Author Topic: My dogs were fighting  (Read 22980 times)

Offline mastiffmommy

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My dogs were fighting
« on: May 04, 2005, 02:27:41 pm »
Well, we have had a couple  of real real bad days. Yesterday afternoon, my bullmastiff girl Hera and my Siberian Husky boy got into a real bad fight. They have never been "best friends" I mean they have never been into a fight or seemed to have anything against each other, just not being totally in love with oneanother. But yesterday, for what I could see, no reason at all, they got into a terrible fight. They were in the backyard with my oldest daughter, me and hubby was in front yard, all of a sudden we heard the nonmistakable sound of dogfight. Malin our daughter screamed, and I ran to the backside. We have a big gate there, so before she had opened it from inside and I got in there, they were not only fighting, they seemed determined to kill oneanother. There were legs, feet, tails and heads all over the place. they were rolling around and both of them had good grips on the other ones neck/throat. I hesitated for a sec. to get in the middle of it, because by then there were soooo mad, so I wasnt sure they would realize it was me, and not by mistake dig their teeth into me. But I could tell, that if I didnt do anything, I would have a real bad situation on my hands (as if it already wasnt...) I managed to pull Zeus off Hera by his back leg. Then I held my breath and jumped in between the dogs and hoped that would buy me time, so hubby could grab Hera while I was still holding on to Zeus. It did work, they did stop. We got them separated, blood was everywhere and I wasnt sure who or what was injured. The first thing I saw when I looked at Zeus, was that the K-9 on his left side was sticking right out to the side, so I knew that his tooth was broken, and ohhh it was bleeding. When I looked inside his mouth, his whole tooth and root was bent outwards and it was a giant gush into his jawbone. On the right side there was no K-9 at all!!!!! He was so shaky, and at that point I am not sure he felt the pain, only the aggrevation from having that tooth sticking out like that. Told Malin to sit with him and talk to him, while I ran into the phone and called the emergency vet. of course it was 15 min. after my own vet. close. I said I was coming in, didnt know yet if with one or two dogs. Grabbed both car keys (was not going to take them two in the same car) and out again to check Hera, Hubby had been with her, and not made any strange noices, he has a real weak stomach when it comes to bloody things, so I knew that either it is not bad at all, or it is REAL bad and he has actually fainted. Well Hera was fine, amazing how one dog was soooo beat up and the other didnt even have a scratch on her. Soooo off to the vet. with Zeus, naturally rush traffic, and you could tell that whatever shock he had been in, and the numbing effect the hit had given, was gone, he was in pain....... And was making a bloody mess of the car, the kids were super, I told them, we can not cry or panic, that will make Zeus nervous, and we have to calm him down and make him feel loved and cared for now, even my 4 year old Jennifer was holding her panic away and was talking to him, and petting his foot, she said she was afraid he would hurt if she petted any other part of him. Malin was crying quietly and had him in her lap (he is really her dog). Never have 15 min been soooooo long, by the time we came to the vet hospital, we all looked like we had been butchered, blood everywhere.... .. They took him in straight away, and hubby who was fixing to pass out from seing all the blood, stayed in the waiting room with Jennifer. After examining him, they could see that yes he had lost the right side K-9 and bent the left one outwards, but with the tooth and root, he had also broke the bone itself, so no salvaging that tooth either. He was rushed to surgery, the one tooth had come out with entire root, so they only had to suture that side up, but the left side was way worse. It took about 1,5 hours in surgery, loooong 1,5 hours. We got home about 8 pm, then went back about 11 pm to see him and make sure he was okay.

He is home now, swollen and with no K-9's left in upper jaw, my poor baby. He is on pain meds and antibiotics. He will have to go back friday to have a checkup, unless he comes down with fever so we have to take him in earlier. He is sleeping and we are making soup food for him, he is pretty good spirited considering what a horrible thing he has just gone through.

I still dont know why they decided to fight, I know one thing though, they will have to be separated from now on, I am not taking any chances with them. I know it is almost impossible to say why, but have any of you had a situation like this??? Where all of a sudden two dogs start to fight for no obvious reason, the strange thing is that even though Hera is un spayed because of us maybe wanting to use her in breeding. Zeus is neutered!!!! I mean I have heard of two females or two males getting into it bad, but one female and one nutered male!!!!!

