Dog is Aggressive Towards Other Resident Dogs?

Aggressive Dog
Dogs are pack animals that would normally establish a hierarchy of dominance and define a territory as their own. When introducing a new dog(s) into your home with a resident dog, patience and proper introduction techniques can help reduce or eliminate the potential aggressive behavior. This is a page about dog is aggressive towards other resident dogs.

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May 5, 2008

I have had my Jack Russell Terrier since she was a couple of months old and she's 3 now and very aggressive for no reason. If anyone goes near her bones or toys, she snaps. If anyone tries to move her off the bed, she snaps. I had another dog a few months back that I had to get rid of since my Jack Russell kept attacking my other dog and I felt it wasn't fair to my other dog. I have had to get rid of 2 dogs because of my Jack Russell so far.

She even bit me one time and I have scars on my hand from her. I recently got a new puppy as well who is 5 months old and anytime he tries to play with toys or touch bones, she snaps on him bad. Every dog I get I seem to have to get rid of because she won't stop attacking them and I just don't know what to do anymore. People have told me maybe she needs to be euthanized now since she's so out of control anymore.

Earlier today I had both of my dogs outside and she found a stick she was chewing and my other dog went to smell it and she attacked him yet again. I just don't know what to do anymore. She is my baby but I don't want to have to keep getting rid of every pet I get because of her. What should I do?

Jessica from PA


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May 5, 20080 found this helpful
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It sounds like she is jealous of the dogs you are bringing home. Euthanizing her would not be a very fair option in my opinion. Maybe it is her that would be happier in a new home. It seems like she would be best kept as the only dog.

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By Oberhund (Guest Post)
May 6, 20083 found this helpful
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You have a serious problem here and it's only a matter of time before your dog bites a human and then you are ordered to euthanize her.

I am a dog trainer, and I see this problem a lot. First off, you need to educate yourself about pack order and canine body language. (Stanley Coren is a respected author on this to get you started.) You (and others in your pack) are giving her signals that she is the pack leader, and as the pack leader, she is merely correcting behaviour that she sees as being out of line. She's acting as any dominant dog will.


I'll give you some tips to get you started in communicating consistent messages to your dog.

You need to let her know that she is NOT the pack leader. You (and all other humans) are above her in the pack order. Let the dogs sort it out between them with you standing by to correct aggressive and other behaviours you will not tolerate.

Begin by understanding this basic concept: The pack leader is in control of all of the resources. This includes food, toys, treats, the best places to sit and sleep, playtime, access to outside, the direction and pace of a walk, etc. All resources. Remember this.

Here are some helpful tips:

1) DO NOT free feed. (free feed means to leave food in dish and refill when empty.) Feed your dog at times YOU decide and leave the dish on the floor for 10 minutes. Anything not eaten by then is picked up and she'll have to wait until the next feeding time. You are not starving her. You are merely communicating to her that YOU are the leader in control of the food -- how much and when -- not the magical bowl on the floor that refills itself whenever it's empty. If you already feed her this way, good.


2) Insist she says please before getting any resource (see above) by making her sit first. Sit before you feed her. Sit before a treat, toy, a pet, etc. Sit is the please and thank you in the dog world.

3) Do not let her sleep on the bed with humans. The pack leader gets the best place to sleep. She's already showing that she is dominant, so you need to be clear and consistent in your messages to her. Don't confuse her by letting her sleep on the bed. This may be hard if she's used to it, but be firm. If you are consistent with all the other messages you send her, then she'll resist this change less. Also, don't let her on the couch when humans are sitting on it. She'll see herself as an equal. You aren't being mean. Get her a nice blanket or a cushy dog bed. That will be her bed to sit and sleep on. Make it enticing by giving her treats and toys there.


4) Remove any toys laying around the house and keep them in a box that humans have access to but not the dogs. Then give her a toy (after she sits). One toy. You are not taking away her toys; you are just controlling her access to them. Then, when you want to put the toy away to clean up or to exchange it, have a treat in your hand and trade her a treat for the toy. You'll be rewarding her for giving up the toy. NOTE: if she doesn't want to give up the toy, then make sure you have something awesome to trade with. It can be a walk or a favourite game instead of a treat. Just something to get her give up that toy. You don't want to lose this battle.

