Today I had to do something that made me physically ill. And rather scared.
Our dogs, Austin and Jax, sometimes get a little snippy with each other. They both are very dominant and Jax tends to start fights. And by fights I mean if you where walking down the street and heard/saw what was happening between our dogs you would think they were going to kill each other. We can always break them up and they spend some alone time afterwards.
But this morning. This morning was terribly horrid. The dogs had both finished their breakfast and were standing in the kitchen. Austin started walking towards his bowl and Jax lost it. I don't know what set him off, but man. I could not pry them apart (not afraid of them bitting me, I can stick my hand in between them and they completely ignore me, but what about a child?) so I had to kick Jax. This is something I am NOT proud of, but felt it had to be done. I don't know if he would have caused Austin any harm (they never hurt each other, just scare the crap out of us), but I could not let it continue.
I think it's time we had some serious training. Mr. Sparky and I talked about the possiblity of having to give the dogs up. I would in a heart beat if it was the only thing standing between us and a child. It would break my heart - I love those dogs. They are fun and loving and adorable. But this is not a safe environment. Especially since we don't really know what sets Jax off. He wasnt' like this when we first got him, it only started happening in the fall. I don't know if it is something that happened between him or Austin, if it is a trait of the breed (Catahoula Hound - don't think that is the case though), or it's just his personality.
What would you do? We obviously don't have the money for full on training classes, and our vet isn't much help. We asked her about it and she said he just needs training. She never addressed the behavior, it was almost an afterthought for her. I don't know. I'm torn. I'm ashamed, although I do know I did what I had to to protect Austin from being hurt and it is not something that EVER happens in our house. They get swatted on the nose when doing something wrong, mostly they get squirted with the dreaded water bottle, but NO abuse. EVER. Ugh. It makes me sick.