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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Brad was holding Ava and she started growling so he put her down and i got it on vid. they fought pretty bad Im sorry for the crazyness of the vid and my yelling I tired the be louder then them thing it didnt work i also tried clapping really loud that didnt work either and they were fighting on my leg. brad tried to pick ava up again to try and stop them but Lola was holding on for dear life. this one was the worse so far because Lola was bleeding in the end and i didnt get the whole fight because i had to grab Lola So again I apologize for the Video

 

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I know this is going to sound crazy, but I saw this once on an episode of It's Me or the Dog (with Victoria Stilwell). It's the episode with Jodie Marsh and her dozen Chihuahuas. She had two female Chihuahuas that were fighting (both with each other and with her bulldog) over attention, to the point where it got violent. They were sisters too, so there was a lot of aggression between them.

Victoria's advice was, because the chis were often fighting over someone's lap, the best thing to do is for the person they are fighting over to walk out of the room quickly. When the owner did this, the dogs stopped fighting, looked around confused, and then followed their owner out of the room to see what was going on. All the owner did prior to leaving was stand up suddenly, clap her hands 2 or 3 times loudly, and say "UH-UH!" and walk out. No eye contact. No yelling other than the vocal correction. No trying to physically separate the dogs.

Here's the method described here (4:28-5:13):
Jodie Marsh - It's me or the Dog (2/3) - YouTube

Here's what they looked like before Victoria came in and gave directions (4:45-5:35):
Jodie Marsh - It's me or the Dog (1/3) - YouTube

When you yell, it might be serving to excite them further and feed their aggression, even if it's meant to be a distraction. You might want to try this method just once to see exactly what they're fighting over.

Part of the difficulty is becoming more aware of the signs of aggression BEFORE it happens. Any freezing or stiffening, staring, sideways glares, a wrinkled nose, one dog leaning over the other (even if it looks like play), a stiff tail, a tail that quivers instead of wagging.. All of these are signs that a fight is about to take place. There may also be red-flag situations for your dogs, such as one dog resting peacefully on your lap while the other dog comes over to investigate. You need to be ready to push both dogs off your lap when a fight starts and immediately walk away so that they have nothing to fight over, assuming they are fighting over your attention.

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Grabbing at a dog while it's fighting can also make them more aggressive. It's like trying to restrain someone who believes that they're in a life-or-death situation. It can lead to something called "redirected aggression" where the dog gets frustrated and snips at your hand while trying to get YOU off of them so THEY can get to the other dog easier. They're not thinking clearly when they're in such a frenzied state.

If you have to grab a dog while it's fighting, I've heard that the best method is to slide an arm under their back legs and lift their hips so that their back legs are off the floor. This throws off their balance and keeps them from getting too much forward momentum towards the other dog. You can use your other hand to carefully grab their collar or the scruff of their neck and pull them off the other dog.

It may seem loud and violent, but if no one is walking away significantly injured then it's likely a dominance battle. Female dogs are very likely to fight for dominance. More likely than males, I've heard. Inter-bitch aggression is apparently very common, especially if the dogs are related and/or unspayed. (Not sure if yours are.)


I hope you find some of this useful. Keep us posted! I know how scary dog aggression can be. Make sure you keep yourself safe too, and if you have any children keep them away from these dogs whenever they are together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks.... I was tryng to grab one to seperate them but the way i was sitting i couldnt grab her
 

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OMG. :(

I think this is WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY beyond the scope of the average pet owner. I would say to consult a behaviorist or you will have to separate them permanently. Little dogs CAN kill each other. This is not play fighting or dominance. These dogs are out to hurt each other. I don't think the normal pet owner is equipped to deal with this level of aggression. The dogs are going to get hurt and so will you if you attempt to separate them.

I see you having three choices ....

1. Try to have a professional behaviorist assess the situation and give recommendations.

2. Separate the dogs at all times. When one is out, the other is in a crate. You CAN'T let them out at the same time. EVER.

3. Rehome one of the dogs.
 

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2. Separate the dogs at all times. When one is out, the other is in a crate. You CAN'T let them out at the same time. EVER.
If they stop fighting when you get up and walk away, then I would say that they CAN be out together, but only while you are ACTIVELY supervising them. (Not while you're on your computer or something and they are nearby. Only while your eyes are on them.)

If you're not supervising them, then they are separate. Separate rooms or separate crates, whatever, as long as they can't physically harm one another.

If this goes on any longer without improvement you may HAVE to rehome one of the dogs, but I know that's probably a last-resort for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OMG. :(

I think this is WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY beyond the scope of the average pet owner. I would say to consult a behaviorist or you will have to separate them permanently. Little dogs CAN kill each other. This is not play fighting or dominance. These dogs are out to hurt each other. I don't think the normal pet owner is equipped to deal with this level of aggression. The dogs are going to get hurt and so will you if you attempt to separate them.

I see you having three choices ....

1. Try to have a professional behaviorist assess the situation and give recommendations.

2. Separate the dogs at all times. When one is out, the other is in a crate. You CAN'T let them out at the same time. EVER.

