Dog-Dog Aggression Between Housemates Part One: the Fight

In retrospect, we should have seen the attack coming. On two separate occasions after full days of running around, our normally sweet and friendly dog Trout had snarked at different foster puppies over food. Both times she stopped quickly without making contact when we intervened, and was then confined to a room to rest. However, both times she also showed a concerning lack of the typical warning signs dogs give off before lunging or snapping, only freezing slightly for an instant before she went after the puppies.

Waiting for treatment at the e-vet

Waiting for treatment at the e-vet

We chalked Trout’s concerning behavior up to soreness and not feeling well. With a mystery illness resembling Addison’s disease, her body struggles to handle stress, including the good stress of exciting events. Her muscles have wasted with the disease progression, and her energy level fluctuates. She has episodes of GI distress where her reflux is so bad that she will attempt to eat anything she can get in her mouth – cloth, cotton batting from dog toys, and even foam from dog beds. She has full-body muscle spasms, twitching and groaning as she lies on the floor. Her cognitive abilities have suffered too, and while on some days she’s the sweet, happy dog we’ve always loved, other days she seems confused by even the most simple routines or cues. We keep her comfortable on a regimen of medications, and she continues to have more good days than bad.

On the day of the attack, Trout was not having a good day. She had run hard for close to an hour at the park the day before, a special treat that we typically wouldn’t let her indulge in. However, it was one of the first nice days of spring, and she’d been doing well for a few weeks. She was extra sore this day, and I could tell that she was having some cognitive issues as we did a short training session. I kept the exercises easy, and at the end of the one-minute session she was able to end on a happy, successful note. I then called our other dog, Layla, into the room where I was working – something I’ve been doing for three years, since I always work one dog and then the other.

Today, that was a problem for Trout. As Layla entered the room, Trout stiffened up and growled, guarding me and the treats. I grabbed for her, missing as she launched across my body and bit my elbow, then attacked Layla. If you’ve never seen your beloved pets fight, the sight is chilling. Layla instantly defended herself, and my boyfriend and I each grabbed a dog. We had to wait for the dogs to let go of one another, as both were holding on in ferocious terrier grips, and pulling them apart would have caused more damage. The fight was over within 20 seconds, although in the heat of the moment it felt like much longer longer.

Unfortunately, that twenty seconds was all it took for both dogs to sustain injuries. We packed them up in the car for a trip to the e-vet as I contemplated the seriousness of Trout’s attack and tried to hold back tears over the sight of Layla’s deep wound.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be writing about our experiences with Trout and Layla. What did the location of their bites have to say about their intentions during the fight? How did we manage the two dogs to prevent future incidents? How did we re-integrate them into the same household? I’ll cover all of these questions as I discuss living safely with dogs who’ve hurt one another.

In retrospect, we should have seen the attack coming. However, love is blind, and while I likely would have picked up on the warning signs with a client’s dog, knowing and living with my own dogs skewed my perspective. There’s a reason that even professional dog trainers hire other professionals when our dogs have issues, and this story is a good reminder of that. I’m grateful that Matt and I were right there when our dogs went at it. This story could have been very different had we not been – one of the biggest reasons why I never leave the two dogs unattended together.

Have your dogs ever fought with their housemates? How did you handle the situation? Please share your stories in the comments below, and watch for the next installment in Trout and Layla’s story next week as I discuss what the location of the bite wounds told me about the two dogs’ intentions.


44 responses to “Dog-Dog Aggression Between Housemates Part One: the Fight

  1. Very much looking forward to this series, I have a dog like this only she’s completely healthy. She usually gives typical signs if she’s uncomfortable or tense, but sometimes does exactly what you’re describing. It’s the reason she flunked doggie daycare after two good days, a lab rolled over submissively and she apparently doesn’t like that so much :) No harm was done, but the no warning thing is too big of a risk even though she enjoys being social most of the time. I’m kind of irrationally afraid of dog fights so I need more information to allow us both to relax and interact.

