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Okay I'm at my wits end. I have a 3yr old bitch who from time to time has always "had it in" for my 13yr old bitch.

 

BUT the last few days it has really escalated. I'm talking she will jump her grab her by the neck and not let go..I have to go in a grab HER by the collar and pull her off.

 

History: The older dog is in NO WAY starting this..when the younger one starts she will turn around and curl up and lie down..There is no food/toys/me or anything I can zero in on that sets her off. She just wants to fight her.

 

I watch them like a hawk (they are seperated unless I'm there) as soon as she shows any signs of aggression I will step in an order a sit..however she is like a heat seeking missle and once she "zones in she ceases to hear. I tried various thing..but I do believe aggression gets aggression..so what seems to work best (though has not stopped it) is I try to command her as soon as I see her start. If she jumps the other dog I pull her off..drag her back a few feet and quietly say down..she will go right down and stay there until released..Just now I left her there for 30 minutes..

 

She is just coming out of heat so don't know if that is helping things or not. I'm just at my wits end..Will even admit the thought briefly crossed my mine to get an e-collar.!!!

 

This is already long but believe me I've tried all the usual stuff.

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When you see signs of the one locking in on the other one, have you tried separating them actually into separate rooms?

 

I can't remember where I heard this suggestion, but what I heard was to separate them into different rooms (using a neutral and matter of fact demeanor) and leave them separate for exactly one minute. If the situation is diffused by that, good. If not, repeat, again separating for one full minute.

 

I have used this approach with good result. Different dogs, of course, different situation, but similar in that the one dog was locking on on the other and things would escalate from there. Again, I can't remember where I heard the suggestion, but the one minute of separation (not more, not less) in separate rooms was the important key, along with separating at the locking in.

 

It might be worth a try. It sounds similar to what you are doing, but different enough that it could have a different result.

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We're going through a bit of that right now. Dew 5, is after Raven 12, Raven has always been top bitch, I feel Dew is trying to take over. Raven has gotten weak in her old age. Dew knows this.

 

I manage closely. I refuse to let Dew win so it's up to me to watch like a hawk. It'd be easier if I let dew take over but not going to happen.

 

And I don't think separating them in other rooms for a minute will work (sorry Kristine) but once they are in it, it takes something pretty strong and not aggressive actions (because aggression begets aggression here) to deviate or turn the mind to other things. Like your "lie down". I use something more exciting...like lets go outside, wanna work sheep. or hey wanna eat. It snaps the brain out of the attack mode, although I've seen Mick (my aggressive male) hold a grudge for quite some time for no apparent reason, but I think it's just that, no "apparent" reason. there's always a reason, I'm just not seeing it or understanding it.

I also think that a very submissive dogs seems to where a kick-me sign on it and some dogs just feel the need to oblige. (I have one of those...poor little dear)

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And I don't think separating them in other rooms for a minute will work (sorry Kristine)

 

It's interesting that you say that since it actually did work with the dogs with which I did this. It is certainly worth trying, especially if one is considering something extreme.

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One minute..that's interesting..wonder why one minute? I have taken her and put her up but has not been exactly one minute.

 

As far as something more exciting I've tried that..when she goes into attack mode she ceases to hear..She don't care.

 

Another thing when I see her starting and tell her to sit or down she will in fact speed up and dive in. This is a dog that will down at 300 yards the first time you tell her.

 

She latches on so hard that when I grab her and pull her up she is lifting the other dog up to..I have to grab her over her nose and push her lips into her teeth to get her to let go. On the plus side she has never broken skin on the other dog.

 

The older dog has never been top dog and doesn't care to be. The younger one gets on fine with my other 2 dogs..So I really don't know where this is coming from.

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The flucuating hormones can certainly contribute to this so, depending on breeding plans, spaying the younger dog might help ease the situation. If you're not going to spay, I'd just plan on keeping the dogs seperated. Bitch on bitch agression can be truly nasty and the older dog has got to be really stressed by all of this.

 

With this sort of history, I wouldn't try to train it out/or set up training senarios. Why continue to put the older dog in a situation where she could get attacked and possibly killed?

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I catch Mick before he ever goes in for the "kill" so I catch him before his brain has gotten all the way there. btw he has never drawn blood but his intentions are very intimidating to other dogs.

