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Sibblings not so friendly

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Lisa76, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Lisa76

    Lisa76 New Member Registered

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    We have 2 brothers Jack Russell/spaniel cross, they are 4 years old. One is suddenly giving constant attention to the other leading to him being growled at every time he approaches his brother. Its been happening for about 2 weeks now. Could this be hormone driven? I am looking into getting them both neutered.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    What kind of “attention”?

    We need more details of their interactions, since we aren’t there to witness them - or a video would be nice?...

    - terry

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  3. Lisa76

    Lisa76 New Member Registered

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    Every time his brother walks or sits near him he growls at him.
     
  4. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    OK - that’s not exactly informative. :)

    I will simply suggest desexing both dogs, ASAP, as that does reduce aggro across the board.
    It’s not a cure-all, but it will certainly make any b-mod easier & more effective.

    B-Mod simple plan
    I will also suggest making the presence of the dog who is growled at into a consistent predictor of Good Things Happen for the growler.

    IOW, the growlee approaches his bro, MARK THAT with a click from a box clicker, deliver a small high-value tidbit to the growler, then another to the growlee. // Repeat ad infinitum, until the growler looks at the nearest human & wags / smiles in anticipation of a tidbit AS the growlee approaches him / before the click or the tidbit occur.

    Similarly, nothing happy occurs for the growler unless his bro is present -
    Walks, toy play, strokes, a massage as he lies on a raised surface... whether he is a passive recipient or an activeparticipant, happy things happen only in the presence of the growlee, never when the growler is solo.
    Simply pairing his bro with happy events will rub some glamor off on the growlee.

    Good luck. :)

    - terry

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  5. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hi Lisa! With your boys are they both from the same litter? If so, I would recommend reading this - Don’t Take Two Littermates It explains the reason why you shouldn't adopt from the same litter. I also recommend getting them neutered due to the fact they are 4 years old, the longer you leave it the more risk it is for them to get health conditions such as prostate disease and reduces the risk of getting some cancers. It could potentially make the dogs calmer but is not guaranteed. If this behaviour only just occurred I would recommend speaking with your vet because it could be because of an underlying health problem. I am not a vet or a dog trainer so I cannot tell you exactly what is wrong with the dogs but I can help with any other questions you may have :)
     
  6. Mayblossom

    Mayblossom Well-Known Member Registered

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    Many many years ago we brought two littermates as we thought they'd be good company for each other ( as did the breeder...well he would wouldn’t he ;)) a big mistake , they were boys and had so many fights they weren’t safe to be left together , the breeder wasn’t interested of course so we sadly had to rehome one of them, broke our hearts :( we weren’t experienced then so didn’t expect this. I ended up in hospital trying to separate them and got very badly bitten, guess we were very unlucky :(
     
    Violet Turner likes this.
  7. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Along with the neuter op for both dogs, I would get a full thyroid panel done on both dogs -

    if the total cost is a problem, I’d get get both the desex surgery AND the full thyroid panel done on the growler 1st, then on the growlee as soon as U can possibly afford them, with the growlee’s neuter taking scheduling precedence over his thyroid panel.

    Hypothyroidism is common in dogs of many breeds or mixes, it can develop anytime from 9-MO up, with 18-MO to 2-YO being prime time for positive diagnoses.
    A thyroid panel is a blood test with multiple components, including free & bound values for T3 & T4, plus TSH ‘thyroid stimulating hormone’, & possibly also an ANA test: anti-nuclear antibody, which would reveal if the dog is destroying their own thyroid hormone after making it.

    That’s 5 tests, possibly 6 - DO NOT let the vet persuade U to “save money” by skipping tests, as the free & bound versions are floor & ceiling, & U need the measurement between them; one is useless without the other. :(
    All the tests are done on one blood sample; the dog is punctured only once, there is a single vial, & it’s sent off to be analyzed.


    WHO does the lab work is critical; U want an accurate, thorough analysis, to squeeze as much good info from this test as possible, so again, don’t let Ur vet persuade U to false economies, by offering to do it in house, or send it to the local hospital, or otherwise “save money”.
    There are 2 labs known worldwide for thyroid tests in dogs, either Michigan State Univ’s vet lab, or HemoPet, founded by Dr Jean Dodds.
    My own preference is MSU, as they have the world’s largest breed specific database of canine thyroid values - normal ranges for Berners & Chihuahuas aren’t the same. In the case of crosses, both parent breeds’ ranges for norm / low / high can be compared.

    If Ur dog’s analysis is borderline low, I would be prepared in advance to ask my vet for a short-term course of low dose thyroid hormone, as a direct check; subclinical hypothyroidism does not show the physical symptoms, but often there are behavioral symptoms, & IRRITABILITY is number one.
    If his behavior improves, that is reason enuf to put him on thyroid supplement for life; once the dose is properly adjusted, it’s very cheap to buy, & it’s easily given daily. :) About 3 weeks on a low dose should give U clear indication of whether he does or does not need thyroid hormone Rx.

    If he is (or they are) hyperthyroid, the meds are inexpensive & very effective.
    Fingers crossed,
    - terry

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  8. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yeah I'd look at the health factors too before I did anything. Maybe one has some underlying condition that the other can sense. This means the 'victim' feels below par and a bit vulnerable. If it were just sibling rivalry you'd expect it to kick in sooner. (If one litter mate is brought into rescue it's usually at around 18 months to two years). I think the jury is still out on male dog neutering- the evidence for good/bad is less clear than for bitches. So it may not be the answer in this case. We've always had two boys- but never litter mates- and never had problems. Bitches though...don't me started.
     
  9. Kara 1

    Kara 1 Active Member Registered

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    We have 4 boys and 1 girl all neutered ...the 2 lurcher boys rub along well ...the 2 jrt boys have lived together for 3 1/2 yrs and the past 6 mths they have had a couple of spats ...one in where i got bitten quite badly ...completely my fault ..a few spats in the garden has come to me putting the hosepipe on them to seperate them ....Tom always starts it ...and he is much smaller ...only 8"tts and 6kgs whereas Sid is 11"tts and 8kgs...neither have been hurt or blood drawn even though it sounds like they are killing each other ....
    Sid always wants to be friends after whereas Tom is pumped for about one hour after ....i have never had any trouble with any of my other male dogs apart from these two ...terriers are a different kettle of fish ...
     

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