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How can I keep my 2 male dogs from fighting?

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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 01:50 PM
Original message
How can I keep my 2 male dogs from fighting?
Edited on Tue Apr-18-06 01:51 PM by Shell Beau
I thought it was b/c a female in the neighborhood was in heat, but this has gone on since last Thursday. They fight EVERY day now. :wtf: What can I do to help the situation? It is really upsetting to see my dogs (who used to be BFF's) fighting so viciously!!





The dog I thought was in heat apparently isn't! :shrug:
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eeyore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Are they neutered?
Neutering may help.

Also, are you clearly the alpha of the pack, or do you sense that they are battling for that role? You need to be clearly the top dog or all hell will break loose.

If you get the chance, check out the TV show The Dog Whisperer. It's a bit contrived, but there is sometimes good info about how to solve those sorts of problems on his show.

Mostly, dogs crave order and hierarchy, and they need for you to be a strong leader of the pack. If you are not, they will battle to become the alpha.
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taterguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Second the Dog Whisperer recommendation
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. My youngest male is getting neutered on the 28th, but
I do think they are fighting for alpha. I try to keep in clear when I feed them, etc. as to who the alpha is. But the youngest one is now realizing that he is bigger than the other (who has always been alpha) and he is now (out of the blue) starting fights with him. And neither will back down. I have watched the Dog Whisperer but maybe I need to watch it again.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. are they neutered?
if not, do it.

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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. My youngest (the instigator) is getting neutered on the 28th!
Edited on Tue Apr-18-06 02:01 PM by Shell Beau
That cartoon you posted is funny! :7
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. Ever see the movie "Old Yeller"?
:shrug:

Just sayin.....
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. No. You. Didn't.
:o
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. Besides neutering
Make sure you are really recognizing which dog is alpha. The older one may have been there longer but he may not be the alpha (4-legged) dog.

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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. He is very dominant! I don't know how
to make one realize the other is alpha. The oldest dog has always been alpha. And it has been accepted until now.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Neutering may take care of it.
But you may end up having to realize that the older dog is no longer on top. I watched it happen with my females (and there's nothing like 2 bitches for a fight). Both spayed at a young age but as Rosie got older, Dot took over. And the worst fights happened when I tried to treat them as if the order had not changed.

Watch who goes out the door first, who heads for the food first, who takes the best sleeping spots. You'll probably see a change at least a good part of the time. I can't even tell you about the fights I had to break up simply from putting down the wrong dog's food bowl first. (On good days they'd just refuse to eat until I picked them up and put them back down in the 'right' order)

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
11. They'll work it out eventually.
I think you've already realized that it's a supremacy thing, and quite frankly it's to be expected a bit when dogs of unequal physical size are combined into a single pack.

Now that your younger dog has realized that it no longer needs to be subservient, it will be nearly impossible for you to force it back into that role. This kind of fighting will continue until a pack heirarchy has been established that BOTH dogs accept, which means that your younger dog will have to realize that he can't beat the older dog yet (which simply means you'll have to go through this again in a year or two), or your older dog will have to realize that he's been usurped by a stronger, younger dog.

Keep in mind that while this kind of fighting should be discouraged (hose them down when they start fighting), it's actually just normal, instinctual behavior for them. Even neutering won't entirely eliminate their natural desire to have a pack leader. What you need to watch for is fighting that escalates into physical injury. If neither dog is willing to concede, the fights will gradually grow more and more violent until they begin injuring each other. While normal "pin and hold" fighting is OK, you need to immediately seperate the dogs if they actually begin to leave wounds.
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Jose Diablo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Force the younger one to the floor, on his side
Edited on Tue Apr-18-06 03:49 PM by Jose Diablo
then lay across his neck, not all your weight, just enough to for him to know he is the lesser. This is called mounting the dog to establish dominance. Then pet and make praising talk to the other older one.

