first dog fight...

(12 Posts)
JessieEssex Tue 29-Mar-16 14:54:13

My ten month old JRT cross met my friend's eight month old border terrier today and they took an instant dislike to each other. Before they were even near each other they were snarling and baring their teeth. I have literally never heard her growl in anger before, only ever an 'excited' growl when playing with toys. We went for a walk with them and they were chasing each other around and randomly erupting into very vicious fights (which we broke up).
She is usually very submissive with other dogs - can it be the case that they just didn't like each other or was it the fact that they are both females, similar age, similar size? It did look like they both wanted to be 'the boss' of the other. I was really surprised by it and I worry that this has awoken some kind of vicious nature in her. My friend had also not seen her dog like this before.
Should I persevere with her meeting this other dog or should we accept that they don't like each other?

pigsDOfly Tue 29-Mar-16 15:46:48

I definitely think that dogs, like humans, meet other dogs that they just can't stand and likewise meet dogs they will instantly take a shine to.

My dog isn't generally open to many dogs and can be quite nervous, particularly around large dogs - she's small - but she's also met some dogs, usually about her size that she's really taken to; one we used to see regularly she's even push her ball towards so he could play.

In your case the two dogs are both in their adolescent phase and that could explain why they are being a bit pushy with each other - like a couple of lairy teenage girlssmile. If they're really fighting and in danger of hurting each other I'd keep them apart, at least until they're both a bit older and calmer, and perhaps then try to introduce them in a more controlled setting.

OrlandaFuriosa Tue 29-Mar-16 16:02:46

Terriers can be awkward, esp with each other. Our JRT detests our neighbours' border/ Manchester /something terriers and the detestation is mutual. Otoh, he's usually good either other jrts. But he hates chocolate Labradors and standard size poodles.

I'd try to walk them together a bit more, but if it continues give up. It's usually a question of establishing who is top dog. Once that's done, it should be ok.

OrlandaFuriosa Tue 29-Mar-16 16:04:13

Also, what looks like aggression is often fighting but playing at this age.

JessieEssex Tue 29-Mar-16 18:48:33

pigs there was definitely some teenage posturing going on!

JessieEssex Tue 29-Mar-16 18:50:01

orlanda they were definitely fighting - teeth bared, lips curled back, snarling and biting at each other. They were playing (albeit very aggressively) most of the time and then it would spill over into full on warfare!

SexLubeAndAFishSlice Tue 29-Mar-16 20:22:51

What's 'teenage posturing'? I have a Border Terrier and so does my neighbour. My BT is mostly ok with other dogs, but the neighbours hates every dog he sees. Except my BT. He thinks the sun shines out of her arse grin he absolutely adores her! It's very cute smile

JessieEssex Wed 30-Mar-16 11:38:18

sexlube I was referring to pigs' post about they acting like lairy teenage girls - they were both trying to be the 'biggest girl' I think!

Bubble2bubble Wed 30-Mar-16 12:00:07

You need to keep them both on leads until this can be sorted out. They may never love each other but with a bit of effort you can teach them to tolerate each other - they are both very young so it really should be possible.
I have introduced dogs using a stairgate before - one on each side so they can see but not get at each other, then nice calm behaviour is rewarded with a treat and encouragement. If they start to get snappy they are separated and you take a break.
I just caught a couple of minutes of Victoria Stilwell on TV at the weekend with a situation like this ( also with small dogs ) She handled it by having both dogs on the lead in the house - would be worth watching if you can find it in YouTube

cheerfulmary Wed 30-Mar-16 12:55:20

Both of these dogs are entering the second fear stage. I would avoid all contact with each dog until the dogs are older. In the meantime work on positive interactions with dogs that both dogs are happy with.

Leave it several months before introducing and then do this by parallel walking with a bit distance between the dogs no close interaction to begin with at all. Personally I would do this for several walks. Look carefully at the dogs for sign of a stress reaction eg sniffing, lip licking curled lips yawning etc, If you see this move the dogs away from each other.

dizzytomato Wed 30-Mar-16 13:17:37

My mini-pinscher does this to my labrador. He is 18 months and she is 11 months. She tolerates him but she doesn't like him. He cannot come to us for affection without her baring her teeth, we usually just firmly say no and she stops. Luckily being a labrador he doesn't retaliate and she is doing it less and less, when she first came to live with us at 6 months she was attaching herself to his face. It is interesting because we also have a German Shepherd and she doesn't attack or dislike the GS at all.

As your dog and your friend's dog don't live together it is unlikely that they will naturally establish order, so you will probably just have to keep them seperated which may never really fix the problem.

JessieEssex Wed 30-Mar-16 13:30:53

Thanks everyone - this is all really useful.

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