  2. yes we have had about the same episode with our two dogs, both females and sisters , breed between chow and golden retriever , bought from our local SPCA at two months , on the day they turned two months they went in for sterilisation , as it is a must if you get your animals from SPCA the must first be sterilized ,
    all the time everything was fine until new neighbours moved in and their jack russel started running up and down the prefab wall, the first fight between the two sisters was over very quickly , aggression turned towards each other instead at the source , but the second fight was terrible , blood flowing everywhere , holes all over and a vet bill to cry for , we consulted a animal behaviourist , lots of things had to change
    it is taking a long time for them to think otherwise , we have them separate now every day every minute , unless they wear muzzles ,
    I playfully working in some ways to earn treats ect , but we still have a long way to go
    will follow your story very interesting thanks

    • I have a 16 year old rat terrier that came to me as a rescue at 11 years old. He is an exceptionally healthy guy who thinks he is 10 ft tall and bullet proof.
      I also have a male rottweiler who is now 27 months old.
      Both are neutered.
      I got my rott at 16 weeks old.
      I also have a 9 year old bully, female. She’s a very quiet sweet girl.
      Walter, the terrier, has always been pushy with my rott as he was growing up. Blu, the rott always just walked away or made a game of it.
      The terrier goes after the rottie and the rott has decided he’s not going to put up with it anymore. The first time it got bad, I had stepped outside for a moment to talk to a neighbor. When I came in it was over and the terrier spent the next 24 hrs at the emergency vet.
      I thought as long as I was there they would behave. I just kept them seperate when I was gone. But… About a year later, I was in the same room, turned my back to pick up something and heard the terrier go at the rottie and it was on.
      We are talking a 15 lb terrier going at a 110 lb rottweiler.
      It was all I could do to keep the rott from killing him.
      I live alone and had to seperate them myself. I ended up with bites on my hands, arms and the back on one leg.
      Now I just keep them seperate at all times.
      The last fight my terrier almost lost an eye and a back leg.
      Again he has completely recovered but I see him antagonize Blu every chance he gets.
      I can keep Blu from going for Walter, but I can’t stop Walter from going for Blu. It’s like he is suicidal.

      • My goodness, you just told my story but with different breeds. Do you think you/we could train the littler but mighty dogs to act differently?

      • Wow. You’ve just told my story too. My terrier has a death wish and it’s extremely stressful. Did you find a way back to harmony?

  3. Jaymie Derden

    We’ve got a 2 1/2 year old labradoodle. We got him at six months and think he was probably not socialized with other dogs. He has always LOVED other dogs but just didn’t really know how to interact/play well. Tended to be very exuberant and “in their face” and bark, bark BARK as he ran and chased. So we limit his play with unknown dogs. Recently my daughter got a new puppy who is VERY bitey with sharp little razor puppy teeth. Our dog tolerated him for awhile, growling when the puppy bit too much, but now he is very snarky and if the puppy even walks by he snarls and snaps. This is SO UNLIKE our dog!

    Our son visited over the weekend with their two dogs and so we had a big puppy playfest at our house. Our dog really enjoyed all the activity and got along really well with their dogs, but not with the puppy. Then one evening our dog growled and snapped at us, too! That has NEVER happened. They did play and run a lot, and I know he was really worn out, but…. not wanting to miss these warning signs.

    We’re going to the vet this week, just to make sure everything is ok physically… he’s not been eating well and has even refused some pretty high value treats lately — just not interested.

