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  • Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.
    Slobodchikoff is President and CEO of Animal Communications, Ltd., specializing in pet behavior problems and in educating people about the behavior of animals.

« Dogs Do Not Like To Be Left Outside | Main | Karen London: How I Got Into the Field of Canine Behavior »

December 07, 2008


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You made some really good points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


Please help i have a border collie 8 yrs old and a alsation 4 yrs old the alsation grew up with the collie and after the alsations had puppies 2 yrs back she has become very aggressive and has gotten into 3 fights in the last year. what should i do?


I have 2 female pugs who are 8 months old they are sisters from the same litter, they have been fine and recently one of them may be pregnant but for no reason at all they just start fighting really aggressively!!! I don't know what to do about this. One minute they are fine and the next bam fighting begins!!! Help?????



We can't fix your dogs online.

You actually have to work at it.


I have 2 small yorkie girls one is 5yrs old the other 2yrs old they got along just fine for 2yrs until recently they cannot stand the sight of one another. They are okay going out for a walk together but I cannot play ball or let older one off the lead like I used to as she gets too excited and starts on the youngest one they are totally separated due to fights in the past they have drawn blood I don't know how to correct this behaviour anyone have any ideas...they are both un neutered and are pets only never had a litter of puppies.


I just introduced a female mix puppy (fixed) to the household. The male (fixed) Brittany is playful with the pup. The female & unfixed australian blue healer has already mauled the pup 3 times. They initally got along fine (2 months). While still vicious, it seems the fights are getting less fierce. I keep intervening and setting boundaries for each dog. Looks like the playful pup is causing the older healer to "erupt". I put a bell on the healer to gauge her movements in the yard. They respond to commands and socialize well--when I'm w/them, and when watch them through the window, correcting behavior. I'm still worried as I can't be with them 24-7. Any advice?


I have to disagree with Calmassertive regarding your post on 1/26/2010.

I have two female standard schnauzers. For both the schnauzer is the dominant breed what they are mixed with if any is unknown. Both are from shelters and both were older that 3 when adopted. One had behavioral issues although socialization issues is more appropriate. The other one had dominance issues.

I agree that a pet owner needs to take responsibility in caring for two dogs whether shelter or breeder, but to call it ignorance is going too far. For most of the posts I saw on this page can be prevented if you get your dogs fixed unless you give the opportunity of mating at least every 6 months.

Second, there are plenty of certified articles out there that will attest that a bored dog is a very dangerous dog. This does not apply to just walking the dog and making sure they get plenty of exercise. This also applies to mental stimulation as well.

Third, just because one has had a pup or dog from a very young age, even birth, does not mean it is a free ride. Puppies who are not given boundaries will acquire behavioral issues. This comes to the owner working with the dog on a daily bases such as the original article stated; practicing common commands is a great start but that is only the beginning.

Fourth, once your dogs are able to perform the common commands on cue without hesitation or problem occuring the owner should consider challenging the dog.

Observe your dog, see where the weakness is, what needs more work. Dogs also learn at different levels depending on where they are mentally. No dog is a lost cause if the owner(s) are willing to put in that work and effort to help the dog. Many people over look crating their dogs, crating a dog is a safe zone for dogs.

Finally, if the problem is really more than one can handle or resolve on their own, consult with a professional. Either join a group class or have one on one sessions. Find a trainer that you are comfortable with. Ask the trainer what they feel the dogs issue is and go from there.

What my trainer suggested was aside from the commands and physical exercise we give our dogs to also teach them tricks.

My dogs do fight, and they are both a work in progress. Their success is both mine and theirs and their failures the same. What I have learned from all of this is we cannot humanize our dogs, they are animals and pack animals at that. We as humans need to supervise but let the pack handle it. (To a point, if the situation is becoming dangerous to where skin is being broken and fight is turning to aggression intervene immediately.)

The other thing to consider is that the work is never done, and with some dogs the problem will always be there but we as their owners need to control it and that can mean controlling the dogs day to day activity.

Hope this helped. The original post from the dog behavioralist actually helped me a lot. As for all the others..get your dogs fixed!

Ann McCormick

I have a 9yr.old mix female not fixed and a 7month old min.poodle since I brought my husband home in sept' from the nursing home the pup has been growling at my 9yr. old dog and the the older one attacks and a dog fight breaks out I had the pup for 2 months before he came home there wasn't any problem. Now it is everyday sometimes 2 or 3 times a day this happens I feed them seperate give both attention but don't know what is going on with them I have to put the pup in a cage then when I let her out they act like friends for awhile then it starts again. I am having more and more trouble getting them to stop I am afraid one is going to get hurt bad. need help quick going crazy.


