i have two dogs, both medium sized mixed breeds, very lovable. one is 12, one is 1. when i first got the baby, they didnt get along, but in a few weeks they were best friends. but in the past few weeks, they have had several real fights, biting growling, very bad. no blood yet, but i am fearful. its always the old dog that starts the fights. the only thing i do is scream and scream until they break it up. im afraid to put my hands in there. any suggestions on what to do with this? what should i do after they are done fighting? correct them? ignore them? love on them? its really scary.
Dont scream.That energy just feeds them.If they eevn start to squabble Clap and say NO in a BIG voice! If that doesnt work get a can with a couple pennies or get keys or a pan and throw it right next to them.I would also keep the older dog on a leash.He probably just doesnt want to play and finds the young dog annoying.You can get some vinegar and spray them when they start to look liek they are preparing for a fight.When they do get into it.Pour water on their heads or squirt vinegar at them.When they get done with a fight dont pay attention to them.Make the one that started it go over to the other one and make him lay down right infront of him.This only after they have completely stopped fighting.
Our new foster and our cocker has got into it a couple of times and I let them battle it out most of the time.But the one who always starts it I make he go and lay belly up to the other one for a few seconds.
It is scary. They will probably continue to fight too unless one submits to the other. Max is 12 now and when we first got him I had a mini doxie. There was like 10yrs. difference in the ages. After Max got grown he decided he was going to take over. Doxies are very stubborn and he would not submit to Max. (after all he was there first ha!!) They got into it severaltimes and then one morning Max almost killed him over a biscuit. He had to have several stitches plus his little right arm was in a sling. So just really watch them, it could really get bad. I would never get in the middle of it. You sure don't want to get bit.
I mean no offense so please no one take any but why do people do this, they have an old dog and then they bring in a puppy! What is the thinking here? The old dog probably doesn't want to be bothered with the energy of a puppy and the puppy wants to play with the older one and doesn't understand why all the older one wants to do is be left alone and sleep whenever he wants to. Could it be that they think it will be easier on them when they loose the older dog? If they would think about it they are putting the older dog thru h-ll in its old age and it is still going to be hard on the owners when the older one leaves them. I am really trying to understand this, maybe I am really off base here and if that is the case please enlighten me, I am willing to listen and learn. Thanks.
You didn't say what they were doing when the fights break out. Example, eating, playing, or greeting when someone comes home.
Normally young dogs will respect their elders. The older dog has already established himself in the family and is jockying to maintain his status.
What you can try to do is some reverse psychology. As much as you want to comfort the pup when he gets picked on, make a big fuss over the elder dog when the pup is present. Later you can give the pup attention when you're alone with him.
When you come home, give your undivided attention to the elder dog. Let him eat his meals first. Give him walks by himself. Just let him know that he is the "top dog." That way he knows his positon is secure in the family and there's no reason to compete.
Don't give them treats, toys, or chews for them to compete for. Separate them when you do.
I have brought many pups into my home with older single dogs. never had a problem. a lesson in pack structure. even though your older dog starts the fight. DO NOT DISCPLINE IT. this will make it worse. the older dog with then feel it's rank in the pack is threatened and you are on the pups side. I agree with cocker do not scream and make a fuss. i do not break uo fake fights. fights where there is just bunch of growling a fuss. if you look close they probably are not even biting and if they are it is probably soft. this is not a fight, it's a argument. they need to resolve it. this part of social interaction. the fights will become less and less. and at 12 and 1 sex usually does not matter. the young dog, though fertile, is not a of natural breeding age, that is in a pack 3 or 4 is usally when they breed. and the older dog is out of it's prime. it probably would not fight for breeing rights anymore.
Hmm, you left out some info, Are they male or females and are they intact. Does the older one go after the younger one during walks, only when your around or anytime. Have there been any vet visits (wounds) How many fights have they had vs wounds. Is the younger one fighting back, or turning over showing submission?
***Edited By: sue on 4/7/2006 12:32:00 AM*** Reason: zfxbvsa
What breed are they? Are they "fixed"? That might make a difference. Can you tell us why each fight almost happened? Because if there is a specific reason like food or something maybe the circumstances can be avoided too.....
Yes, it is scary when dogs fight. My two dogs fight sometimes, and it looks like they're gonna rip eachother apart. I let them play fight, but always yell "NO!" if they're fighting for real and distract them with a toy.
I think you should give attention,treats,toys,food,water,access outside or inside,access in the car and out of the car,and everything to the pack leader first.In this case I would give everything first to the older dog and everything second to the younger.Taht way the older dog still feels ans knows he is still in charge and the younger dog will accept that.
both dogs are females, and both have been fixed. as far as i know, the fights only happen when i am home. there have been about 4 so far. and there is definitely biting involved. it seems like it is definitely over attention, like when one is on my lap, the other comes up, and a fight starts. but the most recent have been when i am at the table eating, and they just started fighting at my feet. i may have dropped some food, but i dont think so, cuz im real careful about that, they never get table food. i do my best to give them equal attention, and give the older dog special attention, but shes just not as needy as the puppy.... but i will work on that. and i like the idea of separate walks. ill do that. i really just need to know what to do in the moment. it seems like most people think do nothing, just let them fight it out. i have a noise maker type thing i use for correction. maybe that will distract them, instead of me screaming "stop it"
That might work.But I would have bottles of vinegar around the house and spray them when anything even starts to happen.They are just being competitive.i also think seprate one on one time and walks would be great for the,.Liek take one at time to petstores or the dog park or whatever.Also give your older dog the attention,food,toys,bones,access to cars or doors.Give everything to her irst.This will help her feel more comfortable with her position in the pack.The pup will understand it too.You could even start in obedience classes with them.Just make it on different nights.Tahts a whole hour of love.attention and one on one time.
and to codysmom, about getting a younger puppy, my reason is because i felt that my old dog was depressed. her whole life, she went to work with my husband, and in the past year, she had to stop. people were sneaking her food, and it caused her very bad stomach problems. she had never had to spend time alone, and she became very lethargic and depressed, always in the bedroom, sleeping. i thought that getting a puppy to keep her company during the day might be good for her. and it was. she now stays downstairs with the family, runs, plays, has lost A LOT of weight due to increased activity. yeah, we have problems, yeah she wants to be left alone still sometimes, but the good has definitely outweighed the bad in this situation.
tanyasue, thank you for answering my question. that makes sense to me and I am glad it has worked out so well for you. I can understand how the older dog would get lonely with no one at home, specially if they are used to someone being there.