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Q. My 2 dogs Petunia and Buttercups fight all the time, twice a day. Is there a solution?
I am really rather desperate and am looking for someone who can empathize with my plight with my two cairn terriers. Both are females and around a year and a half old. Recently, the alpha dog (our smallest of the two) has been initiating vicious fights with the other dog over affection with my husband and their feed dish (for examples). I realize that this is a jealously issue, but keeping these two in the same house is becoming an impossible task.

I just fear, however, that Petunia is not a "family" type cairn. We haven't had problems with fighting until recently. It started out about two months ago and we were averaging maybe one dogfight a it is a couple a night. In fact, tonight as I type, I have Buttercup (the eldest) downstairs with me and Petunia upstairs alone. They can't even be around each other when my husband is around anymore. It is just constant fighting. Without him in the home, they get along just fine. Tonight, they have both bloodied themselves and have been licking their wounds all night. They have to be broken apart or I fear they would kill each other. In breaking up these fights, both my husband and myself have been injured.

Basically, I don't want to see Petunia leave my household. She is a sweet little thing and is my "lap dog," and admittedly my favorite of the two. From the description I gave, do you think that Petunia is vicious or is this something we could remedy with training? The vet, last week, even mentioned that Petunia was much more aggressive this last visit. In fact, she had to be physically restrained for administering of her yearly rabies inoculation. Is this common in Cairns? I have never heard of such problems in the breed and have heard, more often than not, that families own at least two cairns with no problems. Could it be in the breeding? I fear that I cannot contact the breeder, for both were pet store purchases. I would appreciate an email back. I'm really at a loss and the vet is not willing to provide any advice.

Thank you - Diane

A. The bottom line is that this is a handler problem and not a dog problem. Dogs are dogs and they have pack and rank drives - humans may consider them lap dogs but they are not. They are still dogs and unless you accept this you will fail forever with your dogs.

These females need to be kept separate with a dog crate - this is not a big deal unless YOU choose to make it one. Having two females can happen but not if they are allowed to live together like you have tried to do.

Your dogs need strict obedience training to establish who the pack leader is. USE A PRONG COLLAR. There is NO reason they should ever fight because they should never come in contact unless they are muzzled, and then if they fight they need their ass kicked and kicked hard. Unless you are prepared to assume the role of pack leader you will fail.
Recommended Products
Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs
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3 Hours, 30 Minutes
In my DVD, I provide 3 1/2 hours of information to help people solve their problems with dominant dogs and aggressive dogs. This information is based on 45 years of experience training dogs. For the last 30 years I have studied the art of protection training dogs. I was a police K9 handler for 10 years, and was chairman of the training committee for the WI police dog association for a number of those years. I have bred German Shepherds for police service work for 28 years. During this time I have bred over 350 litters of working dogs. I have dogs from my kennel working in law enforcement, Search and Rescue and competing in Schutzhund all over this country. No one I know in the United States can make these claims.

Dominant Dog Collar
Dominant Dog Collar
This collar is not intended to give a painful correction. It is intended to take the air away from a dominant aggressive dog. More dogs are put to sleep everyday for aggression problems than they are properly trained. Killing a dog must ALWAYS be the last resort. Learning how to use a dominant dog collar can and will often make the difference between having a dog put down or ending up as a pack leader and a dog the you can live with. Some dogs will often get over-stimulated by a prong collar resulting in a more hectic and aggressive dog. The Dominant Dog Collar is designed to be used on handler aggressive or dog aggressive dogs. Using a Dominant Dog collar correctly on the takes the drive and fight out of the dog. Leerburg's Dominant Dog Collars If you have a problem with dog aggression or a dominant dogs, we recommend that you get the Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs DVD. We also have an extensive collection of articles pertaining to dominant and aggressive dogs We recommend you read the article on Dealing with the Dominant Dog written by Ed Frawley. Individuals who use this collar for handler aggression should have their dog undergo through a solid pack structure program. For adult dogs, we recommend the Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet DVD. For puppies, we recommend the Living with Your Puppy - Establishing Pack Structure DVD. Due to government restrictions, countries such as Australia and a few in Europe do not allow the use of remote or electric collars. These dominant dog collars are a viable alternative.

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Option 2:
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
Establishing Pack Structure with the Family Pet
4 Hours
The goal of our pack structure training program is to produce a dog that is calm and submissive and a dog that follows the rules of the pack leader. This DVD teaches people how to become a pack leader that their dog respects and loves. Most people are not born pack leaders. In fact, far from it. The majority of dog owners (many who have owned dogs their entire life) simply do not know anything about the instincts that control our dogs or how strong these instincts are in the domestic dog. Oh people may have heard that they need to be a pack leader or they may have heard they need to be an ALPHA with their dog but they do not understand what this really means or how to accomplish it.


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