Hi all, I know quite a few have read my story of Jed and Elsa the brother and sister we have. I think in my last post I mentioned that Jed (the boy) is now starting to get a little bit aggressive with his sister Elsa. When we give them both a bed Jed just goes mad and wants Elsas and the other day it got really nasty so now we can´t give either of them a bed as it causes a fight. Last night we had another incident where Elsa was sat by my feet when I was sat on the sofa and Jed then suddenly just went for her, barking and growling and really roughly - this definately was not play fighting. Someone mentioned that we really have to try and nip this behaviour in the bud but I really don´t know how to do this - can anyone help?? They generally get on really well all the time and have separate time alone, separate walks etc but lately it appears that Jed is getting really possessive and jealous - any advice or experience with this would be very much appreciated. Thank you all from sunny Spain
Don't know how old these 2 are but that is bizarre behavior if he is being actually aggressive towards a female. Do you have access to a dog trainer in your area? I really think you need to have someone knowledgeable in dog behavior see what you are describing.
In general it's a bad idea to have litter mates in the same home and you may better off rehoming one of them.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I definitely agree with Sharon, you need a professional to figure out what is going on before one of your dogs is injured.
Sounds like Jed needs an attitude adjustment. Does he ever hurt Elsa?
Years ago we had brother/sister German Shepherds. The male was territory dominant and the female was food dominant. Whenever the growling started, I came down on both of them, forced them to "make up". It never got out of control.
That is some bad agressivness.
Hi all, thank you for all your comments. Firstly, Tammy - I also originally come from near Oxford - in a small village called East Hanny - near Wantage. I moved to Spain in 1993 and never went back! Nice to see a familiar place on the Forum. OK - regarding the babies. We actually tried something else last night. We put down quite a large rug and they both sat there all night together with no bickering or fighting. What I am trying to do now is if I see or hear one of them growling I clap my hands really loud and say No and eventually they do leave each other alone. I completely know that what we did was the wrong thing but I just couldn´t put Jed in a dog home here. I, of course, don´t want either to get hurt but also it would absolutely break my heart to re-home one of them - I would not be able to choose. My husband is more drawn to Jed but I am more so to Elsa although they are both treated very equally. I thought it was strange a male getting aggressive to a female. I have been looking at dog trainers/behaviourists but here in Spain we are a bit behind with this and there isn´t half the availability as in the UK or other countries. I have found an English lady here actually that also looks after dogs in the daytime, offers dog walking services and dog socialisation & training. I might take him there. To be honest, they could both do with a bit of training. From what I have read on here it seems better if we take them separately - is this the general view or could we take them together? Thanks everyone for all your advice and help and any other ideas or views would be so much appreciated as I love them so much!
I see no problem with taking them together providing that they each have a handler and it isn't just you taking them.
If the agression persists I would seriously consider castration unless he is already neutered. How old are they ?
I agree with those who recommend a trainer, someone who is experienced and knowledgable with dogs to come see them and assess the dogs. But not if this is an option? Not just someone that "has had lots of dogs and knows dogs" but someone that has studied dog behaviour.
my other recommendation would be NILF (nothing in life is free) for both of them. WHile the issue is deeper than this, placing yourself as top dog in the family (both humans at the top of the chain) will help. Sometimes you cannot treat dogs EXACTLY the same because one will take it and run. It sounds like the boy needs abit of a reality check on who runs the show. He should have to work for everything he gets including food, treats and attention (affection). While it may not solve the issue between the dogs, it will ensure you have control so you can step in when things get out of hand.
They need time apart, not sure if you do this. Separate walks, separate special outings, just....time apart. regularly (more than once a week). so I recommend NOT TAKING BOTH (even if you each handle one), they need a break from one another. And yes, even if one if your and the other is your husbands, you should both go with the dog in the class (if teacher allows this). I think you need to make special points of going to the dog that ISN'T YOURS to establish a relationship. This means when you take one dog on a special outing, it may not be "your dog" nor should it always be your dog. You both have two dogs, even if you each have a special tie to one.
ETA: are they neutered (spayed)? Is this something commonly done in spain or do people usually keep their dogs intact? The male is coming into maturity at his age (If I recall correctly they are about one), be he neutered or not, but neutering may. Plus, if she isn't spayed and hasn't already, she may be into heat at any time at which time they need to be separated by doors and walls for many weeks.
Last edited by Tanya; 11-11-2011 at 09:02 AM.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Hi, thanks for your comments. Yes, they are 1 year and 1 month now and Elsa has been spayed. Jed is going to be neutered on Wednesday. In Spain it is common practice for them to be altered also. They have a big thing here on people who do not take responsibility for unplanned puppies etc. They are quite strict with some things here, in that if you do not have your dogs micro-chipped it is a 300€ fine. Also when you walk them you always have to have your paperwork with you otherwise again, between 300 & 500€ fine! I have actually read up on NILIF and we are actually trying to do this as we want them to know that they have to work to get the ´nice things´ ie treats, cuddles etc. Even though we do do some things with them apart I think you are right in that it is not enough. My husband yesterday took them to see his parents who were in a little bar near our house. He was fine and went off happily, well behaved in the bar etc. I agreed to stay in the garden with Elsa and play with her a bit and do some training etc. BUT - as soon as Jed left she was not interested in playing or doing anything and just sat around isolating herself. I know this is a result of them always being together so we are going to increase the time apart as I feel Elsa is much more dependant on Jed as normally she loves playing more than Jed!! My husband is not working until March so he is with them all day and he has said that every day he is going to do something with one of them apart especially for Elsa so she gets more confidence on her own. I also have some time off in a couple of weeks and we are going to go to see a trainer twice a week but she feels it is better we take them on their own as since they have been together for a year, they may still distract each other. It is so strange as they are both so different. Elsa is so affectionate and playful, exciteable but Jed is so laid back and easy - he is so well behaved in public places and doesn´t get over excited. Elsa is the one we had first for 6 weeks on her own so I really thought it would be the other way round!! I really appreciate all your good advice as I think this is going to help me find the right way with the 2 together as they are both so lovely. We really want to try and correct the fact we got 2 and maximise their characters as much as possible so they are both happy, stable doggies! Lots of thanks to you all and keep your advice coming!