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Don’t get involved with a false sense of security. I can have my less confident schipp on my lap and her mom can approach and clean her ears, lick her face and cuddle. If I were to get up and leave them, it’s game on. 2 vet trips from mistakes we made but they are equal size. It’s not uncommon for a growl to lead to an immediate fight.
I’d be doing rotations and keeping them separate at all times, one slip and your Westie is in big trouble. You can’t move fast enough to prevent a grab.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Don’t get involved with a false sense of security. I can have my less confident schipp on my lap and her mom can approach and clean her ears, lick her face and cuddle. If I were to get up and leave them, it’s game on. 2 vet trips from mistakes we made but they are equal size. It’s not uncommon for a growl to lead to an immediate fight.
I’d be doing rotations and keeping them separate at all times, one slip and your Westie is in big trouble. You can’t move fast enough to prevent a grab.
I think you are right. We will do rotations and keep them separate at all times. It’s not worth losing my westie and having my German Shepherd marked as aggressive
 

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I strongly suggest you crate and rotate. These two dogs likely will never be 100% trustworthy around each other. We have to do that with our two females because one is a resource guardian and will start fights with the other and it’s resulted in injuries to the dogs and me. With crating and rotating everyone is safe and happy
 

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You've had your Westie a long time, & love & appreciate her behavior. She's little & cute, possibly has gotten away with things. Dogs can get spoiled, just like kids can.
Now you also love a big dog & she is the submissive, sensitive one. Probably a gentler soul. An example of appearances being deceptive.
You do need to protect your new dog from the Westie. I can tell you love them both. But, you aren't familiar enough yet with what to expect from a "mix", and seem to think because she's big she should take care of herself without hurting anyone.
The situation needs to change, which you recognize. Don't let your emotions get in the way of what is good for all of you.
 

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I think you are right. We will do rotations and keep them separate at all times. It’s not worth losing my westie and having my German Shepherd marked as aggressive
Here is what can happen when an owner spilts up a dog fight. This is a friend of mine, she knows dogs, active in IPG, fantastic lady who knows her stuff. Her older female GSD, out of the blue went at her young GSD. She was by herself and her dogs adore her, are trained and she knows her ****.
This was just her one arm, things happen fast.
574958
 

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I agree with others on separating them. At one point, we had a male Westie, a male Doxie mix, and two GSDs (one female, one male). We got the GSDs (at separate times) as adults and they were both dog-aggressive initially. The female GSD came to us around 3 years of age and the male was adopted at 15 months. We did a lot of crating and rotating, plus 1-on-1 training before introducing them. Both GSDs were eventually fine with the two little dogs and they could all hang out in the same room (under direct supervision) with no issue.

But the Westie lost his hearing as he got older and we didn’t want any accidents. So we got 7 indoor gates. The two GSDs were separated from the two little dogs as they got older. It was just less stressful for everyone involved.
 

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So we got 7 indoor gates. The two GSDs were separated from the two little dogs as they got older. It was just less stressful for everyone involved.
I think anytime you get same sex dogs, you need to be prepared for the possibility that they may need to be separated at least when they aren’t being heavily supervised. I think this situation could be salvaged, but the owners need to be willing and able to check both dogs when they are out of line. They also need to be able to catch these incidents before they start to escalate. If it’s already happening or after the fact, you are too late.
 

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These are telling signs right here.
very submissive. Weary of strangers, but if she gets too upset (barking fearfully) we remove her from the room.
This is a submissive dog with nerve issues. I'm not picking on the dog, just pointing out what your description says about the dog.
I have a female westie. She is bossy, and gets into scraps with ever dog we’ve had in our home.
This is a terrier acting like a terrier. I have owned several and trained a bunch. If you let them have an inch, they will take it and then some.

She has really never “scraped” with a dog who didn’t submit to her.
This indicates that you let her scrap with other dogs until they submit.

She has always been bossy with our mix since she was a baby. It wasn’t a issue because our mix is a very submissive dog.
This indicates that you allow the terrier to repeatedly force the GSD into submission, and that you feel that this is acceptable.

