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Dog Aggression - Need Advice

November 9th, 2004, 10:09 PM
Hi there! I have a slight problem with 2 of my dogs. I have a male ****er Spaniel 2yrs old (neutered) and a 1 1/2 yr male Dalmation (also neutered). 99% of the time, they are okay but occasionally they go at it to the point of having to take them to the vet to get checked. They get along with the other 2 dogs (a 2yr male Shi Tzu and a 2yr female ****er) and never have any problems. The fight usually starts when they are playing with a ball or squeeky toy and the ****er becomes a little possesive. The ****er won't start the fight but he will growl at the Dal to let him know the toy is his. The Dal then picks the fight. I have to physically separate them and they don't calm down for a few minutes.

The ****er and the Dal are not food possessive or toy possessive with me or any other person. They play fetch and give up the ball very easily. They are a little treat aggressive with each other but never with a person. They wrestle and play occasionally (usually if it's raining and I can't take them out for exercise which isn't often). They nap together and otherwise get along great. It's only the rare instance when they fight (about once a month).

Any ideas on what to do? I have socialized them with many other dogs (I live in a small city in Korea and there are many expats with animals). There are no trainers where I live or animal behavioralists. Any help would be much appreciated.

KimBop - Male ****er Spaniel
KimChi - Female ****er Spaniel
SoJu - Male Shi Tzu
Cafri - Male Dalmation

November 10th, 2004, 01:02 PM
They vying for dominance over each other. Without proper training, it could lead to bloodshed. If you can't find a trainer, or someone who can help you there, talk to your Vet. Perhaps he/she can help you, or recommend a book to help you train them yourself.

Good luck!

November 10th, 2004, 08:07 PM
I have talked to my vet but he doesn't offer any advice. The main reason I think is I got the Dal from him in the first place and he assumes that if their is a problem, I'll return the dog. He does not want to take responsibility for the Dal again because the dog is more expensive than caring for a regular dog. He is on a special low protein diet because of a risk of kidney stones. He has had one surgery before I got him and that is the main reason he was abandoned in the first place (no longer show dog material).

My vet first suggested getting him neutered which I obviously did (as a responsible dog owner). That was about 6 months ago. Now he tells me to just give it time. Although there hav been less incidents as of late, I'm worried that he might pick a fight that will end in blood or he might pick a fight with my friends' dogs (play dates every weekend).

I'm asking for advice here because there are simply few places to get reliable training information where I live. Seoul has a few dog trainers and a good English bookstore but I can't exactly take my pooches on a 3 hour busride to get there. Ordering online is dicey as I have been burned twice already.

Anyways, help anybody??

November 10th, 2004, 08:14 PM
Here's a pic of him. Because of his early surgery and his special diet (lower protein to prevent stones) this is his full size. He's about half the size of a normal Dal but makes up for it in cuteness.

November 11th, 2004, 08:03 PM
I wish I could fly to Korea to help but until then here's my cyber shot.
They are close in age and probably close in temperment - vying for the dominant position with the toys. Make sure you have plenty of toys out for the 4 dogs - but they might still go after the same toy just like kids who are surrounded by hundreds of toys but fight over the one toy in front of them. It's not about the toy its about hierarchy.
The human is responsible for dictating harmony in the pack. As if a child were playing with bad manners, the parent should step in and correct it.
When you have any problem with a dog, don't avoid the problem - that doesn't teach.
Put the most challenging dog on the leash (Dal?) - so you have some form of control, and create the situation with the toy and correct the bad behavior before it starts - at the first sign of a growl, or lip curl or nose twitch. If the dog doesn't stop or listen to you it's a lack of relationship - love, trust & respect - with you.
Have the Dal on the leash and the other dog with you. Give the ****er the toy, let him have it for 15 seconds, say "drop it" and give it to the Dal for the same 15 seconds. Repeat this back and forth to teach the dogs that the toy doesn't belong to them it belongs to you, the leader. You are sharing it with them. You teach them how to play nicely, and correct any bad decisions and allow them to try again. Always give them another chance to choose better behavior and praise it with a soft, soothing tone.
Corrections can involve a firm, low tone from you, with a firm (not violent) leash correction and maybe even backing the worst aggressor up a few steps. You need to convey that any aggression is not tolerated.
You also need to be aware throughout the day when they are playing with a toy and be ready to warn them to be "easy" in a low, gentle but firm voice. This let's them know that the leader is watching and they will be more likey to monitor themselves. They need to choose good behavior out of respect for you.
You can also say "leave it" if you see one of the two approaching the other who has a toy. This helps them to understand that they are not trusted to play nicely together, and allows them to stop themselves early on.
Practicing everyday obedience with them throughout the day is very important in establishing your leadership. Dogs who are in 'recess' all day are in charge of themselves and more likely to have behavioral issues. Work with the worst dog until you start to see some changes. The dogs need to look to you for the answers. When they have a decision to make they should look to you for advice and you need to be ready with an answer. Increase your dogs' vocabulary, name everything in the house, give a name to all of the actions they can perform and start using that vocabulary. The more you ask of them the better they will be. When a dog does what you ask of it there is actually a chemical release in the brain that makes them more cooperative and obedient naturally. The more free time they have or if they blow you off when you direct them, then they get a little adrenalin rush which reminds them that you are not in charge.
They will not change unless you can change. Good luck and let me know how it's going or if I was not clear about something. I hope I helped.
P.S. check your private messages.

