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 Post subject: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:30 pm 
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used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16
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This isn't about Gizmo, she's just as perfect always.


Here's the situation. At my parents house (Where I do not live) we have two lab/bloodhound mixes who happen to be father and son. The father, Daine, is around 13 years old and his son, Gimli, is about 3-4 years old. They are both amazing, loving, gentle dogs apart. Daine has always been my baby and the only reason he didn't come to live with Gizmo and I when we moved was because of his old age and achy bones, it's not fair to take him out of a home where he has a yard to run around in and only has a few stairs to walk up and down to a second floor narrow walk up with no yard. I miss him terribly everyday and have always rushed to his side when he has been sick or injured to sleep on the floor right alongside him in my parents living room.

I should note that both males are intact. This was not my decision. When we got Daine I was in my very early teens so I didn't know anything about spay/neuter and when we got Gim a few years ago, it was my father and brother's dog. I have voiced my concern over him not being fixed over the years but thats a whole 'nother story.

Over the past few years, the past year or so has been the worst, there has been some obvious aggression between the two of them. For the most part, they stay out of each others way and go on with their lives but when their paths do cross, especially if it is a stressful situation (another dog in the hose, strangers, etc) things escalate. My parents have done their very best to keep them as separate as possible, while still providing them with especially when unsupervised but it's gotten to the point Daine's life and health are at risk. They have had a few fights that have resulted in Daine having to be brought to the hospital for actual wounds and injuries. It happened again last night. My baby is still at the vet and is going to be boarded there because even though he will be okay in the end, at this point he needs constant medical supervision.

Here is where things get more complicated. My parents are in the process of prepping the house for a move to FL. My father has already been down there for a few weeks for his new job and my mom is back here caring for the zoo(there are also 2 cats and a bunch of fish), getting the house ready and some of her own personal medical issues. It's a lot to take on. The vet made it very clear the dogs need to be permanently separated and we are all at a loss at what to do. It is not possible for me to adopt either of them long-term, like i mentioned, dainey is getting older and having a harder time walking so the steep stairs in my apartment are not ideal and Gimli is still very young and has a TON of energy, I can't give him the time/exercise he needs and deserves.

What I don't understand is why Gimli has only ever gotten into fights with his father. He has been unsupervised with my brothers pitbull and Gizmo for hours on end and all they do is play like puppies. I feel like he might be sensing Daine's old age and weaker body and is trying to establish himself as the alpha, I don't know.

I am scared that with Gimli's aggressive history he wouldn't be able to be placed in a home and with Daine's age and the slew of health problems/injuries he has had over the years that he would be adopted either. Taking them both to Florida when they move is not an option at this point. And to make matters worse, the vet says he isn't entirely sure Daine would survive a move to Florida and probably only has another year or two of life left at this point. He does have arthritis and pancreatitis, both of which are pretty under control. He gets lots of love, has an awesome appetite, still likes to play, swim and go for walks so the quality of life is still definitely there, putting him to sleep is out of the question.

I don't really know what I'm looking for by posting this. I just need to get it out. I'm going crazy trying to hold myself together at work. Have any of you ever experienced something like this? Can you hug me and make it all better?

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:24 pm 
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I can offer you hugs! Do you want any suggestions or advice? I haven't experienced anything like what you posted, but I do know a lot about grouchy dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:31 pm 
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I don't understand why they won't fix the dogs now? I mean it seems senseless not to? Have the vets mentioned that it cuts down on dominance issues like...a ton?

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:40 pm 
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Are your parents really not willing to get the dogs neutered for the sake of their safety? It's not a guarantee, but frankly it's the easiest option.


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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Fee wrote:
I don't understand why they won't fix the dogs now? I mean it seems senseless not to? Have the vets mentioned that it cuts down on dominance issues like...a ton?


Yes, this. You said you know they should be fixed, so we're obviously not harping on you. It's the obvious answer. Is there any reason they haven't been fixed? Is it just laziness, or are they all "I'm not taking his manhood away!"? Either way, I would really really REALLY make a push for that to happen for the younger dog at least. Not only is it the general responsible thing to do, but it could save the other dog's life.

I'm really sorry that you aren't in a position to take Daine in. Do you have someone who is willing to take him in and you can pay for his vet bills and food?

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:46 pm 
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used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16
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Fee wrote:
I don't understand why they won't fix the dogs now? I mean it seems senseless not to? Have the vets mentioned that it cuts down on dominance issues like...a ton?



With Daine, where he is 13 and has had lots of health problems/injuries putting him through a surgery at this point, especially where the vet feels like he doesn't have more than a few years left would be unneccessary and wouldn't do him any good, especially where he is not the aggressor. He has always been pretty docile, though sometimes grumpy, unless he felt something was posing a threat to his family. With Gimli, I have no idea, I've been bringing it up for years and brought it up to my dad again last night, I know that right now we are all upset and crying constantly so it's something I am going to revisit with him when we are able to get a better grip on our emotions and actually have a discussion about it. I think they are just really overwhelmed with everything else that has been going on before this fight, we all are, that they aren't really able to realize all of their options or that there really are. This all happened last night so its pretty fresh and up until this very second, I haven't really been able to think clearly about it either.

