I have a question, and I thought maybe those of you with multiple dogs and/or more dog experience than me could answer or give some opinions:
OK. So, previously when the boys have fought, we have broken things up. This time we were not there, and it went until the end, when Angus laid down and Simon walked away. Or that's the story I got anyway.
Now: When they have fought, Angus has always been the one that's hard to dial down. He has never shown any signs of retreat or slowing or looking like he's thinking about stopping at all. I have the sense that it would be possible to get Simon to quit on verbal...he has looked like he's trying to stop when we've been there and issued commands, but it's Angus who keeps advancing and eventually has to be pulled off, at which time Simon is happy to walk away.
My question is: Now that they have had a big blow-out and it has been allowed to play itself out to completion without any intervention from us, what do you think the chances are that rank has once and for all been established? There's that pesky optimist in me again...but I would love to be able to think that maybe this has been settled between them.
I have posed this question to our behaviorist too, and am waiting to hear her thoughts. Wanted to see if you all had any experience with or thoughts about this.
I only have hormonal dog experience ! Goodness knows what goes on in their brains when that's not the issue ?
I'll be interested to find out !
It could have been but who really knows for sure. I've never had to deal with the issue, thankfully. My dogs are all below me, so there is no other rank besides mine. Any looks between anyone is dealt with immediately. Any growling over a toy is dealt with by me, immediately. Of course, I've had my dogs since birth so they know I'm alpha.
Personally, I don't think I'd trust the two of them alone again. One or both would be crated when I wasn't there to watch them closely.
♣ Laura ♣
I haven't had that problem either. But I have to agree with Laura. I don't think I would ever feel 100% comfortable leaving them alone together again. Just crate one or the other, or both.
I know this happened when they were being supervised by other people. That is a tough call. I still don't think I would let both of them be out together even if they were supervised by other people. I'd leave instructions that one must be crated at all times. They can take turns being out of the crate and getting 100% of the attention.
Maybe after a certain period of time (I have no idea...couple of years?) with no incidents, maybe I would trust them again. I don't think anyone really could have a definitive answer for you.
This must be really tough for you. I can't imagine how I would feel....probably a basket case.
Separated when not supervised is my feeling about it too, until I feel differently or someone (perhaps the behaviorist) gives me very compelling reasons not to feel that way.
For example, I can imagine that she might say that we know that the triggers are resources such as toys and food. They have not ever fought when it was not over a resource. So, if all toys and food are out of play when we're not here, they might be fine. Theoretically.
Even if she does say this, we would probably maintain heightened security measures, for a while anyway.
My dogs are below me too, but apparently one was not below the other. The question I have is, is one below the other now?
That SEEMS to have happened to us. The last fight we had, Jackson the older and smaller of the two ended up on the bottom and although he didn't walk away, that's where we were able to separate them. Since that time Jackson has clearly been the subordinate dog (and seems very happy about it). He instigates the play and seems to acknowledge Ben's ownership of a toy they had both been playing with when Ben gives the "look". I'm not saying I think it's necessarily over but it seems much happier here since then. There isn't any more of that stiff walking around and stiff tails. I'll wish you luck if you wish me luck with this!
My boys have never shown any thoughts of fighting, thank God, or even of having a serious argument. Buddy is the alpha, clearly, and Champ does not question that. Champ is always the one trying to instigate play, but if he has something and Buddy even goes near him, he gives it up immediately. If they are playing bitey face and someone gets a hard nip in and the other one yelps, they both immediately back off with concerned looks.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
Actually, dogs are more likely to fight when someone is there with them vs. you leaving them alone.
It may or may not have established dominance, Connie. I know that Dutch is a lot like Angus. Dutch is not really a fighter; he doesn't seem to know how, but he will provoke one.
As I put in your other thread; when I am on my best behavior keeping everything in control; things run smoothly. It's when I mess up that we have a problem.
I would not let your dad or anyone else they are not used to take care of them without you there. Like you said before, you know the drills; they know your drills...anything that can set that off when there is a spark between them is not good.
They can and might go at it again. Usually two dogs that have had words will have words off and on; females being worse than males. You might see Angus back off more quickly than before. I know Jax has moved up the ladder here and Dutch will not jump up on the bed if Jax is giving him the eye. I have to take control and say knock if off both of you, Dutch get your butt up here.
Okay, I'm rambling....sorry!
No, that's a good ramble.
I am in a way inclined to think there's less chance of them getting into it when I'm not here as well. Mom thinks this too. They tend to go to separate parts of the house and stay there. Angus goes upstairs, Simon stays downstairs. Every time I come home, unless I have dawdled getting in the door, I see Angus come down the stairs, and Simon come from the living room. That is exactly how Angus is: He doesn't have a clue how to fight, but he sure knows how to provoke one. You don't know Dutch's early socialization history, do you? I have always cracked Angus' up to being separated from his litter so soon.
Jackie, Angus was TERRIBLE at reading signals like a yelp when play-fighting when he was younger. As he gotten older, under Simon's tutelage, he has become much more adept at breaking things off when Simon says he's getting too rough.
I think we just had a perfect storm, with the inexperienced person, the beef, the variance from routine. I really hope so. Do I know that the same thing wouldn't have happened if I were here? I don't think it would...but I would have never set them up for failure that way.