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Old 12-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My two females are fighting - need advice

I have a 4.5 year old female spayed and a 2.5 year old female (intact as she is my show dog). I got my older female when she was 7 months old and my younger one when she was 8 months old from a European Doberman breeder. Anyway the girls have been getting along fine (they loved to play with each other) all this time even though the older one is VERY dominant and can be dog aggressive - she has been in fights with other dogs before that belong to my friends.

Last week someone arrived at my gate (I live on a gated acreage) and the older gal charged and barked as she always does. I called her to me but instead of coming as she usually does she right away attacked my younger Dobie. I seperated them fine but this same thing happened again a few days later. And finally yesterday, there wasn't even anyone around and the older one attacked again. But this time I could not seperate the girls. I tried everything but the were latched onto one another and no one was home to help me out. The only way to seperate them was to wait till they were tired from fighting. I pulled the dominant one off and the younger one ran off. This was very traumatic for me and I had to take both girls to the vet. They have huge gashes and had multiple staples put into them.

Their wounds will heal but I am now wondering if I should give one up? I NEVER want them to fight again. I have consulted one trainer and she said to surrender to the older dog to a Doberman rescue or to put her down as she has a history of aggression. She was already dog aggressive when I got her at 7 months old (her previous owner did not tell me this - she attacked my friend's lab one day after I got her) and I have worked with her a lot on this issue with multiple trainers. She has gotten better over the years, but she's still very unpredictable - she seems fine but then something can set her off and she attacks.

Any suggestions???
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Either start to crate and rotate and never trust them together again or find one a new home. I would find one a new home IMO.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Coming from someone with a very picky bitch. If they aren't getting along and its escalated yo fights you're deeply unlikely to have them together safely again.

As for what to do...you at very least can crate and rotate, if you feel giving one up is better that is an option as well.

It sounds like the first fight was brought on by an outside situation that amped them up (someone at your gate). Not so much the other few, though It's very hard to say without being there.

Where are you located, have you spoken to a certified behaviorist about your older dog?

Regardless of what you decide please keep them separate and crate and rotate until you figure things out.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I do think it would be hard to safely have them together again. From what I've experienced first hand and heard from other bitch owners, bitches will not forget an enemy once fighting begins. Even with training and behavior management, they will wait and wait until an opportunity presents itself to jump an enemy. They can be tough and evil like that....
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I do think it would be hard to safely have them together again. From what I've experienced first hand and heard from other bitch owners, bitches will not forget an enemy once fighting begins. Even with training and behavior management, they will wait and wait until an opportunity presents itself to jump an enemy. They can be tough and evil like that....
I can definately vouche for that! At my most current job there where several dobe bitches. One day a younger bitch shoved the "queen bee" out of the way and went in the door first, queen bee was pissed and a fight was on. To this day they can't be together EVER, the younger one isn't looking for a fight but the senior....she has a serious grudge!
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We are in a crate and rotate situation at our house as well. Dobermans are well known for same sex aggression. Damn bitches.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Crate and rotate or rehome one of them.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I hope both girls recover.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am very sorry about your girls and the trauma you had to endure. I echo what others have said about crate and rotate or finding a new home for one. I know it's hard to give one up once you've gotten attached to them both. But if you have a dog aggressive one, then it's obvious it won't ever work to have her live with another dog, unless of course you keep them separated at all times. I wish you the best with whatever you decide. Hope your dobes wounds recover quickly.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Have you had the thyroid function checked on your older female recently? Do you have the ability to crate and rotate and to make it work or do you feel its best to rehome one?
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Considering you'd had the dominant girl long enough to know she was aggressive (e.g. the fight she instigated with the Lab when she was only seven months old), it was a poor decision to bring another dog, regardless of sex, into the home.

Now you've got a dog-aggressive bitch with, what sounds to me, like displaced aggression (see link below and quote highlighted for reference), and a submissive bitch who is likely becoming increasingly reactive and could develop fear-based aggression, in which case, may discontinue her time in the ring if her temperament doesn't remain stable. Of course, that may already be over with considering the gashes, staples and eventual scars...

Dealing With Aggression

"One common denominator in all of the reasons for biting, is displacement. Humans being bitten are very often the result of displacement behavior by the dog, rather than true aggression directed towards the human. Displacement has a great deal to do with the nerve structure and clear headedness of the dog. Highly excitable (nervy) dogs are very likely to bite in displacement."


