How to get the dogs(females)to get along?

debbiep_gwApril 10, 2010

It appears as if not all three females are going to get along.My bassets are 7 and 5 years old and both spayed.Sweet pea the stray dog is not over 15 months I'm sure and not spayed yet.It will be another month before spaying.She seems to be submissive around my dogs,most of the time,but yestereday a dog fight broke out between her and my oldest Lucy.It was fine until Lucy wanted to walk up to us and then the fight broke out.I'm sure the order is to let them work it out themselves but I don't want dog fights.Both hounds have joint/bone issues and I don't want to end up at the vets.

Also I'm sure she(sweet pea) should be walked but thats not going to be possible either because of health reasons.There are no animal trainers in my area either.Is harmony possible for the three female dogs?Any suggestions?She is part yellow lab and recently had pups nine weeks ago.They just left home.

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i'm certainly not a fan of letting them "work it out"...too much can happen in a heartbeat. my female corgi was almost killed by my neighbor's female aussie one time because he kept insisting they would "work it out" and was letting his dog wander onto my property.

it can be dicey, as you are already figuring out, when you combine females. i know people who have dogs that don't get along and they "rotate" times out of their crates. i don't see how that's any way to live. there has to be major tension ALL the time!

i'll wait for the experts to chime in as i'm interested in this topic. both of my rescue danes are female and they are the best of friends but i am curious to see what others have to say.

you did such a wonderful thing by rescuing sweet pea (which happens to be the name of my youngest dane :) )...i hope somebody can give you some sound advice to help in the process of integrating her into your pack.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 5:14PM
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Naomi Miller

Well I am no expert but I have had quite a few dogs in my lifetime.... most recently, my son gave me a 10 week old Mastiff/Dobie mix for Christmas...a female.... I already had a 2 yo Yorkiepoo rescued from a puppy mill that is now 22 pounds ( sound like he was honestly a real yorkiepoo?) and a 15 yo Beagle, a 12 yo mix breed and a 4 yo collie mix.... all of the other doggies were male and neutered.... needless to say, my first reaction was that I would have to watch over this lil puppy like a hawk so that the older guys did not beat up on her or terrorize her...... not the case, lol..... she came in like gang busters,.... of course by 10 weeks old, she already was as large as the yorkiepoo, almost the size of the beagle and the older mix breed and is now 80 pounds, lol......the problems started about one month after she came here, she had learned her rank with regard to the older mix breed who is the alpha around here....he is not mean but just seems to 'correct' new comers enough that they respect him from day one..... but every time the poor ole half blind, half dead beagle walked towards me or my DH, the puppy attacked the beagle seemed that she respected all the other dogs but chose him to pull rank on.......the yorkiepoo prefers to NEVER come inside although we bring him in every night to sleep in the utility room, much to his chagrin, lol.....the collie mix prefers outdoors but comes in late at night to sleep with my son in his room happily..... those two as well as the beagle can not run at large even though we have 10 acres because they take off like bullets in every direction so they spend their days in a 30 x 90 foot run off the utility her face to face time with them was limited because we are training her to roam freely within her set boundaries on the farm BUT the beagle comes in every night after dinner and sleeps in our room and the fighting was getting soooooooo out of control due to her jealousy.

I am sorry to be rambling but it seemed relevant to give you background before stating that we have solved the situation. After one week of the poor beagle being jumped on every time he came close to us, we decided that she was not just going to work it out without intervention...... so I decided to take 30 minutes every evening when the beagle came in to try a tactic I had used earlier in life with my two female shepherds that fought constantly but only when I was around..... this is what we did....

Each night when we brought the beagle in, we previously secured the female pup with a lead to a piece of furniture and gave her lots of loving.... then immediately went and got the beagle and brought him into the space , just out of her reach and let her see us give him loving too... then went back to her and gave her loving...and back to him ... just 5 minute intervals for 20-30 minutes every evening for a week..... and problem solved.... it is all just a matter of pecking order and when she saw that our attention to him did not affect our love for her then she gave up......of course in the mean time, she was reprimanded for any display of aggression and given a time out in her crate for 5 minutes or so...then we started again.... now the beagle roams freely through the space and she barely pays him any mind....I am not sure this is the end all resolution but it has worked for me on several occasions.....

