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

this problem. I have three...
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?
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
10/30/2013
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,058
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
Verified
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?
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Customer reply replied 4 years 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.

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
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,058
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
Verified
Jane Lefler and 87 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 years 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.

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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20,058
20,058 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years

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