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Please help

 
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spilkysue
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PostPosted: 05/10/05, 3:12 pm    Post subject: Please help Reply with quote

I have two female littermates 6 years old. They began fighting with one another at approx 2 yrs of age. Both are spayed. We thought the first fight was a fluke but as time went on the fights became more frequent and more aggressive. After two years and literally hundreds of dollars in vet bills to have them patched up we put one dog on clomipramine. The fights stopped - for a year. They started again a year ago and have become almost a weekly ritual. One dog (the one on the clomipramine) attacks whenever something out of the ordinary happens (i.e. the cat gets out and is not supposed to be out and we're frantically trying to find him) or when her sister is somehow disadvantaged (i.e., had a stick stuck sideways in her jaw and was acting funny, or when she is reprimanded. All it takes is a stern "knock it off" and she attacks). We have taken to keeping them separated (one in, one out or in diff parts of the house). We have also taken to using muzzles quite a bit. They are both very nice dogs towards people and/or cats. They live on a farm with room to roam at will, can run, swim whenever. They are almost never tied up and I can count on one hand the number of times they have been around other dogs. A neighbor from down the hill had a little dog that came up one time and they barked and chased it away. Their aggression is only toward one another. I am at my wit's end. They have even fought with muzzles on. Most recently the one attacked the other with her muzzle on and the other had it off. She got chewed to shreds and is at the vet now having her eye repaired. We came within inches of putting her down this morning as opposed to patching her up again but I could not handle it emotionally. I know I'm loooking for a miracle but I am open to any suggestions, advice, comments thoughts or prayers. Please help as it will break my heart to lose either of these dogs.
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whiskerdog1
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PostPosted: 05/10/05, 3:40 pm    Post subject: Help Reply with quote

There is no magic pill here. You must keep the dogs separated at all times. Its that simple, unless youre committed to hours and hours of correction training, and even then its no guarantee that they wont fight and 1 wont kill the other. Im really surprised that you would muzzle only 1. Doesnt make much sense.. and in this instance almost got a dog killed. Your dogs(like many) havent been well socialized, taught acceptable behavior and "Your" rules of the pack. Im not knocking but stating a fact based on your story. I doubt anyone who wasnt a full time trainer, could break these dogs from fighting, or would even attempt. It s lost cause IMO.

Kennel them. Let 1 out when you want to work them and thats it. They cannot be together.
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spilkysue
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PostPosted: 05/10/05, 4:34 pm    Post subject: Please help Reply with quote

I do muzzle both of them. I muzzled one as she was coming in the door and before I got to the other one in the kitchen to muzzle her, she was attacked by the one with the muzzle on. These dogs are not used for hunting or work. They are family pets. They know basic commands like sit and stay but obviously do not pay any attention to that once they go at it. I could set off a stick of dynamite underneath them when that happens and they would be oblivious to it.
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whiskerdog1
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PostPosted: 05/10/05, 7:54 pm    Post subject: Help Reply with quote

IMO-You have to establish control and NOW. When 1 dog is in your company and muzzled, the other should be COMMANDED to SIT,STAY. No BS,no attacking, no disobeying.
A command is an order and must be followed period. The dog must comply or face consequences if refuses-provided he knows the command and heard you-I prefer an authoritative scruff shake-scream NO, BAD and then command, when compliance praise GOOD Dog and pet. Work obedience separately, basic commands-work to where you can do sit/stays in front of one another, prong collar will help if used right. If this is too much, either get a trainer, be careful and dont have together, or get rid of the dog.Honestly, it sounds like you got your hands full and not everyone is qualified to have high power/driven dogs such as these. If you dont have control, forget it-its a lost cause. I say that with respect. Its a pain, training has to be firm but fair and you must have the upper hand and be willing to coorect the dog harshly, if there is disobedience.

My friend has 5 male DDs-the largest is 90+ pounds. They would never pull this around him and know better,as they are hunted together but kenneled separately most of the time, which is always the best way to raise dogs, as theyre pack animals. Left to their own devices, they might but you have to know your dogs and have strict rules and effective training methods. Best of luck.
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spilkysue
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PostPosted: 05/11/05, 8:09 am    Post subject: please help Reply with quote

I DO appreciate your input and willingness to help. As I said earlier, getting rid of either one will break my heart and I am willing to try my best to solve this. Are you saying that a "reprimand" is a scruff shake and a stern voice? Not a spank? And I should train each one indivually until I am fairly confident they'll cooperate? Then put the two together - both muzzled - and give the sit/stay order? I guess it's pretty obvious we didn't know what we were getting into with this breed. My dad had one when I was younger and there weren't any probs. I thought getting two would be nice so they could "keep each other company." I don't understand how the kenneling works if they are pack animals. Do you think they're competing for attention? For dominance? Again, thank you!
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whiskerdog1
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PostPosted: 05/11/05, 8:41 am    Post subject: Help Reply with quote

Hi.. I seldom if ever "spank" my dogs. I have on occassion when Ive lost it. I can control my dogs with my voice 95% of time. Im 6.2 220lb so I have no problem picking a dog up or grabbing its scruff(back of neck) 2 hands if necessary, and in my strongest voice commanding NO/BAD.

Your on the right track if you muzzle, command SIT/Stay and then work with 1 at a time. Heel offleash, retrieve, down basic drills etc. Then get other dog and do same thing in presence of 1st dog. Work each 5-10 minutes. Dont tolerate growling etc, results in correction. Your dogs must become more obedient, less aggressive. It sounds like a dominance issue-you get it with simialr sized same sex dogs with medium to high drive alot. Once youre comfortable(say a few weeks) I would work with no muzzle.
This will take alot of time, work and patience and willingness on your part to correct bad behavior, it isnt easy and shouldve been done a long time ago. But better late than never. It can be done. But do not leave them alone again, just have them know that in your company, fighting isnt tolerated. Thats the best you can do, and the best I can give you. Good luck.
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spilkysue
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PostPosted: 05/11/05, 11:29 am    Post subject: please help Reply with quote

Thank you again for all your help. This is my last week at work so I will have lots of time on my hands! I intend to do my best because I don't want to lose them. Thank you.
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whiskerdog1
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PostPosted: 05/11/05, 5:40 pm    Post subject: Help Reply with quote

good luck again. remember that you must be in control. That means having a "presence" about you-YOU are the boss. Dont take any sh*t from your dogs, ever. Voice and presence is 90% of training. I will raise my voice if it is necessary to a Boom, but prefer almost a whisper now, as they are so well trained, and going on 25 or so commands I guess. Im no genius and anyone can do it. It takes time and a committment.

I give a command twice only. 2 xs to make sure it was heard and to be fair. If not then there is a correction depending on severity: prong/scruff shake, or No. Dont repeat commands or baby your dogs. Make sure they are well exercised, as in ball chasing games 10minutes/2x a day at least. Hard running. That also will help.

But you are the owner and handler and the person who rasied the dogs. You must get control and maintain it for safety and well being nd your sanity.
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