My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

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annaleighrb
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My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by annaleighrb » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:27 am

Hi,
My family and I own two chow chow dogs name Salida and Keota, they are not full chow, they do not have the puffy fur and mane, but they definitely have the chow features of aggression, dominance, territorial, attachment to owners etc. They are super sweet dogs but their one down fall is that they fight. They have been together since birth, they are from the same litter so they are sisters. We adopted both of them as puppies and raised them. They have been together their whole lives but they do fight. At first it was just nit picky fights, definitely a little aggressive because of their innate characteristics of being aggressors, but up until recently they weren't bad and they would happen once or twice every six months or so minimum. Just the other day though they got into a huge fight when nobody was home and injured each other quite horribly and scarily. We want to keep both dogs but we do not know what to do anymore. Has anyone had this experience? What are your suggestions to helping them get along and stop the fighting?

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Sirchow » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:18 pm

I am so sorry to read this and I hope your chows are healing well. I am not sure what to say here as mine have niggles (Two entire girls and ones speyed) but have never full on fought. I have taken precautions from the first day. They are never left together when I am out. It only takes someone to ring the doorbell for them all to kick off and that guarding instinct and aggression has to go somewhere. They cant reach the person at the door so it goes to each other instead.

I think this is going to take a huge commitment from you to make it work. Start with time totally apart in the house and garden for a little while to give everyone a breather and just walk them together so they still interact but are kept on the go so there is no time to argue. Make sure they get plenty exercise every day as a tired dog is less inclined to fight. Two dogs both doing the same thing together builds good feeling. I suggest you get a behaviourist to help you sort the dynamics out but ask them a lot of questions on the phone about how they work and speak to a few to get an idea of the type of person they are. This is not a time to start alpha rolling it is a time to understand why they are fighting and try to do something about it. Purely dominating them will just scare them and make their aggression come out more and I saw this scenario with almost the identical situation a friend had with two fox terrier sisters where the behaviourist thought they just needed to know who was boss and it resulted in worse fighting :(

You mentioned it happens was once or so in six months and that makes me wonder if there are hormones involved. Are they speyed? Ours are far more inclined to niggly tempers and moody cow behaviour when hormonal and are never left alone even if we are in the house for those few weeks. It just becomes second nature to keep a gate or a door between them. Sorry not to be more help. I do think you need someone in the house to see what is sparking things off and how you can behave differently. Let us know how it goes please.

If they are not speyed and you decide to do so it is better to get them both done at the same time.
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Laura » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:12 pm

I have been through exactly what you are going through many years ago but mine were both male raised together from puppyhood. It began the same way, a scuffle every 6 mos or so but over the years it became more and more frequent, more violent, and was almost impossible to break up. The last fight that landed both at the vet made my decision for me and I separated them completely. One outside, one inside, rotate the dogs in and out. I was fortunate that one preferred to be outside and one inside. In the heat of the summer or during bad weather I used baby gates to separate them in the house. They would fight for no apparent reason and it was awful. I couldn't let them hurt each other and so I made the only decision that I could for everyone's health and my own sanity. I loved them both equally and treated them equally with love and affection though separated and rotated around the house/yard.I will never own same *Censored Word* chows and I wish I could shout it to the rooftops so no one else will either. I know that it works sometimes and I have noticed on here that in other countries it seems to be less of an issue than in the States and I don't know why. We get these posts on here frequently.
I am glad that they both survived the fight while you are away but that may not be the case next time. Please separate them. Obviously if you have a friend or family member willing to provide a good home for one that is an option but if not I'm sure you can keep them safe with some work and patience.
Both of mine were neutered at 6 mos of age but the fighting got to the point of separation when they were about 6 or 7 years old. It increased with age rather than decreased. There were also no obvious triggers such as food, it was just something between them.
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Ursa's daddy » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:43 pm

It only takes someone to ring the doorbell for them all to kick off and that guarding instinct and aggression has to go somewhere. They cant reach the person at the door so it goes to each other instead.
Been there and done that. Let's say the garbage truck comes down the street. Ursa and Malachi get to barking at the truck with total chaos from the little dogs, and the next thing you know, Ursa jumps Malachi. The good news is that it is generally a lot of nasty talk. Occasionally there will be a little fur pulled out.

