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Leerburg Dog Training Q&A Archive Inter-Female Aggression Q&A

Inter-Female Aggression Q&A

Inter-Female Aggression Q&A


A dominant female that's prepared to protect her property

If you have come to this page more than likely you have issues with aggressive dogs. A number of pages on my web site (including this one) contain emails about dog fights. I have places my personal comments under many of these emails.

In addition we offer training resources. I have produced DVD titled:

DEALING WITH DOMINAT AND AGGRESSIVE DOGS This DVD demonstrates how to break up a dog fight if you are alone.

Dog fights are violent, loud and dangerous events. I get emails every day on dog fights. As I wrote this description I got 2 emails. In email the family had two dogs . Their female GSD had just killed their dachshund. In the second email this family's dog had just been in a fight with a neighbors dog and done $1,400 damage.

In the mid 1990's I wrote an article on How to Break Up A Dog Fight - that article is still on my web site. This 52 Minute CD is an update of that article. The information in the podcast and on the CD has more details on making the decision of even trying to step in to break up a fight, it discusses many methods used to break up fights and it tells how to break up a fight when you are alone. There is an also extensive section on preventing dogs fights.

The CD will play in any CD player.

Question:

Dear Ed,

I am an avid lover of German Shepherds and am currently working my up to a breeder of this wonderful dog. I have two German dogs right now and a female American line dog that is not
spayed (but will be soon) that I am not breeding.

My problem stems from this American-lines female. Let me give you the history.

I had a 7-year-old Bull mastiff rescue named Roxie when I purchased Rajea, the American-lines female, as a 4-month-old pup. Growing up, I kept the two separated because Roxie was very intolerant of puppy behavior. Not to say that she was aggressive, she would only take so much and then make the point that she wanted to be left alone.

Rajea grew up with Roxie. They interacted in the home with us on a daily basis and were only separated when put out in the yard unsupervised. There were no problems until Rajea hit about 18 months
old.

At that point, I let the two girls out together, thinking that since Rajea had outgrown her puppy stupidity, things would be fine. I quickly found out I was wrong. Rajea immediately went to Roxie and " puffed up" in Roxie's face. A short fight ensued before I could break them up, but both only received minor cuts and scrapes.

I then made a rule that the two were never to cross paths unsupervised, because the only time Rajea would pull the "puff up" routine was if both girls were outside together without me or my husband being in the yard. Roxie was also the only dog that Rajea pulled this with, she was fine with all the other shepherds, both male and female at that point.

Then came the fateful day that would change everything. Despite my edict not to leave the two girls out together, my mother let both out at the same time one day when I was not home and left before brining one or both of them in. I came home to a blood-bath. Roxie sustained injuries that ended her life while Rajea came away without a scratch.

Now, Rajea has become VERY aggressive with all other FEMALE dogs in our household. She does not bother the male dogs at all and where once she did not attack the other shepherd females, she now does. No female dog in our home is safe with her.

If my husband or myself are around, she will not try to attack. It is only when we are not present that she will pull this. She has been obedience trained since puppyhood and is very submissive to both my husband and I. She also takes orders from our 7-year-old daughter without a fight. It seems that she knows her place when we are around, but then turns into a terror the minute we have our backs turned.

I have kept her separated from the other dogs and tried denying her attention. That made no difference, other than when I did give her attention, she soaked it up. I have tried Alpha-rolling her, but as I said, she does not have a dominance (or aggression) issue with me and submits easily. I do not want to have to find her another home or put her to sleep without first exhausting every avenue, because I love this dog and made a commitment when I brought her home.

I know that I must have done something wrong somewhere, but as I don't have this problem with any of my other shepherds who have been raised the same exact way, I'm not sure what it is I did. Anything you could do to help me would be so greatly appreciated.

I know that you must be busy, but wanted an expert's opinion on what can be done to solve this dilemma. Thank you so much for any help you can give me.

Sasha

Ed's Comment on the death of a dog in a dog fight:

Sasha

This death was 100% preventable. I don’t know where to draw a line in the sand and flat out blame an owner. I guess it should be with the death of a dog. In reality where would a better place be?

YOU ARE A COMPLETLY IRRESPONSIBLE pet owner!!!! Thanks god it was not a person that died.

