Monday, 24 January 2011

Bloody and violent fighting in our pack

Following Pussy's violent death, the thread binding our pets together, allowing peaceful co-existence in our multiple pet household, unravelled so fast and so out of control. 

Left to Right: Bambi (female, spayed), Jappy (male,  intact), Woody ( female,spayed), Moymoy ( male, neutered), Trudis (female, spayed)

For two years, the dogs had no problem sharing a pad. Except for the occasional spat between Trudis and Bambi, where the latter would immediately assume a submissive pose, I didnt not observe any other kind of power struggle within the pack. 

On Saturday, after returning from weeks of confinement inside our house, Trudis was attacked by Bambi in their pad. Trudis was wounded and bleeding on her leg so we had to whisk her away and keep her on a separate dog house. Come Monday, it was Moymoy and Jappy who  had a fight inside the pad. It was obvious that Jappy had the upperhand, but Moymoy would not give up easily. He maintained his stance (although his eyes were turned away) and was matching Jappy growl for growl.   Fifteen minutes through the stand off, the humans decided to intervene before any blood is shed- Moy's most likely. Even with Moymoy outside of the dog pad, Jappy continued to bark furiously at Moymoy,  like he wanted to kill Moymoy. Moy was so scared and stayed on one corner and would not even move when we tried to coax him to cross the playground and transfer to the garage.

Now the pack is divided in two factions and are separated from each other until I figure out a solution. Jappy, Bambi and Woody are staying in the dog pad and are let out periodically in the playground. Moy and Trudis are roaming freely  in the garage right now. I intend to borrow a spare cage from the Animal Doctor's Clinic and put it in the play ground for Trudis and Moy to sleep tonight because the garage will be occupied by the car by then. I cannot let the dogs inside the house because I fear for the Human Pup's safety. He has been attacked by my two dogs in my Mother's house a year ago. All dogs that I live with see the Human Pup as a threat. 

I am trying to analyze the events that preceded the fights. The pack hierarcy has been disrupted, thats one thing I am certain. But do you think it was right that we intervened? If I had a choice, I would have let the dogs settled their differences on their own, that technique works like magic sometimes. But when it reaches the point where they will kill each other for the alpha status, what will you do?

This experience reminds me that the pack hierarchy is dynamic, just like everything else in this world.


  1. Hi Secretary,

    Do you think Trudis' sickness has to do with disruption in the hierarchy of your dog pack?

    We are not too versed with dog pack hierarchy because we only have one dog for the longest time. We had two before (both unneutered boys) but one was really submissive and was content with being the "baby brother" of his alpha male kuya.

    We hope that the dogs resolve the issue soon and peacefully.

    Maxie and Mom

  2. Good heavens! What is going on with the boys and girls?! It sounds like they could ALL do with a jolly good smacked bottom! Oh, sweet Secretary - there should only be one pack leader and that is you. Naughty dogs.

    I do have one possible reason for this outbreak of naughtiness, and I hope you will forgive me for suggesting it and understand that I only mention it to try and be helpful.

    I wonder if the problem has its roots in the dogs' reaction to the loss of their friend Kuya Lowie? Dogs grieve too, and they will have been (and probably still are) very, very sad that he isn't around anymore, without being able to understand why. The less-dominant dogs may have used this change in the atmosphere and the grief of the usual 'leaders' to try and assert their own power - which has led to the present problems. Also, some of the dogs (probably Trudis, for one) may be extremely angry at the dogs who killed Pussy and caused you distress.

    Doctor Jasper has this suggestion: As much as it goes against my primal instincts(!) to say this - the dogs (ALL of them) HAVE to understand that the human is the pack leader. If you have time, sit with all dogs together in one room for an hour at a time (maybe an hour a day, to start with). At the first sign of trouble, step in. Gently but firmly force the troublemaker to the ground and pin him/her down for a moment while shouting "No!" and then release the dog.

    Choose the dog that you feel is the most reliable when you are not around (probably not the traditionally "weakest" one though) and make sure that that dog is fed first, and that all the others see this. Approach that dog first, put its lead on first when going out, things like this which will show the other dogs that the chosen one is your appointed 'deputy'.

    It will take a little time, probably, but it will settle down.

    Sorry you've got all this trouble brewing sweetie - it's the last thing you need just now.
    Let us know how you get on.
    LOTS of love,
    Ruth & Jasper xxx

  3. I'm so vewy sad to heaw this. I have no idea what could have caused this. I sometimes gwowl at my bwuddew when he comes to visit and steals my favowite toy, but nothing evew happens. This mmust make you sad and puzzled. I hope that you can solve this, in the meantime, I think you did the wight thing sepewating them.. I'm sending my special love to all of you especially to Scawlett. it seem like so many sad things have happened wecently at the aminal dogtows
    smoochie kisses

  4. OMD!
    Sounds scary!
    I really hope you find a good solution for that and everything will go back to normal!
    Paws crossed!
    Take care
    Kisses and hugs

  5. I'm pwaying things awe calming down and getting bettew.
    Scawlett , I'm so glad you'we safe fwom all the mayhem
    smoochie kisses

  6. Oh no, Lilli!
    I was going to warn you about this when they attacked Pussy! Remember, I told you how Sumo and Bogart fought after four years of being together. We had no choice but to separate them by buying them their own houses where they go on shift (when Sumo was out, Bogart and Sweepy goes in) and somehow they respected this because when one needs to go out, the others immediately goes home. Of course, now that Pica and Bogart are gone, both Sumo and Sweepy are out and together!

    When I went to your place I noticed the dogs were obviously fighting for your attention which was why I did not pat any of them.

    One thing that could have triggered it was a female on heat in the vicinity. They get noisy and vicious and affects ALL animals! It happened in our place recently and Sumo and Sweepy growled at each other but I was able to assert my authority so both of them have to be reoriented AGAIN!

    Oh Lilli! I know it must be so hard for you to see them fight. I know how it feels. Please be brave and pray. Sometimes when I can not find the solutions I pray and somehow everything rights itself.

    I will pray for you and the dogs.

    Lui, the Keeper of Sweepy and Sumo
    and your loving friend

  7. Hello there Secretary,

    The piappies are all confined in one area and we've had several fighting among the pack too. Somehow we have not figured out the cause of such disagreements. It's a good thing that it has not become out of control (thank God!).
    This may not be much help but we think it may about hierarchy issues and the competition for your affections.

    From our observations, we initially thought that Mocha is just the bully who enjoys the thought that the younger ones - Wai-Pai and Wai-Max are afraid of her. But we also noticed that Mocha sometimes just enjoys teasing and playing bitey face with the wai-pups. And this can become out of control. The wai-pups managed to resolve this in their own creative ways - Wai-Max pretends to "play dead" (he lies down on his back) while Wai-Pai claimed the flower bed as her base. Every time she jumps on the flower bed the bullying stops. Piappies Mom also makes sure that she gives attention to each and every one of us equally.

    We'll to search for useful info we can pass along to you.

    We hope that there will be more peace in your home and within the pack.

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & Forgie

  8. Wow, this situation is way out of our league since we only have one Teddy to worry about (and a CC-man). It sounds like a challenge. I'm wondering if Jasper's suggestions about asserting yourself as leader might work, like the Cesar Milan method. As though you need more things to worry about :(



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