I am writing to ask your thoughts and experience with your Am Staffs. I am the owner of two Am Staffs, one--5 years old and one--4 years old.
I am curious if you have males or females. I have two females who recently got into a fight over a bone/toy. These two dogs have gotten into a fight before this. It was more than two years ago, and it too was over a hidden treat that I didn't know of. Each time the dogs stopped on their own and licked each other afterwards. My vet described the first incident as "love taps" and this most recent incident as more mean behavior. I am concerned that there is a behavioral/territorial problem that two females may have.
You should know that I took both of these dogs as rescue dogs. The oldest one I adopted at 8 weeks old. The younger one I adopted at about 5 months of age. I don't know anything about their breeding. I can say though that I have two children, 9 and 6. They love our dogs. The dogs are great with children and our family overall. Neither of them have had any problem with some of the basic dominance tests, like lying over them, holding them up for 30 seconds, etc. The oldest one has had some obedience training. The younger one has had no formal training.
However, I feel that I owe it to the dogs to be fair if this is a problem that the two of them cannot or have not worked out between themselves. I do not want this to happen again, but it kills me to have to think of separating them. Even now, they lick each other's wounds. They do not show any aggressive behavior towards each other.
I do socialize them with other dogs and people. I have never experienced any aggression with either of them towards other dogs or people. Am I fooling myself to keep them together in the future? Am I hurting them more by keeping them together because they can't get along?
I appreciate your help. I am truly distressed about what to do. I look forward to hearing from you.
In this situation I don't think you need to worry about having them together. Dogs of all breeds may sometimes have dominance or food aggression driven fights. The best thing to do is keep food/treats away from them when they are together, otherwise they should still get along for most of the time. With same sex it can usually be harder. But you you seperate them only when need to you should not have too much of a problem between them. They are displaying normal dog behavior I think. I don't even believe that this sort of figt has anything to really do with bully aggression, more like normal multi dog house hold of any breeds.
If the problem only happens over treats/food, I would say the simplest thing is to feed and treat them separately. At the same time, never leave them alone together.If you are not around, I'd crate one or put one in a room with the door shut.
It sounds as if they are fine together when food is not involved, so I would just keep an eye on them. Even the best of doggie friends will get into a scrap over food or a toy now and then. If the fights continue even with no food around, you may end up having to keep them separated at all times. This is a bit of a pain but not as tough as it sounds. If you do not have a breaking stick, you should get one, just in case. You can google "breaking stick" or "parting stick" for more info about that.
Best of luck and thank you for rescuing pit bulls!
I have a male Am Staff and a female pit bull. I call them "doggie soul mates." Their love for each other is quite amazing.
The closest they have ever gotten to an altercation was over a dog chew I forgot to pick up. So now I take extra care to separate them when treats and chews are involved. Usually I do this when I'm gone and they are separated until my return.
This is a very normal dog behavior of any breed. Just separate them when they have treats and toys. And as someone mentioned separate or crate them when unattended. Even though my dogs love one another, there's always a possibility that a fight could errupt for no apparent reason.
It's great that you adopted them!!! You appear to be a good dog mommy.
From what I understand, this has only happened twice in all the years that you've had them. There is no problem with them staying togeter. Animals are like children in a way, they throw tantrums. They are bullies with each other occasionally. I really don't think that you need to seperate them. Try to make sure food/treats are given seperately. I had two males that only fought over their toys. But only when the (first owned) male wanted it would he act up. It is a dominance thing. The first female is in charge, she was there first,and it will stay that way until the other female decides that she wants to challange that rueling. But I'm sure that she knows her place if it only happens rarely. I wouldn't worry. If they were doing it all the time then you could worry.
Hi, I have two females that fight. I mean they fight to the death. It is always over who wants what the other has.
After so many vet bills of $400.00 a trip we decided our dogs couldn't take the fights any longer. They would some day kill each other.
I was told to take away the triggers that cause the fights. If you know what they are. In your case its the treats. I would also seperate them at that time and hope that it doesn't start happening with other things.
Like a friend would come to our gate, they would run up to it and attack each other. Not that they didn't like people, they wanted the attention first.
Now, I have other females that don't fight with either of these two and they don't fight with them. Some females just don't like each other. They are always competing with each other.
When they are in the house, one stays in the livingroom and the other stays in the back part of the house. They are perfectly happy being seperated. I use a childs gate to seperate them. One is afraid of the other now. Plus the last fight a year ago my husband got bit. So it can get out of control.
You have to notice the signes when they start and the triggers. Be aware. Good luck.
A lot of people are recommending separating the dogs when I am not here. I have two concerns about that. First, I used to do this, but then when I come home and allow them together again, it seemed a bit questionable until they each felt the territory again. It was almost as if they had to establish their place again.
Second, they have never fought when I am not here. I realize that they still might, but is it any indication that they haven't when I am not here. Are they really fighting over my attention too?