Our dogs were best of mates now??

Posted by tracey08
Aug 30, 2008
Hi we have 2 dogs a 10 mth old Staffy/Bull Terrier Cross (Gus) and a 15 mth old English Staffy (Boss), Both have had an unfortunate start in life - we got Gus at 4mths old - underfed and neglected by his owner and Boss we have had for the last 8/9 weeks, owner was unable to keep up vet visits/treatments for his skin problem and he got itchy red raw to good part of his body, and because of this people would push and kick him away rather than pat him

Both dogs have got on fantastic since the day Boss came to our home sleep together play e.t.c no problems, but 3 nights ago something went wrong, they were having their dinner - always at opposite ends of the room, Boss probably got a little close to Gus's food bowl when he was finished and Gus growled which caused Boss to react and put ears/tail up then the growling started and they were ready to attack each other.

we quickly stopped the situation, but now Boss will be fine playing with Gus during the day and not show any signs of aggression and they are best of mates again but when it gets to early evening - before and after dinner time, he gets what I would think is fear aggression, and the sight of Gus sends him to put tail and ears straight up which gets Gus on alert who will then growl at him, then if we didnt intervene would no doubt turn into a dog fight! Boss seems to be nervous, starts shaking and does not want to go into the same room as Gus, but the tail and ears go straight up as soon as he lays eyes on him, any ideas how to solve this problem would be appreciated, both are un nuetered, but are booked in on Monday to have this done.
Posted by Marina
Sep 1, 2008
I would try a squirty bottle of water and squirt the dogs at the very first sign of aggression. This should let them know that the behaviour is not acceptable.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Sep 2, 2008
Hi there,

It is important to let your dogs know that the behavior is not acceptable but I would rather try a different approach, by making both feel less and less nervous being together during the meal times.

What I would like to suggest is to put only half of the amount of meal in their bowls. You will be standing in the middle of the room with the rest of food in a bowl. As they finish their meal they will come to you. Make them sit nicely side by side, or next to you on opposite sides. Then, hand feed them the rest of their meal alternately. A few morsels to Gus, then same amount to Boss. If one starts to growl, reprimand.

You will do this for each meal under close supervision and control to see if they will get even a little bit more comfortable being close to each other while being fed.

If you are not comfortable doing this by yourself, please ask someone's assistance.

Again, the goal is to make them feel less stressful and protective about their meals. I think you will be able to achieve this because you said they are good buddies all the other time.

Good luck
Posted by tracey08
Sep 3, 2008
Hi Thankyou for your replys, have been taking close notice as to when the aggression starts and it is only straight after they have had their evening meal, and it is boss that shows the body language first, so will try the approach - with the help of my partner to feed side by side the rest of their meal - will be doing this on lead and collar as we will feel like we have more control to seperate them if necessary, so hope this will not affect the result?
will post reply to let everyone know how we get on, Thanks.