Carla ckball I have a dog question

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by 4everkid, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Remember when I told you my son brought his dogs over? Well they ended up leaving the female here due to space problems at their new house.

    My dog Hailey is 1 year old, but very set in her routine. Every day, I go out and play with her. She immediately goes and gets her favorite squeaky toy and we play fetch. A lot of the "fetching" involves her running around with the toy and squeaking it, with no intent to bring it back. I don't have a problem with that, its part of the game. I can't stress enough how much she LOVES this one particular toy, and how we have played this game with THIS toy every day for her entire life.

    The problem is, Abby the new dog knows it's Haileys favorite and wants it too. Her game is to take the toy and run with it, squeak it like crazy and run some more. It's killing Hailey to see this new dog with HER toy. She chases Abby, but won't try to forcefully take it back. They seem to be enjoying the chase some of the time, but other times, I can tell that Hailey is pretty distraught. If Hailey gets too pushy, Abby gets mean. She usually growls and Hailey backs off a little then the chase resumes.

    Hailey has tried to outsmart Abby by getting her toy when I come out, before Abby thinks of it. She puts it in her food or water bowl and eats or drinks around it - trying to reserve it for herself. But Abby will sneak in and grab it.

    Each day, Hailey gets a little more upset that she can't get her own toy. Today things got a little out of hand. They ended up in a big fight and my son had to pull them apart. Hailey was all bloody where Abby had bit her neck and ear.

    My DIL mentioned that Abby liked to watch her other dog (The gigantic horse-sized Lab/dane) and see what he was playing with, then take it from him and make him chase her. So she has been playing this game for a while before she came here.

    I mentioned once in a previous post about Hailey and her OCD behavior with this particular toy. She is literally obsessed with her squeaky fish, and I have even worried what I would do if she ever breaks it and they don't have any more!

    So what do I do? I hate to take it away all together. Plus I figure the whole thing will continue with a different toy. I thought about finding an identical one, but have a feeling that won't work either.

    After the fight, my initial reaction was to scold Abby when she touched the toy and tell her its Haileys. Which seemed to work in that moment. There is a whole yard full of toys, and one almost identical to the fish, so it's not like its the only cool toy. It's just the one Hailey wants. I have tried throwing Abby's toy and Hailey's at once, to get them both involved independently, but Abby always chases what Hailey does.

    I have never had two dogs at once before, so this is new to me. Hailey is still a pup, a big pup. And Abby is roughly 3 or so and more aggressive. So Hailey is too intimidated by her to get the point across that its HER fish.

    I'm not sure this dog toy isn't loaded with doggy crack or something, as obsessed as they both are with it!

    Here is the squeaky fish, the best dog toy on the planet:
  2. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    I have a dog who has play dates with other dogs in the neighborhood, so I know about 2 dogs wanting one toy. I have about 6 tennis balls in my back yard and the two dogs will go after the same one.

    If your dog really likes this one toy, I'd purchase another 2 or 3 of them. Next, I'd put up the one that Haily had been chewing on and introduce the new idential-looking one. The idea is to get the saliva smell from both dogs onto the new one. When the new toy also has these smells, I'd reintroduce the old fish and also keep the newer fish out there too.

    If this doesn't resolve the issue, I'd probably start telling Abby "no, leave it". if she ignores this, I'd start spraying her with a squirt of water out of a spray bottle. Say , UH UH, at the same time that you spray Abby. pet Smart says to aim at the face, I find that aiming at the butt works just as well and I don't feel guilty. I'm using the squirt bottle with my rescue dog when he lunges at cats when I'm walking him on a leash.

    I'm to the point that most of the time now----I only have to shake the bottle and say his name. he calms himself down.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/07/2008]
  3. ckball

    ckball New Member

    Oh I am sorry Hailey got hurt, poor girl. I have seen my 2 do the same thing. They are just like kids, always want what the other one has.

    What I have done is create "Twylia's turn" and make Missy wait, usually means I am holding her, then Twy does just want your 2 do, runs around the yard and won't come back.

    I then turn to Missy and ignore Twy then she will bring it back to me. I then hold Twy and let Missy have her "turn". I do this in the house too. Missy always brings it back, she loves it, I let her "shake it and pull it then she will drop it."

    It is tough for Hailey having this new dog taking her stuff and it appears that Abbey likes the steal your toy game. It will take a lot of work and patience.

    If I have told you this already, forgive me :) I bought a e-collar for my girls at Walmart for $100. It has a remote control that will make the collar beep or send a vibration, you choose. It also has 5 levels of vibrations.

    I have been using it mostly on the beep, I usually make Missy wear it and they both hear it. I am trying to stop them barking at cars, people, 4 wheelers, ect.

    I in no way have came to total success and it is a daily thing. Twy is totally freaked out by it and goes to the door to go in the house, like something is going to get her. She has always been my nuerotic one, scares very easly.

