My family has three dogs. The oldest at 9 is Taco, a purebread mal Chihuahua. Next is Maxie, our only female, who is about 6 and is a cut little mixed breed. She is fixed. The youngest and newest addition t our little family is Bandit a full blood Yorkie and he's about one an a half. We've had Taco and Maxie since they were young and got Bandi this past February after our 18 year old dog died.
Taco and Bandit don't get along very well. They will growl at eac other and Taco will attack Bandit if he (Taco) gets him (Bandit cornered. Bandit has taken to avoiding Taco at all costs but when the get into their fights, Taco will walk away but Bandit is mad by the and won't stop. Bandit gets a kind of tunnel vision at these times an is apt to nip at anyone who gets anywhere near his head, thinking tha it is Taco.

No one has been hurt yet, but someone might if we can't ge them (and especially Bandit) to knock it off. Any suggestions on what t do until we can get one or both fixed? And will getting them fixe really help? It didn't our 18-year-old and his brother when we got the fixed when they were 5

pastawyo
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My family has three dogs. The oldest at 9 is Taco, a purebread male Chihuahua. Next is Maxie, our only ... them fixed really help? It didn't our 18-year-old and his brother when we got them fixed when they were 5.

First off, don't let your dogs attack each other or corner each other. If you correct them, they will know that it is not allowed in your house. And you should be deciding what is allowed in your house, not the dogs. If you let it go, they have no way of knowing it isn't okay to hate each other and fight whenever their hate spills over. Keep them both leashed, even if they are dragging a leash, and pull them apart when they start getting into it. If you are going in toward Bandit's head after there has been a fight and he's *** off, that's too late. But if you do and he goes for your hand, correct him for that, too. Dogs need to know they can't go around biting people or packmates.We have a chihuahua who isn't fond of other dogs, though she will play wrestle with our mini poodle every once in a while when she's in the mood. She is not forced to hang out with the other three dogs in our household as if they are bestest buddies for life. But she isn't allowed to get into it with any of them. If she tries to growl them away from the family room because she thinks it should be all hers, she is told to knock it off and if she continues, she is removed from the room while the other dog gets to stay.

She is allowed to warn the other dogs away from my daughter's bedroom because we have already set the rule that she is the only dog allowed in there (she is my daughter's dog and that is a natural place for her to have a safe place to retreat when she just needs to be away from all the other dogs in what she thinks should be a one dog household). If there is any fighting or disallowed snarking, they have to answer to me, so they don't do it.
In the meantime, don't leave them in the same room together when you can't supervise them. Every time they fight without consequences reinforces that they can do so and also risks serious injury to one or both of them. Keep them crated or in separate rooms except for when you are right there to reinforce the no fighting rules.

Neutering should help, but it won't fix the whole thing if you don't also manage them and train them that fighting is not acceptable in your household.

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
My family has three dogs. The oldest at 9 is Taco, a purebread male Chihuahua. Next is Maxie, our only ... them fixed really help? It didn't our 18-year-old and his brother when we got them fixed when they were 5.[/nq]Neutering isn't going to solve your problems, but it will certainly take the testosterone edge off of things. I'd be redirecting Taco before he starts stalking Bandit. I'd be redirecting him as soon as he looks at Bandit. I'd do some classical condition with Taco (who is probably irritated about the interloper). When Bandit is present he gets lots of attention - maybe some treats if resource guarding isn't among his issues. If you are constantly punishing them around each other, they'll be looking at the other dog as the cause of their problems amd holding grudges.

When Bandit's not present, Taco gets ignored. Make both dogs work for what they want - sit to go out, lie down while you fix dinner, etc. Get so much into their heads that a word will abort violence. The more you control their resources, the more they will see you as the leader and the less need to compete between them. It sounds, from your description like Taco is the aggressor and Bandit is fighting so desperately out of fear. But that's just from the description.

Your honest best bet is to get a knowledgable trainer or behaviorist to observe these guys, tell you what is actually going on as far as dynamics and what to look for to cut it off before it gets serious. And yes, having them drag a line is a good idea if you have to break up a fight. They are small enough that shouldn't be hard, but even little teeth hurt. And anyone breaking up a dog fight is likely to get bit. I wouldn't leave them alone together unsupervised at all.
...Neutering should help, but it won't fix the whole thing if you don't also manage them and train them that fighting is not acceptable in your household.

