Fighting amoungst the chowmates

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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3blackchows
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Fighting amoungst the chowmates

Postby 3blackchows » Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:28 pm

Does anyone have issues with fighting between your kids?
I have 3:
Onyx - Female - 2 1/2 yrs
Irish - Male - 14 months
Gorman - Male - 10 months

The boys never fite, Irish is so laid back nothing bothers him. Gorman is constantly trying to rival Onyx. They got onto a fight in the yard last month, no one was hurt, just pride. Mom & Dad ran down & I got in between them (I know you are not supposed to do that) & picked Onyx up. They were up on the hing legs like rams just going after each other. Well this afternoon it happened again. And again me & my husband ran down to seperate the 2. This time Onyx had a little bite on her ear & Gorman had a bite in his leg.
Other than that both were fine, just a tad wound up.
I have NEVER experienced this before & I just cried most of the afternoon. It breaks my heart they can't get along. While the 2 were fighting Irish was just laying in the grass nearby watching the birds. When I discussed it w/ the vet last month.. of course he advised it's a behaivoral issue. I think it's more of an alpha issue. She is the boss & I guess he's trying to challenger her. My husband & I have decieded to let the boys out together & then let Onyx out by herself for now as we are so upset about this. I just don't know what to do. Help please.
Momma Chow Celeste to Gorman, Onyx & Irish
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Postby TiVo's Mom » Sun Jul 23, 2006 6:42 pm

My experience is mostly with male dogs, I've only ever had one female and that was many years ago. The males seem to fight occasionally, sometimes you can tell they're just playing but every once in a while it gets more serious. Surprisingly TiVo at just 5 months has on a couple of occasions challenged our 11 year old shepherd. At first we broke it up but then we let them establish the hierarchy though we were nearby in case things got out of hand. That seemed to work better then when we've interfered. One time it happened in the kitchen while I was trying to fix dinner and they just wouldn't stop going after one another I finally grabbed a large tablet and slammed it on the table top to get their attention long enough for us to break it up. This has happened periodically with all of our males, but I would be more concerned if it were a male going after a female.

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Postby 3blackchows » Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:22 am

Wow, 5 months taking on a 11 yr old, that takes some nerve.

Irish thinks he's Gormans dad, the day we brought Gorman home Irish wouldn't go anywhere unless Gorman was at his side...so cute & thats the way they have continued.

Gorman has a long snout & he pokes Onyx to get her to play, he also tries to mount her (he was fixed 4 montsh ago) &
I think it aggrivates her. She is also a huge hunter, our backyard is wooded & full of squirrels & other animal life if she sees something move she starts barking & he runs over to her side to see whats going on. He'll get bored & start poking her w/ his nose. I have seen this happen & she will turn & snap at him & then Irish comes over & the boys start playing. We have not wittnesed the start of the fight between Onyx & Irish, the noise of them growling & snapping that sounds horrific we can hear it inside the house & go running out to see whats going on. My husband had suggested we let them fite it out; he asked me if they
fite until the end, I told him I wasn't sure & I sure wasn't going to let that happen.
Momma Chow Celeste to Gorman, Onyx & Irish

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Postby Tovya » Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:51 am

When I was married my ex-husband had a Saint/Golden mix, Rocko. He and Chubaka were the same age. They were fine together as young pups but, almost immediately, when they reached age three they started fighting. I also had my ten year old female GSD at the time. One morning while I was getting ready to go work they started fighting in the kitchen. I was home alone and felt I had to stop them as there was blood flying all over. In a panic as I saw my two dogs destroying each other, I grabbed Rocko's collar to pull him back. As I did that I held up my hand to Chuy to say "NO" and, still being in fight mode, he lunged for my forearm. I still bear the scars now, six years later. The only thing that stopped them was the fact that when she heard me scream Morticia (my GSD) came running into the room growling at them.
What I was told later (but what still wouldn't have helped me in that situation) was that when you have two people present each one should get behind a dog and grab their back legs and lift them off the ground. The dogs will let go of each other to try to gain their equilibrium at which split second you each pull the dogs away from the other and separate them. If you're alone and they're outside you can turn the hose on them - inside throw a pot of water on them. (Better a wet house than severely wounded dogs in my opinion.)
Ultimately I know you would like to have the fighting stop all together but, these manuveurs might help until you find a solution to the fighting.

Tovya
Proud ChowMum to Chubaka & Magda

Chows are not the whole of our lives but, they make our lives whole.

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Do not grab them!!