 

I don't think it would work Kristine cause this is bitch on bitch agression, not dogs just getting in a tiff.

 

I tend to agree with Mara, it is dangerous to the underdog. If left unchecked I think it will worsen. But since we live with it here I do know it can be managed.

 

Let me know if the one minute treatmeant works for this situation. I'm still not a beliver.

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Frankly I can not believe you are letting it get to the latch on point.

I manage three dogs that would kill each other. For two of them it would be just major injuries but the other are an old auto immune Border Collie vs a 6 year old perfectly healthy German Shepherd. NEVER are they to touch. They are only in the same place with me. And at that point if I can't guarantee to get there in time, they are separated.

Part of achieving that was not by me being nice but by driving home the point that I am not to be ignored and bad things will happen if they continue. It is an extremely uneasy truce and I hate it. But these two digs have hated each other from first sight.

To me, the second the dog makes contact it has achieved it's goal partially. Diving in and beating you to it screams challenge to me.

Now, maybe I have no right to post this since I don't have any good advice rather than some more power on your part and some serious management considerations.

I would rehome my younger dog in a heartbeat even to keep my old gal safe. The anxiety your old one has to live with being under constant attack is scary.

In my case it is actually the old geezer that instigates most of the time and she is also on the hook when things escalate.

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I agree with others that it may not be worth stressing the older dog out. At her age she shouldn't have to be so stressed but separating the 2 in the same house is a lot of work I would imagine. However, if it does happen again my suggestion is to keep them together afterwards. Have them both lay down next to each other until she is completely calm (not just 2 minutes but as long as it takes for her to basically be asleep). I think separating dogs after a fight is the worst idea and why it typically does not work (especially after real fights). Imagine if you got into a fight with a person and someone dragged you away from them...imagine how you would feel the next time you saw them? Instead, if you stayed together and worked things out you may feel better about them when you say each other again. Same thing with the dogs, if the last memory they have of each other is laying together calmly it can at least help to not make things worse. Obviously this is just my opinion but I have seen it work before plus it just makes sense to me more so than separating (it is not like the bad dog is thinking about what she did and why it was wrong like a kid would in time out).

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II think separating dogs after a fight is the worst idea and why it typically does not work (especially after real fights). Imagine if you got into a fight with a person and someone dragged you away from them...imagine how you would feel the next time you saw them?

 

Honestly, I would rather be separated, with a minute or two to cool down, than be forced to lie side by side with the person. After that separation, I expect I would feel more inclined to try to work things out because I would have had a minute to breathe, get calmer, and normalize a bit.

 

Of course, such comparisons between people and dogs are imperfect, but I can definitely say that I would not want to be forced to lie side by side with someone with whom I just had a fight. That would probably make me angry with the person who forced me to do that, where I would be grateful to the person who gave me the chance to have some space.

 

If the last memory they have of each other is laying together calmly it can at least help to not make things worse. Obviously this is just my opinion but I have seen it work before plus it just makes sense to me more so than separating (it is not like the bad dog is thinking about what she did and why it was wrong like a kid would in time out).

 

I can see what you are saying, and I think that's why the one minute, and no more, is important. Once they have a chance to calm slightly, they are together again, and they get the chance to interface more calmly (if, in fact, they are able). That might be why more time is not recommended.

 

I can say that I tried having them sit together before trying the one minute separation and it led to more hyperfocus and posturing between the two. They did not work it out or become calm, as they did when they got the one minute to regroup. In this case, the one minute separation not only diffused the situation at hand, but helped both dogs learn better cope with each other.

 

Obviously, it won't work with all dogs - if they pick right back up where they left off after the separation after giving it a fair amount of tries, I would be seeking more extensive help. But, again, it is worth a try.

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I can say that I tried having them sit together before trying the one minute separation and it led to more hyperfocus and posturing between the two. They did not work it out or become calm, as they did when they got the one minute to regroup. In this case, the one minute separation not only diffused the situation at hand, but helped both dogs learn better cope with each other.

