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Raising 2 female puppies, good or bad idea?

4pm
May 21st, 2004, 10:18 AM
My wife and I are considering getting 2 female puppies, a golden retriever and a husky. We want to get them when they are 8-12 weeks of age and raise them together.

I have read many articles about the do's and don'ts of raising 2 female dogs together but want to hear from actual pet owners rather than read scripts from experts with doctorate degrees in raising dogs.

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.

Lucky Rescue
May 21st, 2004, 10:28 AM
I STRONGLY suggest you do not do this. Listen to the experts. Raising two puppies of any sex or breed is very very challenging for the most part.

Yes, you'll hear from people who have done it and never had a problem, but that is the exception rather than the rule and I am speaking in generalities.

And two adult spayed bitches are very liable to fight for dominance, and the fights can be very serious. If you want two dogs, the best way would be to get one puppy, raise and train it thoroughly, and then get another one when the first is around 1 yr old.

These are two VERY HIGH energy breeds you are wanting. Huskies are also not usually very easy to train, need tons of exercise and cannot be let off leash.

Goldenmom
May 21st, 2004, 10:31 AM
Very good LuckyRescue. I responded in the other group. I agree completely. We got our second Golden when our first one was 1 1/2. I wouldn't have done it any younger.

I am also not too sure about these 2 types of breeds together. They are very, very different in temperment etc....


Heather

Luba
May 21st, 2004, 11:04 AM
I also replied on the other thread, it was posted more then once.

Chany
May 21st, 2004, 07:19 PM
You may be asking for more hassle trying to raise 2 at once. Housebreaking alone :rolleyes: . Do you think if they grow up together they'll be better buddies? Or do you just want one for each of you? I'd really really think about all of the possible hassles. :)

c1chelle
April 20th, 2010, 03:01 PM
I can relate. My puppy is not weaned yet. She is a 6 week old German Shepherd. I wanted her to 'have a friend' so I talked my boyfriend into getting a puppy too. I got a female cause I was sure my b/f would end up getting a male. He got a black lab 2 weeks ago. All the males were gone so he got the last female. I thought as long as we didn't get 2 males we should be fine. After tons of research I see we should have waited for a male and probably waited awhile to get the second one. But what's done is done. I have seen stories where people make it work. It's hard, and honestly it seems that you truly will not know what kind of situation you have until maturity. They may get along as pups and turn on one another as adults. Females can be quite vicious, even to the death. We are prepared for the worst: separating them completely at some point and making sure they are never alone together and possibly never letting them even be together if we have to. Best case is: anything better than that. It stinks, and one can only hope, we may be the exception. Just be prepared. I've heard keeping them apart 80% of the time and doing most everything separately can help. It's all work, but it can be possible.

hazelrunpack
April 20th, 2010, 03:32 PM
It's a lot of work, but the chance of dogs raised together as puppies getting vicious to each other in later life is not that big. There are a lot of scary stories out there, but there's no reason to believe that your dogs won't be good friends when they grow up.

At one time we were raising a 12-month-old, a 16-wk old, and a 26-wk-old. They're all still very good pals. It was very tiring at times and the DVDs I made of that time are so energetic as to nearly bounce out of the DVD player, but it was also very rewarding and I find myself missing the general mayhem of puppy shenanigans. :D

Welcome to the board, c1chelle. This thread is pretty old, so if you have specific questions you want some input on, starting a new thread of your own will probably get you a lot more advice! :thumbs up

Good luck with your puppies! :goodvibes:

Frenchy
April 20th, 2010, 04:36 PM
Females can be quite vicious, even to the death.

Wow , don't know who told you this but it is so not true !

Masha
April 20th, 2010, 05:16 PM
They may get along as pups and turn on one another as adults. Females can be quite vicious, even to the death.

As mentioned by Frenchy, this statement is incorrect. I think a lot of people get this misconception because of the whole 'nursing dogs protectng their pups' thing.

Read up about properly raising two pups, spay them, socialize and exercise them, train them properly, establish boundaries and you should be fine. Properly training and raising them from young age is key... Also, dogs raised together from young age shouldn't just 'turn on each other'.

LavenderRott
April 20th, 2010, 05:24 PM
Wow , don't know who told you this but it is so not true !

While not common, it most certainly is true. I know a couple of people who run well oiled separated households so that no contact is made between the bitches in question. And these are people who raise and compete with very well behaved dogs.

