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2 bitches fighting

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by charlie15, Jul 20, 2017.


  1. charlie15

    charlie15 PetForums Junior

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    Hi, I have 4 dog's. 2 boys and 2 girls. They all got along well, 1 of the bitches was the boss, but the other dogs accepted that. Within the last month the older bitch ( bossy ) keeps picking on the younger bitch ( 16 months old ) the younger bitch will submit and run away . Last week it was horrendous with the older bitch attacking her every day , luckily the younger one back off.. So for the past few days we have separated them.
    Now we think the only way forward is to rehome one, which breaks our heart because we love them both. We have spoken to the breeder of the younger bitch and she will take her back.
    Also we have spoken to the breeder club of the older one about finding a new home and waiting for a call back.
    Has anyone else had this problem but managed to solve it ?
     
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    What breeds are they?

    Have you sought any behavioural help yet?

    By "attacking" I'm presuming there is no damage done to the younger bitch, the older one is just being a bully so to speak?

    I think the only saving grace is that the younger bitch hasn't retaliated yet, so it MAY be manageable by focusing on the older bitch as she's clearly the problem. It's when two bitches both actively start fighting and meaning it that it's extremely difficult to keep them together.
     
  3. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Is one or both of the bitches having a season or due a season? If they are then that wouldn't likely be helping. During a season, a season approaching, and even after a season for 60 and even up to 90 days, hormone levels are still raised, and its not uncommon for bitches that are otherwise OK, to start getting antsy with each other and even start badly fighting. Sometimes it can be the one that isn't in season starting on the bitch that is, or it can be the bitch that is having a season/hormone increases starting on the one that isn't. Even if one has been spayed and the other perhaps younger bitch is having a season then they may even still start getting antsy and even fighting with them.

    Even if the one that is being picked on initially tries to defuse the situation or doesn't want to fight eventually if they are picked on enough they will resort to challenging or fighting back. If it is season/hormone linked and too much damaged isn't done to the relationship and you can prevent aggravation and fights then it will sometimes calm down again after. If however, they have damaged the relationship and really decide they don't like each other, and one or particularly both will not give in even after season/hormone increases have subsided then it can become an ongoing problem.

    Even when a season is finished or the outward signs have finished, as mentioned the hormones are still increased for 60 even up to 90days after until they return to normal, because of this during this time, things like uterine infections and phantom pregnancies usually occur if they are going to, and bitches can also have behaviour changes and sometimes get aggressive if they are having a phantom pregnancy or they develop a uterine infection and are unwell. Even if the problem does subside when a season finishes and the hormones return to normal, if one or both remain entire then you have a chance of it happening again when one or the other has another season too.
     
  4. charlie15

    charlie15 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the replies. The older one spayed is a Duck Toller, and the younger one is a mini Australian Shepherd not spayed, although I think she is probably due a season. When the older one goes for the younger one, it's more of a pinning down rather than a bite.
    At the moment they are seperated and I am walking them separately, although they did play together on the walk.do you think I could walk them together again ?
     
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Its obviously not a guarantee, but you do often find that once away from the home and a more enclosed situation dogs often tend to be a lot better, and sometimes getting them out walking in a different environment can help. If possible though as you are testing the water so to speak it may be better if you do this with two people, one with each bitch so they don't have close contact and just monitor them and their reactions outside on walks for the time being. At this way if one does start to get antsy you only have to each control one, and any situations can be dealt with easier then one person walking two on lead bitches.

    You often find that if dogs are going to start to kick off or start competing there are often common triggers that will do it. The most common tend to be things like, preparing of food and feeding times. Avoid having then together when foods being prepared, accidents like a piece of food dropped in error that they both go for can often start fights, likewise so can eyeing up of each others food when eating, and the approaching of food bowls even when empty sometimes. It may be best to separate prepare food, and then feed separate, and then remove bowls and wash up before letting them together again.

    Treats especially long lasting ones can often be another common trigger in the same sort of situations mentioned above, ones lying around are not a good idea, or if one gets fed up with theirs discards it or goes to get a drink and comes back to find the other is trying to get it or has pinched it.

    Toys equally can be a trigger for some dogs especially if high value ones and in the same sort of situations as mentioned for the treats and food.

    Owners attention can trigger some dogs, ones getting a fuss, the other tries to muscle in and get fuss too, or they both try to get attention and a fuss at the same time.

