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Dog Fight - Yikes!!!

Chaser
August 23rd, 2009, 04:27 PM
So I'm dogsitting a 6 y.o. female lab X, and she and Kailey got in a fight about an hour after Rocket arrived today.

Rocket has already been here for two playdates and one sleepover. The first playdate all the dogs did a tiny bit of grumping at each other to figure things out, but on the second playdate and the sleepover I saw nothing but happy, playful behaviour between all of them.

This fight just seemed to come out of the blue! Both dogs are friendly. I can't tell who started it, but there was a ball in the room and so was Rupert. I have a feeling Kailey may have been "protecting" her kitty, but I'm not sure.

In the meantime I seperated them for a while and put all dog toys away. I always feed Rocket in another room when she is here as well.

Any advice from people with multiple dogs or fosters? Is one isolated fight likely to lead to another? I'm just so confused because I've been watching them like a hawk during all the prep visits and never would have thought this would happen.

The dogs aren't alone much due to hubby's odd work hours, but they will be twice this week so I will crate Kailey at those times to be safe.

(btw, no one was actually injured, including me, who stupidly jumped in the middle of it :rolleyes:)

Winston
August 23rd, 2009, 05:38 PM
If there is one thing I have learned from Winston is that when there is a ball involved...anything is game! he grabs it or snatches it and he doesnt really mean to he has connected a few times. but when there are other dogs that are toy driven or whatever you call it it never is a good plan! I say take all the balls and toys away for sure. Also you probably should pay real close attention to their body language and see if anyone is trying to be the dominant one....Kailey may just be trying to show the visitor that she is the pack leader!

CearaQC
August 23rd, 2009, 06:47 PM
I had an incident a few weeks ago when babysitting another dog. The argument happened while I was preparing their dinner and they were all waiting around the table.

So I corrected with a loud, sharp HEY! and told each one to sit and no one got fed until they were quiet and relaxed. That solved the problem.

I find that a loud noise will snap them out of it, then you can redirect their attention with a command.

Chaser
August 23rd, 2009, 06:53 PM
So I corrected with a loud, sharp HEY! and told each one to sit and no one got fed until they were quiet and relaxed. That solved the problem.

I find that a loud noise will snap them out of it, then you can redirect their attention with a command.

That was my first thought, but they didn't pay any attention. I had to pull them apart!

Do you think it's best to keep them separated if we're not home?

I've removed all resources that could potentially cause disputes....except the cat, who Kailey is kind of protective of. I also think Kailey may have felt cornered, and that's the only time I've seen dog aggression with her......if her space bubble is invaded and she can't move away. It's for that reason I'm wondering if I should gate Rocket in our office if not home.

Winston
August 23rd, 2009, 07:00 PM
If Kailey is crated she should be fine..how is Rocket with Chase?

Frenchy
August 23rd, 2009, 07:14 PM
but there was a ball in the room

I think that was it

(btw, no one was actually injured, including me, who stupidly jumped in the middle of it :rolleyes:)

I did that too .... more than once :wall:



So I corrected with a loud, sharp HEY!

I do the same (happened a few times) and it is so loud , they all stop and go to their 'corners' :p

You did good by hiding the toys .

You can try introducing them again (dogs I mean) I would suggest while your hubby is there so you can both supervise. (I know , it's kinda nerve racking :sad: but try to be calm) It may not happen again ... also be careful while you prepare their meals , like CearaQC mentioned , it can easely get one protective.

While nobody is at home , can you separate Rocket from the others ?

luckypenny
August 23rd, 2009, 07:16 PM
I always remove all toys and pick up all bowls save for two or three water bowls when a new dog arrives. At least for a week or so until they've all settled with each other.

In my case, I no longer interfere in any squabbles (ie corrections) other than to redirect their attention because it only serves to drag on it on. In addition, it doesn't really matter "who started what" because for the most part, I was always wrong :rolleyes:. It took a while to realize that I was soooo off base when I thought that Ava didn't like other female dogs and was potentially aggressive with them because her and Penny were always bickering when it came to playing with Lucky. It was Penny, the constant instigator/pain in the butt :evil:, that Ava simply found annoying and was only letting Penny know...the way dogs communicate :shrug:.

Do you think that because it's Kailey's home, she's simply letting the others know the rules? Is Kailey usually crated when you're not home? Separating them while no one is there to supervise is a good idea but I don't think that Kailey is the one who should be crated if she normally isn't.

