Stop dog-on-dog aggression at home

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Stop dog-on-dog aggression at home

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Old 01-01-2018, 02:12 AM
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Post Stop dog-on-dog aggression at home

Dog aggression between dogs living in the same home is an interesting topic for a number of reasons. The main one has to be the question “Why would two dogs who have lived together, often for many years, suddenly attack each other?”


Let’s explore: Why are my dogs fighting?

Now I should mention here that I am not talking about little squabbles, growls and minor disagreements. This sort of behavior is common place and usually over in a matter of seconds with absolutely no damage or injuries to speak of. Over the years you become used to hearing loud eruptions of noise in another room, and sprint to the scene of the crime only to find all the dogs lying around quite happily looking at you as if to say “What’s the problem? No drama’s, we’ve sorted it out.”

Serious fighting

The serious fighting that I am talking about is very different – where the dogs are out to injure, dominate or hurt the other dog. It leads to puncture wounds, visits to the vet and can end up very serious indeed. In this situation it is clear that the dogs are not scared of each other, like they may be of an unknown dog that happens to pass by the property. And after a fight the dogs may be wary and display some signs of fear for one another, which generally subsides until the next flare up. But this behavior still doesn’t explain why after years of playing together they have suddenly become arch-enemies.

Triggers are not the key

Even though there may be an obvious trigger that has set the dogs off, do not be fooled into thinking this is the cause of the problem. A bone, a ball, trying to receive pats or cuddles from an owner, or increased stressed levels in a home can all add to the chance of dogs fighting – but it’s not the cause. The real long-term solution does not lie in the trigger.

Power of the pack

To understand a dog you need to recognize the power of the pack and the need to have strong pack leaders. When they are not present the dogs will do their best to fill the vacant position. With two dogs present and often only one position available it is often a case that they will simply fight it out. Of course every situation is different in the details, but in a nutshell, this is how the dogs see it and the solution is no different. You need to become the pack leader. The solution is that simple.

Other factors have an impact

There are lots of other factors and details surrounding every situation. The personalities, characters, sex, age, size, breed, of the dogs, everything comes into it. And sometimes it can play quite a big part in the pack dynamics. For example, a lady who has two male dogs is far more likely to struggle with fighting between them compared to a couple who have a neutered male and female. Why? Because in the pack there is an alpha male and an alpha female, and if these two humans have assumed both these roles then there is nothing to fight for. No positions vacant!

Become the pack leader

Understanding your dog is not rocket science, but there are some very simple but ESSENTIAL rules that you must follow. Whilst clickers and cheese can work for dog training nothing will replace understanding your dogs psychology.
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Old 01-01-2018, 06:58 AM
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Talking hoo-boy!...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardPeter View Post

...pack dynamics.

... a lady who has two male dogs is far more likely to struggle with fighting between them compared to a couple who have a neutered male and female. Why?

Because in the pack[,] there is an alpha male and an alpha female, and if these two humans have assumed both these roles then there is nothing to fight for. No positions vacant!

Become the pack leader

...for dog training[,] nothing will replace understanding your dog[']s psychology.

.

really?
Have U been reading Jack London again?!

Where are these mysterious "packs"? - U don't find them among feral or village dogs, around the world - free-roaming, intact, unowned, do-anything-they-want-to-do, whenever-they-want-to-do-it, free of human interference... at least, aside from being hit by cars, chased out of gardens, or shouted off or stoned when they rip into bagged garbage.
Pariah dogs move as individuals, not as 'packs' - they show up en masse to events that occur regularly where food is in the offing, as in the nightly disposal of garbage from restaurant kitchens as the business closes, but they don't have a fixed hierarchy when they dive into the dumpster to eat.
If there's enuf room, they all spread out & just start eating - no ceremony, no status spats.
Any one dog might have a buddy, sometimes a sibling, who frequently shows up to keep company with them, but they're not joined at the hip - the 2 are friends, not a Boss & Henchman, & they may go separate ways for days or weeks, then reunite.

