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I just recently moved in with a new roommate who has two large dogs (both 70-85 lbs). My dog is a 15 lb chihuahua/terrier. He is grouchy from time to time but all he does is snarl and show his teeth, he does not bite. When we moved in, he immediately got along with one of the dogs, but the largest dog bit him on the back and he had to go to the vet and get staples and antibiotics. This was two weeks ago. Then this past weekend, my roommate left the house to go to a concert and we kept her dogs out of their crates while she was gone. I went to go let my dog out of his crate and the dogs followed me back to my room. One of the dogs was sniffing my dogs food, and I heard them start to growl, so I got in between them and they started barking and fighting, so I picked my dog up quickly and the large dog bit me on the leg and I had to go to the ER to have the bite cleaned and antibiotics prescribed.

My roommate made an appointment with a dog trainer and he asked what happened leading up to the event. So he said the best thing to do is act like nothing happened and keep exposing the dogs to each other. This does not sound like a good idea to me, because now my dog is afraid of him and will not stop growling at him when he sees him. And the large dog constantly follows him around, sometimes barking and sometimes not. The dog trainer is going to be here in 3 days, but what should we do until then. I can't bring myself to just chance that they aren't going to go at it, because this dog is fully capable of hurting or killing my dog. I am making arrangements to either move or my parents have agreed to take him until my travel assignment is over, unless there is some magic solution to make the dogs get along, but neither choices will be available until a few weeks from now. Has anyone had a similar experience or have any solutions on how to handle this?
 

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I'm with Knute. Your smaller dog is going to get killed if you don't keep him safe from the attacking dog, which means total separation. And I wouldn't trust a roommate to maintain the separation necessary.
 

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I've been reading and pondering other options to protect you and your dog until the trainer arrives.

First, if this were me....I wouldn't hang around for the trainer.

But, assuming you want to stay until the trainer arrives. DO NOT let the dogs out of their crates at the same time. IF roomy's dogs are out, then yours should be in crate. If your dog is out, then roomy's dogs should be in crates. When the trainer arrives, all dogs need to be in crates. When they come out of the crates, then they need to be on a short leash attached to the owner.
You should locate your dog's crate into your room and close the door while the other dogs are out or you are not home.

Do not feed the dogs together. Feed in separate rooms or in their crates. Never leave you dog's food out. Pick up any leftovers.

Your dog with the terrier mix will not be one to back down. Growling and snarling are dog communication to tell the other dogs to back off, a bite is ready to be triggered. Your dog was guarding his food. This is resource guarding, although, not particularly surprising in this situation. It seems your dog has gone into the fearful aggressive mind. This will take training to solve this mindset. Fearful aggression is very unpredictable and can escalate quickly.

You must be the advocate for your dog and protect him as you are best able. Typically, the best protection is preventative.

A couple of points for you to consider. Learn the cues preceding aggressive dog interactions. This is the time to intervene. After the fight begins, it is too late. Unfortunately, when you "rescued" your dog from the potential 2nd fight, you likely reinforced the fear aggression mind of your dog, simply because he got a "reward". The rescue was the final trigger for the other dog to bite. In this case, I think you were the trigger.

My dog is not a big dog by any stretch, 13 lbs of miniature schnauzer. He has a good helping of terrier in him. We often encounter other dogs on walks. Our most strained meeting was when we happened across a pack of 5 husky mix that were unleashed. We were leashed. The pack quickly surrounded us and beginning to display aggressive behavior. We were 2 dogs versus 5 dogs. I was not speaking, pulled my dog in close and gave the "Close" command, he will stand between my legs. Doing my utmost best to maintain a calm assertive mind and posture, I was using 2 finger touches and taps with my knees to break the other dogs focus. I was managing 4 of the 5, my dog was nose to nose with the 5th. His body posture was strong, ears forward, tail high, standing tall. No growling or teeth. After what seemed like an hour, the owner of the 5 finally arrived on scene to pull off 3 of the 5. My dog and I continued our posture, the other 2 broke off. Ironically, the owner of the 5 began yelling at me like it was my problem that the pack surrounded us. My point to this is you can manage a tense situation when you act early to control and maintain a calm assertive mind. Oh, this was a very tense few minutes for me and my dog. Many flash thoughts were racing through my mind. Injury to my dog, me, Vet hospital, people hospital, aggressively beating the other dogs with my fists...........just a few ugly of the thoughts.
 

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Crate and rotate for now is absolutely the option I'd chose. And make sure there's no food/chews/toys laying around in common areas for the dogs to fight over in the off chance they somehow both wind up outside of their crates at the same time.

I'd be really wary of a trainer who suggested just letting these dogs continue to interact without observing them in-person, especially when there's such a significant size different, when there's already been two bite incidents. Do you know their credentials? Do they work regularly with behavioral cases? Are they certified by any third-party agency or have they gone through specific behaviorist training? I ask because the training industry is completely unregulated, and rife with people who have outdated, uninformed, and sometimes plain dangerous ideas about dog behavior and how to 'fix' it. Take care not to let your roommate or any trainer pressure you into something that seems dangerous or distressing for your dog.

I do disagree that you're reinforcing fear aggression by removing your dog from a dangerous situation. But yes, picking up a small dog can trigger the other dog to redirect its arousal (not... the bedroom kind, just a term for when a dog gets stimulated by something good or bad) onto the person holding the dog. But that doesn't excuse the fact that the large dog nailed you hard enough to send you to the ER (and it's very possible that if you hadn't your dog could still have wound up at the vets or worse).This isn't a safe situation for your dog or you if your roommate doesn't step up here.
 

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move..... if you don't want to do the strict separate and rotate consistently, your dog doesn't stand a chance and all it takes is one time that the damage is fatal. You will never have control over the larger dogs, and it's over in a split second for your dog.
 

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Your small dog simply should never be loose with either of these large dogs. As to food and dogs.. NEVER have food and more than one loose dog. Dogs should be fed in separate locations away from each other..in individual crates. Leave dogs alone when they are eating (and I know that was not quite the situation when you were bitten).

Your dog needs to be removed from this situation. No amount of "training" will "fix" this. It sounds like one dog has either dog aggression or high prey drive or a combination of both. What breed are the big dogs? That can be a contributing factor.

People have the notion that dogs "need dog friends." They do not and many do not WANT dog friends. Here is a prime example of that. You have a small dog that is an interloper on other dogs' territory. Your dog is not welcome in that group. Keep your dog safe and stay somewhere else.

People have tho
 

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I agree with everyone else. Move or keep your dog at your parents' place. These dogs should not be allowed to interact together at all.

Did the dog bite you on purpose or did he just miss while trying to get your dog? I'm not sure I would feel safe staying there at all with a dog that bit me.
 
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