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Thread: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

  1. #25
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    @mcardle3 - BWHWHAHAHAHAHAHA! He can channel Ruaidhrí, King of Ireland, then!

    I love LOVE LOVE the progress you are having with your pack; particularly Custer who's now determined his reign is OVER. ha ha

    That "free for all".... I know exactly what you're talking about. Bo has a friend we see on our walks everyday; one of the maintenance guys. They have a mutal love affair these two. He cannot WAIT to see Bo and Bo looks for him all the walk. He wears a reflective vest so anytime -- ever -- Bo sees someone in a Golf Cart or a reflective vest, he goes bananas. I've given into him for SO LONG that I CAN NO LONGER control his behavior when he DOES see his buddy. Most of the time, I let go of the leash and let Bo run to him and they both love it. Their daily reunions are like they've not seen each other for decades. ha ha ha Of course, the problem with that is this: when Bo sees a short guy with a ball cap in a reflective vest, he almost tears my arm off trying to get to him. Not good! HAHAHAHAHA! It makes him so happy - so I give in. Not a very good pack leader!

    You should have seen him at the dog park that butted up next to the golf course.....all those carts....he went apeshit.

  2. #26
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    @mcardle3 - How's it going with your pack? Tell us about your successes --- and failures! We can all learn from your experience.

  3. #27
    Pet Sitter Momma2Bullies's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    @mcardle3
    I would also love to hear how things are going! I am having a similar situation. I have been off work for about 5 weeks now, and coincidentally my two (littermates, boy and girl, 1.5yrs old) have started SERIOUSLY going at each other. I am the primary caregiver (I am maybe not the best pack leader) but I am the one always with the dogs since day 1 for sure. They were fine up until now... I am wondering if it is their age (is this a normal "figure out the rules" stage?) or is it because I am around all the time now? The fights happen even when I am not in the room though. I try to prevent it (they start raising their hackles at each other before the explosion) but sometimes I am too late. I thought Wilbur was the aggressor, but this morning I believe Layla was. There is no rhyme or reason to it, if it isn't about beds/toys/food I wonder what is going on?

    It is so hard... now I don't trust them to be alone together and there is no way I can leave them uncrated when I am out.

    Thing is, otherwise they snuggle and sleep together and play together rest of the time.

    Anyway, would love to hear how you are making out!

  4. #28
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    "terrible twos" maybe? LOL

    If your pups don't feel as tho they have a pack leader, they'll each vie for the position. Best thing you can do is to be that leader for them so they don't have to compete for the job.

    A pack will always go back together -- regardless of the spats and arguments. Dogs get over things "instantaneously" (compared to humans) and dogs are pack animals; they will always come back together. Its in their DNA. Remove the need for leadership squabbles and you'll have fewer -- and then eventually - none of them.

  5. #29
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    I have the same problem with 4 dogs only one being a bully. I have contacted several trainers and found that bullys are possessive of their people and for them to be dog aggressive toward their person is nature rather than nurture. You have to be the "alpha" but this doesn't always work well, at least in my case as my bully doesn't growl, just postures and if I am looking the other way, the fight is on before I see it coming. The other's don't fight, just try to get away, but this doesn't help things, my Malcolm has a bulldog mentality and once he gets started, doesn't want to stop so my learning curve is self-taught but this is what works for me. The more I catch him and correct him the better the behavior is so I start with the "walk" and leave the lease on. I keep him by my side when all the dogs are together and jump on him verbally when I see him start to posture. I'm now down to a stern "ah!". Second, for when he does get past me, there is a spray on Amazon which is citronella and lemon which doesn't not hurt them but makes them back off. I have used it once and it was successful. Don't know why it is a dog deterrent as it smells quite nice but I'll take it! Third, and this is a pain, when I want to spend 1 on 1 time with the dogs, lots of pets and training, I do it behind a baby gate as this sets him off more than anything. I have learned that this is the number 1 reason why we have bulldog shelters as bullys are such great dogs in almost every way. He's fighting for you and most measures have to be preventative. Good luck!

  6. #30
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    @elliey - I like what you said about leaving the leash on. It's a way for you to access more "control" over the dog --- from the dog's point of view!

    Some dogs are so keen to quickly spat, it's difficult to see the signs before the outburst - but they are there. I also like that you mention "the walk" - so important! It's not just movement - it's an opportunity for leadership (hopefully, for the human LOL)

    Important too to remember that dogs "let it go" far quicker than the humans.

  7. #31
    Kennel Cleaner mcardle3's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Had a lot of health issues arise and have not checked in in some time.

    Big changes at Casa McArdle.

    We got the situation with Custer and Sherman resolved. It was more a skin dad issue than anything else. Custer ADORES his dad. I mean he sits on Jim's underwear when Jim is on the toilet with his chin on Jim's knee looking lovingly up at him (hope that isn't TMI...but that's how it is at our house.) Sherman doesn't and never did really care about that. Sherman is more a mama's boy. Sherman however is the best behaved animal I've ever seen. The best most anyone has seen.

    Custer perceived Sherman's occasional want of attention from what Custer deemed HIS is what caused the issue. A retraining of the skin dad, with consequences for Custer for misbehavior....a separation from dad while dad did love on Sherman and the realizationm that he had to share dad did come, slowly but surely.

    THEN...and this is the hard part.

    Just as things were going well for Custer and Sherman, puppy issues started with Stonewall. My friend, who works as a trainer said 3 males is going to cause issues from time to time. Stonewall got to be one. He got to be bigger than either and we all noticed something. As much as it was Custer's NEED for his skin dad...it was the continual agitation by Stonewall that was causing a major amount of angst in our home.

