How To Prevent And Stop Household Dogs From Fighting

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this military post. Your two dogs seemed to get along so well. But now all of a sudden they seem to hate each other. Max attacks Bailey sporadically. And your family is very nerve-racking now.

This is not wholly rare. In fact a few days ago I got an e-mail addressing this very issue :

We got our puppy potty trained, crate trained, obedience trained, but now he ’ s attacking and fighting with my older andiron. I never thought this would be an consequence. I thought my andiron ’ mho would be best pals, but now I ’ meter looking for tips on how to stop dogs from fighting. What should I do ?—C.C.

It ’ randomness authoritative to discover why the fights are occurring so that you can attempt to fix the problem. In this article, I ’ ll discus why dogs may fight vitamin a well as how to prevent it. besides, I ’ ll conduct with what to do if a battle occurs. It ’ south important to prevent fights from occurring, if possible .

Why Household Dogs May Fight

There are many reasons why dogs in the lapp family fight. even dogs who have been in concert for a while may start to fight. When a new dog joins the family, there ’ sulfur always a time period of alteration. sometimes fight break out for assorted reasons. As the stress increases in a frump ’ randomness life, fights are more probable to occur. The following are some of the probable reasons dogs in the same family may fight .

To Maintain the Hierarchy

In the fantastic, there ’ s a separate hierarchy for male and female dogs. In our homes excessively, there ’ mho a greater likelihood of fighting between dogs of the lapp sexual activity. There ’ south besides a greater likelihood of non-neutered dogs fighting each other .

1. Guarding Their Owner

Dogs may guard many resources. Resources include things that are valuable to the dog. Of path, we ’ re a very valuable resource to our dogs. We give them attention, feed them, walk them, play with them, train them, take them out to socialize them, and give them bang-up treats and chews. indeed some dogs guard their owners and the space around them. When Fido in the same family gets besides close to the owner, Max may attack. And Fido may fight back. Both dogs–and the owner–may be injured in such a brush .

2. Guarding Other Resources

Some dogs guard other valuable resources against other dogs. Of course, food, treats, bones, and toys are seen as crucial to many dogs. There ’ south besides a threshold distance beyond which a dog won ’ t attack. however, if another chase gets besides close, the pawl with the bone will attack. The distance at which a dog will attack varies by the chase .

3. Change in a Resident Dog’s Health or Age

Some dogs may sense that another chase in the family has become ill. And the healthier dog sometimes will attack the sick dog. Another scenario is when a pawl matures and challenges the older dog .

4. Changes in the Household or Routine

Any change in members of the family, such as when one leaves for college, can cause try in a dog ’ randomness life. even changes in routines, such as occur when person gets a new job, can be very nerve-racking for a dog. Some dogs find such changes very unmanageable and can ’ thyroxine align. As their try flat increases, so will the proclivity to fight .

5. Changes in the Canine Social Group

When a frump leaves the home or a new frank joins, there ’ s a time period of adjustment. A more confident chase may have passed away and a new hierarchy is established between the remaining dogs. Or a new pawl may challenge the established hierarchy .

6. Redirection When Dogs Become Overstimulated

sometimes a frump will become excessively aroused by an event and attack any is nearby–including another nonmigratory chase. even though the stimulation is unrelated to the other cad, an assail can occur. This can besides happen when the owner or a visitor arrives or departs or even when the mailman delivers mail .

7. Underlying Anxiety

Some dogs with a stress or anxiety disorder may attack another frank when their stress crosses a doorsill. This can, for case, happen when a cad is noise sensitive. even though he may be alright with regular family noises, if a raw noise–like that from a delivery truck–occurs, he may become overstimulated. And he may attack a nearby pawl. Some dogs have legal separation anxiety and, because they are excessively stressed when an owner departs, may attack another cad .

8. Improper Socialization

A chase who was improperly socialized may be more probably to attack another frump. He might not properly read another ’ s consistency terminology. For example, the other andiron may be enticing him to play. But the unsocialized frump reads it as an try to fight .

9. Play May Escalate 

sometimes dogs may be playing appropriately. then, the play escalates. One chase becomes besides rough in. A competitiveness may break out .

10. Enclosed Spaces

When reactive or overly-stimulated dogs are in enclosed spaces, like during a car ride, dogs may fight .

11. Social Aggression

In social aggression, neither pawl will defer to the early. This is not authority and international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine pendent on the andiron ’ s senesce or breed .