Postby dannyoconnor430 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:18 pm

Contrary to the last memo, I would never grab a dog by its back legs. It may seem safe because your away from the mouth - but you have to be damned sure of yourself as that will be going everywhere and chances are it will be near your legs. One tactics dogs can use when fighting is to grab each by the back legs and try and pull the other dog down - this also acts to hopefully hurt the other one to the point where they can't fight anymore. Holly and Max have the odd barney, and Holly generally means it (Max doesnt know what he's doing). The general thing goes like this: they both have a chew or both have something, Max then wants both (because he's bigger) but he forgets that in the real world you cant just try and muscle your way in. Holly can be very 'to the point' with him and often gives him a nip. People sometimes dont realise that with wild dogs (and much with domestic ones) the bitch is the top one. Do yourself a favour, whenever your not present remove anything that could put them all in bother with each other, something generally sets it off. Which dog do you approach first when entering a room? Max and Holly are a lot better now, Max is the most social of the 2 but I have to walk past him and pet Holly first. Have they been doctored? I think you need to find out is who is the dominant animal - you may be surprised. Then you need to put yourself above them. Have a tin with something that rattles in side (loud) and when they begin to kick off simply throw at the floor and shout No!! Your neighbours will think your going nuts but after a few times you may see some results. Never get in the middle of them unless your sure you can split them, that isnt a critiscism - just trying to keep you safe.

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Postby fillyok » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:58 pm

This may be a dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway...are you sure they're really fighting-fighting? My two sound like they're going to kill one another...growling, snapping, barking, biting, snapping, etc etc etc. Sometimes hair goes flying and they both end up with slobber-covered manes and ears. They'll both stand on their hind legs and try to push the other around and have their fangs gnashing. I've only heard one "yip" out of Ping and I had to tell them to knock it off. At first I was scared, but then just figured out it was their way of playing. Bear outweighs Ping by about 35 pounds, but she can hold her own.
Hopefully your two can learn to love one another the way mine do. :wink:
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Postby TiVo's Mom » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:04 pm

In the few weeks that we've had TiVo he and Gulliver have gotten in to it at least three times and it sounds like all hell is breaking lose. The second day we had TiVo he finished up his food and then marched in to Gulliver's crate with Gulliver still in it and started eating Gulliver's food. When Gulliver growled TiVo wouldn't back down and they started fighting right in the crate. It scared me to death because I'd only had TiVo two days and didn't know what to expect so I reached in and grabbed him and tossed him out and crated them both until they settled down. I was a little touchy after that and every time it seemed like something might happen I was trying to divert their attention and telling them to be "nice". (I know you're all laughing.) But it seemed to make things worse and TiVo kept trying to challenge Gulliver so we decided to stand back and let them work it out. That has allowed Gulliver to establish himself and put TiVo in his place and so far they have worked it out and TiVo has stopped challenging him so much. It does sound bad when it's happening though.

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Postby Tovya » Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:53 am

The "back leg manuveur" is recommended here:

http://www.leerburg.com/dogfight.htm
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Postby Sandie » Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:34 am

by no means an expect here...nor even close to one, just personal experience.

every set of dogs are different. I thought Beatle and Mufassa would work it out. Wrong. as hubby can oh so painfully attest to. Some dogs will just not be friends, period. Each boy gets along foine with the girls. But when it comes to each other forget it. They eve try to attack thru the sliding glass doors. They were not always that way. They used to play together and everything. Then they started getting a little rougher finally evolving into challanges. OK we thought they work out who is alpha and that will be that wrong. Both have been hurt. Not just pulled out fur and hard bites but puncture marks. Mufassa evena had to have stitchec in his leg when he went to be nutered.

So in my uneducated ~ only been there mentality ~ just be careful. I know there rea others here who also have chows that cannot be together.
Mommy to Storme, Beatle, Bailey and Mufassa aka Moose.

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Postby 3blackchows » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:49 am

Tovya, I'm sorry to hear about the scar on your arm :oops:
I'm sure it's a constant reminder. I would have done the same thing you did.

Danny thanks for the tips. When we caught them fighting I was screaming their names, like I thought that would help
& got no response. I never thought of using something to scare them in order to get their attention. Unfortunately our hose is under the deck & by the time I open the door to go & get it, I'm afraid one could be hurt. The fites have all started out in the yard. Inside the home they may growl if one gets to close to the others treat, but I tell them NO is a very stern voice & thats the end of it. All 3 are fixed & all 3 are standing at the door waiting for me when I come home. I kneel down & all 3 start giving me purple kisses & their tails are going 90 miles per hour. I make sure to kiss one of them while talking to them & petting the other 2 so no one gets jealous.
Onyx is my 2nd female, my Laurel is in heaven. I have noticed both females are not as affectionate as the males. My boys lavish me w/ purple kisses & come to me to get a massage or petted. When I find them sleeping, they look so adorable. I will lay down on the floor next to Onyx & start rubbing her & giving her kisses. After a few moments she gets up & leaves. The boys, they lift their heads up & look at me when I stop petting them.

