I have 2 dogs. Meka is a Belgian shepherd mix and Maple the puppy (who just turned one) is a Jack Russell mix. Maple is 30 lbs, Meka is 80lbs.
We've had some issues with Maple. When she was a small puppy, I would put her in her crate at night. The cats were in the same room with her and for some reason she decided she hated them. She is fixated on them- stares obsessively and jumps and scratches the sliding door if the cats walk by. We tried having her lay down, giving high value treats, tried saying "no", tried covering her crate if she so much as looked at the cat... nothing has worked.
She is a bit mentally unbalanced- terrified of most people, terrified of the car, terrified of traffic. If I so much as call her with a firm tone of voice, she submissive urinates. My dad can finally pet her but she looks like she is going to a funeral. She loves my mom though, and likes me for the most part. We have never ever hit her. Ever!
On to our newest issue. She has started attacking poor Meka. The first time was the day after hurricane Irma hit. Everyone was stressed out and our family was visiting with the kids. Maple was terrified and cowered in her crate. After the storm, we turned the dogs out with rawhide chews. They had the chews for about 3 hours. My mom went to take the chews away and missed one. Maple found it, Meka snatched it from her in play. Maple went ballistic. My mom grabbed Meka. I ran out and grabbed Meka, as my mom is about 100 lbs and can't hold her. I thought the puppy would let go if we grabbed Meka. Instead, she was hanging off Mekas back, and would not stop.
My dad came running out and pulled her off.
Meka was fine- had a big bruise and some red skin. Keep in mind she has long hair. Given the unusual circumstances, I thought that would be the end of the matter.
Yesterday, they got in a fight over their toy balls. My mom was playing fetch with them and they both had a ball. Maple got mad and attacked Meka again. This time Meka got Maple by the back of the neck, and Maple was still trying to attack. Meka ended up flooring her. My mom thought Meka choked her. I didn't see it so i don't know if that was true. Both dogs were fine- Maple had some small punctures which we are keeping a close eye on, Meka had some slobber marks but no damage.
How concerned should I be about these fights? Meka is clearly boss dog. She also loves Maple and is a gentle soul. As far as I can tell these attacks are unwarranted. Maple is absolutely fearless when away from people and a very stubborn dog. She does not give up when she wants something.
We have discussed rehoming Maple. I'm honestly afraid she will kill my cats if they ever get outside by mistake. And now she's attacking Meka over toys. Meka loves her though...
We could build Maple her own dog pen (she would have the barn for shelter) which would keep her away from the house and separate her from Meka when we aren't around. But what is the point of having a dog that has to be kept separate? This could just be a stage she's going through. I hope.