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Fights between dogs after 1 year of peace

rescue fights behaviour behavior help

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#1 Briguyman

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 04:54 PM

Hello,

I’m new  here and am going through a dog crisis.

 

TL;DR – two rescue dogs lived happily together for 1 year, both desexed, but recently girl reached maturity, they are  getting into scuffles now, with no visible or audible triggers, with extremely aggressive growling and barking but no biting yet.

 

HELP! PLEASE! We do NOT want to have to rehome either dog, as with their problems we don’t see a good chance of them finding a forever home. We love them to bits, and %95 of the time they get along great and play together, tug of war and wrestle, but because of that other 5% we can't even let them be together anymore inside the house.

 

Situation: we have two rescue dogs in a house with me (male), my fiancé (female) and her two adult daughters. One of these dogs (Tigga, 7) we got almost 3 years ago, one we got a bit over 1 year ago(Luna, a bit over 1). They existed perfectly and harmoniously  for a year, while Luna was growing up. Luna is an adult now and they are getting into really serious scuffles. I would say fights, but no blood has been drawn yet. The growling is incredibly vicious and teeth are bared, Tigga is always jumping on top of Luna. We have been advised by a local dog trainer that we've employed before to put crates out in the main living room, and they spend time in there daily, but I have to say it feels like some, or at least half of the fights, have a correlation with the crates. Tigga sleeps in our bed or with one of my fiancee's daughters, and Luna sleeps in the bed of the other. 

 

Both dogs are desexed.

 

Tigga is a staffy/bull terrier, very active and muscly, very focused on fetch and tug of war. He is well socialized with other dogs, and has never had an issue with another dog. He was, however, abandoned at least once by owners who had other smaller dogs. He lived on the streets for a while, we don’t know how long, and then the pound got him and a local rescue saved him the day of his execution. We got him from them.

We live across from a dog park, so he has met probably over 50 dogs. He has incredible patience, and has never started anything with other dogs. He’s jumped in when Luna started things with dogs, but he never bites. He could easily, EASILY destroy Luna with one bite and whip of his head, but he never bites her, ever. They get a lot of exercise, at least one 30 minute intense fetch play a day, sometimes two, and always a hose play in the side yard.

That being said, he's very insecure. He seeks eye contact almost constantly if he isn't sleeping or playing. He has been abandoned multiple times for other dogs, so maybe he's afraid that's happening again. 

 

Luna is a 1 year, 2-3 month blue heeler/whippet/mix. She is incredibly clever, but due to having a really bad start to her life (abandoned puppy mill, dogs were skeletal and fighting over every molecule of food when found, it was apparently a real struggle to keep her alive when they found her), she doesn’t socialize predictably. She is great with most dogs, but once in a while she’ll go after a dog. She barks aggressively at every new dog she meets at the dog park, and after sniffing through the fence for a few minutes, she’s usually okay. I was visiting family for the past month, and came back and noticed she looks really different than she did before, which is weird because we thought she was done growing. She isn't any bigger than when I left but just looks more proportional, more complete. Luna is hyper-vigilant and barks at sounds that sound close to the house. She gets nervous easily but she’s also a scrapper, and isn’t truly afraid of much. She has a history of being VERY submissive with Tigga, but now she isn’t always submitting when they have their problems.

 

We can’t keep them inside together anymore. Outside they’re fine, or if they have any problems they work it out silently and we don’t know about them.

Is Luna smart enough to challenge Tigga in an environment where she knows we will break up fights?

 

The fights: there is no easily visible trigger. Suddenly we will notice their body language slowly and subtly change, Tigga will tense up and start looking at Luna, and she will not submit, but she doesn’t growl audibly either. Tigga will escalate and pounce if we don’t restrain him.

 

Patterns: this happens most when Luna is cornered, like in her crate or under a desk. It also happens when the dogs are on the human’s level – couch, or if I’m sitting on the floor. It also happens when Luna is in her crate, and Tigga is outside of his. Lastly, Tigga goes after Luna through the screen/glass door sometimes at dinner. Both have spent time starved before they came to us so they have food security issues, we feed them separately, we aren’t too concerned about this one but it’s worth mentioning.

 

Changes: I left for a month. Then, one of my fiancee’s daughters left about 3 weeks into me being gone, for a month. During this time their diets changed from raw to dried pellets/kibble. Also during this time, my fiancée got a job a few hours away from home, so the house is full of furniture she’s going to take to her new house. Is that worth mentioning? Could dogs sense another change coming?

