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Thread: Fighting

  1. #1
    Wrinkle Wiper Tobs31's Avatar
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    Default Fighting

    Hi everyone! I have been having a serious problem with my two boys fighting. It doesn't happen all the time but are spurts where it happens everyday. It mostly happens when my older boy, Hank, is near me and the younger, Ted, comes over. Hank starts to growl and they just leap at each other. This also happens at bed time (they both sleep in bed) it is like Hank doesn't want Ted on the bed so it starts all over...the growling and then the fighting. This fighting has caused problems in my relationship and it is also hard to have people over. I have asked my vet about it and he says it is like "two brothers arguing." I asked about neutering, they are both still intact, and he doesn't think that would help. I was considering a trainer but I don't know. I am confused and frustrated at this point.

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    Default Re: Fighting

    It sounds like Hank is a lil domineering to Ted. If you don't get what you need here, I would call a trainer to help you learn to claim the space and Ted and to let Hank know he is not in charge. I know dogs go by hierarchy and it sounds like they are both maybe trying to win that slot higher up between the two? In the meantime, you could try a squirt bottle when they start, or even better try to redirect before it happens if you can see the cues. If you can see the cues, you can stand tall and literally block Hank from getting to Ted, while saying no or hey or a word or sound you are comfy w as an authoritative sound until he actually backs off and lays down or sits. It will take time and patience but you being consistent w it will help. .....Just a thought on my part, might not be worth a bean..lol

  3. #3
    Wrinkle Wiper Tobs31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fighting

    Thanks Lisabear! I will definitely try the squirt bottle!

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    Default Re: Fighting

    It does work, you could also have a towel, blanket or something like that handy n if they start just throw it over them. It might startle them out of the moment. A can of pennies or rocks - something that makes a startling sound might work too. I'm sure you'll get more posts w better help at some point here.

    And what a cutie in your avatar pic!

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    Default Re: Fighting

    As a professional trainer, even I have a hard time keeping two males together with no issues... It's a big challenge. It's why I only have one boy...lol. But sometimes I'll do a board and train with a male dog and it's quite hard. Male dogs will almost always compete with each other to be pack leader. Neutering them rarely helps. You'll have to come in and let them know that you're the leader of that pack and they'll not be taking that away from you. All of my dogs (and any dogs that come to my house) have a solid down/stay. If I start having problems with two males, I put them on down/stay's about 5 feet away from each other. If they break, I put them right back. I'll make them stay there as long as it takes for them to start ignoring each other. Then I'll take one and work it around the other one, then switch, if they so much as look at each other it's "no dog". I make them more worried about what I'm doing than what the other dog is doing. It takes a lot of work...and sometimes to be perfectly honest, it just can't be fixed completely. If nothing else I'd try scaring the crap out of them every time they show aggression towards each other. Loud noises, throw something right next to them, etc... Whatever you do don't grab them physically, or hit them, or kick them, etc... It could quickly escalate the situation and you could get hurt, as could they. Sorry I don't have any better advice for you... Male on male aggression is very tricky.

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    Default Re: Fighting

    @cali baker might be able to help... she has two boys and had this issue on and off as well. I think @savemejeebus has experience too.

    Neutering will lessen some of the 'sparks' but will not stop it. It really is up to YOU. You have to show them you are the leader and what you say, when you say it goes.
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    Default Re: Fighting

    You got great advice from members above, I have two siblings a make and a female, and they don't fight, like growling, or biting, but they do play a little rough with each other sometimes, and when they do I either separate them, or I shake a bottle of pennies, the noise startles them and they stop.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: Fighting