5) The walk is very important to establishing pack order and the exercise is good for her mind. You need to do this right, though, or you'll be sending her mixed messages. YOU are the one in control of the direction and the pace of the walk. Begin when you hook up the leash. Make sure she sits and holds it on her own. If she breaks the sit, stop attaching the leash, make sure she sits, and try again. Be patient and don't let her boss you around. She'll get what she wants when she gives you the behaviour you want. VERY IMPORTANT: when exiting the house, make sure all people exit BEFORE the dog. In the canine world, leaders and higher members exit and lead, with the lower members in the pack following. It's best to also put her in a sit/stay and then when you command her to exit let her exit. But don't let her exit before you. Again, if she breaks the stay and exits before a person and/or before you've given the command, stop, take her back in (along with anyone in the pack she exited before) and do it again and again until she gets it right. No need for treats. The reward is the walk. When walking, if she pulls, stop, call her to you, and walk backward until she comes to your side, of her own accord. You'll know this because the leash will get slack. When this happens, praise her and continue in the direction she was heading. This will result in a lot of back and forth, but she'll get it quickly if you are consistent. If you let her pull on the leash, she'll think she's walking you and that is NOT what you want.


You don't have a bad dog. You have a dominant dog and she's taken over the leadership role because the pack members have let her. She'll probably always try to move up in rank, so you have to be consistent and firm with the rules. Never break them because she'll just take it to the next level.

I hope this helps. Again, educate yourself and try to use positive-reinforcement training methods rather than punishment-based. You never want to have a physical altercation with your dog. All aggression should be forbidden, including human aggression to dogs. CAUTION: you may find some trainers recommending the alpha roll with your dog. This is where they tell you to take your dog and roll her on her back. Do not do this. This is how the alpha dog will correct another dog, and if the dog resists, there will be biting. This is how they handle it. You do not want your dog to think it's okay to have a physical altercation with a human. If your dog challenges you, you will be bitten. Maybe not the first time, but sometime.

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November 15, 2020

I have a Pit Bull that is so loving and affectionate with myself and 4 grandchildren, but every time he catches the door open, he bolts out of it and will not come back by being called. I have to go get him in my car telling him to "let's go for a ride."

He will go from house to house trying to fight other dogs. I just don't know what to do with him, he minds so good when he's inside and even lets my cat sleep on his back, but will try to attack other cats or dogs. What should I do because I really don't want to give him up?


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November 15, 20200 found this helpful
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I, personally, think you are radically speaking; sitting on a time bomb that could go off at any time.
There are thousands of online courses, videos, etc telling you how to stop your dog from running away but how many of those 'course' can you actually do? Most lessons are done in an open area and it's very clear that you cannot do that due to the problem he has with other animals.
What would happen if he encounters a mother and child out walking their dog? A fight? What if the mother or child gets in the way trying to protect their dog?
Of course, this is a dramatic example but we all know it could happen. He could be put down if he just attacks another dog as this would be considered a dangerous act.
I do not know where you live but there are very few places that do not have 'lease laws' so that would be another violation.
I know that you probably have a vet and most likely if you tell the vet what is really happening they can recommend a physical training set-up somewhere close by that can train and keep your dog until they are sure he is not a danger to other pets or people.
I know this will be an expense but I sincerely hope you will consider this action before there is a problem that cannot be 'fixed'.

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August 21, 2010

We just rescued/adopted a 10-12 week old male, Blue Pit Bull. He was abused and neglected. We are having an issue with him trying to show dominance over us and our 5 other dogs by constantly trying to hump us. Saying "no" and pushing him off is not working. How do I correct this without scaring him more or doing more damage than good? If redirection of attention is suggested, what should we use?

