If you own one or more dogs, you know that aggression between canines can be scary, dangerous, and ideally, avoided. Here are some tips on how you can deter dog-on-dog aggression both in your household and outside the home.
In the Home
If you have several dogs in the home, preventing conflicts is essential in maintaining a safe and peaceful environment for humans and pets. One of the biggest reasons dogs fight is lack of leadership from their human owners. When a group of dogs senses the potential to take over the alpha role, there can be scuffles to see who will get the top spot. It is imperative, therefore, that to prevent fights, your dogs see you as the ultimate leader.
Another reason dogs fight is called "resource guarding," or developing possessiveness about any of the following:
- other dogs
If your dogs are arguing over any of the above, you need to take measures immediately. Separate animals with crates, baby gates, or other types of barricades whenever toys come out, if they can't share. Feed your dogs in separate areas as well, and always supervise them when they have treats to make sure one isn't stealing from another.
If your dogs are dominant or piggish about furniture, it's probably time to keep them on the ground permanently. Use laundry baskets or large cardboard boxes to train your pups to stay off chairs or the sofa. Keep them in their own area at night, so they don't feel the need to be in bed with you.
Out and About
When you leave the house, you obviously have less control over canine aggression, as you can't be responsible for other people's dogs. If you frequent the dog park, consider going during off hours when it's less crowded. Taking a class in canine good citizenship can help your dog learn how to greet strange dogs, as well as how to behave politely in society in general.
Always obey leash laws when walking your dog in public, and never let your dog lunge or bark at passing dogs. While in training with your dog to learn leash manners, you may have to avoid crowded walking areas or use a basket muzzle on your dog if it shows aggression towards other dogs.
In spite of all your efforts, you may encounter a loose aggressive dog that wants to fight with yours. Having a good dog repellent, such as from Sound Defense, on hand every time you walk your dog is therefore a wise idea.
There are chemical-free, humane repellents available today that are the same substances delivery people, meter readers, and utility workers carry. A spray in the direction of the aggressive dog will send it running, and you can continue your walk safely without hurting the other dog.