View Full Version : Speaking of dog fighting, I'm beginning to think I may have a problem on my hands...

9th March 2009, 07:54 PM
Ollie, my 16 month old male, has been involved in THREE dog fights in the past few weeks, each time with a different dog in my household. The first time, which I posted about, was with my 5 YO female, Casey, over toys. She DID fight back and I had to separate them.

The second, was with our new rescue Winston. We were all lying on the bed watching a movie and Winn decided he needed to burrow in the bed to get more comfy and Ollie jumped him! I pulled Ollie off of him and put him in his crate to let him calm down. A few minutes later, his ball fell out of the covers, so I think he thought Winn was trying to get his ball.

The third fight was with the foster we had for a few days. They were all in the family room and I was in the office (reading Cavaliertalk!) and all of a sudden they were fighting. I know I'm not supposed to pull them apart, but I did. There was a "hoof" chew laying on the floor where they were fighting, so I'm sure that was what set him off.

I am very fearful that he is becoming more and more aggressive. We are going to obedience classes with him currently and he is doing very well. This is obviously a problem with HIM and not the other dogs. I have been reading this can happen once an adolescent dog reaches sexual maturity, but the amount of differing advice is staggering! I'm not sure what to do!

Both Casey and Winston are very calm, easy-going Cavaliers. Ollie, on the other hand, is a poor-bred and has always been very active, bordering on a pain-in-the-butt and definitely needs more activity than I can provide him. I'm just not sure if this is the beginning of a serious problem.

9th March 2009, 09:33 PM
It sounds like he is resource guarding. I would recommend (assuming he has been given the all clear from the vet) Mine by Jean Donaldson. This is a book with step by step instructions. You can order it online.

And other things that will help; do lots of self control exercises, good quality hypo allergenic food and treats, neutering may take the edge off(dogs with high level testosterone tend to trigger quicker and aggress for longer when they do trigger), teaching exercises such as leave it/give and so on. I would put all the toys, chews etc away and stop access to the bed/sofa etc and crate train him to sleep and eat in the crate, cover it over so he won't be getting upset and rehearsing this kind of behaviour over and over.

You need to do management stuff first and then start your behaviour modification work. As the training and self control increases - management can start to decrease. I would also stop fostering for a while so you can work and concentrate on your dog. You may need to get the help of a qualified trainer. Have a look on this site http://www.ccpdt.com/ for a trainer in your area. You can be assured you will get a trainer that must be keeping up-to-date with modern training methods and has been independently assessed regarding their abilities!

Here is list of trainers in Florida http://ccpdt.org/rstr/FL.html

9th March 2009, 10:40 PM
Just an FYI, he was neutered at 6 months old and is now 1 1/2 YO.

10th March 2009, 10:25 PM
Thats good! Plenty more to work on, best of luck finding a behaviourist to help you!

12th March 2009, 04:11 PM
My Cavalier Polka, has always been very protective over her food. She would fight with my black lab who out weighed her by 50 lbs. She drew blood once 8 years ago. Now she does go after Colleen over food. Colleen could care less and will keep trying to eat her food. I don't let it get far, I separate them. Luckily I can pick up Polka. 2 seconds later they are friends, like it never happened. But I do feed them separately and always keep an eye on them when there is a trigger situation: food is hers. I don't know why she does this. I am lucky it is only around food, so I can control it. I guess what I am saying is 99.9% of the time my girls get along. I don't give them chewy sticks because i feel there could be a problem with that. so I try to avoid any situation that could put either dog in harms way.