    A older man named Bill helps me from time to time, he is the one that has hit both my girls with his truck, not fault of his, I saw it. He also has a 4 wheeler and they hate it and his blue truck. He came up here to cut some small tress down Sat and I used the beeper and they didn't bark and I was reinforcing it with a NO BARK.

    THis morning when I let them out, always on leash now, I was just standing there looking at my yard and Bill drove by and beeped and waved. Twy ran straight the door and she hadn't even peed yet.

    So if Haliey has OCD I don't know how she would react, Missy was at first scared but not as much now. She knows to stop the behavior.

    You may try a dog whislte or a child's toy that makes a beeping noise and take a morning and put the fish in front of you and don't let either of of them touch it by using the "leave it" command and when one of them goes for it, make the noise and say leave it. Then give them a treat when they leave it. I forgot to ask if you do "tricks and treats"? That is how I taught the girls to count and such.

    It won't happen over night, but with the aggression from Abbey you have to do this. Cesar has a great site with lots of storys and info about dogs, but if we are afraid one is going to hurt the other, they sense that and it will happen. So you have to let go of what happened.

    I know you can't walk them a lot but what about your kids? Even tho they have all this land to run on they really need daily structured walks with the person leading while they follow on a short leash. There really is a pack mentality, once it is established then you can control the aggression. That is why I bought my golf cart, I do walk them but can't walk as far as the need to be to get them in "the zone", that is the key to getting them to obey you.

    I wish I had a quick answer for you, go to the Dog Whisperer site. Maybe put that toy up for awhile and play with the others for now. What did Haliey do when Abbey attacked her or was it a mutal fight? When ever you see Abbey start to steal something just tell her a firm NO, then stand between her and the toy and repeat it being assertive.

    Ask me anything or just vent when you need to, I hope you get threw this and the 2 of them will become best friends, just won't happen overnight.

    After thought, maybe Abbey needs more structured walks to burn off the agression, do you have a tredmill? if so, then I would put her on the tredmill every morning, once they get use to it, they love it- take care, I am here if you need me-good luck-Carla
  4. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    It did for me when I got a second chihuahua and had the same problem.

    Buy an identical toy and a bottle of bitter apple spray. Take Abby outside alone and throw the toy with bitter apple sprayed on it heavily. She won't like the taste, each time to do this respray he bitter apple on it. She will soon she a toy like that as being nasty tasting and she will then leave the other one alone.

    The bitter apple is made for purposes like this and won't hurt the dog one bit.
  5. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Thanks for all the great suggestions!
    I should have mentioned that normally the two dogs get along fine - playing and running together. It's not till I go outside and Hailey is ready for her squeaky routine, that there is any problem. Plus, I don't want to favor one dog over the other, as Abby is in a tough situation too, losing her family and forced to live with new people.

    Carla, I have been doing the "taking turns" thing. I pet Abby while Hailey gets a turn, but Hailey can't and won't sit still or come to me when its Abbys turn.

    YOu did mention the e-collar, and it sounds like a great tool. I just can't afford one right now. (Hubby, a painter, broke his hip and was unable to work for the winter.) I would like to check that out later though. I had to use a bark collar on Hailey once. Now all I have to do is show her the collar and make it beep. (The best 40 bucks I ever spent on something I never use!)

    I wish I could walk them, but I really can't. (FM, arthritis and bone spur issues.) My kids are all to busy with college/work to visit at a regular time. I might be able to get my daughter to walk them occasionally though.

    I didn't see what happened to provoke the fight. They were out of sight around a corner. I have never seen Hailey actually attempt to take the toy from Abby. But I have noticed that she gets gradually more upset each day. And this might have been the time when she actually did try to get it back.

    For now, I will do like you said and tell Abby "NO", to that toy, and try to engage her in play with a different toy.

    Joyfully - I like your suggestion to get two new identical ones and put the old one up for now. The new ones wouldn't be Hailey's personal toy or have her scent. The trick will be finding two yellow fish. We have the orange octopus, which is almost identical, but you would think it was coated in poop the way they reject it. I don't know if its the shape of the fish, the color, or the sound. The yellow is more visible in the yard, and it has a lower toned squeak.

    I can try the squirt bottle method too, on Abby. Hailey enjoys being squirted in the face though, with a bottle, the hose, anything. She is an odd dog! I don't know if she is actually clinically hyper and obsessive/compulsive, but she sure seems that way. If water is shooting forth from anything, she must have her face up in it.

    msbsgblue - I had never thought of making a toy undesirable. I had considered smearing the orange octopus with peanut butter for Abby, to make it more desirable. Where do you find this bitter apple spray? Is it something you find at the pet store?

    All great suggestions! Thanks for your help! For now, I will try to train Abby to leave Hailey's fish toy alone. She is the more trainable of the two anyway. I will try to get her interested in the squeaky octopus. I will use the water bottle for backup. Meanwhile, I will begin the hunt for 2 new yellow fish. If I find them, I will retire the old one.

