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Ok well, we have been having some issues lately where Trigger reacts to something one of the others, in such a way that hurts them. Today, Bryco and I were playing fetch with a bully stick and Trig thought he would join in...by trying to rip Bryco's head off and making blood gush from around/at/in? his eye...while I was flushing his eye out with eye drops and checking for normal activity/dilation with the eye, I hear the new puppy yelping and get down stairs in time to see he's nipped her pretty good simply because she had followed Bryco and me to the gate/was near him (she's usually in her pen when I can't supervise but I had run upstairs w/ B as I was a little freaked out by all the blood). On a regular basis he has been reacting in a way that has either hurt Bryco or Oakley or he is fighting with Laurel. I am just afraid someone is going to get seriously hurt...he does not at a all realize he is 10x stronger than the smaller 3, and you can tell suddenly he is not being OK with being at the bottom of the pack like he has been. I am not sure the appropriate way to approach it other than I am starting to think I can't trust him alone with the other dogs during the day because its just been one thing after another where he has hurt one of them. I adore him to death but lately I feel like all I am doing is correcting him. We have had him since he turned 8 weeks old and he is 1 year old this week. I just think he does not know how easy it is for him to really hurt the smaller ones, he is one of the strongest/most muscular chihuahuas that I have seen and I don't know what to do so no one gets hurt. For the most part he is a very sweet dog, but he has been pretty defiant lately, and I wonder if it's just the age.
 

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For once I have no advice to give. :( I have never had more than 2 dogs at a time so pack order and that kind of thing is something I have never dealt with. I'm sure others with multiple dogs will give you some great tips and advice on dealing with it. I'm sure it's a very hard situation to be in!
 

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I just don't know what to do...the 2 smallest are at the "top" of my pack, but how they got there is beyond me. Oakley rules the roost followed by Bryco. He's just like a big goofy teenager that has no clue he is bigger, or stronger, than Oakley and Bryco...I know the pack order is "off" or in "limbo" b'c of the new addition, but, it's been off for awhile now. He is big and pushy and always just bumping into the others, even Laurel, and they get pissy or put out with him. LOL hey I'd be annoyed too if this other dog just acted like I didn't exist and he trampled all over me too!
 

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Oh, I am so sorry to hear this.. It would make more sense if Trig were not neutered, but I haven't experienced one of our fixed boys suddenly trying to "move up" in the pack order once they have reached maturity. I certainly see why you are rethinking leaving him with the little ones while you are away from home during the day. Perhaps gating him separately when he can't be supervised is the only safe thing to do. It is also unusual from our pack experience to have a male attack a female.. any disagreements we had while they were growing up was always "male on male." So Trig challenging Bryco is more understandable to me than his attacks on Laurel and Oakley.
 

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Wow. I've had tussles, mostly with Xena being aggressive with the girl dogs or Smoke with Billy or Reggie, but it has never drawn blood. They are just usually covered in slobber. As soon as it escalates, I squirt with the water bottle and say Nice! and they all back off. Both are trying to move up in status in the pack. I use play nice a lot, espicially when they play with the puppies, even though the puppies are almost bigger than everyone else. For the most part they listen very well, we haven't had any tussles in more than a month.
 

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Does he have anything physically wrong with him that could be causing pain? Bad Bite? Knees etc? Tummy issues? We are having the same issue with one of our cats, she's 11 years old and I've had her since she was 6 weeks old, lately she has been attacking the other cats like crazy, she even tore the cruciate on one of my younger cats :-( It's been non stop fighting, so she was confined to a large crate with food/water/litterbox for about a month, about 1/2 way through I noticed she was constipated so we've treated her for that, and she has arthritis so we are working with that, but last Friday she was checked and her intestines are inflammed so we think she's having food intolerance issues which are making her extra grumpy. We've been feeding her the HK Prowl mixed with raw since Friday, and OMG the difference is amazing...no more picking on the other kitties...well not as bad lol. So I think the grains in her diet were causing her irritation and making her grumpy...sorry so long just wanted to share that sometimes physical issues can cause grumpiness and they tend to take it out on the closest thing/dog/cat to them at the time.
 

