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Agression between dogs living together

Jazze
July 16th, 2006, 08:39 AM
I had three Australian Shepherds and I am now down to two. I had to give up my beautiful, loving JimmyD to a new home because of aggression. He was not the aggressor, but the one who was challenged and whose life became one of fear and hiding. My female Jamie would attack JimmyD for no apparent reason (at least to us humans) and he would not defend himself. She has also attacked my other male Jake, but he put her in her place and established himself as pack leader. Jimmyd did not challenge her and was happy to give her 2nd place, but that did not seem enough for her as she would continue her rrandom attacks. We tried everything including an animal behavorist at great expense to stop them. We failed and because we loved our JimmyD so much we gave him away before he got hurt and where he could live a happy life. Now Jamie is once again challenging Jake and he is holding his own but we would like this to stop. I need the Dog Whisperer but I think Jamie would be a challenge even for him. Oddly enough Jamie will play with Jake, sleep next to him, etc and there is no problem. Has anyone had a similar problem that they solved? And for those who wonder why we kept Jamie and gave JimmyD away-we were afraid with Jamie's issues that she would end up abused or in a shelter or dumped on a road when the new owner did not want to put up with her. These dogs are obedience trained, have obedience titles and I do feel we have established ourselves as pack leaders. Jamie knows she is doing wrong but seems to "can't help it". When she attacks now we put her in a bathroom with the door closed -time out so to speak which I understand does zip but at least it's is doing something. Help. Jazze

kaytris
July 16th, 2006, 08:43 AM
This is a very difficult issue, and you really need in person help.

Can you recall specifically, each event: where each dog was and what they were doing, where you were and what you were doing, where other family members were, were there toys or food or prized possessions around?

Are all the dogs spayed/neutered?

mastifflover
July 16th, 2006, 09:06 AM
That is exactly what I was going to ask if they were neutered and spayed this cuts down on aggressivness. If they are not that would be the first thing I would do. Since they are adults it will take a while for you to see a difference but it will make a huge difference

pitgrrl
July 16th, 2006, 09:17 AM
I think the suggestion of again seeing a behaviorist is a good one, but another option is to rotate the dogs so that they do not have contact with eachother.
Here is a good link: http://www.pbrc.net/rotate.html

Many people do this and it works fine, it just takes some getting used to.

Jazze
July 16th, 2006, 09:35 AM
First thank you for the replies. All three dogs are neutered/spayed. I tried to figure out the reason for the attacks ie food, toys. But for example: JimmyD would be sleeping on his bed in the bedroom ( he learned to separate himself to avoid Jamie), we would be on the sofa watching TV, Jamie would laying next to the sofa, Jake laying in the TV room. Out of the blue, Jamie would run into the bedroom and attack poor JimmyD who was sound asleep. Like I said "no reason" but the animal behavior told us Jamie has a reason in dog reasoning that we as human's did not see. Well...........okay. Jamie is fed in a separate room and is last to get her bowl. I make her earn a treat by issuing some command-nothing in life is free. I play with her daily and she has a yard to run in. No one is allowed on the sofa because of this-so all is fair.
We are doing a form of the rotation idea. If she growls at Jake or shows any type of aggression behavior we separate her. I worried that she was holding it against Jake that she was being put in the bedroom and he stayed with us that it might make her take it out on him more. She is a smart little thing.
I am not giving up on her. I just hoped to get some new ideas to try.
Thank you all.

kaytris
July 16th, 2006, 09:41 AM
I would also have a full blood panel done on the female - specifically looking for thyroid levels.

http://www.doganswers.com/Thyroid.htm

pitgrrl
July 16th, 2006, 11:42 AM
We are doing a form of the rotation idea. If she growls at Jake or shows any type of aggression behavior we separate her. I worried that she was holding it against Jake that she was being put in the bedroom and he stayed with us that it might make her take it out on him more. She is a smart little thing.
I am not giving up on her. I just hoped to get some new ideas to try.
Thank you all.

Crate (or seperate however you want) and rotate is not a punishment or reactive set-up, as what you are doing is. It is really about keeping all dogs safe by not allowing any interaction.
No dog should be left for long periods of time by him/her self, rather they should be just be on opposing scheduals, each getting time with you, excersise, training time etc.
I know people who do this in a manner that the dogs never so much as see eachother, and others who use baby gates so that the dogs are always seperate, but may see eachother.
It might be something to consider given that you seem to have exhausted most other possibilities.

PetFriendly
July 16th, 2006, 11:44 AM
Jamie is fed in a separate room and is last to get her bowl. I make her earn a treat by issuing some command-nothing in life is free. I play with her daily and she has a yard to run in. No one is allowed on the sofa because of this-so all is fair.

Maybe she doesn't like being second, and is trying to make a play for first. By feeding her second and making her work for treats, you're messing up the pecking order (assuming you don't make the other work for his treats?!)

What happends if you feed them both at the same time in the same room?!