She knew what she did, and hid and even shook in her crate when you shamed her.
This indicates that she ran from you, was then put into a crate or ran there herself and then you continued verbally correcting or shaming her.

would even run away or hide if you said the Westies name sternly.
This indicated that she is fearful of you and that your yelling sends her into avoidance.

I'm not trying to make things up or paint you or the dogs in a bad light. You have a relationship problem with your dog, and a relationship problem between your dogs. If you would like some help with fixing these relationships, you are in the right place. Please don't take any of this personally. You have a problem and we want to help. There is no need to defend yourself or your dogs. Every person here has made mistakes with dogs over the years. I have made more than most I am sure.
 

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Something else which hasn’t been mentioned. Your dog isn’t a GSD, she is a high content mix. I also have one. Her mother was full German Shepherd. Her father was 1/4-1/3 German Shepherd. The rest is a mix of other breeds which aren’t relevant here. She looks like a German Shepherd and has a few GSD traits but otherwise she is not typical of the breed. You mentioned you were hoping we could help you so you like the breed. We can’t do that for you. Either you like them or you don’t. But your dog is a mix and may be exhibiting GSD behaviors but also may not. We can help with the problems you are having but you aren’t getting a full German Shepherd picture or experience with a mix.
 

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Here is what can happen when an owner spilts up a dog fight. This is a friend of mine, she knows dogs, active in IPG, fantastic lady who knows her stuff. Her older female GSD, out of the blue went at her young GSD. She was by herself and her dogs adore her, are trained and she knows her ****.
This was just her one arm, things happen fast.
View attachment 574958
Sapphire, I'm so sorry for your friend! A dog fight is a terrible and frightening situation.... especially when you are alone. Thing is....when a dog passes that point to physically confrontation, they are seldom able to see anything else but red. Sad sad situation 😔
 

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These are telling signs right here.

This is a submissive dog with nerve issues. I'm not picking on the dog, just pointing out what your description says about the dog.

This is a terrier acting like a terrier. I have owned several and trained a bunch. If you let them have an inch, they will take it and then some.


This indicates that you let her scrap with other dogs until they submit.


This indicates that you allow the terrier to repeatedly force the GSD into submission, and that you feel that this is acceptable.


This indicates that she ran from you, was then put into a crate or ran there herself and then you continued verbally correcting or shaming her.


This indicated that she is fearful of you and that your yelling sends her into avoidance.

I'm not trying to make things up or paint you or the dogs in a bad light. You have a relationship problem with your dog, and a relationship problem between your dogs. If you would like some help with fixing these relationships, you are in the right place. Please don't take any of this personally. You have a problem and we want to help. There is no need to defend yourself or your dogs. Every person here has made mistakes with dogs over the years. I have made more than most I am sure.
All very good points! I have seen many times the way people treat their dogs like children... especially small dogs. They "get away with murder" because they aren't large and intimidating in stature. Thing is....they aren't children, they are dogs. They think like dogs, act like dogs and REact like dogs. Not their fault that some people don't understand them.
 

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Something else which hasn’t been mentioned. Your dog isn’t a GSD, she is a high content mix. I also have one. Her mother was full German Shepherd. Her father was 1/4-1/3 German Shepherd. The rest is a mix of other breeds which aren’t relevant here. She looks like a German Shepherd and has a few GSD traits but otherwise she is not typical of the breed. You mentioned you were hoping we could help you so you like the breed. We can’t do that for you. Either you like them or you don’t. But your dog is a mix and may be exhibiting GSD behaviors but also may not. We can help with the problems you are having but you aren’t getting a full German Shepherd picture or experience with a mix.
This is a great point. My dog is also a high content GSD mix. She looks like a plush coat GSD. Her entire litter was dumped at the shelter and they all looked alike, except some were stock and some plush. But you are right, she is not typical of the breed. Sometimes, I see her wanting to stand up and be a guard, but it just isn't in her. She does not have an aggressive bone in her body. She has a big GSD bark and can scare the bejesus out of people, but that's all she's got. She also does not have the GSD intelligence. It's OK. She's a special cupcake and we love her to death.
 

