After feeding the dogs I sat down to enjoy a warm cup of coffee and catch up on the news. Usually the dogs all settle into their positions. Bonnie at my feet. Brynn lays to the left of my chair. Ranger in front of the fireplace. Beth hopped up on the couch where she can survey her domain.
This morning was a little different. Bonnie and Brynn started to snark at each other. Brynn has been resource guarding me from the other dogs. Bonnie decided to leap into my lap without warning. Brynn started growling. Ranger was trying to climb into my lap from the other side of the chair. Chaos.
I pushed Ranger down. Shoved Bonnie off my lap and was correcting Brynn for growling when all of a sudden I hear snarling and a huge fight erupted between Bonnie and Beth.
My son heard the fight up stairs and came running into the room. He tried to help me separate them. We were able to separate them for a quick second when Bonnie broke free and went after Beth again, and again. Then we had to contend with Brynn hopping on Beth's back and grabbing a hold of her neck.
I grabbed Brynn and shoved her out the back door. Then I grabbed a blanket and threw it over Bonnie's head, wrapped it around her and picked her up - she had her teeth sunk into Beth's neck. Jake grabbed Beth around her middle and picked her up. Beth wasn't letting go of Bonnie's neck either. We just stood there until finally they loosened their hold and let go. Jake put Beth on the couch and I threw Bonnie out the back door.
Beth went flying to the back door and slipped through the opening where they went at it again in on the patio. We were able to separate them and get Beth back into the house where she immediately crawled up onto the couch and buried her head in the pillows.
Then I started surveying for damage. Beth has four puncture wounds on her front elbows I cleaned & will keep an eye on.
Next was Bonnie - no injuries other than a scratch above her eye and one puncture wound on her neck (that I could find). Must have been all that fur protecting her.
I am keeping them separate. Beth is hiding in John's office, Bonnie & Brynn are outside.
I am not sure what to do. Beth can be relentless. I have seen her attack a few of our foster dogs - and she DOES NOT back down and she won't quit. Today neither Beth or Bonnie was going to stop. It terrifies me to think about what would happen if they had been in the back yard alone.
The common trigger in Beth's 'attacks' seems to be that she is in 'defensive' drive when she launches her assaults.
For example: On Thanksgiving John was playing tug with one of Vicki's dogs, Blitz. They were having fun, then Blitz started to growl while tugging - Beth came flying across the room and attacked Blitz. We had to break up that fight too. Blitz was laying on the ground and Beth was on top of him - she wasn't going to quit - he wasn't fighting back.
I am unable to play with the other dogs if Beth is in the room. We cannot play tug or she will 'correct' the dog I am playing tug with and then take over the game. I am not able to do any obedience/clicker training with any of the other dogs unless I have Beth upstairs in her crate - even then she will squeal, bark and scream the entire time.
I called the 'head' guy for Border Collie Rescue and talked to him for quite a while about what happened and my next steps. Bob is aware of the history I have with Beth and our issues with her aggression toward many foster dogs. He suggested I seriously consider finding Beth a new home, with no other dogs. I am absolutely devastated.
I cant imagine separating them. They are my "B" girls. Until today there have never been any problems. What is going on?
I am very worried that our peaceful pack is now a permanent war zone. Given our house and yard (I do not have kennels) I am not able to keep the dogs separated - easily. The dogs who live in this house must be able to get along, I am unable to accommodate dogs who cannot.
I called Packworks and will be scheduling a session with Gretchen before I make any decisions.
I believe you adopt a dog you bring them into your life permanently UNLESS the best interest of the dog can be improved in another home. I am not going to selfishly hold onto a dog out of a misguided sense of commitment when that same dog could be happier elsewhere - someone else may be able to give it a better home than me. Does that make sense?
How about you? Have you ever had a situation like this? How did you deal with it?
*EDITED to ADD * Right after I hit publish on this post...I heard ANOTHER dogfight in the back yard. This time it was Bonnie and Ranger. WTF is GOING ON? Maybe Bonnie is getting too big for her britches?
Is this the face of evil?
Ranger wants to know why girls are so bitchy.