 

 

With the situation you describe here I would say that you did not wait long enough. Eventually they will calm down...even if it takes an hour, 2 hours, whatever. You have to be patient. I just went over this with a friend who has a dog who goes banana's when the doorbell rings. They put the dog on his mat but they wait 5 minutes tops before releasing him and then wonder why he is still running around barking. They just didn't wait until he was completely calm before releasing.

With the fighting though, there is never any one right answer. The only thing you can do is keep trying different approaches or choose to separate all together. It is such a tough situation and I applaud people who do their best to work things out between their dogs. I wish you the best of luck.

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The flucuating hormones can certainly contribute to this so, depending on breeding plans, spaying the younger dog might help ease the situation. If you're not going to spay, I'd just plan on keeping the dogs seperated. Bitch on bitch agression can be truly nasty and the older dog has got to be really stressed by all of this.

 

With this sort of history, I wouldn't try to train it out/or set up training senarios. Why continue to put the older dog in a situation where she could get attacked and possibly killed?

Do y'all remember Melanie posting something similar--how Jett had it in for Fly when Jett was in heat, to the point where Melanie was seriously concerned about Fly's safety? I think in her case it got somewhat better when Jett was completely out of heat, and spaying Jett made a big difference.

 

FWIW, bitch on bitch aggression is pretty hard to stop. My two oldsters have never liked each other. Fortunately for me it never really escalated beyond "fly bys" and similar, but even today I would NOT leave them loose together in the house if I'm not here (and never would). Now that one is 15 1/2 and the other is 14 1/2 I liken their behavior to two little old ladies whacking each other over the heads with their patent leather purses. (I'm telling this story just to illustrate that many times bitches don't forget and move on. To this day if one or the other of these two dogs is confined and the other not, the unconfined dog will do things that are a form of harassment; for example, if Jill is in her X-pen in the house, Willow will go lie in front of it and stare at Jill. It won't go beyond that while I'm in the house, but if I were to leave, Willow would escalate and Jill would react, and not in a nice way. These are dogs who have lived together for 8 or 9 years now, and they've been managed, corrected, separated, etc. Nothing actually ever changed *their feelings about each other.* Period.)

 

But seriously, I absolutely would NOT want to allow this to continue *in any form* for the sake of the older dog. That poor dog does not need to be bullied by the young bitch. You're catching the worst of it, but I'd be willing to bet that the young bitch is harassing the older dog in ways you don't even see.

 

Unless you think you can *always* be there to stop it, and I'm sorry, but letting it get to the point where the younger dog has the older dog by the neck is letting it go way too far. It's completely unfair to the older dog, especially if she's doing nothing to instigate it.

 

Frankly, I would separate and manage that way. The older dog ought to be able to hang out in the house without fearing for life and limb, and I don't believe for a minute that any idea like forcing them into proximity is going to help the situation. It will just continue to arouse the younger dog and make the older dog feel threatened. At this point, I'd imagine the older dog doesn't even expect that it can look to you for protection. If you think you'll always be paying close enough attention to stave off an attack, you're kidding yourself.

 

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I have heard more than one story of younger dogs killing older dogs, and bitches especially don't tend to let things go (that is, I don't think that she's going to de-escalate over time).

 

If one is crated or confined to a room while the other is out, they probably will both be happier and all of you will be able to relax.

 

And I think the ideas regarding putting them together might work if both dogs were behaving aggressively, but it sounds like the older dog is doing everything she can to avoid confrontation, so forcing her to sit next to the aroused dog isn't going to help with that arousal because the older dog is already (per the description) trying to avoid a confrontation.

 

J.

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I agree with G. Festerling on this one. There is quite a difference between "scrapes" between dogs and seriously antagonistic behavior. It looks like you have the latter. I've had scrapes (usually between males) that were resolved with slight intervention. And it took me three months to work together my German Shepherd bitch (she really was one) with a Dalmatian guest before they actually became buddies. But my experience with antagonistic behavior between dogs that have been together is that it is extremely difficult to work them back together once they've gone at it, and you can always have a repeat with greater severity.

 

Now, my experience with this type of behavior is with Smooth Fox Terriers, not Border Collie's, so take it for what it's worth. Terriers tend to be scrappers by nature.

 

I am with those who say it's not worth subjecting a 13 year old to the stress or chance of injury.

