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Discussion Starter #1
Hi you guys,
my sister has 3 Schnauzers, a beautiful little family, mom dad and one of the puppies they kept from their first (and only) litter.
There are several issues and many aspect that need improving (like, not much training or playing / exercise etc), yet what's escalating and troubling everyone is how the mom and the daughter seem to be going face to face more and more often lately, and its LOUD!

My sister says that they always had these "dominance" displays, which never lasted long nor was this uh... scary sounding :-/

Happens more often when my sister or niece or a couple other people arrive, then one look at the other and this VERY loud growl from both and one puts the head over the neck of the other while trying to hold the head lower with one paw. Usually is the mom that has the head on top (I figure she wants to say she's the dominant but the daughter doesn't want to back down and stares and growls right back)... sometimes the daughter's head is higher.... sometimes they BOTH stand on the hind legs and seem to be "hugging" while face to face scaaary GROOWWWL (I can't describe it but its VERY disturbing and a noise that doesn't seem to be possible to be coming out of a dog much less from such a small animal!) :-O

I noticed when we ignore it and walk away they usually stop, but the situation continues and sometimes (to us ignorant humans).. NO CLUE what triggers it.

A few times it has come to fights between the two... also VERY loud and SCARY, although its mostly the loud fighting noise and biting at each other's necks (no wounds... yet) :-(
Calling their names doesn't work AT ALL. Trying to separate them doesn't seem to work either they THEN get more aggressive towards each other, sometimes one person grabs one and one the other and put them in different rooms but as soon as they're back together a bit more drama (it's like it hasn't been settled / decided "who's the boss" to their satisfaction.
Water has been thrown on them even during one of the fights and NO reaction.

I worry not only because it has been escalating and for the health / happiness of these two dogs (which are INCREDIBLY cuddly to the entire family *love!*) but also for my dad who has health issues and already has to live under stress over my other sister's aggressive biting dog (I've posted about that one before). When they go at each other face to face making this fight noises (even if there is NO biting) my dad freaks "they're FIGHTING!!!" :p

My family has been recently forced to live together again (hopefully not for too long), total of 5 dogs and two cats (who live separate upstairs). The dogs seem to have been slowly adapting to the new situation (the two that live here since puppies and the 3 Schnauzers that came), even the more problematic dog seems to be more "accepting" to the others... perhaps they see it as a new bigger pack that needs an alpha but both daughter and mom want to be it?!!
Funny is how whenever there's a fight or whatever stress between any of the dogs.... the two male dogs, what do they do? The daddy Schnauzer runs and goes all the way to the backyard away from it all LOL
and the biggest dog of all (which is the youngest, a poodle / cocker spaniel mix but quite big, more like a giant poodle side but ... looks like the cutest uh... Muppet on earth! XD) he jumps in and barks at the two / whoever is fighting and tries to separate the fight!!! SO CUTE! Pulls them apart by the neck even <3

Sorry the post became huge... but the question is:

What do you guys reckon is the best way to react when they go at each other???!!

I've been thinking of encouraging clicker training since they (mainly the mom Schauzer leading) BARK a LOT at any noise outside.
Our neighbor has two outside dogs (ours is inside but have free access to big backyard) which bark all throughout the day, and the mom-Schnauzer always has her ears cocked and aimed waiting for a peep from them to bark and bark and bark in return :-/

If you guys met these two cuties you would NOT believe they could be aggressive at ALL (towards each other), much less make such horrible noise LOL .... very stressy >_<

Thanks for any input!!!!!!!!!
 

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How old are the females? Are they intact or spayed? You have to be really careful with bitch fights, they can escalate to the point where they try to severely injure each other. Without actually seeing it it's hard to say what is happening..can you get video of it?
How fast does it escalate from the chinning to a fight?
 

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I cant help much if it really is aggression, but to me it sounds like play. This is EXACTLY how my two dogs play, down to the scary growling.

