Canine Behavior/My dog is jealous of my girlfriend and attacks my other dog
Waylon Jennings was abandoned to me. He is a mostly catahoula and some rottweiler mix, a large strong dog. He is about 4, neutered male. I think he is partially deaf.
His owner was definitely crazy, and catahoulas are know for being difficult and somewhat feral.
Mina is my boxer pit mix, she is also a fairly strong serious dog, but agin and fixed. She was an alpha female her whole life, and Waylon definitely took alpha from her.
Waylon tends to attack Mina when my girlfriend is over, and is territorial about the bed and also any attention that Mina gets from my girlfriend, although my girlfriend is good about giving them both some love. My dogs normally sleep in my bed, which I do not want to change.
If my girlfriend is not around he doesn't get into fights.
Muzzling him as soon as we get home solves the problem, but if we forget, its a guaranteed fight. The muzzle definitely calms him down instantly.
Kind of ruins any romance when it happens.
I've considered trying to rehome him, however I know it would be hard to find him a good owner. I do love him and really don't want to rehome him.
I also have a 3rd dog Misha, but she has a very healthy fear of the other 2 dogs and manages stay out of problems with them.
Any help would be dearly appreciated.
Hi there thank you for your message. Certainly sounds stressful. There are a few issues at play here so will answer them each.
Attacking Mina when girlfriend is over. There is no problem with dogs sleeping on the bed but the main thing is that you need to incorporate some rules around the bed. The main rule you need to add is that they are allowed on the bed but by invitation only. This creates the sense that the bed is not the dogs but yours, and it is a reward to be up on the bed not a right. This means that the bed does not become a guarded item.
The other issue is that they fight straight away. The best way to handle this is to give them both a place in the lounge for example to stay on such as a dog bed or rug. To do this teach both dogs the "mat" command and get them to sit and stay on the mat individually for up to 5 minutes at a time. What this does is creates the feeling in both of the dogs that you are in control when both dogs are around. As it stands when both dogs are together they are fighting for control of the home so you taking over will make them understand better that you are actually in control of the home. The muzzle is a good idea but wondering if in fact does calm him down or in fact it stresses him out more and he becomes quiet? If so just make sure that the muzzle is also on when nobody else is there at times so it creates the feeling that it is not just because the other dog is around so does not create any hard feelings so to speak.
So in conclusion:
1. Allowed on bed but invite only
2. Creating a mat command so they have some command to give you more control when they are all around
3. Muzzle on at other times as well