Multiple Dog Households... Need Some Input

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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 2:40 pm

I need some input from those of you who have multiple dogs and do crate/rotate.
When did you know that crate/rotate was a necessary evil in your house? What was the deciding factor?

We had a semi-serious incident at our house last night, and I'm not sure where to go from here...
It sort of started two days ago - I was fishing some treats out of a container, both dogs were next to me (one on each side), and Faust tried to lunge across me, because Sepp was apparently *too close* to the treats. :rolleyes2:
I managed to grab Faust in mid-air and crated him for the rest of the night.
Last night both boys were sound asleep, about 6 feet away from me... and all I heard was a sudden ROAR, and Faust was on top of Sepp. He outweighs him by at least ten pounds, but Sepp is a scrappy little shyte, and he WILL defend himself.
Anyway... lost of snarking, growling, pretty much a blurry ball of fur - it was ON.
I started yelling, and of course that didn't do a damned thing. I flew-hobbled over to them, and grabbed one by the collar and the other by the scruff of the neck to physically seperate them. neither one tried to bite me, and after I checked them over (no wounds... thank dog!) I crated them both for the rest of the night.
I have NO idea what happened, and most of all WHY this happened. There was no warning, no growling... nothing. I can swear that they were both sleeping...

I haven't let them go out together for the past few days, because my yard is a solid sheet of ice, and there's no way I could get to them fast enough IF they decided to get into it.

This morning I let them potty (seperately)... and right now they act like nothing happened. Lots of play bows, some good-natured wrestling, play growling, sharing toys like they always have.
Obviously I'm keeping a very close eye on both of them.

I will/can do crate/rotate IF I have to... I also want to avoid stressing Sepp, of course... he is doing extremely well between his lymphoma dx and the MMM, and I want to keep him that way.
Neither one has ever displayed any real DA... not at the vet, not at my house, not on the street when they encounter other dogs.

Sepp will be three in June... Faust will be two in March.

So - where do I go from here? *scratches head*

I've always been prepared for the possibility of having to keep them seperated from each other, but so far I've never seen any real animosity/aggression - they always seemed to enjoy each others company and often one will seek out the other to initiate playing or wrestling.

I'm at a total loss right now.

Any input is greatly appreciated... their safety is my top priority, always.
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Postby BigDogBuford » January 15th, 2011, 2:56 pm

You could always do a tether inside instead of crates as well. It's worked well for me and cuts down greatly on the time my dogs spend in crates.
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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 3:03 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:You could always do a tether inside instead of crates as well. It's worked well for me and cuts down greatly on the time my dogs spend in crates.


Yes, that's a possibility also... plus, I do have baby gates and what-not.

What I want to know is IF we are at that point where it's absolutely necessary, or if maybe last night was a "fluke". :?
It was so out of the blue... I thought maybe Faust was dreaming and got startled or something. :|

*sighs*
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Postby airwalk » January 15th, 2011, 3:04 pm

Of course, this could be nothing more than Faust (turning 2) deciding to test the waters and see if he can make the rules. It might no be, but ...
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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 3:11 pm

Well... right now they are both sitting next to me and are giving me the puppy eyes.
I feel stupid... :rolleyes2: lol

But IF Faust is "testing the waters" - how should I handle that?
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Postby BigDogBuford » January 15th, 2011, 3:21 pm

airwalk wrote:Of course, this could be nothing more than Faust (turning 2) deciding to test the waters and see if he can make the rules. It might no be, but ...


That was the first thing I thought of. Or he could just be turning on.
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Postby iluvk9 » January 15th, 2011, 3:37 pm

:shocker: That scenario just scared me, reading it.
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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 3:46 pm

I didn't even have time to get scared... the whole thing lasted about ten seconds.
But it was LOUD... holy crap.
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Postby airwalk » January 15th, 2011, 4:15 pm

Of all the fights I've seen and heard..Pit bull fights are always the loudest. They sound as if they are absolutely tearing each other to bits...often no damage, but tons of noise.

Christine, just my take so give it the weight you want. Faust is turning 2 so he's reaching maturity. He is bound to test the water (like he did when he was about 9 months I think). He's going to test and see if he is the big dog and can he get away with things. I'm betting he doesn't test Daisy much does he? Daisy's persona is one of I'm in control..I don't need to prove it...I'll just school you when needed. Much the same as Jeanine's Buford.

