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Thread: Problem with fighting dogs.

  1. #1

    Problem with fighting dogs.

    I could do with a little advice.

    My Chesapeake deer dog Sika turned 2 in Feb, since around then they've been having an increasing number of fights with my Fiancée Helen's German Shepherd/Long dog cross Jasper who is about 8 or so.
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    The first fight was at feeding time when I stupidly decided to feed them both in Sika's kennel. Over a period of several weeks we gradually got them both happy eating next to each other again, just not in the kennel.

    Lately all the fights seem to be around Helen, we think that they're competing for her attention. This afternoon they kicked off while we were gardening and the three of them got wedged in between a wheelbarrow and the patio furniture. Helen was busy and wasn't paying any attention to either of them, so its pretty unpredictable.

    Unfortunately they seem to be getting better at scrapping with practise and today Sika has come within a whisker of loosing an eye. They're both getting quite a collection of battle scars.
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    They're also getting a lot harder to separate, I used to be able to grab a scruff and pull but its really viscous now. I'm afraid to go away for the night and leave them to Helen because if they kick off I doubt she could handle it without getting hurt.

    There is no clear dominance between the two, neither will take food or bones from the other. Jasper has spent a lot of time licking around Sika's face since the first fight which I thought was submissiveness at first.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions as otherwise my last resort they'll both be getting the snip and I'd rather avoid that if at all possible.
    Last edited by kingstonandy; 02-05-2010 at 19:07.

  2. #2
    At first, I was thinking you might be after suggestions about which dog to bet on, but then I figured you might be genuinely worried about the behaviour. You are serious aren't you, and just after reassurance that your instinct to separate is correct?

    Separate them. As in keep them apart.

    Whatever the household dynamic is, I would not trust them alone. Then work out what is going on.
    Last edited by KevinF; 02-05-2010 at 19:01.
    KevinF -

  3. #3
    Of course I'm serious. I'm just trying to work out whats going on and how to stop it re-occurring.

    Keeping them permanently separated just isn't practical long term. I'd sooner re-home one of them than have to do that.

  4. #4
    the dog doing the grooming is usually the dominant one, and the issue may be that tho the dogs know where you sit in the 'Pack' and, because you say there is no dominance between them, where they sit, but they are not sure where helen sits. Where one of the dogs was helen's to start with, it may be that her dog considers Helen its property, and so gets aggravated when your dog crosses that boundary. As said above, I would seperate them until you get it sorted, as helens intervention, could make it even worse. From experience, getting them done will have little or no effect now they are both over 18 months.

  5. #5
    Perhaps putting a muzzle on the two fighters would help, certainly feeding them at separate times, or out of sight of each other, will reduce tension !


  6. #6
    my guess is jealousy.
    when i am picking up and carrying birds my dog wont let another near me. I no its not quite the same but if 1 dog is yours and the others Helens dog that could be your problem,
    if both of u treat them equal it may help.

    hope this is of use, jjaeban

  7. #7
    Had a similar problem with my two Welsh Terrier bitches last year. In my case it's the submissive one that kicks off the fight, which was a bit of a shock to me! For me its been a case of re-establishing my place in the pack with them, and ensuring that they both know my rules. I still have to watch them on occasion as certain situations will still present potential issues - like you, feeding time is one of these situations, especially if there's a particularly tasty treat involved. I have to make sure that they both stay calm and submissive and keep their attention on me, not each other. In your case, as someone else has mentioned, you need to make sure that Helen's place in the pack is re-established, and that she knows how to enforce the rules of the house with them... Sadly prevention is always easier than cure, and once this type of behaviour has become well set in, it can take a lot of effort to break the habit and get them back in line.

    I wish you luck with this - patience and consistency should pay off though...


  8. #8
    Chesapeakes are the most dominant dogs on the planet, they want to be the boss no matter what you have in your kennel or shoot, and the reason for this is so obvious... they are the best working and looking dogs bar none!!

  9. #9

    I may have some idea of what you are going through as i have owned and trained multiple dogs for some time, especially Chesapeakes.

    Firstly, the snip: Unfortunately this will do absolutely nothing to lessen the need for your Chesapeake to be the alpha male. What you have to understand is that your dog has been selectively bred to survive in the harshest of conditions, launch itself in into the sea in freezing conditions without delay and afterwards guard the camp against intruders and predators. Thankfully the working strains remain true to this heritage and should not be considered like any other dog. They are unfailingly loyal and will do things without a second thought that other working dogs will baulk at, but take them into the company of other dogs and they can be utter *******s! They will instinctively seek out the dominant dog and immediatelly attempt to best it. Its just what they are.

    I'm guessing that the dogs were not introduced as pups? What you have is one dog that is over dominant and another who occassionally pushes back. The reason that they are prone to fighting around your fiancee and not you is that when you are there, they accept you as the alpha male. With her you have 2 dogs still competing for the top-dog post and a bitch - not a good mix, especially when you add the jealousy to the mix too!

    I'd be very surprised if your Chessie immediately follows your fiancee's commands too. Chessie's, especially males tend to accept their owner and no other. One of my males even completely ignores the wife like she doesn't exist (i wish i could get away with that).

    If you want to keep both dogs then you'll have to keep them apart. They will continue to fight and there will be serious injuries regardless of what you do.

    I think i've pretty much seen it all with Chessies - Drake will only piss in one area of his run, he'll piss through the bars into Charlie's run. Charlie regularly scales the 6ft fence to **** in Drake's bedding. It's just they're nature.

  10. #10
    This is going to sound harsh but there should only be one alpha male in your pack and that is you, I keep 3 dogs and a bitch when she comes into season we have no fighting I dont allow it.

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