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Hi,

Our 12-month old female GSD (Raven) has attacked our 12-year old female Australian Shepherd (Daisy) one too many times, and we are on the verge of getting rid of the GSD.

The GSD is limited to the kitchen, with her kennel in the doorway that used to be our dining room. The kitchen is where most activity in the house is, anyway, and when we are in the living room, she can sit in that doorway and still see/hear everything. So, she doesn't miss out on much.

When we got Daisy as a pup, she also was restricted to the kitchen until she was about two years old, then we gave her freedom for the kitchen and living room (we trusted her not to destroy anything by that time, and she never did).

The kitchen has a door to the backyard, so when it is time to go out to play or potty, both dogs go out that way. The huge water bowl is also in the kitchen, so both dogs drink there. Raven's food bowl is in her kennel, while Daisy's is in the living room. Both dogs often lay down together in the kitchen peacefully and both play well outside (Daisy isn't very active at her age, and Raven is very, very high energy).

The problem is that Raven has attacked Daisy several times, though always in the kitchen (or when they are both entering the kitchen from the backyard). Daisy, at her age and half the size of Raven, is defenseless. It has happened 8 or 9 times, with increasing frequency. My wife LOVES Daisy and is sobbing over this last attack, wanting me to get rid of Raven.

My hypothesis is that Raven views the kitchen as HER territory and is establishing her dominance of that area over Daisy. As they never have a problem anyplace else, this makes sense to me. But, I am no expert, so might be very wrong. I also have no idea how to fix the behavior.

What is the solution to this? If we don't fix it immediately, Raven will be looking for a new home.

Thanks,
 

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Females will fight. GSD females especially. A younger female will displace an older one.

A very simple solution make take a few extra steps. When Daisy and Raven are going out...CRATE OR LEASH Raven and they go in and out one at a time - don't give her the opportunity to attack Daisy! Since Raven is not allowed in other areas, this seems to be a very easy method of controlling the situation. I would not be surprised though, if at some point, there are squabbles in the back yard if they are together. You have to have control of Raven and let her know with stern direction that Daisy is NOT to be dominated or attacked.

Lee
 

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I'd separate for now and work on it.

my dog fights with my cat which was my fault for not introducing correctly. so he's on leash outside my room.

you probably messed up somewhere along the way as well.
 

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Get a trainer. You have female on female aggression. Sounds like you have a guarding issue. Is the Aussie older?

I live with this. It's not easy. Crate and rotate. Raven is never allowed to be loose with Daisy. EVER. You put one in a crate (or room) and let the other one out. Up your obedience with Raven. She needs to have stellar obedience.

Every time Raven makes contact with Daisy she is gaining confidence. It will only escalate without professional help.

Where do you live? Maybe someone can recommend a trainer.
 

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Raven is a young adult female and she is taking on the other bitch, because females will fight. Spaying will not help this, save only if it is only happening prior or during heat cycles -- remove the cycle.

But a lot of times, bitches just don't get along. Keeping them separated is the best advice. When you let daisy go through the kitchen to go out, first crate Raven.

Do not expect them to share the water -- usually this isn't a problem, but it requires both to have access to the same area.

Bitch fights are no fun, and if you haven't had blood yet, they will get worse if you do not manage it.
 

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like they all said
train raven and keep her away at all times from daisy
a two bitch household is no fun to be in when one has decided the other must die
and it will come to that btw
 

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Crate and rotate is the only answer. Even if you think you can train Raven to not attack you still need to be on constant vigil because Raven will try to dominate even with training. In the end I had to separate Raina and Pyrate because somehow she knew he was weaker but he still would not back down. I didn't want Pyrate to be hurt so I made crate and rotate a way of life for a year or so because that was Pyrate's last. When Raina was a pup she respected Pyrate because he was older, bigger, and here first but as she got older and he got weaker it became something of a contest between them. I didn't want to take the chance so separation worked for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am grateful to all those that responded. I am still at work and have a bit of trepidation about getting home in about 30 minutes, as my wife was *very* upset when calling me this morning about the latest attack on "her baby".

To the questions -- Raven is one year old (last weekend) and Daisy is 12 years old (3 weeks ago). Daisy is showing her age -- arthritis, difficulty getting up, etc. When Raven was a puppy, I think Daisy tried (a bit) to put Raven in her place, not realizing how quickly the tables would turn. Both dogs are spayed.

They really *do* get along outside or in the car (except in those rare cases where Raven is catching a toy and Daisy gets in her way accidentally -- there are some quick "snaps" when that happens). In fact, they tend to "herd" around the yard together and sometimes even play chase one another running around the trailer. It's just the kitchen.

I am concerned about the warnings given that this will not end well. I pulled my back badly three nights ago pulling Raven off of Daisy in a fight.

