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Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:59 PM

Two of our dogs got into a fight today - the Shih-tsu and the Border Collie

The BC is our alpha, but is aging pretty quickly and has lost a few steps. The S-t is generally just playful, but has a fuse that has burned down more than once.

Today, we all went to Petco, the three dogs on leashes. They picked out a few toys each (all on post Christmas clearance!). When we got home, the toys hit the floor.

It seems there was too much excitement. Long story short, the BC and S-t got into a serious fight. Biting and snarling. The little one was not taking any shit from Mama, but Mama bit her ear and drew blood. A lot of blood. The little one would not back down at all. Her 16 lbs was standing up straight and loud to the BC's 60 lbs., bloody ear or not. There was blood on the carpet, the floor, the sofa, the wall.

I grabbed each of them by the collars. The BC slowed a bit for me, but the S-t wasn't stopping at all and bit at me but couldn't connect.

A few sharp "NOs" from me slowed them down enough to be able to separate them.

The little one's ear was cut and bloody, but no serious harm.

Hours later now, and there is an uneasy wariness in the house. The two combatants are eyeing each other every now and again. There have been a few growls.

The poor GSD, who is the gentlest soul to ever walk the earth, is beside herself, not knowing what to do. She is clinging to me like static charged Saran Wrap.

This better blow over. The little one is challenging the BC.

That isn't smart. The BC has always been wrapped tighter than a drum head.



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Reply Two of our dogs got into a fight today - the Shih-tsu and the Border Collie (Original post)
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 OP
OffWithTheirHeads Dec 2012 #1
glinda Dec 2012 #3
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #5
get the red out Jan 2013 #12
glinda Dec 2012 #2
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #6
2theleft Dec 2012 #4
Stinky The Clown Dec 2012 #7
OffWithTheirHeads Dec 2012 #8
get the red out Jan 2013 #11
Walk away Dec 2012 #9
Sparkly Jan 2013 #10

Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:11 PM

1. We have two Shihtzus. Brother and sister. Bonnie and Clyde.

Clyde just loves everybody. Bonnie is the sweetest little lover dog you have ever met...until...she gets around other female dogs, then, OMG! She does not care what size they are! Sge turns into a Tazmanian devil. It's quite amazing to see.

Here they are. Bonnie is on the arm.

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Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:05 AM

3. adorable!

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Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:36 AM

5. What a great looking pair!

I like the cut on the one not on the chair arm. We keep ours similar to that, but with a longer top and a silly top knot that looks for all the world like a hair sculpture of a whale's spout!

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Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:51 PM

12. Those faces!!!!!

They are the same colors as the one my parents had years ago. Just cute!

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:04 AM

2. It is possible that the little one is sensing sickness or vulnerability in the older aging one.

When have you last been to the Vet with your senior dog? If not for awhile, I would consider it. It may not be that but I have seen that sometimes being the case. Your little one needs to be reminded he is not the Alpha.

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Response to glinda (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:39 AM

6. Yeah, we think that's a part of it.

They get to the vet far too often. The BC has been there a lot for various geriatric issues and the little one goes in with whoever else is going so the vet can weigh her. I'd bet each of our big dogs has seen the vet a half dozen times this year, and the little one has been there for each of their visits plus her own.

We are going to ask for a fleet owner discount next year.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:31 AM

4. This happened at my house, too...

Scout, a 50 lb female corgi/GSD mix was THE boss of every dog she ever met, even my friend's 140 malamute/wolf mix. She was the boss of my doberman/hound mix and the boss of the boxer puppy. The last 2 years of her life, once the boxer got to be about a year old, the trouble started. Scout was getting older, slower, and was having health issues (cancer, Cushings). I had personal trainers in, really worked with the boxer. What the trainer had us do was to leash both dogs. Put them in the same room on leashes, in the down position. Put your foot on the leash. Keep them like that for 10 minutes initially, working up to 30 mins or so. Far enough apart where they couldn't get to each other, but close enough where they could see each other. Separate them after. Keep doing it over and over and over. We also focused on major obedience for the boxer. It worked initially, but the sicker Scout got towards the end, the more prone the boxer was to be dominate, which is when we started separating them. I just felt more comfortable and Scout was less stressed if she wasn't around Carly. We had a schedule where we rotated them around so everyone had family time and got their attention, but Scout also had peace and quiet where she could rest.

Sounds like your situation though was a fight over the toys. Maybe it was too much all at once? I would maybe try to limit the toys when they are all together or maybe only give each their favorite during certain times of the day? Definitely keep on eye on the tension. If they still seem tense, you might want to try the leash training and having them be in relaxed positions around each other.

I wish you luck. It is so stressful when the babies are not getting along. Keep us updated on how they are doing.

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Response to 2theleft (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:45 AM

7. I am virtually certain the toys were the primary cause today.

The big one, as alpha, sees everything as hers. The little one can be overly exuberant, particularly when she's been out and interacting with people and other dogs.

I didn't see the initial event, but I suspect what happened is that one toy in particular caught both their eyes. The little probably had it and had put it down. The big one came along and took it and that was the start. Or it may have been the exact opposite, with the big one having it, putting it down, and the little one taking it. We've seen this before, but never with this much drama.

The big one still gets respect and deference from the other two, but is less firm in exerting dominance, mainly due to her aging.

I can usually avert problems by asserting my own "pack dominance" as the BC will **aways** defer to me. If she does, so will the others.

Today it took a few more seconds than usual. And that's what has me a little worried.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:57 AM

8. Yeah, my dogs understand that I am the Alpha male.

Occasionally they try to challange it but, in the end, I am the Alpha male. It's just how it is.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 01:48 PM

11. Threshold

Maybe they both got way over-stimulated between shopping and the toys?

I've noticed that my BC mix, normally very friendly with other dogs, can get so over-stimulated when I take her to agility class that she starts growling and snarling at other dogs sometimes, especially other females (but even the boys that are newer to our particular class, that she doesn't know as well). It's like my sweet Layla wants to GO GO GO so much that she will have NO OTHER DOGS getting in her way. No dog should have a run but Layla, in her mind.

My parents had a Shia Tsu for 11 years and that little guy was boss of their house, only my Dad had a tad bit of dominance over him. Not that he was a bad dog, but he certainly knew how to get what he wanted. Those little guys can be stubborn. Being painfully cute doesn't hurt their cause with humans either, LOL.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:23 PM

9. At my house toys are for night-night crates. No chewies, no squeekies...

no greenies. Just tennis balls outside. If they want to play they can play with each other. It has eliminated about 99% of the Doggie Disagreements. That's the house rules.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 12:34 AM

10. Well... my hunch is that it wasn't about the toys.

True, they'd all just come back from the PetCo and were pretty excited.

The thing is, the Shih Tzu (my "Baby!") never tries to take anything from the Boss -- toys, treats, food, nothing. In fact, she goes out of her way to avoid walking past her unless there are four or five feet between them.

The Boss BC is easily startled, and she bites. She's bitten a groomer who started the dryer from behind her, Stinky Jr. when he suddenly appeared on a dark summer evening, and other dogs. But she's also just attacked other dogs for no reason we can see.

Today, not for the first time, she snapped at the cat, who also wouldn't be interested in her food or toys, but may have gotten in her space. (She tends to lie down in doorways.)

The little one gets very defensive, though. She tries to stand her ground and doesn't back down. But she can't really defend herself when she's a fraction of another dog's size.

I was just so horrified to see her bleeding so much!! And I was scared about whether she had any internal injuries. She seems okay, but I'm just nervous about it now. We'll definitely talk with the vet about it.

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