Many dogs that are very sweet toward all people can exhibit a high level of aggression toward other dogs. While there are some breeds that may be more predisposed to such behavior, it is very important to realize that dog on dog aggression can be present in ANY type of breed.
Sometimes, the aggression will be toward every other dog. In this case, there is a chance that the dog is going to need to be the only dog in the household. Of course, training is an option, and it works in many cases, but not every case.
In other dogs, the aggression will be exhibited only toward dogs that are unfamiliar to the dog showing the aggression. In these cases, you can have other dogs in the home, but must always monitor for signs of aggression between them.
Signs of dog on dog aggression can include staring, growling, and nipping that draws blood or continues after the other dog has shown signs of submission.
If the aggression is only toward unfamiliar dogs, then there are simple steps that you can take to help ensure that your dog does not harm another animal. Avoid bringing your dog to dog parks.
If you must board your dog, be sure to find a place that will allow him to be kept separately from other animals. When you bring your dog to the vet, or other places where he might encounter a new dog, consider muzzling him.
Many owners do not like the idea of muzzling their dog, but it is better than what could happen if he gets into a fight with another dog.
If you see any sign of dog on dog aggression between dogs in your household, there are immediate steps that you MUST take to keep all of your pets safe. Below are some of those steps as well as some other tips.
- No matter the type of aggression that your dog is showing, the most important thing that you can do is to get the dog evaluated by a professional. You must find someone who has experience working with aggressive dogs. Once the evaluation is complete, he will be able to recommend a training plan that will offer the best chance of helping your dog’s behavior. Having your dog or dogs evaluated will also let you know if the behavior you are seeing is actually aggressive behavior or just normal play between dogs. Some people have trouble telling the difference.
- Once your dog has shown ANY sign of aggression toward another dog, you must NEVER leave those dogs alone together. This cannot be stressed enough. Many pet owners have tragic stories about what happened when they ignored growling and other aggressive behavior between their pets. This may mean crating one or both of the animals when you are not there, or simply relegating each to separate rooms.
- Do not ignore even the first sign of aggression. What has saved many dogs from being injured or killed is the fact that many (but not all) aggressive dogs show some sign of the aggression before actually trying to fight with another dog.
If you think that one or more of your dogs is exhibiting signs of dog on dog aggression, don’t panic, but act. Most dogs can be retrained and can go on to make great pets. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and can have tragic results. The sooner you get help, the better.