Fourth & Fifth Scuffle

I'm wondering if I should stop counting the fights. It'll be embarrassing if I get up to number 50 or something ridiculous on this blog.

We had over a week of peace, and then two fights within 24 hours. What gives? Maybe I was hoping for too much too soon. Maybe my expectations were unrealistic.

I broke up the last fight they had. I had never broken up a fight before; Yun broke up all the previous ones. It took me a lot longer to break it up than Yun. It lasted like 10 seconds. I ended up using a pillow to wedge between them. And then I squished Loki against the bed with the pillow. For whatever reason, this worked to snap him out of it and calm him down. It worked better than our typical "relax" command. In about 2-3 minutes after the fight broke up, everyone was fine. Jujube had a smile on her face. Loki was lying on his back ready for belly rubs. Yun was fine. But I was still a nervous wreck! It took me awhile to recover. I sustained no physical damage, just mental. This is opposite of Yun, the last fight he broke up, he sustained physical damage, but no mental.

[Disclaimer: I am merely reporting what I did. I am not advising or suggesting that anyone to use a pillow as a way to break up a dog fight. I'm not a dog expert.]

Other than our scuffles, the two dogs are great together. They love to play with each other. They wrestle. And most recently, they have started to lick each other. It's so cute. Loki flinches away when she tries to lick him. And he licks her too!

After fights, we try not to really separate them. Well, wait, let me re-phrase. We try to minimize the separation to only what we think is necessary. If Loki is still showing signs of aggression, then we do separate. But if he completely does snap out of it like this last fight, then we don't. We think it's best to minimize the separation, because separation appears to build up tension and frustration between the two.

I can't really figure out what triggers these fights. I just don't get it. Well, the first two were obvious - toy aggression and possessiveness over the couch. But the rest have been a puzzle. I've no clue what the triggers are, which is very frustrating.

They don't seem to do any major damage, though blood was drawn at least once. And after we break up every fight, Jujube always wimpers and limps. At first we were concerned about the limping, but then like 5 minutes later, she'll be running around like nothing happened. I don't get it. Maybe it's a strategy to show the other dog that she's hurt, so he'll stop attacking.


Anonymous said...

I think it may be a good idea to consult a professional dog trainer at this point. I know you should feed and prioritize the alpha dog first. DD

Jen said...

If you feed or prioritize one over the other, you will probably cause additional issues.

Is it feasible for you to consult a behaviorist since their scuffles are of concern to you?

Bibby said...

We got Bear when Lily was just 1 year old and he was 9 months. we had episodes of "mine, mine. mine" from Lily but she got over it but it did take a while. I actually let them sort it out unless one of them didn't back down. Lily is alpha dog and would run up to him and bite his face (no blood drawing) when she had treats or a favorite toy to warn him off. Poor little guy didn't know what he had done most of the time. A year on they still bicker occasionally and probably always will. But they give each other kisses and clearly love each others company. When you have kids they will have spats like this too :) It sounds like juJube is being submissive after a fight which probably helps .My Shiba's are not the first dogs I have had and I learned from my other dogs that your stress and tension is very easily transmitted to them. i had a 160 lb dog and I was anxious about her being around kids so eventually she was too. On reflection I know I should have been calmer around her. Its early days too for all of you. I am sure that just like my Inu's they will get over it.

Xarien said...

The problem is actually pretty apparent in that Jujube is a natural alpha and Loki is having issues dealing with a second dog.

For instance, Loki has zero food aggression in regards to humans because we had trained that out of him as a pup. However, as we did not have a second dog, we had no idea he would be food aggressive towards other dogs.

Most of problem stems from the fact that while Loki is not a natural alpha, he's very much used to being the only child. He throws his tantrums from time to time, but for the most part, it's getting better. I wish it would be sooner than later, but as a proud Shiba owner, I understand the breed I'm dealing with and just have to be patient.

Anonymous said...

For God's sake, they are dogs, not humans. They will always act like dogs. There is nothing wrong with treating the alpha dog (Loki) like an alpha as there are no "equal rights" in the animal world. I think the dog trainer is called "dog trainer". I don't know why anyone needs to give fancy name like dog "behaviorists"(since all dog trainings involve its behaviors).

Chibi And Sumo said...

the general hierarchy is:
us (mom, dad, munchkin)
chibi is in charge
sumo is not
sumo tries to be sometimes
chibi explains the hierarchy
sumo gives up
order is restored

if it gets "too" aggresive or is territorial in nature, we have to step in (usually occurs 2x a week) and give chibi a timeout

Anonymous said...

In above posters defense, there is a distinct difference between dog trainer and behaviorist. Check it out!

Xarien said...

To the anonymous poster(s), please do not use this space for arguments or attacks on posts.

Leodjenkins said...

-Lol... a cool thing about Shiba's are they don't like to hurt their "own" pack members.

-They one that lost the fight usually does show the other dog that they are hurt it teaches them not to go too far while fighting or playing.

-Im starting to belive Loki does not like Yon is there a reason that might be true?

Vi said...

Leodjenkins --

Not true. Loki loves Yun. But I will say that each of our relationships with Loki has gotten better after our consultation with the dog behaviorist. (See May of 2009)

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