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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a dog that attacks one of my other dogs, they have been

Customer Question

I have a dog that attacks one of my other dogs, they have been in the same household now for a year this past May. I have two toy poodles that Fe Fe my Maltese doesn't bother, but a Pomerian/Pek. that she does attack I don't know why or how to handle the situation but it has become serious and Patches was born without canines to defend herself, but she fights Fe Fe. Please tell me what to do I can't keep them separated and Patches tries to stay clear of Fe Fe but is scared of her. It seems like only when I'm around, my boyfriend tells me when he's home with them they don't fight. Please, I need your help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
I can not do phone calls. However, I should be able to help you if you can be patient though it does take time to type up answers and get the information needed to answer.
I do have 18+ years in the dog behavioral field. so let me try and gather information so I can at least have a response to you by the time you are off work if you do not have access until then.
Can you give me the sex, age and reproductive status of the dogs involved?
For instance, the toy poodles are ?? age and ?? age, male and female and fixed. Fefe is female, ?? old, not spayed, patches is female, ?? old and not spayed.
Have any of the dogs had obedience training?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Peaches is 3 years and 10 months old,she is a spayed toy poodle, no training she tries to break up the fights. Peanut is 2 years and 6 months old and he is a neutered toy poodle, no training. FeFe is a spayed Maltese 2 years and 1 month old, no training. Patches is a spayed 1 year 7 months old female Pom-Pek, no training.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.
It sounds like you have a little pack situation going on. It looks like Peaches is the alpha female if she is trying to break up the fights and peanut is the alpha male. Males usually stay out of these situations, but sometimes will jump in as well.
IN a multidog household, older dogs are usually the bosses but then there is an order to where the others fall. Puppies usually get away with a lot of behavior that adults won't and older pups are usually higher in the pack then younger ones. Patches is 6 months younger than FeFe and FeFe would see herself as Patches boss. When patches was younger, she probably didn't get too many reprimands but now that she is matured, Fefe feels she has to reprimand her for anything she feels is unacceptable.
This could be Patches trying to get attention from you, or eat first or even go through the door first. This would cause fefe to reprimand her with a growl or bite even.
That said, you are supposed to be the boss and not the dogs. You have the final say on what happens when you are around. The way to combat this situation is with obedience training so the dogs see you as the boss. It needs to be a structured training process but doesn't have to be a class to start with. In other words daily training around the same times each day. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
Once trained, you can control them if one should decide that another needs reprimanding. You can stop any fights before they start using commands like sit, down, etc.
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. Again, use tasty treats like the hot dog slices. This teaches the dogs that you WILL not tolerate fighting in YOUR pack.
It also helps to understand body language so you know what the dogs are saying to each other with the position of the tail, type of walk and ear set.
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques I describe, you may have to consult an in person professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Rita,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler

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