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My dog is attacking my other dog (used to be best friends)?





i have 3 labs : Malibu - 4 years Shan - 4 years Max - 2 years (son of malibu, was sold but returned after one year as new owners couldnt cope with a lab but he is a beautiful dog as he has matured and is no trouble at all)Shan used to be the boss dog before malibu got pregnant but during/after the pregnancy malibu has become top dog but at first there was no problems with that The 2 were always best friends. Then we had Malibu desexed whilst she was actually pregnant because we just didnt have time to look after the pups and we also werent sure of the father. It was a silly mistake her getting pregnant but it was unplanned and the vet said it was fine to desex during early pregnancy. But she never attacked shan during pregnancy but she was very wary of her and shan knew to stay away. But lately she has been attacking shan regularly. Shan is very very submissive and she always knows when it is coming she just lie flat on the ground with her tail between her legs. Malibu always just locks her jaw on the same spot on the side of her head/ear so shan has no chance to fight back. It is getting harder and harder to make her let go, i can lift her up to the point where both dogs are off the ground but she wont let go i can kick and hit her very hard and she wont let go i feel really bad doing it but i dont know what else to do. Eventually she lets go after i get a hit in the right spot (i still dont know where that is) but it took about 20 seconds last time. I cant even keep them together anymore and i feel that just makes the problem worse. This also only happens when there are people around there are never any marks on her otherwise (plus i would hear it if it happen when we were inside, it also doesnt matter which people are there its just anyone. The wierd thing is as soon as malibu lets go its like it never happened she just stands there wagging her tail. Shan never attacks back she just runs to the door.I did manage to stop the attacks for about a 6 weeks i just always stayed near shan when outside and warned malibu off when she went to close but i could tell shan didnt like leaving the comfort of her bed near the front door when there was people outside. But if you look out the window everything seemed normal like 3 happy dogs playing. But obviously im writing this because malibu just got past me and attacked again.Any help would be very much appreciated, on why this would be happening or how to stop it, or even better techniques to break it up (although they wont be together again till i have more info on sorting it out). Oh and max stays out of all this completely.ThanksSorry about the essay i just wanted to give as much info as possible.



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3 Responses so far.

  1. sridhas says:

    Stop breaking up the encounters between Shan and Malibu. You said neither dog was getting hurt (except by you) so leave them alone to work it out by themselves. You have two adult females. In nature, the female dogs are always Top Dog, so one of the two dogs (Malibu) is going to be Number One. Shan may be challenging Malibu in small ways that you might not even notice if you didn’t know what to look for, and Malibu is defending her position.You say it isn’t really a fight. Fine. But it will become a really nasty, bloody, skin ripping, bone crunching fight in time if YOU don’t back off and leave those dogs to work it out by themselves!Just walk away and ignore them when they have these encounters. Either that or re-home one of the dogs, which isn’t really necessary. The necessary thing is for YOU to BACK OFF or eventually YOU are going to get BADLY BITTEN.

  2. reweaving says:

    With any dog aggression problem, it really is the best idea to seek professional help to ensure everything is dealt with as easily, stress free, and safe as humanly possible.Dominance type aggression is quite common in dogs of a similar age. Normally, the oldest dog claims the title as pack leader (although sometimes when they do get on in age a younger dog may fight to take this place) however- with two dogs of a similar age- particularly siblings or two dogs of the same sex- it can be really difficult for them to establish which dog is the highest ranking, and fights can ensue.Many times, we can actually make the situation worse by intervening. Dogs are normally pretty good at sorting themselves out, and establishing order. Sometimes fights can get nasty, and the loser will be seriously injured or killed- but this is not a common scenario. Most of the time, dogs will have these fights when we aren’t even there to see them, and so we may not even be aware that anything is happening.The fact that Malibu only appears to be attacking Shan when there are people present indicates to me that she is protecting her interests, which are the people that feed her, and give her attention- all the good things in life. She is also telling Shan that she is the top dog, she is the Matriarch of the pack- having been a mother, the pack positions have changed. When you intervene and stop the fight, Malibu gets frustrated, and needs to ‘remind’ Shan again and again who is the boss.You really are best off to consult a professional dog behaviourist about what to do in this situation. How to ensure that Shan and Malibu know their rightful place in the pack (basically- you have to ensure that Malibu knows that she is the top dog- you cant change the pack status- you have already changed this by allowing Malibu to breed) You will probably have to put a bit of work into working with each dog individually, rather than as a pair, where Malibu will be trying to dominate Shan, and then trying to work out a routine with both dogs.A professional behaviourist will be able to read your dog’s body language to acertain exactly what they are thinking and communicating, and will be able to give you the best advice on how to stop this behaviour, before it becomes too severe and you have to consider either giving up one of the dogs, or keeping them seperated permanently.Good luck!

  3. falzett says:

    You said Max is Malibu’s son, but Malibu was spayed while pregnant? That doesn’t make sense, was that not the first time she had been pregnant? For now, keep them separate. Crate and rotate if you have to, don’t let them interact. You need to seek out help in the form of a trainer or behaviorist in person. For starters I would be doing a lot of training with Malibu so that she respects you, you can read up on the NILF program and start there. To really know whats going on someone needs to see it. But from what you say Malibu isn’t respecting you. Stopping a dog fight is incredibly dangerous, and you can easily be bit as the dog doesn’t realize they are going after you. I understand the impulse to kick, because a small injury from kicking the dog is better than a dead dog. But in the heat of the moment she could easily turn on you. True dog fights quickly escalate to the point where the dog is acting off instinct only. I recommend you read this [external link]