If you have read any portion of my web site you will see that I don’t mince words on certain subjects that I feel strongly about. I feel pretty strongly about dogs that die in a preventable dog fight.

The reason your fight happened was because you and your husband did not understand pack drive, rank drive and dominance in dogs. Rank drive becomes a serious issue with many same-sex dogs when they begin to mature. This happens between 18 months and 30 months - but them you already found this out. This is the reason the fights began.

I can't buy into the mother excuse either. Had you done your homework your mother would not have made this mistake. It was your responsibility as a pet owner to educate yourself and the people you designate as caregivers for your dogs. You did neither.

I will use this email to help educate others. Maybe others can learn from the death of your pet.

With this said I will say that ALPHA ROLLS are very dangerous. I explain this in my web site and in my training DVD DEALING WITH DOMINAT AND AGGRESSIVE DOGS.

The fact that you continue to allow other dogs near this female is a HUGE MISTAKE. It is irresponsible and dangerous. I strongly suggest that you read the article I wrote on how to break up a dog fight without getting bit. You can find these if you go to the list of training articles and scroll down.

I am sure there are those that say I am too hard on you. To those people I ask that they put themselves in the mind of the older dog in it's last minutes of life. As yourself if this is how you would like to close out your chapter.

Ed Frawley


Can we allow our dog to continue sleeping on the bed with us if we do EVERYTHING else you say? Is it ever okay for a dog to sleep on the bed? Perhaps if there are no behavioral problems to begin with, or if they have been corrected and established for some length of time? Please, there HAS to be a way! We are very attached to sleeping with our dog as he has never not slept with us except if our daughter wants him, or when he gets too hot under the covers or needs more room, then he chooses to go to the couch in the front room (maybe we're more attached to the set up than he is). I'm sure that last sentence will land this in the "Dumb and Dumber" category, but I have to be honest.

Thanks for all your hard work in this field that has allowed you to provide us with all the information, experience, products, and resources that you offer thru this website! I really do respect and trust your guidance.

PS: Also, I very recently sustained a dog bite thru the calf of my leg when I felt obligated to stop a fight between my mothers two Great Danes as I was house sitting by myself for her. It was between a mother (5yrs) and daughter (2 yrs). As awful and unfortunate as it was that the mother did not survive, I on the other hand was very lucky and fortunate that I did. It was a nightmare that I am still dealing with today and probably always will. My need for information and support are what led me to your site. I wish I had this information beforehand! As for my mother, I haven't heard from her since the day I left her house even though I have attempted to contact her in more ways than one. Go figure that one! I think the answer to that is on the narcissist’s website.
Thanks again.


Hello, I'm writing you today because I have been reading almost every page of your website and have learned a lot from it. My situation is that I have a 5yr old female mutt, 3 yr old female pit-bull mix, and 1 1/2 yr old male boxer. My dogs are great. I have one problem with the two females, they fight. It all started about 2 yrs ago. They will be fine for several months and then out of the blue they will start fighting. After we break them up we keep them separated for a couple of days and then they will lick each others wounds and then they a perfectly happy for several months. The good thing is that the boxer stays far away when they do start fighting. We got the oldest dog from the pound and she was full grown and we had her about a yr and then we got the female pit-bull mix and she was only 6wks old and they were great together. My question is that the oldest one has a real close bond with the male boxer. Every were the oldest one is the boxer is right there with her. The pit-bull mix is always out in the yard just being distant but they have there moments were they all play together and they seem like a good group of dogs. It seems like the only time they fight is when there is an environmental change as moving houses are family temporally living with us. What do you suggest? Like I said they do not fight daily they fight occasionally. They went all of last yr without fighting and then the just fought the other day for the first time in a while. Thank you.


I currently have three dogs, two of which are about 5 years old the third which is between 3-5. The first two I have owned since they were puppies. One is a mutt which I have been told is part lab, chow, pit greyhound. No one can say for sure, the other is a black lab. When they were younger they got into a couple of fights, I would say maybe once a year or so. Once I got the third dog, a pit mix, there have been a few more fights. I know there were a couple of times they fought while I was not at home, I know this cause one would have a minor wound. There was one fight that the mutt did not want to share a toy, I was not present, I was out of town and the people who were watching my house informed me. Another time I was playing with the pit and had her trapped between my legs, big mistake as I have now learned, and the mutt found it a perfect opportunity to mount the pit, a fight ensued. After that they have only been in two other fights and both originated once the mutt tried to mount my lab. The pit does not like that and would go defend the lab. My lab and pit have never fought.

