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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, a couple weeks ago my two dogs have been fighting on and off, and it is really getting bad.

To start, a little background. Both these dogs are outdoor dogs. My first dog was from a rescue center and we got him when he was around 4 months old named Dobo. From the DNA report, it seems to have a bit of Dachshund and Australian Cattle Dog, but the size makes it look less of a Australian Cattle Dog and actually makes it seem like a Chihuahua. Anyways what we didn't know when we got him from the lady is that he actually had Mange and was in its own crate probably ever since they found him. My brother and I had hypothesized that his bad behavior is partially influenced by his lack of socialization with other dogs in a pack due to his disease. This is bad since a dog suppose to be with his mother and pups for like the first eight weeks or something. He is currently a year old now.

He never gets along with dogs well, and it's not that he barks or chases dogs, but it's that whenever he is near dogs he will kind of walk around them and look at them, then suddenly FLINCH and scares the other dogs. Playing fetch with him, he also would run to me really fast, then run to a COMPLETELY different direction to another place, but not all the time. Also when meeting new dogs, he would sniff them excessively to a not normal amount and would always want to intimidate others by jumping and flinching. Also, he seems to always run away if he ever gets loose. Unlike the dogs I use to own like 6 years ago, he doesn't come back. I would have to chase him down and still may not come and just goes out on his own. This has happened a few time. On a side note, he is neutered.

So while I have this dog, my family bought a newly born 3 month old Golden Retriever named Marley. Sweet as pie. So nice. The second he meets Dobo, Dobo starts to sniff, prod at Marley's crotch area, sometimes even mount him even though they are both males. Again Dobo flinches and scares Marley sometimes. But this is where it gets terrible. Ocassionally, when Marley approaches Dobo who is playing on a toy, or eating a bone, or is sleeping/sitting on his favorite bed, Dobo would suddenly SNAP and starts to maul and bark at Marley! I would be forced to yell at Dobo but whenever I come out to yell Dobo just feels that it's time to play and I guess doesn't understand I am mad. Even worse, sometimes Dobo would just snap and maul at Marley for NO apparent reason. What I hate also is that Dobo follows Marley, as if he was tailing/chasing him and Marley just wants to go away.

The point where we really hit bottom was last night. My friends were over seeing the dog and were petting Dobo. Marley approaches to be petted to. And out of nowhere, calm Dobo suddenly snaps and starts attacking Marley. I was outside so I put myself between Marley and Dobo, looked at Dobo and yelled furiously at him, blocking him from reaching Marley. I can see Marley hiding behind my legs. But THEN, Dobo goes AROUND me and continues to fight!!! I thought this was unacceptable! I was FURIOUS that he disobeyed his master after a loud and head on yelling! After I finally used my hands to physically separate the two, I noticed Marley had a red scratch on his muzzle. I was in shock.

Marley never once seemed like he was fighting back. He was always the one trying to get away. Does anyone have an idea to reasons they don't get along? It's been a month now, and I don't want my dog to suffer ): Please help! Ask me any information you want to know.
 

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Some questions so we can get a better picture of the situation:
Are both dogs outside all the time? Are they left alone in a yard together when you are not around? What is the reason for having outdoor dogs?
What do you mean by FLINCH? What are his exact actions if you can describe it better please?
How much training has Dobo had? Have you taught him recall, general obedience etc.?
Are you positive they are fighting and not playing? Are there any bows going on? Besides the red scratch has there been any wounds?
Is Marley always trying to get away from Dobo or does he try to initiate interaction with Dobo as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are both dogs outside all the time?
Yes my parents are very clean freaks. But we try to interact with them by walking at least 30 minutes a day and playing with them throughout.

Are they left alone in a yard together when you are not around?
Well if we are in the house, we allow them to have full sight of us and them. If we are out of the house completely, we would occasionally separate them but mainly let them roam the backyard.

What is the reason for having outdoor dogs?
My parent's don't want dogs in the house cause of fur, urine, smell, etc.

What do you mean by FLINCH?
He would be looking at a dog, walking around slowly, then suddenly jerk his body really hard and fast, looking at the dog he was walking around, and has like a really aggressive look in my opinion.

What are his exact actions if you can describe it better please?
You mean actions to Marley? Mainly it's the following part. Marley tries to walk to a place or walk away and Dobo would be very near his bum. In the fighting, Dobo would like go on top of Marley while Marley is on his back trying to push away. Dobo would try to bite him it seems like.

How much training has Dobo had? Have you taught him recall, general obedience etc.?
Yes. I have pretty much spent all my months teaching him to sit to my command and finger raised in his face. But I feel that he gotten too much of a "habit" to just sit when I am in front of him and not to the command >.< I taught him to fetch after a LOOOONG time of training. And I managed to teach him to fully walk next to/behind me and not in front of me.

Are you positive they are fighting and not playing?
I was trying to tell. At first, yes, it seems like they are both just struggling and playing, but it still seemed like Dobo was always on top. After awhile, whenever they fight, Marley now whines and yells, which is how we know that he is being hurt and not just playing.

Are there any bows going on?
Not sure what that means? Sorry

Besides the red scratch has there been any wounds?
Interestingly, Dobo also has a small wound near his neck, but it seems like it is due to that part of his skin being sensitive already. And on the occasion where it happened, Dobo again was the attacker, I saw. But no, nothing other than that luckily.