Any suggestions???

Marit
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Offline coonie1970

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2005, 02:40:50 pm »
OMG!! I am so sorry to hear this. We had a border collie( when I was little) who would fight with any male who came onto our farm. It is so scary.I have never heard of a male and female fighting. They must be trying to show who is boss. Im sure someone here will give you some explanations.
Good luck with Zuse. Hope there are no complications.
Karen
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Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2005, 02:51:17 pm »
Thank you, yes I have heard of females who hate all females and the same with the boys, after plenty of years with dogs, you can not avoid hearing all the horrible stories. But like you say, I dont think I have ever heard of a nutered male and a female getting into it that bad.

I hope he will be fine, he is a trooper, but right now he is only going potty and snuggling a short while then he wants to be alone on the bed, who can blame him, I know how I feel after a simple trip to the dentist, I swore yesterday to never again complain over those dentist visits.

He will look funny without any fangs in upper, but I am just soooo happy, it didnt end worse, you have no idea what was going through my mind on the way to the vet.

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog

Rufiesmom

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2005, 03:00:07 pm »
You are one brave woman!!!!  I'm so glad everyone is doing okay.  Sounds very scary.  We have a neutered female and neutered male.  He has always had neutered females as roommates but has always let them be alpha dog.  I think females really are the tougher of the two sexes!  Maybe they will get along better since she has "won" the fight.  Hope so!

dohertyswissy

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2005, 03:03:45 pm »
OMG...I am so sorry to hear about Zeus!  I have to admit...I've never heard of anything quite like that.  Usually dog fights are resigned to dominance issues and resource availability.. .so, possibly one of those things?  Maybe Zeus got into something Hera considered hers?  Regardless, I'm glad to hear that Zeus is recovering okay.  Please give him a hug and kiss from me and Ranger.   :)

Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2005, 03:05:07 pm »
Yes I hope, but you know, the way I think now is, we separated them, so do they really see it as she won???? Who knows what is going on in their head after something like this. And the way I feel now, I am prepared to separate them for the rest of their lives, I am scared to death to have this situation again. God only knows how it would end a next time. And belive me, I didnt feel very brave when I stepped in between them, I hope I dont have to do that trick again.

Marit
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Offline Jaimie

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2005, 03:24:24 pm »
So sorry to hear about Zeus, I hope he has a speedy recovery.  I have a neutered male and a spayed female and they have gotten into a couple of squabbles but nothing serious, it was over a stick, he had it and she wanted it.  I guess it is hard to say why they got into a fight if nobody was watching them, I would have to say that they didn't get into a fight over"nothing" it had to be something but probably not obvious to you to know exactly what it may have been.  I am sure they could be out together again but it would have to be under supervision so you could intervene before anything happens, very good way to learn dog language.  Of course it would be differrent if they never got along and always fought.  Good luck!!!!!

You did the right thing by grabbing the back legs to seperate them, never ever should you get in the middle of a dog fight, even though it is very hard, it also good if you have a water hose nearby to spray them.

Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2005, 05:04:06 pm »
Yeah, I know that there must have been a reason, Malin my daughter was in with them, she didnt see any reason, that said, she is 13 and, even though having grown up around dogs, I dont think she could read a suddle dog language. And yes the hose is supposedly a good way, to get them of off each other, but you know, by the time that would have been out, I was afraid they would have killed oneanother. And you know sometimes something may be going on and we dont see it if we dont look for it, and I guess since they have seemed fine I have not been very observant, I mean if anything bigger was going on, I am sure I would have noticed  it, but if there have been just a little something growing for awhile I may not have noticed it.

Zeus says hugs and thanks to you all, he is feeling a bit better i think, well he is probably having a top on his pain meds now too, so its hard to say.

