Rod wonders…

…maybe it was an old wives tale but someone told us it less likely for the two of them to fight if they are both males, your thoughts?

Okay, folks. A number of you live with more than one dog. What are your thoughts? An old wives tale??

And just for fun…this piece by Jeff MacNelly is titled Dog Fight.


8 Comments on “Rod wonders…”

  1. Katy says:

    For the first six months after Sadie came to live with Zeke, they were “in love” – no fights at all. Then, slowly, Sadie began to dominate Zeke and they had a few fights now and then. Zeke didn’t seem to care much if Sadie was in charge, he just wanted to play! When Wyatt came, Sadie now had a busier life as the alpha with two boys to keep in line. Wyatt submitted easily. Wyatt and Zeke are fast friends and rarely fight. If they do, it’s over possession of a toy or bone and quickly resolved. Sadie sometimes seems to “bully” Zeke. She follows him around, growling at him. He tries to avoid her, but she will eventually escalate it into a fight. Zeke does not submit like he used to, so if the fight escalates, I break it up (they get pretty vicious!). I read that when attempting to break up a dog fight, to pull the feet out from under the dog who is “losing”. That should end the fight because the dominant dog then “wins”. I have done this several times, and it has always worked, except for the last time. Zeke came back at her, and I put them both into their crates for a brief time out. No fights since then (several days).
    I feel like, as Zeke matures, he is challenging Sadie for the alpha position.
    I’m not sure if I’m handling it correctly, but I don’t want them to get hurt. (Sadie has already gotten a cut over her eye, but it healed well.)
    In this household of three Apsos, the boys get along very well, but little Sadie works hard to maintain her alpha position. As the previous picture I sent shows, though, the majority of the time harmony reigns.
    If there are other/better ways to handle this, please tell me!
    Love your new format, Debbie!

  2. Despite having two males that will fight given the opportunity in my house (one intact / one neutered), I tend to agree with the statement that two males are less likely to have problems. In rescue, I generally recommend obtaining the opposite sex of an existing dog or having two males. It is with rare exception that I will recommend or place female / female.

  3. Faye says:

    I have a father/son combo at home right now that I find can be fairly stressful. I find it depends where in the house we all are at any time as triggers to fights between them. If they are out in the big yard they are fine – in the dog run – I will 60% of the time have a fight. Downstairs – on the couch is fine, me sitting at my computer = fight, upstairs seems to be neutral territory with posturing but no fights. That said I have a very dominant alpha in my house and Rox keeps everybody fairly well in line – the boys figuring themselves out.

  4. lhasalhady says:

    My own experience comes from two avenues. Client dogs. My own dogs.

    I think, more than the sex of each dog, it’s each dog’s personality. The housedogs, Eli and Yangsom, male and female, get along fine. But I doubt Eli would ever pick a fight with any dog! The rest of my dogs basically live in two packs; male pack, female pack. Show dogs do live alone. Otherwise their hair becomes the greatest pull toy! None are neutered, of course. The males, with the exception of Edmund, live together 24/7. The females live together 24/7. Feeding time is ‘high resource’ – meaning there may be some squabbles. They’re brief. Tempers – male and female – can be short when the females are in season. Because each pack has some semblance of pack order, the squabbles are usually short-lived.

    As Katy mentioned, dog fights can look viscious – at least from our human point of view! Pack dynamics can change with the introduction of a new pack member. I allow the dogs to sort it out. The social, emotional and mental rewards gained from being a pack member far outweigh the possiblity of injury. Within reason, of course!

    A number of my grooming clients have 2 dogs, in all combinations. Male and male. Female and female. Male and female. In only 2 cases the dogs must be separated if unattended. One is male and male. The other is female and female. One of the males likes to herd the other. This behavior is very annoying to the ‘herdee’. Not sure what the issue is with the two females.

    I do think owners often create problems between the 2 dogs because they don’t understand that dogs are hard-wired for a pack. Young dogs and puppies must learn appropriate canine manners. As humans, we hear or see such an interaction and immediately rescue the ‘lesser’ dog. Do not do that!! Unless there’s real damage being done, don’t interfer. Let the dogs (including an older dog and a puppy) sort it out.

    P.S. Katy, time out is appropriate with two adults. Sometimes my young punks have to go to lock-down, as I call it. No yard privledges for a day or three. Dominant dogs are usually a big plus…the alpha, I mean. Most of the problems come from the “B” pack. Canines wanting to climb the ladder (not all canines want this; in fact, most don’t) first must advance within the highest sub-pack. It’s that group that’s the most challenging to manage. Alphas are easy, often not recognized by observers. They are ‘above it all’. They don’t enter fights unless directly challenged by a sub-ordinate. Sub-ordinates aren’t going to challenge the alpha until they’ve achieved status with the B pack. These behaviors are better seen with a pack of size, not between 2 or 3 dogs.

  5. lhasalhady says:

    Whoops! Forgot to say that if I were deciding on another dog for my household, the sex of said possible new dog wouldn’t factor into my decision.

    Old Wives Tale debunked!

  6. julie says:

    I have 2 neutered males as housedogs and they get along just fine. Of course, there has been spats, but no one seriously hurt. Theoretically, all dogs should get along within the “pack” they establish. Unforturnately, we humans tend to disrupt the pack mentallity. For the average pet owner I reccommend girl/boy preferrably, than boy/boy, girl/girl only for the knowlegable/experienced dog owner.

  7. Faye says:

    Unlike Debby I don’t separate thh girls and boys unless girls are in season then I have to run 3 separate outside sessions and house arrangements become different. I don’t have a kennel building but the dogs do have their own room in the house. My 5 (soon to be 4) all run together in the house and for the most part all get along quite well – when I hear the grumbles or see the posturing leading up to a scuffle between the boys I usually have to say a sharp “enough” and they both back down but if they are unattended (like in the dog run outside) I can have issues when the rambunctious teenager gets in to his face and the teenager will only sometimes back down.

  8. Shirley Clark says:

    I have a mixed household of lhasas, and there are definitely fights between a particular 2 girls if they are allowed loose at the same time. So I have to let dogs out in rotations. Generally the girls that fight, fight with each other worse than my boys fight with each other, but it all goes out the window when I have bitches in season. Levi will pick a fight with another female if she gets in the way of the crate in which resides a bitch in season. And when I put out girls in season, all the girls ride each other constantly, which really makes for mats and more grooming for me. I think the rule of thumb really should be personality of the dogs rather than whether they are of the same sex. Some dogs just have to be in charge of everything and every dog. They may not get along with ANY other dog in the household, but if you have one dominant and one submissive, regardless of sex, you likely will have dogs that get along much better. Same if both are submissive. Trouble is, it can be difficult to choose the right puppy for new pet owners when all the possibilities for behaviour will be influenced by the dynamics in the new household.

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