Help my dogs are fighting!

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

I have 3 miniature pinschers, all rescues. One is 8, one is 6 and one is 1 year old. The 8 year old, Ginger, has always been a bitch, and she has been with us for 6 years. She has had a few run-ins with our old Miniature pinscher, who died last thanksgiving. The other 2 came to us after Christmas last year, and they seemed to get along ok. But in September this year, out of the blue, Ginger attacked Quinn, the 6 year old. He is such a weenie, he didn't fight back, he just squealed. I tried to intervene, and both Quinn and I walked away with puncture wounds, Quinn had stitches and I had a bruised and swollen right wrist for about 3 weeks, along with multiple puncture wounds on both hands. I went to the Redi-Med for a tetanus shot and they cleaned and bandaged both hands.

Then, last Friday night it happened again. She just attacked him for no reason. He had some puncture wounds on his back, and was extremely sore. Enough to warrant a visit to the vet the next morning, for some clean up, pain pills, and antibiotics. And my husband and I both had wounds.

Then, it happened again this evening. No provoking, no food, no toys, no nothing. Just attacked. And it was out on the porch, and they both went tumbling down the 9 steps off the porch. And so did I. I did get my fingers in her mouth, and tried to pry her mouth off of him. But she has the jaw strength of a pit bull, and I'm not exaggerating. This is a 13 pound dog! Tonight's episode was not as bad, but I just don't know what to do. The only thing I can think of is to completely keep them separate. And my husband is ready to get rid of Ginger. Roxy, the one year old, only weighs nine pounds. If Ginger got a hold of her like that, she just might kill her.

Has anyone had issues like this with a dog before? Poor Quinn, he is just so sweet, and I hate it for him that she is doing this. And I know Ginger has issues. She is almost just crazy. Or psychotic. I don't know. I would be very grateful for any advice?

Madison, AL

I am sure your vet would be a good source of advice. But for myself (my opinion only) there are so many good "safe" dogs in the world that putting up with one that attacks would not be an option. A merciful putting down (done kindly with no pain and no fear because you are there to hold her "hand") would probably be my solution. Living in fear of an animal is not good. Your patience is much longer than mine would be. The first attack might warrant a second chance, but a second attack would be the end. I know this is a difficult decision (and you may not be ready to make such a decision), but you should not live in fear in your own home because of a dog. Best wishes for you, your other dogs, and for Ginger herself- she must be very unhappy herself.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Would Ginger be happier and better behaved as a single dog in a loving home?

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)


St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

I have actually (in anger and frustration) had thoughts of putting her down, but I'm don't know that I could do it. And I would hate to give her to someone else, knowing she is a biter, and I'm not sure who would take her knowing that. I have always known she had issues. She is terrified of the vet's office, and must be muzzled to have anything done there. No one else but me can handle her at a vet visit. I guess what it all really boils down to is we have let her get away with her attitude for far too long. We did hire a trainer when we first got her, and it did do some good. Maybe we should try that again, to see if we can make some headway. Thanks, and any other thoughts are welcomed. She is a beautiful dog, and I want her to be happy.

Thumbnail by happytail
northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

If you decide that she is just too much for you to handle. Search for a MinPin rescue group, or try the Min Pin Club of America. Let them know her issues, she may need to be an only dog. They will carefully screen potential homes, and everyone will be made aware of her issues. It needn't be a death sentence, it could be that your home just isn't the right home for her, through no fault of your own.
If this behavior just started recently, have you ruled out any medical issues?

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

She came to us from a Min Pin rescue. We would absolutely go back through a rescue group to rehome her, but I would feel like I have failed her. I am just not ready to give up on her. I am thinking about looking for a trainer to work with us. Maybe we can re-train her to be more comfortable with the other dogs. She doesnt seem to have any medical problems, but her annual checkup is coming up soon, and we will do some bloodwork to see if anything is going on.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

put a shock collar on her and whenever she starts up press the button make it whistle then turn her upside down. It won't be long you will only have to whistle.

St. Simon's Island, GA(Zone 9a)

Everything just happens so fast, I don't have time to react. And it scares me to death, as well as making poor Quinn even more skittish than he already is. For now, Ginger is separated from the others. I have an X-pen in the middle of the living room, and a divider for the den. She likes to spend the day looking out the front window in the den, and in the evening she can sit in the X-pen in the living room with us. When I am not home, the laundry room has a baby gate to keep her in. We walk 1.2 miles each day, so I am just having to do a double walk (which is probably good for me). Quinn and Roxy go first and Ginger can have the run of the house, then Ginger and I go, and she 'heels' most of the way. She gets a 'release' at 3 spots along the way to do business, and about 150 yards at the very end of the walk.

We thought of a shock collar when we first got her, but thought that might make her worse. I can't help but wonder if it isn't something we are doing wrong. She is a difficult dog, so maybe we need to be going to a training session regularly. To keep us both on our toes.

Madison, AL

Please don't use a shock collar on a little Min Pin (or any other size dog). I know you care too much for her to do that. It sounds like a difficult situation, but you obviously want to do right by her and the other dogs. Shock collars will make a dog be afraid of you and thereby do what the human wants to avoid pain. I guess you can tell I feel strongly about such methods. It sounds as if you are trying the best track - more training and lots of exercise to run off energy. Good luck!

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

I doubt it is something that you are doing wrong.

If you can live with the gates and the ex pen, that sounds like a good solution. If she is out with the others, keep her on a leash attached to you. That way she can only go as far as the leash will allow, and I wouldn't use a leash over 6ft, and if it's clipped to you, it's right there for you to grab quickly and correct her.

Good luck with her.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

I'm with Stillwood in opposing shock collars. I work at an animal shelter and we
are strongly opposed to them as well as to choke chains. Pain teaches a dog
nothing but fear. Your dog may need to be in a home where she is the only dog.

Grand Portage, MN(Zone 4a)

Happy Tail, Please send me a D-Mail~ I am a Dog Behaviorist and we need to talk. In a private message I will give you my phone number or you can give me yours.


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