Is Marley always trying to get away from Dobo or does he try to initiate interaction with Dobo as well?
Oh. Well actually, Marley does usually go up to Dobo and like interacts with him. It's just whenever Marley seems like he wants alone time Dobo never gives it most of the time.

So mainly it's the yelling and whining when Marley is down that I find Marley to be in pain. Plus the scratch. Thanks for replying too!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Huh. This is interesting. As, I'd say, more than half the time, the "bows" are happening from Marley! He does that when he tries to approach Dobo when Dobo is like on a chew toy or on the bed. Then Dobo engages and attacks and Marley whines. However Dobo "sometimes" also bows to Marley before attack for no apparent reason too.
 

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It might be worth it to have a professional trainer or behaviorist come assess the situation if you aren't familiar with canine body language. It's hard to tell if there is any serious aggression going on here but to me it seems like it is just an older dog putting a pup in it's place. A real dog fight would result in blood shed but that doesn't mean it wont eventually get to that stage if there is already a problem.

Does each dog have a place they can go to get away from the other? Keeping two dogs in a yard where they can never get away from the other is just going to escalate any problems.

A lot of pups will really get on the nerves of older dogs and the older dog will try to warn the pup and tell them they don't like that behavior but a lot of pups wont listen. At that point the older dog, particularly one that isn't well socialized, could go too far in it's correction. That could be what is going on here and could get more serious over time but as I said it would be best to have a professional come and assess the situation.

The bow is an invitation to come play. If Marley keeps harassing Dobo for play Dobo might get annoyed and tell the pup off. If Dobo is bowing before he "attacks" I'm wondering if maybe he is just a dog who plays rough, maybe too rough for Marley's liking. If Dobo lets Marley up does Marley go back to Dobo or try to run away?
 

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If Dobo lets Marley up does Marley go back to Dobo or try to run away?
In this situation, it does seem like they will being play fighting ie fighting without whining. I hope that is what it is.

Does each dog have a place they can go to get away from the other?
NO, not really. I mean anywhere one dog can run to of course the other one can too. We thought that we want them to interact more to get use to each other, or is this the wrong way to do it?

So what I am getting, is that it is partially Marley's fault for getting into fights, and that it is natural for the older dog to try to correct him. Maybe I should teach Marley to respect others when they don't want to be disturbed? If that's the case, how would I go about doing that?

The main traumatizing point was when me and my friends pet Dobo, Marley came over, and Dobo just attacked him away and wouldn't stop until physical intervention. Do you have a theory of what is that? Thanks for all the help!
 

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Dog play can seem really rough and even look aggressive if you don't know what you're seeing. Without seeing it I can't say 100% for sure but it sounds like that may be the case at least some of the time.

I think each dog should have their own place they can go relax. Do they have dog houses or shelter of some sort? Maybe separate dog houses that they can retreat to when they need a break. A lot of people with multiple dogs will never leave them together when they are unsupervised because there is always the possibility of a disagreement leading to a fight or accidental injury during play.

It is natural for an older dog to correct a pup. I'm not sure about the socialization level of Dobo and if he is going to be an appropriate role model for Marley. A well socialized dog will appropriately correct a pup and teach them good dog manners. If Dobo doesn't have great dog social skills you may need to step in and correct behaviour yourself by redirecting Marley to an appropriate activity when he gets too rambunctious for Dobo, this is difficult when they are outdoor dogs and you can't be there to correct the behaviour all the time.

That incident sounds like Dobo may have some resource guarding issues which could become a real issue if they are left alone. I recommend reading up on resource guarding, there should be a sticky about it on this forum, I'll try to find the link.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, I think the only think I can do it to try to interact and correct them more. About the dog houses, what if one dog tries to go into the other dogs house? Or would that not likely happen?

SO I should correct Marley for when he doesn't stop bothering Dobo when Dobo doesn't want to play?
 

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Ok thank you so much Gally! I'll look over these and try to correct my dogs. I appreciate all your help and concern :) Thank you!
 

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I've never had a completely outdoor dog so I'm not 100% sure about the dog houses. I know some dogs will go into other dogs crates but it's usually when the other dog isn't in there. Hopefully someone with outdoor dogs can give you some more insight on housing them.
 

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Ocassionally, when Marley approaches Dobo who is playing on a toy, or eating a bone, or is sleeping/sitting on his favorite bed, Dobo would suddenly SNAP and starts to maul and bark at Marley!

The point where we really hit bottom was last night. My friends were over seeing the dog and were petting Dobo. Marley approaches to be petted to. And out of nowhere, calm Dobo suddenly snaps and starts attacking Marley.

This part right here sounds like Resource Guarding to me, Mine by Jean Donaldson is a good book that addresses this! Also starting to make time spent with you and both of them a good experience could help!
 

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My only concern here about your situation and the advice given is this: If your adult dog really is attacking the pup and really is on a path towards escalation, waiting to figure all of this out might result in a dead pup. I would get a set of experienced eyes over to the house to watch your dogs. When I say experienced, I mean someone who is really good with dogs, not just someone that has a couple that they really love. A trainer or a vet or a tech or an employee at a doggie daycare center would be ideal.

If an adult dog is going after a pup this young, it was concerning to imagine what might happen with the "puppy license" wears off.

Some of what you describe sounds like play behavior. Some sounds like resource guarding. Not being able to see any of it with my own eyes, I would err on the side of caution and beg you to get someone to the house who can read what's going on rather than risk a dead pup.
 
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