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Discussion Starter #1
We recently (2.5 weeks ago) adopted a 7 year old collie named Zeke. He was a stud at a breeding facility. He was not abused or neglected - he just was not a family pet. He is an as-of-yet unneutered male. His temperament is sweet, timid and not too bright.

We also have a nearly 11 year old mini schnauzer, Katie. She has been with us for just over 2 years. She was terribly neglected before we got her. She's extremely sweet and mellow and completely glued to my side.

A couple of times in the past week, Zeke has been sound asleep on his blanket, Katie wanders past and he get up and growls and snaps at her. It's alarming because there is a big shuffle of paws and claws on the hardwood and all the barking.

Tonight, Katie came back from the kitchen where she was getting a drink of water. Zeke leapt off the bed he was laying on and growled and snapped, this time making enough contact that Katie yelped. I interceded immediately, scolding Zeke and getting between them. He layed down submissively as soon as I yelled at him. I checked Katie and there are no visible wounds. She's still shaking though. :(

For those of you with multiple dogs, is this a hopeless situation? The breeder who had Zeke has said if things don't work out she would like to have him back instead of us finding him another home. I really don't want to give up too early but I'd hate to have this escalate to the point where someone gets hurt. When we are not here, the dogs are kenneled so there is always someone around to supervise when they are together. I also take them to the dog park nearly every night. My oldest DD wondered if Zeke might think he was playing with Katie because of how the dog park dogs rough-house, but this looks different to me.

Advice welcome!!!
 

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I would say,w/o being there to observe,Zeke is establishing dominance. He needs a snip asap. And you have to establish leader.(of the pack). You walk ahead he doesn't lead. You eat then put the food down for him. If you give part of your food eat all yours first. Say each ones name as you give the treats. Give katies first.
Submit is a very imp. command. You roll him and put your body over him. I have taught my DD's dog "time out". She will take herself in the other room.
Watch feeding time. They both need seperate bowls. there is no equality in the dog world. Someone is at the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Frugalwarrior, I wondered if it was a dominance thing. I do feed them seperately and he is a complete gentleman on the leash (aside from his panic when a car goes by). Part of the deal I had made with the person I adopted him from was to keep him intact until we decided that things would work out here. Do you feel the neutering will settle down this behavior?

A couple of other things: Katie, being a little 20 pound dog, is allowed to sit on the couch - Zeke, being 75 pounds, is not. Do dogs get jealous of this type of thing? My kids swear that I'm "hurting Zeke's feelings" because of this. He's a big chicken about lots of things. He is scared of: the cat, thunder, cars - both driving and parked, rakes, bicycles....anything outside of his experience. He initially wouldn't even go in the car without my daughter pulling him in and me shoving him from behind. We've cured that by starting every car trip with a romp in the park for a few minutes - now he is thrilled to jump right in.

He was not a family pet before so a lot of things are new to him. The snapping at Katie is the only BAD behavior, although he does pace a lot and is quite restless - he isn't good at just sitting and cuddling - takes him a while to settle.

Thanks! (I seem to have written another novel!)
 

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Yes, what FW said. You do not need to worry about hurting his feelings, this is about pecking order. The next time he does this put him in his kennel and put a blanket over the kennel so he can't see you. Do not make eye contact with him until you are ready to take him out. (doggy time out. And make each infraction a longer banishment) Banishing is very common in packs to learn the pecking order. So is who eats first. Your little one should eat first, then him. Your little one enters the door first, then him. (of course your first in front of them) And don't change that behavior or he will see it as the pecking order has changed. It will take awhile but he'll get it as long as he has no doubt in his mind that she's top dog, and any bad behavior towards her will not be tolerated. Be patient, but keep a watchful eye on your little one. For now.
 
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You also have to recognize when Zeke is about to go in that mode if you can. If you observe him enough, you pick up on things like ears going back or head down. Try to stop it before it starts and get him to not focus on Katie.
 

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You can't choose their pecking order. You can set boundaries as to their behavior but they will decide who is top dog. YOU have to be top dog above all of them. Until this is established, no sofas, no beds, nothing until they understand you are boss. This goes for both of them. They first need to learn who's in charge and that it's you.

If you baby the other dog (smaller dog) it will just make things worse. Don't accept bad behavior (watch for any signs such as hair-on-back raising, dirty looks) but don't try to "make" one dog higher than the other.
Dog Community, Dog Pictures, Dog Forum & Information ? Dog.community This site has TONS of info on multiple dogs.

You are doing a great job keeping them in their crates while gone, Way to Go!! You may not have to do this forever, but definitely during this adjustment period.

p.s I would suggest getting him fixed but I believe in doing that for all dogs/cats even if never plan to breed, even if never plan to have a second dog in the family, etc. I'm just a big advocate of the procedure.
 