I think U've wandered into the wrong venue, looking for devotees of the Dawg Wrassler.
Cesar Millan is not an idol, here - he was an undocumented immigrant who arrived in his late-teens, took day jobs on construction & clean-up crews, standing on street corners hoping to be hired among a bunch of other men as pick-up trucks pulled up & the drivers scrutinized the crowd, & then found some steady employment, sweeping out & cleaning at a dog salon.
The female owners discovered that he didn't mind being bitten as much as they did, so when a dog was scared or hard to handle, they'd ask HIM to control that dog.
The very beginning of his glorious career - struggling to restrain dogs who didn't want to stay in the bathtub, or on the grooming table, or have their claws cut. // The wife of a rock star was a client at the salon; she was having trouble with her dogs, & the owners referred her to Cesar.
His 1st paying client couldn't understand him, & hired a vocal coach to get rid of his impenetrable accent. // She then referred him to HER friends, who referred him to THEIR friends, & a dog-trainer was shaped out of a handyman.

There's no instinct involved in training; teaching cued behaviors is a skill, & anyone with the desire to learn it, can. It's not an inborn mystery, nor is it taught by watching semi-feral dogs roaming on a Mexican ranch, nor is it a family heirloom handed down by one's revered grandsire.
If U are of average intelligence & reasonably co-ordinated, U can teach a dog cued behaviors.

Behavior modification - which is what YOU are talking about, altering unwanted behavior - takes a bit more chops, but no "pack theory" is needed. It's not merely superfluous - it's poppycock.

I've had at least 6 or 7 past clients whose dog was seriously dog-aggro or human-aggro, & they managed to reshape their own dogs' dangerous behavior with one in-person consult with me, an outline of B-Mod tailored to them & their dog, & the book 'Click to Calm' as their DIY manual - a few of them needed a phone-call or e-mail along the way, when something came up that they didn't know how to handle, but 99% of it was bog-standard DS/CC, DeSensitize & Counter-Condition... which Mr Millan has apparently never heard of, & that might explain why he was bitten THREE TIMES by THREE different dogs in a single M-F week, back when he only had a non-prime-time, 20-minutes-not-counting-commercials, TV-spot.
If a novice owner with a book of recipes for B-Mod can reshape the behavior of an adult adopted dog who's bitten 3 ppl with level-3 bites on the Dunbar scale, nobody needs "instinct" to do B-Mod, nor do they need Mr Millan's blend of wolf-pack misinformation & Hollywood tinsel.

in my under-informed opinion & IME,
- terry

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Old 01-01-2018, 07:14 AM
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I'm guessing this is a troll account. Dosnt join in on conversations, only 2 posts and there both lecture posts. Eh glade I didn't waist my time reading all of what op posted lol
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:38 AM
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I'm mixed here. I took in several adult feral cats and kitten strays feeling sorry for them in December one year knowing certainly they would die from pneumonia or other health issues. My amazing mom had already taken in several stray kittens that I helped her raise and train.
So these beautiful adults would have died without my taking them on. I also needed to be the alpha in some situations to housebreak and train them on just basic ways. Would do it again of needed.

Call it what you will. Dog was never run away from any animal. thanks
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:28 AM
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I always thought Cesar Millan was quite a success story regardless whether or not I subscribe to his style of training. I pick and choose from what he has to offer and I rather like his idea of calm and assertive energy coming from the human. Also, what in the world does this "he was an undocumented immigrant who arrived in his late-teens" have to do with the price of tea in China ?

I agree with @RichardPeter on this thought " dogs will do their best to fill the vacant position". I've found Bob to be similar to all my other dogs, when Bob relies on me, Bob is happiest.
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:23 AM
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Arrow 'cuz his education - or lack of it - is directly related to his origins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob The Dog View Post

I always thought Cesar Millan was quite a success story ... whether or not I subscribe to his style of training.
I pick and choose from what he has to offer and I rather like his idea of calm and assertive energy coming from the human.

