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Old 07-22-2010, 12:56 AM
scharfg scharfg is offline
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Default How to stop two male dogs from fighting>?

Hi there this is my first post to the site.

Last September I moved to a new town into a house with my 5 year old black lab unfixed male. The neighbor has a ~6 year old male Keeshond looking dog (they got it from the SPCA so they don't know exactly what it is).

Both houses have fenced yards and the dogs are allowed to roam the yards freely. Things went along okay until the dogs began fighting between the fence boards (carving up the fence planks and drawing blood). My dog would walk towards the fence, go stiff legged, tail up and give a menacing bark which would draw the other dog to the fence and then they would go at it. I called him off a number of times and scolded him but he continues to do it when I'm not home and even sometimes when I am despite my verbal lashing.

I have spent a great deal of time training my dog with obedience and for hunt tests, he's a great dog in all ways except when it comes to the neighbor's dog. My dog has challenged other dogs in the past at hunt tests but that is quickly over and we don't see the dog again. With this situation at home I had hoped they would get use to each other and over time the feelings between them would have gone away but that was not the case.

About 4 months ago I was walking my dog and I noticed a dog was loose a few yards away. My dog went over to greet the dog and then I noticed it was the dog from next store which had got out. Well it didn't take long before they got into a serious fight, I seperated them scolded my dog and started to walk away when they got into it again. I would have let them sort if out but it was looking pretty serious and I did not want to have to look at vet bills etc. The other dog has very long hair so I'm not sure how much he can get hurt but I didn't want to take the chance.

So I'm looking for advice on how to correct this issue.

My idea was to bring them to a neutral area (like a school field) and have both of them leashed and very far away to start and just walk them back and forth under owner's control, slowly getting closer and closer and correcting for bad behaviour (or have one dog sitting beside a fence so you can put the leash around a pole for correction support and walk the other dog closer and closer to each other). Once you get a good correction then stop the training and reward the dogs with some ball/walk time. Then repeat the exercise a couple more times, then come back the next day and repeat until you can walk the dogs under owner control beside each other with no issue (this could take many many days). Then once they are good on neutral ground amp up the situation and bring them near to each other's house and do the same thing until you can walk each dog in each other's back yard with no issue.

I look forward to suggestions from you folks on what I should do.

Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:09 AM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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Realistically how important is it to you that your dog gets along with the neighbor dog? At least for me with my hunting lab I could give a flying frick what she thinks of the neighbor's dogs. She doesn't live with the neighbor's dog, she doesn't play with the neighbor's dog, she doesn't hunt with the neighbor's dog. She doesn't get to decide which dog is her buddy or not. I tell her when to mind her manners and when I'm not around she's in her run or crate where she can't get into trouble.

Two male dogs left to their own devices will behave like rank males, just like two bitches will have same sex aggression. You can't change biology. This is a management decision to deal with barrier aggression and same sex aggression (no way to tell if it's one the other or both), not a training matter. Set up something to keep your dog respectful of the fence. Personally I like invisible fencing stapled to the bottom of an existing fence or plain old electric fencing if it's allowed in your neighborhood set about a foot away from the existing fence.

Please don't let your dog "sort it out." It's a fast way to a big vet bill even if they're both muzzled and more dog aggression in the future. Corrections or allowing the fight aren't going to solve this problem and will simply create training problems.
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:12 AM
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ihartgonzo ihartgonzo is offline
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First and foremost... DO NOT "CORRECT" YOUR DOG! While you might think that physically or verbally hurting your dog is telling him not to hate your nieghbor's dog, it is really doing the very opposite. Dogs do not think like people. Your dog not only despises your neighbor's dog, but every time he's around he gets corrections. This will only create more negative associations with the neighbor's dog, making him more apt to fight with him.

I recommend that your dog is not in the yard unsupervised and/or does not have access to the fenceline with your neighbor, if he is hurting himself. Work on desensitizing your dog to the presence of the Keeshond. While he is safely leashed and the Keeshond is nearby, give him lots of praise, play and treats with the other dog in sight, as long as he isn't reacting negatively to him. Make him associate positive things with the neighbor's dog, never negative, never punishment, and never allow him to come into contact with the dog or fence fight. What you need to do is teach your dog that the neighbor's dog is not accessible, not a worry to him, not a negative presence, and you need to teach your dog solid obedience so that you can call him away from the neighbor's dog without needing to use force or corrections.

Talk to your neighbors and let them not that it is NOT ok or safe to allow their dog to fencefight or allow him to roam off-leash!!!!
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:20 PM
scharfg scharfg is offline
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Hi there folks thank you very much for the insights and suggestions, I will consider them and put them into action.

Take care.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:44 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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I agree with the above advice. I'd just like to point out that fence fighting is often caused by barrier frustration - the dogs are frustrated because they can't get closer to each other. I've worked with dogs who are terrible fence fighters, but when they're together without a fence between them, they're good friends.
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