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Old 06-28-2009, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

First off, hello everyone!

About two weeks ago I adopted a female 2 year old Boxer from my local SPCA. Overall, she is an absolute sweetheart and I am really hoping someone will have some good suggestions/advice for me!

In many respects, my new gal is a wonderful dog. Apparently the previous owners surrendered her as they had a bulldog at home and the two did not get along. Other then that, she apparently showed no other signs of aggression towards other dogs.

In the last few weeks she has got into four fights at my home. None were too serious, but it has me very concerned. Two were with my roommate's female beagle. Once it was over a rawhide, the other was completely unprovoked... my gal just decided to attack the beagle! The other two fights were with my dog, a 5 year old shihtzu X. One was over a bone, the other yesterday was unprovoked. All of a sudden I heard the little guy squealing and ran in and found her on top of him.

I also have a 7 year old female shihtzu X, she is the only one that my new gal hasn't got into a fight with yet.

I'm not quite sure how to handle this. I have done a lot of reading on this, and from what I understand they are trying to figure out their 'dominance order'. They are all very new to each other so I did expect a few fights. All of them are fixed, and most of the time are best friends. Of course every time a fight happens we rush into the middle of them and break it up. I am worried that one of these days my new girl will seriously hurt one of the other ones, especially since my two are so much smaller then her.

We are starting obedience classes next week, which I think will help with some other issues she has (pulling on the leash etc.) but I would love some advice on these fights. Am I doing the right thing rushing into the middle to break it up? Also, what should I do with them after? Yesterday I threw both of them in their crates, but I hate to do this as that is their 'den' and should not be used for punishment.

Lastly (yes another Q- sorry!), my new gal loves to get into EVERYTHING! Even if I run outside for a few minutes, she will dump over plants, chew on cellphones, anything she can find! The other day I was out front mowing the lawn and came in and found that she had got into a huge bag of rabbit shavings in the shed and dragged them all over the yard! She has tons of chews and toys... how should I correct this? I crate her whenever I leave the house for work, shopping etc. She gets lots of exercise- we religiously go for a run everyday for at least 45 minutes and we also go bike-riding on a regular basis!

Please help! I am becoming so frustrated and really want to make this work with her and the other dogs!
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

Females are well known for not getting along well with other females a lot of times..Take away toys, bones, anything that can provoke a fight..You find it will help to use baby gates to separate them for now, but that's obviously not a solution...Observe how they interact and learn how to read their body language(there's a great post in the general boxer section about this) As far the oulling on lead, that takes work and training...There's a great book by Turrid Rugaas called "My dog pulls, what do I do?" I got it from Amazon for like $5.00, easy to understand and follow..As she is a rescue, a lot of these behaviors could be ingrained into her, that no one took the time to correct, also she's in a new enviroment as well, so it may take a bit of time for her to adjust
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

Sorry I have no advice - just want to offer some support and say "hang in there" - Im sure many forum members with multiple dogs will come along with advice very soon!
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

This may be a case for the Dog Whisperer
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

When you brought this new dog home did you have any boundaries that you taught her? The biggest introduction mistake people make is allowing the new dog to have free reign over the house...This new dogs needs to be leashed at all times and if not in her kennel...If you don't kennel, you need to start...You don't teach rules and assert control your dog has no idea how to behave...You can establish pack order real easy but right now you are not a leader...You must show your pack that you can control this new dog and vice versa....Unsupervised treats are not even an option at this point...The new dog is not aggressive she is a resource guarder....A dog that was truley aggressive would be fighting anytime a new dog was in the room....Obedience school is a great start, start NILF training as well...Go get her leash and make her go everywhere you go for 2 wks, that is enough time for to learn...by doing so you control all of her time and it is easy to correct ill behavior....You must put in the time and teach her the rules of your house...


Read this article successfully-bringing-a-new-dog-home-t20185.html
and also this one it is how to handle resource guarding, start now resource-guarding-t19276.html it is common for new dogs to resource guard, I do rescue and see it a lot in fosters but luckly it is an pretty easy to fix...

The last thing I want you to do everyday is walk your entire pack together, get a friend to help you if need be...Everyday walk for 45 mins and do it consistently you will see a change in cohesiveness, a more relaxed pack....


Sorry one other thing you shouldn't give raw hides, they can't digest them it is really bad for dogs, try bully sticks or read the sticky on treats....Just don't want something bad to happen to them...
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

Great advice so far. You are the leader of your pack and that is the key here. No one works anything out at my house, I am in charge of this.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

I totaly agree!
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

Great advice from everyone and give her the benefit of the doubt - she is still new and confused - moving to a new home is very devastating for some dogs and she is unsure of herself and you.
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

Quote:
Originally Posted by nano
Great advice so far. You are the leader of your pack and that is the key here. No one works anything out at my house, I am in charge of this.

Exactly!!


One other thing I forgot to mention is I would not put your dog in the crate when she has tried to "fight" however if you follow the advice I truley believe you can nip this in the butt real quick....Putting them in the crate doesn't address the issue, a verbal correction along with making her calm herself is appropiate here....I have a resource guarder myself, and when she use to try and start a fight I make sure I have control over both my dogs put her in a sit then down, she can go to settle or side from there but she knows this where she must calm herself...When she is calm she may get up..I make both mine go through the process even if my other child didn't do anything, just bc it is good reinforcent to calm the situation...Before you teach this read this article by Nano so that she can learn the concept
helping-dogs-learn-to-calm-themselves-t19081.html
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Old 06-29-2009, 03:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new boxer is showing aggression towards my other dogs

Thanks for the advice everyone. She is crate-trained and I put her in whenever I am at work, out of the house etc.

Hulk, I always have walked all three of them together, and although its a bit chaotic at times, I also thought it would be best for them to spend the time together. Plus, I figure the more tired they are the better. My roommate usually brings her beagle along as well.

Thanks again all.
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