed up in word and it did not come across the same.
New to this forum, as I am looking for advice.
I am a 29 year old male who lives in my own house with my wife who is 27, and new born baby. I have a 5 year old intact male purebred English staffy(Caesar)(Papers, from registered breeder), and a 17 month old spayed female purebred English staffy(Gypsy)(no papers, not registered breeder). Dogs have been together since the female was 8 weeks old slept together, ate together etc.
Just recently our bitch has become very aggressive towards our male, they will be just walking around like normal and all of a sudden, stiff postures, straight tail, hair bristled (bitch only) and then the bitch initiates and a substantial fight occurs. It always appears initiated by the bitch to us, she is the one death staring, pushing around and bullying the male.
I am not talking a tussle, I am talking a fight that can only be stopped by physically pulling the dogs apart. There is blood, fairly deep wounds, skin tears, these dogs would not stop until one of them died if left alone. All injuries have been vet checked and dogs looked after accordingly just fyi.
We are in regional NSW, no cities or anything nearby so “behaviourist” or anything like that is located nowhere near us. We have had a local staffy breeder, who also trains to come over and have a look at their behaviour, now she is not “trained” or “Professional” nor does she do it for a living, but it was the best we could do in our location.
Her thoughts are that as Gypsy is starting to come into maturity and as she is now actually taller than Caesar(he was the runt) she is challenging him, and would like to be “top dog”. And her standing over him has become like this due to her new size (growth spurt). Now this makes a lot of sense to us, Gypsy appeared as if she grew overnight, and that her being submissive even during play has completely stopped.
Our initial thoughts were the recent arrival of our new baby, which was around the same time (not exactly). Though the size thing really makes sense and fits.
Either way, regardless of the cause, we have two dogs that we cannot have together. We have given many chances and just can’t give anymore; it puts the dogs in too much danger (and us).
These dogs are like our children, fed raw diets, allowed inside, always loved. Washed every weekend, no expense spared. My wife and I are very upset by this and do not know what to do, we cannot come to grips with rehoming Gypsy, she is a beautiful dog, well behaved, no aggression at all other than that mentioned, and Caesar is the same.
We also feel that as hard as it is, we may have to rehome her so her and Caesar can live a happier life without all the tension. We just don’t know what to do, as even with professional obedience training etc. we have found(and been told) you can never be sure if they will be ok.
We have Gypsy placed in a meshed off area under our house, which is still part of our backyard(dog in kennel can see the whole yard). The dog roaming the yard can approach access the outside of the kennel.
This kennel is 3.2m long 2m wide and 1m high, has water well shaded etc. I have been swapping which dog is in the kennel over, so Gypsy gets to run around the yard aswell.
Now my question is, what should we do?
I have been researching a lot about this, and have found something called “crate and rotate”.
Basically keep one dog in the kennel, make the kennel a happy place, (pool, toys etc). Rotate which dog is in there daily. The kennel is not punishment. A lot of people with pitbulls seem to do this from what I have read. Now, we have never tied up these dogs, never caged them unless only for a couple of hours if we have visitors with kids(they just knock them over by accident not biting).
Would keeping both of these dogs and keeping them separated be worse for the dogs than rehoming one?
Both dogs are incredibly loving, follow us everywhere, and crave attention.
I have suggested this to my wife and she insisted we seek to find out if this is a bad thing to do, or if this is actually ok. The dogs cannot be in the same area at all now, and if living together will have to be ALWAYS separated.
Is this cruel and selfish? Or is this better than sending one of these dogs off to a new home of strangers?
Will the rehomed dog be sad and looking for us?
We honestly don’t know what to do and are facing a very trying time right now, we love both of these dogs dearly.
Thank You for spending the time to read this if you made it this far, any help/advice is much appreciated.
If any further questions please ask, I may not have got our story across as I wanted it to be.