The Boston shook her neck back and forth, but didn’t puncture it, so the vet thought that was her “warning” to the Bug since she still showed bite control. Also, two dogs may fight over attention from their owner or in an effort to protect an owner. A good understanding of canine body language is essential while supervising dog play. If one or more of the dogs is unneutered, surgical intervention in the form of spaying or neutering can also help relieve some tension. The dogs give each other warnings, like a growl or a curled lip, when one has annoyed the other. Make a Good Introduction. The male will go to greet them, and the younger will attack him. Again, he doesn’t react this way when the mother is around, only with his brother. Dear Liz, Thanks. We decided to keep her and named her after the street we found her on, Camry. Some history of our dogs. The fighting had been escalating and, unfortunately, the sibling who doesn’t care always joins in to “back up” her litter mate, so it’s 2 on 1. These dogs will bark, or even whine, along with wagging their tail and other excited behavior. Knowing how to prevent dogfights in the first place is one of the most important things for dog owners to understand. (ADD dog) I’ve had dogs my whole life,since 3. In desperate need of advice. Everything was fine for the first few months, but soon we started coming home to find minor teeth marks on the younger one. None of them saw that canine argument coming. Also, determine whether a health problem is making one irritable or “not himself.” Aside from that, all I can do is try to find a veterinary behaviorist in your area. While at PHS, I hosted a monthly cable show, wrote articles for local magazines, and answered calls from the news media and the public on countless animal topics. Sep 22, 2012 @ 21:36:06, There’s a board certified veterinary behaviorist in Columbus at the university. It will be very difficult for them to agree who is dominant and little things are likely to continue to trigger them. Fortunately I was able to stop it. Canine, Dog, dominance status aggression The older dog is 5 years old and the owner has had him since he was 10 weeks old. Unfortunately, the link you sent me will not help, because I am in Portugal. She’s a very sweet girl and the others were sexually mature (one heat and then spayed) when we took in the Bug, so I don’t understand what changed. Thank you so much to anyone with any suggestions. These dogs are not fighting to become the pack leader top dog. The younger dog is 13 months old and has lived with the owner since he was 4 months old. What should we do? i have tried everything i can think of kept them in different rooms. It should be noted that not all dominant dogs care enough to interfere with the owner’s interactions with the other dog. Some pooches that live in the same household never argue while others occasionally disagree. Sometimes owners that don’t really understand dogs can cause fights when they don’t respect the pack hierarchy. Finally, any dog that is poorly socialized is more likely to start a fight. Typically, this is the youngest, smallest or newest … hi, im having a problem with my two male dogs i have one 9 years and the other 2 i had to bring them both in the house as the weather is too bad for them outside..but the older one keeps trying to attack the younger one..generally they get on well outside..what will i do ? Yet, if the owner chooses to lavish attention and resources on a less dominant dog, the more dominant dog may feel compelled to put the favored dog in its place, through growling, biting, or other aggressive act. Nevertheless, I’ll keep searching because this problem cannot continue. That is a tough situation. We have been pulling them apart and pinning them to their back to make them submit to us. I know his history. The adult Shepherd is usually laid back, and besides this one dog fight, never got into a fight with another dog before. That’s a hard one. I would certinly advise getting a veterinary behaviorist involved, if you live near one. A brief, calm interaction can satisfy the other dog’s curiosity, but get your dog out of there before a fight starts. Or, you may have a situation in which the two dogs spend their adulthood struggling for dominance, possibly without resolution. He seems to be challenging her a lot lately. she is very small and rules the roost.She always growls at the other dogs when she has a toy or a treat, even when they are clear across the room from her. If you can’t make to see Dr. Herron, maybe she can recommend someone closer to you…. Usually, the owner is the cause. Instead, hold a rope toy by one end and allow him to tug on the other. These situations commonly occur in multi-dog households. