Females Fighting

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Sameeee, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Mutt Experienced Member

    I totally get you reaction.
    I looked into some dutch forums for tips and this is what I got (also see my very first post), note that all the following isn't my idea, only things I translated from dutch to english which I think may help:
    • if the dogs only fight when you are around (are giving attention) it means that they don't have a fundamental problem with each oter. otherwise they would also 'fight' when they are alone. this means it's less severe (it's a good thing you could say). this kind of behavior usually starts with (without noticing) giving more attention to one of the dogs and 'less' to the other. usually people give more attention to the highest ranked dog/the oldest dog. Best thing to do is to not give more attention to either one of them, so don't greet one first, don't feed one first etcetera. Sometimes the one who previously got less attention should get a little more to restore balance.
      jealousy (of the dog starting it) can also be a reason.
      how do you interact with the dogs, is there one you give attention first?
      if there is any tention at all, go away from the dogs. don't seperate them, don't talk to them, just leave them. as they only fight when you give Presious attention.
    • it is possible that the order isn't clear and the youngest things that it should change, the dogs are 'matched to each other' when it comes to 'strenght'/temperment. In this case neutering may sometimes help.

    I do recommand getting a dog therapist as it is very hard to give advice/to judge only by the internet (without seeing it in real life).

  2. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Sameeee

    The books I mentioned would be a start. Re: the spaying
    1) you describe a problem that started while your younger female was in estrus;
    2) the problem is aggression
    and both of those point to a situation in which not having fluctuating hormones affecting the dynamics between the dogs would be extremely helpful.

    I know multiple people suggested getting professional help and that is because the aggression has already resulted in bites to you and the dogs, and that is serious. You're also describing instances in which the dog is resource guarding you, and that can be tricky to deal with. When human and dog safety is a real concern, suggestions over the internet can be more dangerous than helpful in many cases. I suggested local help because you've been injured and the attacks on your older dog are frequent. Also, a certain percentage of intrahousehold female-female aggression cannot be worked out (I disagree with Pawbla here) and an experienced trainer or behaviorist can give you the best chance for success.

    If you wanted to work on this while you looked for a home, you could use baby gates and doors within your home to keep the dogs apart. They should be apart at all times now anyway, especially during meals and while unsupervised. They should wear harnesses and drag leashes if they may come into contact with each other. You can work on each dog's "leave it" and "go to place" and down/stay. These won't break up a fight, but if you recognize the warm-up behaviors you may be able to interrupt it before it goes further.

    As far as placing her, you can ask your local small breed dog or Shih Tzu rescue to help. Here's a Florida one which seems reputable: http://www.shihtzurescue.org/as/home.shtml . You can email them asking for help in your area.

    Take care and best of luck.
    MaryK and jackienmutts like this.
  3. Sameeee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for understanding. I am on my own with this. it is either rehome Sassy or try to work it out, I can not hire anyone to advise me on this.
    they are fine together. they play. sleep together and eat together. if all is calm everything is ok. it is only when I look, talk, or do anything with Presious. Sassy will run to Presious and put her head over her neck. if there is any movment from me or Presious thats when Sassy attacks. I have no way to get to Sassy before the fight starts. as for me getting biten it was not me they where biting it was the other and I just got in the way. I have harness's on both now with a drag leash I can grab. and thinking of getting a muzzle for Sassy so she can't bite. I have to think of a way to show Sassy that it is ok to love on Presious too.
  4. Mutt Experienced Member

    Is there no way for you to use some money you put aside (maybe for the vet or anything) you can use?
    I wouldn't go for a muzzle as most dogs really hate it/get more nervous because of it and it can't serve as a permanent solution. as earlier mentioned babygates (or rabbit fences) are a better solution as they make sure the dogs can't harm each other.
    In my first post I wrote something which may make clear to sassy that you giving attention to Presious is a good (positive) thing for her.
    MaryK likes this.
  5. Sameeee Well-Known Member

    I have no extra money. I have a wonderfull vet that let me make payments on Sissy Dogs cancer treatment. and all extra cash goes to that. I think I am going to make a pet inclosure and try it. your right about the muzzle I think she would hate it.
  6. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Sorry you're feeling so frustrated with the advice that's been given to you - but I must say, it's been responsible advice. Female-female fighting is very serious, especially with unspayed females, as is resource guarding. The two together can sometimes be deadly. Literally. To suggest that you came here hoping for some kind of training advice but aren't getting it is, I have to say, not the case. If you were to take our advice as we've given it and seek the help of a behaviorist, most likely the first thing they'd suggest is to get both girls spayed. That you aren't financially able to do so is a different subject. But please don't be frustrated at those on the forum offering you the best advice possible for your situation. Sorry, but I had to say this, as it's true. I'm not sure only unsupervised training - meaning, training with only suggestions given by 'invisible' people from a forum with no one actually seeing your dogs hands-on, observing, assisting, working with them and you - is going to solve your problem. Not saying any situation can't be solved, including yours, only saying .. not sure.