MyBirdIsEvil
April 20th, 2010, 05:43 PM
It's very unlikely for any dogs that are raised together, no matter sex or breed, to fight to the death. The only time it happens is if one or more individuals has severe behavioral and mental issues. Two healthy and normal puppies will generally grow up together just fine. They may bicker a bit but there is unlikely to be any fighting to the death for you to worry about! Usually one is more dominant than the other, and while there may be some bickering for dominance once they reach maturity they will generally work it out. You do need to be careful not to try and switch the pack order though, since this can cause problems. For instance, an alpha dog will sometimes go over to a lower dog and take their sleeping spot. The lower dog usually has no problem with this and it's not a big deal. No aggressive interaction has taken place and both dogs are just fine and dandy.
Humans, however, feel bad for the dog that had to leave and will try to "fix" it by making the alpha dog get up and giving the other dog their spot back. More than likely you are making things worse because the dogs had already worked their hierarchy out on their own. That kind of thing helps confuse the pack order. Yes, YOU should always be at the top of the pack, but no matter what you do your dogs will also have their own pack order.

There are a few rules to follow that will make your life easier.

NEVER feed them together. The majority of bickering between dogs is for high value items, and food is considered a very high value item to a dog. Feed them in different rooms or in their own crates.

Do not crate them together. Let them have their own separate crates and keep them in those specific crates.

You may or may not want to give them items such as rawhides, chews, or bones together. A lot of dogs will ferociously guard that type of item and fights are more likely to break out when giving 2 dogs those items and allowing them to chew them together. It really depends on your individual dogs here. A lot of dogs are just fine chewing rawhides and such together, some are not.
You can prevent issues by giving that type of item to them separately in their own room or crate.

Do not lavish attention on one dog and ignore the other, especially if the other is higher in the pack order (USUALLY the newcomer is lower in the pack order, but this can switch eventually. You need to watch and know your own dogs and learn their behavior.).
Sometimes people do this when they feel bad for the dog that is lower in the pack order because the one that is alpha is getting more of the attention more of the time, or is getting attention FIRST. By trying to correct that you can screw with the pack order and cause bickering. Some dogs don't have issues with this either way, some do, you need to know your dogs. Just keep it in mind and watch for aggressive body language (one dog standing stiff, tail up or straight out, looking sideways at the other dog. Usually followed by a low growl. Sometimes hackles will be up but not always.)

Which comes to the next point, know your dogs body language. You really really want to start researching dog body language and behavior. This will save you more grief than anything else. Preventing fights BEFORE they happen is always easier than trying to break them up after they've already started.
You will want to learn what to do when you see certain behavior and what not to do. You will want to learn how to break up fights if they DO happen for some reason. There are correct and incorrect ways to do things and some reactions from you can make it much worse. Often dogs don't have a problem with each other until the owner perceives one and starts trying to "fix" the situation.

I would recommend some books, but I learned most of what I know from researching on the net and personal experience. I made lots of mistakes before I figured out how to properly work with dogs. I know there are people on here that could recommend some good reading though, so hopefully they'll chime in.

There are of course times when 2 dogs of same sex, or even different sexes, can not live together due to their individual personalities. 2 dogs that want to be alpha will not generally work out together because neither will submit, and this is where injury or death can happen. There is no reason for you to panic about this BEFORE You have any issues arise though. Your dogs will not just suddenly fight to the death, it rarely happens that way. You will see bickering and an elevation of aggression until it reaches the point of injury. MOST people recognize that the dogs need to be separated before it becomes fatal.

Frenchy
April 20th, 2010, 06:11 PM
While not common, it most certainly is true. I know a couple of people who run well oiled separated households so that no contact is made between the bitches in question. And these are people who raise and compete with very well behaved dogs.


not common as you mentioned. I fostered about 30 dogs so far , and owned 8 . About same amount of males and females. Never had any problems. :shrug:

other than with Churchill but that doesn't have anything to do with gender.

Gail P
April 20th, 2010, 06:54 PM
I think that when problems do occur between two females (or two males), it is often because they are not spayed/neutered and it is the hormones coming into play, creating heightened dominance issues. I have a friend who has several intact dogs and she has a couple of females that absolutely cannot be together because the alpha bitch would most likely kill the other one. This is someone who knows dogs, has well-trained working/competition dogs and occasionally produces a litter. On at least two occasions the alpha bitch has broken free of where she was being separated from the other and instigated a fight with the less dominant dog, both times causing serious injuries and I believe both fights occurred when the less dominant one was in heat or had just been bred (and the stress of the fight caused her to miscarry the litter). That time, my friend was out walking the less dominant dog on her 70 acre property and had the dominant one shut away. The instigating dog broke out of her own crate, moved another crate that was placed in front of hers (and I believe had another female in it at the time!) and somehow opened or broke through a door to get at the other dog. my friend has had to become even more vigilant about making sure that these two dogs can never be together. I'm not sure if it's just that particular less dominant dog the alpha doesn't like, or if it's only when she's in heat. The dominant one doesn't seem to have issues with the other dogs, most times my friend takes a whole pack of dogs out walking/running in her fields together (when nobody's in heat of course). One point worth noting is that these two females I mentioned were not raised together and were introduced as adults.

