Aggression Between Dogs In The Home:
The problem is generally instinctive one dog challenging the other as they mature.
In reality these dogs are fighting each other over resources.
Every single time I have worked with this problem, I have found that the dogs only fight when someone is around.
They rarely, if ever, fight without the owner or family member being there.
Although a myriad of issues may complicate the situation, when it comes down to it they all require some type of leadership and control.
You need to become a resource controller rather than a pseudo Alpha. Read The Alpha Myth
Dogs are social animals, they have rules that dictate how they behave around each other.
Left to themselves, most canines easily slip into their roles.
The pyrotechnics erupt when they disagree about their place in the pack or family unit.
And more importantly who is getting the most resources from their owners.
They literally fight over your attention and love.
Once it starts it gradually gets worse till they end up tearing lumps out of each other
Although there are no absolutes, bringing together dogs with too many similar characteristics - same sex same age same breed (brothers from the same litter for example) -may spark conflict.
So many commonalties make it difficult to settle who is top dog, hormonal surges also have an effect. Other times the cause is redirected or frustration aggression - attacking the owners if they try and split them up.
Purchasing siblings or two puppies from different litters and rearing them both together causes many problems interdog aggression is just one of them . Read my insightful Siblings The Worst Of Both Worlds
Can You Fuel the Fire?
Often, you can inadvertently stoke the fire. People can disturb the hierarchical balance by rushing to protect the would-be subordinate from being "bullied" or granting him liberties, such as being petted first, which your other dog may consider his due.
The lower ranking dog now feels bold enough to challenge the other. "People need to understand that dogs have their own set of social rules, whereas most dog owners want democracy, dogs don't understand a truly democratic concept"
How to Douse the Fire
Prevention, of course, is the preferred route. It's important that puppies socialise with other dogs - for example in puppy socialisation classes or in the park.
This way, they learn the unspoken but strict rules of canine society. Spaying and neutering can help but never with females. You will only make it worse.
Sometimes with male dogs you can neuuter the least dominant at it may stop the aggressio. Neutering both will make no difference.
Exercise also works wonders and obedience training is also vitally important.
After the dogs have been together a while and are getting along, an insignificant scuffle or two might erupt. In theory, all dogs should be able to work it out together as long as the owners don't interfere.
Owners must heed mounting tensions. Watch for eye-to-eye contact between your dogs, as well as stiffening and shouldering.
As soon as you see signs of trouble that you're uncomfortable with, take steps, don't wait for fights to happen because that changes the dynamics considerably.
Often the problem can be relieved if, instead of protecting the perceived underdog the owner supports the hierarchy. Determine which is the more dominant dog and reinforce that position by feeding, greeting or letting the top dog out first.
Usually this will help, but not always. "The problem with that approach is that it's often difficult to tell who should be the lead dog "Secondly, it's really difficult for owners to play favourites with their dogs.
Put Your Paw Down
Experts agree it's crucial that you take a strong role. When owners face a tough sibling rivalry case, I tell them to establish his or her own place as leader as a first priority. First, I suggest that the owners make both dogs "work for everything." Before they're fed, given a treat or taken out
Calling In The Professionals
If your dogs are still regularly fighting. I suggest bringing in an animal behaviourist.
Animal behaviourists generally are not Vets. The difference is often akin to seeking the help of a psychiatrist versus that of a psychologist.
Occasionally, a veterinarian will recommend drugs for one or both dogs. Usually, though, medication should be a last resort, as it fails to fix the underlying cause - household dynamics.
Until the problem is solved, keep bickering dogs separated an on a lead with my Jingler's, so you can easily pull them apart if a fight starts.
The bells can be activated by picking up the lead, this can sometimes break the aggression cycle.
It's best not to grab either dog - by the tail/scruff/collar or anywhere else - during a fight.
Stepping between two battling canines can be extremely dangerous and is often the main reason why owners are bitten. So keep the lead and the bells on whilst you are there.
Reaching A Resolution
Sibling or interdog aggression and rivalries usually can be resolved, but not always.
Sometimes we are unwilling or unable to implement the necessary changes; or genetics or socialisation shortcomings are intractable. If that's the case, the best solution may be to find another home if possible for one of the dogs.
I have a very high success rate in dealing with these cases. I have found a number of techniques that break the circle of aggression and put you the owner back in charge.
However I cannot just send you the treatment as to how it is done as it requires specialist knowledge and exact timing. I also have observe and work with dogs so as to put a specific program together to match the exact reason for the aggression starting in the first instance.
Stan Rawlinson 2005