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Discussion Starter #1
It's been a while...after the holidays I started a new job so getting online hasn't been common! But I had to pop on tonight...last night Abby and Brady started fighting. They only ever fight over a new toy and rawhides. The only time it has been for another reason is when they had some jealousy issues after we returned from a week long vacation.  
Now, last night, a new toy was involved, but I monitored them and as soon as I saw some possessiveness, I put the toy away. Despite that, they started to fight. I separated them and after a few minutes of cooling off, I carefully re-introduced them. They went at it again. This has NEVER happened...they typically are all lovey with each other immediately. So I separated them again, took each outside individually, gave them some time. Then, they went at it AGAIN! So I kept them separate till my husband got home from a dinner meeting and we worked together to re-introduce them. THey were cuddled up with each other within 15 minutes.

Tonight, Abby seemed a bit possessive of an old ball, so I took it away. She saw where I put it in the other room and went looking for it...she returned and attacked Brady! WHAT THE **** is going on?!??!?!  (of course, although it is the last thing you are supposed to do, I always push them away from each other and pick Abby right up so they can't reach each other...tonight, I stuck my hand right in her mouth...ouch!!!!) I felt awful for Brady...he was so nerved up, he woke up at 4 a.m. puking.

Anyways, not sure what to think right now.  Moments before tonight's event, they were playing. She's 18 months now...is she in a new development stage? The only thing that has changed, and maybe they are feeling it...it my new job. I am working longer hours, so my husband comes home a bit earlier (the time I used to) to take are of them. Their hours are technically the same...it's just my husband getting home to them first, instead of me.

I don't get it. Brade is curled up in my lap right now, poor boy.

Sorry for the long vent, but if anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, etc., let me know.

(I should note, Abby clearly knows she is in trouble...once she calms she just looks at us  like "uh oh." We give her a time out and make her sit/stay...she would stay in that precise position hunched over for an hour if we didn't let her get up...she knows she's in the wrong.)
 

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thank you....they are always so good together...fights (as we know the 2 causes) never happen anymore, so 2 nights of it is a bit nerve racking...[fade]
 

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I hear you, I can have issues with marrow bones.  Give them each one, next time I turn around Hanna has both and Kash is whining.  Then he goes to get one and she snaps at him.  Then all bones are taken away.  I hate aggression, have no tolerence for it.   Hanna was aggressive with younger smaller dogs, but we have worked on it with exercise and a trainer.   So its not easy.
 

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That's a good point. How much are you walking them? It sounds like to me they need to be exercised more and that means a very brisk walk with them at your side and not ahead of you. This will help take away that pent up energy. you want them tired so they have no energy to be aggressive.
 

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they have admittantly had less excercise due to weather. We have tried to make up for less outdoor activity by getting good long games going in their playroom (fetch, just romping around in general, we also give them a little more leeway in chasing each other around the house in this weather to get that excess energy out)...but I acknowledge that it is still less exercise than their normal 2 miles walks and crazy play out in the yard. I can't keep Abby outside though with the cold. She just gets stubborn, sits down and will not move. Even with boots and a fleece coat. It hasn't been a problem yet, until apparently yesterday. ....they are still worn out at the end of the day.  Actually, i just tried to get Abby in a good game of catch outside to wear her down and she wanted nothing to do with it. too cold for her.  after having them separate for about half an hour, abby still tried to go at him. he's shaking, poor guy. we have her on a leash now and she's resting a bit. I did a long obediance session with her in their playroom...this is just not the norm for her so I am worried. my husband wonders if at 18 months now if she is attempting to exert a bit more dominance as she matures. to date they have been pretty equal...they each have their moments when they act a a bit submissive or dominant, but we have followed the rule of thougt that NEITHER is dominant, only we are. I sort of wonder if she is testing this a bit now but it's hard to wonder too much bc this is only the 2nd day of this behavior!!! ugh, sorry to ramble so much, frustrated and trying not to lose it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Question, is Liz around anymore to check out behaviorists? I know she used to check into behaviorists for users...wondering if she's still around anywhere for this?
 