It had gotten out of hand during feeding time, so I have taken to separating the dogs. The situation somewhat escalated when I got Harvey. He didn't know how things worked, so when it was time for feeding, he would continuously bark, adding to the tension. Now, everyone gathers in the breezeway, and I get down the bowls. I measure out Ursa's portion, and then she goes inside the house behind the glass storm door, where she sits and gets her bowl. I then fill the bowls for Malachi and Harvey and they get theirs together out in the breezeway. Ursa doesn't get the opportunity to lick the other bowls and tell the boys her opinion, and no one gets upset. Once everyone is finished, I pick up the bowls and put them away. Problem is solved.

There is probably a number of factors involved with your dogs, and you are going to have to observe and make adjustments as needed. In my case, Ursa is the grand lady of the house and wants to have her way. Malachi went along with her for the first few years, but finally figured out that he is almost twice her size. Without being overly physically aggressive, he tells her to back off. It sounds bad and a broom is a good thing to put between them.

The introduction of Harvey to the pack added something new. Harvey is a 2 yo male dog who wants to increase his pack status. He is physically big enough to actually force Ursa down, so that becomes an issue. Since I am the pack leader, I have to let everyone know that I am not going to stand for that nonsense. I have grabbed Harvey by his harness and picked him up like a suitcase if I have to. At 30 KG, it isn't impossible, and using voice tone and command to get everyone to separate and "sit". Since everyone knows I am the leader, and they have to go along with the program, we at least get everyone separated with a bit of distance and listening to me. Lately, it has gotten to where I can yell and clap my hands and everyone will focus on me, so we are getting there.

Key items to what I do is use physical space to maintain separation of the dogs is potential situations, and barriers as necessary. Use voice command and body language to communicate that they are engaged is improper behavior. Having a lot of patience helps, and I try to reassure the dogs that they are all my special babies.

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Rory's Dad » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:59 pm

Since you adopted them both, i would guess that they have been spayed, but if not the 6 month interval is an indicator. Even then, there definitely are some hormonal changes that can occur during that time period.

As Laura said, same *Censored Word* chows can be a risk, although i have successfully had two males that got along great (neither neutered and completely unrelated). I currently have intact male and female. Our girl tends to be more assertive and the male is completely laid back. They eat side by side with no issue, but she is more playful. He tolerates 90% of the time, but when he isnt in the mood he gives a warning snarl. Mostly that is enough. They are never left together without supervision though. We do the baby gates and swap in/out.

I wouldnt dismiss their behavior as innate aggression. It's likely that as mature dogs they are trying to figure out the pecking order. That's your job, not theirs, and you need to establish yourself as the head honcho.

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Constantina » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:47 pm

Litter mates and same *Censored Word*. That is the problem. When I wanted to adopt two sisters from the same litter I was dissuaded by other breeders. They warned me about Litter mates syndrome and how challenging it would be. Why don't you tire them out in exercise and give them their own space for now separating via baby gate or individual crate. Feed them separately as well. Have them at one space only when you are there to supervise.

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Rory's Dad » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:52 pm

Sorry Constantina, but i disagree on feeding separately. That is the beginning of issues. Most chows will view food as there most important resource, but they will also focus almost exclusively focus on their food when it is in front of them. Teaching them that there is no threat to their dinner is the most important lesson they can learn. Whether it's from people or their doggie house mates, they can learn many valuable lessons if trained properly at dinner time.

They need to earn the food. Just a simple sit and stay before the bowl is placed down. When they eat they should be on there best behavior. I can reach in and grab the bowl while still full because i have shown them that its going to come back to them in either the same condition or better. I taught them early by only giving a portion of their meal and then adding the remainder.

My dogs eat side by side with no divider. If one leaves bits in the bowl and walks away, it is no issue for the other to clean up. Sometimes they actually eat from the others bowl and there is no issue. Separating them only teaches a guarding mentality, and food aggression is only going to lead to other protective behaviors.

We do have set regimens as well. In the morning, my female goes out 1st after eating. In the evening the male goes out 1st. No favortism is shown. They are equals as far as they know, but they know who sets the rules...honestly i do favor our male, but they dont know that.

