Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Breed characteristics and traits

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old October 5th, 2010, 01:41 PM
ariatgirl ariatgirl is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 12
Female malamute being same sex aggressive

My malamute ,Denali, has started to become more and more aggressive toward other female dogs. She's 1 year and has had lots of socialization and she knows that myself and my fiance are dominant. I know its common for female dogs to become territorial and try to dominate each other. I have a female corgi she's been around her for her entire life and recently has taken to attacking her. There hasn't been any broken skin yet. My question is to fellow malamute/husky owners or trainers: does anyone have any good training techniques to get her to either accept her place in our pack or get her to stop doing this?
Attached Images
Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2010, 03:22 PM
Jumajum Jumajum is offline
Ma to Lyra and Loulou
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Inuvik, NT
Posts: 33
Is she spayed? That usually helps take the territorial edge off.

I would also work on desensitization. Get her to settle down when the other dog is in the room but not in her zone. Reward her for being calm then slowly move them closer, reward and praising her for being calm. If she lunges for the other dog, reset and start again. As you get her closer to the other dog, up to treat quality. So work from ok treat to great treat to awesome treat to jackpot treat. She'll learn that being close to the other dog and staying calm is a good thing .
Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2010, 05:13 PM
bendyfoot's Avatar
bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
Geek Club CEO
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 5,019
Around the first birthday is a pretty typical time for dogs to "test the waters" and challenge the authority of mature dogs in the household/pack, especially if they naturally have more dominant personalities.

Spaying both females (if they aren't already) can definitely help, but it's not necessarily a sure-fire cure. We had a rocky couple of months when our youngest dog reached the age of one and started to challenge our eldest, alpha female (both were spayed at the time). There were a handful of really nasty, bloody fights. Luckily no one was hurt too badly, but they were not much fun. The thing is, if it's a dominance thing, there's not much you can do about it other than supervise carefully, isolate the dogs from eachother when you can't supervise, do lots of positive, fun activities (but NOT ones where excitement levels get too high - excitement can lead to aggression) with BOTH dogs, be safe, and break up fights safely when they happen. Dogs need to establish their own pecking order, and although we can influence it somewhat, most of it has to happen between the dogs themselves. When we meddle too much with what is pretty normal behaviour, we can sometimes make things worse. It could very well be that your corgi will NOT be the dominant dog at the end of this.

In our house, we basically did what I said above...supervised, kept play fun but low-key and controlled (i.e. brought it down or paused the play when the energy levels got too high), watched them closely, and let them sort it out. After about 3 months, the fights stopped. Our alpha maintained her status, and the younger dog defers to her (but is still a brat-luckily our older dog is a very stable leader and puts up with a lot of bratty nonsense). It's entirely possible that, as our oldest dog ages further and becomes a senior, we could see the dominance roles changed again. These things are rarely 100% stable/fixed.

Be warned: it IS possible that your two females will simply not be able to coexists. It's not the norm, but it's a possibility. Work on enforcing your own leadership role in the house, keep the environment safe and calm, ensure all dogs get plently of exercise, and hopefully this time of turmoil will pass.
Owned by:
Solomon - black DSH - king of kitchen raids (11)
Gracie - Mutterooski X - scary smart (9)
Jaida - GSD - tripod trainwreck and gentle soul (4)
Heidi - mugsly Boston Terrier X - she is in BIG trouble!!! (3)
Audrey - torbie - sweet as pie (11 months)
Patrick - blue - a little turd (but we like him anyways) (6 months)
Boo, our Matriarch (August 1 1992 - March 29 2011)
Riley and Molly
Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2010, 06:46 PM
ariatgirl ariatgirl is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 12
They are both spayed. They can be in the same room and close to each other without incident. It doesn't happen every day but it happens often. I know the corgi won't be the dominant female because she's already submissive. Its just like she lashes out on her for no reason. I'll keep close watch on them. Thank you all for the feed back
Reply With Quote
Old October 5th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Bailey_'s Avatar
Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
Senior Contributor
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 1,722
Can you tell us what you do right now when your husky reacts this way? You mentioned that your female husky knows that you and your fiance are "dominant" - do you mind elaborating? Why do you think this - and what is your husky doing to show this to you?
"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater. . . suggest that he wear a tail."

Bailey (Labradoodle)
Tippy (Collie/ShepX)
Vali (American Bulldog)
Artiro (Cane Corso)
Reply With Quote
Old October 6th, 2010, 11:50 AM
ariatgirl ariatgirl is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 12
We use the food technique where we give her the food so she knows we control food. We also use the Caesar Millian method. When she submits she rolls onto her back and doesn't get up until we say ok. We've never abused her or hit her. When she attacks the other dog we use the Caesar Millian method and take her to the ground until she submits, which is usually pretty soon if not right away.
Reply With Quote
Old October 6th, 2010, 12:10 PM
luckypenny's Avatar
luckypenny luckypenny is offline
Doggie Wench
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: St. Philippe-de-Laprairie, Qc
Posts: 11,812
Under what circumstances does Denali attack your other dog? What is your Corgi doing immediately before this happens? How does she respond to Denali after an "attack?"

Originally Posted by ariatgirl View Post
When she attacks the other dog we use the Caesar Millian method and take her to the ground until she submits, which is usually pretty soon if not right away.
What is your understanding of this method? What are you trying to communicate to Denali? You are aware that Ceasar Millan has a disclaimer stating not to use his methods without the help of a qualified professional, right?

Have you considered the help of a qualified dog behaviorist specializing in aggression to help you?
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." -Will Durant
Reply With Quote
Old December 27th, 2010, 06:59 PM
kigndano's Avatar
kigndano kigndano is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chelmsford, MA
Posts: 503
i think you should do the following

1. immediately remove the dog from the attacking position, if you have to use force (pulling/yanking the dog off) do it. period.

