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Nicky Jowett
1st September 2009, 09:09 AM
I recently took in two cavaliers from the rescue society. Alfie is 3 and Bracken is 7. I have now had them for 5 months. They had settled in really well but have just started having fights. Bracken was pretty quiet and laid back but now starts to come towards Alfie face on which starts Alfie off and then its a fight! It doesnt last for more than a few minutes at a time. What should I do and why after 5 months are they doing this??

Youurs confused!:(

Karlin
1st September 2009, 11:48 AM
1) are they neutered? Are they both boys? How old are they?

2) in what context do they start fighting -- mealtime? over toys? chews? Are you sure this is an actual fight and not play-fighting?

3) have you done any classes with them as these help teach self control and help socialise dogs -- they should not only be left with each other and need to mix with other friendly dogs

4) if you do a good class (eg rewards based, not one using choke chains or 'leash pops;/jerks to control/punish the dog) -- the trainers can advise you as this is potentially a very serious problem and probably will get worse without management. I'd look for an APDT/CPDT certified trainer run class

5) you may have to accept you have two dogs who will not get along for whatever reason. If they are both the same sex the risk of this is much greater. A behaviourist can come in and observe and give management advice but just be aware that one may need to be rehomed as generally, things like this will not improve if they occur without any obvious trigger.

6) have you contacted the rescue? A good rescue will give backup support

Finally: absolutely do NOT leave these two dogs home alone together -- separate them in different rooms or crates or however you manage them. Things like this start after 5 months because after a period of uncertainty they begin to settle in and that is when problems can start to emerge, as one or the other gains confidence. It could also be their age, or that they are both one sex, or that one is a more difficult dog for whatever reason and may be better in a 1-dog home, not with a companion.