BUDDY AND BANDIT – STAFFIES
PROBLEM – SEVERE AGGRESSION TO EACH OTHER
Lisa and Kelvin contacted me in desperation about their two Staffies who were fighting each other and causing significant injuries.
Bandit aged 4 was the older more dominant male and Buddy was the younger, pushy young upstart who had come along later to upset the status quo in Bandit’s eyes. To add to the mix, Lisa and Kelvin also had a young Miniature Pom, Rex who also thought he was a Staffie!
This combination had led to major fights which neither Kelvin or Lisa felt able to control and both Bandit and Buddy had several trips to the vet for treatment to significant wounds caused by the dogs biting, holding and tearing. As always in these cases, there is also a significant risk of serious injury to the human members of the family when they get involved in trying to seperate fighting dogs, but Lisa and Kelvin had been lucky so far. On top of this, Bandit could also be aggressive to dogs he met when out on walks, both on and off lead.
On visiting their home, it was clear that the situation could not continue as it was. Bandit and Buddy were being kept separate and there was significant stress to Lisa and Kelvin in having to keep these two dominant males apart.
A word here for all those new-age behaviourists who have decided in their wisdom that dominance is a dirty word and in fact doesn’t exist. The same ones who deny the existence of pack behaviour amongst dogs and the need for humans to be the pack-leader. Now I know a lot of these people have lots of letters after their names and have been on lots of courses, but I do sometimes wonder how many dogs they have actually worked with. We seem to have a whole lot of politically correct dog behaviourists nowadays to go along with our politically correct society. I can only say that some of them need to work with the more challenging breeds such as Rottweilers, Staffies, GSD etc and if they still think that dominance and pack behaviour don’t exist, I would be interested to know.
Anyway, back to the case study!! Significant changes were made to Kelvin and Lisa’s domestic regime with their dogs and of course, no harsh methods were used. There is no reason why two male Staffies can’t live in the same home together. Some people also have difficulty having more than one male Rottweiler too, but the key is strong leadership from the owners and clear house-rules. Of course, if you are going to have two males (or in fact two females which can be even more fraught), then you should try to ensure that they are of different rank or status. Any good breeder of Staffies, Rotties and the like, should be able to give you advice on rank and status and if they can’t, then in my opinion they shouldn’t be breeding and you certainly shouldn’t be buying puppies from them.
A month on and the fights which were a daily occurrence have now stopped and Kelvin and LIsa’s shattered confidence has been gradually rebuilt. They know that there is still no room for complacency and of course that they need to be the pack-leaders of their dogs (or family leaders, for those who dislike the term pack-leader!!!!!)
“We are so very pleased with the work you did with Bandit, Buddy and Rex. We have been religiously sticking to your advice and the action plan you gave us. So far, we haven’t had one negative encounter with other dogs, or any fights within the home.
We had pretty much resigned ourselves to a horrible decision of having to re-home one of our Staffies, but with so many in re-homing centres around the country, it wasn’t a decision we wanted to make.
We find it upsetting that people have such strong, set opinions on the breed, but it proves that it is entirely down to the owner, their training and how responsible they are.
You were our last shot at keeping our boys together after four vicious fights in the home and many expensive trips to the vets, but amazingly it seems that the work we did with you has paid off. It was well worth it!! We now have the boys back in the front room together, but always supervised at the moment.
My confidence had taken such a large knock by being present for each fight, but I am now feeling more confident all the time. Trying to prise two large male Staffies apart during a fight isn’t much fun, especially as I am a female with limited upper body strength.
It is so true what you say in your company motto – you don’t just train dogs, you train the owners too. I think differently now compared with a month ago and the benefits show in the home, out on walks and when people visit. Not only has their behaviour improved dramatically, but their standard of obedience has improved significantly too which I never thought would happen.
A big thank you to you Peter. We are so happy with the results from your training and would recommend you and your gorgeous pack of Rotties to anybody”. Lisa.