Skipdogwalker wrote to me about how to handle dog aggression:
Hi: I have 3 dogs (Kona, male pit mix 3 yrs old) (Sur, male pit mix 18 months old) (Sierra, female boxer 7 yrs old) all spayed and neutered. Kona was the first dog… we have had him since he was about 6 months old.
Sierra came next and has been with us for over a year and gets along with everyone.
Sur came last has been with us about 6 months, he had a severe case of mange when we got him but it is now cleared up.
Dog Aggression Over A Kong Toy
Kona and Sur played together, slept together, ate together everyday until last month when they showed dog aggression over a kong toy ($1200.00 at the vet) we now have to crate them and bring them out separately in shifts. We let them out in the house together but they are now always on leashes. They have still fought 2 more times but not as long as the first fight (I was home alone for the first fight and it took me a while to separate them) They are both back to the “nothing in life is free” method. They both wear prong collars and Kona has been trained a little with the e collar. Every time we feel like they are making progress we get a little overconfident thinking/hoping they get along and they go at it again. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also my wife and I have been married for two weeks and this is not making life easy! Thanks
Congratulations on your nuptials!
As you know, there are several aspects to dog aggression: dominant aggression, fear aggression, territorial aggression and all kinds of other facets of aggressive dog behavior, such as predatory aggression in dogs, aggressive barking, reactivity, etc… And without seeing what’s going on, I can only give you a “best guess” as to what’s going on in this specific case.
The best case scenario is that you can get them to be around each other, but they won’t ever be able to interact with each other– because: They’re both males and they’ve already demonstrated that they are unsafe around each other.
What I would do is either:
1. Find one another home.
2. Get absolute, solid obedience on both dogs, so that they respond to voice commands PERFECTLY … specifically, the “No!” command (which you can use to break them up immediately, should a fight start).
But realize that it’s an explosive situation that you’re always going to need to be “on top” of, 100% of time. I’d definitely get a crate, and alternate which dog is allowed free time. Otherwise, having to constantly supervise the situation will drive you crazy. Of course, both dogs knowing sold down-stay commands will help make life easier. But you’re still in a situation where you’re living under the dog aggression equivalent of the sword of Damocles.