Now in the past few weeks, (month or so) my mutt attacked my lab fortunately my pit was in another room the first time and the second and third time I was able to grab her, the pit, to prevent her involvement. I have done a lot of what you have said to show dominance, up until 4-5 months ago they would sleep in the living room. Recently I have allowed them to stay in my room, but never on my bed, once in a while they try to jump on and I firmly tell them get down which they do. I have given them a little more access to the house could this be part of the reason for the sudden aggression?

For the most part they all get along, on a majority of the days they will all play chase each other, in a playful manner, etc. Even a couple of times after a fight they will be playing again in a couple of hours or less. In the last two fights between my lab and mutt, it was basically the mutt taking control she would grab her by the neck and shake her, but she started both by putting her head on her shoulders then biting down. Even after these two horrible fights there were no wounds on either dog, fortunately. I obviously care tremendously for all three, and have inquired to see if anyone would be interested in one of them, but to no avail. In the last day or so their last fight was a day ago my lab is acting scared. They are never aggressive towards humans, would me taking away some of their space and making them sleep in the living room again help? Thanks in advance for any assistance you can give.


Hi Ed, I really enjoyed reading your Q&A’s and Testimonials about dog fights. I wish I wasn't interested in such a thing but as many of your messages, we never expect fights from our loving pets. We have an 8 year old Wire Haired Fox Terrier (Muffy) and a 1 year old little cock-a-poo Roxie). They've always gotten along well but ever so often lately, Muffy will attach Roxie, usually regarding food or attention from me (for ex: I'll be sitting holding Roxie and Muffy will come over, I was petting her and my littlest daughter came to take Muffy and hold her, well Muffy just jumped at Roxie and they started fighting. Typically, they do not fight to kill and we can scoop one up before anything happens, we crate them and they're friends again. The problem really comes now that we have a 65 lb 9 month old Bouvier (Darcy). Darcy is so passive and mellow and idolizes little 11 Ib Roxie. They play non-stop. Muffy is not as interested in playing unless they're outside and they run around like maniacs. The problem now is when Muffy attacks Roxie, Darcie will come from wherever she is and grab Muffy of course the first time I got bit twice and the second time my husband and I worked together to separate them. It appears, Darcie is totally protecting Roxie (and me, as we are part of her "herd"). We love all our dogs and don't want to give any away but also don't want Muffy dead as the size difference is no competition. As this is so obviously "incident driven," do you have any suggestions reo shock collars, pepper spray, etc. Once we separate them they do not go back at each other, just lick each other in the faces. Our vet recommends a pet behaviorist, but she's booked up for a least a month.


I have been visiting your site after an incident between 2 boxer females that has me concerned. One is an old lady and a 16 month year old. Who we've had 2 months. The older female (and a male as well) are my husband's "kids from a previous marriage" I'm thinking this will be their last visit for a while until I get a better handle on dealing with Gracie. Your site was very informative as to some of the subtle mistakes we were making. It was clearly a dominance fight with the young one the only one really fighting. The older girl just waited for us to make Gracie let go of her ear. Gracie wasn't giving ground and I found a splash of vinegar in her direction made her unable to let go fast enough. It had to have stung Gunny's cut on her ear but we are damn lucky there wasn't any real damage. Gracie had her and once she had her in the headlock and a mouth full of ear she just went still and hung on. She wasn't trying to kill her but she was definitely letting her opinion on who the boss was be known. Either way its unacceptable.

I have already called my husband, the softy in the family, and went over some of the mistakes that have been occurring and why he/we HAVE to make her toe the line with our commands so that she knows they aren't negotiable or applicable only when she feels like it. It kind of struck me as those parents that just want to be their kids pal and not do the tougher parts of parenting like making them eat something other than French fries and make them go to bed no matter how much wailing happens.