Marit

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Offline Carolyn

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2005, 08:33:16 am »
Very sorry to hear your story. I have a 10 year old gsd who honestly would not hurt a fly (well maybe a bird or squrrel) Anyway both of my Shilohs "respect" her. If she is chewing a bone, they do not even think about going near her. If she is laying down & blocking there path, they will NOT pass over or thru her. They would rather sit there & cry till I "help" them get by, yet if Chazzy wants to play they'll play with her. Apache chews her like she's a squeaky toy, thats why I "had to" get another pup, to give the old girl a break. Hopefully this will work itself out for you & you wont have to keep them separated.
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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2005, 09:48:36 am »
Nobody canine, I mean nobody messes with my 9 yo dobie bitch. Even tho my dane easily is twice as big as her and my 5 month old pup equal in size for now, one look, growl or (oh no) flash of teeth, they are in another room. oth of the other dogs are male, one nuetered and one (the pup)is not. She has tangled with both of them at one point or another, although rarely drawn blood and never to the extent of your two. Some females just consider themselves the alpha in the pack, and will tolerate no interference. I don't keep them separate deliberately, but they seem to know when she is irratible, and leave her alone. I'm sorry that your male had such a horrible experience, and hope that yu can get them to work it out when your male is feeling better. In the meantime, keep a large glass of cold water handy. It works as well as the hose and is quicker to get to.
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Offline Scootergirl

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2005, 09:51:16 am »
I want to commend you for offering a responsible solution to this problem by saying you will have to keep them separated. Working with our local rescue organization, too many times I see people encounter incidents like this and their first - and only  - thought is, "Well, we'll have to get rid of one of them." and they take a perfectly healthy, formerly loved, often pure bred dog to the high kill animal shelter where, most likely, it will be euthanized in 24 hours to 5 days.  Just recently, we received a call from someone who adopted an airdale from another rescuer that can't keep him anymore because he growled at them while they were cleaning out the fridge. People who don't understand that a dog will do things characteristic of dogs shouldn't own dogs!

Anyway, kudos to you for trying to understand your dogs and amend your situation to keep them happy in return for all the love they have given to you.

Jeanne
"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

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2005, 09:52:04 am »
I could probably tell you EXACTLY what started it...........J ealousy for your daughters attention!  These creatures covet what they cherish and you say that Zues is really your daughters dog, and she was with them both when this happened.  I bet my bottom dollar that in someway her attention was the source of a jealous rage.  Watch very closely their reactions when your dogs intereact with daughter.  Like if your daughter is petting one I bet the other is watching every little move and sound.  Also not to be gross or anything but your daughter is at the age of becoming a woman, dogs will really pick up on that and will react as intensly as they did. I am so sorry that your family has gone through this.  You all must be quite shaken.  When a simaliar thing happened in our family it was jealousy over my attention, so I made both dogs get down real real low lay down, nose to nose and I sat in between them (of couse I had a handle on choker in case) and very slowly pet them both in the exact same way at the exact same time while repeating over and over very slowlyand calm the word "nice".  Eventully I  felt them both give out out a breathy sigh and they relaxed, I kept this up until they were almost asleep still nose to nose.  I did this this every day for a week, sometimes several times a day (any sign of jealousy)  By the time I was done with them they were in love, sleeping together, grooming eachother, playing like little puppies TOGETHER!!  They want to please your daughter so much, if they know she wants them to play "NICE" they will.  Now if I see any sign of anything I don't like all I say in a firm voice is "NICE, NICE".  Some might say I am crazy but I was determined to teach them how to get along, I wasn't willing to give one up or keep them apart for the rest of their lives either or chance that they broke free from the seperation and went right back at each others thoats with my 2 year old daughter in the middle!  I am not a prof. trainer or anything just a very determined Mommy to have peace in my home without losing any memembers of my family!  I wish you and your family the best during this difficult time, I hope my experience will help you all.  I t won't be solved in a day but I believe it can be solved!  GOOD LUCK!

Offline mastiffmommy

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2005, 10:58:47 am »
Thank you all, Zeus is I guess feeling so so, he is awfully swollen around his mouth, and every chech I need to do, to make sure it still looks okay is hurting him, and me for having to do it. He is running a sight fever, but nothing to be concerned about at this point the vet says, only to be expected after a surgery like that. He is eating mushed up food in soup form, I guess the fact that he is eating is a good sign. He will go for checkup tomorrow, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be fine, or at least as fine as can be expected.

