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Keeping Your Dogs from Fighting

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Even dogs that have lived together for a time can get into fights over things such as food, toys, or dominance issues. This is a page about keeping your dogs from fighting.


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I have a 10 year old male Staffy and a 2 year old female Staffy who had puppies by the male 7 months ago. These two dogs loved each other until she gave birth. We kept one pup. The two adults now hate each other, with especially the male showing a lot of aggression towards the female.

They have had a number of seriously bad fights, with the female breaking the nose of the male twice and once almost killing the male. The male is stronger by far and is the attacker (female is very scared of him), but does not last long in a fight due to his age. I have neutered both four months ago, but it did not help. I have separated them, one in the back of the house and the other at the front, but the moment you put them together they immediately fight with blood all over the place. I literally have to separate them with a long iron pole as they will simply not stop.

What is going on here? We are not aggressive people, they are very good to the kids and used to love each other a lot, but since giving birth it is war in this house. If I take them for a walk they are OK with each other, but the moment they are back home they fight. Any one with some ideas?


October 18, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Dogs fighting.

  • The female hormones from her pregnancy can elicit fights.
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  • Testosterone in males can cause males to be aggressive.
  • Usually one dog tries to rule things one dog usually is the boss of the other dog's.
  • They may fight over food,toys,bones,attention from their owners,and places they sleep.
  • If the lower ranking dog does not back off the higher ranking dog this could cause a fight. Example if the lower ranking dog refused to stay away from a bone or owner etc.
  • You can go to the ASPCA'S breaking up a fight for more advice here is the link
  • A younger dog who has reached social maturity may not give into the other dog any longer causing fights.
  • It is highly recommended you call in a professional dog trainer.
  • Read the page of the link I gave you to understand more about why your dog's are fighting.
  • I have had dog's that fight and it can be dangerous to intervene.
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October 18, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

It sounds as though the female went into an protective state because of the puppies, a lot of the time males will kill offspring. She was more than likely just keeping them safe in the beginning.


Now it sounds more like they are being possessive over territory. They both feel like they have exclusive rights over where the other one may be. You mentioned you kept one pup, that you separated the adults on different ends of the house. Where does the pup stay?

I'm wondering if in separating them you may have unintentionally isolated the male and now he has to fight to remain in other areas of the house. If they once were a happy pack and they have no problems outside of the home while on walks it really sounds territorial to me.

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November 1, 2011

I am the owner of 3 Pit Bulls, a mom and her two daughters who are now almost 2 years old. I think I am having a pack issue. Well the girls are fighting like crazy I have already spent close to a grand in vet bills. I am not sure that any obedience training will do any good. Since the first really bad fight happened it has only escalated. Now I have to keep them separate. I have a close friend who is willing to take one of the girls, but it just breaks my heart. Help!


By Darlene V.


November 1, 20110 found this helpful

With no disrespect it will break your heart when these three females kill each other. Even if the parent animal and off-springs are de-sexed they will fight for domination and do you really want to see them tear each other to shreads. You have a "fighting breed" to start with and have escalated the problem by having three "same sex" animals together. For God's sake in the best interest of the Dogs keep the mum (if you must) and surrender the two daughters to the RSPCA. your Vet will not be happy to lose on-going finance and can't understand their attitude in all of this.

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November 1, 20110 found this helpful

Hi There,

I have the utmost respect for all pit bull owners, I love the breed myself. I have found no better resource on pit bull behavior and getting along then this rescue out of Seattle. I wish we had a program here like they have. If you go here you will find a lot of wonderful information!

Good luck and give them all a pat!


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November 2, 20110 found this helpful

For goodness sake, if your friend is willing to take one of the girls just do it! Why should that break your heart? You'll still be able to visit her! The longer you allow this to go on the larger this problem is going to grow and it could cause permanent negative behavioral problems. And as FARSTAR mentioned, your heart is going to break a whole lot more when (and it will eventually happen) one of them kills the other. I mean no offense but your selfishness is harming both those girls in one way or another and maybe even the mom too.

I also hope you've already had all three of the females spayed and, if not, do so as soon as possible. There are already enough unwanted and abused dogs in this world. :-(

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December 21, 2009

I have 2 Pit Bulls, Ricco who is a year and 3 months and Ace Boogie, who is a year and 2 weeks. For the most part Ricco is very dominant over Ace, but Ace has been fine with that (Ace weighs about 14 more lbs that Ricco).