I appreciate the suggestions about a trainer, but when Raven was about 6 months old, I contacted some trainers (objective was to get her to heel off-leash) in the area and they were very expensive. One lady came to the house to "interview us" and wanted $450 to stay for 1.5 to 2 hours past the interview to teach me how to train Raven, or her regular program for $1500. That was rich for me, so I've trained her. I'm no expert of course, but I've trained other dogs for basic obedience, just never to the point of a good off-leash heel -- my ideal of a GSD companion. So, I took it on myself. She walks on leash well with me -- sits or downs on command, doesn't pull, etc. A+ obedient to come, knows the names of her toys and will bring whichever you ask of her. B+ on "stay", getting better. She's just higher-energy than my past GSDs or Daisy (Australian Shepherd) -- still quite a bit of puppy in her, but not *nearly* as quick to learn/obey as Daisy was.

I'm sure my wife and I will have a long talk tonight .... thanks again!!
 

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Tough spot to be in, Nothing to add that others haven't and hopefully you'll find a workable solution, but should Raven attack again look at how to "wheelbarrow" her. There are other methods too, but this works well.
 

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I feel badly for this 12-year-old senior. That's an awful situation to be in toward the end of life. Maybe rehoming the young one to be an "only dog" isn't such a bad idea?
 

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I have aussies (female) and a female gsd..

My first aussie, Jynx was a marshmellow, when I got her as a puppy my female gsd at the time was 4 years old..(I also had two males at the time),,While they didn't "fight" my gsd was always 'monitoring' the aussie..So I had to monitor that..

MY female gsd passed away, I got Masi, by that time Jynx was 8 years old..they got along beautifully, best buddies, I never had an issue...Jynx passed in May, I now have a mini aussie who's 4 mths old, Masi loves her and vice versa..

Sami , the first gsd I referred to was a definitely pushy bossy bitch. She liked being in charge, Masi is not. My aussies are not pushy, more go with the flow types.

That being said, since the incidents are happening ONLY in the kitchen, I agree with putting the gsd ON A LEASH when in that area, when going out the door, and frankly don't let her in the kitchen..I'd start practicing some "tough love" and stay on top of her behavior with the older aussie..I would not have a problem giving a good hard correction if the gsd even "thinks" about starting crap with the aussie.

When they get away with stuff once, they are going to push your buttons and keep it up.

I agree also many bitches do not get along, I will never have more than two girls, and the ones I get, I make sure their temperaments are going to be opposites, as in never have two 'pushy' bitches,,your problem right now anyway, seems to be isolated to one room, specific things,,don't let the 'things', (like going in or out the door) happen, switch up the routine, don't be afraid of hurting her feelings to give a correction for bad behaviors,,and I always teach a good leave it.

Good luck to you, I know how your wife feels, since my aussies were/are have always been really sweet dogs, while my gsd's, male & female have been tough sometimes pushy dogs.
 

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If i were you ill do the extra work and deal with the issue.. She is 12 !! Why cant work w her ?? Its "almost" her time . Its your job to protect and meet her needs its a COMMITMENT !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, a difficult discussion with my wife. While she is crying for her "baby" (Daisy, the 12yo Aussie), she is also feeling guilty about wanting to get rid of Raven (the 1yo GSD). While Daisy has never really appreciated other dogs (she just wants to be with humans, and acts "put out" when other dogs are around), she has never been bossy or aggressive to any dog or human, so Raven is definitely seen as the aggressor here.

The bad (and coincidental thing) is that that very day (yesterday), Raven has escalated the tension a bit more (as some of you predicted in your posts!) by behaving differently now in the back yard -- when playing with Raven (the older Daisy isn't interested in playing ball/frisbee anymore due to her age), Raven is constantly watching Daisy. Raven is totally engaged with us humans in the play, yet is keeping her eye always on Daisy, as if to threaten her or making sure she "knows her place". I fear this will lead to outdoor fights as well now.

For the moment, we are following the advice herein to keep them mostly apart. Daisy will be taken to the front yard to "potty" (it isn't fenced, but she knows to stay in the yard anyway), while Raven has the backyard (fenced). We gave Daisy her own water bowl so she needn't go into the kitchen for water, and we will keep Raven caged more often (it's a very large cage, but I really don't like her locked in except at night for sleeping).

We'll see how this goes. At 12yo, I know Daisy won't be around all too long, and we have so much time and money invested in Raven that I don't want to lose her, either. My daughter loves Raven and is considering taking her if we can't make this work.

Thanks to everyone for your help and insights!!!
 

