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My Male Attacked My Female - Long Post


Guest Simonie
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Guest Simonie

Hi,

 

I would like to get advice from experienced owner on this matter.

 

First, a little information about my two greyhounds: My male Conan is 5 years old, dominant, high prey drive and I have him since May 2009. My female Sookie is 4 years old, very submissive, low prey drive and I have her since January 2010.

 

The introduction was very good in January; they got along well except for a little warning growl here and there which is normal when you have two dogs at home. However, I was and I am still watching them very carefully.

 

When my boyfriend and I leave for work, we put them in a room with a baby gate so my male doesn’t eat my door! The first few months they were muzzle for prevention since we could not supervise. They are not muzzled now. When the babygate is in place, I was giving them both a milk bone and leave immediately. This is our routine and now they know that when we put them in that room, they are going to get a treat and they are looking forward for us to leave! No separation anxiety at all.

 

When I give my male a milk bone, he goes to his bed and eats it fast. My female has more problems; she eats it right where I gave her and break it in peaces. The pieces fall on the floor and she eats it slowly. This was going fine.

 

Two little incidents happened a couple weeks ago. I give them both a milk bone and my male eats his very fast and went to get the pieces my female dropped on the floor. Since my female is submissive, she goes away and whelps. First time I told my male a firm “No” and took the pieces away from him to give to my female. The second time it happened I was outside the room and I heard a scream from her (only her does this sound) and I went back in the room. She had a little scratch on her hips and he was eating her pieces, so I decided to never give them something it takes time to eat.

 

I started giving one piece each of Purebites Freeze Dried. It’s small enough for my female to eat it one bite. This was going fine but this morning something happened. I gave them both a piece, my male ate it right away and then looked at my female and smelled her mouth (I saw that and I knew something was going to happened but it went very fast) I placed my hand on the babygate and then he jumped on her. She was screaming. His jaws were locked near her face. I do not know if he was growling because my female was screaming so loud, I couldn’t ear it. I took my male by the collar and removed him immediately. I know it’s dangerous but I was alone, I was very careful to not get myself bitten. He let her go easily. His jaws were shaking. I put him in a separate room to check my female. He followed me like nothing happened.

 

Thankfully, my female only has two scratches (red skin, no blood, spot of hair missing). She was screaming for about one minute after it happened and each time I touched her, she screamed. I sat close to her, without touching to calm her.

 

Now I needed to leave for work, I was already late so I put the muzzle on both, introducing them to each other again and they were ok, like nothing happened. I put them both in the same room like usual with the babygate, I waited and they were acting fine.

 

What advice could you guys give me in order to prevent that if I still want to give them treats when I leave? This is a big part of our routine. They look forward to it and make our departure easy. Will I need to separate them from now on? Do you think that was a dominance thing? My female did not reply back on the attack, she was very submissive. Is it because I am not the pack leader in the eyes of my male?

 

Please help me.

 

Thank you!

 

P.S. English is not my first language, error happens :)

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It sounds like your male is *very* food oriented and your female is very submissive. So, as you are already doing now, I would muzzle whenever they are alone together ..... If the treats are small, you can give them while the dogs have their muzzles on :). Slivers of cheese, hot dog, or those fake bacon strips work well for that -- it's easy to poke one through the holes in the muzzle. .... I might also suggest working on some training with your male. I would want him to lie down to get his treat, and to stay lying down until you tell him to get up. This is what I did with one of mine who always finished the treat first and tried to get the others' crumbs. I did always stay right with them until all treats and crumbs were gone. .... I'm glad nobody was seriously hurt.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest PhillyPups

I am sorry you had to experience this. Even with a pair I first suggest you do not give the treats while leaving, but wait until you return home and treat then. This will become a learned behavior just as their expecting treats before you leave is.

 

I would further suggest no treats unless you are right there with them and I would place myself between the dogs not allowing the male to bother the female while they are having their treats. This would teach your male that his behavior is unacceotable and it would also allow your female to enjoy her treat.

 

Muzzles are our safety tools. I never go out with my dogs unmuzzled.

 

Good luck and I am sorry this happened. I personally do not feel it is a dominance issue as much as a bad behavior being allowed to escalate.

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I am sorry this happened to you. It is very scary when dogs 'fight' and you acted quickly to help your girl. My suggestion is that you muzzle them period. I know you may think this is cruel or not fair as my DW thinks that way - or she just feels guilty. I tell her that I would rather them wear them for the 2-3hrs we are gone than come back to an injured or worse pup. We ALWAYS muzzle them when we go out just in case. Also as Batmom stated, they can eat small treats through their muzzles without a problem. Also her advice on training your boy when he gets treats as he needs to know how he is supposed to react and have the positive reinforced.

