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Dogs had a fight and this time it got messy

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by alphadog, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

    Jan 29, 2009
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    Some of you might remember me mentioning that my old foster dog Patty a troubled Parsons Terrier, has come back to stay whilst her family go on holiday. Patty and Selma have never been good friends, in fact they have inter-bitch aggression, which, whilst they lived together I could manage, but since they have lived apart for 18months and are now no longer part of the same 'pack' all their old feelings of anomosity have come back with a vengeance.

    I've been working overtime to help them settle down together again and I stupidly thought we were getting somewhere. Until this morning that is, when Patty lunged and snarled at another dog and then just attacked Selma through frustration (Patty is always on lead so couldn't reach the other dog). Selma launched back and they fought, properly, not handbags at dawn stuff. I tried so hard to grab them both and two other dog owners tried to help too, but they were just so frenzied and fast that it was ages (felt like an hour but was probably only a few seconds) before we could split them up.

    I came off worst - three deep punctures on my arm and hands. Selma has wounds under her eye, the top of her head and on her ears. But Patty (who started it and is nearly half Selma's size) only has a little nik on one ear. We walked home in silence and they spent the afternoon in separate rooms, whilst I spent the afternoon in A&E.

    I'm so upset, there's been quite a few tears. I'm only a few weeks away from completing my dog training qualifications and I've been hoping to drum up some business through local word of mouth - suppose I can kiss goodbye to that idea now! I am so embarrassed and feel like a bad dog owning idiot, certainly not a competant trainer. Those poor other people who got embroiled, luckily I know them and can drop some 'thank you' wine around this evening.

    Meanwhile the dogs will remain in separate rooms and walked separately for the remainder of Patty's stay. I can't risk that again. Patty will also be muzzled outdoors from now on, I can't trust her now she has shown just how unpredictable she can be

  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

    Apr 15, 2009
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    That must have been horrible, and im so glad you are ok.

    Dont beat yourself up about it. These things happen, and you have taken steps to prevent it from happening again.

    Id see is as that, as a trainer, you were working with difficult dogs, and had practical, as well as book knowledge. Id be far more dubious of trainers working only with 100% obedient dogs.
  3. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles :(
    Bitches can be a nightmare,as the saying goes, dogs fight for breeding rights,bitches fight for breathing rights.

    It sometimes happens,we had a fight years ago between our two bitches,a proper fight,both had puncture wounds and they were seperated at all times afterwards.

    Your not a bad idiot owner,these things can happen to the best of us.
  4. HighPr00

    HighPr00 Banned

    Aug 9, 2009
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    **** happens.

    Just like people some dogs will never get along and a good trainer knows when to stop the training and take alternative action.

    Learn from it and move on. :)
  5. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

    Jan 29, 2009
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    Thanks for those sensible words, I needed to hear them. I'm calming down as the day goes on and trying to fight off my crisis of confidence

    Sometimes I wonder whether some dogs are beyond help and will ever really live a 'normal' dog life. Patty had nearly a year of re-hab with me and has lived with a very experienced behaviourist 18 months. She has so many problems that it would be pointless listing them, but she has only made noticable improvements in a few areas.

    She's happy little girl at their house, but she is a hideous little monster the second she steps out through the door. Her anxiety levels ruin her life, she'll never be 'normal'. We suspect brain damage, possibly from a horse kick or human beating (she has some smashed teeth and sees/imagines things - like day terrors). Would a CAT scan show up any damage? Perhaps if something was spotted she could be prescribed approprate meds rather than subjecting her to a generic valium
  6. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Nov 23, 2008
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    Hey don't beat yourself up!

    I know only to well how awful having two fighting dogs is. Luckily Max and Sammy are ok now, but Max still gets a look in his eyes sometimes.

    If you muzzled them both and put them in the same room and walked them together as a pack several times a day. Would this help?

    I understand that this is only a foster dog, but I know the feeling of not being able to resolve a problem.

    Hope you and the dogs are ok x x
  7. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

    Feb 18, 2009
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    The best trainers in the world can't make all dogs get on together. You were doing everything right before, and you're taking the appropriate measures now. It's particularly difficult as Patty hasn't lived with consistently all the time as Selma will see her as being a bit of an outsider, to add to all Patty's problems.
    An MRI scan could show up damage, but they cost over £200. I don't see how seeing physical damage could indicate a pharmacological solution though.
    Don't lose your confidence. From your postings on this forum, you're clearly a sensible and thoughtful owner/trainer. I'd happily consult you if I had a problem I couldn't deal with.
  8. GS123

    GS123 PetForums Newbie

    Aug 7, 2009
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    Don't beat yourself up,

    I know how hard it feels when you love you're dogs and they get into a fight. I'm not a trainer but in my experience if you seperate 2 dogs for a while and the other one returns again and they didn't get along to begin with usually the dog in its territory will display excessive aggression because it is frustrated.

    The dog does not understand why the bitch left in the first place and returned again. So when the bitch lost its composure the dominant one displayed excessive aggression.

    I prevent this from occuring by always carrying a rope leash (the type you're groomer gives you) on me 24\7. The moment one of my dogs displays aggression\barking\etc I will leash them and calm them down, when they are calm I let them loose again. It displays to the other dogs that you have the situation under control and there is no need for aggressive behavior.

    But then again, these things happen so fast so I can completely understand where you're coming from.

    It has worked for me, I hope it works for you too.
  9. SpringerHusky

    SpringerHusky PetForums VIP

    Nov 6, 2008
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    Sorry to hear that happend and hope you both feel better soon.

    I grew up with the phrase,"Never trust anyone who's never been bit" and funny because that's also how I came across my dog trainer, he has a huge gash across his neck where a belgian malinosis attacked him for the simple touch of the dog's back.

    I find teh best way to separate a dog fight is grabbing the feet and going, ever since this technique i've not been bit since and before hand i'd grab the collar etc and had very narrow misses to myself. I was bit once picking up a dog to move it away from the other dog attacking but that only meant that my arm got bit.

    Good luck to ya, everyone gets bit and I think it's a just a learning curve for the future :D
  10. Dundee

    Dundee Banned

    Oct 20, 2008
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    I'm sorry to hear this, but others said, don't beat yourself up about it - these things happen and you have done a lot for her. I don't think all dogs can be rehabilitated to have a 'normal dog's life', however, with management, it can still have a good life (in this case probably far better than the one it had before), and the dog doesn't understand what a 'normal dog's life' is, so it's only our perception. They can go on to have a perfectly happy life with restrictions and they be none the wiser ;). It's difficult to say what causes a dog to have these problems, lack of socialisation and bad experiences certainly, but I don't hold with the idea that it is all down to bad experiences - temperament is inherited and some dogs with good temperaments can go through the most horrendous experiences and still come out the other end with no problems, others, particularly those lacking confidence or are generally agressive, can be triggered by something very minor. One reasons why temperament must always be paramount when breeding.

    Please don't feel bad, you have already done a lot for her and with practical management she can still have a good life.
    1 person likes this.
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