...what in the world does this "he was an undocumented immigrant who arrived in his late-teens" have to do with the price of tea in China?
...
.

simply that he was a young man who only finished 9th grade in a rural Mexican school, & a few years later, when he wanted a better life, he crossed the border.
:shrug: Nothing more, nothing less.

I'm not sneering at his desire for a better life; I personally know plenty of immigrants who came here for exactly those reasons - the U-S is a nation of immigrants, & the only NATIVE ppl here are obviously, Native Americans.
Everyone else is either an immigrant, or a descendant of immigrants - I'm Irish-American; my great-grandmother arrived as an orphan at 17 with 5 younger siblings, in a coffin-ship.
Her parents were tenant farmers; the entire family was evicted by the Enclosure Act during the Great Famine - that was the Irish version of the Holocaust; over million Irish died in Ireland, many dying on roadsides with their lips stained green from trying to eat grass, to stop the pain in their bellies, while absentee English landlords continued to harvest & sell grain ABROAD, & argued about how much veg to put in the charity-soup in Parliament.
Her father died of disease while they were on the road, probably of typhus; her mother died a few weeks later of starvation, as she gave what little food they had to the younger children, & she made her eldest promise that she'd go to America, & take them all, before they starved to death in Ireland.
By the time she walked from N Ireland to West Ireland to take ship, she had only enuf money for herself & the 2 eldest; the 3 young boys were smuggled aboard & hidden in cargo, & weren't discovered until the ship was 2-weeks out. She & the older girls were made to work their passage, to cover the transport of the 3 youngest.
They worked in the kitchen, emptied slop buckets, washed dirty linens from the many sick, & were general dogsbodies for anything that was hard or dirty.
So arriving in the U-S with nothing but themselves is hardly a new story, to me.

I included it BECAUSE so many CM/DW fans think he must have an educational background that includes dogs - they don't know, but reasonably presume, that he's had at least some college, or at least behavioral-psych in high school. They're wrong. :shrug: He has no academic credits in any science, beyond what little they covered in his grade-school.

This is pertinent b/c at least 80% of the stuff that Mr Millan says is either extracted from the only book on dog-training he's ever read - written by Koehler, in the 1960s - or else it's a long-told myth, like the "wolf pack / Alpha" fiction, or it's a complete invention.
Very few things he says are factual, with data to support them.

That's why his background is relevant - not b/c I'm dissing illegal immigrants, but b/c his grandiose claim to be a "dog psychologist" is just snake-oil, no different from any 1890 to 1930 huckster, selling Dr Goode's miracle cure from a buckboard wagon.

I only wish that Nat'l Geo had stuck to their science, & chosen a humane trainer with actual credentials to spotlight - not a photogenic enthusiast with some good taglines, & a Colgate smile, as a TV-host.
Imagine if they'd chosen Dunbar, or Miller, or Donaldson, or Steve White. We'd be having a completely different conversation, as a national dog-owning culture, & with prospective clients...
I wouldn't have to listen to endless repetitions of 'exercise, discipline, affection', either.

- terry

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Old 01-01-2018, 12:38 PM
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Question huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowmom View Post

I'm mixed here.

I took in several adult feral cats & stray kittens, feeling sorry for them in December one year, knowing certainly they'd die from pneumonia or other health issues. My amazing mom had already taken in several stray kittens that I helped her raise and train.

So these beautiful adult [cats] would have died without my taking them on. I also needed to be the alpha in some situations to housebreak & train them on just basic ways. Would do it again of needed.

...
.

Now i'm totally confused. Cats don't live in packs - they are more solitary than social, when they live *outside* a human household. They tolerate other cats, to a degree - they move thru & share space by time-sharing it, one cat being there at certain times of day, another cat at other times.
Sisters often share kitten-rearing, even when feral, b/c the mom needs to hunt for food for herself as well as nurse her litter, & other cats are an actual threat to her kittens' lives - toms in particular will kill an entire litter, often one they sired. But other queens have been known to kill another's kittens, too.
So sharing nest duties means kittens are more likely to survive their most vulnerable period.

