Posted by: Stressed | 2008/09/15

dogs that hate each other

Please help. I have a huge problem that is making my life miserable. I have 3 boerboels, 1 is 4 years old (male), 1 is 8 years old (female) and the other is 7 weeks old (female). The 4 year old dog just growls and snaps at the little puppy, we have had a vet bill of R2000-00 already cos he bit her ear and he won' t let her go near him. He also growls at my older dog but she doesn' t take his nonsense. We got the puppy cos my 8 year old was diagnosed with cancer and we wanted a puppy who could learn from the 8 year old but she now refuses to come inside as well. So the three of them hate each other. Except ofcourse the puppy just wants to make friends and be like them. What can I do to make them be happy together. The older dog is fine with the puppy and they all seem ok when they are outside but once inside it is another story. I get so depressed cos we made a mistake by getting this puppy who we had to fetch at 4 weeks old so she is a real baby. My dog with cancer is still so young at heart and vibrant. It just breaks my heart that life has changed so much. What can I do?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Stressed

Is the male neutered? There are lost of posts on this forum regarding this sort of behaviour. Please read them all. The most important thing to remember is not to give special treatment to the puppy and this will upset the normal hierarchy. Treat the top dog as if he is the top dog and not the puppy. A DAP diffuser may aslo help you a bit with this process.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2008/09/15

Yep, exactly right. That male of yours has delusions of grandeur - he thinks he' s the boss, and he calls the shots. You can clearly see this by his treatment of your older dog - he knows he will not get away with it with her, so only growls.

In view of the fact that these are huge powerful dogs, I wouldn' t be messing round - you may like to consult a behaviourist who can probably give you some useful pointers to re-establishing your dominance over the male.

In a nutshell: you need to put him in his place by ignoring him consistently, unless he has EARNED your approval. Do not let him decide when he wants to play, or be patted, or even eat - YOU decide all this. There' s more to all of this than that - just be aware that he must not get away with pushing your buttons!.

Also: in addition to your protecting that puppy at all times, I wonder how it came about that her breeders let her go at 4 weeks. Unless there was a drama, and the pup' s mother died or something, no breeder has any business separating such a small baby from its mother and siblings. Do not underestimate the effect that this may have on the dog - she has not learned the lessons that puppies have to learn from their moms, and this means she may not know how to behave properly toward other dogs. I would be taking this pup to a proper puppy school AT ONCE - your best bet to remedy the fix you' re in is to teach the puppy proper socialisation, and for you to learn how to best make up the gap in her upbringing.

Good luck with this situation - I can quite believe that it is hugely stressful for you. Good luck also with your older dog' s illness!

Reply to Chill
Posted by: WR | 2008/09/15

First of all, and this may sound harsh, but that is not the intent:
The puppy should never have been in a situation where it can get hurt. Period. Never left alone with the adult dogs - only with supervised ' visits' .
If the male is NOT c astrated, get it done.
You need to establish yourself as the head of the pack.
If they are all inside and there is an issue - give him/ her a firm " NO!"  and take the aggressor outside.
If he/ she can' t behave when you' re around (or not for that matter) he will not be ' welcome'  in the company.
You must be consistant.
Feed them seperately - as I' m sure that male will take the pups head off if she makes the mistake of coming too close when he is eating.
It sounds like the dogs need some training.
Good luck.

Reply to WR

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