At any rate, I wish you luck, be steadfast and do not give up; close observation and diligence will pay off and it can be done. I have never had a newcomer that I could not insert in the pack without controversy....

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 7:51PM
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To be frank. Either find a way to get the dog walked everyday and get it into training or find it a new home. Letting them work it out themselves is looking for trouble. You have no submissive dog if the stray is fighting the oldest dog when it comes up to you....

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 3:49PM
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Mazer,I thought being submissive was when a dog drops to the ground or rolls over on its back when it approaches another dog,actually wanting to play,that is until we are in the picture.Letting them work it out themselves is not a option..

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 4:13PM
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Been there and got the t-shirt. Never again will I have two females - spayed/unspayed or any combination therof - together in the same house.

Female dogs who don't get along, for whatever reason, to the point that they will go after each other, will NEVER "work it out". Only boy dogs do that.

They are not trying to make a point when they fight; they have collectively decided that one of them has to go and will bide their time until given the opportunity to see it through, and they will fight savagely enough to do some serious damage to each other or to whom ever tries to separate them.

The safest way to manage is to keep them completely separated - Crate & Rotate.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:41PM
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Wow, Debbie, I didn't realize you had the other dogs. I have even more respect for you now. First of all, will it get better after she's spayed? I just adopted two female dogs about a month apart, about a year and a half apart in age. No problems at all; they're best buds. I ck'd around and found that the two females thing was generally considered a myth, so I think it's just two dogs new to each other being territorial. So, speaking only from my own experience, I've introduced several generations of cats to dogs to pigs of all different ages and backgrounds and genders. I've always done it the same way, and I've always been successful. But, as has been stated here before, every situation and every animal is unique. Sometimes, it does take time. I would always let the animals see each other but not be able to interact. With dogs, you could maybe use some tall baby fences? Then, I would spend very loving time with each side, making sure the other side watched -- same as Heartzlink said above. I think that animals are naturally territorial and need time to realize that the invader is here to stay and a loved member of the family. If it were simply a matter of two females, wouldn't there be a lot more problems at dog parks and doggie daycares? Best of luck to you.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:52PM
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This is one of those 'Difficult to Diagnose over the Internet" situations.

Was the 'dog fight' growling and raised hackles? Did the two dogs make contact?

What was happening before the 'dog fight' started? What did you do to stop the situation?

You can adapt their behavior while you are present. You might not be able to make the changes stick when they are alone.

The new dog just had pups. That means her protective instinct is raised to a very high level. The pups are gone(right?) , leaving her with that heightened protective instinct and nothing to protect.

Except you. You might need to do most of the correcting to the new dog, until her system looses the hormones causing her protective actions.

Exercise will speed that change now. As well as using up her energy. Can you find/hire/barter someone to walk her? Got a treadmill?

The reason everyone is insisting on the exercise is that the need for walking is deeply rooted in canines. That is how they find food and shelter. That is part of the pack mentality. It is as basic as all their other instincts.

Now, the strength of the traveling instinct varies. My whippet mix needs much more exercise than my GSD mix. Your new mom needs much more than your other two bassets.

If these dogs do not get that necessary exercise, they actually become bored and impatient. They have energy created for the traveling and no way to use that energy. So, they act out.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:02AM
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Thanks for the input everyone.I'm not just yet ready to give up on the situation though last night in the middle of the night a new situation arose.She sleeps in the laundry room which is outside the kitchen with a door to the outside.All of our property is fenced in.Mosquitos are bad now so the door to the outside has to be closed all the way at night now.It was not locked so she jumped against it and made it open,the first time I let her back in but the second time I went back to sleep and she must have wanted back in and could not get in so she jumped the fence and went to the front and jumped the gate and I heard her come on the porch.I put her back in the laundry room and she did it once more before it occurred to me to lock the door.Anyway this morning she has already jumped the fence once and I have her back in the laundry room now.My fencing is a farm fence 4ft tall,she has no problems clearing it.She has long legs and can jump high I've noticed from playing.So theres that problem to fix to.I'm not comfortable with her getting out as since she has been behind fencing she acts different than when she run loose.She charges the fence when anyone walks by or even rides by.
To answer the questions above,the two dogs did make contact and there was raised hackles and growling.She wanted to play with the basset and the basset did not want to play and had already given her a backoff growl.She sweet pea(stray)layed down by my husband and Lucy approached him to,I don't know for sure which one snapped first but the confrontation started.My husband grabbed Sweet pea and I got Lucy and removed her from the situation as in putting her back inside the house.The bassets are inside dogs and Sweet pea stays outside and comes and goes in the daytime into the laundry room as she pleases.If they ever get along I have no plans of ever leaving all three together unsupervised.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:52AM
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Unless it's due to financial reasons, I'd get her spayed ASAP and not wait another month.