    Well they r fighting over pack leader status which is natural, if they don't already have a pack leader. YOU need to be the leader and let them know this behavior is not aloud. Hank being the problem, should not be aloud on the couch next to you or on the bed unless you call him up. Have him sit/stay on the floor while you invite Ted up. Showing hank that YOU decide who can go where, not him. Neutering did help cutty when he started with his teenage phase thankfully cuz I didn't know whati know now to handle him. Hand feeding hank AFTER Ted eats is a good way to knock him back in line also. Make him sit/stay while Ted eats, watching. Then once Ted is done I would start hand feeding, one handful at a time, very slowly. Making him work for each handful and make him know you r in charge of the food, not him. This did wonders for me with Miila and seems to have helped others here. I know many have leashed their pups and tied around their waist so the pup HAS to follow you and listen and that has worked too, although I haven't tried that one myself.
    if you can't figure it out I would get a behaviorist to help before it escalates. Remember that fixing the problem takes a long time and much patience. You might see them being perfect and boom they regress, just part of them learning. You must be consistent even tho it is exhausting or it won't work.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fighting

    You got great feedback already but i'll just chime in a little. Yes, my two boys who are now close to 2.5yo have had issues of fighting w/each other and most of the time, it has to do with trying to get my attention, or the attention of a visitor/friend who has come to the house. Sometimes it has to do with food or a treat. It can be very frustrating and draining, not to mention embarrassing when I have company over!

    When it has to do with vying for my attention--Tate sitting next to me, then Finn comes along and Tate snaps at Finn and a fight develops--I will immediately stand up and say a loud "NO", and will sometimes even throw an object for distraction or lift up a piece of furniture to scare them out of their "fighting state of mind". This has been effective for me b/c they both will retreat and become submissive.

    Many times, when they start a fight b/c they want my attention or are "protecting me", I will just get up a leave. If they're being particularly vicious and I'm afraid they'll hurt themselves I'll again, throw an object or cause a loud noise to distract them.

    I have worked with a trainer in the past as well and have found that helpful. The neutering, which happened at 10mos of age didn't really make a difference. I have found tho, as they've gotten older, that the fighting has lessened a little bit.

    I wish you good luck in this...it can be challenging have two male bullies living together.




  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fighting

    When Punkin joined the family, Stiggy did have his jealous and dominating streak. We separated them when they're alone in the house so it'll be safer for them.

    We were also constantly watching Stig to try to avoid a fight before it happens and correct them when it does. Punkin is more laid back, and will walk away if he doesn't want to be bothered. But sometimes, we'd need to watch him as well.

    The others gave you great advice. Us demonstrating that we're the leaders and certain behaviours are not allowed, worked really well. Trying to do things as a group, such as interactive play or walks, did wonders as well. I think it showed both of them that being brothers isn't such a bad thing after all. Lol.
    "I am normally not a praying man, but if you really are up there, please save me Superman!'' - Homer J. Simpson

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fighting

    You've already been given such great advice ... it certainly seems to be like Hank has "claimed" you so you need to put a stop to that thought straight away by implementing some of the techniques you've been told.

    It really is about making sure you have the alpha position in the house and that they answer to you, neither of them can guard or claim you.

  12. #12
    Rescue Volunteer Rural mystic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fighting

    You have gotten some good advice here. I would consider getting a good trainer as well. I wanted to teach Ace some basic obedience training and the problems we were having with Ace and the maltese made it a necessity. They weren't fighting per se but Ace the bulldog was just to rough for the maltese. Our trainer, although we told her about the problems and she gave us some pointers while we were working on obedience as well, she also came to our home when we both arrived home after work and we all came in together so she could witness it firsthand because that was usually the time we had our worst dust ups. She then added some extra tactics and we have put them to practice. I won't outline them all in this post but actually you need to have an experienced trainer that can outline a plan for your particular needs. But all the advice you have been given so far in this thread is on track. Both your boys MUST KNOW that you are the boss that you are the Alpha and pack leader. Our situation has improved quite a bit but its still a work in progress and require vigilance, knowing the signs when it is most likely going to occur and having the correct preemptive measures to put it to a halt. Good luck, you can work it out with the proper training and persistence.

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