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Thread: Fighting is getting worse

  1. #13
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Quote Originally Posted by cali baker View Post
    there was a time when Tate , with his very bubbly and robust personality, would overwhelm Finn. Finn would get annoyed by Tate's over excitement and would try to control him and make him stop by fighting with him. These days, fortunately, I'm setting more limits w/Tate and his over excitement (doing this by making him sit, ignoring him, the no touch/no talk/no see is very helpful here as well), and this in turn has helped w/Finn's reactions and now Finn doesn't feel he needs to "take control" over his bro's actions b/c now mom is doing it.
    I'm glad you mentioned this, Henny. Bo doesn't like Bea's tendency to get over excited about certain things and Bo tries to address her excitement himself. When I see this happening, I must step in and be the one in control. Like most bullies it seems, Bea will flip out over really dumb stuff. Lately, it's certain commercials on TV. If Bo's anywhere nearby he will attempt to "correct" her behavior/distress/whateveritis. I can imagine him saying, "What is WRONG WITH YOU? There's nothing to flip out about!" But it's my job to correct her -- not his -- and so I must correct him for correcting and then correct Bea. It's exhausting isn't it? LOL

    My pups are Bea (3) and Bo (2) and I HAVE TO BELIEVE that a lot of this is the age. As long as we are firm and in control of the situations (Calm and Assertive!) the "habit" of getting away with this or that won't be established, hormones will cease to rule the day and we'll have good dogs that get along 99% of the time. They are dogs though and, like humans, are going to have disagreements from time to time. It's life.

    Most folks that I meet in person and talk to about dog problems are NOT truly AWARE of what's going on with their dogs. Just being as aware as we are, we are many, many steps in the right direction!!

  2. #14
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Sebastian and Oliver don't fight due to overexcitement. Their triggers are more territorial. Most of the time, I believe, it's because they are trying to claim me but sometimes it can be just because one of the dogs is a spot in the house the other dog wants to be. It can also be a doorway or the top of the stairs.

    Example #1: This just happened last night around 11. Mind you, Oliver still has the big ol' cone on his head. Sebastian happened to be laying in Remy's crate, Oliver was sleeping on the couch next to Tanner. I was going to bed so I told Tanner to either put Remy in his crate or take him to bed with him and he could leave Oliver on the couch and leave Sebastian either in Remy's crate or put him in his own. Tanner went to take a shower and the next thing I hear is barking. I come out into the living room and Oliver is inside Remy's crate fighting with Sebastian. Apparently, Oliver wanted to go lay down in the crate and wanted Sebastian out. I didn't see who started it.

    Example #2: Oliver is laying on the couch next to me, one of the other dogs even comes close to the couch we're on and he starts growling. When that happens I can usually stop it right away by touching the side of his neck and saying no. If it excalates to the point of actual fighting, then they get off the couch and on the floor.

    Example #3: When the dogs are outside all together, of course, they don't always come in at the same time. Yesterday, Oliver was the last one to come in (the cone slows him down) and he was trying to come in the slider and Sebastian was standing right there blocking the way. They do the stand and freeze and I get Sebastian to move back away from the door.

    These are just a few but you get the idea. All their fights seem to be over a piece of real estate.

    Any suggestions for this type of behavior. Hopefully, now that they've both been neutered once the testosterone levels in their bodies level off they will go back to being less territorial. Remy will occassionally get caught up when the fights start but his is more excitement I think.
    Kim, Lord Sebastian, Sir Oliver, Remy Le Beau, and Gracie Lou <3

  3. #15
    Pet Sitter Momma2Bullies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Quote Originally Posted by JeannieCO View Post
    I hope I can help a bit. I'm still working it out with my Hooligans.
    Oh Jeannie that is great information!! Thank you so much - I see so many parallels with my guys. So far I haven't had the "excitement" fights (when people come in or I come home). Wilbur is actually a very fearful dog (he is scared of everything - noises, new furniture, etc.) Layla is Miss Social Butterfly and is all over the person while Wilbur hangs back (tail wagging but cautious. They eat together and I don't seem to have any food aggression while they are eating, but I have had to watch it lately when I give them a treat and they are in a sit beside each other, that can be a trigger.