Seppel, on the other hand has always been the play mate, the other half...so he doesn't carry the same level of respect for Seppel he does for Daisy. So he may just need to relearn his respect level until he finishes growing up. I'm not saying he may not be turning on, because that is always possible, but it's not where my head goes first.

Granted I don't have Pit Bulls, but I do have dogs. Scooter is top dog in my house. He doesn't need to prove it the other two just know it. I do enforce it on a regular basis in how I handle them. Doogie is always testing Magic...and Magic is always feeling the need to prove to Doogie he is a bit higher in the order. They regularly squabble, bicker, take things from each other, try to get closer to Mike and I, sleep on the bed...etc. I enforce the order and I don't usually have any serious issues..when I do..Doogie is the one that loses, regardless. He is reinforced that he is the low man on the totem pole around here. I fully expect to have to do this off and on until they are both too old to bother.
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Postby madremissy » January 15th, 2011, 4:23 pm

This is how Gotty and Kinzyl started. Their story and background was different than Faust and Sepp though.

Do you think it was the treats that got it going? High value treat? I think that was the trigger for mine. I know I didn't handle it right and really didn't know (even through everyone's advice). I did the crate and rotate.

After about the third time when they got into it just walking by one another and Kinzyl had to have stitches on her eye, I didn't even try. Crate and Rotate it was. You know the rest of the story.

Wanted to add, their age at that point when it all started was three.
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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 4:40 pm

airwalk wrote:I'm betting he doesn't test Daisy much does he? Daisy's persona is one of I'm in control..I don't need to prove it...I'll just school you when needed.

Funny that you should mention that... he is VERY respectful of Daisy. lol

I enforce the order and I don't usually have any serious issues

How?

We do NILIF. The boys are seperated during feeding time, and also when they get high value treats. Faust, as the youngest, is usually the last one to get fed, go out, etc.
I don't play favorites... ever. I try to treat everyone fairly when I interact w/them - seperately or together.
One or the other is crated, when I can't supervise them... even when I just take a shower, etc.
They are all crated when I'm not home.
They both have been sleeping w/me, but I am going to do crate/rotate at night from now on... I'd hate to wake up to that kind of commotion in the middle of the night and try to get my bearings while trying to break up a fight. :shock:

So... how to I enforce "the order" from now on? I haven't had to interfere much so far... they usually settle their differences very amicably.

Last night there was absolutely nothing to fight OVER... one minute they were both sleeping, and the next minute they were rolling across the living room floor in a heap of snarling teeth and flying fur.
I just don't get it. :|
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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 4:47 pm

madremissy wrote:Do you think it was the treats that got it going? High value treat?


No. I don't leave treats laying around, ever. We didn't even have toys out.
I was playing around on my laptop, dogs were snoring... and I heard this ROAR... literally... and Faust was on top of Sepp.
It's hard to explain a day later, and try to convey the "sudden-ness" of the whole thing... but never in a million years did I see that coming.

Poor Sepp was just as startled, I think... but he won't back down, and he can definitely hold his own.

It's a good thing those boys don't scare me in the least bit, no matter what.


Damned dogs. :nono: lol
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Postby airwalk » January 15th, 2011, 4:57 pm

I totally understand the "suddenness". First, playing fair is a human thing not necessarily a dog thing. I had to get past that. For instance, one of the dogs goes to work with me virtually every day. For the longest time I felt like I needed to rotate it so everyone got to go the same number of days....leaving in the morning became a flipping circus. They all wanted to go, they all acted like idiots and snarking started. I realized that by "playing fair" I was setting the stage because they didn't have a clue whose turn it was, that was my thing.

Now Scooter goes 85% of the time. Magic and/or Doogie come when it meets my needs, Scooter needs a break and they aren't acting like ass hats. If the circus begins...Scooter goes or no one goes period.

I always pay attention to Scooter first and I dont' worry about whether the other two are getting "fair" time...just enough and quality time.

So for instance...sleeping with you...if Faust is being an asshat...then maybe he looses his sleeping with Mom privalege (sorry not feeling well so spelling has left the building) until he remembers his place in the world. Truthfully, he won't care..you will..but he won't. Put his crate in the bedroom so he's near...but Sepp gets to sleep with Mom. I had to do that with Magic for quite some time.

I figured he didn't mess with Daisy. She is the matriarch and he knows it. She doesn't feel the need to educate him on an every day basis and he isn't willing to find out how much schooling she will do. Seppel on the other hand is the play mate, the buddy, the equal...but now that Faust is growing up..he's testing the water.

