I have a total of 7 dogs….3 females (2 shepherd mixes, 1 chihuahua) and 4 males (1 lab, 1 shepherd mix, 1 papillon and 1 Boxador). All are fixed except the Boxador puppy. Some of these are our dogs while others are fosters. The 2 females (Princess and Shauntae…both shepherd mixes) are the ones causing me trouble. I raised both of the dogs (along with their 3 other siblings..one of while we still have) from the time they were abandoned at 3 weeks old. We adopted Shauntae out early on but in July got a call from her owner saying he had to relocate and had to find a home for Shauntae. Needless to say, she ended up back with us. When she came back to us she was not spayed yet….we had that done (in October) but it might have been too late? When she first arrived back here things were fine. Over time I did notice there was some tension between Princess and Shauntae but thought a little of that would be normal. Well, it progressed over time (from circling, starring down each other, some nudges here and there to actuall fighting). The fighting never drew blood or lasted more than a minute, until Saturday morning that is. We kept a close eye on the two of them hoping that dominance training would help bring them around, but….apparantly it’s not working. Saturday, Princess started a horrible fight with Shauntae that lasted well over a couple of minutes and ended up with Princess have a number wounds from it. I could NOT get them apart at all. It scared the heck out of me. Once I got them apart we put Shauntae in a crate while I tended to Princess (her wounds weren’t horrible but needed some attention). Of course I have not let them anywhere near each other since this happened. The strangest part about this is that they get along fine most of the time…they eat together (I hand feed them all to help them bond with us and help establish dominance), they play together, they even sleep together at times…but it seems like if Princess is in a situation where she gets too hyper…the fights begin. (examples of those situations: having to wait to have their leashes put on for their walks, running out the back door for play time, when someone comes to the door). Princess has always been a hyper dog but this is ridiculous. Princess is the one starting the fights…Shauntae is apparantly finishing them though! My first instinct was that we had to get Shauntae out of here and fast. When she came back to us we didn’t intend to keep her…just keep her from the pound so we could find her a home. There’s a bit more to this story that might help with answers too. Shauntae was an only dog in her previous home…so, in my eyes..she was the alpha dog in her home. Princess was the biggest female in our home until Shauntae came back…so, obviously…that is going to be a problem. But…is there any way I can make things work between them? The other part of the problem. I have had severe medical problems since this past March…I’ve been having seizures and they believe I may have Fibromyalgia and I recently fell down our stairs and am now in a wheelchair. The dogs pick up on my condition a LOT…it’s caused problems with my maintaining the ‘leader’ position as they sense I’m weak. All of the dogs sense the days that my seizures are worse and hover around me. I don’t know if this has anything to do with what is going on between the two of them but thought it might. Also, re-homing either Princess or Shauntae is going to be difficult. Both of them have bonded to me so much that it takes a long time for either of them to bond to other people. We’ve actually tried to re-home Shaunate with 2 different families already since she’s been back with us but neither worked out. She got away from the first family before they even got her in their house and my husband had to go and get her (she wouldn’t go anywhere near them)…then they decided they didn’t want her. The second family….well, they said she would just sit at the door and whine and seemed like she really wanted to come back home. I have no idea what to do here! If you have any advice on how I can make things work between Princess and Shauntae I would have problem keeping them both…but, this fighting just cannot happen (no matter how severe it is)….or, if anyone has any advice on how I can make Shauntae going to a new home easier for her that would be great too. Shauntae is very skiddish (she wasn’t socialized much in her previous home) and it takes her a while to warm up to people….this is a HUGE turn off for most people so they don’t even bother trying! I contacted a rescue and have considered placing her there but I just don’t know….would that be a better situation for her than trying to find her a permanent home and just keeping Princess and Shauntae seperate until I can? I just want the best for her!
Thank you in advance for your help!
P.S.–I had my husband pick up some muzzles for them but Princess gets hers of