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The more aroused dogs become, however, the more likely it is that a mock battle turns into something more serious. Before PHS, I was a docent/animal encounters volunteer at the Los Angeles Zoo and a volunteer keeper at the National Zoo in Washington, DC; both of those positions came with significant training and hands-on contact with a variety of animals. If “supporting the dominant dog” doesn’t work, and her triggers are predictable (around resources, especially the ones that involve your attention), maybe she needs to be separated from him during those high arousal moments. This is a perfectly human thing to do. The owners of the dog (my son and his girlfriend) seem to think that my dog is doing something to make her fight with him but there have been many times that other people have witnessed her grabbing at him for no reason. I think a permanent separation is going to be the best for both dogs since my son and his girlfriend don’t want to help with the situation. He always seems to be concerned about her after the fight, and will go to check her and lick her. On December 19, the Bug and dominant Boston got into a fight (without the other being involved). Clap or shout to get your dogs' attention. He was laying on the floor in the kitchen when the female came in and tried to fight with him. I recently saw a very interesting case of two dogs in the household fighting with each other. If the fight is completely over, leash your dogs and put their furry … This is an invitation to play. Never use your hands when playing with your dog. We don’t know who the dominant is honestly, so it makes it difficult to determine how to handle. My name is Dr. Liz Stelow. But, for two dogs that live in the same house, the most common type of aggression is called “Dominance-Status Aggression” (DSA), also sometimes called “sibling rivalry.” In this setting, the dogs know each other well, and get along very well much of the time. We’ve been using rescue remedy, I’ve ordered DAP collars and diffusers, and I’ve been working on additional training individually, but it seems the Bug’s aggression towards the others is building. And when they live together in a house, they compete with each other for food, territory and human attention. If they were good friends at one time, it’s likely to be easier than if your dogs have always tried to fight each other. It’s hard to say what the problem is or why the dogs are suddenly fighting; you haven’t said what you think the triggers are. Recognizing When to Intervene Watch the eyes. As you’ve noted, you have two dogs of the same age, size, sex, and temperament. A big stick is handy here, because if you try to grab a fighting dog, you’ll probably get bit, hard, ask me how I know. Your article says to let them at it, to leave the room. Also would you think it imperative to reintroduce them (leashed) ASAP? help!!!!! We acquired them at different times,approximately a year apart. The others fall in line in the middle. If it just in the house, maybe you can separate them when they need to be indoors and you cannot supervise them…, imanseauIan Manseau I thought I knew which of my dogs was the dominant one,but not so sure anymore, they are both rescue dogs, so I don’t have much of any history on either. In any event, I could get into a pickle if I try to diagnose and treat your dogs over the internet. Dec 10, 2012 @ 21:50:59. If a battle does break out, owners should leave the room, as their presence is typically required to fuel the conflict. If they are still treating each other roughly, try to redirect their aggression by offering them toys when they start to bite at each other. Similar personalities in that they are “big” lap dogs,but the second one has a little more energy. They switch places as the bottom and top dog. As they come to social maturity, one of three things may happen: If they are pretty mellow, they may never establish an obvious hierarchy and be perfectly willing to share the lead. Both want lots of personal attention. Another issue was her separation anxiety, it was bad. If one of your dogs walks in a straight line towards the other, then this can be seen as a threat. Both their tails are high up in the air and ears are foreward, with an aggressive stance. Thank you, Liz Stelow She also had me to herself for this period of time, which has probably confused matters for all of us. These fights look like they are out for blood or worse. If the owner inadvertently lavishes attention on the wrong dog, there can be aggression as a result. When dogs … Usually, they give the older, more frail, or most beloved dog the best of the resources and the most attention, regardless of his status in the group. all 4 of these are pretty hipper and active. Musings of a veterinarian and busy mother of twins. Why is My Dog Such a Wreck When I Leave? If need be, she can contact me at UC Davis and I can work with her (since she has the professional relationship with you that I don’t). The dispute ends quickly and nobody gets hurt, but the humans are shaken. I’ve had my dog since he was a puppy. She is slightly built, so always comes off worst, but doesn’t seem to learn not to try. Adventures with Osteosarcoma, Part III: The Adventure Ends Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. The Bug is a rescue and also gets separation anxiety when it comes to me. One month later, the two dogs rarely scuffle and the owner is delighted. The dog that most willingly gives up resources is generally the most