Shikoku bad behavior
  • Hi guys, hoping to probe the wealth of knowledge on the forum for some help.
    Situation: My girlfriend and I are at a point where we are thinking about moving in together. Up until now her dog and mine have gotten along amazingly. Jess will keep Miya on the nights that I work so that's she's not alone at home which has worked it great for several months now. However, 2 weeks ago Jess came home to her dog bleeding from 2 bites, courtesy of Miya. After patching him up and watching them closely for a week without any signs of aggression, we chalked it up playing that got out of control.

    However, I went out of town for a just over a week and she's been snapping at him and left a good sized scratch on his belly while I was gone. She's also dug holes all over Jess's yard. Obviously we are super concerned. Neither one of them have EVER been aggressive at all. She doesn't have any injuries which makes it seem one sided (he's a pit/lab mix and her size). She was well socialized with other dogs as a pup, does well at dog parks, and usually just likes to play.

    Does anyone else's Shikoku act out if you are gone long periods? Any tips on how to help Miya get over this? Any tips on blending a 2 dog household like this with minimal blood and casualties?

    Thanks as always,
    Rick, Jess, Miya, and Toby
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    Do you leave the two dogs loose unsupervised? During your time away, have the dogs been given any breaks from each other?

    Playing with dogs at a park is different than living with one, so it's going to be a big transition for both dogs especially if neither are used to having a dog housemate. You might want to offer both dogs breaktimes from each other, either crating them or putting in separate rooms once in a while. Don't leave them together unsupervised or with high valued items, that'll leave them open to arguments and the more they argue tge harder it will be to acclimate them together.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 528
    Keep them separated when you aren't home, especially during this transition period.

    Try to make all interactions together positive. You may need to crate and rotate them to give them equal attention and avoid jealousy. She might need a bit more exercise to tire her out before you leave, and some things like kongs or bully sticks to occupy her.

    Saki, Miya's mom, was territorial of space and her things. She also would get stressed when alone and occasionally be destructive.
  • KajaKaja
    Posts: 216
    I agree with the above comments.

    When you leave them home alone, try just separating them. That might be one dog in the basement, one upstairs -- or divide their space with a baby gate or something. In time it may indeed get better so don't give up yet! My brother's dog and my shikoku used to not get along very well, but we can leave them alone together now. They learned to leave one another alone (basically I think they got bored and desensitised to one other) -- but it took some time. However, as a precaution, we don't leave them with bully sticks or anything because we don't want them starting a fight because "he has something I want" sort of thing.

    Also exercise the dogs thoroughly before leaving them alone, so they are both tired out. That should help somewhat, too.

    As for the holes in the backyard, I'm not sure what to say. If you mean that the backyard gets dug up while they are out for poo breaks, then maybe consider restricting them to an area with gravel/cement? Otherwise just watch them carefully to stop them from digging a massive hole. Little holes can be filled with soil easily enough, and the grass grows back. I have a big bag of ground soil that I have in the backyard to patch things up for just such an occasion ;)

    My concern with hole digging is they might get it in their head to dig under a fence. So keep an eye on those things, just as a side note.

    Oh. I've heard of people putting in sand pits so their dogs dig up the sand instead of the grass. Not sure if it works. xD

    Post edited by Kaja at 2016-12-03 04:59:47
  • omgtainomgtain
    Posts: 240
    Your shikoku is about 2 years old now, so it sounds like shes becoming an 'adult'.. what kind of dog does your girlfriend have? could your shikoku be going into heat ??

    Tain, Nare the GSD/Husky, and Tavi the Kaigirl!
  • I watched a youtube video of 2 kai ken dogs (in Japan) agressive to each other and the owners put muzzles on both dogs and then took them out to run with first it looked bad but after a while the dogs were running side by side and eventually no muzzles they were playing.
  • jigzzorjigzzor
    Posts: 125
    To add to the comments, I recently introduced 2 male Shikoku into living with each other. You have to start teaching them boundaries. It's not an easy thing to do but you really need to keep them separated and any interaction they spend you have to be present and correct any misbehavior's your girlfriend's dog or Miya have so they understand what and how they play together or even live together. Take your time and don't rush their interactions while living together. They need to take their own time getting used to the fact that there is another dog sleeping in their "den" so to speak.

    As far as digging goes, two things. Pent up frustration seems to be what's on miya's mind based on what you've said. Second living and sleeping overnight are very different and can lead to Miya being destructive of her environment. She may feel out of her element and is just throwing a tantrum. When we first brought home shou the new shikoku male we have, he started off being destructive of the enviornment and started to chew on random things in the house after the 1 month isolation and introduction period we had him do before he was able to free roam the house. He chewed our handvac, several paper towel rolls, a garbage can, a book, etc etc... he would also start "digging" our bed and has ripped a few sheets. It's only now at our 5th month of having him where he's truly settled down. So All in all I think with Miya isn't transitioning as fast as you'd like for her to transition. When you actually both live together and don't move back and fourth between your place and your gf's place, the new place or wherever you guys plan to live will start becoming her home and she should start easing up on the digging.
  • Just because Miya isn't injured doesn't mean it was one-sided. NK muzzles are longer, and their and coats thicker and longer, than pits. They can more easily damage the thin, short coat and are less likely to be damaged from a short muzzle with their thick "armor." Speaking from personal experience of my parents' Boxer starting fights with one of my Akitas... and the Boxer always the one injured, and the Akita coming out unscathed.

    No one was there to witness, so no one knows what really happened. And that alone is reason why you should separate when unobserved. It's really not that hard to do; we separate ALL our dogs when we leave the house, even those that get along fantastic and have lived together their whole lives. With only two dogs, if neither is crate trained, its simple enough to just close one in a bedroom while you're away. But crate training would also be recommended to help with this transition.

    Secondly... since you don't actually know what happened, don't assume. Making assumptions and blaming one of the dogs as the problem is more likely to lead to you doing the wrong thing. You will not be addressing the real problem and not solving anything, possibly making things worse. Maybe the other dog started it, Miya defended herself (and, with the advantages I mentioned before, came out looking like the "victor"), and now she's acting weird around the other dog because she feels threatened or bullied by it; it is the way of dogs for the best defense to be a good offense.

    So forget the incident that wasn't witnessed, and observe the dogs as they are now. Observe exactly what Miya is trying to communicate when she snaps. She's uncomfortable about something that the other dog is doing, so watch them and see what it is. Does she give other warnings first, to tell the dog to stop, that he is ignoring? Is he being rude getting in her space or taking a resource from her? Snapping is a reaction so look for the stimulus.
    「怪獣荘秋田犬」Kaiju Kennels Japanese Akita and Hokkaido, Claire Matthews
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 280
    All the advice above is great, separatio. Is a good idea. While my dogs get along, I always separate them when I'm gone because it's not fair if either one gets overwhelmed. This way they can both just relax and enjoy their own treats etc.

    Another idea may be to take a refresher training course as a "family". So both dogs learn to listen to both parents, and act together. -- I think blending human lives can be just as a big deal for pets, too (just like human kids), it will take time for everyone to adjust.

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