My guesses are that Luna has reached maturity and is looking to become higher in the dog hierarchy, she is challenging him through refusing to submit sometimes, and Tigga doesn’t like that. The fact that they only fight inside, around us, seems to suggest they’re resource guarding us, the humans, but it isn’t consistent or predictable. Also my fiancee's daughter changed feeding schedule from morning and night to just nighttime.

I’m the alpha male to both of them, as I take them out for exercise every day. 

 

 

I've read advice suggesting letting them go, and they'll work it out, but we can't afford huge vet bills. We're afraid that they'll do damage. 

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#2 willowlynn

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 01:03 AM

Hello, first thing, get rid of the tug toys.  Those can increase aggression in some dogs.  The second thing that comes to mind is you need a through Vet check on both of them that includes a thyroid check, I understand money is an issue but that will be cheaper then emergency vet bills if one is injured in a fight.  It does sound like Luna has reached maturity and is fighting for dominance.  It's important that they see you as the 'pack leader' and that you will step in to handle situations, so they have no need to fight.  I also recommend that after the Vet check, you call in a trainer/behaviorist for further advice.  Some dogs will never get along and it becomes a management issue with you keeping them separated at all times.  Sadly if you can't do that, consider rehoming one of them into a 'one dog only' home.  Best of luck to you, they are great looking dogs.  If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.



#3 TheDogLine

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:53 AM

Hi Briguyman,

 

I see and feel how you care for your two dogs and how they became a family to you. It is important that we have both dogs in safe and healthy environment together with your family. I am glad to tell you that there are dog training products that help them be trained to good behavior and eliminate the bad behavior they have.

Remote training collars  from a good manufacturer can make a big difference in giving proper training to your dogs.

I hope you will find the best training products you can use for your dogs and all the best for you and your family including your dogs.

 

The Dog Line



#4 willowlynn

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:55 AM

Hi Briguyman,

 

I see and feel how you care for your two dogs and how they became a family to you. It is important that we have both dogs in safe and healthy environment together with your family. I am glad to tell you that there are dog training products that help them be trained to good behavior and eliminate the bad behavior they have.

Remote training collars  from a good manufacturer can make a big difference in giving proper training to your dogs.

I hope you will find the best training products you can use for your dogs and all the best for you and your family including your dogs.

 

The Dog Line

No no and no!  A electric dog collar inflicts pain and will only make the situation worse.  Say for example. you shock your dog every time you think he/she looks at the other dog the wrong way, the dog associates the other dog as causing pain.  (it's how dogs think!)  Of course resentment will build!  I cannot stress enough how dangerous, and how intensified E collars work in situations like this.  In fact, if I had my wish, this training sight would advocate ONLY positive training methods and I would be happy to see the person selling shock collars and electric fences banned.



#5 Viv

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:13 AM

Hi Briguyman,
 
I see and feel how you care for your two dogs and how they became a family to you. It is important that we have both dogs in safe and healthy environment together with your family. I am glad to tell you that there are dog training products that help them be trained to good behavior and eliminate the bad behavior they have.
Remote training collars  from a good manufacturer can make a big difference in giving proper training to your dogs.
I hope you will find the best training products you can use for your dogs and all the best for you and your family including your dogs.
 
The Dog Line SO THE ONLY methods YOU use are harsh training methods? Some new dog owner is going to take your advice get one and ruin their dog thanks to your advice. have you ever trained a dog with positive methods? i wouldn't let you within 100 feet of any dog I know.


Viv---- Dargon- English Mastiff. Always in our hearts--Aughra- English Mastiff- Jorth- English Mastiff- Rontu--Bull Mastiff-- Annie and Blu--Dear Basset Hounds .Drac and Timber--Chow Chows- Baron-- Rottweiller


#6 willowlynn

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 02:01 AM

That was just a suggestion. It would still up to Briguyman if he will try it or not. And yes, I had used positive training to my dogs with the use of these remote training collars and made me the good guy in the training. And FYI, remote collars are not just shock or electric, it also comes with vibration, ultrasonic and citronella spray . We help dogs and dog owners to have a well behaved dogs without causing any harm for them. We love dogs more than you love your dogs. Please do not make judgement without even trying it. Thank you.

