Dog Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my question is similar to one that other people have had on this forum but it's different in a few ways so here's the gist:

I have two female dogs that have been together, in the same household, for four years. They are (were) never territorial about anything, even food, and we call them "sisters" because they are mine and my partner's and they are best friends. Literally no problems at all, they totally love each other :)

HOWEVER, we just moved from a suburban house in the South to a tiny apartment in a large city in New England and all of a sudden, one of the dogs (the one who was mine originally) is suddenly oddly territorial of me. We think she's PART basenji, so I guess it's possible that I'm her "only" human and she's territorial of that, but it's weird that it started out of nowhere. It didn't really even start right away when we moved here, it took about a month or two to start. So I'm really confused where this is coming from! Only other things that have changed are 1) I went from working full-time to being a graduate student and being around the house more and 2) we got a roommate.

It usually happens in the morning when we are in bed and all waking up. Basically, I'll get up to say "good morning" to the dogs, give them some love and whatever, and when I go to say good morning to my other dog, the basenji gets all dominant and growl-y, inserting herself into our space and freaking out the other dog. The other one happens to be pretty chill and just submits, but it's clearly affecting her (her fur stands up, she gets tense, she raises her head--she all but bellies up). Even if I chastise the bad dog, she does it. She's a bad dog anyway and doesn't really care what I have to say about anything but she's unusually stubborn about this. To clarify, it doesn't happen every day, it only happens regarding me (not my partner), and they never actually fight...it's just a dominance/territorial thing that happens a couple of times a week.

The basenji/bad dog recently had a full blood panel done and a checkup because she was diagnosed with Ehrlichia a year or so ago and we've been keeping an eye on it, and they found literally nothing wrong with her. Most of these forums say "something could be medically wrong to cause this" but we have no reason to suspect that at this point.

My question: Any other suggestions why this could have started up suddenly?

Thanks so much!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
You need to take your dog to the vet immediately.

Okay, just being a smart ass, couldn't help myself:D

I guess I kind of wanted to bump the thread up, so maybe somebody who has a good guess might opine. I'm curious as well. The only obvious variables are the move of course, an additional human in the mix and the one which I might be most suspect of, is the new smaller living quarters. Lack of space and tighter confines at times can make a difference. I suppose it didn't appear right away because the dogs were still adjusting to the move and finding their new "spots" and maybe peaceable claiming them. Now that they have a routine of sorts with the limited space, it might just be an element that they never dealt with before and their tolerances for each other is being tested in a way you have never had to experience before, same goes for the Basenji I suppose. Maybe "behavioral sink" of sorts but instead of adding more animals, the reduction in space might be putting an "edge" on your Basenji.

Of course, I'm guessing wildly but it's all I got except that you should take your dog to the vet right away.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,485 Posts
I think the space being limited is causing a big part of it. They use to be able to get away from each other. Then adding a new person in on top of it has over whelmed the dog that's acting up. You might just have to give her some time and some place to call her own.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
I wouldn't let her continue to bully the other dog. This sounds like a bit of resource guarding. The fact you say she never listens to you anyway and continues to do it and the other dogs body language worries me they could escalate into a fight, especially since I've heard females hold grudges and will keep escalating and fight to the death.

My dog used to be very protective of me and I thought it was great until I read about it and realized he didn't respect me but really viewed me as one big prized chew toy like a favorite squeaky. I fixed that fast lol! Maybe do some reading about resource guarding and about building respect with your dog for training tips.
I absolutely think the move to a smaller space and the additional new person is stressful and she's more territorial because she feels space is much more valuable now. But threatening her sister and not listening to you are unacceptable behaviors.
My smallest cat used to attack my dog every chance he got especially in my new much smaller apartment after we moved. He'd hide under the bed and if the dog walked by or tried to jump up to join me when I invited him he'd get dive bombed. He couldn't go from room to room. On the bed the cat would attack. I got home once and found the poor dog in the crate with the cat on top of the crate reaching in to cuff and hiss at him. The dog is 80 pounds and the cat is 7 and the dog was terrified but starting to get frustrated and started growling and snappy at the cat so I had to intervene fast and immediately stop the cat's bullying for his own safety.

So every time the cat attacked or started to attack the dog I told him no and put cat in the bathroom for timeout. The cat is always glued to my side and can't be away from me at all when I'm home. I was very consistent that cat could not do this or he'd be alone. Dog stopped growling because he saw I was protecting him and cat stopped attacking the dog. They're actually buddies now and give each other little sniffs and kisses and cuddle up together. No more fights or threats.
This also worked on the same cat when I first got him as a kitten and he used to attack my last dog. They also got to be brothers and best friends and he was devastated when that dog died, and very loving the whole time he was sick like he knew.
I will add the cat got tons of praise and affection every time he was around the dog and didn't attack or threaten him. I tried to be as positive as possible while keeping them both safe. If the dog ever fought back like he's done against large dogs in the park the cat wouldn't stand a chance. One grab and shake move with that size difference and I'd have a dead cat. So I managed the situation, and for me the dog's behavior wasn't the problem at all but I was scared he'd snap. Anyone being constantly threatened and bullied in their own home can snap and it would be justified.
I obviously didn't traumatize the cat since he and the dog are curled up together next to me as I type and show affection for each other now.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top