subordinate. Common Injuries in Dogs and How to Treat Them, Understanding Dog Body Language: Play Bow, How to Train Your Dog to Be off the Leash. The other two had minor injuries. All others were purebred varieties. It’s a good thing someone in the house is a vet! I have a little poodle that got pregnant by mistake and had 2 mixed baby boys. You are facing among the most challenging of behavior situations. Start by having a conversation with your vet, including the circumstances under which these arguments are happening. Dec 09, 2012 @ 19:35:35, Hi I have 3 dogs 1 lab that we have had since she was little and she is old,then An American bullddog and she is 1 years old and then my pitbull lab mix that is mine that I have had since he was 1 day old and he is 9 months old . Dominance within the hierarchy is determined by some combination of health, age, size, sex, and overall confidence. It is over-simplistic to say this; but, the reality is that the average dog owner will often completely ignore his dogs’ social hierarchy and attempt to impose what he believes to be equitable. I’m afraid to walk away because he has killed a stray cat that ventured in to our back yard, and I don’t know how for they will go. But I can try to find someone in your area that might be able to help. They are now 8 months old, no issues with them. Overstimulation and what may have started out as friendly play can go too far, and a fight may break out. First it was over food, so I started feeding them separately, then over a toy, so no more toys or treats, now it’s when a visitor comes in the house. From the sound of it are you able to tell who is dominant? I fear what I may find if I did walk away. She just started showing signs of arthritis, but she’s such a mix breed, the vet tells us she has many good years left in her. Once they start fighting the bulldog won’t stop even if ur holding the other dog she will keep on at it they just started this recently and I dnt know what to do about bc getting bit will I’m trying to break them up and they are all very big dogs .plz help me, Liz Stelow The owner, who generally responds negatively (yelling, scolding, or other form of punishment) to the aggressor, may increase his attention on the attacked dog, thus escalating the problem. Oh ,and as to there fighting……I can’t seemt to walk away when they do fight. There are many reasons one dog may attack or be aggressive toward another: He may be guarding a very valuable resource (rawhide, toy, etc.) We decided to keep them both (not knowing that to puppys from the same litter shouldn’t stay in the same house – only when researching this problem I found this out). The pups are getting fixed within a month. This might help. Sadly, these things are impossible to diagnose and treat over the internet. I have 2 girls and then mine that’s a boy . Many owners have trouble determining when a dogfight is beginning and how to tell the difference between playing and fighting. This is accomplished by giving him the most attention, providing him with better resources (nearer the owner on the bed or sofa, first access to the house or yard, etc. If a younger subordinate dog is becoming socially mature or a previously-dominant dog is failing in health, there may be the opportunity for a shuffle in the dominance hierarchy. Four years ago we found a stray boxer, tried to find her home, no such luck. Unfortunately, owners have their own sense of fairness. My lab fights the bulldog all the time for no reason she can be at the other end of the yard and the lab will chase her and attack her then that gets my dog all mad and he goes and they all start fighting and I have to break them up . After about 2 years we had the opportunity to adopt a lab/boxer mix. They both just won’t let go. Am I wrong?? Oct 18, 2012 @ 23:59:23. The younger had lived with the older dog since being a young puppy, then had the 8 months alone with me. The dogs have never fought when it’s just my fiancé but have when it’s just me. Owners are occasionally resistant to these changes, because they have been favoring the subordinate dog for a reason. He can greet the guests then, later, she can join the party. She has several nasty bite marks where he has tried to get her to release his head or ear or armpit from her jaws – it’s very sad, and I don’t really know how to handle it. But with each other is another story. Spaying and neutering your dogs is the best way to prevent hormone-driven aggression between them. They hardly ever pick on their mother, and when they do, she puts them in their place. During a play bow, a dog "bows" with his front legs and chest close to the ground while the back legs are straight and the rump is in the air. If you have any doubt about who’s dominant, get some video and ask your vet to review it. they both were the only dogs in their houses all their lives. After the fight on 12/27 we’ve been keeping them separate, but the Bug goes to the more dominant Boston’s door and tries to start a fight through the door and started doing the same to the submissive yesterday. These girls, well they challenge me. The black Shepherd puppy, on the other hand, had been showing signs of trying to dominate other dogs. Learn the clues that indicate your dogs are getting ready to fight so you can separate them before … A fight ensues and the owners may wonder if their dogs can still live together. Liz Stelow We are now putting him on our lap and giving him affection while the other is around – or even both at the same time – , assuring him that nothing will happen. Before starting vet school, I was the Public Relations Director at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA in southern California. especially the 2 female bostons. Avoid letting your dogs walk head on towards each other. Thank you for your reply. But she saw the merits. The dogs are fighting less now, because a major trigger was giving attention to one, and he would become frightened and attack the other as a self-defence mechanism. We have 5 dogs, 3 are boston terriers and one is a mini weenie dog. But, If your son is not particularly willing to work on things, you may find yourself needing to separate the dogs permanently. When they play fight, they often come back for more and they will not want to stop playing. It’s complicated – I rescued them both from the same home, but not at the same time. So there for are refusing to do anything to stop it. I wish I could offer something more concrete – but these things can’t be diagnosed/treated long-distance. Direct them into separate rooms. So, what causes DSA and what can be done about it? There are many resons dogs fight with each other. Fight or Flight. Lately, they have been together for almost a month and things are deteriorating. Play gone too far is just one scenario. If you are interested in seeing one, look on to find one in your area. They were fine together the first 10 mo we had them, though occasionally the Boston would show dominance by some posturing, but the Bug would lavish her with “baths”. Conflict is avoided as long as each dog allows the other to win and lose the game. Even if they don't engage in play, and just sniff each other, it is helpful for their development and a good way to encourage good behavior. One of them – Darth – now has the habit to sometimes growl when I want to pet him or pick him up when the other dog – Ramsay – is in the proximity. We were waiting for the Bug’s neck to heal before trying to tucker her out with exercise. He has a typical, playful boxer personality and is sweet as can be. and think the other dog wants it. But the most common reason two dogs in the same house get into fights is that the owner does not support the dominant dog (or favors the subordinate one). Thank you for posting. Jan 13, 2013 @ 21:30:19. Untill a couple of months ago, everything was fine and they hardly fought, but now, at 11 months they are changing rapidly. Prior to that, I was a 2006 graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Which will make the situation worse. We’re still not there, but I believe baby steps will do it. Jan 13, 2013 @ 21:20:28. I’ve searched long and hard to find something that relates to my problem, and this was the only post I found that was similar to my problem. If one of your dogs is uncomfortable, it will stare … Suddenly, the dogs are snapping and snarling at each other. Will that help the situation? Common dog-park scenario number 2: two dogs bounce and wrestle. Both are very dangerous and the latter can lead to escalation of aggression toward you or the other dogs. On the other hand, be very wary of reaching out to a trainer that recommends any type of punishment – as this will exacerbate the situation. They on the other hand got this dog about a year ago but only had her living with them for a few months total. The dog and cat established a life-long bond, playing together, sleeping together and apparently drawing comfort from each other. I am not a dog trainer. From 12/24 – 12/27, they got in three more bad fights. One challenge for your older girl is that it’s hard to tell when a pug is signalling you to stop what you’re doing – their facial folds make it difficult to “read” them. This is a gross generalization (and some very subordinate dogs will fight for certain resources); but the principle is reliable. We have recognized we are the problem and are finding ways to correct our behavior. After all, as little as the older dog cares about being the leader, she is tenacious when it comes to you. Any advice would be great. However, some triggers are easily identified and can be avoided. We’re at a bit of a loss, because if the Bug is dominant, she’s trying to get through doors for payback, and if the Boston is, we’re worried the Bug will pick another fight and get really injured. The posture becomes rigid and one or both dogs will stand as if trying to appear larger. In the case I saw, the owner was amenable to making changes in the way she treated the dogs. the weenie dog is a bit of a stinker. There are safer ways to break them up. Aug 24, 2012 @ 14:54:12. The dogs got along great for the first few weeks until the female decided to go into my bedroom and get into my waste basket which didn’t contain any food, so when my dog went into the bedroom she attacked him and now they have been fighting every day. Not just think that its nothing and make excuses for their dog. ), and asking for less “work” (aka fewer commands) before giving him things. All of the dogs are altered females. Over a short time, the attacks increased in frequency to several times a day and were so upsetting to the owner that she explored the possibility of re-homing the younger dog. If your dog does get into a real fight, do not attempt to separate the dogs by grabbing a collar or using any part of your body. Instead the dog is now allowed to sleep on tbe furniture. This blog post was originally published in November 2012; it has been updated with new information. So does not posture in any way. Nov 27, 2012 @ 20:35:50. Here’s why: James (4 yrs old) and Sam (2 yrs old) both understand that James goes first, then Sam. Within the past 5 days, the lab has had no patience for the boxer and will growl at her for looking at her, getting to close etc. She has always been an agressive dog, we attributed it to her being a stray. Thank you in advance for your help. dear LIz, I too found this story very helpful,and insightful. You may need to put one dog on a leash to accomplish this or grab him by the collar. Remember to seek the help of a qualified positive behavior professional if you don’t feel competent and confident about working with your dogs on your own. We were very careful about what dog he got 3 years ago because we knew they would eventually move in together. Break up fights by interrupting them. Dogs and cats had been a favorite pet by people since ancient times. I do not want it to start now. Dog play mimics fighting and can sometimes look rougher than it really is. When one dog suddenly attacks another, there may be a variety of causes. poppy has lived with her all his life, she took chance in when his owner passed away. You will likely get bitten. I have an 8 year old female mutt (lab, shepherd, more) and he has a 3 year old male boxer/whippet mix. And resolution will depend on many of the factors I noted in the post. She saw our appointment as his last chance to stay in her family. They bite each other around the neck and head but do not break the skin. We are also stopping their playtime from escalating, which was another trigger. She used to snap at him to put him in his place, but he’s getting more bold and even pursuing her in the fights. Any play session can escalate to a fight, but it is less likely when there are two well-socialized dogs playing. The ather two are both fixed. Signs Your Pooches aren't Getting Along You have two dogs that are likely equal in most factors that determine hierarchy. But, what if you have two dogs of the same sex from the same litter? Thank you so much for the help. If you are watching a group of dogs that know each other well, you will see which one has easiest access to the best resources (toys, treats, lounging spaces, etc. Operant Strategies to Combat Dog Fights Every single time I have worked with this problem the one common denominator is they only fight when someone is around. I don’t know which one to treat as the alpha because we can’t tell anymore. The first day after the last fight she was going to her sister’s door and whining and now she’s trying to attack. Get our FREE training guide when you sign up for the Spruce Pets newsletter. Canine behaviorists aren’t really that big around here and I find it hard to find a competent trustworthy specialist when it comes to animal behavior (although we have excelente vets!). He is a very heavy built, but passive natured Staff, but she gets such a grip on him he damages her trying to get her off. This is not something I can diagnose or treat over the internet. Also, two dogs of the same sex are more likely to fight with one another (this mainly applies to dogs that are not spayed/neutered ). And, it sounds like you are a key resource that may be leading to the struggles. Dogs in the same pack fight for one reason only: because they do not have a strong pack leader. I cannot identify the dominant dog – they both vie for my attention and will push one another out of the way. Go to the dog most likely to have been injured. He may have been poorly socialized to dogs. He has been around many different dogs and cats and other animals and has never had a problem. It seems to us that the younger male sees her signs of aging and wants to take over as the alpha. Do your best to find ways to let your dog interact with other dogs at least on a weekly basis. Even after they are fixed, avoid putting them into competition by feeding them in separate rooms or individual crates. I try to be equal. Anybody with any suggestion s please feel free to responed. Other possibilities for two household dogs fighting include pain/injury, illness, territorial aggression, or maternal aggression. Liz Stelow I have two Staffies – the younger one, female (about 15 months old) attacks the older male(about 4 years old) much bigger built dog. Vocalization can be a normal part of dog play and should not be confused with aggression.

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