My doodle started fighting with my other dog. Advice? Suggestions? thanks!  I want to teach them to get along. i love them all and had my Doodle first, about a year before the other was adopted by me.  I hate to lose her but I may have to re-home the doodle.


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Oh my goodness, MP. My crew goes through bouts of fighting here or there. Usually it's my mini who starts it, although my female Alpha has been the instigator a time or two, also. I started carrying a broom around and bang it on the floor or garbage can or something that makes a loud noise when they start growling at each other. That usually will stop them. I did make the mistake of trying to put my self between one fight and got bit, that's why the broom comes out now as soon as I hear the growlies. What are they doing when the fight starts? I mean, can you tell if it's food based or something else? Maybe they need more exercise. What do you think is the reason for the fighting? What is the make up of the dogs? Male/female? Female/female?

To add to the details, they are each rescues, from different situations.

The Labradoodle is very dog-aggressive as of late. She gets along fine with my border collie/spring spaniel mix but she lived with a small german shep mix and that dog dragged her around by her flews/lips, all day, tormented her as a young dog. The Doodle's puppy teeth and stubborn streak were the original problem and it was not addressed; I think that older shep began dragging the puppy by the lips to save her own soul. The whole situation was one of everyone, dogs included, being overwhelmed. There were 3 or 4 children under the age of four/five. the elderst was autistic and screeched when the dogs ran wildly through the house. the housekeeper/Nanny/helper woman was afraid of dogs so she kept the puppy penned all day and night or she locked her outside. Sigh. I have overcome so many issues of unwanted behavior with this dog , now this. I saw the dog aggression problem when I took her for obedience classes. She felt very threatened by the other dogs so we left the class immediately. We tried distance but it didn't help. Ok, so she is not for crowds /packs but she was fine with my dogs who live here. Except for the shepherd. And once she starts the fighting, she goes for the throat and wants to kill. attacks lwith shaking, back n forth, etc, will not loosen her grip. I hate to give her up but safety of my dogs first. Now my husband tells me she has been lunging on walks at other dogs and at people, even strollers, children, etc. He allows no contact, just tightens up the leash which I think is a very bad way to cope with this behavior. I have the # of a behavioral vet. What do you all think of that idea? At least for evaluation of each dog, I think would be good. DH is against it; he feelsjust sick of dogs now. I am in a state of fugue. I will figure it out but ideas are welcome. thanks friends! mp

these are my two spayed females, Lynne. I am so upset i can barely speak of it so my description may sound chaotic and be missing parts of the story. this happened the night before last. I know here , many will understand my feelings. .. but most people say: give her away. I cannot pass this huge and potentially dangerous problem on to someone else. She needs to be trained and redirected. Then maybe an adult only home, but she is fine with kids. Kids here at home are ok. I had no idea she was menacing children on walks by jumping and bark!bark!bark! ing at them. My DH just told me that yesterday. I hate to even think about the alternative. I have to go out now. I am bringing the doodle to see if I can walk her with a leash and NOT have her go wild. This is all from lack of proper attention and training as a pup, lack of socialization to be specific. <sigh> my poor baby. I'm sick over this. mp
Tough situation, MP. I understand an aggressive dog, my Ripley was the same way. Young children, must have been hit, handed over to me, who he didn't know as a rehome when I was with the other "rescue." Decision was made to have a behaviorist come in, she labeled him food aggressive and then the decision was made (not by me) to adopt him to a single lady in VA, and I knew it wasn't right (but that's another story) but I allowed it and one week later I was driving 2 hours to meet her to get him back. Then the fight with the Director of that other "rescue" who said we would have to put him down. That was pretty much the final straw with that other "rescue" but I still have him, he is a love bug and very sweet a year later. But it took a lot of patience and time for him to over come some of it.

Female/female is not a good combo, especially if they are Alpha. I try to not foster females because my Ginger is not very tolerant of other female dogs. I have had a few here and it seemed the longer they were here, the pissier she got. Short term, she's OK but after a few weeks, the females butt heads. Hence the broom.

I am so sorry that I really don't have an answer for you as to what to do. Every dog is different as is every pack dynamic. If you think you can alter the dynamic by training and repetition, that is the way to go. If you don't think it can be changed, you may have to make that tough decision. There are a few good books I read to help me with Ripley, "Aggression in Dogs," by Brenda Aloff was helpful in understanding the behaviors. And "Mine," by Jean Donaldson, helped me understand Resource Guarding. You know I will always try to help you in whatever you decide and you should have told me some of this and I wouldn't have imposed on you earlier this week. Sending big hugs.

