Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Fighting dogs

My dog Iris is a bit "stove up" today.  That's an expression I remember my daddy using when he had done some different or unaccustomed sort of work that left him with sore muscles.  
Iris has never met a person she didn't love; she's always glad to greet a visitor and eager to be petted... she's docile and friendly.
With other dogs?  Not so much.  When my daughter's dog, Hawkeye, spent four days here, there was an initial tussle, but then he and Iris got along.  They weren't best buddies, but they tolerated one another, and there were no more skirmishes.
Cliff's sister next door has a tiny miniature dachshund, Angel.  I've kept my eye on Iris when Angel is around because I've noticed certain actions that suggested she might be aggressive toward her.
Yesterday Angel was in our house, playing with Iris' toys; Iris was obviously uncomfortable with that:  she gathered up all her toys except the one Angel had and put them in a heap beside her, eyeing her closely.  Still, there was no real aggressive action. 

Later on, since my daughter, her husband, and her youngest daughter were here, we went outside for an impromptu wienie roast.  Iris, Hawkeye, and Angel were outside with us.  Something set Iris off and she attacked Hawkeye; we figured the two of them could work things out.  Hawkeye is the bigger of the two, and I've never known him to shrink from a confrontation, although he will not initiate a fight.  He's a lover, not a fighter.
They were going at it pretty good, with Iris refusing to back down, when Angel decided to join the fray.
Not good.  Iris turned her attention to Angel and viciously grabbed her by the neck.  I quickly picked Iris up off the ground, and she STILL did not let go of Angel immediately.
There are various ways I can deal with this problem, but no matter what I do, I believe Iris will always bear watching when she has access to Angel.  Time will tell.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I just finished a weekend of camping with my family and grand dogs too. There were 8 dogs all together at one time or another and the amazing thing is they all get along. Some how they all seemed to know that they are family and play together like tugging on rope bones but not fighting. I'm surprised that Iris was fighting. Hope things can work out in the future.

Sugar said...

i've found that some dogs, simply do not get along with other dogs, & placing them together is inviting trouble. i've seen small dogs killed in a couple of seconds. before anyone could even move, their necks were snapped. best to keep smaller dogs away, & larger dogs, only when both dogs are kept on a leash, were they can be pulled apart, should a tussle begin. never think they'll 'work it out themselves', seldom happens, usually escalates.
iris, sounds possessive, jealous, & territorial. some are just this way. they love their people, home, & their things fiercely.
good luck!

Donna said...

Yes Sugar, I suspect you are right. And I can live with that.

Anonymous said...

Well it IS her yard...and her toys...and I don't think "sharing" is a word in her vocabulary...LOL..seems Hawkeye didn't have any worries and just tolerated her...now Angel I do believe that little scamper would take on the best of the best LOL..isn't it great what we do for our little four legged friends??? bless their little hearts...and Lord watch out for us humans too LOLOL...hugs to ya...Ora

Wil said...

I suspect Iris may not even realize that Angel is a dog - she is a sighthound, after all. From your description, Angel isn't much bigger than your average rabbit and sighthounds can NOT be trusted around cats and rabbits...

Donna said...

Wil, that is exactly what Cliff and I have been wondering about. Although, Iris pretty much acts aggressively toward any dog, if the situation is right. She even tries to attack dogs on television.