Author Topic: new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!  (Read 5535 times)

Offline boom1128

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new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!
« on: January 17, 2008, 01:19:57 am »
i have not posted here before but could really use some advice in dealing with some problems we are having with our boerboel.

first some background. we have 2 dogs, both female. we have a boxer, she is 3, and we have our boerboel, who just turned 2. both are spayed. when we got our boerboel, we had her for about 2 days and she began to act funny. we took her to the vet and found out she had parvo. she got pretty sick but recovered. our boerboel has always been a chewer and for that she is crated when we leave and at night. we have tried several times to keep her out of the crate. she does well for a few days and then chews something. she is also a humper. she humps me, occasionally my husband. never my kids. but she also just randomly humps the air or when she is cleaning herself, she will end up humping herself. because of the air humping, it never really dawned on me that it could be a dominance thing. i just thought it was a quirk. otherwise she is a good dog. a little clumsy but good.

about 1.5years ago our dogs got into it. at that time the boerboel, well, i don't think she was a year yet. our boxer was the aggressor. our boerboel was not hurt, a few scratches, nothing major. i figured it was our boxer exerting her dominance. since then no problems.

about 2 or so months ago i noticed things had shifted in their relationship. our boerboel was begining to be more dominant, eating first, going out first, etc. if our boxer got to close while she was eating she would just give a quick little warning growl. then about 2 weeks ago, they got into it bad. they had just come in from outside. there was no food present, no toys. no real spark that i could see. our boerboel was definetly the aggressor. nothing i said or did got them to stop fighting, i had to call my husband home. our boxer was injured bad enough that we had to take her to the emergency vet and she had staples, stitches, and drains. my kids were there and we were all scared to death. we decided we had to get better control o our boerboel, as she did not listen or follow any of her commands that day. we slowly started letting them around eachother again. we moved the food out in the garage and now feed them completely separately. since the boerboel is much larger, we have been treating her as the dominant dog and feeding her first. well a week later they did it again. again right after coming inside. i got it broken up quickly this time so no bad damage was done. but i cannot take this kind of fighting. both dogs seem to want to be dominant and neither seems willing to back down.


i talked to a friend that has experiance with bully breeds and she suggested i have our boerboel put down. she said the humping, chewing, and now fighting, especially fighting in the house, are all signs of her haveing major dominance issues and not knowing her place in the pack at all. she said she could be a danger to my kids. that mastiffs warning signs can be subtle and hard to read and could be missed by me or my young kids and get someone hurt. our boerboel has always been a good dog in the past. she knows all her basic commands and listens well enough. she is careful and patient with the kids althogh we have taught them to be kind and gentle with her, never to strike at all. she is a sweet dog outside of these issues and it would bother me to have to put her down.

what should i do? how can we help her? is this a "maturing, rebellion" phase, something she will get through and outgrow? how can we get the pack order if it is out of whack? or do we seriouslyneed to consider euthanization/rehoming?

Offline Duramax

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Re: new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 01:40:33 am »
do you constantly watch your dogs body language? I am realy big on 'dog speak'. i dont mean, what do you think they are thinking, but what is their body doing...  exactly where are tails (still, moving...and high, low or straight) , heads (up or down) , ears (folded back or foreward) , fur (raised by shoulder blades, tail, and spine). how wide open are their eyes before it happens and are they blinking, yawning. watching their chests, what breathing pattern are they having (regular, holding breath). muscles tense? these little bittie signs can tell you exactly what's going on, and you will know who is in the wrong, no matter who lashed out first. you can read more about dog body language and what all of it means over the internet, or i suggest the book "dog speak". as regular interaction with your dogs, pay attention to how they always act, all the time, with every one, you will notice things that they are feeling and saying that you didnt recognise before. post more info on how they are actiing now that you've read this... it's hard to tell what's going on unless youre there.
Christina
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2 great danes -Duramax
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"Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant." -Unknown

Offline Duramax

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Re: new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2008, 01:42:55 am »
oh, and welcome to the board! ;D
Christina
mother of:
2 babies
2 great danes -Duramax
              -boog


"Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant." -Unknown

Offline Scootergirl

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Re: new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2008, 11:08:52 am »
Absolutely, right-on advice! The most important thing for you to understand is that NEITHER dog should be the "dominant" one. YOU, your husband and your kids are the pack leaders and must start acting that way. Try to get out of the mindset that these are your "babies" (even though we all know they are). Your Boerboel thinks she is the pack leader - as evidenced by the humping, growling, etc. and the fact that you feed them separately now is just confirming that for her.

I would start by feeding them together - at least in the same room - even if you have to have the boerboel on a leash so she doesn't go after your boxer's food.  Make them sit and become CALM before you put their food in front of them. Then let them have their food. If the boerboel (you really must give us their names - and pictures, we LOVE pictures) goes for the boxer's food, jerk on her leash and correct her back to her own food.

And, find a reputable trainer to help you with the rest.

Most importantly, keep us updated!!

Good luck.
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between dog and man." -- Mark Twain

Offline jennifer

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Re: new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2008, 06:42:14 pm »
Welcome to BPO.  You've come to right place for honest, straightforwar d, and educated answers.  I am NEVER disappointed by BPO advice regarding questions put to the Board.  And this is no different... please call a trainer, immediately begin NILIF, and please, please, please don't even consider euthanization.  Good luck and please keep us posted!  Oh - names and pics are most welcome.  :)
:) Jennifer
Mom to Saint Nakita and Charlie the cat

RIP sweet Bear (9/02-8/08)

Offline maxsmom

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Re: new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2008, 07:21:29 pm »
You have gotten some great advice so far.  I don't set the pack structure, but let the dogs situate themselves, after me and my husband.  If you are a strong dominant leader, then your dogs will know and respect that.  Cody is my dominant dog and Max and Jake know that.  He is the shortest of the three, but the oldest and the most naturally dominant.  He stops them from fighting and controls them for the most part.  He will glance at me anytime he corrects them, to see if it is okay.  He will glance at me when he is growling and barking at new people who come into the house, to see if it is okay.  It sounds like you have a very dominant dog and need to assert your position with the dog.  A trainer is probably your best bet at this point.  At least it will give you a basis to start from and some practical advice, specifically for your dogs and your situation.  I would not be concerned about the safety of my children or family, at this point.  Putting this dog down is like putting a dog down for urinating in the house, before you even take them to a vet to see what is wrong.  I don't believe in jumping the gun over something like this.  Try the NILIF and see how it works for you.  I think you will find that this problem is solveable, once you start working with the dogs one on one.
Kathy
Max  2 Irish Wolfhound
Jake  2 Great Pyrenees
Cody   3 Tibetan Mastiff
ChiChi 1.5 Caucasian Ovcharka
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Offline karateblossom

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Re: new but really need help withmy boerboel!! sorry so long!
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2008, 01:13:15 am »
You guys are awesome!  I enjoy reading your educated and very valid responses.  I am somewhat weirded out-dogs hump air???  I've never seen it but then again I have very little experience with dog problems.  Odin knows his place behind all of the humans and has never been aggressive to another animal (not even a frog)......humping air means dominant?  just curious.  thanks.
karma is kewl!