War Zone Dogs

Posted by rayshome
Jan 29, 2010
We rescued two dogs from the ISPCA (Irish Society of Protection to Cruelty to Animals) over a year ago.

One is a Terrier Cross (Jamie) and one a Spaniel / Labradour Cross (Forest). Initially they got on well although Jamie was the more dominent and anxious. Forest was more nervous and submissive.

Jamie then started attacking Forest for no aparent reason (although I realise there must have been one - we just could not figure out what). Forest always submitted by laying down and rolling over. But Jamie would not leave off even once Forest submitted. Jamies jaws just locked tight and we had to intervene by pulling him off.

We tried using a technique where you stop the aggressive dog by holding them down until they submit to you and then bring the two dogs together. Although this worked at the time, Jamie would attack again after a short while. We repeated the process a number of times but this didn't stop the attacks.

Eventually Forest started retaliating. It came to a head when Forest was badly bitten on the leg needing stitches.

They now go into an instant Red Zone as soon as they see each other and we are currently keeping them apart. I know that this is not good for either dog as neither are part of the pack. Instead, one or the other is with us at any one time.

Both dogs are now showing agression towards other dogs when we take them out for their walks.

IS there anyone out there who can suggest ways that we can correct this behaviour?
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 29, 2010
Hi rayshome,

I am so sorry to hear that your 2 rescue dogs can not get along with each other. Shuffling them from place to place to keep them separate must be pain in a neck.

How long has this been going on?
Are they getting enough activities every day, both mentally and physically?
Have they attended any obedience trainings?

While there is a chemistry between dogs, obedient dogs usually good with other dogs as well so I would strongly recommend you take each dog to some training classes separately.

On the other hand, I would walk both dogs together where and when you don't meet other dogs, such as early in the morning or late in the evening. Walking together helps dogs to become closer (I often do this with my foster dog with Noah who is not friendly with new dogs at the beginning). I think sniffing same spots and walking at the same pace would help them develop some kind of mutual understanding. However, if you meet other dogs on their walk, it might back fire so you might want to choose the time and routing carefully.

I hope other people can give you more advise on this. Even if you can not sort the two dogs out and you will eventually have to consider finding another home for one of them, it will be a big advantage if your dogs are well trained and obedient. Good luck