Second Scuffle

We had our second scuffle the evening on the same day as the first scuffle. Juju tried to jump on the couch... that is, what Loki perceives to be HIS couch. And apparently, Loki attacked her. Again, I wasn't in the room at the time. Yun already broke it up by the time I got there. All in all, these fights don't last more than 5 seconds.

Loki is being very territorial and possessive. We call it the only child syndrome. He doesn't know how to share anything. I don't think it's exactly a heirarchy issue; it's not exactly dominance. He's not being dominant. We assess his behavior to be more unbalanced and neurotic. Not dominant. Dominance would be if he claimed his space and asserted himself so that she gets off the couch. In these scuffles, he is just plain attacking. Juju doesn't challenge him back. She may defend, but she's the one to back off. She doesn't want to fight. If it were dominance, then wouldn't the attack end as soon as the other one displays submission?

We decided that the couch is now off limits entire to Loki. We have to establish the fact that the couch does not belong to him. For now, we decided to enforce the rule for a month. Then we'll reassess the situation.

We think that he's being more aggressive today rather than when he first met her because he's starting to understand that the "visitor" status is now permanent. His socialization with dogs previously has always been in the context of visitors -- a temporary playmate. And he's pretty good with a temporary playmate. The two of them did play the first night. But now I think he's starting to understand that the new visitor isn't temporary.

Our solution so far is to put Loki in the exercise pen. He's the one being locked up and punished, because he's the bully. But I wonder if that will make things worse. I'm not sure. If you believe in pack heirarchy, we are effectively telling Loki that Juju is higher on the totem pole than he is. Will that make him want to challenge her more? Are we setting them up for more fights in the future? But on the other hand, how can we not punish him? We can't ignore or condone the fact that he is the one attacking.

I am trying to remain optimistic. It is a bit emotionally difficult. The really nice thing though is that so far Juju has displayed absolutely no signs of aggression.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love reading your blog. Sorry to say but I don't think you're doing it right. I think you should let the dogs establish natural hierchy themselves. You shouldn't arbitary "punish" him for what come natural to the animals (to establish dominance). I think it is confusing for Loki if he was allowed to jump on the couch before and suddenly he is punished for that.

Wilson said...

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/210201/how_to_introduce_a_second_dog_into.html

No idea if this is correct, Azuki is my first and only dog. But the articles did mention probably best to give more attention to Loki. Kind of consistent to what I heard before.

Xarien said...

To anonymous: Having raised Loki since a pup, it's very easy to distinguish the difference between vying for dominance and pure attack. While there might be an accidental injury or two during dominance scuffles, this was a full blown attack. You can see it in his eyes and you can feel the aggression.

It's instances like this that fights need to be broken up ASAP as it's caused by instability.

Leodjenkins said...

I enjoy reading your blogs there really good to read at work when im doing doubles =D
any-who
- i think the correct way to punish a shiba is to ignore it mind games are more there line of punishment that doesn't result in violent back lashes

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