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Thread: Muzzles?

  1. #1
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    Default Muzzles?

    I've ran into a problem with my two male gsp's. Both are indoor dogs and have been together since the younger was a pup. They are actually father(4) and son(3).
    Recently they have begun fighting in the house. At first it was infrequent but began happening more with the time shortening between bouts. I've been keeping them separated since the last time but need to come up with a permanent solution. I have been thinking of muzzling them both while in the house or the yard until the behavior can be changed, if it can. So far there have been no issues in the field and hopefully it doesn't start.
    Has anyone else had to deal with this situation or had experience with different types of muzzles?

  2. #2
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    That's not a good problem to have.

    I'm by no means a animal behavioral expert, however I just so happened to have two male GSP's at home as well, 11 years and 4 years. My older dog is clearly the dominant dog but is pretty docile and is neutered. My 4 year old is intact, pretty bold, not a fighter but occasionally may pester the older one because he wants to play. Occasionally things may get out of hand and tempers may flare and it's the younger dog that is always the instigator. This doesn't happen often and usually the older dog puts him in his place rather quickly. If it continues, I put a stop to it at once by just raising my voice and all is done.

    Are they Neutered? if not, that may have to be a necessity first and foremost.

    How old are they? Young intact males depending on their temperament reach an age of maturity and may challenge the dominant dog.

    Is one dog normally instigating the fighting and can you put a finger on what is triggering it?


    When it comes to the dominant dog, I always greet him first. He gets fed first etc.. etc... it just reassures his position in the pack (family pack) Sometimes it's just two dominant males who are just that and trying to improve their hierarchy in the pack, unfortunately those can be the toughest to find a solution for.


    Wish I could be of more help.
    Last edited by birdshooter; 04-08-2018 at 09:59 PM.

  3. #3
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    One is 4.5yo the other is 3.5. Both are intact.
    From what Iíve been reading online most opinions are that it is to late for neutering to make much of an impact for this problem. If someone has differing opinions Iíd like to hear them as that was one of my first thoughts as well.
    There really is no posturing or roughhousing going on where I could get it stopped before it really gets intense. They are 0 to 100 and generally locked in before I can get them apart.
    It seems that the younger dog is the instigator and quiet honestly I think it is possessiveness of me that is triggering it.
    The last time the younger dog was laying in his kennel when the older dog came to me wanting attention. I heard the younger dog growl and before I could stand up he was there and the fight was on. The time before that the younger dog was sitting next to me when the older dog approached. Same thing, younger dog growled and the fight immediately ensued.
    Iím kinda unsure which is the more dominant. When outside in the yard alone the older dog seems to be as he is the one trying to mount the younger one. Inside the house it seems the younger one is more dominant. He typically makes the older dog move if he wants a spot and such.
    Iím thinking that this is probably my real problem as the younger one has been inside since he was a pup and the older one for only about a year.
    My thought is that by putting muzzles on them indoors we can work on training them out of this issue before someone gets hurt.

  4. #4
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    I had my older dog neutered for medical reasons but before this he could be a little stand offish to strange dogs (especially males) and now is quite excepting of strange dogs. Not sure if it was because he was neutered or just mellowing with age or not, but it is kind of coincidence. I plan on having my younger dog neutered as well as I am not going to breed him.

    I would still talk to your vet about neutering due to aggressive behavior. I would probably not breed them either because of this. Neutering just may help and it certainly won't do any harm as you essentially eliminate testicular cancer and prostate issues down the road as the dog ages.

    The muzzle idea probably not a bad idea. The younger dog acts up he should go into a portable kennel each time. Looks like you got your hands full.

  5. #5
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    Just thought of something you could try as it works sometimes with barkers. Get a spray bottle and fill it with water. If one dog starts to growl give him a blast in the face and see if it works???

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    They are due for shots within the next month so I'm definitely going to talk to the vet about neutering.
    I really havent been seriously considering breeding either one although they are both great in the field and in the house. At least up until this issue popped up.
    Yes they both get thrown in the kennel for timeouts but I'm not sure that's really much of a punishment as they both go in there on their own frequently.
    Once I get the muzzles I might try the spray bottle. As it is now there would be no chance I'd have time to use it before things get to far.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet View Post
    One is 4.5yo the other is 3.5. Both are intact.
    From what I’ve been reading online most opinions are that it is to late for neutering to make much of an impact for this problem. If someone has differing opinions I’d like to hear them as that was one of my first thoughts as well.
    There really is no posturing or roughhousing going on where I could get it stopped before it really gets intense. They are 0 to 100 and generally locked in before I can get them apart.
    It seems that the younger dog is the instigator and quiet honestly I think it is possessiveness of me that is triggering it.
    The last time the younger dog was laying in his kennel when the older dog came to me wanting attention. I heard the younger dog growl and before I could stand up he was there and the fight was on. The time before that the younger dog was sitting next to me when the older dog approached. Same thing, younger dog growled and the fight immediately ensued.
    I’m kinda unsure which is the more dominant. When outside in the yard alone the older dog seems to be as he is the one trying to mount the younger one. Inside the house it seems the younger one is more dominant. He typically makes the older dog move if he wants a spot and such.
    I’m thinking that this is probably my real problem as the younger one has been inside since he was a pup and the older one for only about a year.
    My thought is that by putting muzzles on them indoors we can work on training them out of this issue before someone gets hurt.
    What I’m going to say might sting a bit. Take it for what it’s worth.
    My first thought is to work obedience with both dogs. Sounds like the hierarchy is out of wack......You need to take charge and be top dog with some tough love. If the youngster came after the older dog while I was petting him there would be hell to pay!
    I could be totally wrong, a few sentences isn’t a lot to go off.
    The Other End Of The Leash by Patricia McConnell is a pretty good dog psychology book.
    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  8. #8
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    No issues. I asked for opinions, gotta take the good with the bad and to be honest with you I'm already blaming myself.
    I do think the hierarchy is out of whack between the two dogs obviously. They do however mind me very well.
    I think where I have went wrong is giving the younger dog the impression that he should be 2nd in line by allowing him to set with me, ride up front in the pickup and just overall be closer to me. Since I've had him since a pup and not the older dog there is a bond there that I don't have with the older dog and I've allowed that to interfere with the pack hierarchy. At least that is what I'm thinking is going on.
    I'll check out the book you recommended.
    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet View Post
    No issues. I asked for opinions, gotta take the good with the bad and to be honest with you I'm already blaming myself.
    I do think the hierarchy is out of whack between the two dogs obviously. They do however mind me very well.
    I think where I have went wrong is giving the younger dog the impression that he should be 2nd in line by allowing him to set with me, ride up front in the pickup and just overall be closer to me. Since I've had him since a pup and not the older dog there is a bond there that I don't have with the older dog and I've allowed that to interfere with the pack hierarchy. At least that is what I'm thinking is going on.
    I'll check out the book you recommended.
    Thanks.
    You just explained a lot right there. Now it's becoming clear as to what the problem is. Yes the younger dog thinks he's top dog and as far as he's concerned, he should get all the attention. Maybe he should be the top dog since you raised him from a pup. Either way he will need to accept the fact that you are going to give attention to both.

    Do some research/ reading. If all else fails try to find a trainer in your area who deals with behavioral issues. Good luck and check back if you have success.

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