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Old 08-19-2008, 10:08 PM
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Default anyone have any words of advice

I have two dogs who do not get along. My male cocker spaniel Lou, and my male springer spaniel Sniper.

It started when Sniper was 7 months old. At that time neither dog was neutered. They are both neutered now, and have been since last November.

I had the dogs in the bedroom and am really not sure which dog started it, but the next thing I knew the two were rolling around fighting on the other side of the bed. I broke it up and everything was fine. For a bit.

About a week later it happened again, again I did not see what exactly triggered it, or who started it. I broke them up and put them both in their crates to settle down. Two days later again they were at it, this time I did see it was the cocker who launched the attack, and Sniper reacted. That day it happened 3 times! Each time Sniper would be walking past and BAM the fight was on. And it's not just a small fight, it's flat out fighting and neither will stop until they are physically seperated. At one point Sniper, being the larger of the two, had Lou pinned on the ground on his back and Lou still would not stop fighting back. That was the last straw, they both went in and got neutered and since that day they have never been out together. They simply cannot stand each other. Yet both dogs are absolutely fine with other dogs!

Now I can live with the seperation part, that's not a problem if it avoids a fight where it's pretty positive Lou would be the loser being 20 lbs lighter. What I cannot live with is that Sniper now goes absolutely nutso when Lou is out of the crate while he is in his. I tried crating Sniper in the bedroom while Lou is out, Sniper went so nuts being back there away from everything that he literally ripped his nose apart on the crate bars. So I brought him back out in the living room and he was better,,,sort of. He is much calmer in the living room, except when Lou is first let out of his crate, or if Lou gets anywhere near me or my grandkids. Then he goes nuts, lunging, barking frantically, bouncing off the crate bars and just freaking out. It drives me crazy!

He will not stop until I literally go over and very very sternly reprimand him. As long as I am standing there he shuts up, I turn to walk away and he starts all over again. I'm at wits end with this. He truly wants to tear Lou into bits. It's actually rather scarey to think what he'd do if that crate didn't hold him in!

Does anyone know of anything to do to break this? As I said, I can live with keeping the two away from each other, I cannot live with this frantic behavior Sniper has when he sees Lou out of the crate. I've tried reintroducing them slowly, that went ok, until we worked up to walking them within about 3 ft of each other, then they both lunged again and tried to fight. It's just not safe for Lou to push it any further.

Sniper can play with any other dog and never do a thing, if another dog snaps at him he submits to them, but he will not back down from Lou. Now, they say that dogs can sense when another is weak, Lou is an epileptic and has a heart condition. Could it be that Sniper senses this, and wanting to be the alpha male he's exerting his dominance, albeit aggresively? They both get along with my male beagle, although I will say the beagle is the dominant male of the house without a doubt. Sniper doesn't get along with my female springer but that's HER not him. He wants to play with her, but she being older has no use for a bouncing pup in her face so they have to be watched closely because she will go after him. She however stops when told.

I need this behavior to stop but can't figure out how to do it without antagonizing the situation more...if that makes sense.

*sidenote* in the middle of writing this Lou had a seizure, I was sitting on the floor massaging him and talking to him to help bring him out of it and Sniper was going mad in his crate. He would not stop at all even with my fiance at the crate correcting him. He was literally making his crate rock off the floor. How do you correct that when they are inside the crate and you can't just get ahold of them???
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:42 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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I think it is extremely important that you find a good trainer or behaviorist ASAP! The advice we give you, without seeing your situation, can only go so far, it's so valuable to have someone come into your home, observe the situation, and help you change it from there. Please make sure that you find a trainer/behaviorist with a background in working with reactive/aggressive dogs, and in particular two-dog households. Most trainers do not work with aggression (instead they teach obedience, dog sports, basic house manners, etc.), that's why it's so important to find the right trainer. The first place I'd suggest looking is www.CertifiedAnimalBehaviorist.com, then I'd try www.ccpdt.org, then www.apdt.com. Each of these websites has a trainer search. Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:45 PM
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Thanks for the websites! I have looked into a behavioralist, thought I found one and then heard some pretty bad things about the methods used so I never called them. It's frustrating because I live in a big city and yet can't find a competent behavioralist and my training in obedience of course is only taking me so far and doesn't include this degree of knowledge. I know when to say I need help and I do with this.
I just wondered if anyone had any tips to offer until I can find a good, competent, knowledgeable person who can actually offer what I need.
I will check the websites you provide!
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:46 PM
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If Lou seems to be atarting this , he may have a medical issue . I'd check with my vet too .
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:54 PM
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Yes Lou is epileptic and has a heart condition, I also know he is a fear biter and have often wondered if this all originally started because he felt cornered in the bedroom by Sniper and therefore came out snapping and it snowballed.

I did check those websites and have found two different behavioralists I haven't seen before. I will be getting in contact with both of them to see which would be best suited for helping me with this. THANK YOU!
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:57 AM
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I have no advice...but wish you luck in solving this. Sounds like a difficult situation to manage. Keep us updated!
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:30 AM
RedyreRottweilers
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Can you define a fight please?

If there is not blood I tend to let dogs work it out on their own. Sometimes you have to intervene, however, this can cause the dogs to feel they have unfinished business. This can cause the fighting to escalate, or become more frequent, just as you saw on the day you kept breaking the up and separating them.

You don't mention any injuries, so that is why I am asking.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:43 AM
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there has been blood drawn two times, both times it was Lou. Once was a puncture on his head, the other was a gash on his jaw.

these fights begin with them sounding like they are really ripping each other apart, but it's all noise and gruff. I've let them go hoping they'd settle it between themselves, however, from noise it then escalates to teeth snapping, yelps, ears being bitten (they have both had bites on their ears that bled), and they keep at each other until as I said Sniper finally got Lou pinned on the ground but that's when he had him by the face and punctured his head. I realize they need to work it out as much as possible themselves, but when blood starts I stop it.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:45 AM
RedyreRottweilers
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I understand, and you are exactly right. You can't let it continue until they hurt each other.

Often times, 2 male dogs just don't get along. Maybe with the neutering they will settle over time, but I find it does take time.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:32 AM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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I am sorry to hear about your problem- I know how difficult and stressful this problem is. Like Lizzybeth, I would recommend hiring a good trainer. Your boys may or may not be able to live together in peace, but a serious training program is your best hope.
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