Here is a video of some TAME playing between the two. You can see the grey dog biting the big dog and the big dog biting back at the end.
[video]http://s198.photobucket.com/albums/aa251/MentiraHermosa/?action=view&current=101_0003.mp4[/video]

Turn the volume up and you will see what I mean by a little bit of their (scary) growling. Remember this is very tame compared to most of their growling play sessions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi, thanks for answering. :)

The mom is about 5 and the daughter 3. They are both intact as they only spayed the dad. The chinning usually stays at that (so far) but the times that escalate to actual dog fights was when people were around and went pretty fast... of course we ignorant humans don't notice the eye contact and other signaling / body language that they do to one another in between...

Regarding the video.... LOL nope, your video is (to me) obviously of dogs playing, it is NOT whats happening between these two. All dogs I've ever lived with play like that video with no harm and I find the growling from your video is not scary at ALL :-D ... especially compared to whats going on here, believe me. If you had your eyes closed you wouldn't even KNOW the noise is coming from a dog! It's more "guttural" more towards a "roar" >_<

At least when we grab these two when they're not stopping they don't ever snap at any of us! (I've been bitten 8 times by my other sister's aggressive dog, 6 from which I know, stupid, I tried to get her out from the mom and daughter's biting)
 

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Okay. They need to spay at LEAST one of the females. THe younger one has hit social maturity and the two will very likely escalate to extreme damage. Separate them if you can and get both spayed if possible...bitch fighting often results in one being rehomed or them severely injuring the other. Get a behaviourist asap.
 

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I'm glad you have the ability to see that, that is play, I know quite a few people who are dog owners and would accuse me of letting my dogs fight. (in RL not on here)
I was just throwing a curve ball out there. I agree with Cracker, can you get a video of it. Not because I don't believe that it is aggression but because it would be alot easier to determine what exactly may be causing it if we could see it ourselves. You know what they say about a new set of eyes.

I had a dog that had two puppies and she too got really aggressive with her female puppy, but loved the male to death. We had multiple people picked out for the puppies so we had a home that the little girl could go to, but I know what you mean about aggression in females, it can get hairy.

Just a hint, males are neutered, not spayed, thats a female thing. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks again :)

They just had another go at it a few minutes ago +_+ I'll talk to my sister about the spaying (sorry got names mixed XD) one if not both. Will try to get it on video so you guys can see what I mean 8D its FREAKY LOL They're so extremely cuddly and playful with me, all 5 actually jump me every morning when I come downstairs or when I come from the street and I'm for several minutes on the floor tackling and petting them and getting all slobbered up XD First time I saw the mom and daughter doing I couldn't believe they COULD make such a noise, so small LOL!
Will post the clip if I manage to catch them.
 

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What do you guys reckon is the best way to react when they go at each other???!!
Silently. Firmly. Authoritatively. Accent on silently.

It's a natural human reaction for most people to yell "NO !" or "STOP !" or "HEY !" etc, at the onset or in the midst of a fight. Resist the urge to do so, and quietly, unemotionally, step in and seperate the two dogs. Don't attempt to lay blame and reprimand one dog or the other; most people have a tendency to single out the dog who they THINK was the perp, but IMO, without extensive understanding of dog body language and a keen ability towards observation, it's a 50 / 50 crap shoot at best that they've selected the correct dog, .. or worse, the wrong dog. Resist the urge in that regard as well, and remain impartial.

Cracker gave good advice by suggesting you consult with a behaviourist ... ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks Petpeeve,

will do, meanwhile my sister will be looking into the spaying of at least one of them.

I did notice that my family tend to usually "take the side" of the daughter, since the mom usually is the one always barking and the one who ends up more often with the head on top of the other's neck trying to lower here down with her paw. Not only that but it was found recently that the daughter has epilepsy (had a few short seizures - she's now under medication and since then it hasn't happened) so folk here get all "aawww poor baby, the stress will cause a seizure!" or when they're fighting / chinning often the attitude is "leave her alone poor baby is sick!"
I notice thought that the little one goes right up to here face and stares at her (did that to the aggressive dog which started fights too).... I'm sure a LOT is being said between them even with silent staring competition ;-P

I got my sisters two books about dog behavior ... the dog specialists (not so common where we live) she previously contacted (trying to fix the Schnauzer mom's barking issues) charge absurd prices and, like I said, the family's going through some tough times which include monetary issues (or we wouldn't all be living back here :p) so although no money is ever saved when it comes to health issues (recently my sister spent nearly half of her monthly salary to pay for the vet, seizure meds and sprays soaps and pills to take care of some strange rash on their bellies) ... so I don't think a behaviorist will be used so soon.
 

