Sunday morning 7:30am, I was a nervous wreck. We had crated the two dogs for the night. Since our last scuffle, we had continually kept them separated. I didn't know what to do. Do I open up Juju's crate first? Loki's crate first? Etc.
I had to wake up my husband for support. I knew that I couldn't keep them separated forever. And in fact, I think keeping them separated was doing more harm than good. It was building up more frustrated energy.
With his help, we decided to hand feed both of them. One kibble for Juju. One kibble for Loki, as long as he was good and didn't display signs of aggression. I think we'll continue hand feeding both for awhile. (Yesterday's breakfast didn't go over so well. Juju ate Loki's food. He got pissed about that one. They didn't fight at that point, but we think it created the animosity for other scuffles.)
After breakfast, I watched them both very carefully and stopped Loki as soon as he displayed signs of aggression, such as fixating on her, growling, barking, or lifting his lips. I was very careful to make sure they had their own personal space and didn't let them get close to each other. I had to stop Loki a couple times and put him in a relax position. Things weren't exactly all better at this point, but at least I felt like I had the situation under control. I started to gain confidence in my ability to handle them.
Then I took the two of them out for a walk around our neighborhood. They seem to have no issues with walking together outdoors. Loki had no problems with her encroaching on his personal space, and Juju typically walked in front of Loki.
Around 11am, the two of them decided to be friendly and play with each other in the bedroom. Yay! I was SO glad. So relieved to see them be nice and play. They chased each other around like crazy, knocking over the plastic water bowl, jumping on and off the bed.
Here are a couple snapshots of them playing in the bedroom.
Here you can see Loki's injury above his eye from the first scuffle. Poor Loki. He was the bully and instigator, but apparently, he was also the one who got hurt.
The rest of the day went very well. They played more together in the backyard. Running around like crazy, chasing each other. Then they played some more in the basement. Running in circles and even some wrestling. Loki tried to hump Juju, but she's very good at using her butt to shake him off. She wouldn't let him get on top of her at all.
Here they are tonight, peacefully sharing the couch. Maybe I'm asking for trouble by not demanding that they both get off, but they seem to be doing so well. Maybe it's better to just enjoy the peace. Loki's learning to share.