Handymac hit the nail regarding the loss of her pups, hormones and being protective, but I would also worry that she could come back into heat before she's spayed. The average cycle is 6 months but some dogs cycle ever 4 months.

I would start walking her and add the other dogs to the walk if they're physically able. Also, get her into obedience class. There's no need for her to be charging a fence.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 3:59PM
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The rescue told me to wait a month for her milk to dry up.She was still nursing the pups at nine weeks at least once a day.
The dogs are physically able to walk,I'm not.There is no obedience training here.I live in a rural area.She may have to be rehomed.I've spent the day trying to contain her in the fenced area.She goes for the fence anytime the neighbors come outside with their dog.She went for the fence when I was with her and my dogs were in the front yard fence area.Shes over it before I can get her.Shes not leashed trained either.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 5:23PM
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Usually when a dog rolls over to show its tummy, yes it is showing submission, but it could also be just part of her play. Her willingnessw to fence fight, and to show agression towards your dogs is a real issue. I agree, get her fixed as soon as the vet approves it. Make certain your dogs are all on heartguard (mosquitoes) have the vet make sure she is in good health otherwise and them start training immeidately after she is released by the vet after her surgery. The sooner the better. You might also want to get her a harness and cable run if she can clear the fence. If she happens to get out of your yard and starts a fight, because you have been caring for you, you are liable for any damages the dog does. It sounds like she has been neglected and is a wild card due to her being on the streets. The sooner you start training, and the more you train her the better. Good luck

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:45PM
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Sounds to me like rehoming is the better idea. You did a wonderful thing by taking her in and dealing with the puppies and her.

Without the proper exercise(including walking), it seems to me any attempts at controlling her will fail.

Sometimes desire to help is outweighed by reality. That can cause a bad situation to be uncorrected or even worse.

Rehoming SweetPea should get her in a younger family that can handle her natural exuberance and energy. Better for her. And less stressful on you and your two bassets.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:18PM
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I agree Handymac and it breaks my heart to do so,I somehow feel like I've failed her.I had a plan in mind and its not working out.As it is I'm waiting on the neighbors across the street to go to work so I can take her out to potty.They have pits that come in and out of the house when they are home.SweetPea is over the fence before we can get to her now.I've already contacted the rescue that took the pups about her.I'm waiting to hear back.Thanks for all the advice.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 10:53AM
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I think you're making the right decision to rehome her. It's not fair to your bassets to make their life miserable and it sounds like she needs more training and a home with a higher fence.

Until you hear from the rescue group, I suggest you start leash training her. Get a collar on her and every time she goes out take her out on leash. If she's afraid of the leash, snap it on her collar and let her drag it around the house. At this point I would not give her free rein of the yard.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 11:51AM
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I have started her leash training.We walk a few steps and stop and then go again.I've yet to get her to go potty with the leash on her.Theres no more going out alone for her.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:59PM
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Please DO work with her until you rehome her. It will make her all the more of a "good bet" to a potential adoptive parent.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 6:54PM
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Debbie, you are a wonderful person. You have done much more than most people. But, you are not SuperWoman. You cannot do everything. I can handle most dogs. I have had three over the years I could not handle. Time, money, or ability at the time did not allow me to finish the dog. I found someone who could. Hate to admit failure, but I did the best I could.

You cannot do better than that.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 8:23PM
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