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My staffy attacked my jack russell

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jonathan96, Feb 12, 2021.


  1. Jonathan96

    Jonathan96 PetForums Newbie

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    Hey guys, my staffy(3yo) attacked my jack Russell(7yo)today at home causing puncture wounds to his head and ear (had to go to the vets) they have been together since she was a puppy and we have never had any issues before and she is such a loving dog. But We also have a baby at home so what should we do with the staff as she seems her usual self again? She is just coming to the end of her season so is it to do with that? Any help would mean a lot as I don’t want to put her down, but then is it a risk to keep her in the house?
     
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    It could very well be due to your bitch being in season.

    Were the dogs alone when this incident happened and is your JR neutered?
     
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  3. Jonathan96

    Jonathan96 PetForums Newbie

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    They were in the kitchen when it happened, I heard growling so went to check what they were doing, the staff had the JR pinned down how they usually play but then turned out to be worse than playing.

    yes he is neutered and there has never been issues in previous seasons of hers.
     
  4. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    When there is a sudden change in a dog's behaviour, it's a good idea to have a Vet check. Sometimes, a dog can react this way if they're in pain.

    Hormones could well have played a part. Many bitches can become less tolerant of male dogs when at the end of their season, but will return to normal quickly.

    I do find it a little worrying that the injuries to your JR were around the head. I would, for a while at least, not leave them unsupervised together.

    It would also be wise to have your bitch spayed.
     
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  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Best to also get the Jack Russell checked - not for injuries from this fight that have already been dealt with. When one of my dogs began attacking another, it turned out that the 'victim' had an undetected medical condition that may have made her smell 'wrong'. Once treated, they got on OK.
     
  6. Kittynanna

    Kittynanna PetForums Senior

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    I’m sorry that happened and hope both dogs are ok, but I am afraid I don’t think I could take a chance with a baby being in the home, sad as I’d be I would have to rehome the staffy.

    I would sign her owner to a dog rescue and give them full history, I’m no expert but she would be better in a home with no other animals and children in my opinion.
     
  7. Jason25

    Jason25 PetForums VIP

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    Just because she attacked a dog, doesn't mean she'll attack people/children..
     
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  8. Nicola234

    Nicola234 PetForums Senior

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    I’d get a vet check for both of them in case there’s anything underlying. I also agree that because she attacked the dog doesn’t mean she’d attack a child.
     
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  9. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear this. It could be due to her being in season and also the stress of a new baby in the home.
    perhaps you could get professional advice from qualified behaviourist.
    A dog fight isnt somehing you would put a dog down for.
    Is there any reason why she isnt spayed?
     
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  10. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    As @Rafa said, hormones are likely playing a role and getting her spayed is a good idea.

    You say this is how they usually play, terriers in general are not good at regulating their play, and without regulation it's not unusual for the excitement of play to spill over in to over excitement then aggression. This is actually a very common with dogs who haven't learned to self-regulate the play and keep the excitement levels manageable.
    This article explains it well:
    https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/bonnie-and-porter/

    And this video shows two dogs inserting those play pauses naturally. One particularly good example is about 30 seconds and then 34 seconds in, there is a pause, and then at 34 seconds not just a pause but the black dog shakes his head a little, which helps him 'shake off' the arousal.



    Ideally you have a dog with good skills teach the puppy how to insert those pauses in the play and keep the arousal in check. Lacking that, owners have to intervene and stop things periodically, let the dogs settle, and then allow them to resume as long as they keep themselves in check.
    A good behaviorist can definitely help you learn how to manage the play interactions and teach the dogs to play more appropriately.

    In the meantime I would keep them separated long enough to let all the stress hormones settle. This can take as long as 72 hours. Keep their interactions low-key, watch for triggers like excitement (barking at the doorbell, feeding times), watch for smaller spaces, and resources like food or toys. Just keep both dogs calm and relaxed around each other and if you sense lack of relaxation, just casually separate them. Don't make a big deal, but be aware.

    IMO a scuffle between resident dogs is not a reason to PTS and certainly no reason to think she would be unsafe around the baby.
    I would consider her behavior around the baby more than her behavior with the JRT. Does she show too much interest in the baby? Or is she wary of the baby? Or has she accepted the baby in stride. Obviously you practice safe management and don't allow the dogs free access to the baby. But unless the staffy has shown worrying behavior to the baby specifically I wouldn't assume anything regarding her safety with your new addition.

    I do think a behaviorist consultation is not a bad idea though. Your vet should be able to get you a referral. Be wary here though, you don't want to go the dominance/pack leader route, that's all hogwash anyway and could make matters worse. Look for a behaviorist who uses modern, dog friendly methods.
     
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  11. Kittynanna

    Kittynanna PetForums Senior

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    Of course it doesn’t and I haven’t said she would....I simply gave my opinion and as sad as I would feel, myself I would not be comfortable or prepared to take a risk with my baby.

    Personally I have never owned 2 dogs together so it may very well be normal behaviour at times for dogs to fight like that.......I don’t know?

    But for me I would be constantly on edge especially when baby crawling and toddling around, and I would have to choose to rehome the dog.
     
    #11 Kittynanna, Feb 13, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  12. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    If a dog is dangerous enough that you don't trust him in a home with children, IMO it's irresponsible to rehome. And any rescue work anything won't take a dog that dangerous either for both ethical and liability reasons.

    It's complex.
    It is not out of the range of normal for dogs who live together to fight to the point of injury. If you live in a multi-dog household fights are a possibility, and yes, sometimes with injury. A fight alone would not cause me to think the dog dangerous, it's more complicated than that.

    If this can be easily resolved with spaying and better management it seems a non-issue to me. However, if things escalate and the owners don't have any confidence in their ability to manage or prevent incidents then it becomes a different situation. But as a first resort I would not be getting rid of any dog or euthanizing in a case like this.
     
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  13. LotsaDots

    LotsaDots PetForums Senior

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    Terriers can be aggressive players, mine sound like they are killing each other when they get going! I imagine your JRT may have pushed the staffy too far it could be a one off but worth keeping a close eye on them and spaying the Staffy could probably help. Even castrated males can react to the hormones of a bitch in season.
     
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  14. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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