November 11th, 2004, 09:13 PM
Thanks very much tenderfoot. Your help is much appreciated.

Here is a pic of the rest of the gang. The male ****er is the one in the middle.

November 11th, 2004, 09:15 PM
Hound dog, your dogs are all sooooo adorable! Isn't it difficult taking care of the *ahem* potty needs of all four of them? I'm assuming you're living in an apartment, right? BTW, where are you located in Korea? I'm currently in Seoul, but moving to Daejeon very soon.

November 12th, 2004, 01:03 AM
They are all adorable. I have to say I am in :love: with your Dal. He is
so very very cute :angel:

November 12th, 2004, 01:25 AM
Hey Moontamara. You'll be moving my way. I live in JeonJu. Daejeon is an awesome city. Lots of stuff around the city to explore if you're outdoorsy.

The potty situation is quite..ahem...interesting. I have managed to, for the most part, get them to go to the bathroom on our walks or they go on the roof of our building (It's enclosed with a 4 foot wall). It's quite funny to see everyone freaking out when the four of them barrel up the stairs to get to the roof. The Dal, "Cafri" has a bladder problem, so I strategically place potty pads out on the balcony (which is never used). Because of my schedule, they're never alone for more than an hour or so at a time so it's not so bad.

The dogs are all named after Korean food and Drink. Cafri is a Korean beer. Soju, the Shi Tzu, is named after that oh so wonderful Korean beverage. The Spaniels and KimBop, a Korean snack and KimChi, which is fermented cabbage.
Koreans think I'm out of my mind with the odd names but no one ever forgets my dogs.

November 13th, 2004, 04:08 PM
Hound Dog,thank's for the pics,all your dogs are sweet,where did you get them from???I am assuming you did not bring them all from home :rolleyes:

November 14th, 2004, 08:01 PM
They were all born here in Korea.

The two ****er spaniels were purchased from a breeder. The Dalmatation and the Shi Tzu were both given to me by my vet. The previous owners didn't want them because they weren't "perfect." Soju , the Shi Tzu, was born with a hole in his stomach and needed surgery. He had a little bump on his belly from the surgery but he is otherwise the best dog a person could have.

Cafri, the Dalmation, had problems with urinary stones and also needed surgery. He'll never grow to a full size Dalmation because of the surgery and his special dietary needs. Everyone here mistakes him for a puppy but he is actually full grown. My fiancee complains when I take him for a walk downtown because all of the girls stop to check him out. :)

November 16th, 2004, 06:48 AM
Hound-Dog,I had this picture in my mind of you going to the dog-meat-market rescuing dogs destined for the dinner-table and that you would end up with an apt full of dogs :crazy: 4 doggies is a LOT of love :thumbs up

November 17th, 2004, 01:33 AM
Nothing like that...My fiancee has a soft spot for puppies and we took in the Shi Tzu and the Dal. Soju, the Shi Tzu, is actually going to Canada next month to be with my folks. They're coming for Christmas and taking him with them. My fiancee and I will stay here for one more year, move back to Canada and reunite him with the other three.

Getting a dog is fairly easy here as many unwanted dogs are left at the vet. The vet gives the dogs about 1 to 3 months for finding a home and if they can't find them a home, they put them to sleep. Many foreigners have gotten a dog or two from the vet. I couldn't resist taking in the Shi Tzu and the Dal as they are so cute. Best decision I ever made.

November 17th, 2004, 08:13 AM
HD,that's great :thumbs up You and your fiancee have your hearts in the right place :love:

November 17th, 2004, 11:18 AM
Hound Dog they are all gorgeous. :crazy: How I wish it was that easy to find small breeds up here in northern Alberta.