Just wanted some input on this situation and so does my mother.
I am currently living with my two boys (Beegin is a basenji and Brady is a beagle mix) at my mom's house. Unemployed in Michigan surprise surprise… Anyhow, she just adopted a 3 year old cavalier king charles spaniel named Rowan. She agreed to take him cuz the original owner couldn't keep him anymore. We've had him about 2 months now.
This makes the current pack Tovah (german shepherd female, definite alpha), Beegin, Brady and Rowan. Brady is submissive to anything, including my pet rat (not kidding) so he and Beegin have always gotten along great. Tovah keeps Beegin inline and they have done well together also. Most of the time Rowan is the ideal lap dog. He is almost a doormat. But he and Beegin get into fights...
Beegin and Rowan get in fights over food bowls (we free feed cuz that's how my mom wants it - can't change it:mad:) every once in a while, and over chewies (rawhide chews or sticks) and treats especially. I almost feel like Rowan can't read Beegin's signals and I don't know what to do about this. Their fights occur in two ways.
Way 1: As an example, tonight we cut small bits off our steaks for super special treats and after dinner, I was feeding these to the 4 dogs in the corner away from the table and from their food bowl area. I feed them Tovah first, Beegin 2nd, then Brady and Rowan (left hand and right hand). Tonight, Rowan got excited and scooted until he was next to Beegin. Beegin flipped his ears back but Rowan didn't seem to care. Beegin was good until I went to give Ro his next treat then Beegin growled and snipped at Ro. Ro growled and snapped back. They fought for a bit and then Ro gave up and walked away. I have even seen Beegin flip his ears and raise his lip at Ro and Ro will continue with whatever he was doing kinda like obliviously.
Way 2: I give chewies to all 4 dogs. If Beegin gets near to Rowan, even if both of them already have chewies in their mouths, Ro growls and charges Beegin. Sometimes Ro will even chase Beegin from the room. By near I mean within 6 feet.
The fights usually only last 10-15 seconds and one or the other will run/walk away. There has not been any blood or injury in any fight so far. I am almost thinking that Beegin and Ro are working out their positions and just need more time to figure this out. More time to learn how to read each other's signals too? My mother however (she dislikes Beegin to begin with), thinks it is all Beegin's fault and he is becoming more aggressive.
I've also been wondering if it is because Ro was an intact male up until about 9 months ago. Beegin has been neutered since 7 months old and he is now 2 and a half. Would this still be a factor?
I'd welcome any input anyone has as I want to do everything on our end to stop these. I am a little afraid of escalation although I haven't seen it yet.