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How to keep two male dogs from fighting? And other dog training tips

Old 12-03-18, 05:01 PM
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ArmyofOne
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Default How to keep two male dogs from fighting? And other dog training tips

In our home, we have had 2 dogs for years. A male English Bulldog (3.5 yrs old-not neutered) and a male Chesapeake Bay Retriever (12-neutered). They fought every once in awhile over a toy or a bone, but it was never bad enough to warrant anything more than a spray in the face with water from a spray bottle, or a swat on the *** and separation for a short while. The fights occurred once every few months, at most. A few months ago, we lost our retriever. He went to sleep and didn't wake up. He was old (12) and well loved. I had him since he was just a pup, so this loss hit me hard. It left a void I wanted desperately to fill. Fast forward to the week before thanksgiving. A friend from down the road says he has a buddy that has a 6 month old German Shepherd puppy. I have had GS's before, and have always liked them. Mitch (my friend) tells me the guy doesn't want any money for the dog, he just wants him to have a good home. The guy lived in an apartment and Diesel (the GS) spent the majority of the time in his crate. I said he could bring the dog, and we would see how it went.

All was well for a week. We decided to keep Diesel. He is well-mannered, playful, friendly, is housebroken, knows "sit", "stay", "halt", "lay down", "down" (for not jumping), etc. A very good and obedient pup. He still has puppy tendencies (hyperactivity without enough exercise, occasional chewing, occasional digging outside, etc-we are working on that). Then out of the blue, Turbo (the English Bulldog)and Diesel got into a rip-em-up fight over a dog bone. It wasn't like a dog-fighting fight, with blood, etc. There wasn't any blood, just alot of snarling, growling and biting without letting go. It was quite devastating to see, and I managed to get them apart by blasting them with the garden hose (we were outside), then I crated Diesel, and put Turbo in the master bath since he doesn't use a crate. Aside from being out of breath, both dogs seemed ok, and it sounded worse than it was, so I just chalked it up to a dominance fight. No big deal, but needs to be nipped in the butt (if you will forgive the expression).

Fast forward to today, and there has been a fight like this every single day since that day. At least one, sometimes two. I won't neuter Turbo, because he has papers and his bloodline is worth a fortune in stud fees. Diesel is purebread GS, but past that, we have no papers, and we have no plans to breed him, so neutering seems like a good option. But will it stop the aggression? It is hard to tell which dog starts it, but there have been a few times I have caught Turbo being the instigator. My wife is pregnant and really doesn't need this stress. Does anyone have any idea if neutering will help the situation? And if not, any suggestions about what will??
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Old 12-03-18, 06:01 PM
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Your pups are just trying to settle dominance issues in your home, and that's normal. Diesel's figured out that he's the larger of the two and he wants to be Alpha Dog. This may resolve itself after a few minor scraps, but if you're really concerned that there will be bloodshed, you might consider having Diesel neutered. He's old enough, but not too old for this procedure. It should calm him down after a few weeks after working all the testosterone out of his system. Consult your local vet, but if you want Turbo to maintain his "manhood", that's probably the best solution. Unless you're into AI, of course.
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Old 12-04-18, 11:21 AM
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I never had 2 male dogs or fighting issues, but it sounds like you may want to avoid giving them bones if they are going to fight over them for starters. When they do fight the punishment probably has to get their attention and be more severe, yell at them louder, swat harder but also try to socialize them and have them together more, take them for walks together, feed them together, be more affectionate with them when they are getting along so they fully understand there are big consequences for fighting.

Bones are one thing that can bring out a aggression/territoriality in dogs that is not normal, we had a female cocker spaniel puppy that was a pretty sweet dog pretty most of the time. The neighbors had spare ribs one night and gave her a spare rib bone with some meat on it and she got very territorial when she had the bone, something we never saw before, she protected it and growled and showed her teeth if their dog got close to her or even if a person got close to her and pet her including me, she never showed that kind of aggression over a object/food. After that we did not give her any bones from the table and she never really exhibited much aggressive behavior after that
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Old 12-04-18, 12:06 PM
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As lil4X mentions until they settle it out. Talk to your vet about the neutering, both of ours were. Both ours were mild temperament type dogs to begin with. For them to "work it out" that may be a bit when they are near evenly matched age and weight. Went through similar when we had our two woofers. Was an obvious mismatch because one was 45#'s and the other 14#'s. The 14# was much younger so his youth and agility he thought would give him the upper level. Took a few by the neck hold downs to settle that. No blood but for the first week some odd it was concerning for us. We'd start each morning and through the day hearing the snarling and barking at each other.

After that they were inseparable buddies. When the gate latch broke they both went out together and remained together when we found them. We gave them equally so there were two identical of everything. Fortunately neither would try to take away from each other.
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Old 12-04-18, 05:49 PM
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If I don't give the GS a bone, he will chew anything he can get.

If I do give him bones, the English bully will take them and guard them. If I give each of them one, he will take both and guard both! If the GS tries to approach him, a fight will ensue.

I am calling the vet tomorrow to see about getting the GS neutered. I would like to get the English bully done too, but with his puppies bringing in 3-5k each, uhhhh yeah no.
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Old 12-05-18, 10:43 PM
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I'm with UDel....might just try weaning them both from bones and see what happens. Otherwise, you might just have to choose between getting that income from the pups and keeping peace around the house.
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Old 12-05-18, 10:47 PM
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Always neutered or spayed our dogs when they are puppies.
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Old 12-06-18, 08:36 AM
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There hasn't been a fight since I took away the toys and bones, and there has been no chewing. Hopefully we are past it. Either way, my bulldog is an *******. He's funny, but he's an *******.
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Old 12-06-18, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ArmyofOne View Post
There hasn't been a fight since I took away the toys and bones, and there has been no chewing. Hopefully we are past it.
Good. If your two dogs are as old as you indicate, they should be long past the puppy-chewing stage where they'll put virtually anything in their mouths. Pups, though, will chew on almost anything...slippers, socks, wallets...almost anything that is on or falls to the floor.

Last edited by mmarshall; 12-06-18 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:25 AM
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one is 3, the other is only 6 months...
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Old 12-07-18, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ArmyofOne View Post
one is 3, the other is only 6 months...
OK, sorry......wasn't quite following you before. You had mentioned two dogs you had owned for years. Wasn't quite sure where the pup fit in. Now, re-reading the post, I see.
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