Recently, a member posted about her two male cairns fighting and asked for advice. And she got some great advice that I want to share here. If you want to read the entire thread, visit CRM and "i need help....donnie getting aggressive with newie".
While the two cairns mentioned are males, I can attest that females display similar behavior. In my house, their names are Kiara and Ruthie and 99.9% of the time Ruthie the younger and larger is the instigator. To her chagrin, Kiara is treated as the alpha over Ruthie. I of course am the benevolent alpha two-foot.
So if you have this behavioral issue in your home, try the great advice give by true cairn experts. Then post to CRM and let us know how it is working out.
We have had a few episodes of Donnie getting aggressive with Newie. Last night Donnie was teasing Newie with at squeaktoy and then got mean and grabbed newie by the ear/neck. Tonight when feeding he did the same thing. I'mnot sure what to do....dont want to have dogs we cannot leave together. Will he out grow this or will it get worse?
Donnie is probably going through a dominance stage and YOU need to step in. Obviously Newie is not taking care of himself and you are the ALPHA in the family, not the boys. Donnie has to have very very limited privileges when you are going through a stage like this. There are alot of things you can do to teach him who is the boss - YOU!! For instance, when he is aggressive with Newie with the toy, you pick Donnie up by the scruff and you give him a resounding NO BITE and you put the toy away. PERIOD. When you are feeding them, the oldest and or one that was there first should be fed first. You put their bowls down about 10 feet apart and you stand right there. The minute that little Mr. Dominance makes a move towards Newie you intercede and correct him. You do not allow Donnie up on the couch with you or in your bed with you - do nothing that allows him to escalate his dominance - for now, he doesn't get to have these privileges. Make him sit and wait when you go through a doorway, start working on very exact manners for him. The more obedience you can start using with him, the better. And formal classes are best. I would not give up on him - I would TEACH him the right kind of behavior. He needs you to give him that much of a chance. Chances are good that he has not learned any of this yet. - Charyl
Establishing yourself as pack leader as soon as possible. Dogs (even cute cairn terriers) that get mean and grab other dogs by their necks shouldn't get to play with toys. They must earn every privledge from now on. I don't think he is going to grow out of this behavior - if anything is could get worse unless you intervene. On our CRM yahoo page is a file called NILIF. I would start following that as soon as possible. Donnie is a puppy who is looking to you for leadership, not knowing what is right and wrong. It is your job to teach him. If you haven't done so, I would also sign up for an obedience class as soon as possible. Make sure Donnie is getting plenty of exercise so he can burn off some of his energy and he doesn't take his frustration out on another dog. - MaryJean
I recommend you feed them separately and have a squirt bottle on hand for when they are playing with toys, otherwise you will need to take the toys away and only let them play with them alone. - Liz
I know what you're going through... I have two boys, Clancey and Jack. Jack was my first CP foster, and I flunked. My were getting along famously, and suddenly - BAM, Jack was getting quite aggressive with Clancey. I think it comes down to Jack suddenly deciding he wanted to be the "alpha" male. I made a few changes in the house...both my boys shared by bed, now no onesleeps with mom. When Jack initiated a fight, he went into his crate for a time out. He was also told in a very "stern" voice that he was a bad boy...and mama was ashamed of him. This has seemed to work, although we still have a few arguements...when that happens, they're both confned to the kitchen area to think about their actions. I believe my Jack has insecurities...he's a lover boy and now that he's found a home, he wants to make sure he won't loose it. Jack will push as hard as he can - a real cairn...but he now knows that Mom has the "last word".
Some great advice with more on CRM! Thanks to all those who posted!