Edited by Charlies_Dad

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Guest jupiterooos

Jupiter is highly food-oriented, and the one serious incident we have had was related to a bone. He attacked Angler over a scrap when the dogs were alone in the room. They were only unsupervised for a second - but that was long enough. Lesson learned, and they are watched now. We feed them meals in separate areas (as Angler eats slowly) and treats are given together, as long as it's a treat that can be consumed quickly. So far, it's been about two years and no more incidents.

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Guest Simonie

Thank you guys for your very informative advice!

 

I do not think muzzling a dog is cruel, quite the contrary. I just stopped muzzling because they were doing fine but I will be muzzling again for prevention.

 

When I give them treats or prepare a meal, I want them to go to a certain spot so I point and say “there”. When they obey, I give the treat with the release command “Ok”.

 

Also, and this is my honest opinion, I do not want my dogs to behave like a circus animal when they want treats. I have some dogs around me that just lay down, sit or roll over in front of their owner without them asking just to get treats. I want mine to behave like dogs. And even if I wanted to train them, there is only one school here that does it and they use abusive method. My cousin went there to visit and see if she wants to train her Jack Russell there and she saw a trainer that showed the owner of a Standard Poodle how to lay down: he was pulling down on the leash saying “lay down” but the dog did not move and it started bleeding. Not cool.

 

I will probably do what PhillyPups is suggesting: given treats on my arrival instead of departure. I will then be able to supervise and correct the behavior from happening again and escalate.

 

I will also watch his overall behavior around food. I will stop giving him pieces of our food when I prepare a meal (cheese, vegetables, …) and will correct anything that I do not want.

 

Thank you again :)

Edited by Simonie
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Guest Swifthounds

Muzzles are our safety tools. I never go out with my dogs unmuzzled. Good luck and I am sorry this happened. I personally do not feel it is a dominance issue as much as a bad behavior being allowed to escalate.

 

I agree.

 

This is our routine and now they know that when we put them in that room, they are going to get a treat and they are looking forward for us to leave! No separation anxiety at all.When I give my male a milk bone, he goes to his bed and eats it fast. My female has more problems; she eats it right where I gave her and break it in peaces. The pieces fall on the floor and she eats it slowly. This was going fine.Two little incidents happened a couple weeks ago. I give them both a milk bone and my male eats his very fast and went to get the pieces my female dropped on the floor. Since my female is submissive, she goes away and whelps. First time I told my male a firm “No” and took the pieces away from him to give to my female. The second time it happened I was outside the room and I heard a scream from her (only her does this sound) and I went back in the room. She had a little scratch on her hips and he was eating her pieces, so I decided to never give them something it takes time to eat.I started giving one piece each of Purebites Freeze Dried. It’s small enough for my female to eat it one bite. This was going fine but this morning something happened. I gave them both a piece, my male ate it right away and then looked at my female and smelled her mouth (I saw that and I knew something was going to happened but it went very fast) I placed my hand on the babygate and then he jumped on her. She was screaming. His jaws were locked near her face. I do not know if he was growling because my female was screaming so loud, I couldn’t ear it. I took my male by the collar and removed him immediately. I know it’s dangerous but I was alone, I was very careful to not get myself bitten. He let her go easily. His jaws were shaking. I put him in a separate room to check my female. He followed me like nothing happened.Thankfully, my female only has two scratches (red skin, no blood, spot of hair missing). She was screaming for about one minute after it happened and each time I touched her, she screamed. I sat close to her, without touching to calm her.Now I needed to leave for work, I was already late so I put the muzzle on both, introducing them to each other again and they were ok, like nothing happened. I put them both in the same room like usual with the babygate, I waited and they were acting fine.What advice could you guys give me in order to prevent that if I still want to give them treats when I leave? This is a big part of our routine. They look forward to it and make our departure easy. Will I need to separate them from now on? Do you think that was a dominance thing? My female did not reply back on the attack, she was very submissive. Is it because I am not the pack leader in the eyes of my male?Please help me.Thank you!P.S. English is not my first language, error happens :)

 

At this point, your male's aggression and ill behavior has been allowed to escalate at the expense of the safety of your female. That he might be more forceful and she less is no reason to allow such behavior. He's not just behaving badly toward her and injuring her, but he's showing a total lack of respect for you as well. If you let this go on, you will end up with a seriously injured and fearful female and a male with escalating bad behavior.

 

1. These hounds need to be muzzled when you aren't there to supervise. That means whenever you are not directly in the room. You can't control or prevent injury if you aren't there. The muzzle will lessen (but not eliminate) the possibility of injury.