    Stonewall is an antagonizer. Relentless in this pursuit. My two older boys never stopped this behavior when he was a pup, letting him pull them around, tear their skin, bloody them. When he was a puppy they should have stopped it but they are lacksadasial about it at best, and never put the kabosh on it. Stoney turns one...and they are now faced with a big puppy dog not only pulling on them, but jumping on them, tboning them in the yard as they tried to pee. Puncture holes in their faces and gouges in their ears. They'd try to sleep, he'd jump on them like a Tigger on crack. They'd be chewing a toy or bone and he'd pound them until they gave it up until one day....

    it was enough.

    Every day after that was the same. Stonewall would begin, they'd take it for x amount of time and then it was on. One day Sherman attacked so hard and fought so hard he fell over and couldn't breathe. He limped from being hit when he tried to poop or pee. Custer never growled warning ... when it got to be too much, he'd try to kill Stonewall.

    We had to keep them apart all the time.

    That is no way to have to live, for any of us. Stonewall began nervous peeing and sneak peeing. He was afraid of them, and yet would not stop with his poking them.

    I knew it was time, for the first time in my 50 years of living with dogs, to rehome one.

    Stonewall.

    Stoney now lives in a mansion of a house with the dogwalker we employed to walk him and house sit him when we traveled and he could not go. He is much loved, and learning from a little black pug who doesn't snap first, but growls first, that his personal space is HIS and not to be violated. He is walked LOTS with all kinds of other dogs and learning manners. He is loved by his new mama and happy. He gets the run of the house and has 3 teenage boys who think he is the bomb.

    At home...Sherman and Custer ... it is like a calm swept our house. They snuggle and share toys. They play tug of war again without a real war ensuing.

    Sometimes, the hard thing is the right thing to do.

  8. #32
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    @Davidh sounds like the voice of experience!




    "Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and
    filling an emptiness we didn't even know we had."




  9. #33
    Rescue Volunteer Rural mystic's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Well this was a wonderful thread with lots of really good information. Just had to post that and my gratitude to EBN participants who offer seasoned advice without pulling punches but with sympathy and compassion. Good job

  10. #34
    Bulldog Vet in Training anatess's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    I didn't read all the posts. I just read the first one and a little bit of this page... I read this is already resolved.

    But just as an information for the future. The first post - all that you described is typical Resource Guarding behavior. Your husband is the Resource. I read a few posts down that you treated this like a heirarchy problem - which is perfectly fine as your husband would have to establish his position on that heirarchy. But, this may not always work for others because the problem may not involve a heirarchy issue (Resource Guarding can happen with Omega dogs). There are specific steps you can take to deal with resource guarding and I remember posting one on EBN a few months back. I'm in a bit of a hurry as my husband is waiting for me to go out to dinner so I'll search on it later so I can link to it here.

    Okay, I'm not going to offer training advice because the problem is already resolved. But yes, anytime you have 2 or more dogs of the same gender (regardless of male or female), you have a higher risk of fights. This is just fine if you're a strong alpha. My husband had 2 unaltered dobermans when I met him. We got married and him and the dogs moved into my house and my husband spent $800 stitching up the dogs after they had a fight. But, he solved that problem by establishing his alpha status and putting both dogs in their places. I am not a strong alpha. I'm a wimp actually and I couldn't do what he did. No way. But the dogs acknowledged my high rank because my husband trained them to recognize my position in the pack. My husband would tell any one of the dogs - "Watch mommy" - and I tell you, the dog will stick to my knee like velcro! I can swim deep into the Atlantic ocean - when the wave crests it goes up to my neck - and the dog will not leave my side even if he has to paddle like crazy to fight the waves. And I can give them any command that my husband taught them and they follow it. Even when my husband is not around. So, with this experience, I can tell you that it doesn't matter if I don't have the alpha personality, they still respect me because my husband insists on it. Oh, and ever since they moved to my house, I started to take over the feeding responsibilities - so that also has some impact.

    Glad to know everything is back to normal back in your place.

    I got Bullied and loving it!
    Bella "Bullie" Rose, adopted on July 24, 2011

  11. #35
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    I dont have any advice for you but wanted to wish luck with this

  12. #36
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: So hard...fighting and hurting each other :(

    Quote Originally Posted by mcardle3 View Post
    Had a lot of health issues arise and have not checked in in some time.

    Big changes at Casa McArdle.
    At home...Sherman and Custer ... it is like a calm swept our house. They snuggle and share toys. They play tug of war again without a real war ensuing.
    Sometimes, the hard thing is the right thing to do.
    I am so happy that you've made the changes that bring peace to your pack. It must have been heartbreaking to make the decision.

    Bo used to do something similar with Bea. He was a year younger than her but much bigger by this time and while I very briefly tried to let them resolve it themselves, I quickly saw that I had to step in by disagreeing with the behavior that prefaced the t-bone move or head butt. Bo would get real quiet and stare in Bea's direction. Bea would pick up on his energy and look --- pensive, I guess. A couple of times, I set them up TO have this happen and was within arm's length of Bo. ACK!! Hand bite to the neck!! (This increased my chances to alter the behavior if I were across the yard or on the porch) Rinse and repeat and Bo learned he cannot "stalk" Bea. Does he still try to do it? Absolutely. He's a two year old! LOL

    Another lesson from your experience is the importance of the pack leader treating all pack members exactly the same. No favorites. Not that you did that -- just pointing out that a pack of dogs shouldn't be able to perceive any injustices between them from their pack leader.

    Stoney now has a big huge family of adoring humans! What pup wouldn't love that?!

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