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Polly has a good idea w/ the removal (like time out). Later down the road turn your back on the offender w/ obvious flair after making eye contact. Cross your arms and kinda look up at the sky. This will only work after you are pack leader. I have 2 sheperds (girls no less) and when they start 1 goes on the time out and the other gets the ignore. The ignore will try and make eye contact and i keep circling away w/ a "go laydown" sharp comment.

Now realize you will have tussles. You will have to keep reestablishing whose boss. Just part of pack mentality. They were wolves at one time ya know.
My G. sheperd will butt my hand and keep flipping it until I pet her,cute right-nope. Dominance. I decide when I pet her. Gotta watch because they can sneak in there.
Their a trip but I love havin' them. All 3.
Oh and in case your wondering I did dog rescue w/ power dogs. (pits,husky,sheperds,dobies,and whatever else she dragged out of the pound that week.).
 

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I did rescue too FW! Fostered quite a few in my time, mostly abused pit bulls. I had to determine the pecking order or all hell would have broken loose. I ruled with a firm hand (but gentle) and they had and they had no doubt how things were going to go as far as order. At one time we had 5 dogs, 4 of them abused or neglected pits. I worked very closely following the guidelines of the rescue organization and found their methods were not only effective but provided peace rather quickly among the pack.

That said, you must do what establishes peace in your household in whatever way is best for your pups. If allowing them to determine pecking order is the optimal way then that is what should been done.

Wishing you all the best Daisy.
 
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Good luck daisy.

Some great advice here.......very important to be consistent in what ever you do.

I have two.........have never had trouble to that extent but I kennel them whenever I leave and don't intent to change it EVER!! have always kenneled though.

Oh YEAH..............the snip will make all the difference in the world!! But it will take a few months for the hormones to settle down and for you to see the difference. I, too, totally agree with the procedure.......for every animal, if you are not going to breed. One BIG reason the shelters are so full........not done often enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lots of wonderful advice here! Thanks -I will process this and work on the "pecking order." I hate to admit it but the real alpha here is the cat, Paul. :D
 

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Daisy;
My ds's cat moved into my house quite a while ago with my golden retriever and shephard. They would wait in line for water. LOL

Please, please keep on top of this. My sil lost a dog because they both went for something at the same time. Total accident, but it happened.
 

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I agree on the dominance/pecking order thing. When I go to visit my gf - before she got rid of her dog - I walked in and the dog got super excited and tried jumping up on me, as she did with the rest of the family. I swatted her down and firmly said NO each time she did it. She learned real quick that I wasn't going to tolerate it but yet she still jumps all over the family members. Its all about setting boundaries. Be consistent and good luck! :)
 

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The cat! Oh no. We joke about our wild cat we took in. She set my 120# sheperd straight. She wouldn't be nosed or you got "the Paw". Wap,wap,wap,. Ninja cat.

I had to laugh tonight. I was eating a pasty and the 2 girls started complainy growls back and forth. I unconsiously put my hands up to my head. DD's dog got up and put herself on time out w/o a word or look from me.
Good luck w/ your new friend. Remember everything takes time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A very scary incident this evening: Zeke attacked Katie while she was eating and had her on her back in seconds. I immediately grabbed him by the scruff and put him in his crate with the blanket over it.

Katie is not hurt but she was very frightened. I'm starting to doubt we can work this out.:(
 

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A very scary incident this evening: Zeke attacked Katie while she was eating and had her on her back in seconds. I immediately grabbed him by the scruff and put him in his crate with the blanket over it.

Katie is not hurt but she was very frightened. I'm starting to doubt we can work this out.:(
Honey they should not have food unless crated. (locked in their own crate for dinner time) No bones, no treats, no dog food in the rest of the house if they are already having issues in other areas. Also, don't let them go into each other's crates after they eat to investigate if the other one left food, that can lead to a fight as well.

Just a tip. Here is some good information on preventing dog fights: http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_FightsBetweenDogs.php
 
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2nd that. I also would have rolled him in front of her. You have not established w/ him yet. I have barred my teeth and rolled.
You need a class for him-now. And I don't care what the lady said the snip is over due.
 

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Something doesn't sound right if the person stated that if things did not work out to bring the dog back and that until then not to neuter him. Sounds more as if she knew the dog was not well socialized and problems were inevitable.

Also second that the dog should be neutered. If the woman still wanted to use him as a stud then she would have kept him for that. Apparently she is willing to let him go. Something just does not sound right about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Now we have growling...... I followed the advice here and locked them away seperately for eating - there is absolutely nothing for them to fight over. Zeke didn't jump on Katie again but he growls at her when she walks by.

I emailed the previous owner. She said he had never acted like this with a female before - only with males. She immediately offered to come and pick him up.

I really don't know what to do. I don't want to be one of those pet owners that disposes of dogs, but I also don't want Katie to be hurt. She is nearly 11 years old and so gentle - she also had a horribly neglected and abused life before she came to us.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I also wanted to add that Zeke is getting plenty of exercise - we walk him about a mile a day and let him run around at the dog park for about an hour. He is fine and somewhat submissive with the dogs there.
 
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