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He's very healthy, nothing physically wrong...he kind of just has a bad attitude. We aren't sure what's up, he isn't fed grains and is on a raw diet...so I don't think its diet. Quite honestly I really don't think it's anything other than he doesn't want to be at the bottom of the pack anymore, and that's where he is going to have to stay.
 

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Oh, I am so sorry to hear this.. It would make more sense if Trig were not neutered, but I haven't experienced one of our fixed boys suddenly trying to "move up" in the pack order once they have reached maturity. I certainly see why you are rethinking leaving him with the little ones while you are away from home during the day. Perhaps gating him separately when he can't be supervised is the only safe thing to do. It is also unusual from our pack experience to have a male attack a female.. any disagreements we had while they were growing up was always "male on male." So Trig challenging Bryco is more understandable to me than his attacks on Laurel and Oakley.
He kind of has thromped Laurel, but he and Oakley are always going at it. He's hurt her eye before too, and sent her off limping from a scuffle. I do stop the scuffles as soon as they start, simply because he can and will hurt the smaller two. I let him and Laurel hash it out, as I know they will both be fine. SO...yeah, I don't know either. Oakley is half his size and holds her own with him but I just don't understand why it keeps happening.
 

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What are you doing to correct him Kristi? I'd be correcting every behavior he does that is dominant at this point. I understand wanting them to work out their own problems & pecking order but if he's harming the other dogs I think it's definitely time to intervene & make sure he stays at the bottom of the pack.

We've had an issue with a couple of ours but it was more to do with a mix of 1)hormones (i.e. during heats LOL) & 2)one not understanding her boundaries & being absolutely full of herself & "in your face" constantly. But the only time it got bloody was yeah...during a heat so the intensity was due to hormones.

Anyway...I'd just make sure you don't let him unsupervised with the rest (especially the smaller Chis) & when he is supervised with them correct ANY dominant advances he makes toward any of them...even a small one such as "show boating". Hopefully you can knock his confidence down a bit so he will become secure in his position & you don't continue to have issues with him. NO FUN to deal with. :(
 

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He's pretty submissive to Miles & I, but yeah, at this point, he is going to be kept in the kitchen instead of the family room until I can trust him again. I am not sure what is up...

To correct him I am "biting" him dog whisperer style. If he doesn't react appropriately, he is put in "time out" on his side. If he struggles, he gets put in the bathroom for 2 minutes to cool off. He isn't a bad dog, he just I don't think, is aware how much bigger or stronger he is, and it's the 2nd time in about a week he's drawn blood from one of the others for whatever reason. Bad, bad, bad.
 

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Oh I know what you mean...about not being a "bad" dog. I can understand! :) Has anything changed at all in routine & what not that could be throwing him off? Obviously Asia coming home is a bit of an adjustment. But is there anything else that could be making him feel a little insecure maybe?? I wish I had some words of wisdom...you're doing everything "right" (big surprise there LOL) so I'm not sure what else to say. Hopefully it's just a wonky stage he's going through & he'll come out of it soon!
 

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Oh I know what you mean...about not being a "bad" dog. I can understand! :) Has anything changed at all in routine & what not that could be throwing him off? Obviously Asia coming home is a bit of an adjustment. But is there anything else that could be making him feel a little insecure maybe?? I wish I had some words of wisdom...you're doing everything "right" (big surprise there LOL) so I'm not sure what else to say. Hopefully it's just a wonky stage he's going through & he'll come out of it soon!
No, this has kind of been going on for about 2 months now, I'd say. It just freaked me out to see Bryco gushing blood, lol! He isn't mean spirited, either. I am just confused and unsure what to do. I don't want him to have to be alone by himself during the day,...but, I would hate it if I came home and someone was hurt. So, I don't think it's Asia. None of mine seem phased by her really, probably because she is sooo much younger than they are.

He's about as healthy as can be, too...I think it really just comes down to he's decided he wants a higher place in the pack.
 