When these fights do happen, they really mean business. Luckily, they seem to be uncommon between dogs that are spayed and neutered. I've raised sisters together with no problems, brothers and sisters, brothers, unrelated puppies etc. I now have 10 dogs in my house and although they have some inter-pack squabbles they don't hurt each other and there certainly is no "fighting to the death". I also spay and neuter all of mine at about 6 months of age though.

mummummum
April 21st, 2010, 03:26 AM
Oh look... a five year old thread. :o

Goldfields
April 21st, 2010, 12:43 PM
It's very unlikely for any dogs that are raised together, no matter sex or breed, to fight to the death. The only time it happens is if one or more individuals has severe behavioral and mental issues. Two healthy and normal puppies will generally grow up together just fine. They may bicker a bit but there is unlikely to be any fighting to the death for you to worry about! Usually one is more dominant than the other, and while there may be some bickering for dominance once they reach maturity they will generally work it out..

I didn't read all of the posts here but Hazel and MyBirdIsEvil, you can't have had dealings with Australian Cattle Dogs. There are quite a few ACD kennels here where dog fights have led to death. I have reared 3 pups together, 2 litter mates , dog and bitch, and a bitch pup a month younger. Those two bitches got a set against each other and if they ever got together there would be no growling or hackles raised, walking stiff legged etc., they'd be straight into an all out fight, a kill or be killed fight. I had a friend who thought she could let hers establish a pecking order, I think that idea may have changed the day two of her dogs fought, and the excitement caused two of her bitches to start as well. She tried everything to separate the dogs, to no avail, and ended up having to whack one dog 3 times very hard with a shovel, taking strips of skin off his skull, then of course later she had to have his skull x rayed for possible fractures. One of the bitches got blood poisoning from a wound on a hind leg from memory. None of these dogs mentioned had severe behavioral and mental issues :D, they are just typical cattle dogs. I've been involved with the breed for 34 years and they've always been fiery, and a guy who bred them as far back as the 1950's told me they weren't as agressive now(being during the 80's when he said that) as they were back then. :eek: Most people can kennel a dog and bitch together safely and I imagine most would say the bitches were the worst fighters.

MyBirdIsEvil
April 21st, 2010, 01:28 PM
I have had dealings with Australian Cattle Dogs (often called blue heelers here), but I live in the U.S. They're a fairly common dog here.

It shouldn't be common for those kind of fights to break out. If it is I have to wonder why they breeders aren't spaying those bitches and refusing to breed them. If they're working dogs, then maybe they think that's acceptable behavior, but it's quite disturbing and should NOT be common in any breed. I disagree with the people that dispute it happens it all, but it should never be COMMON.

Those two bitches got a set against each other and if they ever got together there would be no growling or hackles raised, walking stiff legged etc., they'd be straight into an all out fight, a kill or be killed fight.

We're talking about puppies that are raised together 24/7, not two mature females that encounter each other suddenly. Two dogs that have been together 24/7 since pups don't just suddenly fight to the death. There will always be danger signs beforehand, albeit possibly missed by the owner. You said they "got set against each other", how/when did this happen? They're separated now, so you saw signs that there were issues, no?
Even the dogs you're referring to would show signs of aggression before fighting, even if fleeting. It only takes a split second for a dog to take an aggressive posture and than attack.

None of these dogs mentioned had severe behavioral and mental issues , they are just typical cattle dogs.

Are you talking about working dogs? Those dogs most likely aren't socialized with other dogs and expected to behave around other females. Also, the breeders are allowing the females that have severe territorial aggression issues towards other females to produce pups, so they're causing the issues to be passed on to future generations. In actual working dogs a lot of people don't care about issues like that because they're more interested in having the dogs excel at their work and an issue like severe female-female aggression may not be considered a problem.

The type of aggression you're referring to is extremely rare in non working dogs, or working breeds that no longer are used extensively for what they were originally bred.