By Kim Brady from Lusby, MD


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August 24, 20100 found this helpful
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Neutering should be done for sure, but he is not sexually mature at this age so that is not the issue. He is insecure based on his background he does not have a lot of confidence in people. He feels the need to control the other dogs and you to be safe. He needs to learn that you are the leaders and you will keep him and the other dogs safe and provide for their well being. the larger your pack the more complicated the dynamics. There are websites and training programs on the web. Also Pitbulls are not an aggressive breed. They are loving, loyal and quite docile. It's the way they have been socialized and trained by irresponsible owners that nurture aggression. It is not an innate trait. I will try to locate some of the training sites and send them. One technique is to keep puppy on a lead in the house and not allow jumping , humping behavior, reward positive interaction, and lots of walking with the other dogs in a controlled manner, where pup is not leading the pack but you are. Good luck

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April 7, 2015

three dogs on couchI have a 10 year old JRT and an 8 yr. old Cockapoo. I got a Boxer x Mastiff and since the age of 6 months she has been attacking the 2 small dogs. She will pick them up by the back of the head and shake them. This has happened roughly 7 times! She is 16 months old now and just attacked the JRT again. Another time she just bounced on them. Other times they are fine together. She has drawn blood at times. What do I do to correct this or can I?

By L.M.


April 8, 20150 found this helpful
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What you are describing sounds like your boxer is using the smaller dogs as toys. Large breed dogs often carry cats by their heads.
Bouncing is simply what dogs do. They jump on each other. I bet your boxer mix doesn't realize she's gotten as big as she has.

Considering she's still a puppy, you should be able to fix it. When the puppy grabs a dog, bring yourself to your full height, stretch your arm out fully from your shoulder, point and say "Drop it!" in a stern voice.
Practice doing this with various toys and other articles until your puppy obeys right away.

Practice also the command "Sit!" so you can use it when your puppy is jumping.

Large breed dogs require more training and better behavior than small breed dogs because of their size. I suggest you ask yourself a few questions. Do you have any experience with large breed dogs? Are you willing to put in the extra time and effort it will take to train your dog to keep it from becoming a menace? Do you have the time? Be honest.

If not, the puppy is still young, and you can find it a home with someone who has a lot of experience with large breeds.
If you are willing to put in the extra time for training it will need, then you should start now. A six month boxer-mastiff mix is already a big dog and people will soon start to see it as a potential danger. Your dog could be in trouble with the neighbors and their pets if it doesn't learn some manners soon.

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April 9, 20150 found this helpful
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The previous answer was excellent. As a retired AKC Boxer raiser-breeder (after 40+years) who also did many years of breed rescue, all I can add is the following:

Boxers and certain cross (like the Mastiff in your cross) breeds mature at a much later age than most dogs - a Boxer generally matures fully at around aged three years (although sexually mature at around aged 6-8 months, so spaying/neutering at that age is 99.9% of the time highly advisable). You should expect puppy behaviours like 'play fighting' for some time to come.

You don't mention her being spayed so I'm going to assume you've not had that done - do it now, as soon as you can. Sooner. That will help lessen her aggressive play with the others. It's not a cure by any means. Training is also a good step - if you haven't already, you should have her on a training course. Your local Leisure Services likely offers low-cost training courses for you and your dog.

The local library and the Internet are great sources of 'self-help' training information; your vet is always your first go-to for breed specific information and training suggestions. You must completely understand the breed specific needs of your dog - both Boxer and Mastiff breed traits and characteristics.

I can't stress how very vitally important training is - you will not be able to stop her wanting to be 'assertive' or 'aggressive' towards the other animals but you must be able to rely on her obeying your command of 'Stop!' 'Down!' and 'Come!'.

It should go without saying your cross Boxer-Mastiff must never again be left unsupervised with any other animal or vulnerable human - vulnerable is defined under US and UK (where I now live) as: child under 16 years, unwell/physically or mentally challenged of any age, and elderly.

Many locales in the US and UK have strict legislation against certain breeds and crosses. I don't think Boxer-Mastiffs have made that list yet but you should check with your local authorities to be sure. You may have to have specialised insurance, heavy fencing, etc including using leads and muzzles when in public or around the vulnerable.

If you feel all of the above is too much for your family to cope with, please find a reputable breed rescue group to rehome this dog to a home knowledgable about the cross and able to take on the tremendous responsibility.

To be completely clear - it's been my experience a Boxer-Mastiff (or Boxer-Staffie) cross should be the only companion animal in the family. Frankly, they don't usually 'play well with others'.

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December 21, 2010

My 8 year old Lab mix has been extra grumpy this past month or so. I understand when she growls when our 9 month old Husky starts pestering her trying to get her to play. What I don't understand is why she'll start growling if she's in the same room chewing on her toy, nowhere near her. She'll just start growling if the Husky comes into the room.