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I have to say, I can’t quote who said it. Female on female aggression will never 100%. We know dogs are not humans, but this, this we humans take from them. Have you ever. Known two human females who go at it, really at it get over it? No, we just deal with it a little better because we are human.
 

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I was reading my emails this morning and this post caught my interest. Please don't take my input as a personal criticism, I have made many mistakes with my GSD's and it is above all a learning path you are on (as am I as well). I have had 3 generations of shepherds and still find that I am learning of their character traits both genetically and personality wise. From what I have read in this forum, I have yet to read anyone making mention that your dog is part lab.. Hmmm, it sounds as though there are some definite lab traits as well, I have experienced very some serious aggression from labs as well, challenging me as well as one of my shepherds even in a neutral place. My dogs are trained to get along with other dogs by socializing and play time but always under supervision. You're right though separating seems like the only answer for an older and young dog. Even my male K9 and his mother have snips and occasionally dominant/jealousy issues. Both get sent to their respective corners for a time out (figuratively speaking lol) and the next moment they are back to playing and enjoying life. It's as if we expect perfect behavior from them.. kind of like siblings lol. The old adage about teaching old dogs new tricks certainly sounds apropos here. Your westie (if I read this correctly) is older and much more set in her ways, so a lot of work should provide changes, but I agree about getting a trainer who really understands dogs as being really important. We have used e-collars on both dogs which may stop your issue before it gets started. Once you see the lip curl and the prep work started to a fight a collar can quickly snap the dog out of it. My current female hates the collar so much that all we have to do is ask her if she wants the collar and she rethinks her current action. We are not heavy handed with her but it seems to redirect her thinking pretty well.
This is way off on another planet but I had a similar issue with my current male K9 who when he was younger training had a super dominant 8-10 month puppy come out and declare that it was going to rule the roost. Chunk (my dog) took him down and held him down for a few seconds until he disciplined the puppy into submission. After the altercation I made Chunk down and stay and let the owner of the pup walk his dog around mine and sniff where he wanted to. This taught my dog that he was to ignore other dogs unless threatened, we have had no other issues with his being aggressive towards other dogs unless it is a territorial stuff at the fence.
One final note, obedience is really important and training can only help, westies just like shepherds and labs can do obedience stuff that will help her with her own aggression. It will allow her to hear your voice more clearly when she gets in one of her moods so to speak.

Good luck

Phil
 

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Here's my 2c. Not that she always will, but the GSD did show restraint. You keep describing a vicious attack that could not be stopped. I have been present for a vicious attack that could not be stopped and the other animal, which was much bigger than a westie, had catastrophic injuries. I called the vet for an emergency euthanasia, but the victim regained consciousness by the time the vet could get to us. He told me "I just treated a sheep whose throat was ripped out by a panther and a little girl on that farm decided to try and save it and it survived. If you want to try and save this goat she may survive." So I did nurse her around the clock for a week straight, injections twice a day of anti inflammatory and pain killers and antibiotics. I had to massage air from under her skin where the puncture wounds went into her windpipe and she blew up like a little balloon. She had so much trauma to her head and neck from the kill bite that her eyes swelled shut and she couldn't see for 24 hrs. I had to massage that air back out through all the holes in her. She and I had the will and a good vet and she lived- (and she had a good life after that) That's what a German shepherd can do in less than a minute. That was a predatory attack vs a dog conflict but nonetheless.

Just to put it in perspective for you. It's a dangerous situation and you should heed people's advice to separate them, but I don't think the GSD needs to be called guilty of a "vicious attack". She got mad and when a big dog gets mad at a little one that's what it looks like.
 

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I also have had two females the had “no provoked” aggression. The older dog whimeriner (sp)!Baby was very calm and submissive. I then brought in a GSD female puppy. They played Baby was never rough and was submissive to her. As Bella got bigger (the GSD) she would just go nuts and attack Baby. Luckily I was able to break up each fight and yea Baby did defend herself. After the third attack that was witnessed from the beginning we kept them separated at all times and rehomed Baby.

Bella never had an issue with her breading partners, puppies or the males we kept. So again females will hold a grudge whatever it is.

