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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so not sure if this is the place to post but I have an 8 year old shih tzu griffin mix named sam and a 11 month old cocker spaniel and we give them both dog chews every night after their walk they used to be fine but recently harley has been going after my other dog. They haven't hurt each other or anything but it sounds like they're trying to kill each other. I have to use something to distract harley to get off him (squeak a ball or start a vacume) once hes off of him they stop. They are fine after that. They have never fought about anything else and they are not aggressive with anything else. Sometimes sam does try and take harleys chew when hes done with his so were thinking that might be fueling it. We feel bad by taking them away but its giving everyone anxiety. Would just taking away the chewies help? Or trying to give one and find something else harley likes, because he eats his but only pieces. I'm desperate at this point for any tips. I just dont want it ending up to one of them getting hurt.
 

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It’s most likely resource guarding. Resource guarding is when the dog is guarding a resource, it can be a place, a person, food, bones, toys and in this case chewies. Don’t put your dogs in this situations if they can’t handle it. The best is to stop giving them chewies when they’re together. You can still give them chewies, but separate them first.
 

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I agree, if they were to be separated should it be different rooms? Or can we separate them with a gate? Also the one dog finishes them faster than the other and then looks for the other. Should I take the other away because sometimes it takes him hours to finish it. Also when they fight like that the dogs are both waging their tails? But it seems very bad. Can this fighting lead to them hurting each other? Sorry about the questions
 

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You can try what works best for you and your dogs. The most important part is that they can’t reach each other so a gate is enough. But if they get stressed out or bothered by seeing each other it’s better to put them in different rooms. It’s up to you if you want to take it away or let him finish it. The only thing is that you need to keep them seperated while there is a chewie left out. If you choose to take it away be careful that you don’t create a problem were the dog starts use resource guarding against you. Throw some candy or give the dog a toy to exchange the chewie. It should be a positive experience if you take the chewie from the dog. A wagging tail doesn’t always mean that a dog is happy. They can also wag their tail when they are excited/worked up etc.

Yes the dogs can definitely hurt each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitly going to try the separating. Would taking the chewies away permanently be an option? My older dog has been getting them all his life so I dont know how he would react but it's the only time they're like this, any other time theyre perfect.
 

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Just to add, cockers do seem to have a trait for resource guarding so now that you know it's a potential issue, be aware for other flashpoints. Train a really solid "leave" and "drop" and if you do need to take something from Harley, always have something of higher value to exchange. Otherwise the harder you try to take things, the harder Harley will try to keep them and things will just get worse and worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will have to do more research on training harley more. Also he is not fixed yet, would that have anything to do with the guarding? He is getting fixed withing the next month.
 

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Not necessarily and it is a judgement only you can make, without us seeing them. But be aware that neutering stops the production of testosterone which is his brave hormone. So if he is insecure in any way (bearing in mind lack of confidence can sometimes manifest in aggressive behaviour, trying to scare off anything that worries him by putting on a big display) it might be counterproductive to do it too soon.
 

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No, people often get their dogs fixed because they think it will solve all the behavior problems, this is not true. In fact, neuter your dog can aggravate or create new problems. It’s likely that your dog is acting like this due to insecurity. The insecurity can enhance after fixing your dog since you are changing it’s hormones. The choice of fixing your dog should be made carefully.
 

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It’s most likely resource guarding. Resource guarding is when the dog is guarding a resource, it can be a place, a person, food, bones, toys and in this case chewies. Don’t put your dogs in this situations if they can’t handle it. The best is to stop giving them chewies when they’re together. You can still give them chewies, but separate them first.
??
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update: we put an autimin however thats spelled in between the space that they cant see each other and its helping so far. After thinking about it sam does try and take harleys when sam is finished with his and that's what triggers it I think. I think the separating will really help. Even just seperating them is helping us with the stress of chewie time. Harley does seem to be looking for his brother though like hes confused and less focused on his chewie
 
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