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TBH I sort of wonder if he just needs a good exhausting walk each day and because of the icy roads/streets, guess what he hasn't had daily for about 2 months? I will be so thankful to be in the new house with a yard for them to get some energy out in, because we can't always take them for walks (part of why we chose chis, not's great danes! hehe).
 

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I think separating Trigger from the others when you're gone is an excellent idea, because you don't know what they're doing when they're home alone, and Trigger may be practicing behaviors that you'd rather he didn't.

1 year old is certainly the right age to start pushing boundaries and playing with status, and being snappy and snarky is kind of a self-rewarding behavior, so now that he's in the habit, it's that much easier for him to do it again, if that makes sense. I don't think Trigger is a bad dog at all, but most dogs do have excellent control of their mouths and teeth. If he's drawing blood, I suspect he's not doing it by accident but because he's decided that's the right amount of force to use in the situation.

I used to own another larger female dog along with Wren, and I was foolish enough to leave them alone and unattended together when I went to work after having both for only a couple of weeks. I found out a month down the road that they had been getting into small tussles while I was gone, and the whole thing erupted into a had-to-spill-water-on-them-and-haul-them-apart fight, thankfully when I was home. It took a year before the girls were really comfortable and at ease around one another again. Once something shifts in canine relations, it can take a while to get back to steady ground.

Are there things Trigger enjoys doing more than the other dogs do? Are there games he likes best or spots he lies to lie in that the other dogs don't find as important? Sometimes, I find, that if you let a dog be 'boss' over certain things, they actually relax about being in control of others. Having an eight dog 'swarm' currently, I'm always amazed at how fluid the social dynamics are. The dogs that I consider to be more assertive will, never the less, concede to coming in second behind another one over certain matters. Who humps who will shift around. Pack hierarchy, such as it is, is a really fluid thing, especially when you start getting up in numbers.

Be watchful, too, of how the dogs behave around one another versus how you behave with them. Are there dogs you routinely give preferential treatment (eat first, held more, etc) maybe simply because they're smaller and you're focusing on their safety around the bigger ones or because you think they ought to be the ones calling the shots? Do different dogs end up being the 'boss' when they're interacting together without you? Sometimes those discrepancies, if there are any, can also create conflicts among the group.
 

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I think separating Trigger from the others when you're gone is an excellent idea, because you don't know what they're doing when they're home alone, and Trigger may be practicing behaviors that you'd rather he didn't.

Thats what I am thinking is happening, and it is only just now coming to light. Bryco, our intact male, is the one he has the biggest problem with, and trust me when I say that goes both ways...Bryco is a bit of a cocky bastard. But, bottom line is the fighting isn't acceptable.

1 year old is certainly the right age to start pushing boundaries and playing with status, and being snappy and snarky is kind of a self-rewarding behavior, so now that he's in the habit, it's that much easier for him to do it again, if that makes sense. I don't think Trigger is a bad dog at all, but most dogs do have excellent control of their mouths and teeth. If he's drawing blood, I suspect he's not doing it by accident but because he's decided that's the right amount of force to use in the situation.

Yeah, it was not a gentle scuffle today. Granted chis have big bulgy eyes and they are easier to injur,...but...yeah. I agree they have the appropriate control to not cause damage, and he did.

I used to own another larger female dog along with Wren, and I was foolish enough to leave them alone and unattended together when I went to work after having both for only a couple of weeks. I found out a month down the road that they had been getting into small tussles while I was gone, and the whole thing erupted into a had-to-spill-water-on-them-and-haul-them-apart fight, thankfully when I was home. It took a year before the girls were really comfortable and at ease around one another again. Once something shifts in canine relations, it can take a while to get back to steady ground.

Not sure I would say the boys have ever been on steady ground with each other...oddly we find them snuggled up together pretty often, but it's always on Bryco's terms, he is definitely the alpha male in the house. But he is half Trigger's size...I sort of wonder if the big dummy has just finally figured that out?