3. Rehome one of the dogs.

#3 scares me I could never rehome them... especially Ava... I just dont get why it started all the sudden it got really bad when we moved into this house...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ava is going to be 5 in Jan and Lola will be 3 in April.... Lolas getting fixed in Jan
 

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I think getting fixed after a year old is supposed to be a contributor to dominance-based aggression. I just read that if two males are fighting for dominance, the LESS dominant male should be castrated. I would assume it's the same way in females. Is Ava the one going after Lola? Is Ava already spayed?

I think moving to a new house probably gave them a whole new opportunity to fight for dominance. Whoever the aggressor is, make sure you get them checked out at a vet to rule out any health-related problems, especially if the fighting is totally out of the blue.

Would you say the fighting sprang up over night and only one dog started it? Or have they always had minor disagreements and both dogs take part in the fighting? Whenever one dog suddenly starts attacking another for no discernible reason, usually the victim looks really confused and goes into avoidance (at least the first few times). They both seem to be equally going at it, although it's hard to tell from the video. That's why I ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think getting fixed after a year old is supposed to be a contributor to dominance-based aggression. I just read that if two males are fighting for dominance, the LESS dominant male should be castrated. I would assume it's the same way in females. Is Ava the one going after Lola? Is Ava already spayed?

I think moving to a new house probably gave them a whole new opportunity to fight for dominance. Whoever the aggressor is, make sure you get them checked out at a vet to rule out any health-related problems, especially if the fighting is totally out of the blue.

Would you say the fighting sprang up over night and only one dog started it? Or have they always had minor disagreements and both dogs take part in the fighting? Whenever one dog suddenly starts attacking another for no discernible reason, usually the victim looks really confused and goes into avoidance (at least the first few times). They both seem to be equally going at it, although it's hard to tell from the video. That's why I ask.

Ava is Not spayed. Ava always starts it. at first Lola would cower but she got tired of it and is fighting back... Lola is going in to get spade in Jan... enough is enough 5 fights yesterday and 3 today so far (knock on wood)
 

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Wow.. this is so sad. =( Is there a medical reason Ava can't be spayed? I remember hearing that she's ill but haven't had a chance to dig back and find out what's going on with her.
Hormones can cause a huge array of problems; if you are able to have them both spayed that would probably be your best bet. If it does not resolve, having a professional come in might be necessary.
 

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Wow.. this is so sad. =( Is there a medical reason Ava can't be spayed? I remember hearing that she's ill but haven't had a chance to dig back and find out what's going on with her.
Hormones can cause a huge array of problems; if you are able to have them both spayed that would probably be your best bet. If it does not resolve, having a professional come in might be necessary.
Yeah, I agree. Even though the website I read said to spay the less dominant dog, I feel like spaying them both would probably be more helpful. Otherwise, definitely consult an animal behaviorist that uses positive methods (no physical punishment or intimidation as this can make aggressive behavior worse).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow.. this is so sad. =( Is there a medical reason Ava can't be spayed? I remember hearing that she's ill but haven't had a chance to dig back and find out what's going on with her.
Hormones can cause a huge array of problems; if you are able to have them both spayed that would probably be your best bet. If it does not resolve, having a professional come in might be necessary.

I never really asked the vet if they would spay her I dont want to put her threw that when she already has so much going on... I am going to get lola done in Jan and see what happens from there .... if nothing improves we will look at other options.I am just so frustrated... I am going to get a pen to keep one of them in while we are not home and hope that it works.. i could alternate them in the pen so they dont feel like they are being punished?
 

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This is exactly why I asked you so many questions in your other thread.
I figured they were not spayed. Spay both immediately, give them time
to heal and consult a behaviorist. It's best if you spayed your dogs before
they hit sexual maturity, but even spaying them now will calm them down
quite a bit. Keep in mind spaying is not a miracle cure! It will help, but you
will still need to work with them, with a behavior specialist.
I don't remember who said it Kat or Kaila, both had great points,
but a vet visit would be in order, to rule out health issues that could be
contributing to this behavior as well. Also don't baby Lola, treat both the girls
equally, from the looks of it they are fighting over you, your attention.
Perhaps it's that, mixed in with hormones flowing, and underlying health
problem. Who knows, it's so tough to tell from behind the computer, so first
stop vet, second behaviorist. Good luck, I really wish you the best!
 

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Ooops - shoulda turned the volume down first - just set Tinky off into a howling fit lol!

Hi Adrienne,

I don't get on here much lately so didn't see your previous thread. I do, however, remember a little while ago that Ava was nearly at the point of being PTS until you found a new med to help her out.

It may have been mentioned before, but have you considered that the aggression could be related to the medication, a side effect if you will? I would give the vet a call and look into that if this fighting has only recently started and she is the main aggressor. Other than that I think Kaila's suggestion of removing yourself & perhaps crating when unsupervised would be a great idea.
 

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hi im just thinking of course the spaying for both but please look into as said before the side effects of her special medicine im so sorry for your whole family good luck
 

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Very interesting article Melissa, I checked it out as well. Thanks for posting.
 
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