But no one has ever claimed that cats are a 'pack' in the sense of co-operative hunting & feeding on large game!
Nor has anyone ever said housecats live in hierarchies; cats are much more territorial than 99% of dogs, are insanely aggressive when they are angry or frightened, but they don't "dominate" one another & form dominant / submissive pair bonds.
Yes, one cat can & will torment another cat in the household, but that's pure feline aggro, not 'seeking dominance over access to scarce resources'.

Also, mother cats do not "housetrain" their kittens - like pups, kittens' butts are stimulated by mom's tongue as neonates, & she eats their waste; when they are old-enuf to leave the nest, they avoid soiling where they sleep instinctively.
Mom-cats don't smack their kittens for voiding in the wrong place, any more than mom-dogs do. If mom-cat uses a litter box indoors, the kittens will, too, primarily b/c of the scent of urine & feces; if mom-cat sprays the sofa & poops on the carpet, the kittens may, too.
Odor is extremely important to cats & their behavior [which is why the current fad for a different Glade plug-in stink-bomb in every room is causing so much feline hardship].

- terry

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Old 01-01-2018, 02:30 PM
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I took in several adult male stray or feral unneutered cats, neutered them and incorporated them into my household of tame loving adult male and female cats. I've had multiple cats my whole life and guess what cats who have to share a city apartment and can't go outside or get away from each other do form relationships and bonds and sometimes fight and have a hierarchy of who gets to the food and kitty litter first, no matter how many kitty litter boxes you have. I had seven cats for five years in a large three bedroom apartment when my mom died suddenly and I had to take her adult cats in as well as my own. There was a lot of drama introducing them.
Yes I became the alpha to make sure everyone ate and isolated the bullies as punishment for tormenting the shy cats. They had to learn that stalking and preventing other cats from eating, drinking or using the kitty litter was completely unacceptable and would never be tolerated or they'd lose their own food and freedom privileges for a long time. Nice loving words and cuddles and treats didn't cut it, the three dominant males were absolutely relentless in torturing the two most passive cats. One they never messed with, she was eighteen pounds and if they pissed her off, one cuff would send them flying and shaking their heads to clear it lol, so I didn't have to worry about her. My feral cat handled two of the bullies fine and avoided the third. But the two wimps needed defending or just hid so I had to step in.
So unless you've had multiple cats in an apartment for years you really can't preach cat behavior to me. I've had cats much longer than I've had dogs, and way more cats. I speak cat much more fluently than I do dog. I've lived with multiple cats for way over twenty years and know their apartment dynamics very well, quite different from feral outside dynamics. I've tamed many feral kittens and adult feral cats, which all the shelter experts say is impossible. Have you done any of that??? How many cats have you owned? Have you personally acclimated adult cats successfully in an apartment? Are you fluent in cat?
I've seen behaviorists and vets with tons of education be completely wrong about my animals. I have two master's degree and education is not really worth that much other than opening doors for jobs. The danger with being very educated as the vets and behaviorist proved is it can make a person feel close minded and not open to new information or to an owner who has valid experiences and observations.
I'm trained to observe and notice behavior so that's what I do. I don't give a darn if it fits into what a vet, expert or behaviorist thinks should fit into what they've learned. Cesar has some good valid points with what he says on his show, like it or not, I watched enough of it to decide that for myself. Calm confident assertive energy will help you handle and train any animal, horse, cat, dog. Much better than getting hysterical and emotional or losing your temper. I can reward my dog with treats and praise til the cows come home in a huge field he's not going to come back to me if loose. On a long line he just runs off so fast he pulls the line until he physically hurts my hands and I have to let go. The former director of the mspca called him the most passive aggressive dog he'd ever seen who has no respect at all for humans. Sometimes that requires dominance. Not abuse but he can't always rule everything and has to follow some rules for safety. So do my cats.
Tell me about training cats when you've had seven in a city apartment. Knowing some basic info about ferals doesn't make anyone a cat expert. I've had cats my whole life. Stick to dogs.
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:54 PM
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Actually you're wrong about their outside lives too. The reason I took on three adukt feral cats was one was a stray so I just pushed his butt into a carrier while he was eating and gave him to my mom. The other two were a bonded pair that I wound up keeping for life. One was a four and a half year old abused stray that had cigarette burns on his nose and was coughing and sneezing so I wanted to catch him because I knew he wouldn't last through winter sick. He'd befriended a truly feral two year old cat and they ysed to cuddle outside together on an old chair and you never saw one without the other they were always close together. I caught the feral one by accident in a trap, the sick abused one was too wary and I couldn't catch him until I caught his buddy. The feral one did all the feral behaviors of racing around and trying to climb the walls and jump out the windows. He settled down once I caught his friend. They used to sleep on too of each other snuggled close with no boundaries like kittens. Did that their whole lives. I wasn't able to tame the feral cat until his buddy died from cancer, liver cancer, years later. Him and the ferals female cat soulmate died one month apart after living ten years together and he was so devastated I thought he'd die of a broken heart.
I'll never forget his cry of distress and pain when I brought home the empty carrier from the vet hospital after his beloved girlfriend had stayed five days trying to fight off a major infection but I finally had to euthanize her. He saw me come on with the carrier of taken her away in so sick days before and raced to the door hoping to see his beloved. When he saw the carrier was empty he seemed to understand that she wasn't going to come home and he gave this anguished cry as if he'd been kicked and just deflated.
All the other cats stopped eating and became clingy and upset. They also all started sneezing. Devastated that their queen of the house was gone, my friends who came over noticed the whole place became a place of grieving.
Cats definitely bond and form relationships when they're stuck living in close quarters.
My two remaining cats now are best buddies and even finally love the dog. Do you think they'd choose to be that close together otherwise? I walked in on them there and they looked very cute and innocent, couldn't help wondering what they were planning lol. I woke up the other day and the cream tabby was sleeping next to the dog with his paw on the dog's head. Both next to me.
No this wouldn't happen in the wild and yes I actively encouraged them getting along and being brothers.
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:57 PM
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Arrow Panic & hysterics are never "helpful".