Are there things Trigger enjoys doing more than the other dogs do? Are there games he likes best or spots he lies to lie in that the other dogs don't find as important? Sometimes, I find, that if you let a dog be 'boss' over certain things, they actually relax about being in control of others. Having an eight dog 'swarm' currently, I'm always amazed at how fluid the social dynamics are. The dogs that I consider to be more assertive will, never the less, concede to coming in second behind another one over certain matters. Who humps who will shift around. Pack hierarchy, such as it is, is a really fluid thing, especially when you start getting up in numbers.

Not really...he really is not a very possessive dog. He is VERY food oriented and he is possessive of that, though. It was very hard to teach him the leave-it command. They are all fed at once and they all have to "wait" til everyone is sitting and everyone's bowl is down, then they can eat... he knows he has to listen to us (hubby and I), he doesn't challenge us ever. But he does get into it w/ Bryco & Oakley. He's very clearly higher up in the pack than Laurel.

Be watchful, too, of how the dogs behave around one another versus how you behave with them. Are there dogs you routinely give preferential treatment (eat first, held more, etc) maybe simply because they're smaller and you're focusing on their safety around the bigger ones or because you think they ought to be the ones calling the shots? Do different dogs end up being the 'boss' when they're interacting together without you? Sometimes those discrepancies, if there are any, can also create conflicts among the group.
The only one that gets special treatment is Oakley, which is bad and its good. She has always asserted herself as boss anyway, but, lets face it, she's my favorite, my first, my heart dog, and the smallest so sometimes I favor her. She's the only dog allowed to sleep in the bed too. But she still has to do all the same things as the others...sit/wait for food, sit/wait to go through an open door, and so forth. She doesn't get any more physical affection than the others do, that we keep equal. She and Trigger have always gotten into it ever since Trigger came home, but it seemed to have blown over till only just recently. Its like he finally really conquered Laurel so now he is seeing "who's next" to go down.
 

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This sucks. Poor Bryco! I would have totally panicked, it sounds like you handled it a lot better than I would have.

TBH I sort of wonder if he just needs a good exhausting walk each day and because of the icy roads/streets, guess what he hasn't had daily for about 2 months? I will be so thankful to be in the new house with a yard for them to get some energy out in, because we can't always take them for walks (part of why we chose chis, not's great danes! hehe).
Im thinking this is a huge part of it, yes! All of ours have been stir crazy for the past month since our weathers gotten bad and Miley and Leo have been obnoxious and are constantly getting into little scuffles. I dont get involved either unless it escalates, or sometimes Reese will go over and break it up:) Luckily weve had nothing that intense. I bet Trigger has a lot of pent up energy now that he isnt able to drain any outside, and he is directing it at the other dogs for an outlet. I think Smith made some really good suggestions. Id also try making him the focus of some positive attention. Try to find some stuff you can do indoors to drain his energy and get him thinking. One of Reeses favorite games is hide and seek. One of us holds him, while the other shows him treats and then goes to hide. We do the whole counting thing and dont let him peak. Then we let him go and say "go find" and he runs around searching for us to get the treat. If theres a door closed he scratches at it asking for it to be opened, and he will get up on the back of our couch or on a bed to look around the whole room from a higher vantage point. Its really funny to play and he has a blast, and it gets them running around and using their brain. I find its easier to play a game like that one on one, so gate the others or otherwise put them up so the game is just for him. Good luck, youll be able to sort it out. Ive also just made a BIG best bullies order of a variety of chews to keep them occupied too, this weather sucks for everyone but spring IS coming!
 

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Have you tried giving Trigger a serious case of the cold shoulder when he tries to pull these stunts? (This might also work with Bryco, when he's the one causing the scrapping.) Instead of scolding or correcting, make a disgusted sound deep in your throat like 'uch', collect the other dogs and walk away. Then, completely ignore Trigger for a couple hours and have everyone else in the house do the same. If he realizes that playing the punk gets him temporarily disowned, he might be more hesitant to keep doing it.

I also agree that more exercise could totally help. I knew a dog trainer who loved the saying 'a tired dog is a good dog'.
 
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