2. step between the dogs

3. make the attacking dog lay down and stay there

4. make the other dog stay there

5. wait until you see the dog's (both) body language relax

6. go on with your day.

i think what this communicates to the dogs is this:

attacks - not OK - im the leader - ill do the discipline.

if you do attack - youre gonna submit to me (lay down) and stay there until i say its OK to go

to the dog thats getting beat-up so-to-speak, you show that you control the pack.

disclaimer: just my advice - please, offer yours to the OP as well.
Reply With Quote
Old May 8th, 2011, 04:54 PM
MyBirdIsEvil's Avatar
MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
Senior Contributor
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 1,720
Malamutes are unfortunately one of the breeds that tend to exhibit same sex aggression. I have this issue with my mix and it's why I only introduce her to certain females off leash that I know will submit to her (it's not as much of an issue on neutral territory, but here at/near my house).
I've had a couple of nasty fights between her and my new dog, who is about 14 years old. EVERY time it hasn't been that she suddenly attacked, it has been that the new dog has shown some form of dominance or aggression and elicited the attack. This dog is not generally dominant but in some instances she decides to get "uppity" over something, so to speak, and Morgan feels the need to put her in her place.

I think this is likely the case here. You say your Corgi is submissive, but what are you basing this on? If the Corgi has never had a reason to suspect the other dog is a threat to her position in the pack, she may have just been always relaxed and you're mistaking it for submission. If the malamute has exhibited some behavior that she feels threatens her place in the pack or a possession (the main ones are food (or things related to food like bowls), toys, and space (like sleeping or eating areas)), then she might have shown some body language or behavior that challenged your malamute and caused an attack.
In many cases I see a dog challenge another dog and the dog does not take kindly to it, but the owner thinks the "victim" has been attacked unsolicited and punishes the attacker. In actuality the "victim" is sometimes the instigator and it goes unnoticed. But you need to pay very close attention to what kind of behavior your corgi is exhibiting to elicit an attack and try to curtail that behavior (is she showing guarding behavior over an object? a space? (such as dog bed or sleeping spot). She does not necessarily have to seem aggressive to be doing this. It can be as much as her standing rigid and holding her head up that the malamute sees as a challenge). Did the attacks happen in specific places or situations? (A certain room, during playtime, before a walk, one dog got attention, one dog got let through a doorway first, etc.?). Those are things you can alter to prevent aggression.

I'm kind of worried that you say you're using the Cesar Milan "method". The main reason Cesars methods work for HIM is because he has uncanny timing and can read various body language quickly and accurately. Most people don't have this ability. And people often cite that he keeps a whole pack of dogs with no issues, but this isn't actually the case. I've seen plenty of clips of dogs in his packs getting into fights. He simply knows how to break it up safely, and also has other handlers on hand for help. In any case, he DOES get bitten periodically even then, or his dogs get injuries. Plus the dynamics of a VERY large pack are a bit different than the average home with a few dogs. Trying to follow what he does is nearly impossible for most people, not to mention his shows are extremely edited so some of the things he does go unshown. Also he's not there to assess your individual dog and tell you what tactic he would use. You see him use different methods on different dogs, and not all apply to every dog. Also I've read his original book, and the advice in those tend to be vague and no info for very specific situations. Plus it does mention NOT to alpha roll your dog (which is essentially what you're doing to show dominance) like he would do, and seek expert advice in situations where you have a dog that you think requires such measures. Personally I think alpha rolls are a bit silly (and actually dangerous with truly aggressive dogs), and the average dog tends to see it as a game. I can "alpha roll" my greater swiss mountain dog and she lays there happily knowing she's getting attention.
Also, you mention when the dog attacks you take her to the ground and make her lay. You know what that says to your Corgi? That she's the winner. If she was actually the one eliciting attack through body language you may worsen the situation since she figures she's winning the dispute every time. If anything you should be making BOTH dogs lay down and calm down. You may physically seperate them, but you shouldn't be having to physically take the malamute to the ground. Seperate and give a command to lay down on their sides and relax (the command may be physical through touching/body language, but shouldn't be a case of physically forcing the dog down). You can't FORCE a pecking order and the dogs have to work it out themselves to some extent, so that's why simply punishing one dog in front of the other isn't good.
The other thing is you need to try and stop the aggression before it elevates to physical attack. If you see the corgi showing body language that challenges the malamute over something you need to immediately stop that behavior and seperate them both. If you see the malamute looks to be preparing an attack you need to stop it and seperate them immediately. Once the attack is happening the dogs are in an excited state already, so gaining control and correcting the problem behavior is going to be harder. This may be a bit difficult since you don't seem to be recognizing what behavior is elliciting the attack, or noticing the malamute showing aggressive body language before attack. So you're going to need to supervise at ALL times for the moment and pay very close attention to their behavior and dynamics.

btw I would suggest teaching the "look at me" command if they don't already know it. When you see one dog giving the other dog a little too much negative attention you can use that command and reward for them completing it. Teaching the command will give you a way to get them to focus on you and break their attention from something else when you need to. Obviously teach this first when they're in a relaxed state and slowly work up to more distraction, just like any other command.
There is more than one way to teach this I'm sure, but I personally do it by holding a treat down at my side (at first dogs will focus on the treat) then snapping my fingers in front of my face and saying "lookatme". Immediately when the dogs attention is focused on my eyes I give the treat, and over time work up to them paying attention to you for longer periods.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/b...gan/ginger.jpg What three female dogs getting along looks like . (btw I thought morgan looked kind of like Denali. Her mom was a full blooded malamute. The red one, ginger, is her sister.).
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:05 PM.