 

2. No more treats given just because. It's tempting to give a treat as you leave in the hope that they will make a positive association with your leaving. The truth is that is they get a treat every time you leave, it has no such association. Right now you have a male hound who thinks he can have whatever tasty treat he can manage to snatch and he is increasingly willing to harm your female to get it. Giving her treats in the fashion they've been given is merely making her an unprotected target for your male.

 

3. Work with your dogs, especially the male on focusing on you. Have them perform a task (sit, down, stay, etc.) and give the treat only as a reward for that. Wait until they are calm and compliant before treating. Give the treat to one dog at a time and keep yourself between the two of them until your male gets the idea that stealing is not allowed, that you are the source of all treats, and that if he wants treats he must behave in a manner that you want.

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Guest JanfromPa

I do heartfully agree with everyone. Muzzles. Your male may be quite a dominant fellow and just a little greedy but your little girl is overly sensitive. She may have learned to scream to garner your attention and sympathy. That is what I did with my brother. Just a thought. Jan

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Guest vulferius

I would also suggest that you separate the dogs when you feed them. All of my dogs are fed in their crates so that there are no fights over food.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I agree with swifthounds. You may not like the idea of your dogs acting like "circus animals" for their treats, but for your female's safety, as well as extinquishing the poor behavior by your male, you need to make him EARN his food from you.

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Guest Simonie

Wow, I feel attack.. I guess some of you do not take the time to read my posts. If you do not want to read it because it's too long, then do not answer.

 

In my first and second post, I stated before I give them the food (i.e. not treats), I make them stay at a certain spot in the kitchen so I can prepare everything and put it in their bowl. I wait a little bit and then say "ok" and they go eat. So it's not like I give them food without any type of discipline. They know two commands and I always use it. Also like I said, there is only 1 trainer in my area and they make the neck of dogs bleed because they pull too hard on the leash to make them do something. And when I give them treats I always tell them something to do before.

 

Thank you for the ones that took the time to read my post and answer.

 

I will refrain from posting now on and only read. Too much negativity here sadly..

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The internet is funny... it's so hard to express emotion in a post. I don't feel as tho anyone was attacking you, just giving an opinion. I think you have received a lot of good information. It's easy to ask for an opinion but then get defensive if others don't agree or have a different opinion. Hang in here a bit. You have gotten a lot of solid advice and the forums are a really fun place to hang around. :)

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~ Forever and Always missing and loving Steak, Carmen, Ivy, Isis, and Madi.
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Guest vulferius

I'm sorry that you feel as though you've been attacked. The responses are meant to be helpful and probably sound severe, possibly even patronizing, because what you didn't explain was your dog experience. Everyone is recommending big steps back with your boy because his behavior is so extreme. While competition for food is normal in many dogs to attack your female to prevent her from taking what is hers in an attempt to take it for himself is very dangerous. Everyone's primary concern is to help you get to a place where both dogs are safe, only then is it appropriate to work on correcting the problem. Sometimes we don't realize that we have allowed a behavior to occur but when it does we often start over, the dog looses all of their privileges and we pretend they are a naughty puppy. That might mean that, when dealing with a dog who has dominance issues, they are never permitted to do anything first (i.e. if you're taking them outside you walk through the door first), this helps to reinforce your position as the alpha. We might further deny an alpha dog access to the furniture or, to take it a step further, we may allow them to use only certain beds in each room. All of these kinds of things reinforce your position as the leader.

 

It is too bad that you don't have the benefit of a good trainer or a behaviorist in your area. Most of the behavioral problems we see in greyhounds can he dealt with on your own but when your safety or that of another animal in your home is at issue expert advice is always helpful. I should note that I am not a professional, I speak only from my own experience and while I have dealt with some difficult dogs I've never been in your position.

 

Best of luck!

 

-Jeff

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Guest Swifthounds

Competing for food within a pack is not normal. The OP's two hounds have probably not lived together long enough to have a firmly established pack order, and it is apparent that the male isn't respecting the hierarchy of people before dogs. None of my hounds (my own, fosters, visitors) would ever think to attempt, by force, to redistribute what I have given.

 

I'm sorry the OP felt attacked, but two incidents where one dog attempts violently to take something that was given to the dog by a human is at least one too many. The behavior will escalate, is escalating, showing that what the OP has been doing is obviously not working. These hounds need supervision at all times, muzzling/separating when that's not possible, and a whole lot of training that reinforces the role of the human and proper dog interaction.

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Guest PhillyPups

I did not read anything here as "attack" but that is just my take on the posts. I am not attacking in any way, just drawing on my experience as a multiple dog owner and how I would handle this situation.