I think we handled the introduction of the other 2 poorly as well. We did it slowly but he really wanted them to be "friends". After reading your articles I'm thinking that Gracie may have felt her place in our pack in jeopardy. He was glad to see his older children and while I still lavished attention on Gracie while he was petting Gunny, Barry is definitely the preferred human. The females weren't initially fighting but there was some jockeying for position and we tried to each take one and love on her but now I'm thinking that Gracie may have felt we weren't protecting her and her position in our pack from this strange dog. The were fine for hours in the yard alone where we could spy on them. Its only around us in the evening that the dominance issues came up. We were worried about them so we tried to keep them separated if we were around. During a rotation of indoor/outdoor time between the girls Gracie decided to make her move and slipped free and grabbed Gunny.

Maybe I'm misreading the psychological aspect to this but either way I am researching a trainer to assist us but just wanted to drop you a quick line of thanks and to mention Vinegar as something around the house that proved useful. Your site was reassuring that all hope was not lost for Gracie. I was afraid the only option was going to be to put her down as "aggression is incurable." Many thanks.


I am writing to request your help/advise. I have a serious dog fight situation recurrence that I am doing my best to try to correct. I apologize for this letter being so long, but want to make sure you have a history overview to help you analyze my situation. I have read several of the articles on your website and feel I now have a slightly better understanding of dealing with the dominant and dog-aggressive dog, but feel compelled to write in case there is anything further you can suggest.
I guess the best thing is to start with a brief history of myself, and my dogs.

I have two Australian Cattle Dogs that are inside and outside dogs. They are in the home with me when I am home in the evenings, and sleep in at night. They stay outside during the day when I am at work, in a large kennel run, which I have recently separated into two runs so they have some space apart. My blue bitch, Bailey is 6years old, and my red bitch Ty is probably near the same age, possibly a little older. Both are very high-energy dogs, Bailey more so than Ty. Both are spayed.

I have been around dogs my entire life. My mom bred and showed Collies and Corgis and I pretty much learned to walk holding on to one of her old bitches. I showed as well, and worked for an all-breed handler for a time, so am familiar with lots of breeds, temperaments, etc. I also worked many years for a vet's office and got used to seeing a lot of breeds and a lot of dog fight injuries. I never dreamed that I would have to deal with them personally at home. I have never had so much frustration or worry however, about dogs as I now have with my own two.

I will start with history of my blue bitch Bailey. I have had her since she was about 3 weeks old. She is out of a litter that a friend of mine had, and her dam got a bad pyo infection and had to have emergency spay. I helped my friend bottle feed the entire litter, for several weeks at my home and when the litter went back to her house at 5-6 weeks of age, I kept Bailey with me, and did not send her with her littermates. A lot of her behavior issues, I am certain may stem from her not being socialized enough with other dogs or littermates as a young puppy and then was amplified by the fact that she did not get socialized enough with people either. I have worked for a vet’s office for several years and during her time as a puppy parvovirus was running rampant in our town, killing off hundreds of dogs in the county. So instead of taking her with me everywhere like I had planned one and exposing her to strangers everywhere, she was tucked away at home safe in her kennel, while I bleached clothes and shoes everyday after work. I blame myself for these early mistakes, as I firmly believe she is a dog that needed heavy socialization and parental discipline, and I just did not realize it at the time.

Basically, she tends to be fear aggressive towards strangers, and is also dominant aggressive at times with me. She has never bitten me or shown that she wants to harm me, but she "talks back" when getting corrected, or when she is resisting obedience practice, etc. She does the classic things you say on your site, like pushing into me to pet her, tries to jump on the bed to sleep with me, even though she has her own bed on the floor, barks at me if I'm not paying attention to her, etc. I don't have any children and I have spoiled her in many ways much to my now disappointment. Bailey is also super protective and possessive of me, and her home, toys, etc., as many Cattle Dogs can be. She is also' the smartest dog I have ever know in my entire life, and I always have to be two steps ahead of her to keep her out of trouble. I took her through obedience class series twice, at about 6 and then 8 mos. old. She got dismissed the first time by the instructor who very blatantly told me he did not like ACD's. She disrupted his class with excitement and barking too much and he dismissed her. She loves to work, loves a job, loves obedience, etc. She really wants to please, but I am at my wits end with her sometimes.

