|Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 10:27am PST |
|I have had a problem with my bitch and one neutered male, oddly enough. Both dogs started as DA outside the house -- they had poor upbringings before I took them up and belong in part to DA breeds (Cattle Dog/Pit Mix and Pit Mix). With lots of socialization and other techniques they are now much better, especially the Cattle Dog mix bitch, and have dog friends. Both dogs began to show this DA behavior at maturity.
As for the behavior inside the house, the bitch will start by snarking and giving the eye to the dog, then attacking him. He will fight back, and he will not let go. They have had to have stitches. For a while, we crated and rotated. We have found that what works is any overexcitement requires crating the Cattle Dog. When some visitor comes to the door, she must be crated until she calms down -- about 15 minutes. When one of us comes home, the dogs must sit calmly before we enter the house from the mudroom. That has dispelled much of the energy. It seems that she is both "jealous" and redirects her excitement into aggression upon another dog.
She has never attacked a dog in public, despite being attacked.
We also verbally reprimand her with a "No eye!" when she gives us or the other dogs "the hard eye." Then she is timed out briefly in a covered crate. Oddly enough, she is calm much of the time, unless chasing something, such as sheep, is involved. So far we have had many fewer incidents in the house. That said, I would never, ever, bring another bitch in the house, even though she has bitch friends. Oddly enough, she abhors submissive dogs and prefers friends with some "spunk."
She is actually not really the "top dog" in the house, but the older Golden Retriever who raised her from 5 months is. (She was taken from her litter at 5 weeks and had awful owners before I got her.) She is second in command basically. I love this dog deeply, but really I would have rehomed her if my OH had allowed me to. Just the cause of too many problems, and it caused too much anxiety for me and for the other dog. Not fair to anyone or any dog.
When I brought a 4th dog, as a foster into the house, I had him dog tested by the shelter first. He passed with both aggressive and submissive dogs. I introduced him to each of my dogs off leash in the morning in my fenced backyard. I was sure he would fail with one of my somewhat DA dogs. Amazingly, the Pit mix male ignored him, basically, after a few sniffs. And my bitch likes him, playing a little with him, and sniffing and allowing sniffs in return. They didn't mind him sticking close to me -- he was quite timid having never been in a house and fearing men-- as long as they got their usual affection.
Sorry to ramble on, but this is my experience working with DA within a household. I wouldn't do it again, but I cope. And it actually worked out all right bringing another dog in, amazingly enough. But with dogs who tend to SSA, I would not bring a dog of the same gender in. I would especially avoid bitches of breeds who tend to SSA.
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