I would recommend (others may disagree) in a spat...Faust goes to crate..every time. No yelling, no punishment, but he is he one that is separated. He will learn to associate fighting with Seppel means seperation.
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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 5:02 pm

airwalk wrote:
I would recommend (others may disagree) in a spat...Faust goes to crate..every time. No yelling, no punishment, but he is he one that is separated. He will learn to associate fighting with Seppel means seperation.


I agree... already, when Faust starts anything, he is the one being crated.
Same at night from now on... Faust will be crated.

I didn't "punish" them last night either... but I crated both of them so I could calm down. :oops:
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Postby airwalk » January 15th, 2011, 5:06 pm

I also get the both of you to crate so I can breathe for a moment thing...

Like I said, could Faust be turning on..sure he could be, but I would hate to jump straight there versus he's being an asshat 2 year old and thinks he's all that and a bag of chips first.

Truthfully Faust, once he gets past the indignity of being crated at night, won't care. Magic didn't. It did however, send the message I was trying to get across and he hasn't peed on my bed cover in months (of course now that I say that guess what he'll do today :D ). Seriously though, even with the puppy here - and he becomes a flake when there is another dog in the house, no marking, no stupidity...well except for normal Magic stupid.
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Postby amazincc » January 15th, 2011, 5:13 pm

airwalk wrote:Like I said, could Faust be turning on..sure he could be, but I would hate to jump straight there versus he's being an asshat 2 year old and thinks he's all that and a bag of chips first.


Hmmm... he does tend to be a little pushy/bossy when it comes to getting my attention. Always the first in line when it comes to play time or treats, and his sheer size alone makes it easy for him to shove Sepp out of the way. Daisy won't put up w/that at ALL. lol
I haven't indulged him when he does that, but, clearly, a stronger message is needed.

Thanks, Diana... I hope you feel better soon.
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Postby SLS61185 » January 15th, 2011, 5:22 pm

Christine, you know I don't have much to say on the issue.... Except one thing. Just be glad you didn't have to pull a Stacie on them, like I did with Patch! :doh:
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Postby furever_pit » January 15th, 2011, 5:49 pm

Have you thought about putting drag leads on the dogs when they are out together? It will give you some more control over the situation if you need it.
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Postby airwalk » January 15th, 2011, 7:26 pm

amazincc wrote:
airwalk wrote:Like I said, could Faust be turning on..sure he could be, but I would hate to jump straight there versus he's being an asshat 2 year old and thinks he's all that and a bag of chips first.


Hmmm... he does tend to be a little pushy/bossy when it comes to getting my attention. Always the first in line when it comes to play time or treats, and his sheer size alone makes it easy for him to shove Sepp out of the way. Daisy won't put up w/that at ALL. lol
I haven't indulged him when he does that, but, clearly, a stronger message is needed.

Thanks, Diana... I hope you feel better soon.


Oh yeah, Doogie is always being pushy, getting in front, cutting everyone off...he'll only do that to Scooter if Scooter permits it..but most of the time it's Magic that is on the receiving end...and like Faust he's big enough that he just sort of leans his way into the front.
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Postby plebayo » January 15th, 2011, 7:45 pm

If you hadn't intervened do you think they would have worked it out?

I only ask because you say there was a lot of noise and like Diana was saying, maybe Faust is just testing the waters and this was just a big loud snark fest.

I would just watch their interactions when they're playing if things look like they are getting intense, tell them to leave each other alone, send them to their beds etc. If you're getting out treats they need to sit in their spots respectively [away from where the treats are kept] and wait for them, they can't crowd or rush you for them.

I do kind of disagree with the lack of punishment. Seth has done some resource guarding towards LiLo and attacked her over a water bowl. I told him a very firm "No!" gave the water dish to LiLo and he got the hint pretty quickly. I still watch them when they are 'sharing' things, but he has never tried to go after her again. He did kind of 'snark' over a bone by making faces, and I told him 'No.' and took the bone and gave it to LiLo and made him leave it. He didn't get into trouble, but he knew what he did was a bad idea. I do think some kind of a reprimand [not physical but verbal] is needed so Faust at least knows WHY he's going into the crate. He really might not give a crap that he's locked up and Sepp isn't, and never associate fighting with being crated. He needs to know what action caused the problem, that you don't approve of his attitude toward Sepp. This is just me, I think issues like this need to be nipped in the bud pretty quickly, waiting for him to associate fighting with the crate after he's fought with Sepp 10 times wouldn't be worth it to me.
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