It gets annoying and is a pain, if she jumps up on the bed with her or even lays next to her! It never used to bother her this much unless the Husky was actually touching her or really trying to bother her.

Yesterday she attacked the Husky while I was at work and my husband put a bowl of water down. All he knew was that they were both drinking water and all the sudden the Lab snapped. They haven't gotten in a fight in months which is kind of why I'm confused. They were doing great and then she just snapped for a reason.

I don't know why is she being like this. I've tried almost everything I can think of to get her to stop, but nothing is working. How can I make her stop being so grouchy and stop fighting the Husky?

By ashley from Seattle, WA


December 21, 20100 found this helpful
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Ashley, this is a complicated situation that deserves more than a few posts, but let me give it a shot. I understand your problem as we had a similar situation with an older dog and a new puppy. At first they were great buds, then the older one started getting irritated about the younger one thinking he could do whatever he wanted to do. The older one got more territorial and chaos started to prevail. We had to learn it was a power struggle for dominance between the two dogs and (treating them like older children trying to "be the boss" of younger children) had to take steps to remind both who was in charge.. Us, adult humans!

Dogs have a instinctive, pack mentality. If you don't take on the role of the human alpha, leader of the pack, one of the dogs will! Again, it's instinct on the part of the dog to take charge if he or she doesn't perceive another to be an effective leader. The dog shouldn't be "punished" for trying to take the lead, but you, the true human alpha of the pack, must remind the more dominant dog who is actually in charge. (The humans.) Honestly, once the dogs know how much you want to be in charge, most are happy and willing to let you take the lead.

When our older dog got snarly or snarky with the younger dog, we would take him into another room and make him go through a series of "sit, down, stay" commands to remind him who was the "boss." (Us humans!) We would do the same with the younger one when he got a bit cocky. The trick was to discipline them in private. No one, skin or fur, appreciates being corrected in front of others! :-) It works almost every time. (No such thing as perfection, here, but this technique works well for us.)

We still have the occasional spat between the fur boys, but for the most part we all get along. It's important to remember that, skin or fur, all get miffed on occasion and a simple break can sooth a few rattled nerves.

I know this is not nearly detailed enough, but I hope the general idea helps you with your situation. Seriously, I think your older dog is having a few issues with sharing time with the younger one, and the younger one is just pushing the limits, as all youngsters do. I wish you the best of luck.

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March 30, 2020

I recently brought a new dog into my house, and she is really aggressive to my other two dogs. She growls, barks, and tries to bite them. We have them separated now, and when they are separate, she is the sweetest dog ever. How do I get her accustomed to my two resident dogs?


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March 31, 20200 found this helpful
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It can be a very slow process that requires a lot of consistent and positive reinforcement for good behavior and no response to bad behavior (after they are separated of course).

There are so many good videos on YouTube how to do this. Find a few that are specific to your breeds if you can and check them out.

If that does not work, then you may need a professional trainer. We had to go that route...but our case was our resident dog would not let the new kid in. We had one session with a trainer and got peace in the house. It was a miracle. She taught us techniques to de-escalate and manage the old girl's behavior.

Sadly there are times when it never works. I have dog sat for dogs where there is an upstairs dog and a downstairs dog and never the two shall meet. It is not easy, but sometimes it has to be down.

Prayers for easy solutions!

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September 16, 2019

I have a question. I need help fast cuz I do not want to give up my puppy. I'm afraid I might have to though. I have 3 dogs: a 2 and a half year old Pit Bull named Schnookums and a 6 year old Chihuahua named Moya. They're the best of friends.New 3 Month Old Puppy Attacks 6 Year Old Chihuahua - three dogs lying on the floor


We just got a puppy at 6 weeks old and now she is 3 months old. Her name is Lucy. She's a Dutch Shepherd and Pit Bull mix. Since then she has ferociously attacked my Chihuahua 7 times by the back of the neck and it's hard to get her to let go. She's drawn blood a few times. She's now as big as my Chihuahua. My Chihuahua won't play with her, only my Pit Bull plays with her. I have 5 kids and we all treat all of the dogs equally. But whenever we talk to Moya, our Chihuahua, she will attack her. I've realized it's a pattern, but idk how to stop it. They all sleep on their own pillows in the kitchen. They're good with each other until either someone says hi to Moya or Moya comes in from outside!