 

There may be only one person with the word "trainer" on their resume in town, but you, as their human are their trainer. It will not take an experienced person with the word "trainer" in their resume to teach new behaviors here. It is just as simple as when feeding, treating, always be present and always be between the two dogs. A few days/weeks of doing this, they will learn that theirs is theirs, Mama will not let him take hers and she can eat in peace safely because you will protect her. Not at all like a trained circus animal just that his behavior is very poor dog manners and he will relearn proper manners.

 

When mine are eating, I do not leave the room, even to go to the bathroom, or to step into another room for a moment. Mine do not leave their bowls when done and wander to another dogs bowl, although they have all tried it a time or two or three. I just simply grab their collar while saying ahhh ahhh ahhh and redirect them to a close by dog bed and then pat their head. I stay between the most food oriented (DonnieDude) and the rest of the dogs. (DonnieDude will not go after another dog, just stick his head in their bowl and eat with them. My sweet AnnaBanana would just walk away and not get her meal.)

 

In giving treats, I would hold the collar while rubbing the ear of the faster eater (your male) while giving your girl the treat. Once she has walked away, I would give him his treat before releasing his collar. Then stay between them and do not allow him to get her treat with the same method for the meal.

 

It is really quite simple once you have done it a time or two, and actually becomes second nature.

 

Good luck, and please keep us posted.

 

 

Wishing you luck and please let us know how you make out.

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Guest Simonie

Ok, maybe I assumed the tone of some of you and though it was something else then just advice. I apologize.

 

Just to be clear to everyone, I always make sure that I am first to anything I do like going outside or enter another room. It is always me first. I never bypass them when they are in my way, I make them move. I always supervise when they eat in their bowls; they are separated in a different corner of the kitchen. Yes, my male tried 2 or 3 times to go eat in the female bowl by I always said a firm “No” and he walked away immediately, I did not took him by the collar, my voice was enough. He is not allowed on any furniture without us telling him to which is rare.

 

They are leaving together for 6 months now. It is obvious that my male is dominant and my female is submissive so I do not think that they are still establishing their order in the pack. Like some are suggesting, maybe I am not the alpha here and my male is trying to take over but I assure you that I do anything to make myself be the pack leader. I am firm and calm, I give affection when they deserve it and I discipline when they do something I do not want. The exception would be when he tried to get the treats of my female 2 times. That’s where it went wrong. But honestly, I do not know what to do more then I already do to make him know that I am in charge, not him. The first time it happened I was there and I told him know, I removed the treat to give back to the female. I do not know what more to do in order to make myself the pack leader.

 

I read anything I can to educate myself and make sure I have the right tool to deal with his behaviour. I applied anything that makes sense to me. I am at a lost right now.

 

I changed the way I go away for work, they are now still in the same room but muzzled and I give no treats (they still do fine, no mess when I return). I can’t separate them; we do not have a/c so that’s why we always put them in the basement. No other room can be use because there is one bathroom and the rest is a big family room full of thing to be on and play with. On the first floor it’s a little too hot right now and I do not have a second babygate.

 

That’s about it, I have described everything I do.

 

I make contact with the only trainer in my area. I am waiting on her call. I doubt she has experience with greyhound and I will need to explain a lot. I’ll see what she can do to help me and check if she changed her method of teaching. If I sense any harsh manners, I am out of the picture.

 

Oh and PhillyPups; I tried that once and he almost left his spot when he was eating his things to get the pieces dropped by my female. I saw it coming before he moved. The first time the incident happened, I gave them both the treats, he started eating but has soon has the pieces dropped from my female mouth, he left his treat and went for the pieces on the ground. He did not look at her at all, no attack, just went for the food. Maybe this description is more informative for you.

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Guest PhillyPups

 

 

Oh and PhillyPups; I tried that once and he almost left his spot when he was eating his things to get the pieces dropped by my female. I saw it coming before he moved. The first time the incident happened, I gave them both the treats, he started eating but has soon has the pieces dropped from my female mouth, he left his treat and went for the pieces on the ground. He did not look at her at all, no attack, just went for the food. Maybe this description is more informative for you.

 

 

I know you are trying hard to do the best you can for your pups, that is not a question at all. I stay between mine when they first started getting treats, being a body blocking any movement by another to get to ones treat. Now, the 5 will like down with their butts touching and while they even eat a high value treat such as a chicken foot, but it did take time. I do feed separately when giving turkey necks.

 

This is just to be helpful, not a critique of anything you have done, but to offer the experience learned by having multiples. :bighug

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I would suggest one other thing to try to help with your boys issues. Hand-feed him all of his meals for a few weeks. One handfull of food at a time. This will enhance your bond with him and at the same time firmly and instinctively establish the fact that you are the food provider (also known as the leader). This is a non-confrontational positive method for establishing your leadership role.

 

Chad

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