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What to do about two puppies fighting?

March 17th, 2005, 05:43 PM
My sister brought her puppy over this morning to play with Sophie. Sophie wanted to play with her at first when we were in the house, but Tootsie (her puppy) wouldn't play with her. They're the same size but Sophie is about 10 wks old and Tootsie is a little younger. When we went outside to go potty, Sophie jumped all over Tootsie for getting in her potty spot. I mean, she was out for blood, not playing around. We got them apart but everytime they got near each other Sophie would start it again. What should we do? Just let them fight it out? They're going to have to see each other from time to time so they need to learn to get along.

Also, Sophie is a beagle and Tootsie is a pitbull. I'm worried that one of these days it may not be safe for Sophie to be around her. I like pits just fine, but I know my little beagle wouldn't stand a chance in a grown-up fight with her.

March 17th, 2005, 05:47 PM
Sometimes no matter how much you want them to like someone, they just don't. Is the pitty acting dominant in your yard? If a dog (any dog) were to come to my home and act dominant, my doggies would have big problems. Maybe you should just meet in neutral places for now.

It is a bit weird for them to be seriously fighting at such young ages

March 17th, 2005, 06:10 PM
No, little miss Pitty wasn't doing anything that looked like she was acting dominant. She was actually being very shy. We took them out because Sophie had just woke up from her nap when they got here and I figured she needed to pee. I just set her down in the potty spot and my sister set Tootsie down a few feet away and she was sniffing around, getting closer to the fence (that's where Sophie goes potty, along the fence) and Sophie jumped her. She fought back and they were going for each other's throats, so I pulled them apart. I've never seen two little ones fight like that.

Lucky Rescue
March 17th, 2005, 06:35 PM
From what you are saying, and your sister's puppy is shy, then aggressive, it sounds like your sister is not socializing her enough?

It's very important for puppies to be taken out and be around all kinds of other people and dogs.

Even for a pit bull, this aggression at 10 weeks old is NOT normal.

Your sis. might want to take her around calm adult dogs if she has any friends who have one. This way the puppy can learn appropriate dog behavior.

Is this puppy shy of people too?

March 17th, 2005, 06:41 PM
Lucky, I think the beagle was the aggresor and the pitbull was more the aggressee.

Lucky Rescue
March 17th, 2005, 07:03 PM
Thank you Badger. I'm having a bad day. I think my brain got rattled at the dentist. :(

Same advice, for shy OR aggressive puppies - lots of socialization!!! Puppy kindergarten is good for this!

March 17th, 2005, 07:13 PM
We are working hard on socializing Sophie, we take her places, let her be around different people, and when I take her out, there's always some of the neighbors' dogs squeezing under the fence to come see her. And she plays fine with them but they're adult dogs. She's never really been around another puppy since being taken away from her siblings. My sister just got hers this week so that's why she's still shy. She'll probably get over it pretty quick. Thanks, I'll call around tomorrow and see if I can find a puppy Kindergarten for us.

March 17th, 2005, 07:14 PM
I'll tell my sister, too. I'm sure Tootsie would also benefit from going to school.

March 17th, 2005, 07:49 PM
Also sounds like Miss Sophie didn't like her territory invaded where she goes potty.

How was Sophie with Tootsie in the house?Did she try and have it out with Tootsie in the house?

March 17th, 2005, 07:58 PM
Mona_b, she didn't try anything in the house before we went outside, but after we came back in she did.

March 17th, 2005, 08:06 PM
A couple of weeks ago, there was a schedule for puppy socialization on the board's main page. It listed the types of things that pups should be exposed to and at what age (in weeks and months)

March 18th, 2005, 07:50 AM
I just think it's weird that whenever a grown dog comes into our yard, or even on the other side of the fence, Sophie goes running to them with her tail wagging, and plays really good with them and we're talking a lab and a German Shepherd (one female and one male). But she's mean to a little bitty puppy. Is she going to act like that if I take her to kindergarten? Or will she play nice because they're not invading her territory. Maybe she thought I was going to keep Tootsie, and she was jealous.

March 18th, 2005, 07:52 AM
Tootsie. Don't you think that's a funny name for a pit bull? Dh was laughing about that last night. :D My sister named her that because she's Tootsie Roll brown.

March 18th, 2005, 09:25 AM
I've never known a beagle pup, (or any pup actually) to show that kind of aggression at such a young age. I am stumped as to what this is all about.

I know my little pup will play really rough with my other beagle and my cat. Even at 8 weeks she was growling, baring her teeth, pouncing on, nipping, and barking right in the faces of the other animals. My adult beagle hides from her (coward) cuz she's tired of the nips. My cat gets dragged around the house by her head when puppy is "playing" with her. But it's all a game, and she doesn't mean to hurt anyone. (I think my crazy cat enjoys it, she certainly doesn't try to avoid Ruby).

Are you sure this wasn't just play behavior? Puppies in a litter play very rough with each other, pouncing on each other and tumbling about with their teeth latched in each other's hides, growling the whole time.

Or maybe Sophie just has an extremely elevated sense of territory. Maybe she was saying, "My house! MY pee spot! My mommy! You get out!" But that's truly unusual in a pup that young. And beagles aren't aggressive dogs to begin with, and to act like that at 10 weeks ... I'm stumped.