    I DO have:
    - Wilbur "claiming" the couch or one of their dog beds (raising hackles at Layla if she tries to get on the couch too, whether I am also on the couch or not). I have been making Wilbur sit on the floor when he does this but when I come near to remove him, this usually sparks the fight.
    He will also be very cranky if she touches him or moves while he is asleep, this can be a fight. Usually Layla cowers and moves away but I have a sense she is feeling fed-up with this and isn't going to take it anymore!

    - Layla will take the toy/bone Wilbur is chewing or carrying around, and then when he wants to tug or take it back, she is immediately crazy aggressive and it results in a fight, even if Wilbur was doing his play dance and trying to engage her. Right this minute this is happening. I can see Layla is getting overprotective of the toy she just stole from Wilbur, so I have 'redirected' Wilbur by distracting him and asking him to go get his 'baby bone' (a blue toy and he knows the name). Thankfully that worked, he doesn't care about Layla right now.

    -Wilbur is reactive and scared of a lot of things, if there is a noise on tv (the list of "unauthorized' sound is endless - from babies to hammers...anything and everything sets him off) he thinks the sound is actually from outside and/or the kettle (long story - he associates everything evil with the kettle on the counter and has literally gouged the cabinet trying to get at the kettle. He then freaks and is desperate to get outside. He is uncontrollable in this state, he rams through the backdoor and if it is latched (or blocked by snow) he attacks Layla (she is following to see what all the commotion is about). I know this is classic redirected aggression and I believe harnessing him will help that ?

    - I know I am part of the issue. Wilbur has "claimed' me. If Layla is cuddling on my lap on the couch, he will muscle her out and it results in a fight. This is where I have really failed. Wilbur always gravitated to me and Layla really bonded with my BF - I don't know how it happened but I guess it isn't unusual for the male to bond with his female human and vice versa for girl dogs? I don't know....but I created a monster with Wilbur and I really look to when he had his knee surgery at 10 months old. I am the primary caregiver and during his recovery/rehab I had to really curtail Layla's natural exuberance and keep them from playing (so he wouldn't re-injure, etc.). As a result, I had to tell Layla "no!' a lot and babied Wilbur. Sigh. And here we are. I am working on that because I know that was my doing (a year later and I think I am dealing with the consequences).

    I am going to check out Cesar's site - I do remember the tip about lifting the back legs if they are fighting so they release, I can't believe I forgot it!
    I am also going to really watch the triggers. I know I have a lot of work to do, particularly with Wilbur. I don't like how he is walking with me either - he is pulling a lot, and I know that is an indication of thinking he is the boss.

    I really laughed at your toad story - I get toads in my yard and last summer was "Toad Summer' here - BOTH dogs were out of their minds over the toads. Completely OCD. I would be waiting and waiting for them to do their business so I could go to work or go to bed, and ALL THEY WOULD DO is hunt for the toads. It was insane! hahahahaha!
    -froggy-jpg

    Thanks again Jeannie - I am going to pour over your post again and see what else I can do...
    Today so far I am "1 Day Without A Fight" on the whiteboard!
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  4. #16
    Pet Sitter Momma2Bullies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Quote Originally Posted by kim n the guys View Post
    Sebastian and Oliver don't fight due to overexcitement. Their triggers are more territorial. Most of the time, I believe, it's because they are trying to claim me but sometimes it can be just because one of the dogs is a spot in the house the other dog wants to be. It can also be a doorway or the top of the stairs.

    Example #2: Oliver is laying on the couch next to me, one of the other dogs even comes close to the couch we're on and he starts growling. When that happens I can usually stop it right away by touching the side of his neck and saying no. If it excalates to the point of actual fighting, then they get off the couch and on the floor

    Same exact issue here... I haven't had success in preventing it in this situation. If I so much as move it is "on like Donkey Kong".
    My whole world

  5. #17
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    @Momma2Bullies, I'm going to give you a few more suggestions on the things you listed and I'm pretty sure they will help quite a bit. I'll do that a bit later though if you don't mind, time to go drink a bit and head to the basement to help (well watch) the hubby work. I have a perfect solution too for the pulling on the walking.

