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Old 06-14-2005, 10:59 PM
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Emeraulde Emeraulde is offline
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Default Two Dogs...big dilemma!

Hi all, I'm new here. I'm posting because I'm really up in arms and need someone to throw in some input. Here's a little background:

Back in September or so of last year, our two female dogs (both mutts, both large, and both not spayed) were beginning to fight with one another. We had adopted the smaller of the two a few months prior, and I believe she was hitting about a year old when the fighting began. Often there was blood, and once we had to take the bigger dog in for stitches. We tried everything all the experts say, to no avail. It began to calm down, until one November evening, the smaller, more aggressive of the two, broke through the fence and killed the neighbor's two dogs. One a pomeranian, the other a poodle. Both purebred, both beloved. We knew she was excited over small things, but never imagined she would do that. We tried buying a kennel, but it didn't hold them. We kept her tied to a tether most of the time, but the kids had forgotten to tie her that night.

Dog control asked us to bring both dogs down for observation. We did, and I willingly signed over the aggressive dog to be euthanized. We asked that they return the other dog, since she had not been interested in the fence OR the dogs. A few days later they claimed she was showing signs of aggression and we couldn't get her back. Long story short, we lost both our dogs, and were left with the puppy of the aggressive dog, who then became our only dog. She was 6 mos old. The issue with the neighbors still isn't done, as they have asked for substantial monetary damages. We all feel just horrible. But that's aside from my current issue.

A couple of months ago, we adopted Spike. He is an intact (for now) 6-8 month old mix dog, of a smaller breed. They got along famously until the last month or so. Now they're fighting, and tonight they drew blood. Sally has just turned a year old. She also likes to chase birds and small things. I'm very afraid that she will do the same thing her mother did. We keep her tethered because she jumps clear over the back fence.

We just love her, but I'm so scared! Maybe I need to find her another home and keep just spike...maybe we're just totally irresponsible dog owners who should never have dogs at all.

What would you do?

Thanks for responding to a stranger.
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:15 PM
mc2 mc2 is offline
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wow... i hope your situation gets better.. it sounds very bad.. i don't know how to help though.. but best of luck to you.
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:18 PM
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Babyblue5290 Babyblue5290 is offline
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Why did you breed your dog that was aggressive?
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:34 PM
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She wasn't aggressive when we bred her. We thought her tussles with Daisy were just social order stuff. Believe me I did a TON of research trying to solve the problem once I realized what it was....or what I thought it was. She just liked to chase toys and little things like birds. I didn't recognize it as "aggressive".

On a side note, is it normal for members of this board to take the offensive when newcomers ask questions? Maybe I'm in the wrong place...
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:46 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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Well, personal feelings aside it sounds like your dogs desperately need to be altered, socialized and exercised more as well as not tied up which is just asking for problems.

I'll get CreatureTeacher's attention. I'm sure she can help you more.
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:47 PM
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What? No I was just wondering! I really didn't mean anything by it, in fact it sounds like a prey drive, at least as far as the chasing little birds and small animals including small dogs. My Malamute, Lucas has that and we just have to make sure he stays away from small dogs.

I really was just wondering
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
it sounds like your dogs desperately need to be altered, socialized and exercised more as well as not tied up which is just asking for problems.
We exersize them daily, including socializing them. They're difficult, but we've been working with them on the leash for some time now, and in that area they're both showing improvement, though I sense that Sally (the bigger of the two) regards me as "below her". She respects my husband and obeys him, but not immediately, and doesn't respond to me unless she wants to. i am working with her on establishing myself over her, as well as the rest of the family so she realizes that she is not above any humans.

As far as altered, Spike, yes...but Sally, no. My research has concluded that females with this type of aggression get worse once spayed. That is the last thing we need. The only reason she's tied up is because it's the only method at this point that will keep her in our yard. Nothing else has worked. The tether is quite long, and she has access to 2/3 of the yard, which is large. She just can't go near the fenceline. Spike is not tied up.

Please don't think we just tie her up and leave her there. We spend a great deal of time with both our dogs, and have been working with them with different methods of training hoping this will get better.
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babyblue5290
What? No I was just wondering! I really didn't mean anything by it, in fact it sounds like a prey drive, at least as far as the chasing little birds and small animals including small dogs. My Malamute, Lucas has that and we just have to make sure he stays away from small dogs.

I really was just wondering
My apologies...sometimes it's easy to 'read a tone into' text. We knew she was stubborn, but we thought by having a Boxer be the daddy, we'd get a happier, bouncier dog. She is that, but shows alot of her mom. Prey drive sounds accurate to me. But is it related to the fighting?
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Old 06-15-2005, 08:22 AM
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First, I'd consider a large kennel with a top for outside hours. Tethered dogs tend to become more aggressive as time goes by. Farm supply stores and co-ops are a good place to find them for a much more reasonable price than anywhere else.

I realize you're probably a bit raw and defensive right now, but please understand that for the majority of us, the welfare of the animal is paramount.

As far as spaying, it only goes to reason to understand that anytime you take dramatic hormonal changes out of the equation your dog is going to be less aggressive, not more. Two of my dogs are pure breed, working cattle dogs who will be purposefully bred for pups that will be, for the most part, kept here as companions and working farm dogs, so they are not spayed at this point. After they've had a litter they will be. One of the ways I can first tell they are getting ready to come into season is by the surge of moodiness and aggression - and increased prey drive - exhibited.

CreatureTeacher can give you the best advice as to behaviour modification training.
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Old 06-15-2005, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emeraulde
My apologies...sometimes it's easy to 'read a tone into' text. We knew she was stubborn, but we thought by having a Boxer be the daddy, we'd get a happier, bouncier dog. She is that, but shows alot of her mom. Prey drive sounds accurate to me. But is it related to the fighting?
It's ok I understand. No I doubt the prey drive would be related to the fighting. I would listen to the advice of CreatureTeacher and Renee. They now their stuff Good luck
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