In the dog world, it is unusual to encounter hostility between opposing sex dogs. I will not say that it doesn’t happen but most fights are either between two males, or two females. Rarely are they between a male and a female. I only mention this as it has been a bone of contention for one particular family. They only have the two dogs (will not mention any breed or family details) and things have become so hostile that they have literally split the house in two. The male lives on one side and the female on the other. They have two baby gates stacked on top of the other to separate them.
I am looking at my three asleep on the floor in front of me and I shake my head. Age has no bearing on this behaviour I might add. Mine range from 13 years(neutered), 7 years(spayed), to almost 2 years(intact). Three different breeds with three different personalities. They are all fed in the same room at the same time, they are given treats together and I always end training sessions with all three doing the same command at the same time. They are all over 60lbs, the smallest just over and the biggest just under 100 lbs. There is zero tolerance for resource guarding in this house and any signs are nipped in the bud the moment the first sign appears and are never seen again.
I have to wonder how things can get to this point. Did it just happen overnight? Were there signs that these two animals detested each other? Why was nothing seemingly done about it before it reached these proportions? Which of the two are the problem or are they both the aggressor depending on circumstance? Are they aggressive with any other dogs or, heaven forbid, any people? Have they hurt anyone? These are the first few questions that are going through my head.
The biggest question that is going through my head is “what did you do about it?”. When there was the first sign of animosity, what did you do about it? When the level of animosity escalated, what did you do about it? When you realized you were in over your head with these two (yes, splitting your house in two is being in over your head), what did you do about it?
Yes, we all hate to admit defeat or admit that something is bigger than we are and help is needed, but to have your house split in two because your dogs will not, and do not get along, is no way to live. At what point should we say to be damned with pride and seek help from those with the experience and know-how to so? For me, that would have been the moment one or both stopped listening to me when I corrected the slightest hint of resource guarding or aggression VERY early on.
Would your opinion change if one of these dogs assaulted an adult in the face that was completely unprovoked? By unprovoked, I really do mean unprovoked. The two adults were standing, talking for about 10-15 minutes before the bitch decided that she wanted to help rearrange the woman’s face. Would you have admitted defeat then? Or would you have said she (the bitch) must be coming into heat and is a little grumpy? Would you have stuck around after that incident happened or made your sincere apologies and got the hell out of there?
If that had been me, and I will state clearly that never would be, I would have been absolutely mortified. I have to say that without a doubt, this bitch would have been corrected equal to her actions, and that correction would have been immediate and to the point. And I honestly wouldn’t be able to apologize enough to the woman. Now I will state right now that the bitch “tagged” the woman’s face so injuries were only very minor. I only say this to clarify that it was not a mauling, no stitches were required etc. Regardless, it was a bite and is still very serious in nature. Continuing on, I would have ensured she was indeed alright, still apologizing and I would have left. You couldn’t have paid me to stay. What I would then have done was get on the phone and start making inquiries into getting some help with her. And I would make damn sure that she gets the training, socialization, discipline that she needed before I ever took her into the public again. Even if that meant she must wear a muzzle. That is what I would do before ever letting something like that happen again.
I don’t care what kind of excuses you want to come up with. There are NO excuses for a dog putting their teeth on a person, especially unprovoked. WE are the ones that are responsible for the rearing, training and socialization of our dogs. WE are the ones that need to ensure the safety of the public AND of our fur-babies. To not take both into consideration is irresponsible and you bring down all dog owners by doing so.
And quite frankly, to those that choose to continue with the excuses, I ask this: Is your arrogance/ignorance over your own dog’s behaviour, worth the life of an innocent bystander, family member or even the death of your dog?
Copyright © 2012 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/ Sandysvoicebox blog. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS/SANDYSVOICEBOX ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/Sandysvoicebox, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012