Thank you so much, my dear Lynne. You needn't worry; it all took place after the foster, the night I picked him up. Or wait... the afternoon I took him back . That was when it went down. Hard to believe they can get so viscious so quickly; the level of escalation is right up into the red zone, like a fire cracker going off, immediate and no thinking going on, just killer instinct.  I only had one dog like that in all my fostering. He had some kind of neurological damage and had to be euthanized. But this is more than sibling rivalry gone bad. I believe the insecurity of the doodle is what causes the fighting. The shepherd is also a dominant personality but she is not as highly reactive as this doodley girl; the shep was never abused! I believe Kyleigh goes into ''it's you or me, baby, and it ain't gonna be me!'' mode. She is definitely the aggressor, every time. The shepherd is gentle and can be exuberant but not in the reactive way of Miss Kyleigh. She is in the cujo class.... but the sweetest little cuddle-bug when she is with me. Thanks for your comments and faithful support, Lynne. I appreciate everyone jumping in here because truly, I felt devastated for 2 days. A little cheerier today, although keeping this sitch my top priority. I enrolled in Feisty Fidosat St Hubert's. Let's see how THAT goes, right?  : ) mp. oh and PS.. I have those books/ thanks/ great recos..I like the broom stamp! We are beyond that now but it is a good idea for lower level aggressive dogs and for pups, todistract/ break them up and redirect.

I have had to use my broom only once to break up a fight but now I just carry it and they know it will go in the middle. My little bratty mini will bite the brush part of the broom and he's hysterical when he does it. It's hard to be mad, with my mad broom and mad voice when he's trying to be so tough. 


Anyway, has this happened frequently and can you tell what may have caused it? Like was it around dinner time, going out time, mommy or daddy time. Maybe if you can figure the trigger, you could change something about it. Like my Rippy was a bone resource guarder. It was recommended that I eliminate bones. Instead I gave him tons of them. There were so many bones here, he realized after awhile that there was no sense bothering to fight over them. Sometimes it will still happen with a rawhide or some great prize, like a sock, but mostly I can just say, "No Growley" to him and will stop, now. He has been here just about a year, now. Maybe if you can understand why she is being this way, you can change her thinking. Another thing, and it might not be for everyone, is to let them fight it out (if they aren't drawing blood), they will work out the hierarchy on their own. How long have you had them together? Could it be they are still working that out, especially as Kyleigh ages, she may be pushing her boundaries? 

the vet bill from the surgery to save the shepherd's life is very high. she needs two more surgeries...

one dood is 2 yrs 4 mos old. the shepherd is 1 yr, 7 mos old.

the triggers are many, stemming from insecurity/jealousy is my thought.


If they behave good and love each other in between bouts, maybe it's just testing limits and they'll out grow it or figure out who is Alpha. You should make sure they know certain behaviors are not acceptable. My broom works, or a water gun or some other thing that will get their attention back on you. Training classes might be just the thing to teach her to focus on you as Alpha instead of trying to take that position herself.
We were thrown out of class; asked to leave due to the nature of the doodle's ferocious barking, uncontrollable lunging with intent escape my cntrol, menacing behavior. This is the doodle I took in as a re-homing needy dog. Absolutely no socialization from puppy hood through age one year plus. <SIGH> I have an appintment with a behavioral trainer at St Hubert's and enrolled her in Feisty Fidos class. I feel I need to really give her my all-out intensive training before calling it quits. Even if she goes to an only-dog  home, she still needs to get these behaviors replaced wth acceptable ones. She is rough with children but not mean; just overly enthusiastic. That, I can train into her. She is gentle with infants and babies. But she is threatening to other adults and to all other dogs, until they challenge her as my alpha male did on first sight. He Shut. Her. Down. she respects him completely, so could be female-female aggression. Plus lack of socialization. AND.. she highly respects me. I need to get that to 110%>
Sounds like you are going to give her every opportunity to learn and be better. Trust in that decision and it will be the right one. Think about how many other's would just give up on her and did already. If the respect is there, that's 1/2 the battle. When do you start classes?

the specialty classes are not in synch with my schedule until july!! augh!!! 

so I enlisted the behavioral trainer to help until then. I have 4 family events/weddings in may and june.

thnx for the supportive words, Lynne--I feel I just have to train her INTO good behaviors-- SO MANY PEOPLE ARE OPPOSED TO THIS, SAYING SHE CANNOT BE HELPED AND NEEDS TO BE RE-HOMED. Very frustrating as I alreeady trained many bad habits into good ones. Typical chewing, jumping up, acting overly assertive (not aggressive but dominant ) and she has turned around beautifully. However, if she cannot get along with my shepherd... well, we shall see. Meanwhile, I have two huge crates with brand new orthopedic beds so they are very comfortable. I take turns walking them, doing obedience , short happy sessions, so far only a few days but working out fine.

You working with her will be the best thing for her. Being rehomed is very hard on a dog who has come to love us. Taking that away will make it harder at another home, not better. She will learn with patience and love better than she will going somewhere else and having to start all over again. With Ripley, it took months, maybe 5 or 6, but now, a year later, he is a great dog. Keep loving them both, you teach them that you are Alpha and they will learn. Sending hugs!


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