    Please re-read Adrianna and Calvin's post above. Many good points were brought up. I worry about both of the dogs, and you. That they are calm with each other most of the time now is wonderful - but I worry about down the line without proper help. Sassy is coming into maturity, and therein lies the problem. I just don't want to see anyone hurt.
    MaryK, Adrianna & Calvin and Dogster like this.
  7. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Sameeee, if you are referring to the rescue group I mentioned, there is no payment involved. You tell them you have a dog who needs a home, and they can refer you to a person or group in your area that knows of people looking for a Shih tzu rescue dog. If possible, you'd keep her in your home until they've found the right adoptive family for her.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. southerngirl Honored Member

    Sameee if you tell me what country/state you live in I can look for a free/low cost spay neuter certificate. If you want you can inbox it to me if you don't want everyone knowing:D My parents have a tight budget too(their is me and 4siblings) but we were able to save money to get my 35pound dog fixed it was $80 dollers to spay her and for a rabies shot. I'm guessing your dogs weigh less than that so it might cost less depending on were you live. If you can't get both fixed maybe you could afford 1(Sassy). Also go online and become an expert on body language. Only thing I can think of is keep them separated at all times. When you are petting Precious give Sassy something to do such as a kong or other toy that she likes(this is with them separated by a gate. If you see Sassy staring at precious put her in a bathroom or bedroom for 10sec. than let her back out into her area. Work on this everyday. Make sure they are getting plenty of exercise. They should have a 30min walk everyday(separately to keep them from fighting) and about 10min. or several times throughout the day like I do. It never hurts to trick train they need their brains stimulated check out the trick lists to get some ideas. I hope this helps you.
  9. Pawbla Experienced Member

    I don't want to "pollute" the thread further with spaying/neutering or other stuff, but I have to clarify two-three things:

    Sorry, I didn't know. Here the rescue groups are advocated to spaying/neutering (maybe that's why I'm a bit too much for it) because we have a very big dog overpopulation problem, which obviously leads to abandonment and animals in high-risk situations. I believe in the US you have the same problem, only the US keeps its dogs in shelters and my country keeps it in streets. That's why I thought about it.

    Yeah but those are the rarer cases. This doesn't sound like one of those. I had two females that aimed to kill every time they saw each other or even when they were separated by a door (like when one was in a room and the other one was in the next room, they'd growl, bark, and lunge, towards the door). That was an extreme case and I'm not sure if it would have been solved even if we hired a behaviourist (we didn't because we didn't know such a thing existed. I was like 10 years old.)

    I'm sorry you are low on money. Can you invest on those baby gates mentioned? I'm not sure of the cost. It would allow both to see each other with no danger, and you can reinforce her when she reacts nicely to Precious being handled. Maybe in the future you can spay them and manage the behaviour meanwhile. I lived on management (clearly a stricter one, though) with these two females that "wanted to kill each other" for 2 more years until one of them passed away (not really sure of what was the cause of the aggression, I don't remember the early aggression signs clearly... I was very young). You can add some training there and maybe you can keep both. My aunt has a couple of dogs that do not get along with each other (she has 8) so she keeps one upstairs, the other one in the kitchen, and the rest in the rest of the house.
  10. MaryK Honored Member

    So sorry you're miffed but believe me, from previous experience, it's well nigh impossible to stop this behavior WITHOUT professional IN HOUSE help from a qualified dog behaviourlist who uses Positive Reinforcement (not as mentioned the millan type). I had a beautiful girl, she was spayed and then one day found, in the streets, a young stray Short haired Border Collie who, on getting her home, was found to be just coming into her first season. She was I estimated, backed up by my vet, 8 months old. Too late to spay but had her done after her season had finished. All was well at first with my two gals but it didn't last. It wasn't long before I had aggression problems. I got hormone tablets from the vet, but this didn't stop it. I was just arranging for a professional to come to my home, when after leaving them alone for 10 minutes and I THOUGHT safely separated by a gate, I came home to a blood bath. My 'original' dog had her leg bitten through and the tendons shredded, requiring massive micro surgery and my 'adopted' lass had her eye severely damaged, again resulting in immediate, micro surgery and massive vet bills. Both required hospitalization and both required DAILY vet visits for some time after, which meant I was making two trips a day to the vets (my little stay was already in a new home but I felt responsible so took her to the vets and paid all the bills). Sorry, but that's what can happen. I have had dogs all my life and, whilst I am always learning and not a professional trainer, do consider that I've managed to keep the peace between a number of dogs when I was allowed to have more than two.

    And even once more separated with me urgently ringing the vet and a dog ambulance (I don't drive and partner's car was in for service) they STILL attempted to fight again. It really is a VERY HARD, in fact IMPOSSIBLE situation to deal with alone. Oh and I had to take each dog individually to the vets in separate ambulances, it wasn't possible even then to put the two in the same ambulance.