So, if you decide not to crate and rotate, your only other option would be to remove one of them from the household. Considering the older bitches' bite history, I doubt any rescue would be willing to take her. And it's likely she will have to be put to sleep.

If you choose to rehome the show bitch, please be sure to have her spayed beforehand and placed in a home without other pets or with dogs whom she shows no fear reactivity toward. Hopefully, she will forget all about it and start anew, as dogs seem to have that gift.

And if you do rehome the show bitch and keep the older female, I hope that you'll consider not bringing another dog into your home for the remainder of the life of the older bitch. Just give the older gal a great life and maybe pick up your show career with a new pup down the road a bit?

It's a tough situation, and I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted.
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Last edited by BenVera; 12-02-2012 at 10:49 PM..
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you choose to rehome the show bitch, please be sure to have her spayed beforehand and placed in a home without other pets or with dogs whom she shows no fear reactivity toward. Hopefully, she will forget all about it and start anew, as dogs seem to have that gift.
Just wanted to point out that if her show bitch is a show dog in the true sense of it (must remain intact to compete in AKC conformation ring) she may not want to have her spayed before rehoming. Also, if she's intact for showing the dog may be co-owned by the breeder, in which case the OP may get herself in some very hot water with the breeder/co-owner if she were to spay her and give her to a new home, sans breeder input.

Agilitymaster, have you talked to your breeder about the fights and escalation of it?
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That's an excellent point, and not one that even crossed my mind as I know very little about the show world. I'd imagine if his show bitch is co-owned by the breeder, said breeder wouldn't be too happy to hear that she's been attacked multiple times by another dog and now has lacerations, sutures, and potential scars from these attacks. So much for her show career.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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OP, was your breeder aware you already owned a dog aggressive bitch? What were their thoughts/advice before bringing the new intact bitch into your home and what advice are they offering now?
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That's an excellent point, and not one that even crossed my mind as I know very little about the show world. I'd imagine if his show bitch is co-owned by the breeder, said breeder wouldn't be too happy to hear that she's been attacked multiple times by another dog and now has lacerations, sutures, and potential scars from these attacks. So much for her show career.
You can show a dog with scars.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You can show a dog with scars.
Goes to show how little I know of showing dogs. I'll have to educate myself more on the topic BEFORE posting my assumptions. This is why I love DT. I literally learn something new every time I log on. Thank you.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:23 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'd return the younger bitch to her breeder for rehoming. It sounds like she has a winning disposition as well as, I presume, since you are showing her, good looks. She is eminently placeable.

And I'd enjoy the pleasure of the older bitch's company for as long as she'll live.

Our last dog had to be an only dog once her original pack buddy died. It's difficult to be a single dog household if you're used to having multiples, but it's also our responsibility as owners to meet the needs of the dogs to which we've committed.

I also echo those who recommend you crate and rotate until you can get one of these dogs into another home. The amount of damage they can do each other is absolutely no joke.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Faireview View Post
I do think it would be hard to safely have them together again. From what I've experienced first hand and heard from other bitch owners, bitches will not forget an enemy once fighting begins. Even with training and behavior management, they will wait and wait until an opportunity presents itself to jump an enemy. They can be tough and evil like that....
I have definitely heard this from the breeder I got Syd from. Syd was beat up by her mother continually I guess, and when she came to Canada, Deb's bitch beat her up.

Syd and my old girl are doing well, it was predicted that since Stormy went after her, that Syd would hold a grudge, but I honestly don't see anything like that going on here.

Could be the difference in ages though.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:33 AM   #18 (permalink)
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When I was a kid we had two bitches that got along well for years, then one day when they were both 7 years old they had a massive fight... blood everywhere... They were never the same after... Had to be taken in and out of the house on a lead (they would fight at door ways otherwise), had to be watched like hawks when they were eating, not allowed freely on furniture otherwise they would start fighting.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:57 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I had 2 girlies who for the longest time got on really well.

Then one day one of them must have said something the other didnt like because out of the blue they started fighting. For over 20 minutes I fought to seperate them, they were covered in blood as was I, (they hadn't bitten me, it was their blood). It cost me a fortune to get them fixed up at the vets.