12. Reaction to a Shock Collar

A frank who ’ mho shocked with a traumatize collar is a stressed pawl. Whether the owner is shocking the frump or the frump ’ s shocked on an inconspicuous fence, he may fight with a nearby frank. not only is the frank stressed but he may besides associate the pain with the nearby chase. My conserve was walking our rescued Lhasa apso Linkin when a pug attacked. fortunately, the dogs were separated promptly. It turned out that the pug ’ second owner shocked the chase with an electric collar whenever a dog passed his home. He didn ’ thymine want the pug to leave his property. Of course, there are better ways to keep your chase safe. And the fallout from the shock collar was obvious. The inadequate pug was very defensive against passing dogs .

13. Medical Reasons

sometimes a andiron may be in pain and, if the other andiron gets besides close or bumps into him, the frank in pain may attack. There are many other reasons, such as a change in a cad ’ s thyroid gland levels, that can account for the way he behaves .

Warning Signs of a Fight

Read each chase ’ s body language. Of course, you have to look at the wholly word picture as no one signal necessarily indicates that a frank may fight. Separate them before things escalate to a competitiveness. Some of the consistency lyric that a pawl shows prior to fight :

  • Growling
  • Baring teeth
  • Ears raised high
  • Raised hackles
  • Stiffened body
  • Staring
  • Mounting

The weaker frump may show signs of submission like gather chase or flatten ears .

How To Prevent Fights

There are some measures you can take to help prevent fights. It ’ south better to prevent them than to have to stop them after they occur. People and dogs can become hurt when there ’ s a fight. besides, a andiron will remember that he ’ sulfur been attacked. It may be identical difficult–if not impossible–for them to get along afterwards. I ’ ve had equally many as seven dogs at the same prison term ( a belgian tervuren shepherd, a shih tzu, a golden retriever, two shih tzus, and two Lhasa apsos ). Three of them ( the gold and Lhasas ) were rescues. It was quite a group with assorted natural instincts. I constantly managed their environment and introduced a newfangled member very carefully in order to avoid fights. All play and interactions were observed. And if I saw that things started to get excessively uncut, I would redirect the dogs to something else, like coming to me. I don ’ metric ton believe that dogs should “ work it out. ” There ’ s excessively much at impale. They may become badly injured. A person attempting to break up a fight can excessively. And the dogs may never be able to live in concert again. Depending on why they are fighting, there are respective measures you can take .

Manage the Dogs’ Environment

If resources are an publish, you should do the pursue. Feed them individually. Give them high-value things like bones individually. Keep things that they ’ ll guard out of scope. PRO-TRAINER TIP: In any case, when the situation can not be managed successfully, it ’ mho important to get professional behavioral help. Make certain to hire a behavior specialist who uses cocksure reinforcing stimulus and who has successfully managed such issues in the past. I recommend getting master help when a dog is guarding a person. It ’ s besides dangerous to potentially have a contend between a cad with people nearby. besides, don ’ t lashkar-e-taiba dogs take bones or other desire objects from each early if there ’ s a prospect they ’ ll guard them. They should have them individually equally long as they don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate guard them against you .

Limit Rough Play

It ’ sulfur bang-up if your dogs play by rights together. But don ’ thyroxine let things escalate to the steer where a battle might occur. Don ’ t let one frank saddle horse another or get excessively approximate pinning another. flush chase games can escalate when one chase reaches the other. And the pursued pawl may fight. Train your dogs to come to you no count what. A reliable recall is crucial. so, if you see things escalate, you can interrupt the act and praise and reward each frump with a small treat for coming to you. Let the dogs settle down earlier allowing them to play again. Redirect to something else to do if they ’ ve played farseeing enough and are getting tired. A dog who is excessively tired will be more try and, therefore, more likely to fight. right now, I have a aureate retriever, two shelties, an Aussie shuffle, and a Lhasa apso who all play together at assorted times. They have different play styles and department of energy levels. I make sure I ’ thousand award and watch them playing. If they ’ ra getting besides revved up or start to get rough, I call them over and praise and reward. If I think they ’ ve played farseeing enough, we stop and I redirect them to something else to do, such as a puzzle toy. fortunately, this group doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate guard objects .

Give Each Dog His Own Space

It ’ south crucial that each dog who has had disagreements have his own distance. normally, this is authoritative for any cad so that conflicts don ’ t rise. so give them individual crates and beds .

Encourage Calm Behavior

Calmly praise and wages composure behavior. At first, work with each pawl individually. Work without distractions, then add them as the andiron is able to handle them. then, once each frank understands what ’ randomness expected, you can work with them together. I believe in teaching a “ settle ” command, in which the cad learns to settle and be calm on prompt. It besides helps if you can send them each to a place individually, such as two beds on diametric sides of the room .

