2 Female Dogs in Same House - How to deal with Problems?

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2 Female Dogs in Same House - How to deal with Problems?

This is a discussion on 2 Female Dogs in Same House - How to deal with Problems? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi All, In my house, there are 3 dogs total - 2 of which are female. All of the dogs are between the ages of ...

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Old 06-07-2012, 12:34 PM
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2 Female Dogs in Same House - How to deal with Problems?

Hi All,

In my house, there are 3 dogs total - 2 of which are female. All of the dogs are between the ages of 2 and 3.

When we moved in a year ago, my dog June (female boxer/lab mix) established dominance in a standard way. She went to Boots' (other female dog) water bowl and urinated beside it and also took a toy from Boots' dogs mouth. June did go down by Boots' bedroom 3 or 4 times and defecated and urinated - the final time I spanked her harder than I should have but we solved the issue with a gate so it no longer happens.

Boots was initially submissive and we had no problems, but then Boots began to get aggressive. Boots and June got into a couple of fights initially and both were reprimanded by being rolled onto their backs.

I controlled June and since that point almost 6 months ago, we haven't had issues.

Boots is a little wild (Indian Res. rescue dog) and has been challenging June for alpha. She will bark and nip at June for various things. June generally seems indifferent to Boots when she does this and actually attempts to play with Boots from time to time.

Last night, there was a male dog at the house and June went to greet it - Boots freaked out, hackles up and mounted June's head. I have NEVER seen June take a mounting, but she did last night. I should also add that Boots showed her teeth and growled at me a few nights ago. Boots' owner's girlfriend (also a roommate) seems to get pleasure from this, because she doesn't like June (because of peeing/pooping incidents) and is scared of June because she looks like a Pit mix.

Maybe it's just the protective dog owner in me that I need to let go, but I don't like this situation and want to deal with it appropriately. Has Boots taken alpha from June? If so, is there a way to take Boots down a notch? June is good with people and other dogs and has a calm energy. Boots on the other hand, has bitten me before and is a bit wild. I've talked to my roommate and he is aware but doesn't seem to be as bothered as me.

That's a lot of rambling and I can provide clarification and details if necessary. Thanks for reading!
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:18 PM
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Um, wow.

Quote:
the final time I spanked her harder than I should have
There is no appropriate way to hit a dog. Violence begets violence and it is not a proper way to train a dog.

Quote:
both were reprimanded by being rolled onto their backs.
The alpha roll has been repudiated by its creator for over 20 years. In fact, the creators of the alpha roll, the Monks of New Skete, have apologized for ever suggesting such a thing.

Alpha rolls scare dogs and do nothing towards training.
Quote:
I controlled June and since that point almost 6 months ago, we haven't had issues.
I'm a bit afraid to ask what "controlled" means, but yes, that's how you deal with two females fighting. Females are known to fight, it's why male/female pairings are highly recommended, with female/female being the least advisable pairings.

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Boots' owner's girlfriend (also a roommate) seems to get pleasure from this, because she doesn't like June (because of peeing/pooping incidents) and is scared of June because she looks like a Pit mix.
June is living in a terrible situation. She isn't being protected from Boots and is living with someone who dislikes her. That's bad for a dog. They can sense that.

Really, your only choice at this point, especially given that Boots' owner isn't on the same page as you, is to keep the dogs separated so they can't fight. Use baby gates, crates and separate rooms to make sure the dogs aren't interacting.

You may also want to find another living situation. This isn't a good one for June.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:28 PM
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It's hard when the dog isn't yours. Sounds like the owner needs to take their dog to a professional. Dogs shouldn't bite people. And owners shouldn't be indifferent to dogs that bite. One day that dog will bite the wrong person and that owner will be involved in a lawsuit. But if the person doesn't want to deal with the dog, there isn't much you can do to make them. All you can do is choose not to live with them anymore and/or protect your own dog. Don't allow them to interact.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:06 AM
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Amaryllis,

I understand your concern after I read my post and considering you've never meet me or seen me interact with June, I would likely react similar to you. I normally don't feel the need to justify the way I interact with my dog to another person, but for the sake of my future posts here and potential future communications with you, June has been spanked a total of 6 times in her life and most of them were for chasing wildlife (maybe I'll post on this too because I've tried everything here). June goes pretty much everywhere but work (and sometimes to work) with me and she and I spend over 10 hours/week together in the mountains exploring.

Thanks for the info. on the Alpha Roll. I've had June for about 2.5 years and do my best to research. It's rarely something I've had to use and was recommended to me by a veterinarian.

"Controlled" means I put a gate up to their downstairs entrance so June can no longer go down there. I also keep June in my room while I'm at work.

I agree that it's not the best living situation for my dog. I've talked with roommate Sarah about it. Her response was, "I don't feel sorry for June, because she's the alpha and was mean to Boots when you all first moved in. Plus, she scares me." I won't type my response to her b/c it's too long. Sarah's boyfriend (other roommate) John likes June and is very kind to her. He plays with her and pets her, but Boots has charged June and nipped her when she's seen this. I will be moving out in mid-September and am doing the best that I can until then. I've upped the time June and I spend together and am working on strengthening our bond when we are on hikes together, etc. - hoping this will help reinforce that she has a pack.

Any resources or reading/links would be appreciated as well. I'm trying the best I can and am open to any critiques because I want to do the best I can with her - she's the best friend I've got and I want to make her life as optimal for her as possible.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:50 PM
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I agree with Amaryllis response on how to deal with the situation.

I'm glad you are planning on moving out, it probably is for the best for June. I'm also glad that you are reaching out for resources and reading material to help your bond with June. I list a few good links below on positive methods. Stay away from any punishing behavior, it really isn't necessary, there is always a positive way to get the behavior you are looking for.

A good article on myth of the alpha role.
Dog Training: Animal Experts Debunk the Alpha-Dog Myth - TIME

This is an excellent site where you can find a ton of behavior and training related articles.
SOCIAL HIERARCHIES | Dog Star Daily

Other sites on positive care and training for your dog:
Dog Care, A Reference for every dog-owning household
Victoria Stilwell Positively*|*The Official Victoria Stilwell Website
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