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Mummy2Max
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Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,156
Female 
 
11-05-2017, 07:11 AM

I might have to consider rehoming

Hi all, it's been a good long time since I've frequented Dogsey, but it's always been a place of support and great advice in the past so I'm hoping it can be for me again - I apologise if this gets a bit long winded and jumbled, my head is in a bit of a mess at the moment and my heart is breaking.

A bit of background for those who don't know me - my elderly boy Max lives with my parents so he is not an issue. Home with me I have a female neutered 5 and a half year old Border Collie (Rayne) who I've had since 8 weeks old, and a female neutered 5 year old JRT cross (Luna) who again I've had since 8 weeks old. They've been together since the day that Luna came home and got on well from day one.

They have the odd grumble at each other now and again if one of them steps on the other or gets a bit too much during play, and we don't alloy them to have treats around each other as that gets a bit much. About 4 years ago we were on holiday and they were chasing each other along the beach and wrestling, when Luna suddenly flipped and flew at Rayne. Rayne defended herself but you could see that she wanted to back off but Luna wouldn't relent. We ended up having to pick Rayne up at which point Luna was hanging off her back leg and doing what I call a "death shake" like they do when playing with their stuffed toys. We managed to separate them, and kept them well away from each other for a good few minutes until they seemed calm, Luna was let off her lead and flew straight at Rayne again. Rayne was pretty beaten up and upset but Luna just kept wanting to go back for more. It took a good couple of hours before we could let then back near each other again.

All was fine for another year or so, then about 3 years ago they were staying with my parents whilst on holiday. I obviously wasn't there to see so this is all coming second hand but I'm told that Rayne was being an idiot and wouldn't come in from the garden, so my dad went over and took her by her collar to bring her in, and again Luna flew and the same happened again. Rayne got her leg bitten, Luna had no marks on her, again it took a while before it all settled and they could be allowed near each other again.

We've had no more incidents until 2 weeks ago. My other half took them out on their leads to the garden late at night (they bark at night if just allowed to parade around on their own and it was really late), again I didn't witness it but they were both sniffing at a spot on the grass, we don't know what was there if anything as it was pitch black, I went back to look after but couldn't find anything. Rayne had a little grumble at Luna, who then started climbing up onto Raynes back. My other half went to move Rayne away as he could see this wasn't a good situation and again Luna suddenly flew. They both had leads on so ended up tangled together, my other half got his hand bitten (accidentally) in the process of trying to separate them in the dark. The scuffle only lasted for about 30 seconds and he finally managed to get Luna inside. He came and woke me and by the time I came down a few minutes later Luna was scrabbling and growling at the back door to get back outside to Rayne. We eventually brought Rayne inside with them separated by a stair gate and Luna was desperately trying to get through to have another go. Rayne escaped with a small graze to her leg, Luna came off worse with a big puncture to her head and a few smaller wounds around her face. Vet trip to stitch up, and the stitches came out on Saturday.

Now since then Rayne has been very wary of her, for the first couple of days I would go as far as to say she was terrified. She wouldn't come into the room if Luna was anywhere near her walkway, if Luna came over to where she was sitting or playing she would run to her bed and pin herself in the corner, and she even got up on the dining room table to get away from her. We have been slowly improving over the course of the past 2 weeks and although not 100% we were almost back to normal. We are on holiday in Cornwall at the moment, last night we went out for dinner and when we came home they did their usual excited bounce around the house for 5 minutes. This quite often involves a bit of wrestling which we've been quick to separate since the last incident due to Lunas wound. We'd been in the door about a minute and they were bouncing around the front room, when it all kicked off again, I didn't see who instigated it but from past experience I would guess Luna. We managed to separate them and again Luna was gunning for more. Rayne went and hid under the dining table and wouldn't come out. Lunas wound has completely split open and she has a fresh bite on her ear and her nose. We took a trip to an emergency vet last night and she was kept in overnight to be stitched up this morning.

Rayne seems fine at the moment but I know as soon as Luna comes home she's going to be terrified again.

