Roomie dogs are fighting consistently
September 9, 2013 4:46 PM Subscribe
I live with a person who has a dog that I like quit a bit. She's really friendly, well mannered, not many complaints. Another roomie moved in about 2 months ago with her own dog. Ever since moving in both dogs fight constantly. I don't know if you can assign fault, but the new dog often does a thing where it will bite at the old dog's neck until it responds. The old dog will sometimes steal food and chew toys from the new dog. This is nearly always play fighting, but sometimes they get carried away and seem to want to harm the other. If I'm home by myself yelling "Hey, assholes, stop it!" is enough to get them to stop for the rest of the day, and I can usually give a loud "Hey!" if I see them doing things that lead up to fighting. However, both other owners have a harder time getting them apart, and sometimes do things I think are counter productive. I don't want to tell them how to control their dogs, but it's really tiring to be living in the constant center of a dog fight. Should I take more active steps to discipline them while the owners are around, or should I just say "well, not my dog," and not intervene?
posted by codacorolla to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The new dog is nice enough around me, but has to have a muzzle to be walked, chews itself constantly (to the point where its skin is often pink and sore), doesn't seem to like being petted very much (it will move out of your way if you try to touch it and lick your hand instead), and is generally very high strung (hates any loud noise, barks at anything it sees outside). I believe that both are rescue dogs, and both are pitbull mixes.
The owners will generally not yell (or yell only briefly) to get them to stop fighting, and will instead try to physically separate them. Sometimes (counter intuitively, I think) they'll give them chew toys as a distraction (I see this as being reward behavior, and probably not dissuading them at all).
Even though this seems like play fighting, both dogs have sustained small scratches and wounds from it when it gets out of control.
Other than fighting, both dogs are well behaved and not a bother to me in the slightest.