Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just came across your website tonight while searching for some "dog behavior" info. I'm hoping some of you knowledgeable folks can help me.

I have had two dogs for the past 8 years (they're both 8 yrs old and have been practically raised together since birth). About two months ago, an abandoned dog showed up at my house and I couldn't help but take him in...he's a good little dog, I'm not quite sure of his age, but I'm guessing he's around 1-2 years old. So I have,

Dog #1- Jack Russell, 8 yrs old, was neutered at young age, seemed to be top dog, the feisty one of my dogs.

Dog #2- Mixed breed dog that I rescued, 8 years old, he's always been the more timid dog, he rough plays with dog #1 but they've never fought. I never had him neutered, so he's still intact.

Dog #3- The new dog, he's playful, but not mean. I haven't had him neutered yet, but I have an appointment.

Here's the problem, dog number #2 and dog #3 are fighting as of late. It started with dog #3 growling at the food bowl, and I chalked it up to his being new. I don't know where he came from or how he'd been treated, but dog #2 usually backed away from the bowl when the growling started. However, for the past week, dog #2 has started to fight dog #3 whenever he starts to growl. It's as if dog #2 finally had enough of the growling and now he's not taking it anymore. The fights are quite intense but no dog has been hurt...yet. I have been feeding them separately and spraying them in the face with a water bottle whenever they begin to growl or tense up for a fight. It's really stressful though, because both dogs are great aside from this. And, even though the new dog starts the growling, it's obvious now that he's scared of the older dog. I love my older dog to death, and I've grown to love the new dog as well.

Do you think the fact that both are intact could be causing the fights? Will having the new dog neutered now fix things or is it too late? I'm even willing to get both dogs fixed. Please give any thoughts you have about this subject. Thank you and God bless :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
Dog dynamics change considerably when you add more than 2 dogs. Fights seem to be more frequent especially male on male/female on female. Added to that mix is your first two who are senior citizens. Seniors sometimes don't tolerate fiesty younger dogs....they've earned some peace and quiet.
You've taken the right step of feeding them separately but, put away the water bottle....that usually makes things worse. Instead, step between them....quietly, confidently. That body language/body blocking is very powerful and they will understand it. If you need to add your "Enough" command, that's fine.
Neutering won't change the behavior and right after surgery dog #3 might come under attack from both dogs because 'somethings very wrong with that dog'. That usually goes away after a week or two but, you may have to keep them separate for awhile.
Here's a little game you can play with all three that should help them realize that good things happen while in the presence of the other dogs: Have all three sit and feed small treats. Do that exercise many, many times for weeks. That alone won't fix the issues between them but, it should ease some of the tensions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
Sounds to me like dog #2 happily accepted his #2 status...but doesn't want to be #3. I don't blame him. Since there's never been a #3 in the pack, how can I know what life is like for #3?

I like the treat-fest idea. Good opportunity for them to be treated equally and understand that no one is going to miss out on anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for responding.

The reason I tried the water spray was because I read about it online, on a dog behavior website. From what I had read, stepping between them wasn't a good idea, because that could lead to a person getting bitten. The water startles them and ends the tension immediately. It's just been a temporary solution, though. I'm trying the treat method and so far today, they tolerated being near one another long enough to give them treats but I had to separate them immediately afterwards because they were staring each other down.

The new dog is being neutered tomorrow and I'm hoping that might curb some of the aggression.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top