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If one is crated or confined to a room while the other is out, they probably will both be happier and all of you will be able to relax.

 

Didn't see this before I posted my response, but crating is exactly what I did with my SFT's. I didn't find it inconvenient at all, but I did have kennels outside as well.

 

There was never any posturing from the loose dog outside the crate of the confined one either. So it worked out fine. If you find a similar set up works for you, your life will be a lot less stressful!

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With the situation you describe here I would say that you did not wait long enough. Eventually they will calm down...even if it takes an hour, 2 hours, whatever. You have to be patient.

 

Actually, what I had to do was evaluate the situation and make the best judgment call based on what I saw. My judgment was to find a way that was more appropriate for the dogs. I found one and the problem was diffused in a way that was right for them.

 

I'm pretty patient and will wait out whatever I need to wait out. It was very clear in this case that the situation was only going to escalate, and separating them (for the one minute) was absolutely the right move.

 

I just went over this with a friend who has a dog who goes banana's when the doorbell rings. They put the dog on his mat but they wait 5 minutes tops before releasing him and then wonder why he is still running around barking. They just didn't wait until he was completely calm before releasing.

 

The situations are not comparable since the safety of the doorbell was not at stake, though.

 

That said, if the dog was triggered by the doorbell, I would work the RP from a different angle before adding the doorbell into the picture.

 

But that really is going off topic, so I won't go there. :)

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RoseAmy, I am so sorry to hear this. I know what a crappy thing this is to live with, knowing that dogs whom you love simply can't get along.

 

I'm in a similar boat, as I have an intact male (3-1/2 year old), Nick, who was raised by our now-13-year-old Jesse. They used to be the best of friends ... but as Nick matured, all that changed. Now, I simply can't guess what trigger might impel Nick to just plow poor old Jesse into the dirt. Jealousy over a bone, the excitement of a visitor - hard to say. Now, I simply have to manage them, every day, and it will be so until the day old Jesse dies.

 

They're not as volatile as your situation - my boys don't squabble in the house. But once that kind of aggression takes root in a young, intact dog, I think it's virtually impossible to un-do it. Not so long as the target of their hatred remains in residence. It has nothing to do with the young dog having a "reason" or the old dog "starting something." It's just ... hormones or pecking order or lord knows what variety of dog-politics.

 

Bitch-on-bitch aggression, as I've seen it in dogs belonging to friends, is very much more volatile and hard to work with. So, I'll just echo what others have said.

 

I do not think you can make your young dog stop it. And I think it would be cruel to the older dog to even try. You need to find ways to prevent it ever happening, in the first place.

 

If there are certain events, situations or times of day that seem to trigger her attacks, don't let those moments present themselves. Keep the dogs apart. My old Jesse spends a lot of time in the house, and when we're not home or can't watch them, the old guy is indoors and Nick stays outside where he can't reach the old guy at all.

 

You need to create something similar, a situation in which your old girl has safe haven and separation from the young dog. It's unfair to the older girl to suffer the stress and fear of this, while you try to find a way to make it stop. Don't stop it. Prevent it. That's the kindest thing to do for your old dog, in the golden years of her life.

 

Best of luck! I know how tough this is.

Sincerely,

 

Gloria

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What Julie and G. Festerling said.

 

FYI, the one minute thing. The reason behind it is that 1 minute will give the dog enough time to cool own while still recognizing he/she is in a time out because of an infraction. Longer than 1 minute, you run the risk of the dog forgetting. Sooner than 1 minute and the dog may still be aroused.

 

It does not, however, work with bitch-to-bitch aggression, especially when one is in season. That's a breeding rights issue, and there have been cases where one bitch will kill her rival. I recommend separation and management. A few CU and BAT classes with the younger dog aren't a bad idea either.

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Let me just fill in some more info.

 

First my dogs don't have run of the house. They live in the kennel but do get house time from time to time. So keeping them seperate is no big deal or problem. I honestly don't think the older dog is stressed because she just continues to go about her own business. She has the option of kennel or house and she chooses to go with Lass. I'm beginning to thing that Bet is passive/agressive and that's why Lass is chosing her. My other bitch would let her have it.

