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Author Topic: Need dog advice  (Read 1449 times)
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Arkon
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« on: August 12, 2007, 06:57:19 PM »

Well, I finally got home from work, to find my wife's parents at the house and my wife in tears...our dogs got into an unprovoked fight with each other, my wife got nipped when trying to break them up.  In the past 3 years they have gotten in maybe 12 fights, usually over a toy or "sniffing rights" when something new comes into the house.

Is there any way for me to put an end to the fights, or am I going to have to choose one of my "kids" to get rid of?

This has been a really rough morning to say the least.
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 07:49:22 PM »

I'm sure they didn't mean to hurt her, but accidents happen.  I don't think you'll have to chose one of your kids, and I don't think I could.
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2007, 10:17:12 PM »

Check a book on dog psychology.  They really work on a somewhat easy to understand pack mentality.  I read a really great one several years ago, but I can't remember the name or the author.

What I would assume is they are occasionally fighting for dominance in the "pack" (ie. your family).  But if they both have the understanding that you are the leader of the pack, and that the human members of the family will always "outrank" them, they should get along better.

Do either of the dogs get somewhat aggressive around children?  That's an easy sign that dominance in the pack is not yet clear to the dog.

Another easy way to check is if the dog will go prone (lay on it's back) for you.  If it doesn't, that's a good place to start: a dog will go into that position when it submits to authority.  And if it doesn't, then you have to teach it to start doing so.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2007, 10:20:16 PM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2007, 11:13:15 PM »

I found that a water bottle filled with water and a bit of white vinegar works wonders with stopping a dog from doing something they shouldn't be.  They'll stop, lick at the water and spend the next few minutes trying to get the taste out of their mouth. Trying to physically break up a fight between dogs and getting nipped really shouldn't be surprising though-  they were probably so focused on each other that touching them most likely surprised them.  I've gotten snapped at when waking one of mine up when she was seriously yipping in her sleep.
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Arkon
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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2007, 11:18:19 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on August 12, 2007, 10:17:12 PM

Check a book on dog psychology.  They really work on a somewhat easy to understand pack mentality.  I read a really great one several years ago, but I can't remember the name or the author.

What I would assume is they are occasionally fighting for dominance in the "pack" (ie. your family).  But if they both have the understanding that you are the leader of the pack, and that the human members of the family will always "outrank" them, they should get along better.

Do either of the dogs get somewhat aggressive around children?  That's an easy sign that dominance in the pack is not yet clear to the dog.

Another easy way to check is if the dog will go prone (lay on it's back) for you.  If it doesn't, that's a good place to start: a dog will go into that position when it submits to authority.  And if it doesn't, then you have to teach it to start doing so.

They have never been aggressive to children, and usually within 10 minutes of them fighting,they are back to playing with each other as if nothing happened.  They will go prone for us no problem.

I called our breeder and she suggested a water bottle with a mix of water and vinegar as well.

My biggest fear is that my wife is 7 months pregnant... I can't have my dogs fighting when I have a newborn coming into the house.  Will look into a book on dog psychology.
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Arkon
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 01:47:48 PM »

Well, the dogs went at it again this morning.  We noticed however that she had been limping, so she may be lashing out because of that pain.

Thankfully the bottle with water and vinegar broke them up quickly.
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2007, 03:18:41 PM »

Call Cesar!

http://www.dogpsychologycenter.com/

Really though he does have some good advice.  The biggest thing we noticed was getting off our lazy butts and taking the dogs for walks.  We find that the dogs we have behave very well when we keep up the walking.  Dog doesn't want to do much when they are tired hehe.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 03:20:30 PM by Bulletpig » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 03:47:44 PM »

Playing ball is good for that, too.


I never heard the water/vinegar thing before.  That's pretty cool.
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 04:01:20 PM »

After a while they should start recognizing the bottle on sight and you shouldn't even have to use it.  I had it happen after a few sprays.
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2007, 06:09:34 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 13, 2007, 04:01:20 PM

After a while they should start recognizing the bottle on sight and you shouldn't even have to use it.  I had it happen after a few sprays.

