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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Question female fighting

hello all
i have 2 female dogs 1 is my gsd and the other is a lab they are my gsd is 11 months and my lab is 12 months i love them both and i try to play with them both they have plenty of room out side to play so i go out with them and play.
Now my problem
when my lab comes up to me and wants attention i start to pet her my gsd starts fighting her its NOT play fighting either i just broke up one of the worse fights they had.
i'm at a loss as to what i can do i love them both so much and i would hate to get rid of one of them and i don't wanna have to crate one while i play with the other.

can any one please help me asap this is time sensitive because im afraid one of them is going to get hurt
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 07:50 PM
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Once females fight, they won't resolve it and it will get worse. Two choices: keeping them apart or rehome one. Keep your favorite.
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Last edited by wolfy dog; 10-12-2019 at 08:46 PM.
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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 08:00 PM
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bitches=stitches

Did no one warn you that two females is a bad idea? Sometimes it works, often it does not. Two males can squabble and then be best friends, two females will most often continue to escalate.
Crate and rotate, find a good trainer. One that is used to dealing with working dogs. But here is the bottom line, this may not be fixable so you need to sit yourself down and decide if you can live with crate and rotate for the rest of their lives, AND provide a quality life for them. If you cannot then you need to rehome one.
Two points before you get told otherwise, spaying won't help and these dogs are going to need strict and serious obedience and diligent handling.
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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 08:18 PM
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Does the lab ever start any of the fights, or just the gsd?

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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just the gsd
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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 08:45 PM
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Males fight for breeding rights, females fight for breathing rights.
Doubtful that this can be fixed, because once they have begun to fight, it’s on. They are close in age, too. In my experience, this doesn’t get better, but worse.
You have two options: keep them separated so they don’t see each other (crate and rotate) or rehome one.


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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
bitches=stitches

Did no one warn you that two females is a bad idea? Sometimes it works, often it does not. Two males can squabble and then be best friends, two females will most often continue to escalate.
Crate and rotate, find a good trainer. One that is used to dealing with working dogs. But here is the bottom line, this may not be fixable so you need to sit yourself down and decide if you can live with crate and rotate for the rest of their lives, AND provide a quality life for them. If you cannot then you need to rehome one.
Two points before you get told otherwise, spaying won't help and these dogs are going to need strict and serious obedience and diligent handling.
I’m sorry, really sorry, but bitches = stitches, I can’t stop laughing.

Bitch on bitch aggression is common in the GSD breed. Looks like you’ll either have a lifetime of crate and rotate, or rehome one. Some people get away with 2 bitches, depends on the dogs, but yours is obviously not one of them. I have two females, one is 9 and one is 7 months, but I also went into this scenario with eyes wide open, and I’m fully aware that once my pup has her first heat and the puppy pass is gone, crate and rotate may be what we are looking at. And we are okay with that. We have plenty of inside and outside separated spaces that they can both get plenty of one on one time, and can both be outside with me and never have to actually encounter each other physically.

I would start the crate and rotate process now before anything more serious happens. They need their own play time with you, their own training time with you, and time to be alone with you just relaxing. That’s going to take management, and you need to think long and hard about whether this lifestyle will work for you or if it’s too much. If it’s too much, like Wolfy said, pick your favorite and rehome the other. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop. Keep in mind, if you keep the GSD, you’re not going to have an easy time with her around any other dogs unless you have very firm obedience in place, and she learns to ignore other dogs in public.
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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 09:58 PM
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Do you correct the gsd when she behaves like this? We have 2 females, same age, that normally get along with each other unless one of us humans is playing with them both at the same time. We just play with them separately now, but they can be together at other times. Are you able to leave one inside while you play with the other outside? It seems the gsd is getting jealous over the lab's attention. Do they get along at other times, when you are not playing with them outside?

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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 10:08 PM
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Female same sex aggression seems to be reserved primarily for other household dogs. I never had any problems with my females outside the home with other female dogs.

I can't really say my oldest female and the one younger than her are same sex aggressive as my oldest started picking on the younger one at an early age. Her breeder felt it was more of a jockeying for pack position. Anyhow, I started separating them to avoid problems. I do keep them in the same room, one crated, when I am home but always make sure there is a door between them when I leave unless I take one with me.

As they have aged, the younger has proven to be a harder, more dominant bitch and when the older acts up, the younger just gives her stink eye and that tends to put an end to it. There was a couple of oops moments and I simply directed the softer dog while blocking the harder one.
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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 11:20 PM
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I did get stitches, from bitches.

Then I went to never letting bitches be together at all.

That was over kill.

It all depends on temperament. And it isn't bad temperament when you have a GSD bitch that fights with other bitches. If they are close in age and in power, then you are likely to have fights. If you have a beta bitch -- an alpha bitch walks around like she owns the world and every other dog and bitch knows this, and there are no fights at all, generally. Jenna was my alpha bitch. One time when she had a litter of puppies, my crazy bitch, Ninja went after her, and she took her down so fast. I had been moving her and the litter, and had Ninja crated. Ninja broke the crate open, which was probably a surprise for her, and she immediately attacked. Two seconds later, I was in a kennel with Jenna still attached to Ninja's muzzle, but I was working a kennel gate between them and managed to get them apart.

