The joys of having two males that you have rescued from different homes and different situations comes to a head at times… and then when you throw in the trauma of the rattlesnake bite… well…

I know that the boys love each other, there are times that they show that, but at times, especially since the snake bite, things can get tense, and sometimes there is even an explosion or two to deal with.

We’ve had to separate the two on occasion as Bodi uses his size and strength to take away Oliver’s speed.  Luckily most of it has just been posturing as it sounds much worse then it turns out to be in the end, but we still worry.

Ever since the Rattlesnake episode Bodi has been, how do you say, a little off.  He gets quite a bit more tense with Oliver, and us at times, he seems to be more desperate about food, he just seems a little different… like I said, a little off.

Oliver has had more moments then usual where Bodi’s hair goes up and the whites of the eyes start to show.  Oliver has taken to playing by himself more, going into other rooms to find the sunbeam when Bodi is near, actually coming upstairs to sleep in the spare bedroom while I’m working rather then stay down in the living room with Bodi – whereas he was always hyper playful with Bodi and would crawl up onto Bodi to crash out in the sunbeam before the incident.

I feel sorry for both of them at times, Bodi because obviously something is going on in his head, and Oliver, because he has had to change his style to keep out of Bodi’s line of fire when things happen. We work with them all the time, walk them together, they sleep with us in the same bed – but there usually seems to be a little coldness in the air that just pops up in an instant… weird.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all Bodi, Oliver can still be a pain in the butt, stepping in front of Bodi to get love first, or to get out the door, or even food (which can really be dangerous since Bodi outweighs him by 15 lbs.), but Oliver has a tremendous amount of love inside the timid little needy Vizsla frame.

We still treat Bodi with the respect that the elder dog deserves, holding Oliver back at the door to let Bodi out first, giving Bodi his food first, always sharing the love between them, and will continue to do so, but I wish I had all the answers to this one, and could see what is going on inside those little red-heads.

8 Responses

  1. Aww….that’s tough! I have 2 females & it’s hard to know when they are *just* playing and when they are really jockeying for position. Mia (my younger & smaller) seems very differential to Zoe, but she’s just so energetic & happy that she ends up bouncing all over Zoe & mia bumping into her in the moments of excitement. I love seeing them together, but I wish i knew what was going on inside their minds when they are play/fighting. good luck!

  2. Oliver is a lot like Mia – bouncing all over the place, grabbing a bone and shoving it in everyone’s face – his excitement goes through the roof, and then Bodi’s attitude goes code red.
    We got so spoiled with Tucker all those years (of course he was an only child), so it’s always a treat trying to figure these little guys out, trying to figure out whats going on in their little red heads, and then trying to counteract their actions… The beauty of our little guys.

  3. Poor Bodi. Poor Oliver. I have a friend that sounds just like Mia and Oliver. I love him, but I don’t think I would be able to handle him moving in. Sure, it would be fun to have playtime whenever I wanted. But then, if my friend – with the energy that just won’t quit – didn’t leave at the end of the day?

    Have you talked to the vet about the behavior changes? Does venom from rattlesnake bites affect the brain at all? I sure hope not.

    Kisses and hugs,

  4. Here is my take on the matter:
    Since Bodi’s injury, there has been some disruption to the dominance hierarchy in your household. I think Bodi’s behavior represents his attempt to re-establish his dominance. As long as no body is getting hurt, I would give it some time and let them work it out without your intervention. If the fighting occurs in your presence, let both dogs know that YOU are the top dog in the household. Put them both in their place and demand that they acquiesce to YOU.

  5. So far he has only drawn blood from Oliver once, neck and ear… We have been on them and keeping an eye on things quite closely.
    Bodi gets the rattle-snake tail of his going and the hair on the ridge of his back stands tall, that’s when we know to step in and make sure he knows who is in charge.
    The time he drew blood I was reprimanding him quite severely, and he was still growling at me – which didn’t make his punishment go too easy on him.
    But we’ve noticed that he is quite a bit quicker to go to that next level even when he is meeting other dogs… still some issues going on in his head for sure.
    Thanks for the quick response… You guys are the best

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