Tivo's mommy: Glad to know I'm not the only one who tells them to be nice. If I see someone getting routy or playing
to rough I tell them the same thing & my husband replies..oh like they know what that is. I now have proof I'm not the only one ;) Thanks for the link. I will take a look at that. I've never heard of this before. Spraying water on them yes.

Fillyok: Wow, what goes on between your 2 sounds like thats whats going on between my 2. Fur goes flying & the sounds they make, the growling & snapping were so loud the neighbors have run outside to see what was going on. I know it sounds stupid, but I've never seen 2 dogs fite & to me & my husbands suprise, we found it odd that they were up on their back legs going at it as opposed to rolling around on the ground. When we seperated them on Sunday they were still trying to go after each other & growling w/ teeth showing. I had a hard time holding Gorman back because he kept trying to lunge at Onyx while my husband was trying to pick her up. She wiggled away from him & went staright for Gorman & bit him in the ear. My husband finally got ahold of her. Maybe this could be the way they play??? as opposed to Irish & Gorman who wrestle all over the yard & roll around in the grass.

Sandie: I feel for you, it's horrible when they don't get along. Since their fite on Sunday we have not let Gorman & Onyx in the yard together. So far, so good (knocking on wood). We have noticed this allows us special one on one time with each of them without all 3 being nearby.

Thanks for all of your input. I GREATLY appreciate it.
Momma Chow Celeste to Gorman, Onyx & Irish

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Postby redangie24 » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:07 am

The back leg breakup is what we alwayed used and it has worked well for those few fights over the years. If you have two dogs who are fighting all the time this is going to sound stupid but-- get a trainer. Dogs who fight or bite either human or dog should be fully trained. A dog who is fully trained will freeze when told to, and when in a fight the same will be said. I normally belive that advance training is for show, agaility, or for owners who may be a little on the soft side (or who want bragging rights wich is a perfectly resonable reason to get advance training). However, on a agressive dog it can be the one thing that stops them from hurting someone or another dog and killing another dog or seriously injuring a human. My mom had a pound dog Lucky who was pitbull/lab mix. He was saved because he was unadoptable since he would attack other animals. My mom got him trained and he would freeze in the middle of going for another dog. He would be standing there growling up a storm, but would not move. So it worked until he passes away he hated every chow and that walked through the door, but he never hurt them. Or you can buy another house and put one dog in each house and split your time in each.... just kidding. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby 3blackchows » Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:01 pm

Thank you for the info & link to the back leg breakup. So far so good & it's Wednesday. We do not let Onyx & Gorman in the yard together w/o supervision. This afternoon was the first time & my husband just sat back watching to see what was going on & he feels it may be the neighbors dog.
We share a chain link fence between yards & their dog comes out & he runs up & down the fence; well our 3 run back & forth w/ him. Gorman stopped because I guess he was bored & he caught Onyx as she was come by & he jumped up at her to slow her down & she growled at him. My husband did a loud & deep NO & they stopped & all 3 of them looked at him.

I think the training is an awesome idea, however I've called 2 trainers & once I said chow, they were not receptive at all??? I can not imagine getting a pit bull to stay & not move, wow.. that is impressive.

As a joke, I told my hubsand we could put a fence down the middle of the yard, the bots get 1 side & Onyx gets her own...
Momma Chow Celeste to Gorman, Onyx & Irish

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Postby redangie24 » Wed Jul 26, 2006 6:10 pm

3blackchows I just noticed that you live near me. I have a trainer that I worked with here that I will probably see this weekend. We just swing Ivana by so she can see her. I will see if she knows of anyone in atlanta that is not a big baby when it comes to chows. Some people really get on my nerves. Judging a dog before they get to know them pfft. Do you have any military privilages? Just for when I am checking.
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Postby 3blackchows » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:33 pm

Duhh.. I didn't even notice that. I'm so enthralled with all the wonderful articles I have found. That wud be great.
I would love the assistance. No military privilages here.
I called 2 more people today. I haven't rcv'd a returned call from one & the other when I advised the breed was like...my calendar is busy, I have an opening in December...hello, was that a brush off or what?
My neighbor just had her dog trained & he comes to the house. He promtoes learning w/ distractions & he saw our chows while he was working w/ her dog & commented on how cute they were. She just gv me his #.
Momma Chow Celeste to Gorman, Onyx & Irish

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Postby chris » Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:28 am

Hmmm, I had this problem with Grizz and Thor.