Yes, I am sure you are right, that it was a jealousy issue, I just have such a hard time getting that I have seen no signs at all, since I have had three or four dogs at the same time, for the past 25 or so years, this is always something you have in the back of your head. That it can happen, and you tend to look at their interactions pretty closely. Since I have almost always had more than one female at a time, I do not give them bones when they are together, us females have a tendency to get a little bitchy lol..... And to avoid fights I have just always been with them when they eat and when they get bones, they are in separate rooms. To have four dogs all with bones, all in one room is to ask for problems I think. So anyway I am sure it was a jealousy thing, and lol....... my daughter bacame a "woman" about a year ago, she would absolutely kill me if she saw this, noooo thats not true she would first torture me for days  ;D (sad how they get all grown up that early now isnt it) But I asked on the way to the vet. if it was that time of the month, because that was something that stuck me that, that may be the case. But nope, is not (have to ask her, I cant even keep my days in my head lol.....) Okay now we are grossing out some I am sure.

I actually called, a couple of people I trained for in Sweden, back when I was competing obedience with my German Shepherd, these two were the best trainers I ever have had, so I called them, to see what they thought about the situation. Both said that, since Zeus is a rescue dog and we didnt get him until he was about 2 years old, we really dont know what he has been having to deal with before, things can just lay there for years they said and one day, it just snapps, if the experience was bad enough, especially at a young enough age. They said that it had been an easier situation, if we had separated them, and both were sort of fine and we could try to work on getting things back to "normal" straight away. Now when Zeus is not well, and it will be at least 2 more weeks before he is ready to spend time with any of the other dogs, the vet said, he need a lot of alone time, to recover without any stress. So being that long before we can start any kind of "let's be nice to each other" routines, it makes it so much harder. It is like having been in a car crash and not being able to get back into the car fairly soon after, you build up a fear, in this case more of a "dont like you feeling". They said to very very slowly take them both for walks, on leashes, not getting to be too close, see how that goes, and if it looks and feels okay, take babysteps towards them being together again. But they also said, they have heard way too many cases like this and only gave it about 50% chance to work. They are both breeders, and with several dogs, they are both having to separate some that just dont get along even if they are great with others (just like kids)

I have done a lot of thinking, about how to make this work, if we actually end up in a situation where we need to keep them apart. They both go well with the other three, so it is basically a take turns situation. Half the time Hera will spend time with the others, and half the time Zeus will. And we let them out through the back door, into the backyard, so when they go in our out, I will simply just have to make sure both of them are not there at the same time. The back yard is about an acre, so we have also played with the idea to put up fence to make a smaller yard in one end, so both can be outside at the same time, when it is nice weather. The house, well its two story, daughter sleeps upstairs with Zeus, and Hera is sleeping in my bedroom, and even if we dont want to make them stay in only one room during day, one of them can be upstairs and  one downstairs, thats usually how it is anyway, I mean that the dogs are spread out around the house, it is a rather large house about 3500 sq ft. so they dont have to feel like they are having too little room even if this is what we will have to do.  :o Okay...... now I am just blabbering away... Guess you can tell I am still rather confused over the whole thing. I really really hope it will work out to have them together again, but like you said, the chance that they will break loose again, and with my 4 year old inbetween, noooo...... I dont even want to think about it. So the way that seems to be the biggest chance for them to live happily in the same house. That's how it will have to be. But we are still a couple of weeks away from getting Zeus up and around, so maybe by then things have cooled off and it will work, with a lot of work from our part and a little coop. frome theirs.

Now it is time for my poor toothless baby, to get his pain meds, so Ill be getting off here, and hope to get on a bit later on, I miss talking to you all.

Marit
what the lion is to a cat, the mastiff is to a dog

Offline Jaimie

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2005, 02:27:31 pm »
I wish you the best of luck.

Offline Energypaws

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Re: My dogs were fighting
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2005, 11:19:28 am »
Hi there..

I'm an experienced Bullmastiff owner and in fact at one point had two intact males living happily together (honest.. no squabbles)  and I honestly didn't read EVERYTHING that was posted on this topic.  

That being said:
I'm not sure how old your fur-kids are but have you considered having a thyroid panel pulled?   I do agree that jealousy over a childs attention is very likely the cause of this issue, but at the same time, a thyroid issue can cause a critter to "suddenly lose it".  
This will sometimes occur around 2-3 years of age.  Check your dogs tails for dryness or sore spots about a hands length from the base of the tail down.  Sometimes a thyoid issue will show up in a cyst, or sore dry skin in that spot.

Good Luck

Jennifer
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