She has been my only dog until approx. 2 years ago, in into the picture comes Ty. Approx two and a half tears ago, my aunt passed away. Ty was her dog, and was one of about 4 dogs at that household. My aunt had a very aggressive dog in the mix that picked dog fights constantly and Ty usually ended up in the fight as well. My uncle was concerned that she would get badly hurt with him gone so much, if a fight erupted while away, so after the funeral, I took Ty home with me. Ty, from what I knew of her was usually very submissive with people, and even with other dogs. She's the soft type that flips over and pees if you raise your voice to her, and walks around with ears down tail down, and licks the dominant dog. Because of this, I thought she would get along with Bailey fine, but I underestimated the situation. Ty is a super sweet dog too, never does any wrong, always wants to please, etc.

During this time I lived in California, I had a medium sized yard, and small house. I introduced her into the living quarters slowly and tried to make sure I gave Bailey enough attention so she would not be jealous. During the first year or so I had two small I dogfights between the two, both times over a toy issue or a correction order I gave Ty. I forgot to mention, If I have to use even a slightly harsh voice to correct Ty, Bailey runs to her to act as my administrator and correct her as well. For this reason, I have to be very careful not to yell at the dogs, or Ty thinks she's in trouble and Bailey thinks she's gonna beat the crap out of her for it. I thought that Ty was just a victim but it appears, that when a dominant dogs pushes her buttons too many times, she decides every once in awhile she's gonna fight back, and fight hard.

I then moved to a new state, into a rental house, with a very small yard. Tension was high in the household, due to the new location for me as well as for the dogs, and not enough exercise room for the dogs either. During the year and a half that I have lived here I now have a dog fight every 2-3 months. So far, non-serious, no severe injuries, etc. A few small skin tears, small bandaging jobs, and that's usually from me trying to pull the dogs apart. I have been lucky in that they have never fought when I am away that I am aware of, they seem to fight only near me. I think it's a combination of jealousy, dominance, etc.

Ty has now bonded to me, but knows to keep at a distance at times if Bailey seems grumpy or irritated. Ty, for the most part stays submissive, while Bailey follows her around the house, nose in her butt, telling her what to do, what not to do, where to go, often with a tiny growl in her throat. When I am at home, I am correcting Bailey all the time, with a really harsh "no" a tug on her nylon choke collar, etc. She watches me and knows her behavior is not acceptable, but still day after day tries to get away with it anyway. She's jealous too, jumps in between my body and Ty, steals toys out of Ty's mouth, etc. Bailey is mainly the instigator, but on rare occasion I have seen Ty jump her and start the fight.

I have now moved again, this time for the last time. I bought 10 acres and a new house. Have setup separate kennel areas, and now separate inside bed areas attached to the kennels so they can get in out of the weather. The stress of the move has been hard on us all, but I am hoping that the new runs and the big yard will really help. They seem like they are much more aggravated when they cannot exercise and play enough, so I am doing all that I can think of to make their environment a better place. Knowing full well it's better to keep them separated and give them time apart, I have spent quite a lot of money trying to better their environment and I'm just not seeing results. I am a firm believer in discipline, but don't know what direction to move in now, or what further methods of correction I should try. Bailey is really responsive when she is not distracted.
She learns very quickly, works for praise, playtime, or food, and gets her feelings hurt when she is in trouble. I'm hoping those characteristics will help in her training. After a fight that she starts I have smacked her, tightened up on her collar and pushed her down to the ground holding her there telling her "no" loudly. She responds aggressively back towards me, hackles up with growls at first and then changes to submission and quiets.