    I added a picture of Hailey with her orange octopus in my profile, back when it was new and she still liked it. This was shot in mid-routine. She runs with the toy till she is exhausted, then comes and sits with it next to me on the glider. She always tucks it between her legs like this so it won't roll off. Then when she is rested, she takes off again. (I don't have a picture of Abby yet.)
  6. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    I thought I would sent this just for laughs. TO solve the whole thing buy another of the same toy. THEN, Neither of them will want it !!

    Many times kids will do that it is just the fun of the chase or whatever. What is the fun if you have no one to chase to get the toy, whatever it is??

    However, you did say that Hailey did like to run around with it when no one else is around. So, who knows.

    That is how kids are anyway, at leaset many of them.


    [This Message was Edited on 04/07/2008]
  7. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    YOu're right Granni. The chase is half the fun!

    Today I went out to play with the dogs and things went pretty smoothly. I brought both the fish and octopus in, washed them up good, and smeared peanut butter lightly on the octopus. I gave Abby the peanut butter octopus, and Hailey her fish. That worked great for a few minutes. I played fetch with Abby and her toy for a little bit while Hailey ran around with her own squeaker.

    After that, everytime Abby went to get Hailey's toy. I told her "NO!" And she stopped and walked away. Then I praised her and gave her a treat. A few times Abby got it and took off running. I told her "No! Bring it here!" and she did. And another treat for her. So it is working out well. Abby is a smart dog. Much easier to train than my stubborn hyper lab pup.

    Hailey kept her toy in her mouth most of the time, afraid to sit it down. She's like a baby with a pacifier - not content without it. But she did seem confused that Abby was not chasing her, and looked back at her several times, wondering why she wasn't in pursuit. I think she likes being chased, she just doesn't want to give up the toy if shes caught.

    Once I came in, I figured it was a free-for-all again with the fish. But as long as Abby knows it's Hailey's while I am outside, I think everything will work out between them. Hailey associates that toy with "Mommy time." I don't think she minds Abby playing with it when I'm not watching.

    I feel kind of stupid asking for advise, when all I had to do was tell Abby no. But I never expected her to mind me so well! Between the hyper pup Hailey and the the frisky kitten Scotty, I am just not used to pets that mind.

  8. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    I just separate my dogs: when I am playing with one the other is either in another room with a yummy treat such as a Kong filled with squeezy cheese or inside/outside (wherever you arent lol). Then it's the other dogs turn. That way they get more one on one time with you and during their play time with one another I would remove the fish.
    This is what I do with my dogs - it helps reinforce the people/dog bond and gets rid of the jealosy factor too!

  9. monica33flowers

    monica33flowers New Member

    But I did want to say Hailey is such a cutie pie!
  10. ckball

    ckball New Member

    Awww Hailey is a cutie. What is it about Lab and being stubborn,lol. That is funny about her and water, Missy is the total opposite, hates taking a bath and runs whenever I bring the hose out.

    I am glad to hear that Abbey is learning to leave the toy alone when you tell her to. They are much smater than we give them credit for.

    Sounds like you got a lot good ideas, sometimes it is just a simple answer to solve a problem. Glad you have had success- happy fetching-Carla
  11. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    Carla - Yeah...I had to give up planting any flowers or vegetables in the back yard. Whenever I would attempt to water the plants, they would end up getting trampled by Hailey in her mad frenzy to get her face in front of the nozzle. Even with the jet sprayer nozzle on!

    There is a real art to using the hose around her. I have to spray way out into the yard, so she will run out there, then I quickly get in a few seconds of spraying what's in front of me before she gets back. Then, spray into the distance again so she'll run away again, and another few seconds up close.

    So for her, a water spray bottle is pretty much a handy hose-to-go. The crazy dog even sits out in the rain like she enjoys it. I plan on getting her a kiddie pool when it warms up!

    I would love to plant some tomatoes again, but in Hailey-vision I imagine that would be a "ball tree."

    Gretchen - Good idea about giving each dog personal one-on-one time! That would be good for both of them.

    I mentioned this to Carla before, but I will repeat it for the rest of you. Abby was a stray that turned up here a year ago. She was literally skin and bones, and starving to death. We fed her, and decided we would have to take her in.

    My son came over and offered to take her home and bathe and train her for us. But his wife got attached and ended up keeping her. The poor dog was riddled with worms, and had to be nursed back to health with a series of medications.

    But recently they moved to a house with a smaller yard and had to give up one of their 3 dogs. So they brought Abby back to us, hoping we would keep her here.

    I wasn't too happy at first, but it turns out that Hailey really loves having a buddy to play with. And except for a few incidents with the fish toy, they have been real happy with each other.

    You guys have been great! I really appreciate all the wonderful suggestions!

    PS - even stranger than my lab who loves water (which is really not strange at all) is my CAT who loves water! Scotty gets very involved in the dish washing procedure. He likes to get right in the sink, under the running water, loves the bubbles and loves the sprayer! I don't get it.
  12. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    Yes you can get bitter apple from pet shops or from pet supply catalogs. It is harmless just tastes bitter.