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Discussion Starter #1
I know people go round and round about having 2 females. I am not one who believes that can not live together because right now I have in my home 3 female GS 8,1, 6 months and 3 female shih tzu 3, 2, 1.

My 1 year old GS (stella) is the one I am having problems with. She plays well with everyone but she has on 4 occasions challenged my 8 year old over something. Twice it was a bag of food I carried in the house and set down and twice a bone. She has on 3 of those occasions bitten the 8'year old puncturing her fur. One time the 8 year Old (Jenna) put her in her place and literally held her snout shut with her mouth and she did get a small wound from the 8 year old. The fights are pretty spread out but otherwise everyone gets along. The problem is when she does choose to brawl like this she does not let go. We pull her off and she just holds on the other one will release and leave the situation. She stays mad for a good minute afterwards so we remove her from the situation and put her in her crate. Upon releasing her after cooling off she is fine and the 8'year old are fine. They will wag tails and play together. All is forgiven.

My concern is will she put grow this behavior? Will she start challenging more as she gets older and bigger. She is about 1 right now. she is a rescue pup and I have had her for about 8 months now. She was staring when I brought her home and has taken time to get healthy. I have her as a foster but have considered keeping her, but I can also place her. She is super smart and needs stimulation every day which I try to do. My 8 year old is my like my child and she really is my priority to keep her safe and happy. I also have an 11 year old child who I am concerned will get in the mix. She is great will all the other females. I think because they all back down if challenged. These two dogs I think are more equals in personality. I am hoping this is just "teenage" behavior that she will get past. I have a mega esophagus pup right now so my hands are a bit full. She will be here for awhile. Stella, the one year old, gets along and plays well with Dutchesss the puppy. Thoughts appreciated.
 

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I know people go round and round about having 2 females. I am not one who believes that can not live together because right now I have in my home 3 female GS 8,1, 6 months and 3 female shih tzu 3, 2, 1.
I'm a little confused. You have three females living together with behavioral issues. But you stated you don't think three females living together will have behavioral issues.

I'm not sure what information you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No I have one female that s the one with the issues. Stella she is one years old. She is the one who will bit my 8 year old. I actually have 6 female dogs in my home.
 

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Sorry typing on my phone that has a mind of its own. I meant to say Starving not Staring. Stella the one year old came to me skin and bones. So I thought perhaps it was food issues but she can eat with everyone and share out of her food bowl. She really is being a jerk just because she wants to be. I catch her other times and redirect her and her attitude. You see it in her posturing. I make sure she is not alpha. She gets her food last, goes out the door last etc. But can you really change the behaviors of a dog who s very confident and strong willed like this?
 

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Of course females CAN get along, its just a risk. Many people will tell you not to have two intact females (I know plenty of people with two fixed females). You just have to have a large enough home to where you can separate them if things happen like what you're describing.

Most likely...they will not outgrow this behavior. If they're "randomly" fighting they will keep doing it. Unless you really monitor them and see what sets it off, it won't stop. In this case it seems like food and other high value items do it. So just don't give them bones or anything else they might feel like guarding.

The issue with random fights is that you can never trust them alone together. What if you weren't there to break them up? One of your dogs would be dead.

So when people say don't get two dogs of the same sex, its because in general its a bigger risk. You don't know for sure that they'll get along, where as most male/female combos might battle once or twice for hierarchy but then settle down...and even then usually one takes control without a fight.
 

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I do believe it is more about the individual dogs than about the sex of the dogs, however, it is much easier to have two females fall into a pattern of fighting than it is for male/female or even male/male.

You have a female who is telling you that you are not managing her enough, and she does not respect you. She chooses when to resource guard and will start a fight even in your presence. She will not outgrow this.

First thing is management, do not leave toys/food/bones hanging around - not even for a second.

Second, I would not peel this dog off another dog and then put her in her crate. Where is the correction? Have you ever corrected this dog for the unwarranted show of aggression?

You may find that with these two you will have to manage them for life, one of the risks of owning multiple dogs, regardless of sex. They should NEVER be left alone together (seperated when no one is home) and managed when you are there.

I have 3 intact females, no issues, all three are extremely confident, handler soft but hard otherwise (although one is 4.5 lbs). I have not had an issue yet...(knock on wood)...and manage these dogs thoroughly so that I never will.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm a little confused. You have three females living together with behavioral issues. But you stated you don't think three females living together will have behavioral issues.