    The next quite common one can be confined spaces, anywhere they are stuck together in a confined space and where they have to pass each other close too. Some dogs will even displace a lower key threatening behaviour where there may "Block" off the other from getting somewhere or too something, and then if the other does try to get pass they will have a go at them. Even trying to get out of doorways together can sometimes cause it.

    Times of hyper excitement can also be triggers any situation where they become excited and animated, it can be things, like leads coming out for walks, owners coming home, visitors coming, door bells ringing, anything that will arouse them and in an aroused state often they become more volatile. Things can be made worse if you have a combination of the above things too going on at one time.

    In some dogs you may find it may be only one or two of the above mentioned things that seem to trigger things, but if there are any and you can identify and manage them then often it can help considerably.

    The age of your younger bitch may be a factor now, and if she could be coming into season it probably wont be helping the situation. She will now be a young adult too, and older dogs tend not to be so tolerant of behaviour and things that they once were in puppy or really young dog so reactions can change but if there is a season approaching this usually doesn't tend to help matters with how some bitches tend to start reacting with each other.
     
  6. charlie15

    charlie15 PetForums Junior

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    Sorry about late reply,had to dash off to work.

    Yes I think the main trigger is the younger dog getting more attention. And yes the older bitch does block doorways. Do you think if we just focused on the older one and gave her attention and ignored the younger one, will it help or is the behaviour unreverseable ?

    It really would break my heart to rehome one of them, but at the same time I don't think I could spend the next 5 yrs plus keeping them seperated.
     
  7. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Its hard on here because we cant see the actual behaviours and the situations, but if you can identify triggers and there is only a couple then with management and retraining too you can sometimes get over the issue, obviously if it is being caused by the younger coming into season which you think may be possible then that Likely wont be helping at the moment. On the proviso that it is hormone/season related or contributing and that there do seem to be only a couple of identifiable triggers that you can get round and manage and the rest of the time they are OK, and that there hasn't been irrepairable damage done to the dogs relationship ie they really don't like each other now, and one or both wont quit or the one wont quit and the younger isn't going to start retaliating or even starting things herself, then you may have a chance. The danger as said is if its gone too far, neither will give in, or they seem to be starting over anything and everything, or its starts to escalate and have more or too many multi triggers along the way.

    When my last pup who was a girl came I had an older male and an older female who was fine from the start, it was the male that who was unsure with the pup at first and seemed a little hostile, but he did settle and they became friends and still are OK to this day 8 1/2 years later. When the girl pup was 9 months she had a first season and my old girl who had been spayed for years started on her, and the younger did retaliate after she did it a couple of times. It did however stop after the season and at a year old I got the younger one spayed. We did though have one "trigger" that could start things that seemed to remain and that was treats long lasting ones that could be stolen especially if one discarded theirs and the other would go for it. That though was easily managed and it didn't cause issues. Food was also another problem area but again that was managed easily by giving them there own places to eat in peace away from each other until finished and bowls up and washed and put away. When I was home, which I am most of the time there wasn't a problem, but when I did have to go out, I separated them just as an added precaution and it also meant that each had their own space anyway.

    As said we cant see the situations and are not living with the dogs, so all we can do is make suggestions as to things that you can watch out for and possible ways that you may be able to solve it. What you could do is maybe consider getting in a behaviourist who will take a history and be able to assess the two girls and also the relationship with all the dogs together including the others you have. By watching and assessing they will have a much better idea and be able to advise you in a hands on way, and if they think its something that is solveable then be able to help and give you a tailor made management programme, and also follow up too see that it is working or not as the case may be.

    There are various good organisations CAPBT is one of them where you should be able to find behaviourists in your area, you could contact and have a chat to a few regarding the issues, and get one in to do an assessment. The link is below, at least in this way, you would know if there maybe a chance you can recitify the problem or if its likely something that cant be solved and rehoming really is the only option left.

    http://capbt.org/
     
  8. charlie15

    charlie15 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you Sled dog for your lengthy reply. We know the triggers aren't over food, as we always feed seperatly .

    My husband accidentally let Bella out in the garden when Lexi was out there, and she ran at her growing, luckily Lexi ran in quick so no damage done.

    Thank you for the link, I am going to ring one of them tomorrow.
     
  9. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    I personally think its worth doing, they can at least come in and see the dogs and make a proper assessment regarding whether its something that can be sorted behavioural wise and worth doing and have a chance of success or what the best thing would be otherwise. Hopefully it is something that can be sorted out, but either way at least you will know that you have tried and give it every chance you could even if at the end of the day the only solution would be rehoming one of them.

    Please let us know how you get on and everything crossed that there may be a chance you can solve the issues.
     
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