    And the toad, that's funny that Wilbur has done that too. I swear he was so different, like a Mack Truck bulldog. He was obsessed and still is to this day over looking for that damn toad. I'm always redirecting him. We're camping in a new spot this year so I won't have to deal with that... unless there's toad on that section of the lake too.

    I'll get back to you tomorrow. Time to go have pizza and lol
    Three Hooligans and 1 Angel - Wilson, Sally, Emma & Jack

  6. #18
    Pet Sitter Momma2Bullies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Thanks @JeannieCO! hahahah I hope you had a good night!
    today has been good so far *fingers crossed*... I have already employed some of your suggestions since Saturday morning and right now the whiteboard is 2 Days Without A Fight (+several attempts prevented by Mommy!)
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  7. #19
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Yep had a great night. Had 2 fights again, one last night and one today. They're fine. They went for a really good walk today and they really needed that.
    Three Hooligans and 1 Angel - Wilson, Sally, Emma & Jack

  8. #20
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Quote Originally Posted by Momma2Bullies View Post
    So far I haven't had the "excitement" fights (when people come in or I come home). Wilbur is actually a very fearful dog (he is scared of everything - noises, new furniture, etc.) Layla is Miss Social Butterfly and is all over the person while Wilbur hangs back (tail wagging but cautious. They eat together and I don't seem to have any food aggression while they are eating, but I have had to watch it lately when I give them a treat and they are in a sit beside each other, that can be a trigger.
    Sitting besides each other or near each other weather it be food or snack is a bit one in my house. When they line up to get a veges/treat, etc. I make sure Wilson and Jack have a few feet between them. Wilson's a slow eater and has dropped pieces of treats and we've had a fight once because Jack was too close. I won't have that one happen again.

    I DO have:
    - Wilbur "claiming" the couch or one of their dog beds (raising hackles at Layla if she tries to get on the couch too, whether I am also on the couch or not). I have been making Wilbur sit on the floor when he does this but when I come near to remove him, this usually sparks the fight.
    Time for Wilbur to go off the furniture completely until he can be on it with Layla near, especially if he's claiming the spot when you're on the couch. My opinion is he's claiming that spot and and you. If you're coming near him to take him off and that sparks a fight, NO furniture!!!

    He will also be very cranky if she touches him or moves while he is asleep, this can be a fight. Usually Layla cowers and moves away but I have a sense she is feeling fed-up with this and isn't going to take it anymore!
    Where are they both sleeping when this happens, on the bed? If so, one's one the bed and one's off. Wilson does not sleep on the bed. I'll bring him up but he goes back down. [/quote]

    - Layla will take the toy/bone Wilbur is chewing or carrying around, and then when he wants to tug or take it back, she is immediately crazy aggressive and it results in a fight, even if Wilbur was doing his play dance and trying to engage her. Right this minute this is happening. I can see Layla is getting overprotective of the toy she just stole from Wilbur, so I have 'redirected' Wilbur by distracting him and asking him to go get his 'baby bone' (a blue toy and he knows the name). Thankfully that worked, he doesn't care about Layla right now.
    Next time Layla goes to take a toy way from Wilbur scold her with NO. Do not allow that if the toy is in Wilbur's possession. Emma's bad with this (well used to be) and she'd go to take something away from Wilson and Jack and we've had a few near fights, that's been awhile though. I've worked with her several months now with a "leave it" and "no" and will physically correct her by removing her from either of them so she can 'own' the toy while they have it.

    -Wilbur is reactive and scared of a lot of things, if there is a noise on tv (the list of "unauthorized' sound is endless - from babies to hammers...anything and everything sets him off) he thinks the sound is actually from outside and/or the kettle (long story - he associates everything evil with the kettle on the counter and has literally gouged the cabinet trying to get at the kettle. He then freaks and is desperate to get outside. He is uncontrollable in this state, he rams through the backdoor and if it is latched (or blocked by snow) he attacks Layla (she is following to see what all the commotion is about). I know this is classic redirected aggression and I believe harnessing him will help that ?
    I personally would be all over Wilbur's a$$ and would not allow him to get that way with anything on the counter, kettle, etc. That's unacceptable. What you can do is bring the item down for him to see (remove Layla from the area first though). I've done this with Wilson on a few items. It's like he can't distinquish what the item is. Once he sees it and knows it's not going to harm him I don't have that problem again. He used to get on high alert if the black bbq cover was off. Maybe try sitting down on the floor with him when he gets like this and wants to ram the door. Key for Wilson was "I always win" and if I'm holding him, doing his nails, whatever, he's not allowed to leave me unless I let him. Sometimes it's only seconds but it's on my command not his.