She then sulks for hours, thinking about and I think she finally "got it" but the next day, it's back to the same stuff. I'm worried my responding to her aggression with dominant aggression is aggravating the situation. I ask myself what if I'm actually making it worse? The tension seems to be better, seems to be lessened, but since the new move over the past 2 months, I have had 2 near-fights, one small fight and one very large one that I ended up finally getting hurt badly with stitches in my face. I am exhausted with worry that this will continue and putting one of these dogs down or placing them in a different home is NOT an option to me at this time. I am attached to both of them, and enjoy spending time with them. I just have to do something to try to prevent the continued fighting. I have to do play time separate right now, worry about just taking them out in the morning to the kennels, and having a fight, etc. It's heart wrenching for me, and it kills me to see two dogs that I love more than anything try to hurt or possibly kill each other. I have gone from panic and terror yelling type reactions to more calm, controlled movements to stop the fights, and usually only luck helps me. If I can't get it stopped at the beginning, it's almost impossible to get them to let go. These dogs also, as I'm sure you are aware of have super strong necks and jaws like some of the larger breeds and it's a battle I can't win.

I am alone most of the time. I do not usually have a 2nd person around to help me break up a fight, so it is amazing I have been able to break them up at all. I have been lucky enough to usually have a door or kennel nearby, but fear the day I cannot break them up one of them is going to get really hurt. Now that I have been hurt because as usual, I was more concerned for their safety than my own, I am even more fearful of what will happen if I cannot get them apart. I have only used choke chain and nylon choke collars on them, which I like. I do have a pinch collar for Bailey but have rarely used it because I am afraid of damaging her neck. I am willing to try anything that will ease this situation at this point, and am asking for your help. Since I do not have human children, my pets are my children so-to-speak. I have shed tears and blood over this and need your help. If there is anything you can suggest to me, I will try it. My dogs are my family, and I want more than anything to be able for us to live indoors and out harmoniously, without leaving them locked in their kennel runs forever. Thank you,


Hello, I was looking for a website that would help when I happened upon yours, which is great! I would like to know which of your videos (DVD) would be best for training a dominant dog? We have 3 females and have had a problem with fights for about a year. I went to the hospital today because of it and have had enough!! The aggressive dog of the bunch has ALL of the classic signs you talk about it your article "Dealing with a Dominant Dog". She sleeps in the bed, growls
at the food bowl, fights over toys, etc. She listens most of the time but needs some real training. Any advice on which video is best would help. Thanks.


I have read your website and found many helpful things. I just wish I could get you to address my situation personally and I would feel much better. You seem very knowledgeable and I like it that you get straight to the point, no extra stuff.

I have a dog that is a pretty much rot. The dad was full the mom rot and chocolate lab she (sage) is almost 2 and fixed. We have had no problems with her, other than she is big, 110? Maybe? And she is hyper from time to time. She has never been mean to my children, 12 and 15 months, although she likes to lick them in the face from time to time. We do have some issues with her when you go up to her, she is not one to sit down and let you pet her she wants your attention and tries to lean on you a lot, but not in a mean way, just rubbing on you. Anyway, we love her and I am sure a dog of that size tends to be hyper from time to time. Here is the problem our neighbor has 3 dogs a small dog, a lab, and a pincher, he lets them all run, our other neighbor has a Jack Rus.Ter. and our 3rd neighbor behind us have a boxer. Our dog stays tied up, we are putting up a fence for our dog at this time but the other dogs are always in our yard she had ran with these dogs several times in our yard when we allowed her to be free in the yard while we were outside with her (previously) once she got off the leash and went up to the house with the boxer and we found out she attacked the boxer (female), because the boxer was after the small jack rus. That was with her. (her and the Jack rus. (male) have always been close as puppies and stay close together in the same yard area, owned by me, but the owner of the Jack rents a small apartment we have. She attacked this boxer to the point where it had to go the vet (its leg was cut) we paid for this and vowed not to let her off the leash ever again, until the fence was done the lab (female) dog is always in heat and the owners do not fix her (they have 3 dogs) lab, small dog, pincher. This brings many other male dogs to our yard and the neighborhood on a regular basis. They will not tie her up, my dog stays tied up but she watches these dogs in the yard all day, in her yard, at least 4-5 of them a day.