  4. Marlene Berman

    This was interesting for me to read because I have three three year old terrier brothers and two got into a fight about three weeks ago. It’s happened before (about 9 months ago) and it’s always the same dog who gets injured.
    My daughter and I had the dogs out for a walk, they played together, were off minding their own business, and then all of a sudden, the fight broke out. It was sudden and unexpected.
    We each took hold of the back legs of one dog (the third dog wisely stayed away), but one dog would not let go of the other dog’s face. We didn’t want to pull because we knew the damage would be worse – maybe even badly injure an eye – so we kept trying to talk them loose. Finally, the one dog released his brother and we were able to assess the damage by keeping one outside. There were four small puncture wounds that we treated, but just to be safe, we took the injured one to the vet the next morning. He’s basically healed by now, but I don’t know what I could have done if I’d been alone. We tried to bribe them, throw a towel over their heads, make noise, then no noise – nothing seemed to help – they were in it for several minutes.
    No one seems to have good answers for us because we truly did not see this one coming. As puppies they were so loving and adorable – yes, there were brotherly squirmishes, but nothing like when they decide to fight. It’s scary and makes me worry about when they’re alone. However, I’ve never come home to any problems. They’ve all become somewhat aggressive toward other dogs, but once they do the smelling and walking around, they settle down and all is okay. Two other daughters have dogs, too. One is a mini-dog and the other is bigger than my dogs – it just takes time for them to get acquainted.
    We just purchased the silent dog whistle (they are also barkers), and it seems to be helping with their barking in the yard and when other dogs walk past our house on the bike path near our home. Maybe it will help if there’s another fight. It’s been a learning experience having three from the same litter (I’ve had two in the past). I know it’s not a good idea to do this, but it was an unusual circumstance and rather than have one possibly put down, we took him. Anyhow, I love my dogs and will continue to work with them and hope that some of the ‘bad’ behavior is corrected by continual training.

  5. Our previous two golden retrievers fought twice in a space of a year or two. In the first instance the younger dog, Rosie, must have been annoying the older one, Chloe, whilst the family was at work/school. As soon as we got home Chloe went for Rosie and drew blood on her ear. It was like having the family around gave Chloe the courage to have a go. On the second occasion a couple of years later we had been camping with the dogs for a week or so, travelling around so maybe both were someone unsettled from the usual quiet lifestyle. Rosie made a grab for Chloe’s toy and it was on. My husband intervened getting a bite on the arm in the process, but we were staying in a caravan park so had to stop the argument as soon as possible. Each time we put it down to Rosie,the younger, trying to annoy Chloe the older dog.

  6. Thanks for sharing this. I am a trainer as well. We have five of our own in the house and take on fosters. We had an incident with two of our own dogs awhile ago…it really rattled me. Both were fine but as you expressed…seeing your dogs fight is terrifying…even if its only a few seconds. It can happen to anyone with even the seemingly friendliest and calmest dogs. Every time I hear another person share their story like this its always a reminder for me to be diligent about separating my dogs in to their own space when I am leaving the house.

  7. Thank you in advance for this series…I look forward to it. We have two GSDs, both spayed females, one 10 years old and one 4 years old (a rescue). The older girl is a champion of appropriate dog signals and behavior, ignoring many otherwise conflict-provoking jestures/signals from the younger that many dogs would react to. The younger is clueless re: appropriate dog behavior (toward others also and not just her “sister”) and is a green-eyed monster in the house, launching an attack once (thankfully no injuries) even on the older one while she slept. After much consultation with certified behaviorists, work, training and behavior mod exercises, they are trustworthy together under most circumstances outside the house, and will even often seek each other’s company and play. Inside the house, management is the only way. They are always kept in separate rooms and/or take turns being crated while one is loose. Sigh. We have reached a workable solution to avoid problems, but it is work. We love ’em both…some issues, it seems, can only be managed, not fixed. Such is life.

  8. I have had several fights, mostly instigated by my female Aussie. She has food guarding issues. Some of the fights were not over food though. I have gotten better at watching her and when she freezes, I redirect her. If a fight does break out, I grab her and pull her off.

  9. I have a similar problem. My older dog (11) is afraid of my younger one (6) and if the younger one sees her in scared mode in the house she attacks immediately and generally holds on. She has injured the older one, bruised and swollen throat, minor bites to the neck, perhaps due to someone pulling her off. The older dog does not retaliate. I manage it by keeping them separate in the house.
    I can take them out together but cannot have them on the lead together. I cannot go through a gateway without the younger one attacking even off the lead. The younger one is also aggressive with dogs outside that come up to us.
    There are signs but you have to be very quick to spot them. Her body goes tense and her eyes go slitty.