Everything returned to normal, for an absolute age they were fine with each other, then bham the mother of all fights broke loose and again they hurt each other badly.

Honestly there appeared to be no warning, no rhyme or reason to the fights.

The old girl had a stroke shortly afterwards and that was the beginning of the end for her.

Granted I am not talking about 2 Dobes here, but rather I am talking about a Majorcan Mastif (pitbull in appearance but bigger) and a blooming great big Boxer. However, the situation is the same, 2 girls intent on doing each other harm. Both of my girls weighed in excess of 36 kilos (79lb) a piece which is probably slightly heavier or maybe the same as your girls I don't know, what I do know is I am no weakling but even I, a woman who is used to lifting heavy weights etc couldnt pull them apart and neither could my son when the second fight broke out. Now you have already stated you couldnt pull your girls apart so in my opinion you will have to keep them apart so a fight never has the chance to break out again.

However, if you don't want to live the life of crate and rotate, wherein one dog is in, one dog is out, (I do this now with my 2 males, 1 is a Dobe, the other is a Terrier because of male on male aggression, I won't lie to you, it isn't the easiest way to live, but it is do-able) then your only option is to rehome.

Personally, I would choose the newgirl on the block to be the one who is rehomed. After all you have had the old one far longer, she should be the one to stay.

Last edited by Toby'shuman; 12-04-2012 at 07:01 AM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenVera View Post

"One common denominator in all of the reasons for biting, is displacement. Humans being bitten are very often the result of displacement behavior by the dog, rather than true aggression directed towards the human. Displacement has a great deal to do with the nerve structure and clear headedness of the dog. Highly excitable (nervy) dogs are very likely to bite in displacement."[/i]
From experience, I know this to be true. My older female will do this, not bite us, but she will grab a toy and bite the hell out of it when she is agitated. I have 2 females, and the older has on occasion snapped at the younger one during a tyrade, either directed at someone outside, or at something upsetting her on tv. Now, granted, the younger doesnt help her situation but trying to quiet her sister, but so far it has not escalated to a fight. Its simply a warning to back off. For such an anxious and reactive dog, she really does do very well with her sister. (NOT littermates btw) I am lucky, because having such a reactive dog, it is highly likely they will fight, but I am blessed with a girl who knows when to back off and let it be.
It is sad when you have 2 dogs who cannot get along, I have read alot of stories where this was the case, usually with 2 males but it is possible with females as well. As was said, these bitches have memories and they do not easily forget. To this day, my older girl (who will be 3 soon) will not allow you to open her mouth, for any reason. It results from when she was 9 months and had to undergo a 5 day hospital stay and had to be intibated in emergency situation .. before they had a chance to anesthetize her. So, yes, if they get pissed over something, such as a lesser dog, they will remember, forever.
I hope you find a solution to the problem, even if it means finding one a new home. However, in my opinion because most places dont want to take an aggressive dog, I side with those advising to rehome the younger one and keep the older one and give her a good happy loving home.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I have a feeling the OP just glossed right over it anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlightDobe View Post
From experience, I know this to be true. My older female will do this, not bite us, but she will grab a toy and bite the hell out of it when she is agitated. I have 2 females, and the older has on occasion snapped at the younger one during a tyrade, either directed at someone outside, or at something upsetting her on tv. Now, granted, the younger doesnt help her situation but trying to quiet her sister, but so far it has not escalated to a fight. Its simply a warning to back off. For such an anxious and reactive dog, she really does do very well with her sister. (NOT littermates btw) I am lucky, because having such a reactive dog, it is highly likely they will fight, but I am blessed with a girl who knows when to back off and let it be.
It is sad when you have 2 dogs who cannot get along, I have read alot of stories where this was the case, usually with 2 males but it is possible with females as well. As was said, these bitches have memories and they do not easily forget. To this day, my older girl (who will be 3 soon) will not allow you to open her mouth, for any reason. It results from when she was 9 months and had to undergo a 5 day hospital stay and had to be intibated in emergency situation .. before they had a chance to anesthetize her. So, yes, if they get pissed over something, such as a lesser dog, they will remember, forever.
I hope you find a solution to the problem, even if it means finding one a new home. However, in my opinion because most places dont want to take an aggressive dog, I side with those advising to rehome the younger one and keep the older one and give her a good happy loving home.
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