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Fighting dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by blackdog, Aug 6, 2009.


  1. blackdog

    blackdog PetForums Newbie

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    I have an 13 year old rescued labrador cross bitch (Molly)who is a gentle old lady. In March we brought home a lurcher bitch puppy (Lottie). Initially the two dogs got on brilliantly - they would curl up together, chase after each other and were partners in crime! Lottie was abandoned at a very early age and obviously had no social skills passed on from her mother. Molly was very patient and a very tolerant teacher. Lottie loves to play fight and occasionally gets too rough. Molly will snap at her and until recently Lottie has run off and hidden under the table. This week things have changed. We have had 4 nasty dog fights. It started with a play fight, Molly would snap and then Lottie would launch herself at Molly's throat. Yesterday she tore a chunk of fur from her and would not let go. I had to pull her jaws appart to release her. Molly has become very depressed and will not interact with anyone. She is scared of Lottie and tries to avoid her. Lottie wants to play as normal. Molly is an old girl with a heart murmur and is obviously the weaker of the 2. They are both now similar sized. As a temporary solution Molly has gone to stay with my mother in law (she often goes there on her holidays so she is used to it). I feel terrible- that I have betrayed this lovely gentle old dog. Can any one tell me whether they think this situation will get better over time? I really don't want to lose either dog but similarly I don't want to cause Molly suffering in her retirement years. Thanks for reading this long post!
     
  2. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    Two bitches. Multiple fights. I would say the prognosis is not good.

    Sorry.
     
  3. Acacia86

    Acacia86 PetForums VIP

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    Oh no that soumds awful :(

    I do not have any advice. Sorry. I am sure someone will be along soon.

    A lot of people keep bitches together and they get on fine, i really hope someone can help.
     
  4. thedogsmother

    thedogsmother PetForums VIP

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    I would definately speak to a behaviourist before you give up on them staying together, also speak to your vet there may be a medical reason for Lotties sudden personality change.
     
  5. amber bamber

    amber bamber PetForums Newbie

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    hi some bitches are more dominant than others and this can create power wars. i would definately get some advice from a dog behaviourist before giving up. unfortunately you do get this sometimes putting two dogs together of the same sex. i have a very dominant bitch who will go for my male dog but fortunately because he's male he backs down to her otherwise all hell would be let loose. good luck, all the best;)
     
  6. blackdog

    blackdog PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all the messages, it's great to hear opinions of others that aren't so emotionally involved. Lottie is really missing Molly. She was howling at 5.30am this morning - something she has never done before. I wish I could understand what's going on in her head! Molly is fine at mother in laws;enjoying the peace in fact. I think I will try and reintroduce them in a week or so. I have 2 children (one is 3) and this worries me. Lottie bit me during the latest fight, although by accident. It is impossible to get Lottie off Molly - her grip is so tight. Molly just lies back and whimpers. I will consult a behaviourist but I think as Lottie grows (she is now 7 months) she will fight for dominance more. I just can't understand why they will sleep curled up togethar and then try and kill each other! Has anyone ever resolved an problen like this?
     
  7. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    If Lottie is 7 months, could she be starting her first season?
     
  8. dobermummy

    dobermummy Banned

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    I am sorry to hear about your situation.

    I know the old saying is dogs fight to breed, bitches fight to breath as bitch fights often lead to death of one of them.

    But I am sure someone here with more experience can help or advise better :)
     
  9. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    I havnt had any experience on a situation like this and i do feel for you so i cannot give any practical advice only speak from my heart and it would to leave mooly in peace i wouldnt keep reintroducing them and upsetting molly any more, she is old and obviously not strong, she needs the quiet life.

    What you do i cannot say, its going to be a hard decision, good look keep us posted;)
     
  10. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

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    I have same problems with my 2 dogs,they will play great at times then "out of the blue" it turns into a fight,they just get carried away,Rusty is the one who just goes that bit to far,we have had a couple of nasty fights,now if i see it about to get out of hand i call them to me,but there are times when ive not been quick enough,i hope things settle down soon for you,
     
  11. cavmad

    cavmad PetForums VIP

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    I was going to say could Lottie be coming in season and getting hormonal. A friend had two bitchs who lived together happly until one was due in season and then if she was having a phantom pregnancy then the two would fight they had them spayed and no more problems so could be the same ask the vet about having Lottie done
     
  12. blackdog

    blackdog PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice. I forgot to mention both bitches have been spayed - Lottie at only 6 weeks whilst in the rescue kennels.
     
  13. Nicci

    Nicci Guest

    I've been in the postion where I've had bitches fighting, it very rarely stops and only escalates, even when professionals step in.

    My advice to save further heartache is to leave your younger dog where she is and let your old girl live out her twilight years with some peace.
     
  14. blackdog

    blackdog PetForums Newbie

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    Brilliant news about my bitches. I separated them for a month whilst I worked on trying to calm Lottie down. I also bought a soft muzzle that I used occasionally when she was play fighting too roughly (she only wore it 10 mins. max). After bringing Molly back I have had no agression at all. If Lottie was playing rough I would show her the muzzle and she would soon calm down. Lottie is now 1 and a lot calmer. The dogs get on fine.
     
  15. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    Fantastic!

    I posted earlier that the prognosis was not good (which was true, I feel) but your perseverence has demonstrated that it is possible to overcome these issues and come through the other side.

    Well done.
     
  16. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    While lurchers are fairly easy relaxed dogs, we do sometimes forget they are bred for working so obviously are going to have some manic tendencies at times. I know many lurchers and alot of them can be bullies but it is something that can be sorted with age and good training. Luckily for you the younger dog has learnt her manners and respects the muzzle so it's worked out brilliantly. So glad Molly can enjoy her old age and relax with her companion now well done for working so hard to sort it out.
     
  17. crazybones

    crazybones PetForums VIP

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    i know this is off subject but they spayed her at 6 weeks old.... Them being the rescue....
     
  18. Barry G

    Barry G PetForums Junior

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    A 13yo Labrador bitch is no match for a young lurcher. The puppy came into the house and was at the beginning prepared to accept the heirachy but now she sees that Molly is well past her prime. In human terms Molly is 90 or thereabouts. Molly may well have lost some of her faculties, she might be a little deaf, a little blind or a little arthritic. Molly feels vulnerable - especially if Lottie has got through a couple of times.

    If the pair were mine I'd definitely not leave them alone together and certainly I would never let them fight. Lottie would learn to back off when I said so - voice command might be enough - depends on the dog. Lottie would never be allowed to win in my presence but Lurchers are hunter/killers, whereas labradors are intelligent sniffers and retreivers. An elderly Lab is no match for a young Lurcher still coming into her prime.

    As you say, the old lady deserves a peaceful retirement - nowadays she needs your protection - before she gets badly hurt.

    B G
     
  19. ParkNBark

    ParkNBark PetForums Member

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    Barry did you read blackdog's post above? It's all sorted.


    Glad to hear all is now ok btw blackdog.
     
  20. blackdog

    blackdog PetForums Newbie

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    Yes Crazybones she was speyed at 6 weeks! I was mortified at the time. We did have a little urine incontinence at around 6 months but we sorted that out with changing her diet. Now she is fine, thank goodness!
     
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