Major dominance issue....

Posted by hunter
Nov 29, 2009
Ok, we're probably in way over our heads, but we're not giving up any of our 8 rescue dogs. We bought membership in this forum for some desperately needed advice in getting some control back over our house without one of the dogs killing each other. Our main concern is how in the world do we determine which of the 8 should be the dominant dog in the group??? The dogs range in age from 5 months to 6 years, with the 6 year old being the one that we've had since she was 10 months old. We've already had several dog fights, with a couple of them resulting in moderate injuries, and also my husband getting accidentally bit trying to break it up. Like I said, we don't want to give up any of our babies, but we don't want any harm coming to any of them either. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 30, 2009
Hi hunter,

The most I have had in our suburban home was 5 dogs, 3 of our own dogs and 2 foster dogs, so I can not imagine how 8 dogs can live together in harmony:confused:

A friend of mine whose husband is a hunter has 5 or 6 dogs of their own and they also foster so they sometimes have 8 or 9 dogs. However, I was told that a blind foster dog got attacked by a foster mom dog with puppies and he had to have stitches on his head...

Well, I would like to ask you how you ended up with the 8 dogs. I understand your oldest dog has been with you over 5 years but when and how the other 7 dogs joined you guys? When you add one by one, it is not much of a problem or confusion among them but if you added multiple dogs at once, then there must be confusion about who is the leader (besides you guys) and where each of the dogs is situated in the ranking. When a fight breaks out between two dogs, I can see the other dogs also get excited and they could join in the fight. It will be very hard to break it and you would end up getting injured.

Is there, or are there, any particular dog(s) that can easily get agitated and start a fight? Is there any particular dog that can easily be a target of attacks? If there are such dogs, I would suggest you separate those dogs and work on their specific issues. I don't think the rest of them that can live in harmony should be exposed to those fighting scenes.

I understand you don't want to give up any of the babies but there is also such thing as "chemistry" among dogs so it might not be fair to force them to live in such environments, with a risk of getting injured.

I am really interested in how all 7 rescued dogs ended up in your family. Looking forward to hearing from you.