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I'll apologize in advance, because this is a long story. About 3 weeks ago, I broke my leg. I am the alpha in my house. I won't be able to put any weight on my leg for another 6 -7 weeks, and spend most of my time, sitting around with my leg propped up to prevent pain and severe swelling. My husband, Joe, has taken over most of the care of the dogs, feeding, etc. He is viewed as their playmate, more so than an authority figure in their lives. The dogs all love him, but it is a much different relationship from what I have with the dogs. If he is calling them, many times he will give up and have me do it. They don't listen to him. I have a 4 year old male, castrated, Tibetan Mastiff, Cody. Cody is my alpha. I also have 3 other dogs, a 2.5 year old castrated pyr, Jake, 2.5 year old, intact, male Irish Wolfhound, Max and a 2 year old, spayed, Caucasian Ovcharka, ChiChi. I got Max as a 5 month old puppy, from a breeder, 2 years ago last month. In February, of the following year I got Cody through the breed rescue. In June of that same year, I got Jake, through his breed rescue. We had a big happy family for a little over a year. In May of this year, we got ChiChi from her breed rescue. About a week and a half ago, fights started, between Max and Jake. There have been minor skirmishes in the past, but nothing serious. I don't break up fights. The dogs all outweigh me and I don't want to get hurt. If Cody is around, he breaks it up, if not, they fight it out. The only serious fight Max and Jake had, Jake won, clearly. Max was done and simply standing with his head down, panting and shaking. He had done all he could and after some warning growls from Jake, Jake walked away and they were back to playing and hanging out together the following day.

These current fights, I originally thought were about jealousy. Jake would be standing next to someone, getting petted and Max would jump him. They only happen when my hubby or my grown sons are here, never when I'm home alone. If I see it coming, I can yell or lob something at Max and he will turn around and leave it be. After Max starts a fight and they get physically separated, they had been okay with each other, for a few days and it would happen again. Christmas Eve, Max jumped Jake when Jake was standing next to my grown son. He and his wife separated them, put them in separate rooms for a little while. When they came back together, they were okay. Later that same day, Jake jumped Max, no warning. My son and daughter in law again separated them. We put them back together later and they were fine. We separated them again to go to church for midnight mass. When we got home, we let them back together and they were fine. Joe was walking into the bedroom, Jake was walking beside him, Max jumped Jake. Joe got them apart but his hand slipped off Jake's collar and into Max's mouth. Max just held his hand and didn't bite it. Jake lunged and bit Max in the chest. Max bit down on Joe's hand. My son drug Jake off Max. When we got them apart, Max had a gaping wound in his chest. Joe took him to the Vet ER and he ended up in surgery to repair the lacerations in his chest. He has 3 separate drains, numerous stitches, etc. When Joe brought Max home, Jake hit the french door growling, trying to get to Max. We have been keeping them apart since this happened. This morning, Joe went to let Cody and Jake out, they spent the night in the sunroom, and Jake had urinated and crapped all over the floor. When Joe tried to get Jake to go out, he went under the table and growled and snarled at Joe, refusing to come out. Joe reached under the table and pulled Jake out, by his collar. Jake screamed like he was dying. Joe was not hurting him. Once Jake was outside, he was just fine. When Joe let him back onto the deck, Jake started in the house. Cody was standing on the deck, with his head in the wind, facing away from Jake. Jake turned and jumped Cody. Cody grabbed him by the throat and slammed him to the deck. As soon as Jake whimpered, Cody let him go. They have been together for the rest of the day and there is no problem. None of my dogs have ever challenged Cody, other than ChiChi. He slams her, holds her til she submits and everything is fine. He is not a vicious dog, but he does keep order well. He has not been present during most of these fights. The one he was there for, Jake had started it, Cody nailed Jake and the fight effectively stopped.
I don't know if this is going to get better, or hopefully end, when I am back on my feet and things are back to normal. I'm not sure which way to go at this point.

Now for history on Jake. When I got him from rescue, he had severe separation anxiety. He trashed my house, pulling down curtains, turning over furniture, using the bathroom on the carpet, wood flooring, etc. everytime we left the house. We tried crating him, but he gets frantic, throwing himself against the sides of the crate, etc. We finally blocked the shelves, over the half wall, into the dining room, put up taller gates, etc., so he cannot get out of the kitchen and he has settled down. Now, when we leave, he might bark once or twice, but he quickly settles down and he is fine. He also had severe noise phobias. We have worked through desensitizing him and he is now fine with thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. No more panting, whining, nothing. He is still very aggressive towards small dogs, any dog that growls or barks at him, etc. I keep him on a short leash, attached to a prong collar, when we go out in public. That enables me to control him and his regular collar allows me to lift his front end off the floor, when he goes after another dog.

I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions that anyone has to work with this problem.
Kathy

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I'm sorry Kathy. You probably don't want to hear this, but I would never, ever have two males together. I do have one male Pyr who is just over 12 and another male who is just over 2. From the day we got the baby we have been prepared for fighting. All our areas for the dogs had good fences and they have always been seperated. We knew the day would come.............And sure enough it did. Our two boy fight at the french doors between our kitchen, so we now have a cover on the door. They fight on either side of our farm gates, so we now have tarps covering them. I would never let two dogs just go at it. There is so much damage that can be done both physically and mentally. I've read too many stories of dogs killing each other.