Paula, that's a mighty fine post. I especially like the idea about leaving their leashes attached sort of like handles.

Whatever it takes.
My family has three dogs...

Probably 99% of the essential things have already been covered by Paula and by Sandy, but let's talk. Are you familiar with the "alpha dog" principle: where one dog is the one who controls the pack? Well, you have to be the "alpha dog" of your pack. That means teaching them what is expected of them and what will not be tolerated. Dogs use force (even pain) to convey the message, and you must be willing to do likewise (preferably, minus the pain).
Always go for the aggressor. Use a rolled up newspaper, fly swatter or even a broom, and go after the aggressor make him submit! I guess you can surmise the goal is not to harm them, but to scare them straight.

I support spaying and neutering of all dogs that are not supreme examples of their breed, and are intended for breeding. That will solve several problems, but behavior is not one of them.

You said, "Bandit gets a kind of tunnel vision at these times and is apt to nip at anyone who gets anywhere near his head,..." The legal/financial liability he imposes on your family is awesome. I think he needs to broaden his vision. You can desensitize Bandit, and I believe you have no sane choice. I see several nippy little dogs at the shelter. They both annoy and challenge me. I desensitize them by doing just what they hate: I touch their muzzle and all parts of their head. Otherwise, they can even be offered for adoption! That is double sad, because small dogs are always in high demand.
Its interesting that you mentioned tunnel vision, because I begin by bringing a finger right through the center of the "tunnel" right up the bridge of the nose and right between their eyes, and on to the back of their neck. Sometimes visitors stop to watch (presumably, to see if I get bitten). After we reach an agreement, I begin touching the side of his muzzle, around his ears and so forth.
Learning a technique is pretty simple, but also worthless, if one can not commit to being the alpha member of the pack and, yes, you are a pack member.

A dog's life is too short; their only fault really.
Probably 99% of the essential things have already been covered by Paula and by Sandy, but let's talk.

You should have left it as it was, and not offered your 2¢ worth.
Are you familiar with the "alpha dog" principle: where one dog is the one who controls the pack? Well, you ... aggressor make him submit! I guess you can surmise the goal is not to harm them, but to scare them straight.

To the OP: For the love of God, do not follow this advice. Get good, in-person help from a trainer or behaviorist who does not advocate either escalating the aggression level or dominating your dog(s). What Michael suggests is about the worst advice possible. Yes, you need to step up and offer your dogs leadership and consistency, but that should *not* involve beating your dogs into submission!

Shelly (Warning: see label for details)
http://www.cat-sidh.net (the Mother Ship)
http://esther.cat-sidh.net (Letters to Esther)
Ditto, ditto, ditto! Totally and completely disregard Michael's really STOOPID advice.
...To the OP: For the love of God, do not follow this advice. Get good, in-person help from a trainer ... to step up and offer your dogs leadership and consistency, but that should *not* involve beating your dogs into submission!

LOL+LOL+LOL
Hell's bells! "...beating your dogs into submission"! (I can't stop laughing!) Is that the impression I gave?
Maybe I left out too many details!? But I specifically state "the goal is not to harm them, but to scare them straight." LOL Beating them into submission! Almost ROF!
pastawyo, the idea is to frighten the aggressor into believing that (1.) he is in danger; (2.) his aggression is unacceptable and has negative consequences.
For what it's worth, you can substitute the rolled up newspaper, fly swatter or broom with a cotton ball or a wet noodle. Its only your reaction that makes the difference to your dog. The props merely add to the effect and aren't used for striking your dog. Most dogs will submit, if you just sit down beside them.
Well, I'm off to the shelter, where a formerly nippy Chihuahua mix is in need of some TLC.

The officer said, "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here."
...Ditto, ditto, ditto! Totally and completely disregard Michael's really STOOPID advice.

Robin, you're generally more objective than Shelly, and a good source of information. So, please, explain why my advice is "really STOOPID advice.". Please, teach all of us. :-)

Whatever it takes.
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