She waits for her to come back in from going pee and then will side butt her basically, idk how to explain, but she pushes her butt to Moya and basically pushes her with her tail straight up. When I see that I realize she's about to bite her, but she's fast and she's not one to give up. She bit her this morning. I couldn't get her off of her and then she turned and bit me.

When I first got her she did it the first day to Moya and also bit my Pit Bull Schnookums, but my other dogs won't bite back. I'm not sure if it's the breed mix or what. Also few weeks after I got her my sister wanted a puppy so I got her the sister of the puppy I have. So the guy dropped the sister off at my house and that puppy attacked my puppy/her sister and my Pit Bull over and over again to where I had to keep her in my basement until I brought her an hour away to my sister's house. Now I'm confused because they are sisters and both of them are the same way. I don't know how these puppies grew up. I don't know the owner it was a friend of a friend, but the sister was like this too, so who knows. Maybe they were mistreated or the bred mix is a bad one or an aggressive one. I need help. I don't need her trying to hurt or kill my old lady Chihuahua. They're also all girls, so I'm not sure. I train my dogs to do tricks. I've just been good at it since I was a kid. I never did it professionally, but I've always liked training animals. I don't know how to train for aggression! I learned the stuff I know just by myself lol. Schnookums does flips in the air, crawls, sits, speaks quietly, speaks loudly, pee, lol and stay. I say what do you want, and she goes to the cabinet for food, or other cabinet for peanut butter, or my oven if I cooked food, which she knows she can't have, or the door if she has to go out. If she wants to play she'll give you her toy. I have her trained to find things, but this new puppy is hard. I got her to do so far 5 different things and "let go" is one of them, but she won't give up when Moya gets attention. I thought I was good at training, but nooooo. This isn't easy at all. I hope I can get a quick response cuz if I can't control this I will give her up, maybe to a police officer, who knows. She'll be good for that as much as she likes to bite, but seriously I really love her. She's a sweetheart. Her name is Lucy and she gets along with Schnookums fine. I just don't know what her problem with Moya. Please can you help us?

Thank you.

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March 22, 2013

My dog is 15 yrs old and has got loads of lumps and bumps, coming up everywhere. Now he is fighting with my 6 yr old dog. The younger dog has been here since he was 10 weeks old, so they are used to each other. If I tell my older dog off, he starts growling at me.

By Susan


March 24, 20130 found this helpful

Remember that your 15 year old dog is a very old dog. I don't know too many aged people who want the young whippersnappers hanging around all the time when the oldies want to sleep! It might also be time to for a vet check up, as the dog may be out of sorts with a painful condition like arthritis or similar and is in pain. I'm grumpy when I hurt! Good luck.

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March 25, 20130 found this helpful

I agree the older dog probably is in pain and doesn't want to be bothered by anyone or anything. If he is not on pain meds maybe time to get on a program from your Vet and make his last years more comfortable.

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August 24, 2019

I have a Jack Russell and she has been attacking our 18 year old Chihuahua. Every time the chihuahua squeals like she is in pain. Any suggestions on curbing this behavior?

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November 23, 2012

I have 3 dogs, 2 females and a male. One of the females randomly attacked the other female and won't stop trying to do it again. We can't even keep them together any more. Both dogs are spayed and they have been together for 4 years. They have both been to the vet and are in perfect health. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

By Bron


November 25, 20120 found this helpful

Is there an age difference between the two? I have an 11 year old Dobe (female) and a 5 year old male pug mix. They have been together for 4 years. About a year ago the pug started bulling the mild mannered Dobe. The Dobe is in good health but has arthritis. When she comes in from outside the pug goes on a barking rampage. My dobe will take this for so long, and will then show teeth.

They only got into a fight once and the pug got a clip in the ear (very minor). I keep an eye on them. They only argue when I am right there. I just feel that the younger dog knows that the Dobe is slowing down with age. I make sure that the older dog is fed first, treated first and that she knows she is still top dog. She is not the agressor. I really feel that in my case this is just nature.

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