Trust Is Gone

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Lucky Dice, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. Lucky Dice New Member

    I have 3 collies, 12 years, 9 years and 1 1/2 years. As a rule they all get a long, there is no fighting over food, bones, toys or me for affection. They are all well socialised and the older two have competed at flyball all their lives.

    A year ago I moved in with my partner and the upset of moving seemed to cause a few fights between the two older ones with Buster (12 years) needing stitches after one episode. All has been quiet for the last 12 months.

    My problem is with the middle dog who last week, twice in the same day (hours apart) went for my old boy. I know dogs have there squabbles but when Ceillo goes for another dog it is without mercy.

    It is the intensity of the fighting that is up setting me the most as now I can no longer leave them together with out worrying Ceillo is going to start something!:giggle: DSC_0092.JPG

  2. Evie Experienced Member

    Beautiful dogs!!

    Pity about the fighting though... and sorry :( I don't have any suggestions - hopefully someone else on here will... but they're all absolutely adorable!!
    Dlilly likes this.
  3. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member


    I'm sorry to hear about the recent fights. First off, you need to manage the dogs so no more fights occur -- it sounds like you are already doing that. All toys must be up off the floor, all food and rawhides are away until set times when the dogs can be separated to enjoy their meals or treats.

    Next step (this week, as soon as you can) is to get all the dogs in to the vet for a thorough checkup. Sudden changes in behavior and family dynamics require the rule out of a medical condition in one or more family members. Please don't neglect this step. Make their appointments today, and tell the veterinarian your concerns. You can use the search here for a local veterinarian with an interest in behavior, if you haven't got a vet already.

    After that, especially as one dog has already needed hospital care, you need an experienced behavior professional on board to help you evaluate the situation and make a plan to bring harmony back to your household. Make sure to use someone who does not resort to punishment (no choking chains, pinch collars, shock collars, no discussions of dominance and pack leaders) and preferably someone who has gone through the effort of certification through CPDT (if you are in the US or Canada).

    Hope this helps. Please get the vet check asap, and please keep us posted.
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  4. Lucky Dice New Member

    Thank you Adrianna & Calvin, your reply is much appreciated. I will have them both checked over and let you know the out come.

    Many thanks again

    southerngirl likes this.
  5. SD&B Experienced Member

    I have heard of this situation before as one of the dogs gets older. The younger one will attack with no seeming provocation and can be quite vicious. I had a cyberfriend who went through this, and it is very difficult.

    As Adrianna & Calvin mentioned, it is very important to rule out any medical conditions and then to look for a professional behaviorist for assistance. Unfortunately, sometimes dogs will attack other sick dogs or sick dogs will attack other dogs, so that's why it's important to rule that out first for both dogs.

    Her thoughts on behaviorists are right on the money. No matter what his/her credentials are, run if you hear any of the comments that Adrianna & Calvin mentioned.

    Adrianna & Calvin also mentioned management. At this moment, management is key. You said that you are afraid to leave them alone together. You didn't mention if you are still leaving them alone or if you are separating them when there is no supervision. For now, you should ensure that they are not left alone together. You can do this by using a crate for either the middle or older dog or by putting them in different rooms. A crate is a very useful tool for this kind of situation.

    Let us know how the vet checks go.
    ARuffPatch, Ripleygirl and Dogster like this.
  6. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Weird timing I'd read your post tonight, as just a couple hours ago at dinner I was relaying this story to someone. I had a similar issue in my household several years ago. I had 3 dogs (the two pictured left) plus one other (now at The Bridge), and all was fine. My mom then passed away and I took in her two old girls (both around 13). All dogs had always gotten along well, no problems. Suddenly and without provocation, Makena attacked one of my mom's old girls. No toys, nothing involved. I kept trying to explain it away (in my mind), but couldn't. It happened again a few days later, and I was right there - I saw the whole thing, and it was unprovoked. What I did see however, was Makena go up to old Brandy, begin sniffing her, sniffing sniffing ... then BAM! This happened again within a day or two, and this time she got her good (meaning a few punctures). Right about then, I noticed a small tumor on Brandy's foot - and off to the vet we went. She had a mast cell tumor and a toe removed several years before, and had done well. Bad news, the cancer had returned. Long story short - when she went into remission, they could be together happily. When the tumor(s) flared, no way. I had to manage them for the rest of Brandy's life thru baby gates and an extra fence in the yard. The second Makena was on the opposite side of the baby gate, it seemed all pressure was off of her and she'd immed relax, and she and Brandy would even lay up against the gate with each other. Sadly, several months after Brandy died, Makena again, without provocation, attacked Bailey (my mom's other old dog). A vet check revealed Bailey had lung cancer. *sigh* Again - baby gates for the duration of Bailey's life.