  10. Thank you for writing about this. I have two dogs and had several years of occasional assaults (I can’t call it a fight because my younger dog would snap at my older dog and she just wanted to get away) would get better. Eventually I ended up at the e-vet with my older dog and realized I needed help. And I felt just AWFUL that I hadn’t done a better job of protecting my older dog. I think I’ll always feel guilty about that.
    Now the instigator dog is on behavioral meds, feeding is done in separate rooms with doors closed, windows have film on them to minimize dog’s arousal at things outside, and thing are going much better. Younger dog has a long way to go with certain triggers (strange dogs, bikes and other wheeled things, joggers) but we are working on it. He will always be my “special needs” case.

  11. Yes, I lived for many years with two terriers that fought. I wouldn’t know where to start. They are both gone now. I feel like I know what you’re going through. It can be hard to explain to people that haven’t lived it. You are a much better communicator than I so thank you for approaching this subject!
    When people tell me their dogs “got in a fight” I ask how much blood was there and how much was the vet bill. They say no blood, no vet…I say “not a fight,” just an animated argument. Average fight bill was $1800 for me. I got really good over the years at having eyes in the back of my head to notice when things might be escalating. But just when you think you have it figured out and under control…BAM! Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20. I loved both dogs dearly. I miss both dogs terribly. I don’t miss the angst at all.

  12. I have 3 dogs, a 16 year old female and 2 6 year old males, one Lab and one Australian Shepherd. Over the years the 2 males have gotten in a number of fights. Only 2 have required vet visits. Usually the trigger is a tight space and the presence of a treat or an object of perceived value. Once it was an empty cat food dish that both dogs wanted to lick out. The aussie generally starts the fights. If my son’s dog (bloodhound) is here, he will run from the other end of the house to “pile on” the fight. It is very upsetting when this happens. We generally manage by making sure that they are separated when food/treats are being given out. I recognize that I am fortunate, because only one fight required stitches and one resulted in a punctured ear which needed to be clipped and cleaned. My two are not littermates. They’re the same age (approximately–one came from a rescue group and we don’t have an exact age on him). We did get them within a month of each other. In hindsight, that wasn’t a good move, although if we wanted them we had to get them then.

  13. My two males have fought 3 times – once over some trash, once for apparently no reason, and once over a squeaky tennis ball. The fights have seemed scary but minimal damage and lots of noise. My 45lb guy latches on to the 60lb guys face and doesn’t want to let go.. the biggest thing in my experience is not letting them think its a big deal. My boyfriend and I separate them, hold onto them until they are calm, and then go on about our day as if nothing happened before checking for wounds. We want them to realize that they can be punks all they want, but they are a part of our family and need to behave themselves. My smaller guy, who is the newest of our 3 dogs as of 1.5 years ago, started Prozac a few weeks ago and it really seems to have helped with their behavior together.

    • I also look forward to your next article. I have 3 Yorkies, 2 males and a female all fixed. They are 5, 4 and 3 yrs old and have been raised together. All of a sudden the 2 boys have decided that they hate each other and it has escalated to all 2 against 1 now. I was bitten pretty bad the last time trying to break them up. We now have to seperate the one male from the other 2 dogs and we have to spend time with the dogs in shifts or theu wear muzzles. I am to the point that I may need to rehome the lone male if we cant figure this out. We had physicals and blood work done to rule out health issues. It’s heart breaking. I am anxious to hear if you have anything else I can try!

  14. We have two large dogs that are both dog-aggressive to stranger dogs, so we see the aggressive sides of them a lot. One has had a blood-drawing fight with another dog in the past, and bites through even sometimes just in play (our other and stronger dog used to get minor wounds from playing with her). Our other, stronger dog can look dangerous and like a fighter (large, athletic, strong neck, big strong jaws, and her attitude) but she actually has a great bite inhibition. There have been incidents in the past when she managed to attack/fight with other dogs (happens no more.. having aggressive dogs has been a steep learning curve). It looked feroucious and dramatic, but no injuries happened in any of the cases. Our dogs have beeen together from puppies and are good friends, but it is always in the back of my mind to minimise the risk of conflicts when they are home alone. They get fed a good meal so they are not hungry, they each get their “cosy cave” dog bed in the kitchen to withdraw into if they’re cranky, they get a walk first to burn off energy so they hopefully will play less (a source of many injuries, even without aggression) … We’re also being considerate when we’re at home, to not set them up in a situation that may provoke conflict. I don’t think the risk for an incident is huge in our case, but we certainly factor it in in the way we manage our dogs.