For instance, you'll see the aggression we're referring to in sled dogs periodically because they're being bred SPECIFICALLY To excel at sledding and other issues aren't considered a huge problem. Most of the dogs are kept separated from other dogs, other than their own team and socialization isn't a concern.

This thread isn't about extremely high drive working dogs which are used for specific tasks though, because most pet owners are unlikely to come across that type of dog (most pet owners would be unable to handle that type of dog in general anyway). Severe female-female aggression on the level of fatality is still very rare, even if you consider it common in working breeds (which it shouldn't be), because that type of hardcore working dog isn't common anyway.

Also, your friend, I would venture to say, WAY misjudged how to handle the situation that led to her dogs being injured in that way. As I said before, most people recognize that type of behavior and separate dogs before it gets to that point. If she had several animals that got into an all out brawl like that because she was trying to get them to establish pecking order, it was a mistake on her part. Once she saw warning signs she should have simply separated them. Dogs never just SUDDENLY try to kill each other (other than severe mental or behavioral issues, as I said), people miss the signs that things are going in a negative direction.

There's reason to be cautious when raising 2 female dogs together, but I don't think the OP should be paranoid that they're going to fight to the death. It's unlikely to ever get to that point unless the dogs show huge issues with each other and they try to MAKE the dogs get along.

Also, as someone else mentioned, spayed females are less likely to have that type of territorial issue. I don't know that I've even heard of this happening in spayed females, though I'm sure it's a possibility. Hormones are a huge factor in dogs fighting, which is why you might see one female attack another female that hasn't seemed to provoke anything.

Goldfields
April 22nd, 2010, 12:15 PM
If all the dog aggressive cattle dogs had not been bred with, this breed wouldn't exist today. LOL. To breed dogs that could take a darn hard whack in the skull from a hoof and still want to work cattle they had to be a tough, hard and fiery breed. There are plenty of breeds that are basically dog aggressive, or even not so safe around people either.
And my bitches were reared together, they didn't just meet as adults. Nine week old cattle dog bitches have been known to take that set against each other, one woman told me about a pair she reared. Eventually, as adults they had an all out fight, with one of her males backing up the one that was winning, and they nearly, literally, tore the other bitch's head off. Two males can be as bad, one breeder came home to find a dog had scaled two high fences to fight with and kill his sire. That temperament is NOT rare or unusual, it becomes less common only when people keep just one or two as pets, and if that pair consists of dog and bitch then they probably could never imagine what those dogs are capable of. :D I agree my friend mismanaged her dogs, I did warn her they wouldn't work out a pecking order, but she learnt a hard lesson.
You wrote ....
As I said before, most people recognize that type of behavior and separate dogs before it gets to that point.

By that you are admitting that of course dogs are dogs and need to be separated, so why argue about it? They have to be separated if they take a set against another dog or bitch. I was warned never to leave my shelties together without supervision. A guy did that in England and came home to find one torn to pieces. Hard to believe? Not for someone who lives with a pack. (and I'm not including English Setters, Hazel, or a lot of other very friendly breeds) Shelties are not the sweet little fluffy lapdog they can appear to some.
The thread here is very old, so I wasn't answering the OP, I just disagree with you saying the fights don't lead to deaths. When picking up my supply of chicken for my dogs a while back I got talking to a guy who was really shattered that his lovely friendly Staffie bitch had killed a half grown pup he had ..... bet there have been an awful lot of people shocked by the aggro side of their ACD's too.

MyBirdIsEvil
April 22nd, 2010, 01:17 PM
I never said female dogs need to be separated :confused:. I said female dogs that have aggression issues toward each other need to be, and I never said otherwise in any of my other posts.

I wasn't implying your females had only met as adults. I meant that if they met NOW they would be meeting as mature dogs since they'd been separated.
What I mean by this, is while they were being raised together it's doubtful they were just fine and dandy and then one tried to kill the other. Dog body language and behavior generally doesn't work that way. There is an elevation of aggressive behavior in pups that have been raised together if there is going to be a problem, and people can miss the signs, but it's rare for them to be just fine and suddenly attack each other. If you believe otherwise, well, I'm just going to have to disagree. Even if this is the case with your females, I would have to say it was a rarity, because the large majority of dogs don't attack suddenly with no warning signs after being raised with another dog. I've met many owners that missed the signs, and were even warned beforehand, but still can't figure out why one dog attacked the other. I have seen a dog that would attack without any body language change (or at least not noticeable to me), so again, I'm not saying impossible, saying very very unlikely.

By OP I mean the person we're responding to now (the person who originally posted the question), not the starter of the thread. That should be obvious, so I didn't think it needed an explanation.