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Okay. They need to spay at LEAST one of the females. THe younger one has hit social maturity and the two will very likely escalate to extreme damage. Separate them if you can and get both spayed if possible...bitch fighting often results in one being rehomed or them severely injuring the other. Get a behaviourist asap.
I'm not really sure if spaying will help, it might but too many times I've seen even spayed bitches fight. What needs to happen is.

A. Management, the owners need to keep these girls separated as much as possible, crate and rotate so each gets family time, Baby gates will help with this.

B. Behaviorist, a professional needs to come in and observe the behavior and see what is really going on.

C. Education, everyone in the family needs to learn to recognize the signals leading to the displays, I gaurantee you there are signals happening before the two ever may contact, THAT is when they need to be interfeered with as the ears are still turned on, once they make contact they won't pay attention to you. Also every adult needs to learn how to PROPERLY break up a fight to minimize injury to themselves and by-standers. Do a search on the forum for "wheelbarow method" and my user name it should come up with some great posts on how to do so in a safe manner.

You might also print this up for your sister and the family to work on Dogs Who Push Other Dogs Away To Get Attention, Treats, etc

I was going to look up the whellbarrow method myself to post the thread here, but my search function isn't work rigth now, so I found hte original document online.

from http://leerburg.com/dogfight.htm

Two people on hand:

The safest way to break up a dogfight requires 2 people. Each person grabs the back feet of one of the dogs. The dog back feet are then picked up like a wheelbarrow. With the legs up, both dogs are then pulled apart.

Once the dog fight is broken up and the dogs pulled apart it is critical that the people do not release the dogs or the dog fight will begin again. The two people need to start turning in a circle, or slowly swinging the dogs in a circle while they back away from the other dog. This stops the dog from curling and coming back and biting the person holding their legs.

By circling the dog has to sidestep with its front feet or it will fall on its chin. As long as you slowly continue to back and circle, the dog cannot do any damage to you. To insure that the fight will not begin all over again when you release the dogs, one of the dogs needs to be dragged into an enclosure (i.e. a kennel, the garage, another room) before the dog is released. If you do not do this, the dogs will often charge back and start fighting again or if you release the dog to quickly the dog will turn and attack the person who had his feet.

One person:

The worst case scenario is that you are alone when a serious fight breaks out. There are a couple things that you must keep in mind:

Keep your cool you have a job to do.

Do not waste time screaming at the dogs. It hardly ever works.

Your goal is still the same; you must break up the fight without getting hurt.

Go get a leash (allow the fight to continue while you do this).

Dogs are almost always locked onto one another. Walk up and loop the leash around the back loin of the dog by either threading the leash through the handle or use the clip. I prefer the thread method.

Now slowly back away and drag the dog to a fence or to an object that you can tie the leash to. By doing this, you effectively create an anchor for one of the dogs.

Then walk around and grab the back legs of the second dog and drag it away from the dog that is tied up. Remember to turn and circle as they release.

Drag the dog into a dog pen or another room before you release the back legs.

Go back and take the dog off the fence and put him or her into a dog kennel.

Sit down and have a stiff drink (or two).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
THANK YOU!!!! (I'd say 3 drinks) ^_^ Informative and very helpful, will finish reading the linked pages and show my sisters.
Just finished with that thread on dog fights and DAMN some folk have it much worse and some react much more wrong that we've been reacting +_+

If I'd ever heard of wheelbarrowing I wouldn't have been bitten so many times trying to separate their fights from the other end >_>

Do you reckon when they are chinning they should be pulled apart the same way? (since it has happened that when someone tries to carry one up THEN they snap at each other)...

