Monday, February 7, 2011

In other news ... Kif and Wash got into a serious, no-holds barred fight for supremacy

This was last Friday when Hannah and I went in the back yard to frolic in the 5" snowfall with the dogs.

Playing, which always has an edge of hierarchy for dogs, turned in the blink of an eye into fighting between Wash (the Boxer) and Kif (part Staffordshire Terrier). Wash won, but that was only because Hannah hit Kif over the head with a plastic lawn chair to make him stop. She wielded it like a Valkyrie, doing this mother's heart proud, especially as I was racking my brain to think of how we could shock Kif enough to get him to stop.

Otherwise, I shudder to think what might have happened. I had Wash's collar but he kept on fighting and with Kif underneath no one could get a hand inbetween them to grab Kif's collar.

Hannah grabbed Kif and moved him across the yard.

Zoe and Zapp had been bouncing excitedly around the edges (mentally chanting, "fight, fight, fight!"). They had no doubt who "won" and immediately ran after Kif and attacked him. Luckily, they weren't as passionate and I was able to call them off with voice alone, because I couldn't let go of Wash.

Wash had multiple puncture wounds to both legs with a few bad enough to need stapling.

Kif had to have his ear sewn up in a couple of spots so the honors were about even.

The next day, we were filled with trepidation about how to have these two dogs in the same household. However, we followed the Barkbuster's lady's advice. We reintroduced them to each other in the yard where the fight broke out, with a hose ready and waiting in case of renewed trouble. But both dogs knew that Kif had disengaged first. Neither cared it was because of a lawn chair and both felt Wash had won.

So, unbelievably to me, we are now back to where we began.

Except that it seemed to clear the air in some way that we humans couldn't really see.

Wash has a new bounce in his step and a take-charge manner in the pack proper. Questions about chew bones get settled by him, he gives a sharper reprimand when the others try to push him around and he is first up for guard duties.

Kif, surprisingly, has gotten braver around me and now will look me in the eye. Crazy. But it is as if he now knows just where he belongs and feels more secure. Hannah thinks it is because in Wash he sees a strong leader.

Who knows?

Whatever the reason, we have peace and it seems to have done both dogs some mental good. It is just too bad about the wear and tear on our mental good. Not to mention the vet bills!


  1. Wow! I'm glad it all worked out in the end. Dog fights are SCARY, too. We had a boxer and a German Shepherd that got into a fight like that once, and it was terrifying. My dad had to break it up physically, and I'm still staggered that he came out of it without a bite.

    The boxer had a puncture wound from it, on his... um... well, on his scrotum. LOL! (No decorous way to say that.) Needless to say, our vet winced. ;)

  2. You are more than welcomed to have any part of our 50 something inches of snow we've gotten in the New York area so far this winter. It can be shipped down if you really want it. :-P

  3. Thanks Manny, though what that has to do with this story is beyond me.

    Libby ... oh my goodness, no wonder the vet winced! Bullmastiffs being the way that they are when there are many of them to shuffle around, we had quite a few dog fights when I was growing up. But it had been a long, long time ...

  4. Wow. Thank God you weren't hurt! That would have freaked me out big time. I never had more than one dog at a time when we were growing up, so I didn't see those types of fights. I did have an English mastiff who liked to dominate in the area, though, so that made morning walks interesting. Now I have 2 cats - a fat and fiesty one and a skinny and mild one. They like to wrestle a lot, but it's never gotten out of hand. Yet. ;)

    Bridget N

  5. We don't have more than one dog, and the one we have is named Cludo. We rescued him from the Humane Society after he had been on his own (straying) the first few months of his life. We think he may have wandered off from his previous owners, and after having adopted Cludo, we think they may have not been too motivated to find him.

    He is a Schnauzer/Terrier (possibly Cairn) mix, and he's a firecracker with a short fuse. He "bites" when he plays, and chews everything from huge nylabones down to the nubs to coasters, books, etc. He's a thief. But recently he has gotten to snarling menacingly when you are about to do something that he doesn't like. The last time happened when I went to pick him up and put him in his crate for the day.

    The common reaction to the snarling has been to jump back, then track him down and put him in a down. I decided my course of action for the snarling should it happen and I got a chance to try it out yesterday...

    I went to pick up Cludo to put him in his crate, and when he snarled at me, I immediately dropped on him like the wrath of God with my forearm across his neck and looking into his eyes snarled back at him "DON'T YOU *EVER* DO THAT AGAIN".

    I decided I'd risk a bite, because if he bit me, the problem would be solved with a one way trip to the poind but he didn't. He licked me and we were friends again. I put him in his crate and everything was ok.

    He is such a lovable and intelligent dog most of the time. He's a little over 1 year old, and I'm hoping by 2 he stops the biting, lunging, stealing and snarling.