Buddy & Bandit are Male Corgi brothers, from the same litter; they will be 1 year old next week.
They have played fought many times over the past year; but nothing that we couldn't stop by clapping loudly or yelling their names and telling them to stop.
This weekend something changed and they had 3 fights that progressively got worse.
It was not provoked by food or toys, or even one of us - it seemed like their fights started out of nowhere and they were fighting in such an agressive way that I refused to get involved. I tried spraying them with water, even hitting them with my shoe - nothing stopped them until they finally got tired. They both had injuries, cuts on their noses etc.
They were separated for a few hours, and once they were let back in the same room again they did ok for a couple hours and again, a fight - even more agressive than the 1st one.
I went to the pet store and got muzzles; I figured that at least would prevent injuries.
The last fight started with their muzzles on - again, didnt seem provoked by anything and within minutes they fought and got each others muzzles off and this time I was so scared I did get involved and tried to pick one up - the other one wouldn't let go of his latch on the others face. It ended as another bloody mess.
The dogs have been separated and wont see each other again until we can at least attempt to figure out what is going on.
Are they fighting for alpha male position? They have never showed signs of aggression like this before - not with me, my fiance or my kids.
Neither are neutered; however one is going to get neutered in about 2 weeks.
Does anyone have any thoughts on what might be going on - - I am literally worried sick and hate that they are fighting like this, it just breaks my heart!
ANy help/info/ideas is appreciated
This may be a shot in the dark but since both are intact there is a chance there may be a female in heat somewhere in/around your neighborhood? They may be fighting for dominance/breeding access to the female. They can smell an in heat female from a mile away and will do all sorts of crazy stuff for access, include fight for breeding rights. I would REALLY recommend getting a private trainer to come to your home and observe the dogs, see their behaviors, and he/she would possibly be able to read some body language that you may have missed. I would get professional help now before this results in more serious injuries. I have seen a male corgi injured so severely by two littermates in a fight that he had to be euthanized, so this is definitely something that needs to be handled ASAP and handled by a trained professional. Good luck. I really hope this is something that can be dealt with by neutering both males and consulting a trainer.
We thought about that - - we have a new family that moved in about a month ago and they do have a dog; not sure what kind because we have a tall fence so we can only hear the dog not see it - so not sure if it is male or female etc. Everytime we let the dogs out they do run over to that side of the backyard (they usually go to another side of the fence where another dog lives) so we figured it might have been a bitch in heat; but the couple times we went over to our new neighbors door to ask them no one was there.
I am so sorry that this happening, how frightening!! There must be something that is setting them off, but just isn't obvious like food or toys. Maybe its over attention and jealousy issues? Keeping them separated until you can figure out whats going on and work them them is a good idea.
Are they getting enough walks to drain their energy? How about training, are you working with them separately or together?
I also would be leary about feeding them together as food can be an issue, although I know you say its not what is causing the fights now. I also would keep toys all picked up and only have them out when supervision is there.
I sincerely hope you can get this figured out, you will get lots of great advice from this site.
It was so frightening - it still scares me when I think back on it, honestly I can't think of anything I have experienced that was scarier than that!
They do get regular exercise, and with training we usually work with them seperately.
We feed them seperately; but as i mentioned in my updated post the trainer I talked to said to feed them together - so we may try that, but not for awhile - that will be an adjustment for them.
thanks for your response
I would have them both neutered and invest in a private trainer that uses positive-based methods. They can be expensive but it's worth it in the long run IMO.
We are neutering our Corgi; but the other one is my son's dog and he doesn't want to neuter his dog :(
I am in contact with a trainer; we will be working with her soon.
Thanks for your response
Your son needs to get his corgi neutered as well. Unless this is a situation where he will be showing the dog in conformation, or is invested in continuing a particular blood line, then there is no reason why the dog should NOT be neutered. It is the humane and socially responsible thing to do; not to mention it is much healthier for the dog. Un-neutered male dogs can have significantly more prostate issues as they age, compared to neutered males. AND, the dog aggression is likely to escalate to other dogs, especially if he remains un-neutered. This puts the dog in an unfair situation.
I have had 6 corgis. Three have passed on after living wonderful, healthy long lives. However, they have all had their moments with each other. I had two females that I had to keep separated at all times. My 6-year old female bit the toe off my rescue because he fell on her (pain aggression). They get along great 99% of the time, but things happen and someone gets ticked off. To control the potential issues: they all sleep and eat in their own crates; any attention/treats/etc are given in the same "pecking" order time and time again. No exceptions. No free feeding. They are never alone together unattended. On leash walks together work well. They tire out, they are spending time with you, but they are controlled.
Good luck with the trainer. Find out if she has worked with corgis before. If she hasn't, don't be her ginuea pig. Corgis can be difficult, and you don't want someone inexperienced or who hasn't dealt with their personalities before. Keep us posted!
It very well may be a tough road; but we love them both so much we will do all that we can do before we consider rehoming either of them.
When we got the puppies my son wasn't living with me, so the breeder sold them to us thinking they wouldn't live together but would see each other regularly. However about 2 weeks after we got the dogs my son moved back home - so that is another part of this story, eventually my son WILL move out again and he wouldnt' dream of not taking his dog; so eventually they wont be living together.
Thanks for your response
Ah, yes, that puts things in an entirely different light. If this is a short-term situation, then worst-case scenario you can manage by just keeping them separated. When I was a little kid, my family had two female dogs (not of the same age or size) who hated each other and fought given any chance to interact, but it was easy enough to keep them apart because there were a bunch of people in the house to manage it.
You are between a rock and a hard place.... in other words there is no easy solution. It is normal for two intact males, especially siblings, to fight for top position in their pack order and each fight makes another one more likely and more violent, as you have experienced first hand. The dogs need to be kept apart in such a way that it is IMPOSSIBLE that they can accidentally get together and have another fight, because mistakes do happen so you must plan things very carefully. Neutering both is the best course of action ( maybe even the only one ) if you intend to keep both dogs. Keep in mind that the effects of neutering will take time as the hormones will remain in circulation for a few weeks after the surgery, up to two months, so you are in for a long haul even under the best of circumstances. I would use that time to enroll the more dominant one in formal obedience classes, for starters. If you have a second adult handler who is also willing to do the homework part of the classes, I would enroll both. After enough time has gone by to allow the effects of the neutering to take the edge off their aggressiveness and the training to give you better control, then they would need to be reintroduced to being together in more normal fashion and that is a whole other subject.
All of the above does not guarantee success, but will give you the best chance of getting there while fine tuning your approach as you go along. If all this sounds like way more than you are willing or can do, or if you intend to keep one male intact, re-homing one of them becomes the obvious choice at this stage of the game. I wish you well.
I had this issue with my male and female, for 11 years until they passed. They were both fixed, but just hated each other starting at 1 year old.
If I seperated them they would look miserable and whine for each other. It was a love hate, can't live with you or without you type of relationship. I learned a lot about doggie first aid, that's for sure.
All the research I did basically said that no matter how much you train them, sometimes dogs just don't like each other. But I could not imagine life without the 2 of them in my home, so we adapted and figured out the triggers.
All of my corgi's fights were provoked by something and 9 out of 10 were started by my female.
I only got involved once to seperate them and vowed never to do it again, as I was bitten in several places, not enough to draw blood, but just bad bruising. When they get in that mode they see and hear nothing else but their target. I would throw pillows, toys, food, tried water guns and hoses and nothing stopped them. So please be careful with getting in between their fights.
I would definitely get them fixed and then to a trainer/specialist who may be able to help.