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Help! My yorkie is fighting with our other dog!

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I don't post often, but I need serious help here. We have two dogs, one Yorkie that is 2 years old and is all of 4 lbs. Then we also have a 10 month old Aussie/Bordie Collie that 33 lbs. The Yorkie has always been dominant and they have had a few squabbles, but it's gotten so bad that they can't be in the same room together.


So, what's changed? Well, my dh went out of town last Wednesday with two of my kids, so the Aussie's master is gone. Also the Yorkie had her shots last Wednesday. It started last Thursday and it's gotten so bad that they start growling and lunging if they even see each other. We've had to go to great extremes to keep them apart.


Before this week, these were two dogs that played in the yard together and curled up next to each other. Except for an occasional issue where the Aussie overstepped and the Yorkie corrected her, they have gotten along well. Now I find myself concerned that someone - a dog, my son, or me could end up getting bitten.


Please, shower me with your advice! Dh will be home tomorrow night and I'm hoping to at least have a game plan in place before the other two kids are back.



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You might post on the "Ask the vet" social board. Soph has a lot of good advice.

I don't know if it is always "good" but I do have an opinion on most things:D. Keep the dogs separated until dh gets home. I have seen too many cases of "big dog little dog", meaning the little dog gets punctured all over because the big dog has finally had it and then the owner gets bit too trying to break them up. An Aussie can easily kill a Yorkie just by shaking it a little too hard. The easiest short term solution is to separate them until the Aussie's boss is back and he knows it.

For more long term solutions I would have you research dog behavior info on dominance. Everyone in the home should be dominant over both of your dogs, you are a "pack" so to speak. Usually the dh is the alpha dog and then come the dogs and then the wife and kids. That's when people end up getting hurt or at the very least not getting the greatest enjoyment out of their pets.

I know there are seasoned dog breeders on this board who may have more specific advice regarding this. I usually just end up treating the bite wounds after the problem. I have two techs trained in behavior problems as I am not the expert I would like to be in that area.


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Thanks Soph, I'm so lucky you are hanging out here tonight!


Keeping them apart seems to be the only thing I can do right for now. Dh thought it was because the Yorkie had her shots, but ds and I think it has much more to do with Dh being out of town. The Aussie is a like a teenager pushing her boundaries and without Dh here to make her tow the line I'm feeling the Yorkie is trying to do the job. Nothing I've done so far has helped besides keeping them 100% apart.


I'll let you know how it is once Dh gets back! If tomorrow night is as bad we'll be hunting for a behaviorist!


Thank You :thumbup:

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I attended an all day seminar on aggression with Patricia McConnell


last year & she was adamant that if you get two resident females fighting with each other regularly, you need to rehome one. :(


Dr. McConnell has spent many years rehabbing dogs who don't like other dogs, who are socially inept or who are downright aggressive & she's very experienced in this field & has many many successes. But when females get to a certain point, it can be unfixable.


The stress for the family & the dogs is too much and the risks too great. Females, if they get like this, are waiting to kill each other (unlike males who tend to just fight, fight, fight, females who decide they hate each other will fight to the death) Would you want to live in a house where you knew there was someone just waiting to try to kill you?


I'd get a good behaviourist or trainer in right away to assess what's going on. You could be seeing teenage behaviour & a shifting of hieararchy. It would be normal for the Aussie to challenge her boundaries right now. The oldest dog is not always going to be necessarily the leader.


However, you need experienced eyes to look at the dogs to see how much they're posturing and just sorting each other out or if it's gone beyond that.


There's no way anyone can assess that without seeing it. I have had a female/female problem when I fostered a female who tried to pull rank on my resident female; I sorted them out enough so that they co-existed for the 2.5 mos she was here (but for safety I crated the foster whenever I was out of the house; they were able to be out during the day & night when I was home though; they even played together lots.....but I never really trusted that one.).


to find a trainer or behaviourist:



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You might look for Cesar Milan's materials.




Your dh might be the Aussie's pack leader but you should be next in line in the pack.


And it doesn't sound like anyone is the Yorkie's pack leader? (Or maybe I'm reading it wrong).


I know that Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) has a lot to say about establishing leadership. Perhaps your library might have some of his books?

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