    Also, next time we get dogs we’ll make sure to select notoriously low-aggression types and possibly buy from a breeder where we know the dogs’ backgrounds and can see the parents, instead of from rescue. We love our dogs and they’re great fun, but the everyday aggression-management aspects on walks is really stressful. I’ve had dogs before and never had to deal with aggression problems before, so I know it is perfectly possible. Also, we our dogs were both advertised as people and dog friendly, and they were… until they had too many accumulated experiences seeing and hearing aggressive dogs, which are common around here. In the future when we buy dogs, we’ll aim for dog types that, despite these triggers which we can’t do anything about, are as unlikely as possible to react to these suburban aggression-triggers by becoming dog-aggressive themselves.

  15. My female dog has just started attacking my 11 year old male dog when she feels like he’s going to steal food (human or dog) that she might not have access to. It happens so fast with little or no warnings & has begun to happen more than once so a behaviouralist friend of mine is coming to visit next week so hopefully we get some strategies to work with them because my poor boy must have bitten the inside of his mouth really hard last time & he has a big swollen cheek now :(

  16. I’m really looking forward to your follow up posts. I have a female dog who is VERY particular about what other dogs can come over to our house. A friend’s male dog has stayed with us several times and they have always been perfectly fine together. Last time they were in the backyard and I was tossing a ball around for them. Everything seemed fine and then they both suddenly froze and the fight was on. I actually caught the whole thing on film and although I’ve watched it several times, I still can’t tell exactly what happened. The fight ended as soon as I yelled at them and they acted like two kids that had been balled out on the playground. I sent them both inside and they went, heads down, side by side, with no argument. They were fine after that, but it is scary to see how fast it can happen and now I know the possibility is always there. The boy was fine, but my dog had shallow wounds on her face. Thankfully they didn’t require a trip to the vet.

  17. Sending speedy recovery to both pups.

  18. I will be looking for the next installment of this series. So many canine parents deal with this scary behavior, including myself. I have three female Miniature Pinschers who are littermates. One shows aggression towards one of her sisters. I consulted with a vet behaviorist because I was worried that one day a fight may go too far. The girls have always been crated when they are home alone, so my mind is at ease when I am not home. My blog post “Something Wicked This Way Comes” at discusses the inter-dog aggression situation in my home. Best of luck to you and wishing you a happy outcome!

  19. Pingback: Dog-Dog Aggression Between Housemates Part Two: Bites | Paws Abilities

  20. This is the other…

    Lynne Jones


  21. Pingback: Dog-Dog Aggression Between Housemates Part Three: Management | Paws Abilities

  22. Pingback: Dog-Dog Aggression Between Housemates Part Four: Training | Paws Abilities

  23. I’m glad I got the link for this. We have 3 dogs: mother/daughter elkhounds and a husky who’s 18 months old. The husky has been “feeling her oats” and has had some tussles – she tried it with the mother, and I was able to break that one up. She’s left the mother alone now. But recently, with Hubby in the room, she went for the daughter. There’d been some squabbles about who’s “on top” and the daughter is kind of a “nervous nellie” dog, but this drew blood – the husky was the one who injured the daughter. Right now, it’s calm, but we’re consulting a behaviorist. I’m sad because a good part of me doesn’t trust the husky anymore and that’s not right. She gets crated when we’re not home. If we have to play “shuffle the dogs” we’ll do it, but I’d rather find the root cause and see if we can settle it.

  24. Janice Wolbach

    My sheltie girl did not like my newest Pom-a-Poo! kept them separate for 3 months w/ baby gates in the house till the baby knew to stay away from my sheltie girl.