I hadn't heard of that one before (although I have seen people use a water squirt on cats).  My wife's family has always subscribed to what they call "The Can" method.  The Can being a soda can with some pennies in it.  Dog acts up, it gets The Can tossed at its paws and it gets freaked out.  After a while, all you have to do is shake The Can.  After a little longer while, you can just say, "am I going to have to get The Can?"
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2007, 09:14:27 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on August 13, 2007, 06:09:34 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 13, 2007, 04:01:20 PM

After a while they should start recognizing the bottle on sight and you shouldn't even have to use it.  I had it happen after a few sprays.

I hadn't heard of that one before (although I have seen people use a water squirt on cats).  My wife's family has always subscribed to what they call "The Can" method.  The Can being a soda can with some pennies in it.  Dog acts up, it gets The Can tossed at its paws and it gets freaked out.  After a while, all you have to do is shake The Can.  After a little longer while, you can just say, "am I going to have to get The Can?"

I tried this.. my dogs proceeded to pick up the can and tear it to shreds like it was a toy.
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 09:29:21 PM »

It doesn't work with beer.  We all know about your booze hounds!
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2007, 09:30:43 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on August 13, 2007, 09:14:27 PM

Quote from: Teggy on August 13, 2007, 06:09:34 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 13, 2007, 04:01:20 PM

After a while they should start recognizing the bottle on sight and you shouldn't even have to use it.  I had it happen after a few sprays.

I hadn't heard of that one before (although I have seen people use a water squirt on cats).  My wife's family has always subscribed to what they call "The Can" method.  The Can being a soda can with some pennies in it.  Dog acts up, it gets The Can tossed at its paws and it gets freaked out.  After a while, all you have to do is shake The Can.  After a little longer while, you can just say, "am I going to have to get The Can?"

I tried this.. my dogs proceeded to pick up the can and tear it to shreds like it was a toy.

 icon_lol It probably works a lot better with Golden Retrievers because they are scared of their own shadow.
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2007, 10:50:02 PM »

Feed your dogs alcohol and hope neither of them is an angry drunk.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 12:44:32 AM »

Quote from: Crux on August 13, 2007, 10:50:02 PM

Feed your dogs alcohol and hope neither of them is an angry drunk.

or a sad drunk.
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2007, 01:56:34 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 14, 2007, 12:44:32 AM

Quote from: Crux on August 13, 2007, 10:50:02 PM

Feed your dogs alcohol and hope neither of them is an angry drunk.

or a sad drunk.

even worse a horny drunk.  If that happens keep your legs clear LOL  eek
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2007, 03:23:55 AM »

Quote from: Bulletpig on August 14, 2007, 01:56:34 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 14, 2007, 12:44:32 AM

Quote from: Crux on August 13, 2007, 10:50:02 PM

Feed your dogs alcohol and hope neither of them is an angry drunk.

or a sad drunk.

even worse a horny drunk.  If that happens keep your legs clear LOL  eek


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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2007, 05:38:23 AM »

Alright... not sure how applicable this advice is as your dogs are a bit older, but this is what I did for my dog when he was a pup.  This sounds like a resource guarding issue.

Bacon started off as a huge resource guarder.  During playgroup, he was great with other dogs until things like toys, food, or water were brought out.  Then he'd just claim something as his and not want to share to the point of growling at any dog that came near.  His trainer recommended a few exercises, but the one that seemed to work the absolute best was the one I will describe below.  We would constantly order him to sit and leave any item he was engaged with.  We'd pick it up, look at it, praise him and return it to him along with a little something extra.  Examples: If he was eating dinner, I'd stop him, grab his bowl, pick it up, place a treat in it, and give it back to him.  If he was playing with a toy, I'd pick it up and give it + a high value treat back.  A few weeks of this training really helped him share, and now he doesn't resource guard at all.  In fact, he's really gotten to the point where he's even giving his toys to other dogs at the park to get them to play... it's pretty cool.

Good luck!