We have 2 Females a German sheppersd and a Swish Mountain dog (similar to a Kellpie). We Brought the swish mountain dog from Holland and when she was 3 we bought her a German shepherd as we thought she would like a friend. They have never been close and both arnt desexxed. In the last year their fights have been really bad wit the last one caused her ear in half stitches and puncture wounds in the neck. One dog is not causing it it seems to be half half its just that the small one doesn't give up. Nothing stops the fights ones were in it we have tried water sticks etc..

Liza smith

Hi i am trying to get some advice i own three dogs the oldest is a full pedigree yorky seven years old she is soft as anythink the second is a yorky cross jack russell she is two years old she is soft as anythink with people and the last one is a full pedigree yorky he is two years old but i dont have any worries about the male it is the two females i have had them from pups up intil recently they had both got on like anythink the oldest female would act like a mother to the other female she would do everythink with the other female they played well and they would eat together and clean each other there was no aggression showed at they acted as they loved each other even when we brought the male dog into the household they were fine but since the younger female had gave birth to her baby her temperment has changed she is showing aggression to the older dog she is always causing fights inside the house and outside it has come to the point where they have drawn blood in most cases we have to intervene and seperate them the older one is very scared now of the younger one after a few minutes they are fine again intil the next fight breaks out she also has shown a bit of bullying towards the male over the last week as well i have seperated them at night because i was worried that she would cause a fight i am getting desperate for some help.

jenn branham

Female Silky terrier 8yrs and a Female pitbull 7yrs - Not Fixed & Fighting!
Female Yorkie terrier 1yr - Not the promblem!
Both females have lived under the same roof for a year now but recently started fighting. My silky seems to be the aggressive one but theres time the pitbull starts it?
Both are Daisha/Deja - Long story!
Unsure on how to make our home happy for the Dogs & Humans?
This situation is dividing our Family :'(
Please HELP....


I have tried every one of those tactics with my 8 year old mut (Daisy) and my 3 year old jack russel/rat terrior (Little bit) and Little bit will suddenly growl at daisy. Daisy will bark and Little bit will try to jump after her. I have no clue what else to do. I punish them each time they do it (I only punish the one that starts the fights) Please help.

mrs s bartlett

i have a white westie he is 10yrs old my little girl wants a staff its 0nly 4wks at the moment. i would like a girl but dont no if they would get on


ihave a 7 year old pit (hammer) a 7 year old female pit (gracie)that is spade and a 4 year old female dachsund hound (pockets) that wobbles when she walks, due to a back injury, they were always together ate together and bunked together. recently after pockets came out of her heat she started being physically aggresive to gracie which then kicked off an all three fight i can trust hammer with pockets but now i have gracie in the house most of the time and always seperated from the little bully pockets any tips a/o suggestions

jane Ibbitson

I have three female dog in my house I there was 4 but the oldest one pass away last year since the are just 2 that don't get along the 4 year old and the 8 year are now fighting only when I go out but the fights are bad and they are hurting each other I started to part them when I go out and have taken away all toys I some how feel that JJ the 4 year old is now wants to be boss when I am not in cosmo the girl that pass away was the boss and no one step out of line there was peace but now she gone it is like these two are seeking top spot in the house they only fight in the house when I am out THERE IS no fights when I am in can you help me??? I have been around dogs all my life but never had this problem I was a breeder of border collies for 18 years it is only of the last few week this has started.

I have 2 female staffs one who's 4 and one who's 2 the 2yr old had a pup 15wks ago and since then she keeps been agressive 2 the other that bad they had a proper fight locked jaws and the 2 year old come off the worse and she started it I can't understand it cos they've always got along can anyone help


I have had 2 female dogs ( boxer and an Australian kelpie) for the past 5 years and never have I had a problem with them fighting. About 6 mo ago, we rescued a 6 yr old female boxer. Her and the Australian kelpie started getting into small scuffles and it has now turned into all out fights. I am the dominant one in the household so I do not believe this is the issue. I think jealousy is the problem between these 2 but I don't know how to correct this issue. They are friends 1 minute and enemies the next. We now keep them separated but both are house dogs and it is unfair to the whole family... Any suggestions?


