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Tue Dec 31, 2019, 02:58 PM

Dog question

For the past 30+ years we have always had 3 dogs. A long time ago, two of the dogs ganged up on the third and, well, we were down to two dogs. We went to the vet to ask wtf happened (and this was long before wtf was even a thing). He said that this breed (a terrier) was known to do this to the weakest in the pack. Wow, we said. That sucks, we thought. It hasn't happened since, thank goodness.

Well. . . today I got to talking about dogs with the guy in the feed store, and I mentioned this story. He told me that a woman who runs a local dog rescue told him that this can happen with all breeds and is more likely to happen when you have 3 dogs. Two or four is fine. But not three. (I didn't ask what happens if you go over 4, because that's my dog limit, which we are at right now - long story, in which we turn out to be softies.)

Has anyone else heard this about having three dogs? Has anyone had this happen?

I hadn't really though about the number of dogs being an issue (beyond the reality of caring for any more than 3 (or 4) dogs. So I'm curious.

We also have 3 cats. So it's fun and games for all in our house.

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2019, 03:09 PM

1. We had 5 dogs & no problems...and that was while livin on a farm, so sorry, can't really help answer

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2019, 03:19 PM

2. I grew up with 3 dogs

A shepherd, a mutt, and a poodle. Never once did they attack each other. Not even over food.

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2019, 03:28 PM

3. We added a third dog...

...a small female Dalmatian...to a household with a male Dalmatian and a very large mixed-breed dog who'd been best pals for about a year. The big male suddenly became the Alpha dog. There was some growling in the beginning, but no violence in the more than a decade they were all together -- but the male Dalmatian was never allowed to play with the little female.

I have a great picture of them together, but I have no idea how to post it.

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2019, 03:34 PM

4. We've had 3, 4 and 5 dogs.

Five was the problem number - that was where we saw aggressiveness towards the omega dog in the pack. Ended up having to rehome a dog both times we tried five.
We're currently at 3 and there are occasional scuffles, it is more due to one dog being old and having hording issues. We had the same issues with him when we were at 4 dogs.

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2019, 03:35 PM

5. It's the same with 3 teenage girls. 2 works best, 3 usually doesn't work, and 4 usually works.

Why? I don't know. Ask some teenage girls.

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2019, 03:46 PM

6. Something similar happened with my daughter's 3 dogs some years ago,

one a boxer (had grown from pup with daughter; only a few years old,) one a beagleish, one another I can't recall, large Scandinavian? breed.

I think the boxer started the fight, not sure, a friend and I were dog-sitting at the time. I think the beagle was hurt enough I asked to vet to come over to check (I didn't want to hurt her more, by trying to move her.)

Beagle is still with my daughter's family, found other homes for the others, and there's a cat there now too.

I have no answer BUT we had a terrier years before, just one, and sweet but we had a friend whom the dog didn't like, barked at her unprovoked.

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2019, 04:13 PM

7. Thanks all

Love the response re teenagers.

So, it sounds like it can happen. As I said, it's been more than 25 years since that incident, and we've had many dogs since then, adding cats to the equation about 8 years ago. And I wouldn't have asked if I hadn't heard what I did at the feed store. In any case, the seven now growl and hiss just to make their points, whatever those may be, but nothing like what happened years ago. We also are on a farm, and I think having the space to run and glow off little doggie steam helps.

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Response to matt819 (Original post)

Wed Jan 1, 2020, 02:57 PM

8. We've had dogs for over 20 years.

We've had 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 5, 4 dogs at a time. They have wrestled sometimes, played together, the Alpha has occasionally administered discipline (which usually consists of rolling the offender onto its back and holding him/her there for a minute), and very occasionally one will snap at another. Never, ever a real fight.

Now ask me why I love Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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