I don't think anyone suggested leaving 2 dogs that have aggression issues with each other alone together. That would be stupid.
If someone has dogs that get along just fine there's no reason to separate them all the time unless you're just paranoid (short of severe aggression history in the breed as a whole - most breeds don't have those issues). The MAJORITY (by far) of people leave dogs that get along alone together and nothing bad happens. There's no reason to separate dogs all the time unless the breed has a history of issues, or the dogs don't get along.

The incidents you're quoting are, even you admitted, are over 35 years of experience. And it's very few incidents. There are a ton of people on here that do rescue, foster, and some breeders, and fatal fights are RARE. I never said they were impossible, but they are very unlikely. Maybe cattle dogs there do have some history of issues with each other, but ones here don't, and obviously any breed that has severe same sex aggression issues shouldn't be left alone unsupervised.
We're referring to dogs in general though, and fighting to the death just isn't common. It's in fact, mostly unheard of.

Even so, I don't think our conversation is for nothing. The person that originally stated the question can at least decide what to do with her own dogs based on varying info. Even the few incidents that people have posted maybe will convince them to be cautious, but enough people posted otherwise that hopefully they won't just be PARANOID that their females will suddenly fight to the death or something.

Goldfields
April 22nd, 2010, 09:34 PM
Hmmm. I thought I had explained that yes, the breed has a bit of a history, and reputation for dog aggression,( only not in America:confused:) I happen to have been a member of American ACD groups off and on ever since I got my first computer and the advice I saw, time and time again, was for newbies not to get two bitches. LOL. I am not going to argue with you and fill pages with all the incidents I have been told of , you are ready to rubbish anything I say so it isn't worth wasting my own time.

LavenderRott
April 22nd, 2010, 10:36 PM
Hmmm. I thought I had explained that yes, the breed has a bit of a history, and reputation for dog aggression,( only not in America:confused:) I happen to have been a member of American ACD groups off and on ever since I got my first computer and the advice I saw, time and time again, was for newbies not to get two bitches. LOL. I am not going to argue with you and fill pages with all the incidents I have been told of , you are ready to rubbish anything I say so it isn't worth wasting my own time.

Interesting, isn't it, how those of us with vast years of experience are pooh-poohed when we offer advice or share knowledge?

Goldfields
April 22nd, 2010, 10:54 PM
Yes, it is interesting. I could have just said go live and breathe this breed the way I have, show them and breed them for 35 years, then we'll discuss all this again. If you have a lot of experience of Rotties, or like the one who warned me not to leave a pack of shelties together, no way would I disbelieve what you are saying, but that's just me. The shelties were a surprise to me from the start, not as capable one would think, of inflicting damage like a bigger dog, but they are rather hyper, I notice they egg each other on, and having seen some amazing aggression from a couple of the boys, then yes, with no-one there to stop them I can believe they'd kill. They're dogs, acting like dogs. LOL.

MyBirdIsEvil
April 23rd, 2010, 08:00 AM
Well, I'm sorry for questioning the statement that it's normal or should be expected for 2 female dogs, of any breed, to fight to the death, or nearly so. I notice all the posts of people it's happened to, so it must be quite common. (Notice there's only 2, it's mainly stuff that's been heard from OTHER people, not firsthand experience). Of all the people that have fostered dogs and bred dogs, it's quite rare to have massive fights unless the first signs of aggression go missed, or 2 females that have aggression issues are forced to stay together (Goldfields, you mentioned the one breeder that tried to get 2 females that had aggression issues with each other to get along and live together, which ended in tragedy - who said that wasn't a mistake? Did anyone suggest 2 females that are already fighting be forced to establish a pack hierarchy?)

I don't think anyone was pooh pooh-ing your experiences. My own experience and knowledge simply contradicts the statement that a fatal fight is likely to occur, so I've posted that. Even both your posts still indicate it's a RARE thing for that type of behavior to happen, because in all your years of experience, and all the dogs and owners and breeders you know of, it seems you only have a few examples of nearly fatal fights. I already stated I disagreed with anyone who said it was impossible or NEVER happened, it's just not a common thing. Of all the people that raise female dogs together the majority don't have severe aggression issues. Your examples also seem to be of intact females, and spaying generally does mute the aggressive behavior you're referring to.

That's my last post though, because I think it's just going to turn into an unproductive back and forth argument. We obviously disagree about how common or likely such behavior is to happen and have different experiences and knowledge, which is fine.

I do have 3 female dogs now, as I have before, so I'll let you know when they suddenly start trying to kill each other :rolleyes:.

