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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two rescue dogs - one is a 10 year old beagle mix I adopted about 2 months ago and the other is a 6 month old heeler mix I adopted today. Both females. Both have been around various other dogs their whole life and both get along well with my other dog (2 year old terrier mix I've had for about 6 months). But these two don't care for each other as much. When I first brought the heeler home today, they wagged their tails, sniffed each other, and had no issues for a few hours. But now, hours later, they've gotten into two or three fights and I can't really pinpoint why. I'm wondering if it's the newness/territorial-ness and they'll get over it eventually, or if they'll always do this and eventually hurt each other. Each little fight is only about 10 seconds long tops & they stop on their own, but they are definitely growling, snarling, biting, and rolling on the ground.

The beagle was rescued from a welfare group, placed in a home with a Chihuahua and Pyr that she got along with great. Then she was rescued by us, and got along with our terrier great.

The heeler was 2 months old when she was rehomed, rehomed again at 4 months to a family with 2 other puppies, surrendered to the pound, then adopted by us. She got along with the puppies, shelter dogs, and our terrier just fine.

So I know they're just fine with doggie companions, but is this normal behaviour in the transition stage, or is this some type of aggression issue that should be wary of?
 

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Separate them now, and do so for the next 3-4 weeks. Only have them together for walks. Entering a new home is super stressful for a dog, and dogs adjust best if you implement a bit of a "shutdown" period for the first little while. I WISH I did this... I pushed some things onto my new dog too fast, and now she is fearful, even reactive toward some people she met before she had time to settle in, but fine around people that she met AFTER the dust settled from her rehoming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the advice! That was something I was curious about - I didn't know if it would be better to separate them or keep them together to get used to each other. But that makes more sense. The heeler is already a little skiddish, she was with the last owners as well as in the pound. And the beagle is a little more confident and stubborn it seems. She's really possessive over her food bowl - which is another issue we'll have to tackle soon!
 

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are they actually fighting or is it just that the older dog is setting the pup in its place?

Walk them all together. I am a believer in before a new dog enters a home with other dogs they are given a long walk altogether. That does seem to settle them into a pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll give that a try. That's a great idea. Thank you! Well, I thought it was fighting but you may be right - she may just be setting the pup in her place. Sometimes when they brush past each other, she'll growl at the pup. But when they do get in their little scuffles where they're "fighting," it only lasts about 10 seconds and they get over it on their own without intervention.
 

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I'll give that a try. That's a great idea. Thank you! Well, I thought it was fighting but you may be right - she may just be setting the pup in her place. Sometimes when they brush past each other, she'll growl at the pup. But when they do get in their little scuffles where they're "fighting," it only lasts about 10 seconds and they get over it on their own without intervention.
My rule is no blood leave them alone. They may be working out some problems between themselves. By separating them you are not allowing the older one to train the younger one. If the fights escalate separate them but if not I would leave them alone. I would separate them when you are not home though just to be safe.
 

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I agree that that doesn't sound like a real fight to me. My dogs have gotten into actual fights many times(sadly) and they have to be pulled apart because they won't stop on their own.

As long as the scuffles don't get worse, I would let them work it out. But if it gets worse I would separate them for awhile and not let them get the chance to fight until things have settled down.

The problem with real fights is that once that bad blood is there, it's really hard to get past. Chess and Reese grew up together and were fine together for many years. But as Chess' resource guarding got worse with age, it led to some pretty bad fights with Reese. We've worked on the resource guarding a lot, but there's too much bad blood between them at this point and they'll never really get along again. They're fine to be in the same room, even unsupervised, but they do not like each other, and Reese is always braced for a fight from Chess(even though she's amazing with all other dogs). So in certain situations I have to be very very careful. Good luck with your new dog and I hope things calm down!
 
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