How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question

Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16711
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have owned dogs my entire life and have never come up on

Resolved Question:

I have owned dogs my entire life and have never come up on this problem. I have three dogs. One male hound mix, one female Rottweiler and one female medium sized mixed breed. The bigger two get along amazing all the time. The little one is so sweet and wants every one to love and play with her. Most of the time she gets that. But then out of no where with seemingly no trigger other than me walking to of the room the older two will attack her. The little one has never been hurt real bad. Once she had a puncture wound on her side but they usually stop short of doing any real harm to her. I know a three dog dinamic is tricky I have had packs befor but never have I had a fight break out so rAndomly, then they act like best friends two min later. Any thoughts on what could be going on?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.
Hi JaCustomer,.My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. .In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient. .Is the larger female initiating the attack and the hound jumps in?Is any of them fixed?Do you work with them on obedience?How old is each dog?What order did you get the dogs?Are any of them allowed on furniture?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
They are all fixed. I work with all of them though most of my time is spent with the older female ( Ophelia) for competitions. I got the hound first (Homer) then a few months later got Ophelia as a puppy. My little one came last (Chitsa) as a rescue pup about a year and a half after Ophelia. Ophelia usually starts it yes, with Homer jumping in but not all the time sometimes it is Homer but when this happons I beleave it is him trying to play to ruff, I have been working with him on this. They are all allowed on the furniture and they all sleep with me in bed.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.

Stephanie,

.

Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. Your Rottie sounds like she is the alpha female and Chitsa is the lowest ranking pack member. The problem is that size doesn't necessarily mean much when it comes to dominance in dogs. I breed rotties and breed for a good temperament. I also have cats and an alaskan eskimo mix and chihuahua. The chihuahua at 7 pounds rules the 150 pound male rottie.

.

 

Chitsa is matured into an adult and she may feel that she needs to make a bid for the alpha female position or she may just be doing things that an alpha female might ignore as long as she was a puppy, but now that she is an adult, Ophelia is not allowing. Puppies can get away with a lot more than adults can. For instance, a pup can frequently run up on an adult female with no reprimand, but let an adult female do the same and they adult will likey growl and even nip.

.

Another instance is when a puppy will plow through the group of dogs to get to the humans and the adults let them, where if another adult dog tried that, the alpha dog is likely to give a reprimand. So this may be why you are suddenly seeing this behavior.

.

If you are not working Chitsa on obedience daily, I would start some daily practice with her. I'm sure you know how to do thiat if you work Ophelia. . You are going to have to change how you interact with the dogs. The alpha dogs should be fed first, given treats first and shown affection first. So Chitsa would be the last one to be praised, fed, etc. If she forces her way through, you need to ignore her in favor of Ophelia and your boy. Let the other dogs see that you are acknowledging them as the leaders and not upsetting the order by showing her attention first. Amazingly enough, this is sometimes enough to help stop fights. .Usually the fighting will start among the same sex dogs but once a fight occurs, the male will jump in.

 

Sometimes it seems like he will back up the alpha female but in some cases they will make sure that one dog does not go too far. Now you can use your obedience training to stop Ophelia from attacking and I'll give you some other instructions to help stop fighting as well as some body language sites. You might already know about body language but it helps to see it in black and white.

.

If you use commands to stop Ophelia from giving a reprimand, then you have to step up and stop the younger dog from displaying behavior that she shouldn't. In other words, if she rushes through to get your attention first, you need to reprimand her. If she tries to get a treat meant for one of the other dogs, you have to reprimand her and let her see you allow the alpha dog to have it. This will show the alpha dogs that you are taking the leadership role seriously and they won't need to reprimand her. .

Additional training can also help. Both dogs should be leashed and if one dog even looks at the other dog, a correction should be done. Any sign of aggression including a prolonged look, hair raised on the shoulders, a growl or even a stiff legged walk, should be corrected. A correction is a quick tug of the leash and a firm low toned "NO". Once you have done this couple of times, you should notice the dogs ignoring each other. When that happens, you will want to reward them for the desired behavior. Use tasty treats like the hot dog slices. This teaches the dogs that you WILL not tolerate fighting in YOUR pack.

Here are the sites I promised you on dog body language.

http://www.apdt.com/petowners/park/body-language/

http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.html

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/canine-body-language

.

Since they are not hurting her at this point, it does sound like reprimands, but you should get it stopped as soon as you can with training. I strongly suggest that you monitor them closely. Chitsa will likely submit again to Ophelia and peace will be restored, but that may take a few months..Since you can train, I think it is likely that you can get the situation under control. However, sometimes we are too close to our own dogs and you might need to bring in a different trainer. In other cases, neither dog submits and it ends up being a larger problem with bloodshed. Since the alpha is a large powerful dog, I think it is likely that Chitsa will submit. .If you are not doing this yet, I do recommend that you start the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

.I

do want to give you a site that goes over the issue of multiple females in one household and the altercations that can occur.

http://www.canismajor.com/dog/feisty.html

.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .

.

Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16711
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
Jane Lefler and 2 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Thank you. Chitsa does submit to ophelia abd ophelia submits to homer. I will begin working more with chitsa on obedience. She knows the basics but advances training never hurts. Chitsa is grown but still has a very puppy like personality. You could be right about the correction I never thought of that. Thank you for the sites.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Pawsitivtrainr

    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    145
    35+ years Training Dogs
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/Pawsitivtrainr/2012-6-19_191152_DOROTHYANN500X509.64x64.jpg Pawsitivtrainr's Avatar

    Pawsitivtrainr

    Dog Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    145
    35+ years Training Dogs
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AG/agilityaddict/2012-6-6_18501_IMG4422.64x64.jpg agilityaddict's Avatar

    agilityaddict

    Pet Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    89
    20 years experience training dogs in obedience and agility, current 4-H agility superintendent
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    68
    I have been a breeder and owner of dogs for over 40 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/dogdoc4u/2012-6-18_0347_CanonPics2012082.64x64.jpg Dr. Altman's Avatar

    Dr. Altman

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    56
    Practicing small animal veterinarian for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Trainer

    Satisfied Customers:

    43
    40 yrs. training pet dogs and performance dogs in obedience, agility, herding, tracking, and therapy.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    33
    13 years experience as a veterinarian dealing with dogs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2014-5-4_221755_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Animal Behaviorist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years