Goldfields
April 23rd, 2010, 12:21 PM
If you proved you actually read posts and can keep things straight in your mind, discussions like this could be interesting, but it is tiring having to correct you . Your version is too twisted, sorry. :D

cassiek
April 23rd, 2010, 03:59 PM
Oi. This is just my own two cents, and I won't name names, but I think it's best when presenting our opinions and experiences to withhold the sarcasm, no? :shrug: It sure saves a lot of hurt feelings and anger I think. :o

I have HEARD (not MY personal experience) that certain breeds of dogs (both female and male) are more likely to fight with the same sex... (I have never heard of any being to the extreme of fighting to the death). I have heard of other's experiences with this when the dogs ARE spayed and neutered. However, I myself have never owned two of these breeds to verify this.

I have HEARD one of those breeds is a boxer, which I own, and Brynn never discriminates who she fights with... small, large, male, female, s/n or not, etc. so who knows... :shrug: But I do know of some rescues (there is a pitbull rescue in Calgary) who refuse to adopt to a home with a dog of the same sex already (I am guessing they are basing this on their OWN experiences).

Goldfields
April 24th, 2010, 01:29 AM
Had to smile when you said this , cassiek .....
Brynn never discriminates who she fights with... small, large, male, female, s/n or not, etc.

Sounds a bit like Cuddles, who I don't trust with any dog other than my male ACD, and she's even been silly enough in her old age to nibble on his face. Hope he NEVER retaliates. I don't know enough about other breeds to comment on them, but that is interesting that Boxers are like that . I see them as just big, lovable, happy clowns and can't even imagine them fighting.
(I have a visitor, must go.)

Love4himies
April 24th, 2010, 03:25 PM
It's very unlikely for any dogs that are raised together, no matter sex or breed, to fight to the death. ... issues arise though. Your dogs will not just suddenly fight to the death, it rarely happens that way. You will see bickering and an elevation of aggression until it reaches the point of injury. MOST people recognize that the dogs need to be separated before it becomes fatal.

Excellent, excellent post, MBIE. Wow, I think I can apply this to my cats too. As I was reading through it, I was thinking of Sweet Pea (she is very, very food motivated and dominant) and how she interacts with my other 3 cats and how they react to her.

Love4himies
April 24th, 2010, 03:27 PM
Goldfields, I am wondering if where ever you live they should stop breeding those lines of Blue Heelers :eek:. Sounds like those genes have some aggression issues.:eek:

luckypenny
April 24th, 2010, 08:25 PM
Well, at the opposite extreme, one may very well end up with a bonded pair that may be near impossible to separate. That happens too.

lindapalm
April 24th, 2010, 10:11 PM
I had a border collie and a sheltie, both spayed females. Both were introduced to each other as adults. I would never do it again. The border collie (the larger and newer of the two) always had to be the dominant one, and twice ripped open the back of the sheltie. The sheltie would fight back, but was a lot smaller, and didn't have a chance. They tolerated each other for eleven years, but just barely at times.

Goldfields
April 24th, 2010, 10:46 PM
Goldfields, I am wondering if where ever you live they should stop breeding those lines of Blue Heelers :eek:. Sounds like those genes have some aggression issues.:eek:

I live in their country of origin, Love4himies, Australia, and have been involved with the breed for 50 years, the first 15 through friends who had them, but I've owned and bred them since '75. ALL your "Blue Heelers", properly named Australian Cattle Dogs, come from here. They have always been known here for their dog aggression and reputation for biting people too, and yes, those genes must be coursing through your blue heelers' veins. :D
Back when some idiot(no other word for him) decided to destroy all the early records for dogs here, up to 1958, I (and a lot of other people known to have a passion for their breeds) received phone calls from the then librarian for our Canine Council, a Judge friend/Airedale breeder, asking us would be interested in saving these records. We quickly arranged a meeting and were given these records, I took the Kelpies, Border Collies and Cattle Dogs. Now, the reason I mention it is that back then it was rather nice the way they described their dogs, down to things like prick eared(standard for the breed anyway :D), exact positioning of spots, white tail etc.. (Today it's just blue , black and tan, or red speckle.) When people today start slamming the oppositions dog for having a white tail I just remind them it's in the genes , and the proof is in those records. But same goes for temperament. The same genes are there to this day. Incidentally, the records, when put into folders, were placed in our library - those that could be salvaged that is. Some breed's histories had been made into confetti by rats. :( I found only one ACD record damaged that way that the dog's name wasn't there, but I also knew of a dog whose papers were missing, and sure enough all details matched. I kept copies of the ACD papers(which will go to the Club eventually), handed the Kelpie records to a friend who is one of the top breeders here and she was going to do a copy for herself and the Club and hand the originals back to the Library, and after doing up the Border Collie records and copying them, I handed the copy over to the BC club and the originals back to the Library.
Now, that little bit if ancient history, in part, was just for those wondering what became of those precious records. Point is that , as my sister says, "Tigers breed tigers". In the 50's cattle dogs had to be kept well apart in the show ring because they wanted to fight and quite a few judges got bitten badly. Overseas judges, even today, get warned about them. From the 80's on I can still tell scary stories of how aggressive they can be, but hey, I've watched my dogs in action and no protective cow, guarding her calf, will bluff these dogs(they'll go straight for the face of a charging cow), and no hard kick is going to stop them. They need to be aggressive and tough. I actually laughed the first time I saw them herding sheep in the States.:laughing: Heavens, I knew one little bitch, named Snap, who, with the help of a Labrador of all things, could tip over a Murray Grey bull. I love the breed so not wise to get me started on them. :D