Choose Dogs of Opposite Sex

This is merely a lean some people recommend. As a general rule, male and female dogs are more likely to get long than two dogs of the lapp sex will. Of class, there are many variables such as the chase ’ s genetics and socialization that play a function in whether he ’ ll get along with another canine. And, if you want more than two dogs, this international relations and security network ’ t possible .

Allow the Dogs To Have Some Down Time

It ’ randomness crucial for dogs to not always be “ on. ” They need respite and some time entirely. Giving them such time will help them not be stressed and will help prevent separation anxiety.

( If they already have separation anxiety, it ’ sulfur important to deal with that consequence individually. )

Obedience Training

It ’ s significant for dogs to be trained. A trained chase has more confidence and understands what ’ s expected of him. It can besides help stave off any electric potential fights. You can call your dog to you. You can have him do a model or down stay. Or any other behavior that helps him settle down .


exercise is important for all dogs. But it can besides help to avoid fights between dogs. A cad who ’ s excessively stimulate can go over doorway. then, even if he doesn ’ metric ton start a fight another dog may. My Aussie shuffle puppy Millie is a very high-drive pawl. so, before she plays with my four-year-old Lhasa apso Ralphie, I make certain she ’ s had a sufficient sum of physical practice. differently, she ’ five hundred be besides much for him. But, once she ’ randomness played ball for a while, she ’ s not excessively harsh for Ralphie and he enjoys playing with her. So it ’ randomness crucial to give your dogs an appropriate total of exercise for their long time and breed. mental exercise is vitamin a significant to help tire out your puppy. You can teach your pawl tricks or give them puzzle toys .

Walk Dogs Separately

sometimes dogs fight when they ’ rhenium walked together. They may be very stimulate and stressed by sights and sounds around them. Some dogs redirect aggression at each other then. In that cars, either walk them individually or have two people walk them at a safe distance apart. Of course, you can hire a master behavior specialist to work with the offspring .

Don’t Leave the Dogs Alone Together

If your dogs have already fought, do not leave them alone together, as they may fight. even if they ’ ve never fought, if a pawl is a late addition, you won ’ thymine know how they ’ ll get down along. so, better condom than good-for-nothing .

Use Counter-Conditioning and Desensitization

You want to change the public opinion of the dogs towards each other. They should see each other and think that bang-up things happen when the other appears. That is, they get a capital dainty like a flow of pieces of chicken, when the other appears. You can be in position with one pawl on leash. I recommend putting each frump in a well-fitted harness for this exercise, because a close collar can convey that something ’ randomness wrong. then, a benefactor appears with the other andiron at a distance at which neither is reactive. Pro-Trainer Tip: Use only very high-value treats for these exercises. Small pieces of chicken, hot dogs, Crazy Dog Training Treats, or cheese are great for this, as most dogs find them highly desirable. Use these treats alone for these behavior management exercises. When the dogs notification each other, they get a constant flow of the regale .. then the chase with the benefactor goes out-of-sight and the treats stop. alternatively, the first chase can go out-of-sight and the dog with the benefactor remains. Do this aim exercise for a very short clock, such as 20 seconds a time. Do three repetitions in each session. If either frump goes over doorway and becomes reactive, end the session. future clock time, do a short school term or at a greater distance from each early. Make sure that the dogs have received a sufficient sum of practice before doing these behavior exercises. Over fourth dimension, you can decrease distance between them if the behavior change is successful .

Engage in Enjoyable Activities Together

It ’ south crucial that the dogs have convinced opinions of each other. so have them engage in dependable, enjoyable activities in concert. If they enjoy walks, have a assistant to walk one of the dogs. Walk them parallel to each other but at a distance where neither is reactive .

Block the Outside View or Sound

If your dogs tend to fight when looking out the window, block the opinion. Some dogs go over brink when they see something outside the window. Some get overstimulated when they hear outside noises. so play a television or radio or white noise machine .

Be Calm in the Dogs’ Presence

Dogs read our body language and perfume. I know it ’ mho unmanageable when you have two or more dogs who may fight, but, ampere much as possible, be calm. And don ’ metric ton practice a high voice that may over-stimulate the dogs .

Use Holistic Aids To Help Lessen Stress

There are many such devices you can use to help the dogs be calmer. There ’ sulfur a product called Adaptil which comes in a circuit board or spray. The chemical in it is supposed to mimic the dog ’ s beget and can have a steady effect on dogs. There ’ randomness besides the Rescue Remedy in the Bach Flower Essences that can be put in a cad ’ s urine or on something you give him to eat or on his natural language. This besides may help de-stress a chase. There ’ s even a compact disk called Through a Dog ’ s Ear that has calming music that ’ second been studied to help relax dogs. Check with your veterinarian before giving any inner products .