Vibrations are a warning that a shock is coming next, same with ultrasonics, and citronella is just another form of aversion training. There are better ways of training based on rewards, using clickers and other markers that are non threatening and build trust much better.  It's very childish and a useless argument to say you love dogs better then I do, especially when you train dogs out of fear.  And yes, I will be judgemental when I compare your training techniques to mine.  FYI, this forum will only support positive training, your posts suggesting aversion techniques will be deleted.

https://justdogswith...n-training.html



#7 Viv

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:34 AM

That was just a suggestion. It would still up to Briguyman if he will try it or not. And yes, I had used positive training to my dogs with the use of these remote training collars and made me the good guy in the training. And FYI, remote collars are not just shock or electric, it also comes with vibration, ultrasonic and citronella spray . We help dogs and dog owners to have a well behaved dogs without causing any harm for them. We love dogs more than you love your dogs. Please do not make judgement without even trying it. Thank you.

Vibrations are a warning that a shock is coming next, same with ultrasonics, and citronella is just another form of aversion training. There are better ways of training based on rewards, using clickers and other markers that are non threatening and build trust much better.  It's very childish and a useless argument to say you love dogs better then I do, especially when you train dogs out of fear.  And yes, I will be judgemental when I compare your training techniques to mine.  FYI, this forum will only support positive training, your posts suggesting aversion techniques will be deleted.
https://justdogswith...n-training.html

VERY well said. Wonder if he has tried any other methods I asked him got no answer zap a mastiff Dude you want to see a response/ for all their size they are very very negative to your methods---you would ruin one

Viv---- Dargon- English Mastiff. Always in our hearts--Aughra- English Mastiff- Jorth- English Mastiff- Rontu--Bull Mastiff-- Annie and Blu--Dear Basset Hounds .Drac and Timber--Chow Chows- Baron-- Rottweiller


#8 Viv

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 09:36 AM

That was just a suggestion. It would still up to Briguyman if he will try it or not. And yes, I had used positive training to my dogs with the use of these remote training collars and made me the good guy in the training. And FYI, remote collars are not just shock or electric, it also comes with vibration, ultrasonic and citronella spray . We help dogs and dog owners to have a well behaved dogs without causing any harm for them. We love dogs more than you love your dogs. Please do not make judgement without even trying it. Thank you.

Vibrations are a warning that a shock is coming next, same with ultrasonics, and citronella is just another form of aversion training. There are better ways of training based on rewards, using clickers and other markers that are non threatening and build trust much better.  It's very childish and a useless argument to say you love dogs better then I do, especially when you train dogs out of fear.  And yes, I will be judgemental when I compare your training techniques to mine.  FYI, this forum will only support positive training, your posts suggesting aversion techniques will be deleted.
https://justdogswith...n-training.html

VERY well said. Wonder if he has tried any other methods I asked him got no answer zap a mastiff Dude you want to see a response/ for all their size they are very very negative to your methods---you would ruin one

I JUST read the they love their dogs more than we do?? And he thinks positive training is with this stuff?? Delete any of his stuff no answer from Zoe yet

Viv---- Dargon- English Mastiff. Always in our hearts--Aughra- English Mastiff- Jorth- English Mastiff- Rontu--Bull Mastiff-- Annie and Blu--Dear Basset Hounds .Drac and Timber--Chow Chows- Baron-- Rottweiller


#9 samueldaviesuk

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:03 AM

Chew proof dog beds are essential for fighting dogs!

http://doggytoggery....proof-dog-beds/



#10 lceba

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 01:31 AM

I agree with @williwlynn and @Viv, the only methods that work are the POSITIVE ones! As suggested, a vet should be the first thing to do to rule out any pain. I would also take them for long walks together and feed them more than twice a day if you can. You might also need to restrict sleeping in the sofa unless you invite them to do so. And if crates are a problem, get rid of them.



#11 Viv

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 09:45 AM

Chew proof dog beds are essential for fighting dogs!
http://doggytoggery....proof-dog-beds/

May i ask WHY??? Are you just trying to sell you beds?? WTHades does a tough dog bed have to do with dogs fighting--I would like to know

Viv---- Dargon- English Mastiff. Always in our hearts--Aughra- English Mastiff- Jorth- English Mastiff- Rontu--Bull Mastiff-- Annie and Blu--Dear Basset Hounds .Drac and Timber--Chow Chows- Baron-- Rottweiller






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