Today we had our first real issue since Ridley came to live with us. Reese our pitbull mix laid into him.
It happened so fast I can’t figure out the trigger. I had let them all in from playing in the yard and they came in extra hyper. They kept running back and forth from my family room into our kitchen sitting area. In fact I was going to put them back out after I shared some leftover apple with them. I never even got to feeding them the apple but I was standing up with food. They knew I had food. Could Ridley have knocked into Reese and Reese felt like he was being pushed out?
I happened to see Reese today in the yard trying to play with Ridley. In Reese fashion he will bark and sometimes nip at the neck. I watched his tail. It was in the calm position. Ridley was ignoring him and chose to run after Pierce. They play chase all the time. Was there something going on in there? I didn’t think Reese seemed upset about the diss from Ridley. I’ve been through dog aggression before sometimes you can’t really know why altercations between dogs happen but you can let them know it’s not acceptable.
It began quickly -there was some snapping and snarls that started -dogs sometimes do this and it’s often over as fast as it started- so I was just about to say quit(maybe I did ) when it escalated. Ridley is much bigger than Reese but Reese is young and strong. And what began as a bit of snarling ended up with Ridley trying to defend himself and Reese overpowering him. Reese had Ridley by the top of his neck near his ear and poor Ridley had stopped trying to fight back and was whining with pain. Ridley who has weaker legs had collapsed on the floor under Reese’s weight. Reese was clamped on. Not good. . My son sprayed them all with water that has just a bit of vinegar in it. I threw my ceramic fiesta dish at them and grabbed Reese’s collar (i know that was dumb but it was a reflex). I know I was screaming because I have a sore throat now. Somehow in seconds that seemed like minutes we got them apart. I dragged Reese outside and shut the door but went back out a second later with my spray bottle and chased his butt all around the deck and part of the yard spray in him. I was so freaking mad. If he had gotten closer I may have knocked him in the head. But that’s not like me and I’m glad he stayed away BC I was so upset. My heart was pounding in my chest. I didn’t want to hurt him but I did let him know that we don’t except that behavior here. He stayed out back the rest of the afternoon in solitary until I kicked Pierce out for marking our bed again. (I can’t blame that on getting the new dog BC he began that well before Ridley arrived. ) it’s getting tiring washing the floor and bedding every other day.
It was only a few months ago we had the problem with Lemon going after Reese. And after one particular incident I layed into Lemon and was very loud and something clicked in her and she stopped terrorizing Reese. Maybe my fury resonated with him today. I know that if Reese wanted to do damage he could have. But I don’t want this to become an issue between them. But I have no idea if it will or won’t. It is that fear that is so hard.
I know my stern reaction to aggression is a fallout from the time Kevin was attacked by the other sheepdog we adopted. I just won’t tolerate that – dog v dog and I won’t tolerate that with Dog v human at all. When it’s dog v dog I try to figure out the issue. If I can change something I will. Today’s altercation leaves me baffled and extra fearful BC I know what pitbull clamping jaws can do.
You probably want to know if Ridley was hurt. His feelings were for sure. Well I can’t say that for sure But he seemed more confused than anything. He did end up with a small bite puncture behind the ear. It didn’t bleed but I cleaned it up to be sure. It will probably be sore. I feel bad for the old guy.
I am hoping when they see eachother again they are over it. Much of the time dogs do get over it. My son let Reese in for a minute by mistake about an hour after it happened and there was no issue but he wasn’t in long enough for me to feel comfortable with them together. I probably should have let him back in but I was still so upset. It was close to feeding time so I decided to keep him outside until then (he’s in his crate in the dog room now) and I’ll see how they do later. I’m hoping I’m way more worried about it than I need to be. I love my dogs but stuff like this really throws me off.
Reese hasn’t really ever been aggressive before. He fought back once when Lemon went after him and he probably had enough. He cut her ear but it wasn’t anything too bad. More of a warning. So seeing him this way today was upsetting because he’s usually the one who wants to play with all the dogs. He is The let’s be friends guy.
When it all went down today it was Lemon who stuck her nose in trying to break it up and it was she who followed Reese outside when I put him out. They have become friends again. So dog dynamics can change. Let’s hope the relationship with Reese and Ridley is ok. Let’s hope it’s just me that’s worried about it.
Part of me hopes it was a food thing BC that’s something that doesn’t seem to cause long lasting problems. The intensity of Reese’s aggression is what is throwing me. Let’s hope it’s was only a blip on the radar and it won’t become something more and that I am only worrying BC of past issues. I will update this post to as things develop (or don’t develop )
It’s never a dull moment in the life at the Sweeney farm. Today was a moment I could have done without. Sigh…
Thanks for reading ..