Blind dog being bullied by our other dog

Our dog Benny has recently gone totally blind. Always the more subservient to the dominant Indah (female dog), she often showed aggression towards him by showing her teeth and very occasionally there was the odd fight. Although they have lived together for ten years and she’s a very intelligent dog, I somehow thought she would pick up on his weakness and try to protect him. In fact the opposite has happened and almost daily she growls at him in an intimidating manner.

As the blindness is new and being aware she is more dominant, we’ve tried not to alter our behaviors towards them too much by favoring one, but Benny simply needs more reassurance and attention at the moment. Does anyone have any tips how to get her to behave better towards him?

He is becoming wary and has lost his confidence around her, he is perpetually apprehensive and on edge. Should she be punished and if so how? Appreciate any advice anyone can give. Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Blind dog being bullied by our other dog

  1. Paula - ADMIN

    I had the same problem with my two dogs. The dominant one was sighted and if my blind dog got anywhere near her she would growl. And if she accidentally got too close and stepped on her or ran into her then the dominant sighted dog would attack.

    I didn’t punish the sighted dog nor did I intervene. My blind dog just learned to stay away from her.

    These situations are difficult because really it doesn’t have much to do with the blindness and more to do with the interaction between the two dogs. Even when Benny wasn’t blind, you still had issues there…the blindness has just exacerbated it.

    My only advice is to search Google for ‘how to stop dogs fighting’. This is a good starter:

    http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/how-to-stop-your-dogs-from-fighting.html

    1. Robynn

      I’ve had the same problem with my two dachshunds. Unfortunately, the dominant female dog only gives visual cues that she’s offended – hard stare. Of course, the blind dog can’t respond. If only she would growl, I think he would move away. She wears a bell, so if she’s moving, he knows where she is and can stay away.

      I’m not sure what else to try with them. We just manage the situation by watching them closely and separating them, calmly if possible, if we see the “back off” body language. Sometimes we aren’t quick enough, and she does attack. It’s loud and scary to watch, but she never actually bites, thank goodness. When we can’t watch them, we keep them separated, either gated in different rooms or in separate crates.

      If we have a scuffle, we accept that it’s our fault for not preventing it. We don’t punish the sighted dog because we believe it’s “normal” dog behavior.

  2. Debby

    I have a female papillon that has gone blind. We have other papillons too all sighted. When our blind one (Angel) bumps into one of them they start fighting with her. Help we don’t know what to do about this

  3. Allan Roy Salvador

    I have the same case. I have 3 senior labs. Last year, one of my labs went blind and suddenly my dominant (sighted) dog always tries to fight with my blind dog… since then, we kept them apart and it works… Then just the other day, my other lab went blind too…. And this morning, the dominant sighted dog bit her. What is going on? Can anyone explain this behavior of my sighted dog?

  4. Anon

    I am having similar problems, but reversed. So, my aunt has two fixed female dogs. One is quite older than the other and has lived with my aunt for most of her life, she is a small blind yorkie. The other has only been living with her for about two years and is more of a small-medium sighted mutt. Obviously the yorkie considers herself the more dominant one and isn’t excited about the mutt. However, the mutt is the opposite, she really wants to play and is always showing signs of that such as wagging her tail doing that little bow thing where her front is on the ground with her back legs standing up, and things like that. Sadly, these signals dont mean much to the blind yorkie. There are also time where the yorkie will be walking to go get some water or go outside to potty when the mutt will walk behind her and try to sniff her or her butt. The yorkie always notices because she can hear the footsteps of the mutt on our hardwood floor and the yorkie doesn’t take it very well. There is quite a history of these two, most of which I haven’t lived here to notice but from what I’ve seen living here for about 4 months the yorkie kind of will start something by growling and snapping and sadly the mutt tries to finish it if you know what I mean. From what I’ve been told about them before I’ve been here, when the mutt was a much smaller puppy (smaller than the yorkie) the yorkie used to “beat up” the mutt an was able to “whoop her butt”. This has changed dramatically since the puppy/mutt has become larger than the yorkie and the yorkie has become blind. I know the yorkie is trying to enforce her boundaries, but the mutt doesn’t seem to understand that the yorkie cant see and that she doesn’t want to play. They got into a fight the other night and it really flustered everyone, as it appeared to come out of nowhere. I just dont know what to do about it, seeing as one is blind.

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