Sylvie
August 23rd, 2009, 07:17 PM
Chase_Mom you did the right thing. The only thing at that point was to separate them.

When Greta and Shadow had a fight. They were both excited and Shadow did not like what Greta had done so she went after her, of course Greta would not back down, so they went at it. The only thing we could do was separate them. Then after that it was as if nothing happended. Of course DH got the worst of it. You never get in the middle.

How are they acting together now. Are they avoiding each other or are they acting as if nothing happened.

Also work on Kailey, let her know that you will protect kitty not her. Sounds like she thinks she is in charge.

I would separate them when you are at work, even if it is only for your peace of mind. That way you will know nothing is happening.

p.m. me if you need additional advice.

Sylvie
August 23rd, 2009, 07:22 PM
LP is so right, you never really know who started it, and it may never happen again.

Chaser
August 23rd, 2009, 07:46 PM
Kailey is avoiding Rocket a bit, and growled at her once since their arguement.

We've decided that Rocket will be baby-gated in the office whenever we're not here. Kailey hasn't been crated in nearly two months so I don't feel right putting her back in. Rocket is f-a-t and not exactly agile so no chance of escape.

We just did a test run while we went to the grocery store and Rocket didn't make a peep, so she seems to be okay with being confined to one room. She'll have a bed, water, her food and a bone, and it's a decent size room so I think she'll be fine.

Anytime they're not separated like that all toys/bones will stay in the closet. Rocket goes out on the deck when I dish out Chase and Kailey's food and while they eat.

No problems between Chase and Rocket. Fortunately he's of the opinion that if a dog even curls their lip at him he should run and hide :rolleyes:

It's just weird after other playdates of getting along, sharing toys, etc. that this would happen. :sad: You're right LP that you never can tell what they communicate to each other.

Thank you for the advice everyone, and I will be sure to ask if I need more help!

luckypenny
August 23rd, 2009, 08:17 PM
It's just weird after other playdates of getting along, sharing toys, etc. that this would happen. :sad:

Ahh, but there's a difference between playdates and longer term housemates. Don't let it get you down, Chase_Mom :). It's normal doggy behavior and they'll work it out soon enough. You're doing great by managing all the things you can ie. toys, food, resources, etc :thumbs up. Interrupt if you have to, like others have said, by making a loud noise, whistling, re-directing them outdoors or to a game of sit/stays/treats etc. Just remember to keep your mood upbeat and don't stress or they'll pick up on it.

Oh, and make sure to remember picking up Rocket's food bowl and bone as soon as you return home too.

Chaser
August 23rd, 2009, 08:39 PM
Ahh, but there's a difference between playdates and longer term housemates.

This happened within the first hour though! Totally caught me off guard.

Just remember to keep your mood upbeat and don't stress or they'll pick up on it.

Very good point!

Oh, and make sure to remember picking up Rocket's food bowl and bone as soon as you return home too.

Don't worry, even when they were getting along on the playdates I never let them in the same room when food was down. Same principle applies to bones....too high value! They'll be put away before I allow Chase and Kailey into the office.

Shaykeija
August 24th, 2009, 09:36 AM
Well with four small dogs we get our share of "it's all mine and you can't have it" tussles here. But them being so small, they just get picked up and separated and toy get put away. But the snarls are impressive. I should tape it on my answering machine. LOL keep the phone solicitors away.

Chaser
August 24th, 2009, 09:45 AM
But them being so small, they just get picked up and separated and toy get put away.

LOL.....I wish I had that option! Unfortunately at 65 and 80 lbs. I think I'd hurt myself.....:rolleyes:

Chaser
August 24th, 2009, 05:31 PM
Well, no further problems today. They seem to be past whatever the issue was and Kailey has even gone up to Rocket a few times and gave her kisses. :shrug:

I'm sticking to the plan though and not giving them anything to get in another fight about :rolleyes:

Poor Rocket seems pretty homesick though :sad: Whenever we're not distracting her out in the yard or with a tummy rub she lays in front of the front door waiting for her Mommy to come get her.

mollywog
August 24th, 2009, 06:27 PM
aww poor Rocket! I am sure she will settle in within a couple days (here's to hoping! :highfive:)
I have been in the same situation before- Molly gets posessive of things in her house and won't back down about it, especially food. she once went after a friend's dog because he was licking crumbs off the floor! By the sounds of things you are keeping them supervised all the time, that's great. And watch out if they get in a tight space together.
Hopefully they will all be fast friends... then you can post some playtime pics! :D