Dogs fight after thunderstorms?!?
Hello, I have 2 big male dogs, a lab and a mutt, the mutt is the dominant one even though he is castrated while the lab is not castrated. They usualy love each other and always play and sleep together. About a month ago there was this thunderstorm and a lab was afraid so i let him in the house (they are usualy outside dogs, they don't like the house exepct when its stormy or very hot and then they get inside) anyway, the dominant dog was sleeping in a shed that is quite big but the lab was outside crying so thats why I let him in, after the storm went away the dominant came back and went straight to the lab and they started fighting, day after I took them on a walk together and they made up. Yesterday was another storm and they were both inside and were getting along, and after the storm they started growling at each other and lab was moving his head away from the mutt. Both of the storms were during night time and usualy Im not up at that hour so I don't know if that has to do with anything. Does anyone know why do they fight only after the thunderstorms, have u seen this before? I couldn't find anything about this on the internet.
I dont speak english very well so when I say mutt I mean mixed breed dog, dont know if thats right meaning.
- J MLv 7hace 1 mes
It increases their stress level and that can trigger aggressiveness. Get the other dog neutered.
- E. H. AmosLv 7hace 1 mes
I agree with Verulam but wish to expand on a couple of her points. Storms can be frightening (to various degrees to dogs). This may elicit the "FIGHT or FLIGHT" response (please google that term.)
The fear may NOT BE obvious to YOU, but may still exist. Some people get frightened by just SEEING a dog and their adrenaline may FLOW. The dog could SCENT it and may or may not react.
Same for your two dogs. There is nothing written in the stars they have to SHOW OUTWARD FEAR but one OR both (including your dominant one) can actually have a fear response, to thunder and/or lightening and the smell given off of FEAR may cause an attack - ESPECIALLY if it comes from the normally dominant dog.
Another possibility: dogs may have a PAIN response due to undiagnosed TINNITUS (which some dogs have). The dog's inner ear HURTS -due to the clap of THUNDER - but who is HANDY - the OTHER dog!! It may be ASSUMED he "caused" the PAIN and whack - he gets BITTEN!
It is NEVER FAIR (or smart) to treat two dogs DIFFERENTLY. especially when you have already had one dog fight. - (Others are MORE LIKELY and any favoritism is a recipe for more fights.)
You encouraged the fight to HAPPEN (IMO) by letting the omega (lower status dog) INSIDE but left the Alpha dog outside putting him in a "lower status" position & he felt he needed to attack or fight - when he finally got inside to (if nothing else) RE-establish his dominance.
Get the Lab neutered, so there is little to no testosterone involved. Intact dogs are 75% more like to bite and attack than neutered dogs - and that is in regards to = other dogs and OTHER people. The dogs will be on more "even" status with little to no testosterone flowing (and you may reduce your home owner's insurance or any license fees) not to mention reduce a number of male dog CANCERS.
Resolve to treat the dogs IDENTICALLY and if correction is required due to dog to dog aggression or a FIGHT - be SURE to correct both, not just one (esp the dominant one) - or you will "seed" yet more resentment - and fights. I suggest crating or baby gates BETWEEN them, for the next storm. Start watching the WEATHER PREDICTIONS!
- Verulam 1Lv 7hace 1 mes
You should always, if needed at all, castrate the less aggressive dog. If the one who likes to attack gets no response, the fight should stop.
As for when and why - many dogs hate the atmospheric pressure associated with storms, if not the actual noise of the thunder so quite often will turn on another dog. If you know this happens, don't let them be together during stormy weather. If a dog seems a companion getting attention (you have encouraged this reaction by having the one indoors, and not the other one.
As an example, when grooming and using a grooming table, I had to make sure the others were out of the way when I put the one being groomed back on the ground again or, occasionally and with a male, that one would go to attack the others - establishing his position in the pack again after being up on the table. Mine wasn't btw, a naturally aggressive breed. It's just when something 'abnormal' was going on, with one, there could be a bust-up.