I hope you take all the advice given by the experts here. Also, take in the personal stories.

you have a lot to think about and make big hard decisions to consider.

I wish you well.
 

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I was reading my emails this morning and this post caught my interest. Please don't take my input as a personal criticism, I have made many mistakes with my GSD's and it is above all a learning path you are on (as am I as well). I have had 3 generations of shepherds and still find that I am learning of their character traits both genetically and personality wise. From what I have read in this forum, I have yet to read anyone making mention that your dog is part lab.. Hmmm, it sounds as though there are some definite lab traits as well, I have experienced very some serious aggression from labs as well, challenging me as well as one of my shepherds even in a neutral place. My dogs are trained to get along with other dogs by socializing and play time but always under supervision. You're right though separating seems like the only answer for an older and young dog. Even my male K9 and his mother have snips and occasionally dominant/jealousy issues. Both get sent to their respective corners for a time out (figuratively speaking lol) and the next moment they are back to playing and enjoying life. It's as if we expect perfect behavior from them.. kind of like siblings lol. The old adage about teaching old dogs new tricks certainly sounds apropos here. Your westie (if I read this correctly) is older and much more set in her ways, so a lot of work should provide changes, but I agree about getting a trainer who really understands dogs as being really important. We have used e-collars on both dogs which may stop your issue before it gets started. Once you see the lip curl and the prep work started to a fight a collar can quickly snap the dog out of it. My current female hates the collar so much that all we have to do is ask her if she wants the collar and she rethinks her current action. We are not heavy handed with her but it seems to redirect her thinking pretty well.
This is way off on another planet but I had a similar issue with my current male K9 who when he was younger training had a super dominant 8-10 month puppy come out and declare that it was going to rule the roost. Chunk (my dog) took him down and held him down for a few seconds until he disciplined the puppy into submission. After the altercation I made Chunk down and stay and let the owner of the pup walk his dog around mine and sniff where he wanted to. This taught my dog that he was to ignore other dogs unless threatened, we have had no other issues with his being aggressive towards other dogs unless it is a territorial stuff at the fence.
One final note, obedience is really important and training can only help, westies just like shepherds and labs can do obedience stuff that will help her with her own aggression. It will allow her to hear your voice more clearly when she gets in one of her moods so to speak.

Good luck

Phil
I also came across this post via Trending Posts email. I grew up with a female black lab and male chocolate lab. Male intact, female fixed at earliest appropriate age. They did not have aggression issues between each other, no scrapping. However, the female turned into a ruthless killer to any other female dogs. Unless she had an incident before 8 weeks old among her litter mates that we didn't know about, there was no incident that led to her aggression. We had to keep her separated from any females because she would immediately launch on them and go for the throat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 · (Edited by Moderator)
Hello! I hadn’t read this form because somehow the replies went into my spam mail. When the post was originally made I was still shaken from the incident. Since then I have been separating the girls. I do not let them alone to even go potty together. If we are in the living room we do have them together. But after reading many replies I tried to watch from a different perspective.

Firstly the female Westie is older. She is spoiled, and as many have said gets away with a lot. This being said we haven’t had to “train” my Mix. But instead are training the Westie. As you all said she is a high content mix, and unfortunately I didn’t have experience with Labs or German Shepherds prior. Just fell in love with her. She is the sweet docile one. But she is a more insecure dog. She is very docile, and minds amazingly. The only time she shows any assertiveness is when she is protecting our home. She is very very protective of our children. She doesn’t bite, but she does bark at strangers and will leave the room if told to. She doesn’t lung or bite but she does bark. She does warm up to the people after they’ve been in the home for 5 mins or so. She remains watchful but calm and willing to sniff people. It’s hard to believe explain her personality, because she is submissive, but not fearful. I also feel I should include her history to give a better prospective.