Still haven't managed to tape it, hope I can do it so you can hear that noise! o_O
 

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@[email protected] ok. I guess some wheelbarrowing will be tries / practiced soon XD They were just a few minutes ago walking side by side like reaaally glued to one another, sometimes chinning happens right after that. >_<
 

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You guys need to SEPARATE them, the more they pose and posture the more serious the fights will get, and an all-out bitch fight is the worst type of fight I've ever seen.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
-_- They stopped each is in one corner now. We tried keeping them in separate rooms but the mom if put away in any room by herself barks non-stop for hours. >_> She does have a lot of issues (also being the only Schnauzer I know that always keeps the ears up and barks at any noise outside) +_+ Hope folk will be reading and trying to train them / help the situation, only me reading and trying to say something sometimes is not accepted well (especially to the sister that has the aggressive dog - that dog bites you, first thing she says is not "are you ok?" as you sit bleeding, she says "what did you do to her to make her bite you? She doesn't bite for no reason!" >_< perhaps to our eyes we don't see what startled the dog but that this dog bites family members that live with here since a kid and never lifted a finger against her is to ME a huge no no, none of the animals I ever had were aggressive and listened to me, she's even so scared of her own dog she won't even give her baths anymore... but crap I've written about here on the other post.... getting off topic >_>)

Will see if we can set them to be spayed soon... definitely do NOT wanna see this to escalate escalate even more!


<------------------------------------->

o_O minute later wheelbarrow is tested! They were just chinning and (lion- / tasmanian-devil-) growling and were looking at us (me and my niece) with "WTF!?" faces, daughter is now on the back yard, but both are at the door separating them (as if they're waiting to continue...) hope they calm down soon so we can open the door <_<
 

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Crate and rotate. Get a behaviorist immediately. Those are the ONLY things I would recommend here. Bitch fights can escalate and once they start fighting they generally will never stop. One of them will kill the other if allowed to continue. See a behaviorist not a trainer and keep them separate in the mean time.
 

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only me reading and trying to say something sometimes is not accepted well (especially to the sister that has the aggressive dog - that dog bites you, first thing she says is not "are you ok?" as you sit bleeding, she says "what did you do to her to make her bite you? She doesn't bite for no reason!" >_< perhaps to our eyes we don't see what startled the dog but that this dog bites family members that live with here since a kid and never lifted a finger against her
A dog that bites family members is a huge risk especially if there are small children in the house. Sounds like certain members of your family should only own stuffed animals! I understand you don't have much say with these animals, so hopefully your family wakes up before serious injury occurs.
 

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I also have 2 females mother and daughter age 3 years and 7 years( Bernese mountain dogs) and the younger one is not taking it well anymore that the mom is dominant but usually it's only over a treat that has been buried and one finds it before the other and frankly it doesn't seem to matter that they are both spayed now they will still fight over a something of value and that's a treat. Very loud and noisy full of teeth and yes it is very uncomfortable to see 2 big dogs going at it, about a month and a half ago the daughter pushed and pinned the mother down but I will yell HEY!! and no fighting is tolerated and I will go straight to to them and take the treat away but then I don't care, I feed, love, and take care of them and they better listen because there is never the option of getting rid of one or the other so they have to live together and I also know now not to leave until the treats have been eaten so there's no resource guarding. There is a reason why your dogs are fighting you just have to find someone to help as to why they are fighting if you don't know. We know the one dog has reached maturity and this is when the problems started, they do have to know though that you're the boss. I wish you all the best.
 

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You should see my full blooded ACD, Izze & her (possible)shepherd/ACD mix sister go at it playing when they are running with the mule utility vehicle while Im feeding or something lol. You would be shocked at the "ferocity" of Izze as she cuts Jo off sometimes, barking, snarling & growling like she is going to kill her. But she is only playing, but the thing with these guys, even play is rough & serious lol.
 
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