It is a way to re-establish a hierarchy between them as both view you as the leader. Their sex drive for the female and it's disruption of their hormonal balance has disrupted the hierarchy between them. There is a hormonal relationship between dominance-subjection between animals. When the younger one experiences being dominated again, his hormones will re-establish its hold on his actions and it will be easier for him to accept the older ones dominance. Eventually though, the younger one will have to become the dominant male, as the older one weakens through age, it's inevitable.

The social hierarchy within herd/pack animals is in a large measure controlled by the hormones released during their conflicts. The winner of a conflict gets a reward of hormones that say it is the 'top' dog and the loser gets a different hormone that makes the loser more apt to retreat at the prospects of a future conflict. There is a chemical basis for thinking in certain modes. This is how order is established with-in their social structures. It's also the basis for rewarding the 'best' with more off-spring, a way for nature to keep the strongest and best able to survive in a prefered position with-in the pack.

You being the leader of the pack are the one to re-establish order with-in the pack.

Edit: Or you could let them fight it out. But dogs are specie that can and do kill one another, so the prefered way is to keep peace between them, if posible.
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Thanks! I will try this today!
I have kind of done something similar! Petting and praising the older one in front of the younger, but I haven't laid across him like you said! I hope it at least helps! :) I certainly don't want them killing each other. While they haven't drawn blood from one another (they are just really slobbery), they are very rough. Their gums were bleeding from their teeth hitting one anothers. And they get on their two hind legs and stand and fight like bears do! :shrug:
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
27. You are absolutely right on!
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. Does it happen at feeding time, that can spark a few doggy arguments.
If this is the case you could try separating their bowls for food and water. Maybe there is something else that seems to be triggering the tension.

Usually I'd recommend letting them have one big dog sort out, it's noisy and scary but you can stop it when it looks like a clear winner emerges, dogs rarely hurt each other worse than a scratch or two. Once their hierarchy is established again things settle down to peace and calm again.
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auburngrad82 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
13. Consider yourself lucky they're males
We have two females who would kill each other given the chance. Google dog aggression and female vs female is the absolute worst. Males usually work things out. Females remember things forever and can't let go of it. Kinda like human females, huh?

:evilgrin:
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. I have a female, so I believe you!! There is a reason
why "bitch" took on the meaning it has!! :P
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. it takes about six months for the effects of neutering to kick in.
you will have to dominate the younger boy -- and putting the lad on his back -- you hold him there -- is a start.

personally i would feed them in separate rooms until the message is through that you and only are the # 1 dog.

yes, your younger is realizing he is ''bigger'' -- he just needs to realize you are biggest.

mostly that will settle things between the two.

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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. He does mind when I am there. He knows
I am in charge, but if I am not around, all hell breaks loose! x(
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. separate them when you're not around.
lol -- it's funny cause mister bossy pants actually won't like being separated from the older dog -- even though he's trying to eat him right now.

and when you are around -- start your interaction by putting him on his back.

and KEEP him there for a minute or two.

things really will change after neutering -- but it does take a while.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
17. Snip Snip
Usually works for me
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progmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. are you less agressive now that you've been snipped?
;)
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texas1928 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
21. Shock collars and barbed wire fences.
That would work.
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. They don't jump the fences! But, I did have to put
Edited on Tue Apr-18-06 05:05 PM by Shell Beau
on a collar that gave a small shock (I tested it on my own neck) so he would stay off of the furniture b/c he ate my couch, but it doesn't shock him anymore, he just hears the beep!


And when I say he ate my couch, I really mean it. He ate it cushion by cushion! x(
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Wcross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-18-06 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
24. Don't break up the fights?
They HAVE to establish their rank in the pack. As horrible as the fights sound they are usually less than deadly. I usually let my guys sort out their differences on their own. The neutering will help for sure.
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. When I came home yesterday, they apparently had a fight while
I was gone! The youngest one was limping a little. And the oldest was one happy dog. He was king of the house again!! We'll see how long it lasts. Thanks for the advice!
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Wcross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I don't think they will kill eachother.
My alpha dog Buddy usually gets the other dogs attention by a bite on the nose. There has been blood at times but no serious injury. I think they will sort it out on their own.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. "if theress no blood on the walls, they're fine"
a vet told me that. Seems to be true.
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