    - I know I am part of the issue. Wilbur has "claimed' me. If Layla is cuddling on my lap on the couch, he will muscle her out and it results in a fight. This is where I have really failed. Wilbur always gravitated to me and Layla really bonded with my BF - I don't know how it happened but I guess it isn't unusual for the male to bond with his female human and vice versa for girl dogs? I don't know....but I created a monster with Wilbur and I really look to when he had his knee surgery at 10 months old. I am the primary caregiver and during his recovery/rehab I had to really curtail Layla's natural exuberance and keep them from playing (so he wouldn't re-injure, etc.). As a result, I had to tell Layla "no!' a lot and babied Wilbur. Sigh. And here we are. I am working on that because I know that was my doing (a year later and I think I am dealing with the consequences).
    Bad bad bad if a fight ensues while you're holding or near one of them. If Wilbur starts to muscle his way again when Layla is next to you DO NOT ALLOW him to do that, period. It's all going to take time but you'll see progress with consistency. Ace got really dependent on me too after he had his TPLO surgery. Then he had another TPLO on his other leg. Yes they do get quite reliant on you but you must set a boundary with Wilbur. I'm the caregiver, disciplinary, etc. in my household. I'm top alpha before my hubby.

    I am going to check out Cesar's site - I do remember the tip about lifting the back legs if they are fighting so they release, I can't believe I forgot it!
    I am also going to really watch the triggers. I know I have a lot of work to do, particularly with Wilbur. I don't like how he is walking with me either - he is pulling a lot, and I know that is an indication of thinking he is the boss.
    I think you already know what the triggers are, or some of them from what I read here. Time to act on them. Sure it's not going to be easy having to be extremely firm but it will pay off in the long run. I wish my triggers were different. The excitement triggers are not good. I have lots of work to do with my guys too, I just need to figure out how to deal with the excitement. Last night's fight was about 10pm. I went over to the neighbors (to borrow some ceiling insulation). We were in our garage and I said, hold on let me get control of my guys first before you enter. Well I opened the door, got the boys back, grabbed Wilson and wham, just that bit of excitement with our neighbor behind me and Jack that close was all it took.

    I really laughed at your toad story - I get toads in my yard and last summer was "Toad Summer' here - BOTH dogs were out of their minds over the toads. Completely OCD. I would be waiting and waiting for them to do their business so I could go to work or go to bed, and ALL THEY WOULD DO is hunt for the toads. It was insane! hahahahaha!
    There must be something about toads then. Maybe not. Wilson would be the type of dog that would go crazy from looking for a light on the ground if someone was to tease him with one. He'll hunt in the grass for quite a while if he sees even a bug move. He was looking for something the other night for a solid 1/2 hour, sniffing and scratching at the grass like a pig.

    Oh on the walking and this has really helped with Wilson. Take that lease and shorten it up in your hand. Wilson only gets enough lead to where he's at my side. He always always want to stop and sniff everything. I quite allowing it for awhile while walking (remember MY TERMS) and if she pulled that that direction, I pulled him back. He used to pull a bit and a slight snap with the leash to trigger the harness to snap worked for him. (no bully was harmed either, haha).

    Well hope that helps a bit more. But it's time to toughen up on Wilbur and remember do not let Layla take Wilbur's toys.
    Last edited by JeannieCO; 03-17-2013 at 05:40 PM.
    Three Hooligans and 1 Angel - Wilson, Sally, Emma & Jack

  9. #21
    "Slug Assassin" and PBS Gardening Dweeb Vicaroo1000's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fighting is getting worse

    Fantastic thread! Awesome, awesome info here! Practical advise associated with real life situations.

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