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Discussion Starter #1
So...we are getting pretty nervous. Every night this week, Cori and Cosmo have gotten into a fight. Not just a play fight, mind you, a serious, scary fight. Tonight, Cosmo latched onto her ear and we had to physically remove him. They both drew blood (just a little, but blood nonetheless). We are not sure what started it tonight. I had just given them both a treat for being good puppies (and they had finished them), then I went up stairs. The next thing I know...they are tearing through the house.

Some of you may have seen the post earlier this week by Jeremy (Cosmotion) about this, but we didn't get a lot of response and we are thinking it might not only be food related. Jeremy is at the point where he thinks we might have to give Cori to a friend of ours, just so we can protect them from each other. The thing is, 99% of the time, they are soooo great together! We even caught them spooning this morning!

I'm not ready to give up yet...please help! Have any of your dogs done this? What can we do to prevent it in the first place? Thanks in advance.

Steph
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

Steph...let me go back and re read what he said happend..i dont remember the details..BUT i do know that there are several members that have been thorugh this...

hang tight
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

ok heres his post so people know the story..

Cosmotion\";p=\"106221 said:
Cosmo and Cori got into a pretty vicious fight last night. We were preparing dinner for the next night, which happened to contain raw beef. The dogs are always in the kitchen when we're preparing food, but this time something happened. I don't know who started it, but they started going at each other quite violently. Cosmo was bleeding a little from around his mouth. We had to separate them for a good 20 minutes to calm them down.

They have been doing this a bit more frequently in the past 2 weeks. We brought Cori home almost a month ago, and they play fight every day but it's never this vicious. It was really scary, and was really hard to break up.

Just a little background: Cosmo is 7 mos old, about 40lbs, not neutered yet. Cori is about 13 mos old, about 55-60 lbs. Sometimes they'll fight over a bully stick or a toy, but never this viciously. Ever since we brought Cori home she wolfs down her food, like she's never eaten before or is afraid someone will try to take it away from her. She was previously in homes where she was neglected and probably not fed on a daily basis. Aside from that, she is doing very well.

How can we stop this from happening? Should we just try to keep them out of the kitchen we we're preparing food ?
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

do you know whos starting it?

ive had mine over 2 yrs..and are the best of friends in every sense of the word..BOTH were terribly abused and neglected unsocilaized when we got them...didnt know eachother..

for the first time in those 2 yrs...they fought the other day..sounded like an all out pit fight...and they are both over 80 pounds..neither would back off...

it was over a real bone..both had their own..i didnt see what happend to start it..my 2 eat side by side, do everything together...it was jsut crazy !

and it was over as fast as it started...and nothing since..of course i threw the bones away..

from the sound of it...it is food related..b/c you had given them treats and maybe one was still thinking there as more..someone has an issue over food guarding and the other refuses to back down..and they are probably still getting used to eachother and how thing work
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

Honestly I don't know who's starting it. It happens so fast. Though, I do think it's over food. Jeremy says we can't just stop giving them treats though (cuz that was my suggestion)! Maybe we just don't give them treats for a few days and see if it is still happening. Then, I suppose we would know that it's over treats. We did take away the bully sticks, cuz even though they each had their own, they started fighting over it.

Does anyone try to give their puppies treats separately? Like, always do it in two different rooms?
 
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Re: The Fight Continues

I"m sorry, I don't really have this problem, one of my dogs will defend his 1 fave toy, but not to the point of attacking, just a little belly growl.  It sounds like a food problem.  You could try giving one a treat and not the other, and when the other does not attack, give that one a treat.  I'm not sure if this is feasible, but maybe.  I really don't have much to offer.
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

I have had my two fight over bully sticks before as well as treats and food.   So I do feed them seperately and when I give them treats they really do not need to be in seperate rooms just not right next to each other.  You might want to seperate them for awhile and see how that goes.  I use the crate for feeding and now I can leave the doors open b/c they choose to stay in there until they are finished.
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

At one point while I had two female boxers at once, we had a slight "tiff" over treats. I could not believe that they would be so horrible to each other as they too were like best friends in every other way.
I can not abide two dogs fighting for food like that, so..hard lesson to learn, but I would put them both in Sit/Stay..and when I DID pass out treats..I would stand directly between them..and my hands would open at the same time, allowing the dogs to only have ONE treat ( gobbled quickly of course
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

Good suggestions from all for you.  I can't really add anything else.  I think your idea of trying no treats for a while and see if that is a difference.  One other thing you could do is have thyroid levels checked on the dogs.  It is a very common health problem in boxers and can be the cause of behavioral issues.  I typically have mine tested every year for this after they reach the age of two unless I notice any changes that might make me check that sooner such as behavioral changes, lethargy and weight gain among other things.