Goldfields
April 24th, 2010, 10:51 PM
lindapalm, amazing how aggressive the sheltie can be, isn't it? I mean some won't back off, even when it would be wiser to. :D Unfortunate that you had the hassle with your pair. Pity the BC was such a bully. I've actually known of a speyed cattle dog that killed a new pup the owner got. Tragic really. Poor baby.

hazelrunpack
April 24th, 2010, 11:23 PM
c1chelle, I hope all this talk of other breeds, other times, and untimely deaths is not going to make you despair of your two. Although some individuals in any breed can display aggression (either toward dogs or people) there is no reason at this point to believe that your two will be anything other than best buds.

I would suggest that you train the dogs together, but also give them each individual one-on-one training time with you so that they look to you (not each other) for leadership. The better you bond with each individually, the more control you'll have over their behavior. If something comes up that you don't feel comfortable handling on your own, you can always seek out the help of a professional behaviorist. Take it one day at a time, keep an eye on their body language, and above all else enjoy your new companions and don't worry overly much about a bad outcome.

14+kitties
April 24th, 2010, 11:29 PM
c1chelle, I hope all this talk of other breeds, other times, and untimely deaths is not going to make you despair of your two. Although some individuals in any breed can display aggression (either toward dogs or people) there is no reason at this point to believe that your two will be anything other than best buds.

I would suggest that you train the dogs together, but also give them each individual one-on-one training time with you so that they look to you (not each other) for leadership. The better you bond with each individually, the more control you'll have over their behavior. If something comes up that you don't feel comfortable handling on your own, you can always seek out the help of a professional behaviorist. Take it one day at a time, keep an eye on their body language, and above all else enjoy your new companions and don't worry overly much about a bad outcome.


:thumbs up Very well said hazel!!! One would almost think you know a thing or two about puppers. :p :laughing:
Good heavens, the stories I have been reading in this thread would turn most people away from having any dog. Vicious dogs like that would most definitely be put down pretty quick in this area of the world.
I have had at different times of my life a few young female dogs. They all lived together peacefully. IF there were any issues then they were corrected. They were never allowed to get to the point where they could rip another dog apart. We as owners need to learn to control the situation, not let the dogs control it. JMO

Chaser
April 24th, 2010, 11:32 PM
I have never raised two pups together and can't speak to the concerns regarding aggression, but I do have some input on another point.

My male was one when we brought our female (also one) into the house. They bonded instantly and have been inseperable ever since. It is entirely likely that your females will become bonded strongly as well and the problem becomes that they start to look toward each other for all their socialization needs. We realized too late that because our rescued female had aggression issues, we got caught up with her and stopped taking our boy to the dog park etc. It's taken a tonne of effort ever since to re-socialize him after realuzing that he had become less than friendly with other dogs and started to look to his sister to meet all his needs. So with the hope your girls bond well it doesn't mean it's 100% a walk in the park.

Other point: Spaying will save you major headaches and reduce the chances of dominance issues. That may have already been said and seems pretty obvious but I think it's really important.

lindapalm
April 25th, 2010, 09:11 PM
Goldfields, our sheltie was very small (I picked the runt of the litter) but she would take no crap. She would often try to get the BC bone by walking around her in circles, growling. I had to feed both of them on separate sides of the room just to keep peace. She was half the size of the other one, but didn't care. She was a very neurotic dog with the strangest habits I've ever seen in a dog, but we loved her a lot.