Well the other day when my husband was at home he let her loose (cause he is an idiot.) he said he felt bad for her because all the other dogs were in the yard, all but the boxer, dogs she always gets along with she was fine he said, played with them as normal, he watched her with her leash in hand but then she smelled the lab, who was in heat, who normally she doesn't mind. I mean sometimes I find the lab sleeping in the dog house with my dog, she has a large dog house, so I know they are okay with each other, but this time she attacked the lab, and my husband said it was really bad, he had to jerk her and pull on her, and she was really letting this lab have it. She normally listens well to us, to sit and come to us and stuff. I'm at a loss, what do you think is going on with her? Is this something that has to do with her breed? I know rots can be aggressive?? My biggest concern, is this behavior a warning sign that she may bite my kids? Like I said she has never showed aggress ion towards them, once when my daughter 12 was jumping on the trampoline. Sage was loose in the yard (before we kept her tied up all the time. Cause we use to let her off in the yard of an evening and she would not leave the yard.) Sage went under the trampoline and she didn't know it and she jumped on her by accident. My daughter said that Sage stood at the edge of the trampoline and barked at her a few times, and my daughter said "okay sage, I'm sorry" and that was the only time I have ever heard of anything at all.

Please help me. I love her and I don't want to think she will hurt my children. Is this just her attacking other dogs because she is dog aggressive? It seems to be females too. Thanks.


My problem is my Pembroke Corgi (3 years old, female spayed) and my Border Terrier (2 years old female not spayed) fight. I can't figure out any provocation. They love to play with each other but in every once in awhile the Border Terrier attacks the Corgi and they and I usually end up bleeding.
Most of the fights I find myself alone with them. On the occasion my husband is home, he gets really mad and physical with the dogs and that scares them. One instance he and I were here and he had the Border by the back legs and I had the Corgi by the back legs and the problem is the Border will NOT let go of the Corgi. I don't want to rip open something that will need stitches. So here we are, waiting for the Border to let go to get another hold. HELP. Usually I am here alone with them when the fights start. My husband has been so physical with them after a fight that I was afraid he would
hurt them BUT that seems to help when he is around and he yells at them they don't fight when one is about to break out. I don't have that luxury. I read your part on putting a lead around of the the dogs hind legs and tying it off to something solid. My problem is the Border will not let go and I have little strength to hold on very long and wait. Having them both muzzled all the time is not a solution for me. I feel that is cruel. Please if you can help.


I found your website when I searched for dog aggression on Google and I hope that you can help me. I have two dogs, one a 3 1/2 year old boston terrier (female, spade, 18 Ibs) and a 1 1/2 year old boxer (female, spade, 60 lbs). They are both very good with people and with other dogs, but sometimes, they are not so good with each other and lately it has gotten worse. They get into vicious fights with one another and they are very difficult to separate once these fights break out (As a smaller female, I find it very difficult and scary to get control of the boxer). It is difficult to tell if one or the other starts the fights, because they happen so quickly. When they first started getting into these fights, it seemed like there was always a trigger, such as someone new coming over to the house or a piece of food being dropped on the floor. Now, however, they will fight for absolutely no reason; the boxer will just look at the boston terrier and a fight breaks out. We cannot give these dogs any chew toys or anything anymore because this causes fights. During the day when we are at work, we put the boxer in a cage and the boston terrier is free to roam the house (we block off the room with the cage with a gate). We are trying to leave the boxer out of her cage from time to time while we are at work, but I am afraid now that when , open the front door when' get home from work, they will get too excited and fight.

We have contacted a behavioral specialist in our area and have set up an appointment. The problem is, however, that she cannot meet with us until April 12th. I am just wondering if you can suggest anything that we can do in the meantime to keep these dogs from fighting. We have tried separating them, but this just seems to upset the boxer even more. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks


I took on the responsibility of a rescue 3 year old, 100 Ib, GSD, Elsa. I've had many GSDs and have never had the following problem. My other dogs came from reputable breeders. I also have an 8 year old GSD who has a wonderful temperament. I am baffled by Elsa. She came to me after being in a wreck of a marriage where there was a lot of domestic abuse. Her anger to humans has been transferred to biting brooms, while I'm sweeping, biting chainsaws while operating, and yesterday getting under a hoe while I was tilling. She is a nervous dog, always circling, and scoping. I kept her separate from Emma for 2 months. Yesterday while I was hoeing the garden she pinned Emma down and they had a terrible dog fight. I pried them apart with the handle of the hoe. Elsa while on top suffered terribly. Emma was unscathed. She also urinates whenever my brother comes near her kennel. She seems very bonded to me and my daughter, but I'm not willing to take any chances.
I have called the rescue shelter where she came from, who also trains dogs. She said she now believes this is neurological, not simply a behavioral problem. Is there anything I could have done, is there anything I can do, or is she a time bomb? I am trying to seek your advice. Please give me some idea of the direction I need to go. My sincerest thanks.