I have had Bella, a female Chinese Crested Powder-Puff for almost 6 years. Two weeks ago we got a 5 y/o female German Shepherd, "Lady". At first, Bella showed dominance and Lady "took it", I guess getting used to her new home. Lady got tired of it and she actually bit Bella on the head yesterday. Now Bella will not even come out of hiding, I have to carry her outside to bathroom...Lady even lunged at her when I was carrying her outside. So scared and wonder if this can ever be a good relationship...I do not want to get rid of Lady so soon without seeing what time brings, but also do not want my smaller dog living in fear or that it will happen again.


My two females are sisters, one was sickly when I got her back from my sister and I nursed her back to health. They have been really good up until right before my father died. I just don't understand why now after all this time..they will be four this year. Now they can't seem to get a long when they start, we have to seperate them and I kennel them for cool off time...Im just not sure what to do. Help?


I have 3 dogs in my household. 2 mature females and 1 male puppy. One female is fixed, the other 2 dogs are not. The 2 mature females have grown up together and they got along really good for the most part. Until we brought in the 3rd pup. The fixed female now is very dominate, gaurds her food (feed them seperatley) trys to take the toys away and growls if any of the other dogs try to play with her (sometimes she will play with them but not often) lately the fights between the two females have gotten really bad, to the point of blood shed. Me and my roommates try our best to seperate it, and whatever dog is the one who started the fight we lay on the floor and get her submissive to the other dog. (what we seen on Dog Whisper) This keeps continueing and i am at my witts end, I really dont know what to do anymore, it just keeps getting worse! Can anyone help me on this situation so my dogs can all get along and be happy with eachother?

Shelley Henkel

i have three dogs currently. a jack russel that is 5, a miniature dashhound that is about 2, and an african boerboel pup that is alsmost 4 monthes old. we used to have 2 large outside dogs and just the jack russel, then my daughter got he weiner dog for her birthday. all was good. both of our large dogs passed away that summer, leaving just the two small dogs. they had gotten along this whole time. winter came and we got our youngest daughter the pup for christmas, and he is currently an inside dog untill he is old enough to stay out in the night. this was december. it is now the end of january and our two female dogs are starting to fight quite aggresively. our oldest dog is coming out on the bottom every time, yet the problem is still present, and the injuries are becoming quite serious. we sepereate them when they begin, yet we have no idea what the problem is, and our male pup seems to be stuck in the middle. advice? could the new pup have anything do with it?

cynthia reeves

i hae two female dogs both from eight weeks old westie and jack russel wetie is 14 months jack is 10 months all was fine untill two months ago westie has been spayed,jack cant get done untill feb it was so bad with the fighting i got the jack up for rehoming she went to a sanchary for 3 weeks,but i felt so guilty and upset for what i had done,i pleaded to have her,it has been fine for 3 days and last night it started again and in srperating them i got bitten twice,i seperated them for 2 hours and they wanted to play again so i let them back together all was fine i was on edge all evening,following day appear ok this evening i could see the looks they were giving each other it was only a matter of time before they kicked off again,so i have seperated them again,i just dont know what to do for the best can any advise.


This is a very interesting topic for me as I work with many different dogs daily. My most recent experience actually involved my 2 females. they had been brought into the house 3 days apart and were both young- 6 and 7 months old. Initially they were kenneled separately, but as they grew I knew I had to make a change. I purchased a kennel too large for one dog and decided to kennel them together. My vet had said she had no problem doing this with her dogs. All was fine when the two were crated, but issues arose when they were fed and when toys came out. I was at a loss. However, realizing the behavior began when they were kenneled together, I simply kept one dog in the crate and placed the larger in the kitchen with a gate put up. Amazingly, this worked!! I think that studying the circumstances around each behavior change allows us to look for answers in simple changes. Or maybe it was just luck!


I have two mixed female dogs, mother and daughter, so yes they have been raised together, have trained them both very well to no avail, they would fight till death if I allowed, thank goodness I was raised with pits and rotties, "never get in between if anything get behind, so sometimes there is nothing you can do but seperate for some time. and yes they have only faught with me around. females are vicous, my dogs have been trained since six weeks old, seperatly they obey. so out of 30 yrs raising dogs of all breeds does anyone have any suggestions that I don't know


oh lord have mercy. I have two female australian cattle dogs who want to kill each other. Then, right after they brawl and almost kill each other, they sit down next to each other and within 4 hrs. are playing again. Are they just nuts?

barbara garrett

Been there, done that. Never again. Tried to move my dominant Boxer female into a household with a dominant black Lab female. Fight after horrible fight ensued until finally I got it through my thick head that it simply wasn't ever going to work and I moved out. Males will fight and establish dominance and move on; females will fight to the death.

