October 29th, 2006, 06:18 PM
I rescued a small dog from the desert by my house. My roommate has 2 dogs already( one male. one female). This new little dog(female) did just fine for several weeks but has now started to growl at the existing female who is 4 times her size and the existing female is responding by being aggressive and attacking. I am keeping the new dog on a leash to walk around the house and to go outside but realize this is not the answer. Can someone give me some ideas on how to help these two to get along? Thank You!
October 29th, 2006, 06:25 PM
I think you would benefit from a professional trainer.
Since the smaller dog was a stray it may have already had issues with other dogs, and another reason it was ok for the first few weeks is because it was introduced into a new territory. After a few weeks you start seeing both dogs trying to establish dominance over each other, and it's hard to tell from your description on here what set it off.
I think the best way to figure out how to handle both dogs would be for an experienced trainer to come in that understands aggressive and dominant behavior in dogs to evaluate your dogs behavior and your behavior around them, because they'll be able to get a better idea of what to do. You have to control the enviroment of BOTH of your dogs in order to eliminate aggression, not just the newer dog, and a trainer can give you the best idea on how to do that.
In the meantime, don't let the dogs eat together, don't let them play with toys together, and never let them be unsupervised together, because the small dog is in danger of being injured from the much larger dog.
October 30th, 2006, 12:33 AM
Two dominant females together is a risky relationship. Definitely get the help of a trainer. It's possible that this set-up might not work.
January 10th, 2007, 08:11 AM
Thanks for the input. I was able to get the situation resolved. The older dog got depressed because of the new little dog so I arranged to have time alone with the older dog to reassure her and give her loves. Now she just stays away from the new little dog and seems content with the reminder that she is loved. The new little dog leaves her alone now too. They take turns eating and seemed to have gotten the order of dominence worked out without any more agression.
January 10th, 2007, 08:39 AM
How long has it been since the last incident?
It takes about 3 weeks for a dog to become comfortable with their new environment. This is when you begin to see their temperment.
A dog who knows their place doesn't challenge. They will probably not take the position you have given them. Order can change but has nothing to do with who was there first, who is older, etc. The dogs will set their own order between canines. We can disrupt this order by doing things that we don't even think about like feeding the lower dog first for example. Watch your dogs to see where their position is and then adjust what you do and you may notice a more peaceful home. This is not the family order where all humans should be above the dogs. Dogs that make more decisions for themselves may challenge for a higher spot when they believe that the one above is not holding the spot well. This is what you see frequently with kids and dogs. If the dog can make them do things for them they will believe they are above them.
Sorry if this sounds too general. I tried not to use any technical terms to explain it.
I don't like to use the word dominant because too many people really don't know what it means and end up putting the label on them because of some select behaviours. What happens is, these behaviours are accepted rather than corrected because this dog is supposedly "dominant". It is used far too often for simply, bad behaviours.
January 10th, 2007, 04:01 PM
I wouldn't leave the ladies alone loose in the house together - might come home to something you won't ever forget. Hope things work out.