I'm not sure what information you are looking for.
Did you read the entire post? I believe females can live together because I have females who do. I have one female who will fight with one dog. I clearly define who is top dog in my house. It me first, then the 8 year old. All the dogs respect this but Stella. Jenna the 8 year old is also 75lbs to Stella's 55lbs. Jenna gives a warning growl or bark and the other dogs know to leave her. Stella looks at it as an invitation to come closer.
 

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Considering she is only a year, you probably can help her behavior out and maybe even resolve it. But you likely need a professional who is familiar and experienced with these issues. Otherwise, try to keep food separate from the group, until you've helped her with the issues. The more she feels the need to brawl over the food, the more the anxiety and issues will escalate.

My older dog has food issues and when I first got my pup, he bit the pup over a simple treat. The puppy had a treat and dropped it. Older dog went to get it and bit the puppy. I kept them separate and away from any food at the same time. Just the other day, after trust had been built for over 2 months, I threw some treats on the grass for the puppy to sniff out. I was writing outside and wanted to give pup something to do. I didnt realize the back door was open, and when I looked up, the older dog and the puppy were sniffing out treats together and sharing just fine.

It doesnt always workout that easily, but sometimes it does. You just need to not let the problem escalate until better trust is built between the females, or you get some professional help.

Good luck :)
 

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No, she will not grow out of it. You may have good luck with training and behavior modification so that they get along better but they do not just grow of things like this.

Also, she is only 1 year old and is not yet physically or emotionally mature and it will likely continue to get worse and there may be more challenging. You need to focus on making sure their relationship is good and without tension. Stop the younger one from guarding and don't put the older one in position to have to (or be allowed to) correct the younger one.
 

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If she's only a year old, my guess is this situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. If it ever gets better.

How often do these fights break out?
 

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Did you read the entire post? I believe females can live together because I have females who do. I have one female who will fight with one dog. I clearly define who is top dog in my house. It me first, then the 8 year old. All the dogs respect this but Stella. Jenna the 8 year old is also 75lbs to Stella's 55lbs. Jenna gives a warning growl or bark and the other dogs know to leave her. Stella looks at it as an invitation to come closer.
She's one and is going to challenge the 8 year old. The 8 year old is aging, slowing down, and won't be able to "hold" the top position no matter how hard you try. This generally happens in female packs...a younger one will challenge an older one for top dog and will usually win. It also depends on their personality and it sounds like Stella's is stronger than Jenna's.

The other dogs don't really matter at this point...they're small. Of course they aren't going to challenge a GSD for top dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The 1 year old is intact due to having been malnourished etc. she will be spayed soon. She never does this if I am in the room. Only when I am not. It has happened 4 times since in about 4 months as she gets older. But you are right I have to work with this one everyday. She will often times ignore my command and I have to tell her it again. I do correct her before putting her in her crate with strong verbal correction. How would you correct her.. The crate is only for a very short time so I can examine if any damage was done to either of them. She is high energy. I do think she may be better off being placed. The energy it takes ti mirco manage her is a lot. Everyone coexist Very well. my shih tzus get into it now and then but you can verbally call them off and they listen stopping the behavior. Otherwise she is a great dog. She likes kids, cats, small and large dogs. she is super smart. But I see her desire to be top dog. Every dogs she meets she will put her head over their back/neck right off the top.
 

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Since it only happens when they're in a room unsupervised (or you not around), stop allowing that. When you're not there, always have the younger one in a crate. No exceptions.

I wouldn't yell at the dog and then put her in the crate. You don't want to make the crate a punishment or negative place. It was your mistake if this only happens when you're not around. Just put the dog in there without the correction.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
She's one and is going to challenge the 8 year old. The 8 year old is aging, slowing down, and won't be able to "hold" the top position no matter how hard you try. This generally happens in female packs...a younger one will challenge an older one for top dog and will usually win. It also depends on their personality and it sounds like Stella's is stronger than Jenna's.

