My dog attacked my other dog :( help
I am so so distressed--I'll keep this as brief as poss then sit back for advice & questions.
My 9yr-old Wheaton Terrior is food aggressive & "bossy" with the 10 yr old Maltese we inherited 4 yrs ago. The maltese is very sweet and immediately allowed Pepper to be the big sister. He loves Pepper (the wtn.) and has no awareness of what he does to provoke her. When he senses her acting bossy or mean, he turns his back.... Pepper is also very sweet but a jealous (possessive) dog. Her groomer says she is the sweetest Wtn. she grooms and can't believe Pepper has an aggressive side.
I've always keep a strong "eye" on the signs of aggression/surliness (a word?) I've seen in Pepper (She & my 1st Wheaton were aggressive together--fights for dominance, usually over food). I truly treat EVERY moment with the dogs as though there could be an attack--feeding them separately, watching for the aggressive "warning behaviors" Pepper exhibits and most important, I actively train & show them both that I am TOP dog--not Pepper. Pepper is upside-down under me if she so much as frowns at Tiger but I am also very loving & positive with both.
In the 4 yrs the Matlese has been with us, Pepper has attacked him 4 times--2 times the Maltese suffered puncture wounds, some deep. Pepper viciously attacked the Maltese about a yr after he moved in, when Tiger walked behind her as Pepper was eating. She attacked him again last night. The 1st time, I let my guard down, obviously. I got too comfortable with the fact there had been no attacks or attempted attacts in over a yr. Last night, I'm not totally sure why Pepper attacked him--they were outside, which is a first (I do have a few suspicions). Immediately after the first attack 3yrs ago, I tried to find a new home for the Maltese--I'll give details if asked, but of those who met him, none wanted him (5). I consulted a trainer and became more strict with my training/watching/Top dog behaviors.
You must believe me that I am HUGE animal lover--rescuer--neighborhood pet training go-to and my heart is so heavy when this happens. After each of the 4 attacks, if they were out of their "dens" they were attached to me--as they are today. I worry, contemplate a new home for Tiger..., then a lot of time passes and I think I have Pepper's aggression under control and then a yr later, another attack.
So, now what do I do? I feel like I am letting Tiger down. I can't bear for him to be hurt again. I'm also worried I might attack Pepper next time she "does her positioning" behaviors. I love these 2 dogs so much and this makes me so very very sad. I do not know what to do besides what I am doing.
I'd love some advise, pls.
tks in advance