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I have tested both.  Try to tire them out by fetch and other games or go for walks. I have found that after a brisk walk they achieve a much deeper state of calmness. This way they are seeing their pack leader take them and control them more. If you let both just run around then she is now starting to control the situations more.  Maybe this started because of the extra time she has on her own playing. Now she is making up the rules. Also, if she keeps this up you may need to put her on the work for everything program. That means whatever she gets she must perform something for you. A sit, a stay ect. ect. Also, make sure she is not walking in front of you out the door when you both go out. Have her sit and you walk first and then call her to sit again.  

As far as her not wanting to walk in the snow
 

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thank you for your input...we have already started the nothing in life is for free/work for everything attitude and I am going to force her into a nice long walk. Your idea on their additional freedom in the house is interesting...Abby was incredibly hard to housebreak (she was caged until 2 days before we got her at 5.5 months and the idea of not using your sleeping/living area as a potty area was just not in her mind...so breaking her of the habit took a long time. She was about 13 months before she really got it and even for a while after that, i kept her freedom to roam the house fairly limited. She went where I went. In the past 2 months or so...if she has just gone out, she gets a couple hours to roam the house. WHile she normally sticks with me, she does spend some time wondering and playing. So the new found additional freedom maybe giving her a new sense of being.  

Interestingly, this morning, Brady seemed to have disregarded much of last night. Last night he was shaking when she came in the room, this morning, his little stumpy tail was wagging whe he saw her.
She was acting very motherly with him, but if he came to me for attention, she would step right over him. Hmm...

I contacted a behaviorist, I think it may be worth a few visits as a starter and see what happens....
 

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The behaviorist is the best idea.  Also have you checked her thyroid levels?  This can be relative to that and boxers are prone to hypo-thyroid.  I would also recommend checking that.

Nano
 

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I may be wrong in my initial impression but I would also take a close look at how you treat the two of them...obviously being new here I have no idea of your experiences so far (both you and the dogs) though I am trying to read through more posts and to get a better understanding of all these great dogs.  

Dogs are pack animals and one willl assume a dominnate position over the others...the people should always, always, always be dominant over the dogs, however they need their own pecking order to be comfortable with their place in their "pack".  

I do not agree with lettting dogs fight, but a I've discovered people have a tendency to stop those fights favoring one dog over the other.  Usually out of a feeling that they need to protect the less aggressive or smaller one...which leads to more fights because the 'protected" dog feels more powerful and keep challenging the actually dominant dog.

not saying this is the situation, it actually sounds like you're handling it very fairly and overall treating both dogs equally...just wanted to point out the possibility that it's a battle for dominance.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for everyone's input..let me respond to a few questions here and there:
Tiggy...We do quickly stop the fights as I will not tolerate it to continue. In doing so, Abby gets disciplined, Brady does not (as Abby is the aggressor) but I make a point of making sure they are in separate rooms before I get all oogly with Brady (I always feel so bad)...he is not at all empowered by this. In fact, he seems to be picking up on Abby's behavior before we even see any visible signs and backs off and leaves the room. He wants nothing to do with the fighting and tries to hide behind furniture (and then he doesn't want to see her at all). So while I do tend to favor him with respect to these fights, it is not changing his attitude about the fighting itseld and I make sure she doesn't seem me oogling all over him afterwards.

We have been pondering your comment re: a pack order other than just us and that is one of the things on our list for the behaviorist...allowing her to establish her dominance in ways other than fighting, etc. We are trying the basics right now...she gets her treat first, walks in front of him, etc. We'll see.  

Nano...I am going to see if I can get into the vet Monday after the behaviorist and have her thyroid checked.  

Nexu...I do believe it is more likely to occur when it's just me v. my husband. I am doing my best to ensure I am her  boss but clearly not doing quite enough.  However, last night, we had a long play session in their room that was going fairly well...then we saw her behavior change and he moved away...my husband was actually in the room and grabbed her collar as she lunged...yet this morning/aftenroon, they were doing really well, we played a lot outside and took a 1.5 miles walk, played with a neighbors dog, used up a lot of energy, etc. And guess what? My husband leaves, I take them to the family room, Brady looks at Abby and walks away. A second later I see the strained look she gets on her face!!! ugh.  

Behaviorist comes Monday and my husband just went to the bookstore and got two books, one that a pretty good chapter on aggression and one called "Leader of the Pack," so hopefully some goo dtips will come from that.

I can't wait for this to be over. I am so worried about them!!!! I know this won't last long and all will be back to normal in no time, but I just ABSOLUTELY HATE THIS!!
 
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