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I need to consider re-homing one of our dogs...

(5 Posts)
silentcatastrophe Wed 29-Jun-11 15:53:41

He's lived with us for a year, and is now 18 months old. His running off behaviour is improving slightly, though he still cannot be trusted. More significantly, he and our other dog fight, and our other dog has had to be stitched up twice in the past month££££££. It is probably fightting over who's in charge. The vet thinks we should get rid of the younger dog. He's got sharp teeth and the older one hasn't. However, the older dog is pretty bloody annoying, and taunts the pup until he gets a reaction, then he won't stop until he has a hole in him. I've contacted the behaviourist about all this and am waiting for him to get back to me. Any ideas anyone???

Who is going to want a dog who runs off and who bites holes in other dogs? Outside with strange dogs, he's very submissive.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 29-Jun-11 16:22:59

If you must get rid of one, the kindest thing to do is rehome the most rehomable one i.e the cutest, most well trained one.

There are a few options before this, which I am sure your behaviouralist will go through with you. How much exercise do they get and is it enough? Does the older dog have somewhere to go to get peace from the younger one, if not can you create such a space? Does the pup get time out anywhere when it gets over excited? Are they getting enough mental stimulation?

silentcatastrophe Wed 29-Jun-11 18:20:52

The younger dog is very very nice. Today I took them out, with pup wearing a muzzle, just so he couldn't bite holes in the older dog, and he was being tormented. Although pup couldn't bite, the oldie did not stop. We have a crate and lots of dog beds all over the house.
They do have lots of runs and games and treats, and all are reasonably well trained (so I am toldhmm)
I think I may try a rattle tin with oldie, which has worked. Pup needs putting in his place too. I will take pup out on his own as well more often.
In a way, pup is an easier dog than oldie, but it could be hard to find a home for a dog that bolts and bites holes in other dogs. Having worked very hard with oldie, I do not think it would be fair on him to even think of re-homing him. Frankly I would like to sort the situation out. We have put masses of time and energy into all our dogs, and I don't like being in the situation we are in.

missymoola Wed 29-Jun-11 20:00:09

Have you tried removing all their toys from them for a few days? I have done this before when introducing a new dog so they have less to fight about. Also have them eat in seperate rooms.

poutintrout Fri 01-Jul-11 12:13:27

OP we had this problem with our two collies a couple of years ago. They would fight and we would be unable to get them to break it up. It got to the point where I was a nervous wreck & was keeping them apart to keep the peace. We got a pet behaviourist to come to the house to observe them and advise us on how best to tackle the problem.

She said that basically the dogs were trying to establish who was the more dominant dog. I and my partner hadn't been helping this because we had tried to treat them both equally like you would do children. The behaviourist suggested which of our dogs was more naturally dominant and advised us to reinforce his position by giving him his treats first, putting his lead on before the other dog, letting him go through doorways before the other dog etc. She also said that we had to stop the dogs dominating us by stopping them going on the beds and sofas and also told us to ignore the dogs more. Also apparently keeping them apart was not a good idea because it was disrupting the pack and we were told not to do this. She also suggested watching their diet and not giving them food that was too high in protein because that was adding to their aggression.

We implemented her suggestions and within a couple of weeks things hugely improved. They went from fighting several times a day to just once or twice a week. After a couple of months the fighting totally stopped. Two years down the road they have come to some kind of arrangement over dominance and it seems to us that each dog can be dominant in certain situations.
They still have little spats but (touch wood) it never goes beyond a growl and warning lip curl and now we are able to tell them "no" and they stop.

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