The other dogs don't really matter at this point...they're small. Of course they aren't going to challenge a GSD for top dog.
I just bring up the other ones to show she is gentle with them and obviously has control. So do I let her be alpha then? I do agree that Jenna the older one does not have as strong of personality. I am leaning towards letting her be adopted through our rescue. That was the original intention. She was not healthy so she came here. Now she is very healthy and ready. I have a special needs 6 month old GS here right now so it may be best to let her go. My son who adores her wants me to keep training her in hopes it won't happen again. It happens about once a month now. But for me that is one time to many. I suggested to him that our next GS be a male puppy. He seemed happy about that. I generally do not take males because I garden in the summer and the males always pee on my vegetables"
 

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Since it only happens when they're in a room unsupervised (or you not around), stop allowing that. When you're not there, always have the younger one in a crate. No exceptions.

I wouldn't yell at the dog and then put her in the crate. You don't want to make the crate a punishment or negative place. It was your mistake if this only happens when you're not around. Just put the dog in there without the correction.
I just tell her No very strongly. We put her in a sit until she gets control of herself and self calms. Once she does that I put her in her crate. I stay there and give her a once over to make sure she is not injured, then go check on the other dog. By the time I check the other dog out she is fine and I let her out. She likes her crate and goes in it when the door is open. There is no negative associations there. But I fully agree I walked out of the room and was in the kitchen. They found a bone under the couch. I normally pick them all up because of the pup with mega esophagus. But being I have a child there will be times I walk out of the room. I have to trust her enough to do that and I don't. I heard it escalating and walked I to the room calling them off. But she did not listen. That is when it happened. I saw the older one with her head held as high as she could with the bone so the other one could not reach it. So what does she do, she bites the older ones leg, Jenna then dropped the bone and then they started rolling on the floor. :(
 

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I'd adopt out the younger one if you can. It's really not fair to the older dog to be subject to this every month at her age. Monthly might turn into weekly very quickly.

For now, you really need to keep an eye on them at all times. If you can't watch them, keep them separated.
 

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I'd adopt out the younger one if you can. It's really not fair to the older dog to be subject to this every month at her age. Monthly might turn into weekly very quickly.

For now, you really need to keep an eye on them at all times. If you can't watch them, keep them separated.
They are being rotated right now and only together when I am in the room for short time periods just to keep them on friendly terms. But she knows something is up. The others are outside right now and she keeps pointing and motioning to the older ones pillow wanting to know where she is. She does enjoy other dogs. Perhaps her best placement would be with another male GS closer in age.
 

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Did you read the entire post? I believe females can live together because I have females who do. I have one female who will fight with one dog. I clearly define who is top dog in my house. It me first, then the 8 year old. All the dogs respect this but Stella. Jenna the 8 year old is also 75lbs to Stella's 55lbs. Jenna gives a warning growl or bark and the other dogs know to leave her. Stella looks at it as an invitation to come closer.
Yes, I did read the entire post. A couple of times. As stated in my reply, I wasn't sure what information you were looking for. You hadn't had any replies and you seemed sincere in needing some advice. Therefore, I bumped your post by asking you to be a little more clear - and maybe someone would be able to provide you with useful information.

I myself have had several females (intact and not) in my household with out any problems. Therefore, I couldn't be of help to you.
 

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Yes, I did read the entire post. A couple of times. As stated in my reply, I wasn't sure what information you were looking for. You hadn't had any replies and you seemed sincere in needing some advice. Therefore, I bumped your post by asking you to be a little more clear - and maybe someone would be able to provide you with useful information.

I myself have had several females (intact and not) in my household with out any problems. Therefore, I couldn't be of help to you.
Well thanks for responding regardless!
 

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Did you read the entire post? I believe females can live together because I have females who do.
I don't think anyone has ever said that females can never live peacefully together, just that the chance of a problem is much greater than with multiple males or a male/female household. Problems like the kind that you're starting to see, BTW. Even if it's just 2 of your dogs and the other 4 get along fine, that doesn't mean that "females can live together" as a general rule that people can count on, that just means that some of your females can live together, and some can't. And because it's more likely that there will be issues with multiple females living together, it's generally suggested that people avoid that situation unless they're experienced dog owners who are aware it could become a problem, and are willing to crate and rotate, often for life, if they need to.

Also, several of your dogs are still young - a 6 month old and two 1 year olds, so you really don't know how everyone will get along once they mature. They could be perfectly fine now, and in a year or two from now want to rip each other's throats out! I sincerely hope that's not the case, but management strategies before tragedy strikes would certainly be prudent.

I personally don't have any experience with more than one female at a time, and I don't intend to, so I don't have any advice for you. But from everything I've read about here on the board and elsewhere is that once fights start happening they only get worse, they do not get better.
 
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