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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Varick (17 months old) and our family dog, Cookie (12 years old) got into three bad fights yesterday. Varick is a good dog, though he is very much a puppy. Cookie is a nuisance; if either Harley or Varick get too close to the laundry room (where we keep the dog food), she bites them directly in the face with no warning. Harley doesn't take her crap. He fights back and will pin her to the floor, biting at her neck, though he never truly hurts her and only does this for a short moment.
Yesterday, she bit Varick for this reason. It was the first time. He immediately started attacking her. He seemed ruthless. It was terrifying. Cookie was literally screaming. She was completely defenceless. And he wouldn't stop! I had to pull him off of her with all my strength. I honestly thought he was going to kill her. And I think he would have. This is #1.
The second and third time he attacked her (just as bad as the first time) was unprovoked. They had a "stand-off" and he just pinned her to the floor, tearing at her neck. I'm surprised there was no blood. I'm keeping them in separate rooms. Varick is fine with Harley. Varick is such a good dog. He has never done anything like this before. It may sound bad, but I don't think I can blame him. Cookie messed with the wrong dog.
I'm worried. What are your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Also, I try to avoid situations like this by keeping Varick away from the laundry room when someone opens the door (this is when she stands guard). I can't be there 24/7.
 

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The resource guarding of the food in the laundry room needs to stop right away. It is your house and your food, not Cookie's.

The fights may continue now that they have started.

I would keep an eye on them, crate them, or Cookie, when you're not home, but definitely either move the food away from there or stop her behavior immediately. She shouldn't be doing this standing guard nonsense.
 

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Keep them separated. Too many times a big dog has killed another smaller dog over something that could have easily been prevented. Don't allow them near each other. Get a crate so when you aren't on top of him, he is confined. If he instigated a second, uprovokaed attack, then he isn't as innocent as you are making him out to be. Its an easy fix. Keep them away from each other.
 

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Do all of these dogs live together full time? If they do, you're just going to have to manage them by always keeping them separate. It's going to happen again given the chance.
 

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Hondo is a big, 4 year old, intact male GSD. Maggie is an older (she's a rescue) Miniture Dachshund. She rules the roost and Hondo allows her. But they are never left alone. Any time she tries to steal his food/treat/toy, I stop it. One day, when Hondo has had a bad day or feeling off, he'll correct her. Not his job. Mine. So when I'm not home, Maggie is in a kennel.

When there isn't a resource for her to steal, they are best friends. She'll even curl up to him when she's cold and he'll move to give her more room. But I take no chances, he can take her entire head into his mouth.
 

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Please. Take NO chances. Now you must completely control the environment. Gate, crate, and rotate. Everything the other posters suggested too, but the "can't be there all the time" thought has to go. It is now YOUR responsibility to PROTECT all members of your pack. If you don't you will have a dead or badly injured dog. Please take this very seriously and do not allow another "accident" to happen. Please.
 

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After reading your post again I'm really disappointed that you allowed this to happen a second and third time. You are not taking this seriously enough. You simply MUST make your facilities where you keep your pack safe for them. GATE. CRATE. ROTATE. Line on the aggressor dog even when you're right there, so you can keep everyone safe. Brittany, once this has happened (to this degree of seriousness) you can never be comfortable that it won't happen again, I will repeat, you must control the environment.
 

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Is there food always in the dish/dishes? Do you free feed?

If you are free feeding, I would stop that. Feed them in separate rooms and make sure they all finish their food and then pick up the bowls.

I also agree with the others when they say crate and rotate or when one is outside the other is free inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The resource guarding of the food in the laundry room needs to stop right away. It is your house and your food, not Cookie's.

The fights may continue now that they have started.

I would keep an eye on them, crate them, or Cookie, when you're not home, but definitely either move the food away from there or stop her behavior immediately. She shouldn't be doing this standing guard nonsense.
How can I stop her from doing this?
When I can't keep an eye on Varick, I always put him in his crate, which is upstairs in my room.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Do all of these dogs live together full time? If they do, you're just going to have to manage them by always keeping them separate. It's going to happen again given the chance.
Yes. I realize now that things are going to have to change.
 

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To add to all the above:

Move the food from the laundry room. The food is associated with the laundry room and has become a bottleneck of tension.

Meals are served in crates, bowls removed after a set time.

Inconvenient? Yep, but you have 3 dogs now fighting of some kind, if you don't step in and make some changes, you will have at least one very hurt dog or worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After reading your post again I'm really disappointed that you allowed this to happen a second and third time. You are not taking this seriously enough. You simply MUST make your facilities where you keep your pack safe for them. GATE. CRATE. ROTATE. Line on the aggressor dog even when you're right there, so you can keep everyone safe. Brittany, once this has happened (to this degree of seriousness) you can never be comfortable that it won't happen again, I will repeat, you must control the environment.
We have a gate separating the living room and the kitchen. Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that Cookie will have to be kept in the living room, while Varick and Harley will stay in the kitchen. I understand how serious it is. I'm disappointed in myself for letting it happen at all. Completely my fault. I will do everything in my power to keep it from happening again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is there food always in the dish/dishes? Do you free feed?

If you are free feeding, I would stop that. Feed them in separate rooms and make sure they all finish their food and then pick up the bowls.

I also agree with the others when they say crate and rotate or when one is outside the other is free inside.
I do not free feed Varick. I always feed him in his crate, which is in my bedroom. I always have.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
To add to all the above:

Move the food from the laundry room. The food is associated with the laundry room and has become a bottleneck of tension.

Meals are served in crates, bowls removed after a set time.

Inconvenient? Yep, but you have 3 dogs now fighting of some kind, if you don't step in and make some changes, you will have at least one very hurt dog or worse.
I always feed Varick in his crate, I always have, always will.
Harley and Cookie are fed in the kitchen in opposite corners of the room and we always put away their food bowls when they're done. Could I move one of them into the living room for meals?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Do you free feed Cookie? Is there always food in her bowl?
By free feeding, are you referring to feeding on the floor with another dog feeding at the same time, or keeping food in the bowl at all times? (Wow, that sounds like an idiotic question...)
Well we do not keep food in her bowl at all times. We feed the dogs twice a day, no more.
Harley and Cookie eat in the kitchen at opposite corners.
 

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By free feeding, are you referring to feeding on the floor with another dog feeding at the same time, or keeping food in the bowl at all times? (Wow, that sounds like an idiotic question...)
Well we do not keep food in her bowl at all times. We feed the dogs twice a day, no more.
Harley and Cookie eat in the kitchen at opposite corners.
Ok, so you store the dog food in the laundry room but you do not feed the dogs in there. Can you move the dog food bag to another area that they can't or don't go into, like a closet, the basement or the garage?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok, so you store the dog food in the laundry room but you do not feed the dogs in there. Can you move the dog food bag to another area that they can't or don't go into, like a closet, the basement or the garage?
I can definitely move the food into one of the bedroom closets upstairs. The dogs are not allowed free run upstairs.
 

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After reading your post again I'm really disappointed that you allowed this to happen a second and third time. You are not taking this seriously enough. You simply MUST make your facilities where you keep your pack safe for them. GATE. CRATE. ROTATE. Line on the aggressor dog even when you're right there, so you can keep everyone safe. Brittany, once this has happened (to this degree of seriousness) you can never be comfortable that it won't happen again, I will repeat, you must control the environment.
:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 
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