I would try introducing the two pups again. Put them both on leashes so you have control of them, let them see each other at a distance, then gradually bring them together. See their reactions to each other. Watch for signs that Sophie's going to get aggressive again. Then if they seem to be ok with each other, take the leashes off and let them play. Since they seemed to be ok in the house at first, I'd do this in the house. Avoid having them together in the yard for now.

I don't know what other advise to offer. I've never seen a beagle act that aggressive, they're usually pretty mellow dogs.

March 18th, 2005, 09:35 AM
I've never seen it either, that's why I was kind of stumped. I've seen two pups playing rough before but this seemed a lot more like actual fighting. When we came back in the house and they did it again we just sort of watched to see what they would do. It only lasted a few seconds and Tootsie walked away with her little tail (yes, she does have a tail) tucked. Then Sophie was fine. Maybe she was just showing her who's the boss of this place, I don't know. Or maybe she just likes to play REALLY rough, but she hasn't done that with the kids or the neighbors' cats or anything, just the other puppy.

March 18th, 2005, 09:42 AM
I think socialization is key here. Sophie appears to be very dominant, and having dogs meet for the first time in the dominant dog's area will cause conflict. Sophie needs to meet dogs in a neutral environment, not even the backyard - like a park or something.

When she acts like this how do you react? Do you pick her up, do you yell at her, do you try and comfort her to calm her down?

March 18th, 2005, 09:47 AM
She was on her leash the first time so I just said NO and pulled her back. I didnt' know what to say. I was afraid if I tried to calm her too much she might think I was rewarding her for acting that way and I don't want that. I just picked her up and took her to the other side of the yard so she could go potty and she did. Then we came back into the house. When she did it the second time they just kind of fought it out for a few seconds, then ignored each other so I didn't really do anything. What SHOULD I do?

March 18th, 2005, 09:51 AM
Just wanted to add that we used to have a lot of dogs when I still lived at home and whenever we would get a new (adult) dog, sometimes the dogs we already had would fight them at first so we just let them and once they figured out the pecking orderthe didn't fight anymore and got along fine. That's why I left them alone the 2nd time around. Don't know if that's what you should do with puppies or not, never encountered that.

March 18th, 2005, 09:57 AM
It's hard to tell what kind of fight it actually was while talking over the internet. Some dogs tend to play a little more rough then others. My dog is VERY vocal when she plays and many people would think that she's being aggressive and she's not.
BUT I would say that your first reaction saying no and removing her was a start. She needs a correction though. Saying no is not a command for correcting a bad attitude. IE: if she jumps up on people, saying no teaches her nothing, she needs a command (like sit) to teach her what she should be doing.

The "leave it" command seems to be the best for us. If she's getting a little aggressive with the cat I tell her leave it, and she stops. Then praise her.

This command needs to be cought first before oyu can use it in these kinds of situations. I taught her by placing a cookie on the floor and then tellher to leave it. If she goes to grab it, then I pull it away, and tell her to sit. Then try again. Once she leaves it until I say so, then she gets the cookie and tons of praise! Then after she's really good at that you can graduate to sticks and (in Briggs' case, pine cones :rolleyes: ) outside. Then other animals.

It will take some time, but worth it. :)

March 18th, 2005, 10:09 AM
Thanks, Sammie, I think she IS a little bit dominant. (Could it be because she was one of the biggest pups in her litter?) I noticed right after we got her I was giving her a bath, which she didn't mind, but I felt a tick under her armpit and tried to lay her on her back so I could see it. She did everything to keep me from getting her on her back, including biting, but not like she was biting Tootsie. Anyway, I finally got her on her back and got the tick off. To try to stop her from nipping me and the kids, I would hold her mouth shut and tell her NO and she would whimper, then as soon as I let go she would try to bite me again. I just kept doing it, and finally I rolled her over on her back and looked down at her and told her NO! She looked away from me and when I let her up she kind of snorted and walked over to one of her chew toys and started chewing. So I praised her for that. Anyway, now she will just walk up to me and roll over on her back.

March 18th, 2005, 01:37 PM
How old did Sophie leave the litter? I ask because I had a runt lab (smallest of the litter) and we got her at 6 weeks, which is too early for socialization purposes and she was rabid aggressive on any dog as an adult. It scared my step mother to walk her because she would attack any dog who might be around the corner. You really had to see the other dog first and change directions.

With adult dogs, younger dogs who are not excessivley dominant don't assert themselves because they know they aren't big/strong/experienced enough to beat the dog in a fight. When it comes to dogs that are younger than your dog, she feels strong enough to kick some a**. I agree with the others-- now is the time to socialize.

It hink it was Stanley Coren who said doggies have to go to 50 places and meet 250 people in their first year to be sociable. He neglected to specify doggies, but I would guess as many different doggies as you can meet.

heeler's rock!
March 18th, 2005, 04:01 PM
Sophie could be playing nice with big dogs, because she understands she's not the boss, they are because they're older and bigger. With Toosie coming into her space and being younger than her, she was most likely displaying her Alpha status, thus when they had it out, it was done with. There is a huge difference between dogs disciplining eachother, and full out fighting. Sophie was most likely disciplining Tootsie for coming into her territory. Chances are that's the case more than anything. When dogs pee, they are also marking and dominant dogs will mark over a submissive one's pee. Sophie probably thought Tootsie was trying to do that and put her in her place.

March 18th, 2005, 05:46 PM
Heeler's rock--- that's probably the case but at 10 weeks that is bizarre, overly aggressive behavior. I have never known any normal 10 weekers behaving like that, let alone getting into a serious fight.