.

@Shadowmom ,
who ever suggested that "getting hysterical" would help anyone handle an aggressive, frightened, or unco-operative animal?
Of COURSE staying calm helps - just as it does in any emergency or stressful situation. If i'm trying to help my client during a choking episode, & i freak out & start screaming, or just run from the room, s/he could die - if i can't explain what's happening to a 911 operator, & i'm the one in medical crisis, alone, i'm in very serious trouble.

"Keep calm & carry on" is not exactly rocket surgery - & trying to avoid emotional responses is also pretty basic. I'm sure Captain Obvious would agree that believing my dogs are conspiring against me won't help me deal with their problem behaviors. Nor will screaming at them, lecturing them, or throwing things in a tantrum.

As i said before: anything CM/DW says that's factual is something he got from someone else, & it's typically hoary with age. That doesn't make it untrue! - but it's not "his", & it's already well-known.

A lot of what he says [& does] is original to him, & WRONG - flat-out, plain old wrong.
Such as flooding a dog-reactive dog, then hanging them to control the [predictable, inevitable] reaction; doesn't help.
Or claiming that holding up a dog's tail will "make them more confident" [shy-of-strangers, timid F Viszla, whose tail he held up with the wrist-loop like a crane hoisting a train-car, when they were on the street; she also resource-guarded, & bit him when he repeatedly harassed her over her favorite toy, a soft-stuffed "burger"].

cheers,
- terry

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