For now Daine is still in the hospital, being boarded and taken care of there while he heals and according to my mom, Gimli has been crying constantly. I don't think he means to hurt his dad, and now that his dad isn't there, he knows something isn't right.

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:11 pm 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
Fee wrote:
I don't understand why they won't fix the dogs now? I mean it seems senseless not to? Have the vets mentioned that it cuts down on dominance issues like...a ton?


Yes, this. You said you know they should be fixed, so we're obviously not harping on you. It's the obvious answer. Is there any reason they haven't been fixed? Is it just laziness, or are they all "I'm not taking his manhood away!"? Either way, I would really really REALLY make a push for that to happen for the younger dog at least. Not only is it the general responsible thing to do, but it could save the other dog's life.

I'm really sorry that you aren't in a position to take Daine in. Do you have someone who is willing to take him in and you can pay for his vet bills and food?


I don't know exactly what the reasoning has been, I have a feeling it's partially the not taking his manhood option and also because before Daine, we actually had his father. We adopted Thorin when I was like 3 or 4 nd he lived a very long 19 years with us. My dad never fixed him and when Thorin and a local bloodhound did what unfixed dogs do out in the woods when one gets loose, we adopted Daine from that litter, then a few years later Thorin's time had come and that was devastating for the entire family, especially my dad, it was his best friend. So I think part of not fixing them has been a way to keep Thorin's spirit alive. I'm not really sure.

I am definitely going to push for Gim to get fixed once all of our emotions have settled a little. But even if they do get him fixed at this point, are the behavior patterns already established to the point that it won't matter whether or not he has balls? I don't really know much about having dogs fixed later in life.

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:26 pm 
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Unfortunately, aggression becomes a learned behavior after a while, and neutering an older dog won't necessarily make a difference in that department. They are generally less likely to have other physical problems though, like cancer and some other stuff that escapes me at the moment, so there's really no reason NOT to do it if they can afford it.


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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:22 am 
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I don't have advice, but I am so sorry your family and fur-babies are going through this! So many hugs for you all. <3

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:36 am 
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Thanks. <3 <3

My mom ended up having to go to the hospital the night before last and now has to have surgery next week. Luckily my sister is coming home from Cali and we are both spending the weekend down at my moms to help her out. Daine is still healing/boarded/taken care of at our family vet and when I leave my parents on Sunday Gizmo is going to stay with her dad(my ex) and I am taking Gimli to stay with me for a week or two while my mom recovers and then we will make the decision of what to do next. Even though my place isn't ideal for him long-term, for a few weeks it will be okay, he will be at least getting lots of love, attention and walks. I'm going to miss Gizmo like crazy but my dad was considering putting Gimli in a kennel while my mom and daine healed but I can't let that happen. He has never been in one and that will just stress him out more.

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:51 am 
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Things have changed drastically since my last post! My sister and I arrived at our parents Friday and as a family we started having the discussion of what to do next. We both refused to make a decision or give input until we actually see what condition he really is in. We took a ride to the vet and as soon as they brought him out and he saw us he was wagging his tail, crying, jumping and just generally happy to see us. Not what we were expecting at all. We thought he was going to be sickly, depressed and just not good. They let us take him outside, he was running around, playing fetch, taking treats and just acting like nothing had ever happened. He does still have some injuries and staples in his head, but overall, he is healing very very well.

The odds of him actually getting adopted with his age and history are slim to none according to most of the shelters my mother called and putting him down was absolutely out of the question. The second I saw him, I made the decision, he is going to live with Gizmo and I. When this all happened that was my first instinct, just to take him, but then I worried about his achy joints so I wanted to explore other options. Seeing how agile he actually still is overall, it was a no brainer. Sometimes it might be a struggle with the stairs when going in and out for walks, but overall, his general quality of life is going to be awesome. I made sure to talk to the vet and some of the techs that have been caring for him and they all think it's a great idea for him to go with me and that he is healing wonderfully. He and Gizmo absolutely adore each other and I miss having him sleep in my bed every night. I am taking him out of medical boarding today and bringing him home! I can't remember the last time I have been this happy!



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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:37 am 
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Oh, this makes my heart happy! He is adorable in the video...I'm so glad you are able to bring him home with you!

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:59 am 
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i'm glad things worked out! he looks like a sweet guy with a lot of pep in him!


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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:09 am 
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VFR, good luck; it seems like a great solution!

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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:16 pm 
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That is excellent VFR! I was wondering how things were getting on with you and the pups. Big healing hugs to Daine!


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 Post subject: Re: My dogs won't stop fighting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:54 pm 
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thanks peeps! There was some slight miscommunication as far as the vets office hours, so I didn't make it in time. He had to spend one more night there last night. I had to come back yesterday to Boston but my sister is currently picking him up and bringing him to me as we speak! I can't wait!

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