    Not to say this is what's going on at your house, but when dogs who have always gotten along suddenly don't, there could be something else happening, that even they don't nor can understand. I wouldn't have wished my situation on anyone, but am only sharing it because I had to face it, it wasn't pretty, it just 'was'. I learned that while true, most dogs don't react this way, some do. I second the vet check, make sure all is well in their world. And until a solution is found, make baby gates, crates, room separations, and any other management tools you can find, your friend. Take any pressure off your dogs (and worry off yourself) and just try to keep peace in your land.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    I have a similar situation, though not nearly as bad as the other posts. Zeus who is 11 and a half has Cushings Disease, he's under vet treatment and I also give him DOGTOR X Forumla. However, I have noticed that ZEUS will growl and get VERY grumpy with Ra Kismet who responds in a weird way, something I've never seen before, he kinda 'grooms' Zeus but more in a 'pulling' sort of way and will also make noises which are a bit like a puppy but being now 2 and a half, they don't quite sound 'puppy'. Zeus has NEVER been grumpy and my vet said it may just be 'old age'. So far I can manage them both, usually by ignoring them BOTH when they start, or saying QUIETLY "be quiet boys" or similar.

    I do find food, toys, tricking etc. aggravates the problem and am VERY careful in all those areas.

    Unfortunately my partner will 'take over' and his way is to YELL at everyone, me included, and I can SAFELY SAY - DON'T YELL - it makes the situation MUCH worse.

    I can really feel for you Lucky Dice and ALL the advice given by others who have been through it is good advice.
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  8. Dogster Honored Member

    Wow, jackienmutts, that is amazing, do you think Makena could kind of tell that the older dogs had cancer??? Maybe dogs can tell when something isn't right. When my cat died, she was in the basement, and I was upstairs. Shivon was whining a lot when it happened.
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  9. Lucky Dice New Member

    Thank you all for the advice it really is heart warming the support you are all giving. I have booked the dogs in to the vet on Friday and have looked in to Boot Camp for Ceillo. There is a place down south only 300 miles or so away but it might be worth the treck to have a week/weekend of sorting out.

    Will keep you up dated.

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  10. Dogster Honored Member

    Doggie boot camp??? I don't think that it's such a good idea.:unsure: Do you know how they train dogs at that boot camp??? Do they use only positive reinforcement??? Your dog might have more "problems" after coming back from the boot camp than before it. Personally, I think training the dog yourself is best for both of you. We can help, any questions, just ask!!
    ARuffPatch, MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  11. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Yikes! Emergency alarm bells ringing! First because these places are notorious for force-based training, second because the problem is within your household and within your canine & human family, and that's where the learning (management and behavior modification) needs to take place. If you share your city and state, someone might know of a local person who can help you.

    So glad to hear that you have a vet appointment. Do let us know what happens.
    SD&B, ARuffPatch, MaryK and 1 other person like this.
  12. Lucky Dice New Member

    Hi Dogster, website is coolcalmcanines and the trainer is registered with assocation of pet dog trainers, haven't made any decision yet, proper looking comes after the vets check up. Its boot camp/residential training, one to ones. I picked up on the word boot camp because Ceillo's behavour is undesireable but rain hail or shine I will make every effort to resolve his problem the right way. This forum has given me great advice and the support has been fantastic, what I am also needing is someone to look at him in person and read his body laugage better than I am doing at the moment. Maybe I could post a video for someone to analise???:)
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  13. Lucky Dice New Member

    MaryK likes this.
  14. Lucky Dice New Member

    Hi Adrianna & Calvin, City and state is Glenrothes, Scotland (y). The problem is both in and outside the household, the only reason it is not an issue outside is his recall is so good and if another strange dog comes in to my group I call Ceillo to me and ask him to sit and praise him as the dog sniff him. Once the dog has had a sniff it wanders off I can release him as he does not go out looking for trouble and will ignore dogs in general. He can and often does run with dogs after a ball but its the dog coming up face to face or the boysterous dog that triggers him using the method mentioned he has been fine and I have avoided vet bills!
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  15. Dogster Honored Member

    Oh okay, so it's one-to one then??? Alright, that's good. That means the trainer will be able to focus on your dog. But I can't find where it says what kind of training they use...(n)
    MaryK likes this.
  16. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Have you read "Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household" by London and McConnell? I find it a very nice read and there is a small section about dog fights. You might get some tips off it. It won't solve your problems but, like I said, maybe you can get some tips.

    Keep us posted!
    SD&B, MaryK, ARuffPatch and 3 others like this.
  17. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I didn't find that exact website but I found a similar one by Paul Daly. He sounds like a classic dominance, choker chain trainer unfortunately. Is there anyone in your more immediate area that you know of?
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  18. Dogster Honored Member

    Yup, I don't think they use positive reinforcement.:(
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  19. southerngirl Honored Member

    I can't find it right now but their is a thread were some said that they took their dog to a Non positive reinforcement trainer and it made their dog worse. Another one left their dog at boot camp and their dog was a mess when it came back.
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  20. Dogster Honored Member

    Yep I'm also trying to find that and I can't. There was an article somewhere....
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