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Male sibling puppies extreme fighting

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by LaurenH2205, May 19, 2019.


  1. LaurenH2205

    LaurenH2205 PetForums Newbie

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    A few months ago our dog had a small litter of puppies .. one girl and 2 boys. The girl went to her new home with a family friend at 12 weeks of age. We decided to keep the two boys. They’re now 5 months old and seem to have suddenly turned on each other. They used to get on really well and would play a lot and would be fine. Then on the odd occasion a play fight would turn nasty and they’d start fighting for real, but as soon as we separated them it was forgotten about and they were fine again. But for the last 2 weeks they haven’t been able to stay in the same room as each other without fighting. And I’m not talking play fighting or just barking at each other, I mean full on vicious dog fighting every time they see each other. We’ve tried separating them for a few days but then as soon as we reintroduce them they go for each other as soon as they make eye contact. So then we changed tact and tried keeping them in the same room so that they could get used to being around each other but both tied on leads so they couldn’t reach each other... this didn’t seem to do much good either. They’d have periods where they’d sleep or lie down quietly, but as soon as they made eye contact again they’d start snarling, aggressive growling and trying to get at each other to fight. We’ve done positive reinforcement... a treat, lots of praise and love and cuddles when they’re good and don’t snarl each other but it’s rare that this happens, they start snarling and growling the second they lay eyes on each other. We can’t work out which one is the aggressor as both of them have instigated the fighting on different occasions, it usually just takes one to lock eyes on the other and start growling and they’re off. We also can’t figure out what’s triggering the fighting. They get fed in separate rooms so we don’t think it’s food.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Is it a common thing? We’re considering getting one or both of them neutered, but I’ve read a few different articles saying that this doesn’t always work. We adore them both but if this carries on then one of them will have to go to a new home as it’s impossible to live like this, and if we left them to it I genuinely think one of them would end up dead. We’re desperate to sort this so that they can both stay, is this a realistic expectation?

    Any advice or ideas greatly appreciated :)

    Forgot to mention the breed.. they are border collies and are 20 weeks exactly.
     
    #1 LaurenH2205, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Are they terriers?
     
  3. LaurenH2205

    LaurenH2205 PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry no I should have said they are border collies
     
  4. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    My view of this is that if evenly matched male siblings start to fight seriously (not just ‘handbags at dawn’ occasional scuffles) then it’s difficult to ever fix it. As these two come to teens and adulthood it may well get worse.

    Obviously they both value the same things and are prepared to go for it.

    If it were me I would be looking to rehome one of them. I don’t think that neutering either/both of them will make any difference.
     
    Sairy likes this.
  5. LaurenH2205

    LaurenH2205 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the advice, I was worried that might be the case.
    It did used to be the occasional “handbags” that was easily separated and forgotten about, but now it’s like they’re intent on killing each other no matter how much time apart they have or what we try.
    Rehoming one is going to break my heart but with each passing day I fear it might be in their best interest.
    Thanks again for your reply :)
     
    Linda Weasel likes this.
  6. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I agree that rehoming one of them is the best and kindest option.

    I had three male terriers who developed this kind of hatred for each other and it was never mended. I kept them all, but I had fifteen years of keeping them apart and managing their daily lives with military precision. Very hard indeed.

    I appreciate that letting one of them go is a difficult prospect to face, but do be aware that these two dogs cannot be happy in their present circumstances and will be in a state of stress and arousal almost constantly, which will be very hard for them.

    The best thing and the kindest would be to separate them permanently.
     
    Sairy, Burrowzig, Magyarmum and 2 others like this.
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