I am now considering the very real possibility that I may have to rehome Luna. It is tearing me up and breaking my heart to even think about it but here are my reasons:
1) as far as I can tell it seems to have been Luna to kick it off each time.
2) there doesn't appear to be any one particular trigger, it's unpredictable which is causing us to live on the edge at the moment as it's like living with a time bomb.
3) Rayne is a very sensitive dog and I don't want her to be afraid in her own home, it was awful to see her after their last fight so upset and scared, home should be where she feels safe.
4) if this were to happen when we were out, I have no doubt in my mind that we would come home to a blood bath and a dead dog. Rayne will back off but if she has to defend herself she will, Luna would fight to the death and she's a lot smaller than Rayne. We only live in a one bedroom house and there is no real way of keeping them truely separated as our downstairs is all one, unless we go back to crates which isn't ideal because we do both work all day although I do come home to let them out at lunchtime it's not great.
5) over the next few years we will hopefully be looking to start a family. If something like this were to kick off around a baby or child, it could be completely catastrophic.

She has never been aggressive with people or other dogs, the only dog this has ever happened with is Rayne. She does bark at other dogs on walks sometimes but that is as much as she does, she would rather run away than confront anything. She's not food aggressive and she doesn't resource guard. But in the back of my mind there is a concern that they might put her to sleep for aggression. If she were to be rehomed I would rather it through an organisation such as dogs trust or battersea as they can "vet" potential homes far better than I ever could. Also as selfish as it sounds I don't know that I could handle her going to someone that I know and seeing constant photos and updates all the time, I think it would just be too painful.

My feelings are she needs to be in a home where she is the only dog. She is such a sweet dog in all other ways, she's so playful and friendly with people, and just wants to be curled up near you all the time. She really is no trouble other than the fighting. It's like someone flicks a switch in her brain and a red mist just decends. She's a completely different dog in those moments. I have considered a behaviourist but as there does not seem to be a key trigger, I don't know that they would be able to help without actually seeing it "go off" the chances of which while they are there are slim and obviously I am keen to avoid.

It is completely breaking my heart because I absolutely adore that little dog, but my feelings have to be put aside and I need to consider what is best for my dogs. I never thought I would ever be in a situation like this.

I'm sorry this is such a jumbled essay, I just really don't know what to do for the best I don't know that I'm looking for advice as such, just needed to vent my feelings to a place that will hopefully understand.
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brenda1
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Location: Lancing West Sussex
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11-05-2017, 07:24 AM
Have you asked a vets opinion? Maybe something going on in Lunas brain. This would mean a mri but better to be safe than sorry.
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Trouble
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Location: Romford, uk
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11-05-2017, 08:10 AM
I think a behaviourist if you can find a good one is probably the best route. Firstly I think and no offence here but you're probably a bit soft with them. Jrt's are feisty little sh*ts even if they are the most loving dogs, when something gets up their nose in their mind backing down is not an option. So you need to take control. You need to step up their training and be far more assertive with them.
You say they can't have treats when together, seriously? have they never been trained to sit and wait and ignore the other?
You also say they never fight when left alone, ask yourself why, they clearly are capable of coexistence because if they really were going to fight to the death it would happen when they were alone and no one could stop them.
The one who appears to be the instigator may not be, they may be reacting to a signal you haven't seen. Jrt's are quick to react.
As for the time you picked the collie up to get her away from Jaws, Jaws reacted in the way virtually every dog does when the other is elevated it's why we warn people not to pick their dogs up when under threat. I know why you you did it, but I also know why the Jrt reacted the way it did. It's easy for me to say, I have a loud voice and can do assertive easily but you need to practice how to get through to your Jrt when the red mist descends. It may be your voice, it may be something noisy to distract, could be the hosepipe etc. You'll need to figure that one out for yourself. You don't actually say how you react or what you do when it all kicks off and I don't want to guess. I think you need a fresh pair of eyes on the situation to be honest, someone without emotional ties to the dogs.
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Jackie
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11-05-2017, 08:21 AM
I would think as this has been going on for a few years now it's unlikely to be a medical problem, the animosity has escalated between these bitches to a point now where it could be a serious issue, I think sadly you might very well have to rehome one of the bitches. When bitches take a dislike to each other it is rarely fixable, so unless you can gaurantee they never have contact with each other it might be wise to find a home for one of the girls, the tension betvwen them can't be making for a calm household.

Hope you can sort this soon for both bitches (and yours) wellbeing .
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brenda1
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11-05-2017, 04:59 PM
It sometimes takes years for a brain tumor to develop so better to be safe and rule that out.
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tawneywolf
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Location: Bolton
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11-05-2017, 06:17 PM
You might also get Raine checked out. Just thinking that she may have something wrong and your other dog has picked up on it and thats why she's attacking. Having this myself at the moment, the old 'boss' girl has cancer, youngest is having frequent goes at her, then youngest's mother is defending the poorly old girl!!!
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