  25. Kirsten Wallace

    I have a 15 year old Westie/maltese mix who is blind and mostly deaf. We also recently adopted a 5 year old Westie from a puppy mill. They are both female. The newly adopted dog is well socialized with other dogs since she came from a puppy mill. She had no problem with our 15 year old and our grand dog, a male Westie, who is 2. Two weeks after we adopted the puppy mill survivor, she escaped from her harness and took off. It took 4 days to find her and retrieve her because she is skittish, afraid of men, and didn’t yet know she belonged to us. During those four days she lived in the woods nearby. The dog recovery group helping in her retrieval said after 48 hours they start to become feral. Anyway, we were overjoyed to finally have her home. A few days later, she viciously attacked our blind and deaf 15 year old Westie. This was totally unprovoked and not your typical dog fight. The blind dog just walked through the room and the new adopted one leaped off a chair and went for the jugular, chomping on her neck. I had a hard time getting her to let go. Blood was everywhere. It was the most vicious thing I had ever seen between two dogs and my senior dog really couldn’t defend herself. I hate to imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t been right there. So I called the Westie rescue and asked them to come pick the newly adopted one up immediately because I can’t and won’t put my 15 year old dog’s life at risk. I asked the vet why this would happen. Was it jealousy? She said maybe but more likely that in the animal kingdom, it is common for animals to kill the weak and dying within the same species. I am devastated and do miss and loved the new adopted Westie. She was very sweet and worshipped me. The night before both dogs and I were all cuddled on the sofa, so it is so hard to understand why this happened. I am wondering if she did go feral and this is why. After she got back she would bark at my husband when he walked through the room. She never did this before she got lost in the woods. Did I do the right thing or did I give her back too quickly without giving her a chance? Could she have been rehabilitated?

  26. I´ve had over 20 dogs over the years, up to seven at once; Dobermanns, large mixed breeds,Yorkies, Greyhounds, lurchers, whippets and now Maltese. I have never experienced a fight between my own, (one of my Dobies once defended herself against the attack of a strange bitch, and one of my Greys once had a very nasty bite in his side from a passing dog). I read these accounts and wonder how I´ve managed to avoid it happening. It´s not by any conscious effort on my part, but I certainly hope it stays that way.

  27. Wow– I went through a similar situation with two of my dogs. The first ‘argument’ was two and a half years ago. I was standing right there, and have no idea what prompted it. My young dog launched at my older one. Thankfully the other two didn’t jump in. Over the next two years we had three more altercations that escalated, and it seemed like it was every 6 months or so. In two of the incidents, my young guy redirected on the other when he was anxious (once a cat walking on the wall, the other time a dog barking in the yard behind us). the fourth was redirecting over excitement of a visitor to the house. Each time I’d separate for a period of time, work with a trainer, re-integrate. Until last December. I came home from work to find my old man laying on the ground outside bleeding from the mouth. I rushed him in for emergency surgery and he had more than a dozen puncture wounds, a hole in his throat which required removal of cartilege and resulted in a damaged nerve in his throat (his trachea doesn’t move, putting him at risk for aspiration, and an inability to cool himself properly. He ended up with aspiration pneumonia over Christmas last year.) I finally got it (and sure did beat myself up over it) and never leave them alone unsupervised anymore. They get along fine, but every now and then my young one is triggered.. Have forgiven him and forgiven myself, and now I’m much more careful to ensure everyone’s safety now that I know this is a permanent issue. thank you for sharing this story.

  28. I am finding this very interesting….as I am very worried after several trips to the vets over the past few months . My son has a rescue greyhound who has separation anxiety which is getting a little better . He lives at home with me and my 3 dogs , a Jack Russell, Greyhound and very tiny Italian Greyhound cross, his dog has badly bitten the first two and a close call with the Italian Greyhound. So far 4 bites and going for the jugular , the vet said we were lucky the survived . I am beside myself with worry as vet has said the Italian Greyhound would not survive the bite if it should happen to her. My son says its just that his dog does not like her space being invaded. I am very frightened when I go to work. I leave mine in the kitchen and often he takes his to work but comes home to lunch
    sometimes and I am worried what may happen if I am not there.

