Ok, need thoughts from the RTF folks....
I have three labs, 2 unneutered males (7 and 5 Years old) , 1 spayed female....of course my question is regarding my unneutered males....and fighting....
So, I have lived alone with my labs for the past 2.5 years, I will admit to spoiling them, they sleep on the bed, etc. etc. I have had problems with the older lab and another unneutered male I used to own, fighting over unspayed females, which escalated to me having to re-home one. My older male is definetely the Alpha male, the other more submissive...
Recently, I have been seeing someone who has been taking my attention away from the dogs...they are reacting in a very jealous way....pushing in for attention and whining if they have to be in their crates, etc. They are quite obviously not liking the "new" situation. They are fine with the new "person" but the older one has now had two "fights" with the younger one...Both incidents have occured on or around some "treat" time. Both dogs are crated during the day, and if they are with me alone, they have never had any incidents with each other, but now that the situation has changed in my personal life, the older one seems to be taking it out on the younger one!
Has anyone experienced something like this, any suggestions? I know I need to sit on the older dog a lot harder, actually both of them....although I think they do realize I am the pack leader, but still.....I am actually thinking of neutering one or both of them.....I hate to because of the medical aspects, but I do not want this to escalate to something out of control.....
Has anyone experienced something like this, any suggestions?
hmmmmm.... could you describe the actual incidents n more detail? Also, do you follow the philosophy of "Nothing in Life is Free" with your dogs, and does the new person in your life follow that with your dogs as well?
another thought, since they are crated during the day, is it possible they're not getting enough daily exercise due to o being busier now? a tired dog is a good dog, and maybe they have pent up energy they're having a had time controlling arond the new person?
Yes, one thing is extra pent up energy, I do have a dog-sitter that comes once a day and lets them out and plays with them for 20 min a day or so, but my dogs, (all of them) are quite high strung and they are used to more exercise than they have been getting in the last couple months. Winter is tough enough and it has been very cold and I have had less time with them than usual.
As to "nothing in life is free" I will admit to the fact that they get a lot of "freebies"....as stated, I do not sit on them or rule them with a lot of tough love, although I do require more obedience than most "pet" owners...but I would be lying if I said "I always go through the door first" or make them sit and wait before I let them out of their kennels. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, I am not consistant. I know I should do better and I should be tougher on them. The older male, has ALWAYS pushed his boundries to see how far he can go...he is a bit of a handful at times...
I actually cannot tell you what exactly happened the first time they scuffled, I had given them both a treat, they ate it, one walked by the other while out was out of the room and my friend said there was a "bump" and mayhem broke loose....
In the second instance, I had given the older one a treat and then my friend picked up a treat and gave it to the younger one and the older dog "lit" into him...like he was irritated that the younger had gotten some special attention or something from my friend...?
All of this started just recently and they only "change" it seems is my focused attention on my friend instead of my dogs.....or the fact that they are just not getting out to burn up the pent up energy...or both!
has the new female been spayed?
You have already answered your own questions. More one on one time with each as well as all together. Lots more exercise, managed situations with resource guarding and food (including treats), play time, training time,etc. Crated when you don't want to manage or until you feel comfortable. Conscious of what, how, where and when you do things. Nothing is free is a very good way to manage. Involve your new lady friend in the dog time. The dogs are jealous of your time and one another, the time you spend with each of them individually and indirectly of your new friend and the time lost to her.
In my opinion, neutering will not solve anything in this situation. It would quite likely create other problems. Cancer and other behavioral issues even though they are older. See Nancy Kay DMV at firstname.lastname@example.org. Search - New Research That Raises Questions About Current Neutering, I just received an email today about this.
Good luck and most of all have fun! You ALL deserve it.