I recently adopted two female dogs from our local shelters. I live in Melbourne, Florida and am having a hard time getting a trainer to help. They seem to want to work only when it is convenient for them, which is really frustrating for me.

Abby is a 3-4 yr old 20 lb (approx. 12 inch) beagle who recently finished heart worm treatment and is feeling fine now and was long since spayed before we got her on March 4. Molly is 1 yr old 40 lb terrier (possible Airedale) mix, who was in foster care December 28, 2004 because she had puppies. We adopted her and she was spayed on March 3.

The problem is this, for the first two weeks they got along great with one fight, which I expected as I have had multiple dogs all my life (usually mutts). Abby showed some dominance to Molly such as "humping" her when she was on her back on the floor. It looked like they were going to resolve without blood shed. Molly suddenly began attacking Abby when Abby was in her crate and Molly was being brought back from a walk. Now, Abby has the attitude of "I will attack first and take you out". She is very aggressive towards Molly and appears to be fearful of people when we walk by growling at them.

Please let me know if your videos will help us or if you know of any trainers in the area. We do not want to give one of them up but will if it comes to that. We tried one trainer but she only did "reward" training. I think they need a more aggressive trainer. I would like to sit on the couch as we used to do and watch TV without them being in their crates but beside me. You seem to have the approach that we need, but unfortunately for us, you are not close by. Any help or recommendations you can offer would be greatly appreciated.


I have a mother and daughter. The mother is 3 and a half and the daughter is 1 and a half. Last night was there first fight. The mother has gotten away from the fight with a wound on her paw, the daughter however has 4 wounds on her face. On your website it says that the fighting is only going to get worse. If I don’t control it. I guess the dogs see my husband as the Alpha male. My husband is in the military and was not here last night. How Do I become the Alpha male? I am going to go and purchase the muzzles like you said and that stick. I am also thinking about kennels now. Is there anything that I can do to stop the fight before it starts? Are they trying to be the biggest baddest? Neither one of them are fixed, could that be the problem? I would appreciate any ideas you have because I don’t want this to happen again. Thank you.


I just found your website tonight and was reading all of the information you have posted and it has been very helpful. We have three outside dogs and from the articles you have written have the beginnings of some dog dominance issues. We have a 14 year old blind basset hound that still gets around very well considering her age and blindness. We live out in the country and have a fenced in yard, fortunately she had her sight when we first moved here so she gets around fairly well. She lost her sight due to glaucoma about 2 years ago. We also have a 4 year old male rottweiler and then a female mutt, lab mix I think that we took in about a year ago. Everyone has got along fine until last night when the younger mutt Lucy attacked the older female Quincy. The male Sampson joined in the fight but did not show the aggression that Lucy the younger dog did. My husband and I were able to pull them apart but Lucy was very aggressive towards Quincy and tried to restart the fight as soon as we let her go after. We immediately crated the two younger dogs and have brought Quincy inside but don't know what to do long term. I don't know if they sense that Quincy is old and sick or after reading your articles am inclined to think it’s a dominance issue with the younger trying to up her status in the dog pack. The problem is other than keeping them separated from here on out is there another solution? We don't feel it’s fair that the older dog suffer and were even looking into finding another home for the younger dog Lucy. Our only concern there is that Sampson and Lucy are such good playmates and Quincy is too old to play like they do, would finding another less aggressive female dog solve our problem? I plan to buy your video on basic dog obedience but didn't want to wait till received it to start fixing our situation. Thanks for any advice you can give.


Hi Ed,

I have a 12 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback bitch & a 8 month old Boerboel bitch (SA Mastiff) They cuddle up etc and most of the time get on - but since the Ridgebacks first season - they seem to have an issue sometimes.

The Ridgeback is scared of the Boerboel , tail goes down etc - meanwhile the Boerboel is the submissive one when playing - ie always showing her belly.

I think the problem is that they have not worked out between them who is top dog.
Your thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

Julie



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