Alas. We have an escalation problem in our house. We have 3 Boston Terriers – Rosie and Finja are our 2 females, and Dash, the lone male in the pack. Rosie came by way of a rigged purchase, I adopted Finja – a former Amish puppy mill mama, and Dash, also adopted, came from an abusive situation.
A few forward facts:
- They are all three loved dearly.
- Finja and Dash are bonded more to me.
- Rosie is bonded more to my partner in crime, Dom.
A few other notes of interest
Admittedly, my precious, tiny (14 pounds) Finja is an odd one. Before taking her home, I went to the foster mom’s home every other day to give Fin baths to soothe and heal her dreadfully sore skin. She had just small patches of hair and the rest was red, inflamed skin. She was good during these sessions, but rigid and non-communicative. After several weeks, her skin improved and her hair started to grow back. The miller had given her up to the adoption group because he thought she had scabies. Scabies it evidently wasn’t because she completely healed. My supposition is that her skin issue was caused by what I now know is a highly sensitive and fearful personality.
Fearful, indeed. She spent the first 2 weeks in our home hiding under the kitchen table, growling when anyone even looked at her. Gradually, she emerged and began to assimilate herself into our household and its routines. At the time we adopted her, we had a third female, Sasha, and Dash had not yet joined our household. Finja and Sasha always cuddled together and were the best of friends, so it was heartbreaking for everyone when she made her way to the Rainbow Bridge.
Rosie has a high prey instinct. She grabs birds in flight, digs up moles, and has killed numerous squirrels and rabbits. During that early time with Fin, Rosie began to pick fights, first with Sasha and then with Fin. I remember tearing out to the backyard one day when Rosie had Sasha in her mouth and was thrashing her about.
A dog fight is a terrifying thing to see, and even more terrifying is the fact that it’s impossible to separate 2 dogs who are out of their minds in their quest to kill. We have been lucky. There have been no major catastrophes or emergency visits to the vet.
Other than her instinct to kill, Rosie is a good dog. She is affectionate, loves to play Frisbee, enjoys walks, and thrives on her nighttime cuddling with humans.
Recently we have finally figured out the trigger for these fights. Finja is afraid of noises – loud and/or sudden, and she goes into a frenzy of barking and growling which then triggers Rosie, who tears into Finja, and bingo! The frequency of these fights is escalating, so we are in total separation mode which we’ll eventually transition into highly managed and as best as we can – a noise-controlled environment.