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Do I need to worry?
Topic Started: 25 Oct 2012, 21:03 (737 Views)
HilaryN
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Lady of the Manor
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We have had Shadow since Sunday. Ben our current dog, who has lived with another dog before, met her and they mostly ignored each other. No reactions just a bit of sniffing.

She has growled at him when he tried to hump her, when we got home (typical Ben :no: )
Ben currently has 2 patches of eczema, one on his back and one on his head. Shadow has taken to licking them. I think she is trying to clean them up :dunno: Ben wasn't impressed so he showed her his teeth.

Tonight while we were sitting having our tea, they were both at the table and Shadow growled at him and then started licking his back again. Ben then started on her :what: Shadow fought back :(

Separated them, lots of bits of fur but couldn't see any damage. They are now both asleep.

It has only been 4 days, but should I be worried???

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missuswilderness
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Ponydog slave
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I'd not want the behaviour to escalate or become ingrained. Yes they are still working out the boundaries but it can easily get worse as well as better.

But think about the situation you have just described. You were eating your tea - potential reason for conflict - human food around.
Shadow was licking Ben's sore bits - he doesn't like it. He tells her to go away and it ends up with a fight.

So two things I would do are stop them being together around potential triggers like human food (or their own food). If you want too then have one each side of the table. Leads attached to chairs are always an option to keep them where you need them.
At all costs stop Shadow licking Ben.

Put her on a houseline so you can gently remove her from Ben if she licks him. I'd reward for calm behaviour around each other too and make sure that this is managed and positive interactions.

And minimise other areas of potential conflict (toys, attention, treats) and work on building an understanding and respectful relationship between them.

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HilaryN
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Lady of the Manor
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They get fed separately as Ben does have an issue with food. TBH I never thought about putting them on leads in the house - doh

We are keeping Shadow away from his sore bits, and so far today it's as if nothing happened last night. We might try keeping them away from the table in future.

Thanks.
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muttlover
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I'm no expert but just on a quick read what you describe is full of understandable reasons for why they fought so it doesn't sound just out of the blue or like they simply are aggressive or don't like each other. If a dog is sore and the other is licking and hurting him then that makes total sense. That they don't know each other makes that more threatening to him. It could be the sore patches smell interesting to Shadow and the licking just instinctual. So I'd echoe the idea of stopping that and not allowing that habit to form at all. Then the fact there was a food trigger and one of the dogs is not great about food adds to the general tension. They don't know each other and don't know to trust each other. So on face value it looks like proper rigorous management until they do know each other better and I wouldn't panic in the face of real reasons that the dogs reacted - pain and food and being strangers to each other. Definitley have to stop her licking him or else he might start to feel panicky himself.

I'm no expert as I say and no experience of having two dogs. My own and my sister's dog started off a bit rubbish with each other - no actual fights but the odd skirmish. Triggers were food and going through doorways for some reason. Lots of walkign them together and careful management of the triggers and time and they are now fine with each other. But obviously - different dogs and different situation. But I think a few teething problems is quite common, isn't it?
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jackied
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Our two had a few spats to start with - over different things, obviously - and I am sure that you will be able to work it out with the good suggestions given. We used trailing house leads all the time to start with so we could easily manage the situation if it began to escalate.
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