  29. I realize that this is an older post but am hopeful for some response. Yesterday was a very sad day for our family, as beloved Red (11 year old red heeler) was put to rest following a severe attack by the fairly new German Shephard, Xana, who is about one and a half years and with the family now for a few months. Red was the queen bee, already very impacted by arthritis and running hard on a farm. Xana was typically submissive, although she did have moments of aggression previously–but always brief and not serious, usually in response to wanting the ball Red had or similar. The fight occurred around 1:30am during a camp out with tents in the yard, which I believe is the only time they’ve been around one another overnight. Xana was also in heat. Both dogs are female. Anyway, Xana fought for the kill (leg and deep neck wounds), and our vet determined that euthanasia was really our only option. We are heart broken at the loss of such a beloved pet. And we are also wondering whether Xana is safe. Any feedback or direction, please? Thank you–

  30. I know this post is old, however we are having this problem in our house. We took our current dog Sam to meet and greet a Female husky *Meeka*. At the shelter they were fine with each other. So we left with Sam and not the new dog because for some reason the shelter prefers to deliver the dog at new owners house. One week Later they showed up with Meeka, and as soon as Sam saw her, he started growling and barking. At first meeka was quiet so we separated them. We were told to take them for walk together so that they would be comfortable. We did that and while they are walking they are fine. We even follow the instruction, to let Sam get into the house after Us and then Meeka would come in, since she was the new dog. It only works as long as both dogs are tired of the walking, but as soon as they are up, the growling starts and Meeka jumps on Sam’s neck and attack him. Sam is so fearful of the Meeka, and now he is no longer the friendly with other dogs. He sees Meeka and immediately growls and bark, however he is not the fighter type, so she jumps on him by grabbing the top of his neck. We have the house divided in half by baby gates, but we are trying to find out if there will ever be a way for both dogs to actually get along. We don’t need them to be besties, but at least not kill each other. Even though the baby gate is up, we still maintain both on leashes just in case something happens. We even tried to find Trainer, but because 4 sessions aren’t enough to socialize both we just could not afford more sessions at 800 – 1000 dollars each time.. We noticed also that meeka is Possessive, of us, myself and my husband. if Sam comes near, she wants to go after him. Separated they are both great dogs, is so frustrating to have to keep them separated.. meeka does not like any dog period, so dog park is out of the question.

  31. I had a 7 weeks going on 8 weeks old chipin male and we had just gotten him at 4 weeks old. He was very loving and plaayful and very friendly. I had 5 other dogs in my home. A white long haired Chihuahua female who hppened to have 4 puppies a year prior 2 boys and 2 girls. So my household had a total of 6 dogs… 1 of the boy pups was very protective of our little chipin “ching ching” but the other 3 pups did not like him around. To make a story short we come home one day from an errand to find him thrown on the ground dead. With bite maarks on his throat stomach ribs area. Some blood was coming out his mouth. What could have happened? I regret that day so bad. I still get so so much I got rid of all dogs except for the pup that protective of ching ching… Could they have attacked him?

  32. I’m asking because my mini doxie.. is very aggressive with are other female terrier wich is larger. And she staggs her up with no warning and there in a death match. I want to learn how to break them up!! I can’t stay calm and the amount of blood from there fight yesterday was terrified. The other dog ran under the house covered in blood and would not come out. Till today. I used to breed pit bulls and could successfully break up there fights when they broke out. But I was so scared and my mini has not but a scratch and my boys female is limping there fine. I NEED to know how to break them up we could not get them to unlock for like 5 min and it felt like forever and never in there vicious fights have they ever bleed like that. These are our babies. I even grabbed a pitcher of water and they just shook harder. She is a 7 lb 9 year old dog. Can I pepper spray to stop them. So glad there safe but how or what should I do in the future they been raised together. Any suggestions please!!

  33. Currently, we have two big dogs and two little dogs. Sheila (15 yro Chihuahua), Lala (4 yro Chihuahua), Ebby (4 yro Pittie; rescued 1 1/2 yrs ago) and Greenie (6 yr Pittie; fostering for 4 months now).

    Things have been great with the exception that Greenie has been a little food aggressive which we learned to handle and he has snapped at Sheila 2-3 times but never making physical contact.

    Last night, the dogs were wanting to come in the door and we could hear Greenie scratching at the door. Then I heard growling and a quick fight (which I immediately thought was just the big dogs getting annoyed with each other like they usually do) but then I heard screeching from the little dog. One of the big dogs bit Lala over her face and she has 4 puncture wounds. Greenie ran off and hid. Ebby immediately wanted to lick Lala’s wounds.

