puppies fighting

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by lucy littlewood, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. lucy littlewood New Member

    Hi all, i have two new beagle cross puppies which are 11 weeks. They're fighting sometimes seems to get a bit aggressive but i've been letting them sort it out. i'm yet to work out which is dominant it seems to swap around. My new problem though is one has become aggressive at food time and isn't allowing the other at his bowl and trying to have both portions. i've tried to be dominant over the aggressor and allow the other puppy to eat his food ( after the aggressive one has finished his) but as soon as he get's back to the empty bowls and they both have a final check it's all gone he gets nasty and bites more aggressively than i've ever seen them play fight normally. should i be getting involved? or should i just feed them in different areas? when they aren't play fighting they are very loving to each other.

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    absolutely you should get involved but not at the fight stage. get in there before and prevent that situation from happening. if it were me i would redirect and reward what i do want. unless you tell them what you want they will guess and already you don't like the result of no direction. dog's seldom work things out themselves or grow out of it without some gentle but consistent guidance.

    left on their own they will probably escalate until one dog becomes clearly physically capable of inflicting enough damage to control the situation. that doesn't mean he'll stop hurting the other. it does ensure the other will live a life that is stressful and often painful if attacked. you want them both to be happy and enjoy one another's company so let them know with positive reinforcement now that is acceptable.

    if they are starting to be guard food you need to stop that right now before it becomes habituated. this is one thing shelters test for and often euthanize dogs that are food aggressive because training them past it to be safe in homes is too time consuming and expensive to warrant the cost/risk problem. in a multi-dog house hold I always feed separately, give high value treats separately, and never allow stealing. any dogs that start resource guarding may escalate to seriously injuring one another as they reach sexual maturity and adolescence. that aggression can also be easily redirected at people including children that might stray too close to the food bowl.

    just because they are related does not mean they aren't capable of seriously hurting one another or even killing one another. it's your job to help guide them through it and tell them what you do want to see them do and reward it. when i feed each dog knows to go to her spot and lie down and wait until i release her to eat. then they finish they lay down until i get the bowl and release. that may seem like a lot of trouble but esp with same sex dogs it can prevent a lot of problems later. i've had two dogs that fought and it meant a lot of years of separation and was a huge pain. there were also several trips to the ER because I couldn't prevent everything even though I was on high alert 24/7. that's no way to live. so don't let those squabbles become so ingrained that they are much harder to stop later.

    don't hesitate to find a good behaviorist or positive trainer to help you and things will go much faster if you feel you need some help. best of luck. :dogblush:

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