My 6 year old male mega-mutt (Garibaldi) & 3 year old female pitbull/American Bulldog (Basil) all of a sudden started hating each other & trying to kill one another. They can’t even see each other from 10+ ft away w/o attempting to attack each other… yet they can be in kennels right next to each other and be perfectly fine (99% of the time).
– all 3 of my dogs have indoor 4’ x 7’ kennels for when I’m out of the house (Garibaldi [6.5 yr.old, 30 lb. male mega-mutt], Basil [3 yr.old, 80 lb. female pitty/Am.Bulldog], & B.O.T. [7-8 yr.old, 50 lb. female deaf pitty])
– all were basket muzzle trained prior to any issues (thank you #MuzzleUpProject)
– Garibaldi had same issues with B.O.T. 5 years ago but I did a board-and-train w/ a professional trainer and they’ve been fine ever since
– if I’m walking by Basil’s kennel with Garibaldi they’re fine.
– however, if I’m walking by Garibaldi’s kennel with Basil, he tries to attack and Basil will subsequently react
– when I’m walking by with Basil, she will avoid eye contact with Garibaldi, walk as far from his kennel as possible (i.e. increase the distance between her and him)
– they have gotten into actual fights but luckily they were both basket muzzled at the times
– I think an ‘association’ has been formed… one in which involves me (i.e. I’m not sure or I wonder if they were lose in the yard/house and I was nowhere around, if they’d fight at all)
– they used to get along fine for the past 2.75 years. Basil has always treated Garibaldi as the one in charge and super respectful of his role. If he ever corrected her, she’d sheepishly/submissively get low and either walk away or come to me for support
– I do think Garibaldi is the instigator
– I also think that Basil would truly do damage to a stranger if she were not muzzled (she’s totally fine with me 100%+)
Any suggestions on how to essentially reintroduce my two ‘once amiable’ dogs to each other? I’d like to be able to live harmoniously in our home together without having to continue to do rotations or obstructing line-of-sights when letting out, hanging out in living room, etc.
Thanks in advance,
Lots to “unpack” here.
Sorry to hear you are having issues. Have you had both dogs checked out by a vet yet? Also, I agree with you, it does sounds like he may have issues, especially since Basil is trying to actively avoid him.
Have you has Garibaldi assessed for anxiety?
Has anything changed with Basil? Sometimes dogs start to change hormonally around 2 year of age so her behavior may have changed towards him. But heath issues can also create changes.
You mentioned that Basil might so damage to a stranger – is she aggressive towards human strangers or is this other dogs?
The association with you could be valid too. Sometimes people think dogs are protective, but it might actually be a couple of different things such as more confidence around you, more stress around you (too many beings to worry about), jealousy, etc.
Do you know what instigated the fight(s)?
Typically I think the protocol is to start them on a deferment and relaxation program, and then do desensitizing. Speaking from experience though, it’s hard to predict future conflicts over things you might not have come across.
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