Today and about 2 weeks ago, they had the worst fight over a bone. They would not let each other go and there was a lot of blood and punctures. The only thing that got them off each other was a pitcher of water that I had in the fridge.

Two minutes after I separated them, they were back to normal, licking each others wounds and playing nicely. I am worried that these fights are going to keep happening, and that one of them will get really hurt. Please do not suggest I give them up or keep them separated, this is not an option I am willing to accept. Thank you.

By yessy from Bossier City, LA


December 25, 20090 found this helpful

First, if your dogs are not neutered, then you definitely need to make sure that is done. Also, it is not uncommon for 2 dogs of the same sex living in the same household to have a problem with the dominance issue. Cesar Millan has some great books. I would read them and I will contact a behaviorist before one of your dogs kills the other. With pit bulls, believe me, they are more than strong enough to kill each other.

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December 27, 20090 found this helpful

First, it is good to understand the background of a dog and the purpose for which it was intended. Pit bulls where bred to fight to the death other dogs for sport. This is bred into their nature.

I have a boxer, which were bred to go out into the fields, etc, to chase down wild boar, etc. They were to hold them down until a hunter arrived. Now, I love to fetch with a dog. However, it is not in my dog's nature to fetch. I would have to teach him to fetch. If I didn't wish to teach a dog to fetch, I would have a lab, whose intended purpose is to go out and bring back a duck (fetching).

That being said, due to the nature of what a pit has been bred for, I would suggest that you contact a good dog trainer in your area. He/she would be able to advise you and help you train your dogs to be able to get along.

Because of the fact that this is a life-threatening issue (of your dogs), I would not attempt to read a book and train on your own. Then, your last resort would be to rehome one of the dogs. At least you could have the piece of mind knowing that you did the absolute most you could to to preserve the situation. Good luck!

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April 21, 2016

I have two dogs, I have a female that is a Chihuahua mix. She is 4 years old. I also have a male dog that is a Pit Bull blue nose mix with red nose. He is 7 months old. They get along really good they even sleep together, but today they just started fighting out of nowhere and I'm scared. I don't want to give one alway. I love them both. What can I do? Please help me.


April 22, 20160 found this helpful

One of your dogs is a "red zone" dog. That's a dog that can become aggressive. While most do not, the possibility exists. He is reaching sexual maturity and you can expect to see changes in him. You will need to educate yourself about this breed of dog, and then act on what you know to be a responsible owner; and protect your smaller dog. I would start with Cesar Milans website as he specializes in this breed of dog. An ignorant owner is a dangerous owner. Don't be one.

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August 21, 2012

My friend has 2 German Shepherds, 3 years old and 1 1/2 years old. She has had the 3 year old from the age of 8 weeks. The second dog is a rescue dog. Jackson the 3 year old, did not have a problem with Max at first. However, Max has no social skills, he has bitten a couple of people, workmen that have come into the house, and barks until the people leave.

Max got castrated about 4 weeks ago, since then Jackson has been very jealous. He attacks and taunts Max, until it ends up in a full blown fight, attacking each other and biting each others throats. Blood has been drawn and I am afraid that they are going to seriously harm each other.

Sharon does not want to give Max back, as he is a lovely dog, but she is afraid that the dogs are going to seriously hurt each other, maybe ending in a fatality.

Please help. Thank you.

By Alison E


August 23, 20120 found this helpful

In the best interest of both Dogs you need to surrender Max to the German Shepherd Rescue/RSPCA before both animals seriously injure each other (or worse) If Max came from a registered pet resue by law he has to be de-sexed irrespective of age. And in any case it is not a great idea to have two male dogs together. Through no fault of his Max may have been removed from his Mother and siblings before eight weeks of age.

Had no one who had owned and understood the Breed so his attitude is I'll get you first before you get me. And legally you are responsible if he attacks a person or another Dog I really do feel sorry for you because you are trying to give this poor animal a good home.

Have bred/shown/trialled German Shepherds all my life and give you full credit but please seriously consider talking to registered German Shepherd breeders about this troubled boy. Good luck please keep us all informed.

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December 21, 2009

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 Debby

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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