Dogs Fighting for Dominance

We have two lab mix male dogs which were from the same litter. We have had a problem with fighting over dominance since we got them almost three years ago. We are at our wits end and are at the present time trying to find a new home for one of them. This is extremely heartbreaking. We have spent hundreds of hours reading books and online trying to find answers.

Our vet tells us there is nothing more that we can do except to re-home one of them. Does anyone have something that has worked for them? It was only after we had had them for about a year, that we found out you should never adopt two dogs of the same sex from the same litter. Of course, then, we were too attached to them. We thought they would outgrow it.

The picture here is of the two of them in a portrait I painted of them.

Debby from Edmond, OK


Dogs Fighting for Dominance

Hi, I would try reading this article. It looks like the issue is one of the dogs consider themselves the "dominant". What has to happen is you have to be the dominant in the pack and both dogs need to know that they are the omegas.

By schubunny

Dogs Fighting for Dominance

I agree with above posts. Also you have to sure you are the "leader" or dominant one of the pack. Watch Cesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) on Animal Planet. He has great technique. (10/31/2008)


By Kathleen

Dogs Fighting for Dominance

Thanks for the responses.

Our dogs are very obedient to my husband and I. We are definitely the "top dogs". Both dogs do the submissive roll overs for us both. We always make sure we eat first, go out the door first, come back in first, make them sit and stay, make them sit or lie down for everything. We know all about being calm and assertive. They are each truly lovable dogs and gentle, except to each other. We practice the "nothing in life is free" training. I have every Cesar Milan book and video. I have books and videos from numerous other dog experts, as well.

We have found no way to stop the fighting once it starts, except to pull them apart, which is dangerous. We've tried air horns, pepper spray, water, blankets, hair spray. Nothing stops them until one of them gives up. They have suffered numerous injuries as a result. They weigh 88 lbs each and you cannot do an alpha roll on them when they are fighting. It's impossible.


I know I'm asking a lot. But, I want to feel better about our decision to re-home one of them. I feel like they are not getting the best that they deserve. It just doesn't seem fair that they should have to live this way. We cannot love either of them the way we would like because of the fear of setting them off.

I agree with you, Robin, we have to be so vigilant that we hardly ever take them on walks or in the car. We haven't, however, been able to figure out just what sets them off. It's just really sad.

And, yes, they were neutered before we brought them home. (10/31/2008)

By Artlady

Dogs Fighting for Dominance

I have 8 dogs and have a similar problem with 2 boys from the same litter. They are a year old now and I will have them fixed soon. I have the same problem with especially one attacking the others when he can't get to a cat/dog he sees on the street. One thing that has worked for me is an animating spray. It's supposed to be used on females back legs/tail during heat. They hate it and when they get angry and are about to fight I threaten them with the spray.

They are smart and know what the word means so when the growling begins I say "Who needs the spray?" it usually works. They love their weekly bones so if I have some in the refrigerator I can distract them that way too as they know what the word means and run to the refrigerator when they hear it, forgetting everything else. They are still young though. My husky and another female (1/3 her size, but with a temper) have had numerous fights. I now have the other female on half a Rivotril everyday and this has helped 90%. Rivotril is a mild muscle relaxant. (11/01/2008)

By Christina


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