If you have a beta dog, like Ninja -- they are the wanna-be-alphas, that will fight often, and are always trying to upset things. They are not a natural alpha, but they may be the top dog, often briefly. They wouldn't survive well in the wild as a leader, because you have to be whole to maintain your body condition when you have to run down prey.

But in the wild, if all the dogs were alphas, there would be a lot more fighting. So alphas are not that prevalent. Everyone things they have an alpha. They don't. If there bitch is fighting, it is probably a beta. It could even be an omega, because for some reason, some dogs will try to eliminate a weak-nerved dog. These dogs are fighting for their lives.

And bitches CAN kill another bitch. We've all heard the horror stories of folks coming home to find one bitch dead and the other in need of euthanasia and blood everywhere. Thank God it hasn't come to that for me yet.

Right now, I mostly have dogs in pairs, Cujo is in with Uzzi because her dam has a litter of puppies. Kojak is in with Ramona. Bear is in with her last puppy. Bear will be 10 in March, and Tinuviel is not two yet -- usually a mother/daughter combo can work. Though with Jenna being and alpha and her mother who was 4 years older was not naturally alpha but the top female -- she would let Babsy in with her puppies (out of the next litter), but she wanted to kill Jenna. Babsy might have been a baby-sitter type in the litter.

I had Babsy in with Hepsi, and one day there was blood, so I separated them. Both bitches were kind of lower on the totem pole. So it surprised me. Also when I came home, there was blood, but neither bitch acted like they wanted to eat each other. I think it was an accident. I had Babsy in with Quinnie, and Kaiah, and that worked fine until I had to put Quinnie down, and then Babsy, but no aggression. Then I put Kaiah with Hepsi and Cujo2, until I had to separate Uzzi from her mother.

So Kaiah who is 1 is in with Hepsi who is 8, and they play together fine. You don't know at 8 weeks whether your female pup is going to be a beta bitch, a middle of the road bitch, a lower bitch, an omega bitch.

And, what starts off the fighting. Some dogs it's food, high value treats, toys -- that a biggie, but more often is the resource of the human that sparks fights. So the dogs come running when you come in from work, and you start petting them, and the bitch who is stronger in pack order, is seeing you pet the inferior bitch, often first, and that infuriates her, not against you, because you are like God. She can't be angry at her god. She must be angry at the object which is the other bitch.

So, yeah, if you get a good behaviorist, who actually knows more than I do about pack order and how to regain harmony in a multi-bitch household and you are willing to go the whole nine yards. Maybe you could manage it.

Safety first, you need to manage them 100% of the time. You may be able to have them together when you are there, but you have to get real in tune with their body language, and those things that set them off, like you petting the lab. Never, ever leave the house without both dogs crated or kenneled separately.

What I think you will find is that you will have to up your leadership. That means you walk tall, you ignore them until you are ready to pet, play, train them. You expect obedience and always follow through with any command. You do not let them believe there is a choice. You never fight, never raise your voice. You use your voice to show displeasure and pleasure. You are totally consistent. You do not give a command that you cannot enforce.

You will need to up the training on both dogs. Having two dogs is not twice the work, it is more like thrice the work. Because you have to train each individually, and then in tandem. And if you are worried about them attacking each other, then put muzzles on them and work them together.

LOL! one day I was at the vet with a pair of bitches, littermates, and one started to snark on the other, and I whipped two muzzles out of my pockets, and had them on those bitches so fast their heads were spinning and the people behind the counter were roaring with laughter. I don't play. I don't want stitches, and I want them on the dogs even less.

Exercise, BONUS!!!! You get skinnier, because both dogs need exercise and it should be done singly. If one has more energy than the other, take her on walks where you use her body more than yours, have her run up steps that you don't -- stuff like that, work on obedience during your walks.

It's basically my personal formula: Management, Leadership, Training, Exercise, and Socialization -- in that order. Only you don't need the socialization, because whoever said it, is right, same-sex aggression is almost always inter-pack aggression and does not translate to bitches outside of the pack. Which makes perfect sense, it is a pack order thing.

By respecting the natural pack order in the bitches you can reduce incidences between them significantly. Most folks just have a hard time with that. Because they apply human thinking to this. They feel that if they are petting the shepherd they have to pet the lab, the same amount of pets, or pet the lab first half the time. And what happens is WWIII.

If you have young children, rehome one of the bitches. Same-sex aggression CAN cause injury and emotional injury to children. No child should watch a bitch tear into another bitch, both of which the child loves. Most children will rush in and try to protect one of them from the other. And the one they are protecting are just as likely to bite them because they are fighting for their lives. And it can be misdirected aggression or just accidental, they were trying to bite the other dog and the kid got in the way. No kid should live in a house with bitches that want to kill each other.

Good luck.
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