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Q. Does your DVD “Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet” cover a situation like ours where we need two dogs to learn their place?
Hello Mr. Frawley,

My name is Mark Wright. My wife, Cassie, and I have two dogs? and a newborn (our daughter Anna was born a week ago). Our dogs are Lacey, an 11-year-old pure bred Cocker Spaniel and Gidgit, an 11-month old Beagle/Collie mix.

Prior to Gidgit?s arrival, Lacey was fine and understood that we are the masters. I believe that is still understood today. I can approach Lacey and pull a bone or other toy away from her without her becoming aggressive towards me.

We introduced Gidgit to our home when she was about 8-weeks old, before we were aware that Anna was on the way. Lacey has generally tolerated Gidgit. Gidgit tries to play with Lacey, but the senior citizen is more into laying around or occasionally playing with her humans or chewing a bone. Gidgit also understands that we are the masters and allows us to take things away from her without adverse action. Our problem is between the dogs. I admit, that we went into the two dog situation without fully understanding anything about a two-dog household. We simply believed that other people do it, so we should be able to as well. This email is me waving the white flag admitting defeat. We have failed miserably at teaching these dogs how to get along with each other.

While we had no fights for many months, over the past two months, we have begun to see Lacey and Gidgit increasingly at odds. The picture attached to this email shows the outcome of a fight tonight. I was lucky to get away with just this ? and I realize that! We are not always certain what triggers the fights, but a few things we know for sure. When Gidgit is laying under my desk and Lacey walks by, Gidgit attacks. Also, when Gidgit is laying on the couch and Lacey walks near her, Gidgit attacks. We sometimes see when this is going to happen from Gidgit?s body language. However, we rarely see Lacey do anything to provoke it. We always try to break the fights up. Cassie and I have both been bitten by Lacey, each resulting in just a small, minor cut. Gidgit has nipped me before, but has always released quickly before causing even minor pain. Tonight, however, Gidgit latched onto my arm and would not let go, causing the wound in the picture. The baby was asleep in the nursery at the time ? thankfully! But this causes obvious fear for us.

Both dogs alone are wonderful pets and we do not wish to get rid of either of them. We have baby gates installed that allow us to divide the house into as many as four parts. Right now, we have the dogs separated, but we cannot continue to do this and I?m not even sure it is the best thing to do.

Does your DVD ?Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet? cover a situation like ours where we need two dogs to learn their place? What other videos would you suggest to us in our current situation?

Thank you for your time and help!

Mark

A. I’d start with our Groundwork program. This will need to be done with both dogs, and I would suggest crates instead of baby gates. This way you can control the dogs free time 100%. Pack Structure for the Family Pet picks up where the article leaves off.

I believe that this DVD could really help you. It’s titled DEALING WITH DOMINANT AND AGGRESSIVE DOGS and was a 5 year project. You can go to the web page and read the outline of what’s included on the video. These DVDs are not meant to be watched one time. The fact is anyone who needs this information needs to watch it many times because every time they watch it they will pick up new ideas.

If your dogs need a refresher on obedience training, I would also recommend Basic Dog Obedience.

I would direct you to the search function in the upper left corner of the website for any additional questions you may have. If you type in your key words it will guide you to articles, Q & A’s and posts on our forum.

I hope this helps.
  
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