Goldfields
April 25th, 2010, 09:46 PM
:laughing: Sounds right, I can picture that. Here they call that 'tiger temperament'. My alpha bitch made us laugh. She had it and if we didn't walk fast enough when going out to exercise the dogs she'd be behind us nipping our heels. She was capable of putting every dog in their place. Funniest thing I have seen though was when I'd reared two litters, keeping two dog pups from one, while the other 'litter'(?) only comprised of a single pup, a gold bitch we named Sugar. I split the 3 pups up at feed times and for some reason Toby just would not eat. We sometimes had to put him on the grooming table and hand feed him, slowly because he preferred watching TV to eating. :laughing: Anyway, one day for some reason I had Silk, Sugar's mum, in with her at feed time and she let the cat out of the bag by giving a very quiet growl. Then I watched them closely and Sugar was not making a sound but was giving Toby the evil eye, daring him to touch his food. The very second that Toby knew that I knew what was happening, he started eating really well which I must admit surprised me at the time. Like, is that all you wanted, Toby, for me to tick her off? He's a dear little dog.
I love the shelties, Silk and Sugar in particular, have some very amusing habits, but Sugar is strange, she can bark and growl of course, but at feed time when the rest are in their usual feeding frenzy, barking so much we can't talk to each other, she never makes a sound. She puts herself in her spot for feeding and just waits silently. How I wish they were all like her. :D

cassiek
April 26th, 2010, 04:25 PM
Goldfields -

B is a very happy go-lucky, clown :crazy: In fact, I have heard that most boxers really never "mature", they spend most of their life acting like pups and I can believe it! :laughing:

B doesn't fight very often, but she has been known to. I think in her previous home she may have fought quite often with the owner's other dog and was very beaten up and neglected when I got her. I enrolled with her in obedience classes ASAP and started enforcing NILF, and she has come a long, long way from when I 1st got her. However once in awhile she likes to pick a fight with another dog whether its a male, female, smaller than her, bigger than her etc. :frustrated: I have been working on appropriate ways to break up a dog fight and it has helped alot.

99% of the time though she is just a dorky, goofy, clown! :lovestruck:

lindapalm
April 26th, 2010, 05:28 PM
Goldfields, we've had a lot of dogs, but NEVER one as strange or as smart as a sheltie. I could write a book about the weird habits she had. She was so smart it could actually be scary at times.

Goldfields
April 27th, 2010, 11:18 AM
Lindapalm, why don't we start a thread somewhere on shelties, mine have some funny habits too and at least we can give each other a good laugh.

Cassiek, I learnt all sorts of interesting things about Boxers just through mentioning them to a Judge friend the other day. She said here the Judges are told by the Clubs to severely penalise, i.e. send from the ring, any Boxer that shows any behaviour that leads them to think it would not be a great family pet. Rottie people want that also. Anyway, when I said I was surprised that they were guard dogs she explained how that face lets them grab hold and hang on, and be able to breathe still. I asked would she go into a yard with a Boxer and she said only if the owner was there. It sort of shattered my vision of them as dogs that are everyone's friends. I like a dog that guards, we need that here having so few neighbors now to call on for help, but Boxers might just be too exuberant for me. Love them though, and what a shame yours got messed up by her previous owners. Poor girl. Actually, some of the smaller Boxer bitches I've seen around shows would be okay, they are so feminine, with beautiful faces.

lindapalm
April 27th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Goldfields, if I told all the weird things our sheltie did, nobody would ever get one. We didn't know whether to scream or laugh at some of the strange things she did, but we wish she was still here to do them. Have you ever had a sheltie that walked on the whole bottom joint of their back feet instead of just on the pads.? Ours did, and she had bad callouses and towards the joint and it had to hurt. We were told that this is fairly common in shelties, is that true?

mummummum
April 27th, 2010, 06:46 PM
Lindapalm, why don't we start a thread somewhere on shelties, mine have some funny habits too and at least we can give each other a good laugh.

Yeah...would you guys get a room or something! :laughing::laughing::laughing:

cassiek
April 29th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Goldfields,

Before I adopted Brynn, I had also read about their strong lineage as guard dogs, but I have to say Brynn fails terribly in that area, haha! She never questions anyone entering the house or the yard and instead runs up to them and greets them with a wide grin on her face and her butt wagging! :laughing: :wall: I actually was looking for a dog who would be a bit weary of strangers, but that is not her at all. :crazy: However, my dad always reminds me that should I ever be in trouble, Brynn would come to my side. I'm sure any of my dogs would though if need be! :laughing: