Dogs That Don't Get Along with Other Family Dogs
Does your dog want to “be the boss” of
the other dogs in your family? Is one of your dogs a “bully” and
gets grumpy if the other dog just looks at him wrong? Do
your two female dogs get into nasty fights with each other?
Do fights erupt that you don’t see coming and can’t
These are just a few of the many types of problems that
can develop between dogs who live together. Traditional
wisdom labels all these problems as “dominance problems” ,
but this is simply not true and is dangerously misleading.
Many fights sound worse than they are, and often neither
dog is injured. This is a good sign, but you should seek
expert help to prevent the problem from escalating. If
one dog has already been injured, you may be better off
separating them until you can consult with a competent
behavior consultant, preferably a certified applied or
veterinary behaviorist who can help you.
Supporting one dog’s “dominance” over
the other can sometimes be helpful, but can also actually
cause an increase in conflict, because it is the wrong
thing to do. Many dog-dog problems are not about dominance.
Using the right techniques to introduce dogs to one another
can prevent some fighting problems. Avoid just putting
your new Fido with your resident one and “letting
them work it out”. For the best outcome, with the
least risk to the dogs, introductions need to be carefully
The first step is to manage the problem by not allowing
fights to happen. If you can predict what causes a fight
(perhaps when one dog has a prized chew toy and the other
approaches), then for now avoid those situations. If you
can’t predict when the dogs will fight, you may need
to separate them temporarily. The more the fights occur,
the more fear and animosity build up between your dogs
and the lower the chances your dogs can learn to live peaceably
You MUST take steps immediately to ensure the safety
of both dogs. This is especially important if you have
a big dog-small dog pair, a young adult dog-elderly,frail
dog pair, or a puppy with an adult dog. If necessary, muzzle
one or both dogs if you cannot separate them. We recommend
basket muzzles from Morrco.com.
NEVER leave a dog alone while muzzled.
These are potentially serious problems. Not seeking timely
help may put one or more of your animals in danger of injury
PRODUCTS FROM HELPING FIDO THAT
WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND, PREVENT AND RESOLVE CONFLICTS
AMONG FAMILY DOGS
First, it will help you if you understand canine aggressive
behavior from a scientific viewpoint. Start by reading
of Articles on Canine Aggression.
To effectively work with and manage your dogs threatening
and aggressive behaviors toward one another, you must be
well versed in canine communication signals. There is no
better way to learn how to ‘read’ your dog
and be better able to recognize when a fight or conflict
is brewing than our Canine
Body Postures DVD. If
you know what to look for you can often interrupt interactions
before they erupt into fights. Used in many professional
Next, watch our DVD, “Understanding
Canine Conflicts” that
zeros in on the most common reasons for these problems
and helps you begin to get a handle on the problem.
Cap™ will be a most useful tool
for you. Essentially a comfortable hood that filters your
dog’s vision, it will help your Fidos be less reactive
when they are around one another and make it much easier
for you to manage their behavior as well as have a better “starting
point” for behavior modification. The Calming Cap™ can
be worn under a muzzle.