Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oh, Boy....Might Have To Send One Of The Dogs Back.......

Things seemed to be going OK with both of them, but over the last couple of days Swisher (the older one) has become very aggressive towards Pebbles (the younger one).

We first noticed it at dinner time, when Swisher would get very defensive about his food. It's gotten to the point now where we have to feed them separately because Swisher will "Evil Eye" and intimidate Pebbles until she walks away from her food.

Today we had to break up two fights, and as far as we can tell, the older dog just "went off" on the younger one without provocation.

The second time he had her down and by the throat, and she was in quite a bit of distress. I was afraid I was going to have to use something to bust them apart, but Swisher finally let go of Pebbles after I *really* yelled "NO!" at him.

We're starting to get pretty attached to both of them, and like any dog, they both have their good points and bad points, but we're worried about leaving them alone together at this point.

Swisher is well-trained to walk, obeys all the commands we give him, but has gotten this aggressive streak all of a sudden.

Pebbles is a sweetheart, but is (still) a handful to walk, and can be stubborn at times. She's getting better about walking and obeying commands, and needs more work, but she's showing great promise.

Swisher would be a great dog for a one-dog family, but we really want two dogs.

We'll make the decision tomorrow, but I think we're going to send Swisher back to the rescue organization.......


  1. Feed them at least 6 feet apart, out of sight even better. When breaking up a dogfight, do not use your hands. Have a broom, shovel or other stick near by.
    This behavior is normal, watch what resources the dominant dog wants to control and allow it. If it's food and water, have two water bowls.Dogs like rules.

  2. Check with a copuple of dog experts first, but it sounds like normal dog pack activity, where they're determining who will be the Alpha among them. As long as no one is getting hurt, I say let them continue. One it's settled between them, it should stop with no blood being shed and no feelings hurt long-time. Again, it sounds normal to me, but check with your vet and a few on-line dog forums before giving up on what could be a great dog.

  3. We do feed them apart. The big one gets feed on the back porch, door closed, and the little one gets fed inside, from their own bowls.

    Swisher knew he was bad yesterday, and stayed on his bed all night. Pebbles was moping around, like she'd done something bad, and stayed away from Swisher all night, and hung around by us.

    This morning all seems fine, and they're best buddies again.

    We're going to hold off on any decision today, and see how things go. We really like Swisher, and we'd hate to send him back.

  4. Sd, but some times that is the only choice.

    Sent from my iPhone.

  5. I'm still thinking it's just two dogs working out who will be top dog and who will be second fiddle, and any two dogs you have will do the same thing to some degree. I'd also suggest that they aren't "feeling guilty or sad" for anything that thhey've done but are just keying off of your reaction. My thought is that it'll work out and both will be fine with the end result and life-long friends once the pecking order is established. Many dog owner forums should have info on this. Put the internet to work for you before you seperate two pals and give up on a good dog. She'll miss him when he goes, I'm betting.

  6. They seem to be behaving today.

    I agree that the dogs don't have the "feelings" I ascribed to them, but that they were picking up on us being really upset with them.

    The guy we got them from had been taking care of EIGHTEEN dogs ( ! ) at his place, and I'm sure that a lot of this has to do with these two dogs being by themselves for the first time in 5 or 6 months, and the "alpha/beta" wars that are going on, just as you suggest.

    My wife keeps saying that she can just "feel" how happy Swisher is to have a nice home after being shuttled around so much for the last year.

    Pebbles is happy to have a home where she's not surrounded by seventeen other dogs!

    They don't argue over the single water bowl, but we started feeding them separately, out of sight of each other, last week.

  7. As we know, dogs can be a blessing. Hope things work out for you, Swisher, Pebbles and the family.

  8. Well...they seem to be getting along better, but every once in a while the little one wants to be Alpha Dog, and the big one won't have any of it, so they come *this close* to getting into a fight, and then stop.
    The big dog snapped at the little one pretty hard the other night, and the little one started making noises like she was hurt. We both came out to see what was going on, and Pebbles was cowering away from Swisher. He dressed down Swisher pretty well (BAD DOG! BAAAAD DOG!!), and he seemed to get the point. Pebbles came over to me, tail between her legs and ears down, so I calmed her down a bit at which point Swisher wanted to come to her and "make up", but she wouldn't go near him for about 20 minutes.
    They still play a little rougher than I'd like, but no more major incidents like the one that started this post.


Keep it civil, please....