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Change in dog's behaviour,,,

October 24th, 2012, 07:50 AM
We have 3 dogs, a rottie/chow mix(Chesny-11), a Boxer(Maxine-3), and a Great Dane(Marley-2). This issue has been going on now for a over a year, and dog"behaviorlist's" here have been no help. When we got Maxie, Chesny took the mother role of her they were inseperable. Then we lost our previous reat dane, and got Marley. Maxie took the mother role with Marley and Chesny let her. Everything was fine until Marley was about 7-8 months old(not sure if that has anything to do with it or not), they all got along well. Slept, ate, and played together. Then all of the sudden Maxie turned on Chesny. She started going after Chesny any chance she got. We spererated them completely, Maxie was not just playing, not just saying go away, she was going for maxium damage. With Chesny being so much bigger and stronger it wasn't safe for either to be left together. Nothing in the house changed, it just seemed to start out of nowhere. One day they were best friends the next Maxie wanted to kill Chesny. No other part of Maxie's personality changed, just that. So as of now, Chesny stays in our bedroom with the cat's most of the time, and the other two get their room and the house. I would love to see them all together though, it can be a bit inconnvient having to switch them around all the time, and to make sure that one set is locked up when we leave the house, but the biggest thing is I want them all together. One trainer we went to said that Chesny probably has a terminal illness and Maxie being a pack animal is just trying to kill her off, uhmm no-vet checked out fine other then old age. Vet checked Maxie no health problems there either. Another one told us, they probably just got irratated at each other and because we had seperated them for so long(at that time it had only been 3-4 months) that we could never get them back together and that we were awful parents for doing that, that we should have just let them fight it out, again NO. They were trying to literally kill each other, I would rather deal with the seperation then one be killed. Any thoughts??? As a side note, this has happened with Marley not being and being around the situation.

October 24th, 2012, 09:20 AM
Hmmm not sure what others will say but my take on it is this....

When you are not around I agree the dogs should be separated as the worst can happen.

But when you are around I find it sad that the dog that gets attacked is locked up. Personally I'd be watching for signs of aggression in the attacking dog. Those signs would be met with a command to simmer down and if the dog did not simmer down, then the attacking dog would be locked up or met with some type of non-aversive punishment (AS THE SIGNS OF AGGRESSION ARE BEGINNING). On the opposite end, gentle behaviours would be praised.

I would think that with obedience training that you should be able to get the attacking dog to calm way down. YOU are the leader and the attacking dog should see you as the leader and obey you when you say SIT! or No!
If this is not happening then for me this might well be a leadership issue. In this case your job would be to get the dog to see you as the leader.

That's my take but i would be very curious to hear what other people with more dog training experience would advise.

Good luck!

October 24th, 2012, 09:47 AM
The truth of the matter is that many of the working breeds (ie Boxer) tend to be same sex aggressive. As a general rule (and this is NOT always the case) dogs who are of a greater age difference seem to have fewer issues but dogs close in age can be a problem.

Honestly - you have 2 options. You can rehome the younger bitch and that is going to be tough - the new home will have to be carefully screened and understand that she must be the only bitch in the home or 2) you MUST crate and rotate. By this I mean, AT NO POINT IN TIME CAN THESE TWO DOGS EVER, EVER, EVER BE IN A ROOM TOGETHER.

I have seen a male dog go through a plate glass window to get to another male and male fights tend to be less violent that bitch fight. You can be sure that this is in no way, shape, or form something to be taken lightly.

IMHO - the aggressor should not have free run of the house, putting the older dog up in a room. At 11 years of age, your older girl is probably not going to be with you forever and would enjoy some time with the family.