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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2007, 01:06:58 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 14, 2007, 03:23:55 AM

Quote from: Bulletpig on August 14, 2007, 01:56:34 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 14, 2007, 12:44:32 AM

Quote from: Crux on August 13, 2007, 10:50:02 PM

Feed your dogs alcohol and hope neither of them is an angry drunk.

or a sad drunk.
even worse a horny drunk.  If that happens keep your legs clear LOL  eek


I love the devolving threads. That was a quick slide to "Queue the CeeKay animated post"
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2007, 02:53:18 PM »

You need to think about this too.  You have dogs that fight near your pregnant wife; my dog was so protective of my wife while she was pregnant that he stood between her and anyone but me, didn't do anything he just positioned himself there.

Your dogs are fighting and in two months or less you will have a newborn.  The fighting either needs to stop immediately or the dog or dogs need to go.
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2007, 03:01:22 PM »

Quote from: Purge on August 14, 2007, 01:06:58 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 14, 2007, 03:23:55 AM

Quote from: Bulletpig on August 14, 2007, 01:56:34 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 14, 2007, 12:44:32 AM

Quote from: Crux on August 13, 2007, 10:50:02 PM

Feed your dogs alcohol and hope neither of them is an angry drunk.

or a sad drunk.
even worse a horny drunk.  If that happens keep your legs clear LOL  eek


I love the devolving threads. That was a quick slide to "Queue the CeeKay animated post"

I blame Crux.

Quote from: drifter on August 14, 2007, 02:53:18 PM

You need to think about this too.  You have dogs that fight near your pregnant wife; my dog was so protective of my wife while she was pregnant that he stood between her and anyone but me, didn't do anything he just positioned himself there.

I wonder if the dogs aren't doing this with Arkons wife and having a dominance struggle over what they each consider their job.
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2007, 03:04:29 PM »

The look of horror on that kid's face is hilarious.
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2007, 03:11:47 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on August 14, 2007, 03:04:29 PM

The look of horror on that kid's face is hilarious.

yeah, it needs a 'DO NOT WANT' added onto the end and it would be perfect.
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« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2007, 03:13:45 PM »

Dogs sense emotions, I'm sure that the hormones of your wife going off the scale must add to the confusion. There needs to be calm, unwavering dominance over your dogs... it sounds like she doesn't have that. You might, she definately needs to reassert herself to the dogs.



PS - that animated gif is a human form of :
« Last Edit: August 14, 2007, 03:16:10 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2007, 04:21:13 PM »

Quote from: drifter on August 14, 2007, 02:53:18 PM

You need to think about this too.  You have dogs that fight near your pregnant wife; my dog was so protective of my wife while she was pregnant that he stood between her and anyone but me, didn't do anything he just positioned himself there.

Shit - I have what I think is a brilliant thought, and someone has beaten me to the punch!  Our dog (was 'my' dog prior to our getting hitched) is attached to my wife's hip now that she's pregnant - follows her *everywhere*, lays down next to her... she keeps a close eye on anyone that gets close.

Quote from: drifter on August 14, 2007, 02:53:18 PM

Your dogs are fighting and in two months or less you will have a newborn.  The fighting either needs to stop immediately or the dog or dogs need to go.

I don't agree on 'the dogs need to go', but I agree that the fighting needs to be worked on. Call Cesar!
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Arkon
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2007, 05:45:07 PM »

Quote from: Kratz on August 14, 2007, 04:21:13 PM

Quote from: drifter on August 14, 2007, 02:53:18 PM

You need to think about this too.  You have dogs that fight near your pregnant wife; my dog was so protective of my wife while she was pregnant that he stood between her and anyone but me, didn't do anything he just positioned himself there.

Shit - I have what I think is a brilliant thought, and someone has beaten me to the punch!  Our dog (was 'my' dog prior to our getting hitched) is attached to my wife's hip now that she's pregnant - follows her *everywhere*, lays down next to her... she keeps a close eye on anyone that gets close.

Quote from: drifter on August 14, 2007, 02:53:18 PM

Your dogs are fighting and in two months or less you will have a newborn.  The fighting either needs to stop immediately or the dog or dogs need to go.

I don't agree on 'the dogs need to go', but I agree that the fighting needs to be worked on. Call Cesar!

To be honest, my wife is the one that stepped in between them when they were fighting.  The water bottle has worked so far, they really don't like getting squirted in the face.
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