Grizz - female (mother of Thor)
Thor - Male

As they both got older, Grizz became grumpy. She always started the fight. (of course when thor was a puppy, he would want to play.. but she was younger and would play and when she had enough she would scold him.) Anyway they would fight and draw blood. It came to the point where we had to feed them seperatly because Grizz would steel Thors food.. and Oh my gosh... don't give them nice bones or snacks in front of eachother eather.
After Grizz passed away, it took Thor a good 6 months to stop being skiddish... allways looking for her to pounce. He would startle if you walked up behind him and pet... but he got used to being KING after a while and calmed down. Thor was the biggest, sweetest guy. Never ever bit anyone and was never ever agressive. Our vet loved him to death. dont' get me wrong.. he was protective over his family and would step up to the plate if he felt he had too, no doubt.
ok, see babbling again. sorry. Just wanted to let ya know, I have been there. But it seems .. and I could be wrong.. it's harder for a female and male to get along....??? ahh, but I guess it all depends on the dogs themselves eh?
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Postby willowchow » Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:40 am

I don't have any advice but hope you find someone soon, I love seeing those three. Lori
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Postby redangie24 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:51 pm

I talked to Ruth today and she did not have any personal refrences for your area, but gave me some tips (that sound awfully similar to what my mother said) to give you.
She said if they are not fixed that can help if that is something your are willing to do. Then she said that a order needs to be established. So keep the younger pup seperated from the others until the order is worked out. Then whenever you bring Gorman into the room make him enter behind you and greet Onyx first. Then give her a treat, make sure whenever Gorman enters a room that the main attetion in focused on Onyx so that both Gorman and Onyx realize that Onyx is the Alpha dog. When Gorman is laying back and behaving give him treats so that he will associate Onyx with treats, but remember always Onyx first. Lastly, she said get both of them trained if you cannot find someone in your area then she can do it here, but since we live two hours away I don't know if that will work to come out here once every week for 8 weeks. You can go to a local petsmart for begining and advance training, but she suggest you make sure they have Chow experience before working with them. I did find a couple of trainers who will work with you in your area. You will have to check them out. I know the first one says she uses positive reinforcement. The second I do not know which method they use I could not tell from thier site. Oh, yeah training at petsmart is 99 for 8 weekly sessions and thier training is guranteed-- I would only use them if they have chow experience.

Leah Spitzer
Canine Learning Center
http://www.caninedevelopment.com
770-638-8580

Ashleigh Craig – Gwinnett Trainer
Certified Professional Trainer
Georgia K9 Academy
678-984-5735
http://www.gak9.com



Kelli Jablonski – Fulton Trainer
Certified Professional Trainer
Georgia K9 Academy
678-592-6761
http://www.gak9.com
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Postby 3blackchows » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:18 pm

Thanks for the help, I appreciate your time & efforts.
Onyx always seems to lag behind the boys, she waits so patiently for her treats, she is not a food hound like the boys. Plus they swallow theirs while she finds her spot to lay down & enjoy every morsel. We will start implementing your moms plan rite away. We have been letting Irish & Onyx out & then Irish w/ Gorman. We alternate one time Onyx goes first & the next time Gorman goes. This far, 2 weeks & NO issues... (as I'm knocking on wood & my head). This morning I was half asleep & didn't realize I let all 3 of them out togther. They did fine under my watchful eye. If Gorman got to close to Onyx while she was smelling around I called him away from her. He listened very well. We have been working more one on one with the dog that is inside (while the other 2 are out). They seem to be responding very well.
Gorman gets the one & one attention he needs (you know the pups think they need all of your attention) & so he doesn't feel he needs to push anyone out of the way. After reading your suggestions, I think maybe Onyx needs to always go our first, then that will help establish her seniority over Gorman. Your thoughts? I also think Irish is enjoying this as well. He's the most laid back chow I've ever seen. Nothing bothers him. This way he gets play time w/ them seperately as opposed to trying to play w/ both of them at the same time.

Thank you all for your suggestions & help. We are feeling much better about the situation.

I'm going to look into the training locally.. 2 hrs isn't a bad ride for us; but these 3 kids of mine do not care for rides in teh car longer than about 15 to 20 minutes. The boys get carsick & Onyx starts whining so bad it gets on your last nerve.
Momma Chow Celeste to Gorman, Onyx & Irish

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Postby redangie24 » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:28 am

I'm glad thing are looking up. I would also work with someone in your area. My dogs love the long rides, but I hate to drive. My hubby does the driving if I can make him. Sound like you are heading in the right direction. Good Luck!
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