On walks we change up who is walking ahead. Rory is a hunter and wants to lead, while Amber is a straggler, but we have them switch up just to balance things out.

Little things that may sound silly at first, but it makes a difference. You really need to be the pack leader, and dictating the order of things, especially the little things sets that boundary.

In our house, Amber is a bit more aggressive in her play routine. Rory is way too Chow to be interested in puppy wrestling. If left to their own devices, she would push him until he gets to his edge. That's where we come in and monitor it so that it doesnt happen. They are separated when we aren't home or as soon as the limits are approached.

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My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by LucysSusanH » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:20 pm

As an aside, it really is troubling to hear/read that Chows are "innately aggressive". Dominant, hardheaded maybe but that does not equal aggression. If Chowists continue using that terminology, no wonder the world thinks our breed are bad dogs.


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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Piff Poff » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:35 am

LucysSusanH wrote:As an aside, it really is troubling to hear/read that Chows are "innately aggressive". Dominant, hardheaded maybe but that does not equal aggression. If Chowists continue using that terminology, no wonder the world thinks our breed are bad dogs.


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Yeah, that phrase sent alarm bells to my mind too, I would not call either of my Chows aggressive, it's not in their nature, they could be taught it for sure, just the same as pits and even the harmless looking lab, but they are not born aggressive.
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Chowgroomer » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:05 pm

Hi, I take care of 7 chow chows and from my experience, they will still fight if you spay them. It will also change their fur and make it harder to groom, it will become more course and Mat easier. You will have to keep them separated forever.

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Pinoy51 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:55 pm

Interesting discussion.
So far I have only seen Rory's Dad talking about discipline to avoid fights.
As some of you may know I have three Chows and 7 dogs in total, but zero serious dog fights over the years.
the pack is a mix of male and female, age 2 years to 14 years some are neutered or spayed and some are not.
I'm travelling quite often and the dogs are with a handler, a small lady which wouldn't have the strength to stop any dog fight. But she doesn't has too. Why? Discipline, exercise and affection. This sequence is the routine for our pack. There is no doubt in any of my dogs minds who leads the pack, it is me and if I'm not around my helper.
rule number one: NILF Nothing in life is free. Sit, give high five, stay, stop something has to be accomplished to get treats, food or to go for a walk, even to get access to certain part of the house. For example they have to sit in front of the door and walk in slowly if they want to join us in the living room . This is to calm them down before something exciting is happening
rule number two: My helper and I own the space and the food. None of the dogs has his or her space permanently, noone is allowed to eat separate or to steal food from someone else.
this is to avoid excitement to jump over into aggression, door bell, car arriving etc. I " own" the spaces, therefore it is me answering the door or checking the outside. they can join me, they can alert me, but I'm the one acting first.
rule number three: commands have to be followed. Come, sit,stay or go outside etc. there is no way that they get away with not following what has been told. they can take their time, drink some water first or scratch the itchy part of the body but then they have to do what has been told. No exception !
Sounds like Military ? Yes, but just because I skipped all the time spans where we play or hangout together, watching TV and sharing snacks etc. It is not that difficult to maintain discipline, when it has been established in the first place. Actually a sharp tone and a raised finger are mostly sufficient now to snap them out of conflicts.
Lack of discipline will result in all this unwanted behaviors, and chaos becomes routine. Lack of excercise will make it worse. I pitty the guys, who can only see each other through a window, I have five dogs together 24hrs, 7 days a week. the other two had to be separated due to health issues (cannel cough) and their "job" now is to take care of another part of the house during the night.
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Mochi_Yoshi » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:22 pm

My two girls are from the same litter, fixed, and they have fought. Mochi was the aggressive one in the beginning and now Yoshi has taken the "I will no longer take that from you" stance. I can and do prevent possible fights. I am one of the few that free feeds, always have. They share one bowl of food that I always keep full. They take turn eating, although the redhead likes to bug Mochi when she eats...it's like when ur on the phone and someone is waiting for next, yeah I swear she does it to annoy her sister. lol

Anyhow, they have fought over new food/treats. So what has worked for us is to "flood" them with it the first time new item intro. I bring the whole bag and keep giving to them and showing them that there's plenty. Once they realize that, it's non issue. They sometimes have special fresh meals, like liver with something. I do separate bowls and stand between them while they eat. They face each other with me between. I immediately pick up the bowls when they are done. Fight has broken out before over this, don't care to repeat, but don't want to stop giving them something special.