We got her at 6 weeks old. The owner of the mother (which is the full German Shepherd) had posted she was trying to get rid of 12 puppies as the nights were getting cold. My Irish wolfhound is old, and has already exceeded her life expectancy so we wanted to get another big dog before she passes. We decided to go look at the puppies. When we arrived on said farm we were greeted and walked out to a storage shed where the mother had dug a hole and kept her babies there. We didn’t realize this was the life the puppies had. While the mother was well Socialized it’s easy to assume the puppies were not as there was dog food thrown in a huge bowl by the entrance to the hole under the shed. All the puppies barked and scattered when they saw us except for my girl. She is walked right up to us sat in front of me and looked up at me. I always tell people, she choose me. After some discussion my husband and I decided to take her. Partly due to fear of the December weather in a Colorado mountain valley. Also because we knew we were could give her a loving warm home.

She never cried on the way home. She looked out the window on the 45 min drive back to our town. We use to joke she was a old soul in a puppy body. She knew sit, stay, come and leave it by 9 weeks old. She is was also potty trained so quickly. She never dig damage except digging up ants in the yard (she still like to eat bugs) and chewed a few shoes. She was one of the easiest puppies I’ve ever had. While she minds us well she only gives affection when she wants to. We do respect her boundaries. She will let you pet and kiss on her, but when she’s done she leaves. Us nor the kids ever follow. She has never show aggression except for the two incidents with the female westie.

While watching in the last month I have realized many things. She is not the issue. The westie started the incidents and she was defending herself. Regardless of the westie being the one in danger. She is left free with my male westie and my Irish wolfhound. In fact I fed them some left overs and watched her share a bowl (I put several down but they all kind of sampled each bowl) with the male westie and irish wolfhound. No one growled, nothing. I had removed the female westie from the room. I watch her lick my Irish wolfhounds jowls, and cuddle with my male westie. Again cementing in the fact the westie is the issue. I tried to decide what had changed in our life to cause a change in pack dynamics. Our Irish Wolfhound has always been the next in line after the humans in their hierarchy.

In November my Irish wolfhound they told us was losing her eye sight (which for her age isn’t surprising). She also started acting more her age. So I think that left the pack dynamics unstable. Which while no one “challenged” for her spot under the humans, I’m thinking it was given freely. Naturally the female westie would assume she was top dog. But from watching I’ve noticed my mix now “checks” the yard and looks out the glass storm door on the front of the house. Things that were done by my Irish wolfhound. I believe that the pack hierarchy is unstable. Once my female westie is removed from the situation it seems balanced again. This being said this issue is not in the mix. But with the westie.

I’ve owned Westies for more then half of my life. Training them is not something I’m new to. I realize my female is the way she is because I’ve allowed it. Shortly after we got her, I developed health issues (bad enough I cannot work anymore even). I did not spend the time training her the way I spent with my Westies in the past. So I have to admit I made the mistake of letting her get this way. She is set in her ways, but I am working to fix this. When I got my mix I had my health issues under control (or the best I can), so she was trained the way she should be. Which is why she is such a great girl.

But I would like to thank those who commented. While it made me defensive initially (I felt like I had failed them both), it also helped me take a step back. The words resonated in my head. The words are what helped me see the truth and mistakes I had made. I watched my mix girl never hurt anyone , even smelled the scrape she gave the westie and check on her until she healed. It was that, and watching her with the other dogs that let me understand she was protecting herself. I am lucky there is no tension between the two in day to day. But I also am unwilling to risk my westie putting her in that situation for both of them. So my westie is never out of my sight. They are separated in any situation that may set my westie off to go after her, making her have to defend herself. I won’t say it’s been easy trying to train my westie girl. She is set in her ways and a terrier. But she does respond to commands, and that’s step one. She won’t even go out the doggy door unless I tell her she can. I do give my mix free reign of the house. But keep my westie at my side to correct her instantly. She is getting better. I’m areas she use to growl she whines (I’m sure in frustration) and is corrected and removed from the situation. She is crate trained so she is crated at night, and when I’m gone, or busy when I can’t correct her. She is far from done, and due to her nature will never have my trust to roam the house and yard as she pleases like the other dogs.

Again thank you for the help. It opened my eyes to a situation I was ignorant to. As you all said she is a mix and that does make a difference. Any other suggestions I will gladly take and put into practice in our home.
 
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