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Well, a difficult discussion with my wife. While she is crying for her "baby" (Daisy, the 12yo Aussie), she is also feeling guilty about wanting to get rid of Raven (the 1yo GSD). While Daisy has never really appreciated other dogs (she just wants to be with humans, and acts "put out" when other dogs are around), she has never been bossy or aggressive to any dog or human, so Raven is definitely seen as the aggressor here.

The bad (and coincidental thing) is that that very day (yesterday), Raven has escalated the tension a bit more (as some of you predicted in your posts!) by behaving differently now in the back yard -- when playing with Raven (the older Daisy isn't interested in playing ball/frisbee anymore due to her age), Raven is constantly watching Daisy. Raven is totally engaged with us humans in the play, yet is keeping her eye always on Daisy, as if to threaten her or making sure she "knows her place". I fear this will lead to outdoor fights as well now.

For the moment, we are following the advice herein to keep them mostly apart. Daisy will be taken to the front yard to "potty" (it isn't fenced, but she knows to stay in the yard anyway), while Raven has the backyard (fenced). We gave Daisy her own water bowl so she needn't go into the kitchen for water, and we will keep Raven caged more often (it's a very large cage, but I really don't like her locked in except at night for sleeping).

We'll see how this goes. At 12yo, I know Daisy won't be around all too long, and we have so much time and money invested in Raven that I don't want to lose her, either. My daughter loves Raven and is considering taking her if we can't make this work.

Thanks to everyone for your help and insights!!!
Management is key here. I would avoid having the dogs together anytime there is going to be excitement, so no playing fetch in the back yard together, feed separately, no recreational bones in the same area, no rough play with Raven while Daisy is present.

You have to get into the habit of considering the potential repercussions of any activities where the dogs have access to each other. Foster calm behavior by rewarding what you want and correcting (physical, social, verbal) what you don't. Don't allow any excited play that may boil over into aggression. Manage the interaction between the dogs so they both get the opportunity to interact with you and time to relax without having to worry about the other dog.

If they really get into a scuffle, separate them for a couple weeks. Give time for the residual cortisol to burn off before stressing the dog again. Crate and rotate is a lot of work, but it's important to give the dogs time to chemically settle down before they have to deal with each other again.

Set them both up for success, and remember to consider Daisy and her needs. It's easy to push the older dog to the side and concentrate on the pup.
 

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I also agree with management..Raven sounds just like my bossy female gsd Sami could be. Maybe not starting stuff, but always 'monitoring' what my aussie was up to and felt 'she' should be in charge of correcting things..

So yes, I would keep them separate especially since Daisy doesn't seem interested in playing or interacting with her..

And hey don't let those aussies fool you,,mine were both 14 years old when they passed, and even quite active up until that point..

I'd also enroll Raven in an obedience class if you haven't already done so.
 

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When my GSD was younger, I frequently baby-gated the living room off and that was where our older AmBull could relax in peace. My pup never got a chance to push her over the edge into an outright fight, but I knew the potential was always there, because she can be a real bitch when she wants to be. She's just slow to boil, but eventually it will happen, guaranteed. Separating the dogs can be done in a way that Raven doesn't need to be excessively crated, I would hope. If she's in there all night and if now you're proposing most of the day as well, then I think having your daughter step in would be the best choice.
 

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it really depends on the bitch
if she has aspirations of leadership or alpha status or whatever the key word is today then any other female you bring in is going to have a tough time
unless the new female does not care about alpha status

problem is those things can change easily and especially getting a puppy
they will get along until all the sudden the pup decides she wants to climb the totem pole in rank status and the older bitch is like "the **** you say'!
then things go south

but if you have two girls who dont care about being leaders
or one that does and the other or others dont
then it can all work beautifully

but when it stops working beautifully it gets really ugly really fast :(
and yes i speak from experience
*sigh*
 

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I have two males that I have to crate and rotate. I've been doing it for two years now. You get into rhythm and although it's not the best of situations, it isn't the end of the world.

In my house, it's my older dog Golden that is the aggressor. He has zero tolerance for any communication (at all) with my GSD. My GSD could easily kill my Golden.
 

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An update: we've kept them apart more often now, though they do have time outdoors when both are there. They actually "play chase" each other around the yard like a game of "tag", with both seeming to enjoy it. The only time there is any contention outdoors is if we are also out there interacting with them, so that is likely jealousy. No actual fights indoors since the last one I reported above, though some "monitoring" and "hard looks" here and there, but they have much less time together indoors in the same space.

My thanks to everyone for the advice and concern -- it has been helpful.
 

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though some "monitoring" and "hard looks" here and there,
you have to be sure both dogs respect you and your leadership
and that they know fighting is strongly discouraged
so be very assertive in your corrections and always vigilent for tiny signs of impending doom
and scold strongly with a low but loud "thats enough!" like you can read their minds
 
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