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Old 07-03-2009, 07:48 PM
 
188 posts, read 863,277 times
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Hi all,
I have a mix chihuahua female and a female mini dachsund. They get along most of the time, but when they do get into a fight...it's awful!! We have tried everything we know of to get them apart during a fight..water hose, shoe, fly swatter, etc. I have heard that dogs don't like lemon juice so I was thinking about filling a spray bottle with lemon juice and spraying them with it when they fight. Would this work? I can't just let them fight it out and I hate to get rid of either one of them. Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
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I had a similar problem with two of mine - a Sibe and Sibe mix. It was terrifying, even though they rarely really hurt each other.
Do you have any idea as to their triggers? Mine were/are resource guarders - meeting new people would almost always set them off.
There are certain behaviors that you can watch for - direct eye contact is a big no-no. So are rigid tails and circling. If they start any of this stuff, you should redirect their attention immediately. Also, you have to let them decide who between the two is alpha, within reason of course.

If you haven't already, pick up a copy of Patricia McConnell's book 'The Other End of the Leash.' I found it invaluable and following her advice, my dogs rarely fight now.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
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Are they both spayed? If not, I would start with that. If it starts out as play/roughhousing and then escalates into a fight you need to shut it down before it reaches that point.

I'll second Tiger Lily's recommendation of P. McConnell's books, all of them actually.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
22,873 posts, read 16,258,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
Are they both spayed? If not, I would start with that. If it starts out as play/roughhousing and then escalates into a fight you need to shut it down before it reaches that point.

I'll second Tiger Lily's recommendation of P. McConnell's books, all of them actually.
Excellent point about the spaying. And the books too - that one just always sticks in my head

One other thing I would say is that you have to watch them as if you are doing wild life observation. Try to be as objective as possible about each of them and how they behave towards you and each other.
One of the things I discovered I was doing was favoring one over the other, thinking that one was always the agressor, when in fact it was the 'sweet' one that was the instigator more often than not.

I came across this today - very helpful and heartwarming as well:

SiriusDog.com - MANAGING A MULTIDOG HOUSEHOLD
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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I adopted a dog who turned out not to be spayed. My little spayed feral mutt attacked her numerous times, and once lost a fang in the process. Now, the unspayed dog wasn't fighting, but was trying to stop/restrain the smaller dog. I would get a blanket and pull the larger dog off (using the blanket in case she turned on me, but she didn't) and then the feral girl would be horrified that she was so close to a person, and run off.
I had to board the unspayed girl at the vet for two weeks until she could be spayed. It was definitely the unspaying that caused the fights (a trainer said, "that's why they call them '*******'"). Without question, if either dog isn't spayed, that's causing the fights.
With my other dogs, there are occasional spats over sitting on the couch, etc. They are working out the pack stuff, and don't actually fight but sound very impressive (whereas the two girls drew blood and were very frightening).
It is important to watch, as others have said, to see how the fights build up or start. I do have one of my boys stay in the bedroom when I'm not home, just in case he thinks he can muscle his way on to the couch.
I did have an adoptee for 1 1/2 years who became completely aggressive towards my little senior dog, unprovoked, when the pack group changed (and the pack leader died). I sought a lot of advice from trainers, then came home to find she'd ripped out his femoral artery. He spent three days in the hospital and I had to send her back to Best Friends, where they were completely confused as to her behavior- never seen before, never since.
Certainly they shouldn't be alone together for any period of time (like when you're not home) if they're really fighting. Before I boarded the unspayed dog, I couldn't even turn my back on them. (And damn neglectors who have a dog taken away and lie about her age and spay status).
Good luck. Having multiple dogs is so much fun, but they do warrant careful attention.
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
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There is a very good book describing dog body signals you might want to read. Aggression in Dogs by Brenda Aloff. It has been very helpful for me. My girl has been "aggressive" towards other dogs, in particular other females. Now I can more easily see when her mood changes from being playful to be dominant.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:44 PM
 
188 posts, read 863,277 times
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Thanks for the info! One of the girls is spayed, the dachsund is not.( have to wait awhile...no money) Not really sure what sets them off. I think it is jealousy. The dachsund (CeCe) usually starts the fight, but last nite Rosie did. Didn't think we was ever going to get them apart! They sometimes will go 6 months and not fight, but then one of them gets cocky and starts it. We try to watch for signs and keep them apart when we can. I will try to read the info you all gave and if you have any more ideas let me know. Thanks!!
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:41 AM
 
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Time to have your daschund fixed. If that does not work, you may have to choose between the two. Dogs are individuals just like people, sometimes, we just don't get along.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:01 AM
 
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I had 2 females that hated each other. They grew up together, both spayed as puppies, but they just didn't want to get along. For over a year we tried all kinds of training and talking to a behaviorist, nothing really worked. The fights started out just once in awhile, then it got to a point where they could not be in the same room together. I finally decided to re-home one of them. You can't watch them all the time. And it doesn't take but a split second for a fight to break out. I wasn't willing to see one of them be seriously hurt or better yet dead. The female I rehomed is very happy with her new family and loves being the only dog.

The book Tigerlily recommended is a good book. I hope you can find a solution to this problem. It really is no fun having dogs that don't get along. It upsets the whole house. Good luck!
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Utah
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I have a 8 year old spayed Dachshund mix. In December I wanted to get her a playmate so I adopted a spayed, 2 year old Austrailian Terrier mix. For six weeks, they seem to play well together and get along fine. Then after that it was 10 fights in six weeks. One of which I got injured trying to separate them. Almost every fight drew blood. I hired a trainer and she tried to work with me but it would take more time than I was willing to wait it out. I couldn't even relax in my own home for fear that another fight would start. I think they each sensed my uneasyness and that just added to the confusion. Throughout this horrible ordeal I learned that my Dachshund mix was territorial over me....not just my home, but me. I am the only human they would interact with and since I was gone all day, things seemed to be fine when I wasn't around. The trainer suggested spraying them with a squirt bottle with water & vineagar. That didn't phase them. Then the trainer suggested I try this. It didn't work either. I also sought out my vets advie.

I had to take the Austrailian Terrier mix back to the animal shelter. I felt horrible. I felt like such a failure. But the staff there was very kind to comfort me as I had been speaking with them all along throughout this process.

I've learned that when it comes time to adopt again, I will most definitely do things differently with training and behavioral issues.

I hope you find the necessary tools to bring peace to your household. Best of luck to you and your dog family.
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