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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a call from a guy who is very upset...and feels he needs to rehome his 1 year old GSD. He has..

Max - 9 year old unneutered male GSD
Stanely - 6 year old neutered male Rottie/GSD mix
Gunner - 1 year old unneutered male GSD

He has had Gunner for about 4 months ... having taken him from someone who could no longer keep him. He was originally taken to a shelter...but when it was discovered he was to be euthanized...this man asked the originally owner to get him back and he would take him to save him...he is a huge animal lover. He does not want to rehome Gunner but here's the situation...

Stanely and Gunner get along great. In fact...all three dogs get along for the majority of the time. BUT there have been three serious fights between Max and Gunner...the last one resulting in the owner requiring stitches yesterday (injuries from trying to break up the fight). I asked who the instigator is..he feels it is Max. In Max's defense...I think he is in pain. The owner claims no...but he said he has trouble going up and down steps. In my eyes that is pain...and I have told him to talk to a vet about this...and get him started on good supplements, etc. He asked me if neutering would help the situation...while I said it certainly isn't helping anything...I also told him there are certainly no guarantees....and probably isn't likely (although I am no expert). I will of course slip in that his dogs should be neutered regardless...

I suggested working with a trainer...which he was open to...but he said he has a horrible work schedule which doesn't allow him to plan things in advance.....

So...what else can I suggest to try to keep this family together? If I can't give good solid advice...he will be rehoming Gunner...or do you think that is for the best? I always try to work on finding a solution first...
 

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A one year old intact male is just coming into his own. Every time I have had issues with one of mine it was around 12-18 months. They started feeling their oats and decided to challenge the older dog/dogs.
In my case, I just keep them separate.
Perhaps with really strong leadership and an excellent eye for warning signs these dogs could be managed, but IMO it is asking a lot for 3 males, 2 of whom are intact, to get along.
 

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can we find out more about what the fight appeared to be about??? If we could find out if its a certain situation he can work to avoid that situation. Since Gunner is still a pup could he have wanted to play with Max and hurt him and thats why Max fought back? Maybe you can get just a little more info and we could help more. I definately, would neuter the younger dog but then again I would neuter a hampster if it crossed my path

Tell him not to give up yet.
 

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just wanted to add that whenever these dogs are together I would keep a constant eye on them both. When he can't watch them then one should go in the crate (I'm thinking the younger one) or they should be kept seperate. Since they are getting along most of the time, its just a matter of fiquiring out what makes them fight and dealing with those specific situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did ask him...and he said nothing in particular....

He said it could just be the younger one bumping the older one. That's why I'm thinking the young one just annoys the older one...and there may even be pain figured in on the older dogs part. He also called the oldest the alpha for what it's worth......
 

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I'm no expert but in the last couple days I've heard several stories about 'fixed' dogs picking on intact dogs. Most recently when I started taking Blue to puppy day care to help get some energy out. They said they won't take him after 7 months if he's not neutered and it's not because HE would be bad but rather because they've seen numerous cases where the neutered dogs pick on the intact ones.

I certainly don't think it'd hurt to give neutering a try. It's not always easy to find a good home for a rescue so I'd be willing to reach for anything to keep him where he's at.

~ L'aura
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Both dogs involved are unneutered.

(actually the only dog not involved in the bickering is the neutered one)
 

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I see lots of cases of a young male just basically being obnoxious and causing older dogs to get fed up precipitating a fight.

Leo spent a lot of time jumping up on other dogs, gnawing on them, and just generally being a twerp. He's calmed down somewhat now at age 3 but he can still be a PITA.

I think the success here is going to depend on how much supervision the owner can give - if he can be there to intervene and stop the younger dog from hassling the older one and if the younger dog is not or will not in future make a bid for dominance then it could work. I think neutering would help some with the second scenario but I'd still be concerned because I think it's going to be a while before he can really tell if things are going to get better or worse and by that time one of the dogs could be injured or the younger male may be less adoptable.
 

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humm...I sure would like to know if its the younger one bumping the older one in any particular situation. If it is just random bumping than I'm with you-perhaps the older one is annoyed or in pain. He should rule out pain with a vet visit.
Gee I wish I could help more but I'm more use to dealing with specific situations. Hopefully others will have more feedback and ideas for you.
Hugs
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok...let me throw one more thing past you guys...the guy said there are never any issues when he's not home...and the dogs are with the wife alone......they are very bonded to her and follow her eveywhere........thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
one last question...would working with a trainer help?
 

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Quote:.the guy said there are never any issues when he's not home...and the dogs are with the wife alone......they are very bonded to her and follow her eveywhere........thoughts?
Guess we know who wears the pants in that household! Is she more stern and firm, does she insist on strict discipline, does she accept complete no-nonsense?
 

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Ok, I just talked to him again...he said the youngest will walk by and give a little nip or something to set the older one off. He said his older one is a "grumpy old fart"...which doesn't help matters. He said...that there are times when they are best buds......and in fact while we were talking...they were sleeping together....

He said please help me...he wants to make it work..but doesn't know what to do.......
 

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All my males are neutered.

That doesn't sound right, but anyway...

I have one foster that Kramer (oldest-15-also a grumpy old fart) can't even see without going ballistic. He just sets him off-if he were 5 years younger, he'd kill him. My male Bruno is very wise to Kramer and very respectful to him (the middle child like in this story). Mario foster young dog thinks maybe old fart dog is a bit of a jerk and is at that
stage of young powerful adolescence which annoys Kramer to no end.