    While we didn’t actually see what happened, we are making assumptions based on what we heard.

    Does anyone know of a good way to tell which dog might have attacked?

  34. We have two large dogs, and one is showing “signs” to the other – eerie sideward glances, tensing up, slightly resource guarding things (including us), starring sometimes etc. The other one is carefully keeping her distance. The tension has increased over time. They are kept separately when home alone (they didn’t use to be, but some of the expressions I’ve seen lately have me worried enough that I have made it a rule to not let them be home alone together)

  35. Our dog has recently started going after the slightly older chocolate lab in the house revelry. The oldest shepherd has recently passed away and has seemed to cause some problems.

    But it’s been an issue as we don’t really know what to do because they are fine most of the time but it has been escalating recently.

  36. My 2 females dogs have begun fighting regularly. This evening was the worst and now I’m not sure what to do. When my 5year old starts to get annoyed she shows signs to tell the 1 1/2 year old to back up. Then the 1 1/2 year old starts circling her and it escalates into a fight. When we try to separate them it escalates the situation more. Trying to distract them with toys or going outside (especially grabbing them, which we don’t do anymore because my husband has been bit) makes it worse. I try not to distract with treats because it would be rewarding bad behavior. This last fight the 5 yr old started and it seems like she “won”. Now the 1 1/2 yr old, when we tried to reintroduce them is showing behaviors that will result in a fight. We have been separating them all night. Now it’s bed time and they both usually sleep with us. Do I leave both of them in their cages overnight? Or just leave the 1 1/2 yr old who is still mad? I hate to leave them in their cages all night when they will be stuck in there because I have to work 8 hours tomorrow. How do we get them to stop before it escalates, and how do I reintroduce them so it doesn’t happen again.

    • I know this post is old but were you able to have your dogs become friends again? I’m having this problem with my 2 Great Danes and I don’t know what to do
      They are both spayed females one is 9 the other is 4 the 9 year old is the aggressor

  37. My black lab/pit is the most sweetest and well trained of any dog in my families lives. He is always the first to defend or break up a fight. He knows instantly when he has done something wrong and gets his “whoa is me” face on. No matter the situation or company he has always respected the one simple word of “kennel” he puts himself in and stays until released.

    Tonight, my shih tzu was playing with my sister and the lab was jealous. She has a toy and the shih tzu had the other. My lab took the toy and began growling at his brother. They growled at each other a little. My sister didn’t think anything of it because it’s my lab. He is well trained and wouldn’t hurt his brother, but boy did he. When I entered the scene, picking up the little one, I told the lab to go to his kennel and he walked out but came back. My sister continued to tell him kennel and get him directed into it as I held the shaking shih tzu.

    Upon investigation, my shih tzu has two punctures wounds to his left shoulder. I am completely distraught by this. After reading these stories, the level of the bite due to the location has me concerned and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  38. Thank you for sharing! It makes me feel better to know that even professional trainers go through these experiences with their pups! I have had an 11 month rescue dog (I think he’s a Doberman x lab mix) for a month and a half, super friendly guy but a little nervous around some dogs so been careful with introductions. I live on the same fenced property as some friends who have a 1 1/2 year old female GSP. The two of them became fast friends but I sometimes notices behaviour that was concerning- my dog snarling over toys or even a water bowl. Few weeks ago my dog bit theirs on the nose over a stick. She is very submissive and didn’t fight back, just cried and tried to get away. Luckily I was close by so I broke it up quickly. She was okay and we eventually reintroduced them and all seemed well. She would just give in to him and let him have sticks and other commodities if he came close, which I didn’t love and vowed to continue to work on. Last night they were play fighting, which they love to do, and we were nearby and I didn’t see what started the fight, I think their play go too intense, but he went after her again. She’s okay, very shaken but the wounds aren’t too serious and we have separate them. I now realize that it’s not something that will just pass and it could have been a lot worst. We will reintroduce them slowly and keep them supervised and on lead. I’m getting a muzzle for him so that I can be less anxious about her getting hurt but I realize this is a bandaid for a bigger problem that I will need to constantly work on. Thank you for your story and advice!

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