18 week old bitch - possible aggression towards other dog

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AlexT's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

Hello everyone.

 

My 18 week old pup Lexi has been doing really well up to now - we've had her since 9 weeks and her intelligence continues to amaze us. We started puppy classes 3 weeks ago and she's been great.

 

She is currently exercised at least 2-3 times a day and has plenty of variation in her walks. While I'm at work a dog walker will come in and take her out with 4-5 other dogs and she's been really enjoying it.

 

I'm out with her every morning and evening and in between when I'm off work. When I'm off - or sometimes when I'm at work - my mum or sister will take her out with their dogs. They have two King Charles Spaniels, both bitches. One is 8 and the other around 15 months.

 

Lexi loves going for walks with them, but for some reason although she generally ignores and gets along with Pippa (the older dog), she has become increasingly worrying with Bella (the younger dog). Bella is a very small example of a King Charles Spaniel, which as you can appreciate makes it even more worrying because at 18 weeks Lexi is already 3-4 times her size and a hell of a lot heavier!

 

Bella isn't a timid dog by any means, in fact quite the opposite. She will tell Lexi when she's had enough - the problem is Lexi keeps coming back for more and more. She will catch sight of Bella, and simply charge towards her and go to bite her. It's not full on agression and she's not "fighting" with her as such, but with Lexi's puppy teeth she has left Bella with bloody spots at times and the concern is it doesn't seem to be stopping - if anything it's getting worse.

 

This is quite an issue for me as obviously my sister is doing me a favour if she ever takes Lexi out - and when I'm at home we love going for walks together as a family but this takes the enjoyment out of it and makes it quite tense. Lexi will often go for Bellas neck as the target point. Now I appreciate (and am witness to) that there is an element of "playing" here - but Lexi really does go too far.

 

The thing is, this isn't a problem she has with any othe dogs. If a larger dog comes upto Lexi she will submit instantly. Even our other King Charles Spaniel she just doesn't bother with - its just Bella.

 

Has anyone got any advice here?

 

Many thanks for your help!

DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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Absolutely STOP this behavior between Lexi and Bella...even if you have to keep them separated.  If they are together and getting along fine without any roughness, fine.  As soon as you see Lexi look like she is going to go after Bella, stop her.  Distract her.  Leash her if you must, but do NOT allow her to bully Bella that way.  Bella will act out in a self-preservation instinct, because she does not want to be bitten, bullied, or injured.  She might start to growl, or snap.  If her body language looks to be saying "get away from me" then that's exactly what she is trying to tell Lexi.....but Lexi, being a puppy, is thinking it 's all fun and games. Bella will eventually snap or bite back just to protect herself, and Lexi will take that as a challenge when she is bigger, and the result of a Doberman vs small dog is not good for the little dog. 

Please dont allow them to continue this sort of relationship.  Two dogs that ignore each other is much better than two dogs that are constantly in a conflict of some sort.

AlexT's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-27

Thanks for your advice here. We have started putting one of them on a leash for periods if she starts doing it.

 

Do you think this is something she'll grow out of as she matures? Separating them on walks isn't a massive issue for the time being - but I'd hate to think that the next 10+ years of me walking with my sister consists of me trying to stop a Doberman bite a King Charles spaniel!

 

Do you have any advice on how to stop the behaviour? Possibly a half check collar for when she looks as if she's going to go for Bella?