Hildur (the aggressor) isn’t spayed, Maddie was spayed at 2 yrs.
Not sure if spaying Hildur is possible (or recommended) at 7 years old but it’s definitely something I’ll be asking the vet. I can’t get a routine app’t for 2 weeks so I’ll be keeping them apart until then.
Sorry to read this Paul. IME they call 'em ‘bitches’ for a reason, and two together with no alpha male can be problematic with a fair number of breeds, though you no doubt know that. I’m guessing you also know that chronic pain can underly this sort of episode. Also - very much a spaniel thing - are various kinds of cerebral ‘herniation’, due to the shape of the skull and occipital foramen - you can thank Crufts and dog-breeders in general for that one; this can cause all sorts of behavioural anomalies - up to and including sudden decease. At least if it is a morbid condition there is the possibility of a straightforward diagnosis and a clear path of action. Painful as it is (I own dogs, I know just how painful), reassure yourself that whatever course of action you have to take, it is always in the best interest of the creatures you love. Good luck
Horrible situation to be in Paul, hope you can resolve it.
Tara has recently become very aggressive toward certain dogs in the village and has taken bites at a couple, fortunately without connecting.
Yet she ignores or plays nice and friendly with the majority of dogs she meets so no idea what is going on.
I’ve just spoken to a couple who live on the island, they have working dogs and pets (I think they had 15 pet dogs and 4 working dogs at the last count) They’ve had all manner of dysfunctional dogs that they’ve rescued and rehabilitated. They’re coming to see me on Thursday to see if they can offer any help/advice. They’re friends and I trust them implicitly so maybe some good may come from it.
Really feel for you Paul. It’s an awful predicament. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you can find a solution.
Could this couple maybe take Hildur in for a few days? I realise it’s the polar opposite of what you want but it will take the heat out of the situation. Hopefully a wee time out will help Hildur to calm herself down. Certainly, it would allow Maddie some time to get over her ordeal without the constant threat of another violent encounter. Just a thought, feel free to ignore.
Have they been neutered? Might be worth asking the vet if it would help if they haven’t been done. This is what was happening with the mother in laws bulldogs got to adolescence and one was trying to stamp their dominance on the other.
Heart goes out to you Paul. Hope you manage to sort it.
Another day in solitary and they’re coping really well with the new regime. They’ve both had 3 walks and at least there’s been no growling through the dog gates I’ve had to use to keep them apart. Fingers crossed that tomorrow will yield some advice/ideas and we can start to move forward.
One thing I have decided, there will definitely be no rehoming even if I have to do this indefinitely! I’ll manage somehow, I couldn’t possibly lose either one of them.
Well, they’ll both be less stressed - trying to be the Alpha when (from your description of her usual timidity) she’s not really inclined to it, will have been stressing Hildur as much as Hildur’s behaviour has been stressing Maddie.
We use a muzzle for Max at times and find it very helpful - around unfamiliar dogs, occasionally in pubs with pushy dogs. It’s just a fleece and webbing thing, so it’s light and comfortable - just stops him opening his big stupid gob and taking a lump out of an unsuspecting chihuahua… Interestingly it modifies his behaviour and he becomes much more passive and less aggressive:
FWVLIW, I disagree with those asserting that spaying is a bad idea or ineffective. Again, Max was castrated aged 7, and he quickly began to calm down. It did take nearly 3 years to be fully effective, but it stopped or reduced most of his behavioural issues