Everyone gets cranky at times, but we just try to catch when one is cranky and let her chill out outside for a bit longer. I do let that one know why she is staying outside, that acting up is not acceptable. Eventually she will ask to come in and be back with us, all will be fine. Cute thing is the cranky one is also the one that will like the other one to death as if to say sorry.

Someone else mentioned that the excitement/pent up energy has to go somewhere and usual it ends up on each other. Completely agree with this. Mochi is guilty of this everytime. :roll: ...working on it...

Just think of our chows as a permanent work in progress. People ask why I would ever want such a type of dog...and most people I just answer with "For everything you see bad, I see beauty and personality and character"
You have to ask yourself "How can you say no to this face....?" Answer: when they chew on your favorite purse...

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by mridude » Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:54 pm

We had the exact same problem with two male chows from the same litter years ago. We ended up having to place one of them with a friend. Most well bred Chows are not innately over aggressive to each other or other people IMO. Since that experience I have always been careful to buy only quality well bred chows from reputable breeders where I can research the line.
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Tinab28 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:47 am

Hello, I posted a similar issue a few.months back. I have 3 chows. Two females and one male all are fixed. I have been very diligent with working with them. What I have found is exercise...exercise...exercise and.discipline work wonders! If ae have a busy week and slack on walking them after about day 3 they get grumpy and will start growling at each other and start posturing. You have to learn their body language when you do and you see them about to fight you need to intervene and loudly correct them, let them know you are in charge and you won't tolerate fighting. That is what has worked for me. They know I'm the boss. I walk them together as a pack. They went from trying to kill one another to.being sisters. Sure they get a little moody at times and it every so.often get into a scuffle. But when that.happens it is easy to break up and only fur loss instead of blood loss! Back in Oct when the fighting began my youngest girl almost killed my girl.Bella. One veeeery expensive vet bill too. Nothing like that has happened again. I came close to rehoming my youngest Nya and I am so glad I didnt. Good luck and I truly hope you can fix the issue!

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Pinoy51 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:10 am

@Tina
Amen! Exercise, Discipline... looks there are not to many of us, who are believing in this.
But it is a powerful "medicine" and it works exactly as you describe it.
Same litter, different mothers....nothing matters, if the guys have someone to look up to and something useful to do.
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Tinab28 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:46 am

:-) yes I believe that exercise is incredible medicine! I can't believe the difference in all three of them since we have implemented the changes! My husband wanted to rehome Nya (she is the youngest, the one fighting with my other girl Bella we.got her last summer) but I love her so much and my kids do also that just wasn't going to be an option! I got some advice from here and things are so much better!

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Pinoy51 » Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:50 am

besides physical exercise I'm letting them do mental exercises as well.
Simba is very good in opening sliding doors, so I have him open the doors for everyone. Sometimes I keep on closing doors so he has a chance to open them again. Even mosquito screens are no major problem for him.
Nala is very good with sniffing, just found out today, that she solves puzzles involving finding hidden food in no time.
Sally is very agile, so I have her running stairs, standing on hind legs etc.
Then NILF is very good, they're experts in "high 5". in this way their day isn't boring and they don't turn on each other.
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by ski » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:20 pm

Seven years ago I had Loki at our Vet for a checkup. Our Vet had rescued a chow and was desperate for a place for the chow until she could find the dog a permanent home. The chow was a black male chow named Frisco. He had been surrendered because of "aggression". I agreed to take Frisco for a weekend to help her out. I never thought for a minute he would get along with Loki, also a male. Amazing...they got along from the first moment they met. I thought...darn...I was looking for an excuse NOT to have a second dog. Well...Frisco stayed. We never did see that "aggression"...not even at meal time. They have been friends for seven years now. I am not sure why it worked out. Frisco is a follower...not a leader. I would have bet money on the fact that they would not get along. Anyway, I guess my point is that you can't assume a behavior just because of thr breed.