 

Secondly as soon as I take hold of Lass and pull her off she is perfectly calm..If I left go of her she would go on about her business..I leave her to let her know I AM not happy.

 

Thirdly there is no letting her get to that point. As I said before as soon as I say something its likes it makes her dive in faster. It's almost like rage sydrome in springers.

 

We go months where there is no problems and they happily play together (yes the old girl still plays)

I'm beginning to think that this is a hormone thing. this is the first "real heat" she has ever had. Yet still no male dog seems to notice her. One time her heat lasted 4 days. First time she was in heat (6 days) she became real snappy with me.

 

The fighting seem to come and go (heat cycles??) I wished I had kept a record of when these fights start.

 

The vet had told me before that this dog would probably not ever get bred because her heats are so messed up.

 

She is not spayed (would like to) because when she was younger she had a double tooth that had to be pulled and she had a very bad reaction. Vet said at time unless it was life her death he would not risk it.

 

Think I will give him a call this morning and bounce things off of him

 

Thanks It's just sooo *&^%* because the rest of the time they are best friends. Like I said this happens and then we go months without any incidents..

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I'm beginning to thing that Bet is passive/agressive and that's why Lass is chosing her. My other bitch would let her have it.

 

That would be anthropomorphising her. My Twist stalks Kat. It doesn't matter how much I correct Twist, she keeps doing it (but not constantly). Kat just tries to go away, but Twist will follow her. Kat will fight if provoked, but it usually doesn't get to that. Still I don't think Kat has anything to do with what's happening. Twist wants to be top bitch and she sees Kat as a rival to that, so she stalks her and threatens her. But they also run around the yard and play, so it's not as if Twist takes exception to Kat 24/7. Anyway, I don't think Kat is doing something to provoke Twist; Twist is being dominant, and there are times when she apparently feels the need to assert herself over Kat.

 

Secondly as soon as I take hold of Lass and pull her off she is perfectly calm..If I left go of her she would go on about her business..I leave her to let her know I AM not happy.

 

Thirdly there is no letting her get to that point. As I said before as soon as I say something its likes it makes her dive in faster. It's almost like rage sydrome in springers.

 

This is why I wouldn't let them be together. If you can't spay Lass then perhaps you need to keep a careful diary of her heat cycles so that you can practice complete separation before, during, and after. Even if Bet doesn't seem affected by the attacks mentally, the fact is that during such an attack Lass could do serious damage. If Bet can't read Lass' sudden turns from normal to attack mode, then she can't attempt to defuse the situation herself (or just get out of the way).

 

The vet had told me before that this dog would probably not ever get bred because her heats are so messed up.

 

She is not spayed (would like to) because when she was younger she had a double tooth that had to be pulled and she had a very bad reaction. Vet said at time unless it was life her death he would not risk it.

 

Think I will give him a call this morning and bounce things off of him

 

I was thinking about your story this morning and wondering why Lass was still intact. I had intended to come here and say that if you were keeping her intact for breeding purposes that you might want to consider this temperament issue in the larger scheme of things. There should be alternatives to the anesthesia that she had a bad reaction to. Hopefully your vet will be able to come up with one so you can safely have her spayed.

 

Thanks It's just sooo *&^%* because the rest of the time they are best friends. Like I said this happens and then we go months without any incidents..

The unpredictability would be the scariest part of the whole thing for me. If you can't easily predict that attacks, then Bet is at a much greater risk of injury. But you obviously know that.

 

J.

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I had a similar problem with Kellie having an allergic reaction to anesthetics. In the end, after a lot of back and forth with my vet, Kellie was spayed under a very light anesthetic... I wish I could remember what it was. Even with that, there was still a real danger, but her unpredictability during heat cycles was worse. She still got sick afterward, didn't want to move for a full week.

 

At present, the advice to keep them separated stands, and I would still check into a behavior modification and focus class of some sort to gain a bit more control over her.

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I had a similar problem with Kellie having an allergic reaction to anesthetics. In the end, after a lot of back and forth with my vet, Kellie was spayed under a very light anesthetic... I wish I could remember what it was.

 

Could it have been Telazol? (sp?)

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Could it have been Telazol? (sp?)

 

IDK, maybe. I'd have to see if I kept her vet records from that far back.

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