Hi, I am currently in a bit of a situation with my beloved 11 year old female Cattle dog X Akita.
She has basically grown up with her companion, an 8 year old male Retriever X Akita.
My 11 year old female has always been the dominant one and my 8 year old has always submitted. Within the last month (or not even) however, things have slightly changed. My girl has started getting grumpy over really silly or non existant things and is starting fights with my male. The problem is , is that the male is well stronger than her now (and larger) and he actually won the fight (first time ever). Marked her, not a scratch on him. Since this first time , my girl continues to 'begin' fights over incredibally stupid things (sometimes it's over one of their blankets, sometimes it could very well be because she wants a fight as there is nothing around) and continues to get whooped.
The thing to note here is that even though they have had small spats in previous times, those fights have been rare and very far inbetween (and usually over a food thing, which I could understand)
My problem is that I have 2 young children, 5 and 3 who play in the yard and because these dog fights are increasing in frequency over this short period of time and are unpredictable (last one being yesterday) I feel it is becoming too dangerous. Last night, I was in the way becuase I saw what was about to happen and copped it on my hand (they were caught up in the moment, it wasn't intentional aggression towards me). Next time, it may be one of the children
Something has to give. I love both of these dogs dearly, they have both been with me from day dot, but this cannot go on.
I am seriously thinking about having my girl put to sleep, she still has so much vitality left in her but on the other hand her behaviour is becoming too erratic (and my male isn't 'starting ' these fights although he is finishing them). I have thought about re-homing her, but I don't know if this is fair, as I said she has been with me from day 1 and I think I'd stress too much about if she was being treated right. Plus her age is a factor in the re-homing and she has a fatty tumour on her leg (the vets say it's just that and not dangerous in any way to her) but this is still growing and I can't help wondering if this is affecting her even though the vet said its not tender and she's in no pain with it.
She is old I know but she is not THAT old, I just feel really bad about this, feel like a heartless bitch, but my children are my priority as much as I love her. I would really appreciate your opinions on this matter.