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Unread 07-06-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
StarkRed26
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At wits end with dogs

I know this is way WAY off topic even for an Off Topic Forum but I'm literally crying and don't know where else to turn for help on this.

I just recently moved into my own apartment (a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen/living room) about a month and a half ago and have loved living on my own so far. I do get a bit homesick occasionally but having my two dogs, Chestnut and Juju, around has helped make the transition easier and more comfortable.

Chestnut and Juju are both rescues and I've had my share of challenges arise but we've always been able to overcome them (things from fighting over who gets to eat first, to who gets the sofa, etc).

But this morning I ended up on my wood floor, both knees skinned and bleeding, after trying to seperate the two of them again.

They both sleep in the bedroom with me. They don't sleep in my bed because I toss and turn a lot and don't want to accidently smoosh them in the night. And they won't sleep in the same bed together. Juju, the older one by about a year, is VERY possessive. He'll sit on the sofa, my bed, or their dog bed, and if Chestnut gets too close, he'll growl in warning. And if, like what happened this morning, Chestnut invades his space, they'll start fighting violently and I'll have to break them up by pulling them apart.

To have to wake up from a great dream to the sound of your dogs fighting and tearing the shit out of each other even though they've shared the same home for more then 12 years just makes me so upset.

Option 1- I've tried is getting 2 beds. But whatever bed Chestnut seems to favor, Juju will run to first and growl from.

Option 2- I've seperated the two beds. One is on the floor of my closet and the other by my bed. I'll put Juju in the closet bed and shut the door, leaving it open just a crack so he can get in and out for drinks of water at night. Chestnut will take the bed next to my bed. This option has worked the longest up until recently when Juju will come out of the closet bed and decide that he likes the bed by mine better.

I seriously don't know what to do and it hurts me to see my two best friends can't share and live together peacefully. I need Cesar Millan...
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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
Lithium Flower
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Just because two animals have lived together a long time doesn't mean they'll be cooperative.

If one dog is particularly aggressive to the point it's harming the other you may want to consider re-homing one of the dogs. Your most aggressive dog would ideally be in a one-dog household.

If you are dead set on never giving one of the dogs to a new home (and I don't mean sending them to the pound, I know that could spell certain death to any dog particularly one that might have behavior problems or is older) or if you're not sure what you are going to do just yet you can try to reintroduce the dogs to one another.

Here's one way to go about it.

As a general rule of thumb for having two animals in the home you'll want to make sure they have their individual spaces with their own toys and their own food dishes that you don't leave out for them to become possessive over.

So that means when food time is over the dishes are taken off the floor, toys are put away, and even leashes are out of sight so that the dogs aren't fighting over the things they see as 'theirs'.

And as much as you might want both dogs to be close to you at night, putting their dog beds in separate rooms can help prevent late-night fights. Caging one or both dogs over night will also ensure they don't attack one another and you can leave a water dish out in the cages over night.

Make sure the cages are large enough for the dogs to turn around in and lay down, put their favorite bed in it and let them get accustomed to their respective cages before keeping them in over night. Be sure the cages aren't in a place that gets particularly hot or very cold or in an area that one dog is possessive over where the other dog would be likely to wander over to. It might be best to let the most aggressive dog chose it's cage first, let it become attached to that cage and then put the other dog in the remaining cage so that your possessive dog has already formed an attachment to the cage it chose.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
Vendetta6
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I think I know how you feel since I went thru somewhat similar circumstances. I have 3 dogs, Lucy, Chedder, and Gus. Gus is the youngest and gets along with everyone. But Lucy and Chedder are the same age and sometimes will fight over who gets to play with what toy, who gets to eat or drink first, and in some cases, who gets to sleep in which bed (I have three seperate beds, plus an old cat bed our neighbors gave to us that Gus can actually fit into).

Lucy and Chedder will only fight over beds, it seems, when either one tries to switch beds late at night and its dark so that either one of them panics when they feel the other trying to invade their snuggly bed. And sometimes Lucy will just occasionally wander over to Chedder while he's asleep and either sit and stare at her or sniff/lick her face. I don't know why he does this but if I were asleep and someone started doing that to my face, I'd wake up in a foul mood too ^^

I did try what you tried, putting Lucy in a closet bed, I had the closet door closed all the way so she couldn't get up and bother Chedder. But then she'd wake up at all hours of the night, pawing at the door or whining or even barking. So that didn't work out. (I theorize that maybe she got nervous/anxious at not being able to see me or the other dogs and woke up randomly). This might happen, too, if you close off your other dog in another room. It might start whining or barking to come join you.

So my solution, one that finally worked, was getting one of those little baby-gates. Found mine at Babies'R'Us and it comes in either square or Hexagon-shaped. Mine was on sale for $29. I put the baby gate around Chedder's bed and then Lucy gets her own bed, un-gated.
That way, Lucy can still see where we are, yet gets her own private space.

It's worked out since I got the baby gate in 2001 so I'd said give that a try.
Hope everything works out between you and your furry friends!
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Unread 07-06-2013, 04:58 PM   #4
Connector
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Seems like you have 2 main areas in your apt, one bedroom, one living room/kitchen. Can you keep the dogs in separate areas at night?
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Unread 07-06-2013, 06:34 PM   #5
Serenith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lithium Flower View Post
Caging one or both dogs over night will also ensure they don't attack one another and you can leave a water dish out in the cages over night.

Make sure the cages are large enough for the dogs to turn around in and lay down, put their favorite bed in it and let them get accustomed to their respective cages before keeping them in over night. Be sure the cages aren't in a place that gets particularly hot or very cold or in an area that one dog is possessive over where the other dog would be likely to wander over to. It might be best to let the most aggressive dog chose it's cage first, let it become attached to that cage and then put the other dog in the remaining cage so that your possessive dog has already formed an attachment to the cage it chose.
This. Dogs tend to like having a den-like place to be. A safe and comfortable zone. At first some may whine and cry. Your job is to not give in and give up so easily. Every night for a week or so my dog would raise hell at night for being crated. Now she goes in by herself when she wants- not just at night.
Anyways, this will keep things simple and safe for you and both of your dogs.

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