    There are people here who ARE professional dog trainers and have given you help and advice, so please, don't be miffed, these people know what they are saying. If they could help you, they would (and have already), but there isn't though a 'magic wand cure' for this aggression. I totally understand how tough it is, as you've tried to do the right thing with both your gals and it just hasn't worked out. Sometimes in life things WE plan don't always go the way we would wish them too.

    I had to find another home for the little stray, she's VERY happy now, spoiled rotten and my other gal, who sadly crossed not so long back, lived the rest of her life in peace and happiness. Both dogs totally recovered from their injuries, both mentally and physically, but it took ME a long time to forget what I can home too, did a massive 'blame myself' thing for not getting in a professional sooner.
  11. Sameeee Well-Known Member

    Thanks all, I was miffed because all I got was get her spayed, get a trainer. that is something I could not do. there was a few whodid offer advice that I am trying now. but I have come to the point where I am going to rehome Sassy, I am interviewing ppl now. I will not let her go to just anyone. Thanks again for your help and advice
  12. boltandjenny Well-Known Member

    Maybe try training sassy to not attack precious when she is getting attention. You can have precious on one side of the room and sassy all the way across the room with her harness and leash. You can handle sassy and your husband can handle precious. have your husband gently pet precious and if sassy notices and doesnt react then praise her heavily or click and treat if you use the clicker. After several repetitions of that have your husband give precious even more attention but not too much either and everytime sassy notices but doesnt react then click and treat and give her attention also. Then move them closer together but still keep the harness and leash on her just in case
    MaryK likes this.
  13. Sameeee Well-Known Member

    I found Sassy a wounderfull home with an older couple that have no other pets and are going to love her and spoil her rotten, I am going to miss her more than words can say, but I know my Presious will so much happer. and is not going to have to worry about being attacked Thanks and just wait till I start asking on how to train Max lol
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  14. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Sameeee, I know how hard that was for you, but truly, I believe it is the best decision you could have made - for both dogs. It sounds like Sassy will be with a new family who will just adore her and make her the center of their world, which will be as it should be. And Presious can once again take a deep breath and not worry about what might happen. Getting your love and affection should never be a stressful situation for any dog - and giving love and affection to a dog should never be a stressful situation for you! :confused: It should be pure joy and relaxation for both of you.

    As for asking questions on training - ask away. Now you're speaking our language!! We LOVE training questions!!! :LOL: Heck, with everyone on this board helping, we'll have your dogs doing everything but the dishes (I think we're still trying to figure out how to get them to do housework!!:ROFLMAO:).....altho .... there's a video that might blow their cover..... :p:LOL::ROFLMAO:
    MaryK, Dogster and southerngirl like this.
  15. Sameeee Well-Known Member

    lol thanks. it took me a long time to train hubby to do dishes. if you can help me train Max to do the dishes hubby would thank you cause he would not have to do them anymore lol.
    yes Sassy going to a new home is for the best. Presious has gotten more loves tonight than in the past month and is loving it. she seams so happy. I am going to miss Sassy she was my baby too. but I love Presious and hated all that was going on with the fighting. down the line I might get a male shih tzu puppy. but not sure yet.
    Max has a few problems but nothing to bad. all in all he is a good dog. just thinks he is a little puppy and he is not lol he a BIG puppy.
    southerngirl and MaryK like this.
  16. MaryK Honored Member

    Samee I really can feel for you, it's tough to part with one of our dogs, but it sounds like Sassy is in a wonderful home. You really did well and I bet you really 'scrutinized' prospective new Moms and Dads:) Precious will now be happy again, neither dog was happy in that situation, and she can now lap up all your love, attention and more love, without a single worry to disturb her:)

    You're in the right place for helping with tricks, everyone here is great and love helping. Before you know it Precious and Max will be star trick dogs:D

    Everyone is working on how to get dogs to do the washing up though:D so if you find a way, please post immediately :ROFLMAO: you'll start a tsumi of trick training on that one:ROFLMAO:
  17. Sameeee Well-Known Member

    A friend felt bad about me having to rehome Sassy. and Presious being alone again he has a friend that has a litter of Shih Tzu puppies and got me a little male, he is only 4 weeks old right now so it will be 3 weeks before I can bring him home. don't worry will be saving up to get him fixed when he is old enough. trying to think of a name but all I can come up with is BB short for Baby Boy

    Attached Files:

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  18. MaryK Honored Member

    Oh that's grand, I am sure Precious will love her new little friend. Male/Female is a great combination:D Wait until he's in your arms, you'll think of the perfect name for him:D. Until then BB is fine. Do post photos when he arrives home.
  19. Sameeee Well-Known Member

    I was not sure if I wanted another dog. but the more I look at his pic the more I am falling in Love with him. and just want to cuddle lol, where on the fourm can I introduce him??
  20. Dogster Honored Member

    How about in the off-topic section??? Or Puppies...:)

    Before bringing him home, I suggest bringing both Precious and Max to meet him, as soon as he is old enough. Just so the same thing doesn't happen with the new pup.;)
    MaryK, Pawbla and southerngirl like this.

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