How To Stop Aggression Between Dogs

Aside from physical altercations, aggressive behavior can also take the form of mounting, blocking, encroaching on another dog, posing, glaring, and vocalization. Dogs living in the same home might grow hostile to one another for a variety of reasons. Aggression might be motivated by fear or anxiety, be related to dominance, be territorial, be possessive, etc. Some canines have “alliance violence When this happens, dogs only act aggressively around their owners and behave calmly by themselves. These dogs frequently fight over the owner’s attention and have issues when they try to meet the owner at the same time. Intact dogs may exhibit hormone-driven hostility. When intact males act aggressively toward other males, while females act aggressively when they are in heat, or when a mother is defending her pups, this sort of aggressiveness is suspected. Spaying and neutering the dogs may be beneficial in these situations. Changes in the household that result in an unstable hierarchy, such as the addition of a new dog, the social maturity of a puppy (occurs around 3 years of age), the deteriorating health of an aged pet, or the passing of a canine or human family member, are other frequent reasons of hostility. Owners need to be aware that the social structure of dogs is not always clear-cut. A dog’s place in the hierarchy may shift over time or in response to changing circumstances (e.g. one dog may get priority with toys, while another may be the top dog when it comes to food). This makes determining the “tricky alpha dog If a dog did not receive adequate socialization as a puppy, has had social trauma (connected to humans or other dogs), or is not properly trained, they may be inclined to aggression. According to studies, aggressive canines may experience up to 50% separation anxiety and 30% phobias or generalized anxiety. This lends credence to the idea that many of these canines resort to aggressiveness when confronted with unknown, unsettling, or frightening circumstances. Owner conflict is frequently a concern because up to 20% of dogs who are violent toward other dogs are also aggressive toward their owners. Interfering with customary social interactions, rewarding aggressive behavior, frequently scolding/yelling/getting upset (increases dog’s tension and arousal), owners responding inconsistently to dog’s behavior, and lack of training/control of dogs are all examples of owner behavior that may unintentionally contribute to aggression. Aggression is treatable. First, the canines should be assessed to rule out any health issues, such as hormonal imbalances or painful illnesses, that could contribute to hostility (e.g. arthritis). It is important to assess the situation’s overall safety. Rehoming may be advised if there have been severe dog or human bites, if aggression triggers are unpredictable, or if the living conditions make therapy challenging.

Aggression Treatment

Aggression requires time and effort to treat. The time it takes to observe results can range from weeks to months. Improvement is shown in 96% of patients with correct management, with a median improvement in aggression reported at 69%. Treatment entails

1) Steer clear of hostile circumstances and triggers

2) Launching a “nothing in life is free” campaign

3) Favoring one particular canine

4) Counterconditioning and desensitization

5) Drugs that lessen anxiety and aggression, such fluoxetine

One or more of these methods might be suggested, depending on the circumstance. The hostility is typically not successfully resolved by medication alone. Success requires some kind of behavior modification (#1-4). Having intact pets spayed and neutered may also be beneficial. It may be advised to take the dogs for walks or runs since exercise has a calming impact. Punishment should be avoided since it can make the animal more hostile or direct it at the owner. To ensure consistency in household routines and interactions with the dogs, every human family member needs to be on the same page. Dogs receive conflicting messages from treatment regimens that are applied inconsistently over time or by different family members, which leads to treatment failure.

Avoiding Triggers

To start with, stay away from circumstances that could lead to aggressiveness. Resource competition is a common trigger. Food, rewards, toys, favorite resting spots, owner closeness, or owner attention are some examples of resources. Dogs should only be fed, given treats, played with, and permitted to greet owners separately in these situations. Deny the dogs unrestricted access to their favorite foods, snacks, toys, and resting spots. Exciting circumstances like welcoming people, playing, going on walks or rides in the automobile, crossing the property border, barking at onlookers, etc. are other popular triggers. In these circumstances, it may be beneficial to separate the dogs or to take action before the dogs become overexcited. Sometimes it’s necessary to fully separate the dogs before reintroducing them gradually using desensitization and counter-conditioning training. If the dogs are kept apart, ensure sure they are unable to see one other or display violent postures toward one another through gates, doors, or windows.

Nothing in Life is Free

Through this training, the owner and their pets can communicate more consistently and with improved communication. In essence, the dogs have to work for their food, treats, toys, stroking, and human attention. They accomplish this by obediently obeying owner directions. These instructions can range from a straightforward come-sit-stay to a thorough obedience lesson. If the dogs haven’t been trained in obedience before, start by practicing the come, sit, and stay commands. The resource (food, attention, treats, etc.) is only given to each dog when he has complied with the command. Ignore any forceful or attention-seeking behavior. The owner, not the dog, should start and end every engagement. Work with each dog separately at first, then with the others when it feels secure. Dogs learn to maintain their composure in a circumstance that would have previously prompted a fight by practicing sitting or lying down when a resource is present. Independence training could be useful if alliance hostility is the blame for fights.

