Some background on each dog before I explain my problem. Sorry its so long...
Luna is an 11yo spayed 65lb lab/ACD female. She has resource guarding issues (w/other dogs, NEVER humans) that have gotten much better over the years but are definitely still there, only managed better. She is completely friendly and well-mannered besides this issue. In the past, she was part of a female-female dominance and fighting situation that we managed poorly to start with (I won't go into specifics but I had a less than cooperative husband) but I did take control and last few years of other females life, things were much better.
Tucker is a 1yo intact GSD. He is big at ~120lbs.I havent had any problems with aggression at strange dogs, people, etc. For the most part he's a big goofy love.
The past few months, we have had an increasing number of "altercations" between the two. No blood has been drawn. But I have always been right there to stop it.
Its starting to happen frequently, and I can tell they are going to blow but its always so fast that I can't defuse it before teeth are bared and they are on each other.
It starts as a sudden "stillness". A scary silence. At first, I would immediately grab Tuckers collar. If I got to him before fur and teeth started flying, my grabbing his collar would send him into it. I would literally have to hold his front end off the ground by his collar and drag him out of the room. Now, I only outweigh him by about 10lbs. But note I am in no way scared of him. And Ive made sure he knows it. Once, i couldn't reach his collar fast enough so I hauled him by his back legs and he reached around to bite me. I knew it was totally reactive to the fight because as soon as his teeth touched me, he turned off and looked at me like "Oh crap sorry about that."
As he isn't done maturing, I do worry eventually my "manhandling" power is going to become ineffective, and obviously that isn't a solution anyway.
It used to be I was sure Luna was provoking it. But now it seems that Tucker might be provoking it some too. Which makes me think he's learning it from her...which is what ive been worried about.
Luna has bad hips and repaired ACL and I KNOW he could easily kill her. I dont think he's at that point of aggression yet, but this has to stop.
By the way, they are never left together unattended. And it seems to happen as much over "space" as food/toys (which aren't left lying around...the mere crackle if a treat bag sent them to their battle stations). If one walks into a small room, or follows me between the bed and the wall, its game on. That I can recall, its NEVER happened outside, even when Im training with treats and toys.
One more thing...Tucker had had free roam of the house at night but is crated when we are gone. Could this be a contributing factor? Luna in my daughters room with door shut.
The fact that once he's gone quiet and still (& seems 6 inches taller), there's no averting it scares me the most. I was always able avert my females from fight with my words and presence. He totally shuts down to me.
As of today, he is wearing his prong and lead whenever inside. Not sure his prong is the best choice but I need to know I can control him if this escalates.
Any and all insight, advice, etc is greatly appreciated.
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