Chris Badenhorst

Hi, I have a two y/o female Jack Russel Dutchund crossing and have just adopted what looks like a Labrador Jack Russel cross witch is also female, the puppy is approx. two to three months old, will they ever fight if raised as friends?
Chris B.

jefree pop

I have a albino pit / yellow lab mix 3 1/2yrs(bella) and a Brindle american pit 1yr(mija) . Both are female and i also have a third dog and he's male(porkchop) .The two females have been getting into brutal fights lately. I VE noticed this happening since mija had gotten her period. I wanted to know if hormones had anything to do with this? I want to get her fixed and see if it will help the situation. bella is fixed and so is pork chop. He pretty much stays clear when this happens , and he never nurses either one. I do keep the girls separeted for the night and re-introduce them in the morning and they seem a little on edge but they get along ok . Is this acceptable?


i have a 2 year old pitbull, and now i adopted a 1 y/o pitbull also...both females. the dog i already had BELLA keeps attacking the new member Genimi... i would really like for 2 of them to get along... the main problem is bella. she keeps attacking gem even tho gem wants to play only..
how should i approach this issue...also my gf keeps babying bella ... every time she walks her its a hastle she keeps pulling the leash on the other hand i walk gem and shes always next to me and never pulls... also gem gives me an eye contact every 30 sec to a min and keeps walking next to me... no pulling... while bella is all over the place... also my dog sleeps in the cage ... bela is allowed in the bed... i kick her out but she menages to get beck in... i think that the weak link is my gf in all this cuz she favores bella ...
what can i do to get those 2 dogs to get along??... and btw Gem was scheduled to be put down cuz she "looks mean" with cropped ears but shes just a sweethart. thats why i adopted her trying to save her life.


Let's blame your failure to control the dogs on the fact that they're both female. Or that they're both young. Or that they're both from shelters. Or that they're both purple. Or anything except that you have no idea how to control the behavior of even the smallest pack of dogs. Do you tell the people you charge professionally that you are so void of knowledge, or do you tell them week after week of useless expensive visits that 'these things take time'?

Dogs living together get along perfectly well regardless of age, sex, breed, past history, etc, as long as the owner steps up to the role of top dog. Owners who shy away from this responsibility and let 'dogs be dogs' for whatever misguided reason are just inviting one of the dogs to step into the role, and it all goes downhill from there. Blaming the dog is a bogus rationalization for the abdication of leadership exhibited by the owner, for whom the dogs then rightly have no respect.

Not all behaviorists are as clueless as the author of this article. Owners seeking help should not hire people who blame the dog for the problem. Professionals seeking greater knowledge should not waste time hanging out with others equally unqualified as it only reinforces their own ignorance.


I have a female Boston Terrior,and she does not get along well at all with our other female mut. There have been fights, and me and my son have been in the middle and been bitten. So, I dont advise getting another puppy. Although I do not know if this is common behavior.


Hello,we allready have a female boston terier(10 months)in the house and I would like to know if I get a female puppy how she will accept it?
Thank you!

Randall Johnson

When it comes to having two female dogs living under the same roof, my experience has been just the opposite. Goldie (English cocker spaniel, 10) and Suzie (miniature pinscher, 4, former street dog) get along very well. They respect each other---and each other’s space, which can be very important in any relationship.
However, when Suzie decided to ‘adopt’ me, I wasn’t quite sure how Goldie would react because, up to then, she had been an “only child”. In the beginning, Goldie ignored Suzie. When Suzie tried to initiate play or otherwise engage her attention—and she did so often--, Goldie would literally turn her back and walk away. Sometimes, she’d leave the room and, at other times, she’d jump up on the sofa or lie down under the dining room table. Either way, the message, although nonverbal, was very clear.
On two widely separate occasions, Goldie briefly attacked Suzie and pinned her to the ground. As far as I could see, Suzie had done nothing to trigger the attacks; they appear to have been spontaneous. After that, I had the impression that Goldie had asserted her dominance, her No. 1 position in the family pack, and afterwards, there were no further overt acts of aggression. Every once in a while, Goldie will mount Suzie, perhaps as a reminder of “who’s the boss”; otherwise, their relationship is harmonious.
I know a few other multiple-dog families that include either two males or two females and their owners claim that they also get along well.
In terms of aggression, I’ve witnessed a handful of incidents involving two males, but overall, I’d have to say I’ve seen more examples of canine camaraderie, or even neutrality, than canine aggression. Clearly, there are other factors in their social behavior that need to be identified and/or better understood. Like their human caretakers, dogs are not easily explained by formulae.

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