How do you know when a fight is getting serious

  • Ok here we go again. Lizzy is standing up for herself which means she feel secure I hope but…. My question is how do you know when things are getting out of hand? At this point when I get them to stop I order them both to their crates and let them cool off 5 or 10 min. Is this the right thing to do. They dont seem to be biting down it still seems to be all show and sound but how do you know when it is getting serious? They still play together and sleep together. Tonight it was prompted by treats. Do a trick get a treat. Lizzy wouldnt back off so zoe could get hers and zoe told her to get out of her face and they got into it. Do I need to crate one while I work with the other or work more on manners for awhile with Lizzy so she waits her turn.
    I have actually been trying this but she is very food motivated and just wont back off.

    Any suggestions?

  • Tough one. That issue with Lizzy not backing off, personally I would of let Zoe do her thing there. Lizzy has to learn/respect where the boarder goes.

    As for fighting, Gizmo is getting his fair share at the dog park. But even with Dobermans, and Rotwielers, they don't go for the kill. They just try to wrestle the other do the ground and hold him there so he understands. Gizmo has been shoved to the ground several times…haha, it's so funny...actually he is on the ground every time. I think his ego is bruised.

    The seriousness you can hear in the growls I was told at my puppy class, and it seems to be correct. You can hear the bass/darkness of the growl change. If it gets very very deep that's a sign of it going to seriousness. Also the way they bite. If they bit/jab, that's okay, but if they bite and start to shake (like with toys) that's a "kill".

    But I am far from an expert.

  • This is difficult. I guess I have learned to watch posturing and reaction from the 2 involved. I rarely get involved. If one would scream, I tend to watch more closely for the other's reaction. If he backs off, ok just play. If not, and he actually becomes more aggressive, then I would step in. However, 2 dogs really fighting is very hard to break up. They shut out everything. When Dash and Ansel, now Hansel, when at it, my husband had to pick up both dogs and pull them apart. He still has the scars.

    The cool down period is a good idea.

  • Since food is the issue, I would NOT feed or work with them together. If if continues, you could have a very serious issue on your hands… IMO... Work with them separate

  • Work them separate or at least work one with the other in an xpen or behind a secure baby gate if you're going to ease them into working together. Zest gets a little snarky, especially with Jet, when food is being passed out, but if I'm handing out food, she will usually wait patiently for her turn. She also has a great mat command and will race to her mat and down, so if she's really being pushy, I'll say "MAT!"

  • Wouldn't having them separated build up more content against each other?

  • Nerdy DogOwner - yes, separation could build up tension if not done in a considered manner - it is a good idea to feed next to each other but not able to reach - for instance fed in crates side by side. When working with them the same -making sure that although they can see each other (not facing up to each other though) they are separated by an unsurpassable barrier.

    Otherwise as Tanza says, it would be building up trouble.

    The problem with Basenjis is of course that they can get really hyped up during play but you soon get used to the growling which says trouble ahead.

  • ? Just to show the size difference sort of concerned if liz gets serious she is so much bigger. Zoe is only 16 pounds and Lizzy around 50. I will seperate Lizzy and work her on manners but I never thought I would see a dog more in love with food than a basenji. Lizzy could eat all day and night.

  • I agree with Pat… since the food is the issue don't use it with them together.

    How do you know when the fight is serious?
    Well, you have one barking dog, so I can't say athing about that one.
    But with basenjis.... SILENCE IS DEADLY.
    Where there is noise, there is almost always far less injury.
    When you hear absolutely nothing... they are going for death.

    Had to break one of those up ... 2x in my life... it is the most dangerous thing I have ever done.... VERY scary.

    Getting treats shouldn't be an issue.. but the big dog doens't want to share hers.... in my house she would starve because a basenji would grab the food and run.
    Do the same tricks.. but reward with LOTS of praise. Don't let them think they won't get something out of it.

  • usually the less you can hear them fight, the serious it gets….

  • Thanks all I have been working with Lizzy seperately. I havent had what sounds like a serious fight now. Its the tone of the growl I was listening to and sometimes it just sounded more serious then other times but still there was no bite marks so I wasnt sure if I was understanding the tone. I think things are going well but I'm more familiar with bs than other breeds of dogs.

  • A very dangerous growl is one that comes from the depths of the dog's chest and can be felt more than heard. It is a low, guttural growl with hackles raised, tail in a stiff, straight-up position, sometimes wagging like a stiff flagpole and legs stiff as if the dog is raising up on its toes. Sometimes, the dog will turn sideways to the "threat" in order to make itself appear larger. This is the last sign you will see before something serious happens. Unfortunately, there are times a sudden bonzai attack will seemingly come out of the blue.

    All growls are a warning. However, the one I described above is the most serious audible growl. I lived with an unaltered male Australian Cattle Dog who made this growl twice during the time I knew him. Each time, it was at another unaltered male dog and I had him on a leash and felt the growl up the lead before I heard it. I was able to remove the ACD from each situation before anything happened.

  • Forever Amber - I'm so pleased that you seem to be making good progress.
    Hopefully this will continue and you won't need to distinguish the growl any more.

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