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Pinoy51 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:10 pm

@ski
absolutly right. Nature didn't design a breed as a stereotype for a certain set of behaviours, but human nature like to put things into drawers.
Pittpulls are fighting, labradors are playful and chows are agressive.
This is as much nonsense as all the labels we like to hang-on different human cultures.
Well there are instincts and there are differences in prefert reaction to triggers, but aggression, fear or calmness in a dog is the outcome of a process triggered mainly by human emotions. If this is combined with a lack of exercise and discipline you can create perfect storm with a relativly small trigger, like a treat wanted by both dogs or a door bell ringing.
A dog with a purpose and the option to drain it energy with pysical exercises will react mostly calm and occasionally excited to environmental or emotional triggers coming from humans or other dogs, but never fearful or aggressive and previously learned bad behaviors will change quickly .
I went through this with my latest rescue Sally, she adapted to our environment with very few glitches and now three "aggressive" Chows are sharing peacefully space, food and pack leader :D
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Tinab28 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:43 am

@pinoy
can you come to my house and teach my male ,Musashi some tricks? lol my two girls love sitting on command and high fiving but he just stares blankly at me and eventually gets bored and leaves.

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Pinoy51 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:23 am

@tina
find out what he really likes and make him "work"for that. Musashi seems to be a lot like Simba.
His majesty only moves if it is worth it. Cheese and yoghurt are his favorite snacks, he give high five sits as long as it takes to get it. bones are not his thing except soft chicken bones. He might not even look at them. Another stereotype is broken, a dog who doesn't like bones :lol:
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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Tinab28 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:11 am

Oh my.. this should be fun haha. The only thing that Musashi goes nuts over is something that he can't have... chocolate!!! He got into my son's Valentine's day candy and has been obsessed eve since. Luckily he did not get sick, abd he ate a lot! we cannot eat it around him without him begging and pleading it's pitiful. But I will find something else and try that. He is very stubborn :-)

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Re: My two chow chow dogs are fighting badly

Post by Rclark7769 » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:56 am

I read through this entire feed and a lot of you are being naive by saying that chows are inherently aggressive and innately fighting dogs. We have had 2 sets of female chow over the last dozen years. The first 2 were mix-breed rescues that had the chow look and we were in Michigan. One was mixed with a lab and no idea on the other. They would randomly get into death battles that could not be broken apart without extreme violence on our part. You cannot pull them apart so you have to try everything from brooms to slamming child gates between their faces. Even when you got them apart you still had a fight to keep them apart to get them separated. So you ask, well what could cause something so violent to repeatedly happen and at random times? Absolutely nothing. It's 100% dna and breed, but seemingly limited to their own kind. It could be a loud noise. It could be one accidentally stepped on the other's foot. It could be that they just happen to stare at each other directly for a moment. It got worse with age but we managed to keep the fights down to about 1 a month with separation until they both eventually passed at about 12 years old. Well, we naively thought it wasn't about them being chows but about them being mix breeds. So, we got two sisters from the same litter from a very good breeder, now living in another state. Loveable little girls started to get aggressive with only each other at about 4.5 months old and were having the exact same fights as the previous two chows. Easier to separate but you could literally pick up one chow and the other would be hanging from her face and you had to pry apart their jaws with your fingers. Got bit a few times but it wa necessary. We were told it was because they needed "fixed". We had that down at just past 5 months. Guess what? It didn't fix anything. Any random thing can have them go off and get into the violent bloody battles. It's not food aggression. It can be because one just got a bath. It can be because a speck of paper was dropped on the floor. It can be because one got a stick and we need to take it from her. It can be that we bump into them as we are waking through the house which pushes them apart for a second. The fights again have to be stopped now with violence at 1 year old. For those wanting to pretend it's not about them being chows, I can assure you that our border collie boy of the same age has never been attacked by either, not a single time. He is aggressive in playing with them. They are playful with him. So, moral of story, be smart and admit your dog breed is genetically bad in some areas and learn how to adapt to it and stop saying it's some public slur campaign. However, you can definitely say 2 things: 1. They don't innately attack other dogs. 2. They don't attack people. We need to learn to separate the types of aggression. Chows can definitely be mindless killing machines against other chows but haven't seen one example of them being murderous towards other dogs or anything but lovable with people. Now squirrels, all squirrels must die. 😂

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