Kramer also has pain from arthritis, is partially deaf and may not be seeing so great. So when Mario brushes against him (which the other dogs avoid doing) or moves, Kramer is often startled by it and lashes out. The girls avoid getting close to him-he has always had a very large body bubble anyway, so they are used to it. But Mario is trying to control space-not good.

What I do is try to praise Mario for ignoring Kramer. However, because Kramer is my second in command, I am responsible for protecting him, regardless of what nature might be saying in terms of who second should be. So I do correct-generally only verbally-Mario for getting near him-trying to shape the avoid Kramer idea. I will also body block or butt knock him out of Kramer's zone.

They play outside okay and like to hang out a lot there together-it's only indoors in cramped quarters that there is an issue. I make sure that Mario sees that I respect Kramer and that he is number one. I believe the phrase I will kill anyone who messes with Kramer has been uttered by me a few times. I know that's not positive or nice, but I am very serious about no aggression toward each other here. Except with the dog Kramer wants to eat-that is just something I've never seen before from him and I decided I am not dealing with in a really old dog!

I also give them plenty of time away from each other by rotating them with baby gates. Kramer needs to sleep a lot too, so he naps!

So basically, after all this babble is, if you mess with Kramer, you mess with me and that's not very smart, considering I control the food. So NILIF, positives, but also the knowledge in the younger dog's eyes that this is one of those non-negotiable behaviors. I communicate that verbally, through body movements and eye contact.

I just got a clicker and have been having fun with that-the younger dog might like it. A trainer coming in would probably help if it's a good trainer. I'd leash the pupper to me so I could control him better and shape those behaviors I wanted clearly.

If they can get the older dog on supplements if he's not already that might help. If they can, they should check out Adequan.
 

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Originally Posted By: oliver annie
Originally Posted By: myamomBoth dogs involved are unneutered.

(actually the only dog not involved in the bickering is the neutered one)
what does that tells you?
Nothing really.

I have the same problem between Mac, 7-1/2, & Slider 5-1/2. When the problems started neither boy was neutered, however, Mac had to be neutered a couple years ago for medical reasons, but it didn't stop the fights.

I finally figured out that toys were the trigger to all fights. So I made some rules.

1. RULE ONE - Neither Mac nor Slider are allowed to touch a toy of any type in the house - NO EXCEPTIONS.

2. RULE TWO - I have them separated outdoors since I can't monitor them closely and they need to play with toys somewhere. Slider and Bruiser share a small 24'x30' pen while the rest of the Hooligans have the whole yard to play in (1-1/4 acres). After a couple hours, I put Mac away and let Slider and Bruiser have a sufficient time to play in the yard and get some exercise play - sometimes the three old guys are left outside, sometimes I put them in the house with Mac.

After everyone has had time to to rompt and play, we all come back in the house.

I haven't had a fight since I started doing this.
 

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Originally Posted By: myamomOk, I just talked to him again...he said the youngest will walk by and give a little nip or something to set the older one off. He said his older one is a "grumpy old fart"...which doesn't help matters. He said...that there are times when they are best buds......and in fact while we were talking...they were sleeping together....

He said please help me...he wants to make it work..but doesn't know what to do.......
What does DH do when the young guy nips at the old fellow?

Hopefully a trainer can get to the bottom of the problem and help correct the situation.

Until they can get the fighting under control, IMHO, when DH is home I'd keep the pups separated with baby gates indoors and allow only one at a time when they go outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm working on the neuter issue...lol....he's open to it....

although I couldn't promise it will solve his problems...I told him it needs to be done anyway......
 

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My pack consists of 2 males and 2females, and my only problem has been my female GSD I have had since a puppy developing an issue with my male rescue Gaige. He was running around the yard last year barking and playing and bumped into Vita. She decided to start a fight with him, and lucky for me I wasnt too far away and had access to a water hose. I dont have an alpha dog, becuase I am alpha- I learn all my dogs triggers (if they have any) and work everyday on redirecting, preventing, and if I think Vita is feeling overwhelmed, I give her some time by herself. There are times when she just wants to be left alone, she is tired of being sniffed, pawed at, nudged, and she needs a time out from the pack so she can lay down without being bothered. I know the signals she gives off so before any problem can arise, I am already on top of the situation and preventing one from happening. I absolutely do not tolerate any kind of aggression here, I also use NILIF, and obedience train my dogs. I give them plenty of walks on top of their run in my yard play time, to get excess energy out. I have found my pack runs smoothest when they are tired and dont have the energy left to annoy one another. Gaige was 1 when he came to us... and he was a pest to Vita at first lol. All he wanted to do was play, and he did play nip- something she wasnt use to as she grew up with a senior, and she snapped at him several times. It didnt deter him one bit and really got under her skin at first. He was leashed to me at that point, and I also used LEAVE IT for when he wanted to bother Vita. Gaige is still very much puppy ish in certain ways, and he does annoy Vita at times, but if I say "Gaige leave it" he knows that he needs to walk away from her (or toys, food dishes, etc...) For the most part he has learned to be respectful of her space, and that sounds like what may be partly going on here...maybe he can use a word to deter the younger one from going near the older one inside the house, or if he knows thats when the problems occur, keep them separated until Gunner is ready to lay down and be out of his space? My dogs also follow me around the house, my husband told me he could run around on fire and they wouldnt give him a second look, but as soon as I even stand up, my dogs are up and ready to follow. I manage a pack of 6 (right now 7, 3 fosters) through out the day, by myself with no issues, its very important for this guy to demonstrate clear leadership skills with his pack.
 
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