Showing Preference

Selecting one dog to always have priority access to things like food, snacks, preferred spots to relax, toys, the leash being placed on first, access to doorways, and attention is another effective strategy. Additionally, this dog should get the best supplies (preferred place on the couch, favorite toy, etc). The elder dog or the dog that was purchased first may initially be given preference. Try switching your choice to the other dog if after six weeks there has been no progress. Giving one dog priority access to resources lessens conflict because it adds order and lessens unpredictability. Dogs learn the sequence in which they will acquire resources when used in conjunction with the Nothing in Life is Free program, and the dog that receives a resource second must wait until the first dog has the chance to earn the resource.

Densensitization & Counter-Conditioning

In this program, the dogs are gradually introduced to one another so they can learn that good things happen when the other dog is nearby. Leashes, head halters, and/or basket muzzles should be used to keep the dogs under complete control as needed. The distance between each handler and dog should be sufficient to prevent either dog from displaying any signs of aggressiveness. Pets are then urged to follow directions for obedience and are then pampered or played with as a reward. The handlers’ voices should be lively and joyful. Avoid sounding irate or disappointed, and refrain from imposing any penalties. When teaching dogs for obedience, gradually close the gap between them between each session. Increase the distance and reduce it more slowly if hostile behavior is observed. Sessions ought to be brief and regular. Walking the dogs together is a fantastic method to foster a sense of companionship and allow the animals let off some steam, provided that they are not violent on leash or during walks (most are not unless hostility is severe). Start with walking between the dogs while wearing head halters, then move on to having the dogs walk side by side. When pausing to cross the street, dogs should be trained to sit and stay at a safe distance apart.


If your pet needs medicine to assist treat aggression, your veterinarian should be consulted. Painkillers may be necessary if the dog is acting aggressively because of its pain. Fluoxetin is the drug that is most frequently recommended for aggressiveness. An SSRI is fluoxetin (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). Results may not be visible for two to four weeks. Your veterinarian could advise changing the dosage to get the desired outcomes. Fluoxetine not only lessens aggression but also eases anxiety. Sedation, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, agitation, and seizures are some of the less common fluoxetine side effects. In individuals who have a history of seizures or who are on Tramadol, fluoxetine should be used with caution. It shouldn’t be taken at the same time as MOI drugs.

Other tips

Some dogs might benefit from anti-anxiety products like Thundershirts or Adaptil (spray, collar, diffuser). Additionally beneficial are obedience training, regular exercise, and spaying and neutering.


Both dogs may wear head collars (such as the Gentle Leader) with a trailing leash in addition to avoiding triggers. The dogs can be readily separated from one another if there is aggressive behavior or fighting thanks to the trailing leashes. During dog fights, aversive citronella spray, such as Spray Shield, can be used to startle the dogs apart without really hurting them. Basket muzzles are an option, but they must be worn by all dogs living in the family. Dogs wearing basket muzzles can still eat, drink, and pant. Traditional mouth-shutting muzzles shouldn’t be applied in this circumstance. Dogs should be kept entirely apart if fighting is intense until training and other treatment regimens may be implemented. If the aggression poses a serious safety risk, rehoming should be taken into consideration. To learn more, kindly ask your veterinarian.

How can I prevent my dog from biting my other dog?

Different steps will be necessary depending on what is causing your dog’s hostility toward other dogs in the first place. However, you should follow these guidelines in order to deal with the circumstance when it arises:

No matter how upset you are with your dog for acting aggressively, yelling at them will only make them act more aggressive. Instead, keep your cool and be assertive. Hold your dog back firmly (don’t tug suddenly as this could frighten them as well), then proceed gradually.

Block Their View Of The Other Dog: Your dog will probably calm down if they can’t see the other dog. Simply step in front of your dog’s face to obscure their view if it is not possible to shift them totally out of sight. They may also grow calmer as a result of realizing there is no need for aggression.

Create Neutral Meeting Experiences – By exposing your dog to other canines, you may help them learn that hostility is not necessary, which will likely lead to a decrease in their levels. To help them become accustomed to meeting other dogs, try to introduce your dog to other dogs as early and in a controlled atmosphere as you can.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Well-Walked and Entertained: This is extremely simple, but making sure your dog is happy inside will make them less likely to grow irritated and aggressive toward other people.

Training your dog to be less aggressive toward other people can take some time, as with any sort of training, but persistence is essential. After some time, if your dog’s hostility has not decreased, you should consult a veterinarian because it’s conceivable that something other than just a dog’s behavior, such as an underlying health condition, is negatively affecting their mood.