Join Date: Jun 2019
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Hey Dobe advisors, I’m back
So remember one of you guys advised to be careful of toys with the new now 8 month old Dobe girl and my older GSD girl. I replied that outdoors the older dog’s favorite game is tug of war with another dog, so I will leave toys for that, and indoors I don’t allow any toys out if both girls are out of their crates, which they seldom are for long because the Dobe is still such a big baby pest at 8 months old she wants to climb over the GSD on the couch and wrestle and play fight so to save the GSD from the annoyance I let them take turns with limited time out together indoors.
The GSD has been INCREDIBLY tolerant of the Dobe, for months now. If anything it almost looks like she is letting herself be subordinated to big baby PIA Layla, but in my heart of hearts I have known that Onyx could kick the ____ out of Layla and probably always will be able to— she’s huge and very dense weight. She has inadvertently pinned me snuggling on the couch and she is so heavy I would not be able to get up if she didn’t want me to. I push her back and make sure she stays off me. Fortunately with humans she was taught by her original owner/breeder/trainer to know her place and lives in DREAD of displeasing me, seriously she is hyper vigilant/worried about upsetting her person round the clock.. lucky for me she has no clue that if she were to turn on me I’d be mince meat. I make sure to enforce my alpha-ness daily but it’s so instilled in her from before I got her, it’s not a worry. But she has always been an alpha bitch and a pretty edgy one with some dogs, so she has been being very VERY patient w Layla, saint-like patience for Onyx.
Onyx’s Achilles heel is that she was left crated 22 to 24 hours a day except for training, w previous breeder/owner/trainer and when she would get out, a toy was used to bring up her drive for the training. So she has a true obsession with having something in her mouth most of the time: ball, toy, stick.. something.. and with toys in general. Still she has been sharing toys and playing games with them with Layla for months now, no problem.. As I said tug of war and chase for toy is Onyx’s favorite game and they will do it for hours.
So I got this more fancy deluxe toy specifically for them to play tug of war. I guess it had more bling than usual because it was the first thing Onyx ever challenged Layla on. She didn’t want to share it. An unexpected very brief show of force from Onyx and some yelping from Layla, and I took it away immediately. After some days had passed I left it out so it would lose it’s novelty and become boring. SO now the thing has been laying around the house, and sometimes in Onyx’s crate. Trying to think if it was even laying around the yard for days.. I think it was, so it’s been out there for them both. I suppose in hindsight Onyx was actually still guarding it..
So they went out at night to potty (they are usually indoors by then unless a bathroom break), I am on the porch, when suddenly all hell breaks loose. They start seriously fighting. Onyx had taken the toy out of her crate earlier and I suspect it was that. She would not listen to me to stop fighting so I started heading to the hose, but eventually I was able to let Layla in who was very traumatized but essentially unhurt, a tiny speck of blood on her ear and leg, little bit faint scratches. After a bit I let Onyx in— she had the toy and brought to her crate. This morning I took it away, I should have taken it away right away.
Onyx was still making eyes at her, not acting herself, from her crate. Layla was nearly inconsolable and just very forlorn and droopy, so I left Onyx crated and comforted Layla. Today they are slowly snapping out of it, but I will not let them out at the same time until they look 200% normalized.
I know this post is getting long, but I wanted you to know they are best friends, Onyx really loves having Layla in her life, Layla is so into Onyx the first thing she does is go to her crate when she is let out in the morning so I will let Onyx out next.
I know dogs need to establish the pecking order and Onyx has been real patient to the point of putting up with a lot of annoyance form the giant baby in a big body (there is only so much I can do to buffer that if they are to adjust to eachother and “work it out”).
How would you now proceed with these two? They play in the yard for hours every day. We go on a hike together twice a day and they love it.. but I feel I should keep them separate until their body language with eachother is 100 % normal. I do hear stories of some dogs never making up after a serious fight ( Layla didn’t fight she just yelped and wanted to get away I think). I know both being girls is not a plus, but I just didn’t want another potentially super dog aggressive male Dobe like my last one (who Onyx was afraid of for awhile)— the males can be more like that.
The fact that Layla was almost unscathed after what seemed a horrifying eternity of serious fighting in the dark that I was trying to break up, seems to indicate that Onyx did not want to really hurt her. She could have really hurt her if she wanted to
I think these guys like eachother enough they will snap back from it just wondering how you guys would proceed.
Btw I do manage these guys constantly, trying to be skillful in helping them adjust to eachother. I don’t just leave them do whatever unsupervised, the dynamic between them is fairly micro-managed to some degree since Layla is still the new kid on the block.. just was not expecting that. I may not let them out to potty in the dark together anymore based on this experience, even with the porch light on I couldn’t see very well what the heck was going on. If it had been day time I may have seen something subtle leading up to it and avoided the whole thing
PS I guess this could be a new thread but it’s nice to hear from the same group who have been advising me about Layla from the get go
Last edited by Critter’s mom; 07-17-2019 at 02:37 PM.