Nano
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: The Fight Continues

OK..so I have an update. We had pulled out some ground beef for lunch today and set it on the counter. Both dogs happened to in the kitchen (bad move for us) and they went at it again. I still don't know who is starting it because it's so quick. However, as we were trying to separate them, Cori bit me. It hurt pretty bad...no blood but I think my hand is gonna get a little swollen (I have ice on it). It was probably more scary then painful. So we have pretty much determined that this is a food thing. Though, to be honest, when we feed them their regular meals (morning and evening), we don't have this problem. They both wait nicely for their food and eat it without issue. It's only when there is something different (ie treats or meat). Whats the deal?!
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

Don't let them be in the kitchen while you cook.  Make it a no go zone for the dogs.  It seems to happen mostly when you are cooking, so the smells are probably getting them over excited....

Just a thought, it sounds pretty scary!  Hope your hand feels better soon.
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

ok so Cori is the older one and the new one..id bet theres something in Cori's past that is bringing this forward and Cosmo is saying hey pal this is MY house..

the suggestions here are great !!! no food around them ... did Cori bite YOU on purpose or more that your hand was in the middle and it wasnt meat for YOU?
 

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Re: The Fight Continues

Ky_IsisnOnyxsMama\";p=\"107654 said:
the suggestions here are great !!! no food around them ... did Cori bite YOU on purpose or more that your hand was in the middle and it wasnt meat for YOU?
I don't think she bit me on purpose.

We just checked Cosmo and he has four DEEP bloody scratches on his face...
 

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:( awww Cosmo must be thinking jeez what in the world is the issue here..

i was betting Cori didnt bite you on purpose its just reaction ...but just making sure

id agree with above...no dogs in the kitchen..theyll learn how to get along itll just take time.they are sorting it out but Cori has food issues and Cosmo is of course not going to back down ...

try the no food around them ...at all..im sorry you are going through this..i know its hard..
 

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Ok, before giving up, I would do as Nano suggested, especially for Cori, get a thyroid screening done..Eliminate that first before you make any decisions..It really sounds food based even tho they do not have issues with meals, but that's very scary for all of you..Hoping you can get a resolve for this
 

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It is totally possible to give them treats while separated.  i am wondering why they get so many treats throughout the day anyway.  What does "for being good dogs" mean? if they didn't JUST do something like sit or lay down on command, they don't know why they are getting treats except just because.
I would limit their treats to only when they do something to deserve it.  Have you heard of NILIF? "nothing in life is free" for every treat or reward they get, they have to do something to earn it- can be as simple as sitting on command, or a series of sit/down sit/downs. THEN they get a treat or get to get up on the couch.
They are probably fine with the dog food b/c its not very exciting to eat- but then they see beef and treats and special things, and then one feels the need to guard it.  
I don't know how far apart they are when eating dog food- but I would move them to different rooms, or at least across the room just to ease the tension and prevent any problems.
You and your BF will need to be diligent in keeping all these "special" items away from the dogs when they are together.  Once they have more time to get used to each other it could ease up.  Until then, you are right- you just need to prevent the fights in the first place by removing the special food/toys
When you want to do training sessions using treats, just make sure one of them is locked in another room, or in its crate.
IF you want to give them bully sticks (or some other time consuming chew) again, just tether both of them across the room from each other with leashes.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah I dont give them treats unless they have done something that I wanted them too. Usually I have them do a sit or a down or something...I dont just hand them to them. That's what I meant "for being good puppies"...they did something they were supposed to do. Also, they are not getting a ton of treats. Generally it's when they go into their crates well (especially Cosmo cuz he still hates the crate) or they have done something I tell them to do. At the moment, they do get their regular meals at opposite end of a room. Though, as I said, thats not when the problem is.

We have decided to go get a baby gate for the kitchen so they cant be in there unless we allow them to be. ALso, we are not gonna do the bully sticks for awhile. Hopefully that will do the trick. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Steph
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well... now this is getting a bit ridiculous, they got into yet AGAIN this time over an ice cube. Earlier it was a toy.

I don't understand how they go an entire month being very well behaved and now all of a sudden they're getting into these vicious fights! It's increasing daily ! It is apparent it is not just over food, though that is what usually sets them off, it appears now it can be anything. I just don't get it, and I don't want to have to take one of my dogs to pet ER for stitches or worse.

What is this thyroid condition people speak of ? Is this common ? We really don't know what else to do. Keeping them separated all the time is not an option.
 

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How long have these dogs been together?
 
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