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Dog Training/My 2 Scotties Are Fighting Over Me and the Furniture!


I have 2 Scottish Terriers - Rufus (neutered male), who is almost 6 and I've had for 3 years, and Maisie (spayed female) who is somewhere around 1-2 years old.  I adopted Maisie a week ago.  

Rufus and Maisie are both rescue dogs. Rufus was severely neglected but not physically abused, Maisie came from a puppy mill and I suspect she was abused because she cowers at times when I approach her.

Rufus is a very mellow guy while Maisie is very high-strung.  I feed them at the same time but separated by a couple of feet and facing different directions.

Maisie has become incredibly jealous and possessive over me.  She growls, snaps, and lunges at Rufus when I try to pet them both.  She attacked him when he tried to get on the bed with us (Maisie had gotten up there first).

In my absence today, Maisie peed on the bed, a chair, and a bench - all of which they both occupy together at times.  I know it wasn't Rufus because of the way it was done.

They get along fine as long as I am not a factor.  As soon as it involves me, Maisie gets territorial and aggressive with Rufus.

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.  I don't want to have to surrender her back to the rescue organization if I don't have to.

Thank you,

Thanks for your email, Leyla. Some suggestions for you:

Separate the dogs for 2 weeks. Each dog gets one-on-one time with you without competing with the other. During these 2 weeks, they will be getting to know each other via scent exchange without having to deal with each other face-to-face. Use crates and baby gates to keep them from seeing each other.

They each need their own eating area in separate areas of the house. They will be more relaxed during meal time when they don't have to worry about the other taking their food.

Maisie needs confidence building and skill training. Find a class in your area that uses positive reinforcement training. If there is a PetsMart in your area, they usually have good classes.

Keep Maisie OFF the furniture and the bed. Until she has earned that privilege, she needs to be on the floor.

Implement a Nothing in Life is Free program with Maisie - She must learn that she only gets what she wants when she is polite and not demanding.

Here's a great article on intra-pack aggression:

Please let me know if you have further questions or need clarification on anything I've recommended.

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

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