Veterinary Check-Up

In any case in which family dogs don ’ thymine catch along, I recommend that they have a veterinary check-up to determine whether there ’ s any physical problem. In addition to a check-up, your veteran may want to run tests such as a full thyroid gland dialog box or bloodwork .

How To Break Up a Fight

If there ’ s any opportunity you ’ ll be injured, try to get help. I realize that in some situations this may not be possible. thus suffer certain devices quick in case this may occur. But be advised that no method acting is guaranteed to work. It very depends on the dogs involved. And any method may backfire and the dogs may become more aggressive and even redirect aggression on the person attempting to break up the fight. This is why I very recommend first gear cutting off any potential fights before they begin .

Use a Bucket of Water or a Hose

If the dogs start to fight, dousing them with water may break it up .

Use Something To Separate Them

Get anything handy like a folderol can lid, a electric chair, or a broom to separate them if possible .

Make a Loud Noise

sometimes making a forte noise will distract them and cause the dogs to separate. You can bang pans together, ring the doorbell, blow a whistle, use an air horn, or slam a door .

Throw a Blanket Over Them

sometimes this can cause them to separate. Some dogs will stop fighting if they can ’ thyroxine see the other pawl .

Use a Spray Made For the Purpose

There are citronella sprays such a target Stop or Spray Shield that can help break up some pawl fights. Or if you have pepper spray, that may work .

Separate Them If You Have Two People

This is a last recourse, as the dogs and people involved are likely to be injured. I highly recommend the other methods and would not personally use this, though some trainers recommend it. This is called the wheelbarrow method. Each person grabs one of the two dogs by his raise legs and lifts them up and apart. Be aware that the dogs may turn on the people, with atrocious consequences .

LAST RESORT: Rehome a Dog

If you ’ ve tried everything but your dogs hush can ’ triiodothyronine arrive along, you may want to consider rehoming one. I know that this is a atrocious remember. The dogs are our kin. But if you are unable to manage the situation and the dogs fight, each dog lives a very nerve-racking life. And they may besides become badly physically injured. I rarely recommend this, as the position can much be managed. But, in some cases, rehoming may be the kindest thing for everyone involved .

What Should You Do After a Fight?

Calmly remove the dogs to separate dependable places. If they know obedience commands, tell them to go to their crate or seam. Or have one in a ride or gloomy stay while you lead the early to another location. Check for Injuries and take the dogs to the vet if they ’ ve been injured. note that some injuries may be inner and not visible .


The kinship between our dogs can be very complex at times. We need to learn what their interactions and body linguistic process mean so that we can manage their interactions. It ’ sulfur best to separate dogs before they go over threshold and crusade. There are some things that should not be used because of the hazard of wound. besides, many of them don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate ferment and can make the position bad .

Don’t Suppress a Growl

evening when you see one of your dogs growling at another, it ’ south best to redirect them away from each other. Call one over to you. Send them to their individual crates or beds. Do whatever you can do to calmly distinguish them. If you suppress a growl or other polarity of aggression, it won ’ triiodothyronine change the pawl ’ sulfur mentality. alternatively, it will teach him not to express a admonitory before he attacks .

Don’t Try To Pull Them Apart

by and large, doing thus can cause grave injury to the dogs and the person attempting to separate them. As stated above, some people recommend using the wheelbarrow method acting and have two peopl ; e, each pulling one pawl apart by their rear legs. Some people even attempt to pull the dogs apart by their tails. But this can cause injury to the dogs if they continue to fight or they may turn around and redirect their aggression on the people attempting to separate them .

Don’t Reach in and Attempt To Separate The Dogs

even though we may instinctively want to do thus, it can result in unplayful injuries. besides, of course, no one should put his face near dogs fighting as can occur when attempting to separate them .

Don’t Use A High-Pitched, Excited Voice

Using a high voice or yell will credibly over-stimulate a frank, leading to or escalating a fight .

Don’t Let the Dogs “Work It Out”

Years ago, people used to believe in letting dogs fight to work it out between them. This is dangerous for both dogs and for nearby people. besides, the dogs may never get along after such a fight .

Final Thoughts

It ’ s better to prevent fights than to intervene when one occur. Read each cad ’ s body terminology and calmly separate them before things escalate. obedience educate and behavioral ferment are important in maintaining a passive family. If a crusade has occurred, attempt to break it up safely, such as by dousing the dogs with water or making noise. I recommend hiring a behavioral expert to work this identical dangerous issue through. Have you dealt with your frank ’ randomness fighting ?

If so, what did you do ? Tell us about your experience in the gossip section below .

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How To Stop Dogs From Fighting - Yellow Lab and Black Lab fighting on the grass

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