HELP! One dog hates the other!

Posted by Silke
Apr 11, 2008
I need some good advice! I have a 6 year old shar-pei "Winston" that I adopted last year. He gets along fine with the cats and one of my other dogs but HATES our Rottweiler/Husky mix "Baloo". They only co-exist in the house. If Baloo walks by Winston, Winston growls at him. But outside in the backyard, Winston will constantly bark at Baloo, follow him, lunge at him and try to bite him. Most of the time Baloo actually ignores him but when he has had enough, he goes back at him and will bite him back. Unfortunately, Winston has very sensitive skin. He's gotten fur literally pulled off of him and bite wounds from Baloo. What can I do to get him to not get so aggressive towards Baloo? I know that Baloo would just ignore him if he wouldn't keep barking and lunging at him. I need Winston to like Baloo! Any ideas are greatly appreciated!
Posted by Todd
Apr 22, 2008
Hi there Silke and thanks for the post.

Sorry about the delay. With all that is going on on the forum i often miss some consults so i am going through and trying to clear everything up.

Sounds like Winston may be getting a little big for his boots. Are there any other times when aggression is a problem? Is Winston aggressive to strangers or other dogs or just in the house to Baloo?

As usual in most aggression problems i think Alpha training is the key. When your dog knows it is at the bottom of the pack they are a lot happier and less likely to start problems.

So here are some ways to make sure your dogs know there place -

1) Winston and all the other dogs in the family should be fed last and never from the table

2) When you arrive home wait 10-15 minutes until the dogs have calmed down before you give them any attention

3) If Winston or any of the other dogs are lying in the hallway make them move out of the way. Stepping over or around them only lets them know that they are boss. If he is being aggressive then leaving a lead on him will make it very easy for you to move him safetly.

4) All of your dogs should wait until you have walked through a doorway before they can. You can even practice this by putting them on the lead and walking them around the house!

After a few weeks of a change in the order of place in the house you will start to notice some changes. The next big step is obedience.

The more obedient Winston is the easier he will be able to control no matter what the circumstance or situation.
Take him to a quiet secluded area and practice the basic commands of sit, stay and come for 10-15 minutes twice a day.

Obedience and alpha training can make a huge difference no matter what the problem but will not completely solve the problems. He does need some more direct behavioural modification to fix him and i promise you this will take time.

First things first Winston needs to be reprimanded for any aggressive behaviour whether this be growling, barking, showing his teeth, lunging or biting. You need to reprimand him quickly and properly so that he knows exactly what he has done wrong.

The best way to tell him off is with a loud GRRRRRR or AHHHHHH as well as either throwing a large blanket over him or squirting him with a water pistol. This is a very good approach and does wonders.
You need to be consistent with telling him off no matter how minor or major the degree of aggression.

After he is reprimanded take him away from where he did it to a quiet room or garage. This will also distract him. Leave him there for 15 minutes until he has calmed down and then get him out again. Time out is very helpful.

If you are really worried about things i would think about a muzzle for Winston to make sure that things are okay and don't get too out of hand.
Don't allow rough play at all - try and split it up as soon as you see it happening.

If Winston can't learn to be nice you may have to get him a kennel outside for a few weeks to cause a change in the household and help reset any behaviour.

This problem will take time to fix and may require some medication to take the edge off Winston's problems.

Please let me know how things are going and if i can help anymore at all

Posted by Silke
Apr 29, 2008
Thank you Todd! I will keep working on his behavior as well as the other dogs. You have given me a great starting point to work from. I'll let you know what happens! Thanks again, Silke