Susan
I am really hoping that me being laid up is part of the problem. I should be back on my feet in another 3 or 4 weeks, so we will see what happens then. None of the dogs, other than ChiChi have really challenged Cody and he does a reasonably good job of maintaining order, so I thought things were okay. I guess he needs some help when things are up in the air, like they are now.
Kathy
I hope so too as 3 of your 4 dogs are at that age where these things usually seem to happen.
Chelle
I'm hoping that Max and Jake work out their differences or find that they really don't have any. I don't think Max really wants to be alpha and I'm not sure he even wants to climb the ladder to second. Jake may, but I don't think Max does. It will be interesting to see if Jake ever works up the nerve to really push Cody into a real fight. I'm not sure who would win that one. Jake does not want to push ChiChi at all. He's not totally stupid.
Kathy
LOL about Jake not being totally stupid!...I had a friend that has passed on that had a Caucasian & a Central Asian Ovcharka...Not a dog most dogs would want to push too far!
Chelle
Nope. After living with ChiChi for 6 months, I completely understand why Cody is the only one who will take her on. Tibetans are not nearly as hard, temperament wise, as Caucasians, from what I have been told, but he can definitely hold his own and knows she is not ready to have the top spot. It is amazing the similarities between them.
Kathy
I am not an expert on this, but from what I have learned having had problems between my dogs (mostly in the past):

You have 4 adults from dominant breeds that were not bred to get along in close quarters. They are all around the age that they start to assert dominance. Males of any of these breeds don't often get along peacefully, to begin with. One of the males is not neutered and now there is a female in the mix. You don't say at what age the neutered males were neutered, but if as adults or if they were used for breeding prior to being neutered, that experience will add to the problems with a female and three males.

First, I would neuter the wolfhound. That won't help for several months if it does help, but testosterone is not helping the situation.

Second, they need their own space, and enough space to stay away from each other if they want to. Doorways, hallways, gates are all places that spark fights because they don't have enough room to give each other distance even if they want to. Once two males have started fighting, it may be wise to consider keeping them separate permanently. If you don't have kennels where they can be safely separated, I would set up something like that, and seriously consider not having all of the males in the house at the same time.
Hi Kathy! Yesterday when I read your profile I was wondering how do you get along with 4 such powerful dogs. In Estonia were I live we got lot of CO's and they are quite aggressive; also the TM's are very popular.
About Jake, I think he wants to be the dominant male since he already won the fight with Max .... or there might be medical reason for his behavior. I have been in a similar situation with a young male Pyr and male cavalier king charles spaniel. My male Pyr get attacking the cavalier just no reason and when the cavalier went outside for a make his needs I always went with him to be sure that the Pyr didn't jumped on him. Mostly it was okay but also then he jumped on the cavalier and the result was offal. I had to move my cavalier to my moms to live. The size difference between the cavalier and pyr is huge and the little one got hurt really bad,... biting marks around his neck

I also have to add that when the male pyr was a puppy my cavalier was not that nice to him ... he growled at him and showed that he is the boss. But he did the same with Brenda and she never touches him and now with my new female pyr Mia - they keep their distance but no problems.

. Our dog pack leader is my oldest female pyr Brenda. The male Pyr also kept challenging her all the time and the fight between them were offal, Brenda always won. At first I thought my male Pyr is young has puberty and it will go away but because he had also health problems and we did under go a neurological study where his head was x-rayd (MRI). It came clear that his behavior problems were due to his neurological problems.

The reason for this behavior can be several, especially when he is a rescue you do not know about his family background, or he could have pain what makes him act like this, or a neurological problem.

You are in the right place to get help and I am sure you will get it here.
Marion
I don't think Jake can take the alpha spot from Cody. I know he can't take ChiChi. She has to be the most dominant dog I have ever seen. Everyone, except Cody lets her be. She can lift her lip and snarl and Jake and Max will walk a wide circle around her. They don't even think about pushing their luck with her. she is a really sweet, loving, girl, with my husband and I, but no one else can even get close to her. She is an incredible guard dog. Nothing gets by her. Kathy
Try this website: http://www.naturaldogtraining.info/freetips1.html
I stumbled upon it when searching information for a friend of mine; she also had two males aggressive with each other and other males; and Pam helped her a lot. She has some rather unconventional approaches to training but it seems to work. I became so interested in her methods that I got one of her books and while I don't have any problems with my two (knock the woods) monsters, she still has a load of interesting tips and suggestions for living with a pack of dogs!
Thanks for the info. I will check it out.
Kahty
I'm with Susan...I have 3 & a 4 yr. old neutered Pyrs & they have been completely separated since Oct. of '06 when they had the big fight that separated them for good...We were even lucky enough to have the help of a good behavior consultant who was our primary training mentor &, still, my boys most likely will be separated for life though we tried everything we could find to try.
I've no doubt one would be dead of I let them go which is extreme for a fight between altered dogs.
I will never keep two male LGD breed dogs at the same time again once my knucklehead boys pass on.
Chelle

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