Do Your Dogs Fight?
Do you have dogs that are not in good terms, keep on fighting each other, and tend to become aggressive? Have you always wanted a harmonious relationship between them but they are just out of control when they bumped into each other? Does it trigger when you pay attention more to one of them? And lastly, are you trying to figure out what would be the solution to this problem to make your home a place of peace?
Well, before I give you my answer, let me congratulate you first for being such a charismatic pet owner. The fact that they want you to have a tunnel vision to only one of them is a true testament to that. It may sound great at first but it seemed a total chaos for everyone at home. I understand where you are coming from because I had the same problem with my second adopted dog.
You can read two of the solutions I made for this problem in “Petting Wars”, one of the chapters of my new book, Keeping the Peace: A Guide to Solving Dog-Dog Aggression in the Home. Find the section I titled “You Guard it, You lose it” which will give you some effective action plans. I hope you will find these action plans helpful to your situation.
Guarding his beloved boss, a dog would secure his perimeter while the other withdraws resulting to the guarder being rewarded. Your dog wants this proud feeling so why would he stop it? Imagine if the person whom the dog is guarding with, keeps on vanishing when he were trying to secure it. An analogy would be a person who loves pizza. You want that good smelling, delicious pizza very badly and nobody should ever take it away from you under your watch.
You tell them not to go near this pizza whenever they try to steal it from you, but what if every time you turn back, the pizza disappears because of what you’re doing? It would be a true waste of energy to reprimand someone to back off a lot of times. Eventually you would realize that just enjoying the pizza, even if someone is threatening to grab it from you, is the best way to maintain his presence.
How You Can Use This
How can we apply it to our problem? Let’s say, your dog becomes aggressive to own you because of another dog, you can simply say “that’s not good” then slowly walk away past him. We don’t advise to be harsh on them when saying these words but rather make them realize that what they have done is the cause of why their good smelling, delicious pizza vanished into thin air. You can ignore him if he goes to you. You will just put a space between you and him and a minute or two would be fine. Control yourself not talk, look or interact with your dog.
Considering your home’s arrangement and to ease your stress, use a tether and tie your dog to the leg of a couch, if deemed necessary, expecting your dog is already used to a tether. Take care of your dog the same as before. However, if they show signs of guarding behaviors when another dog is around, you should walk out, he can’t follow you. Moving yourself away from him while you pet the other dog would be advisable as well. It would be a surprising view before him.
This method called “You Guard it, You Lose It” is a very effective, clear and easy for your dogs to follow. Imagine the situations when your dog guards you or other people in the house then come up with a good plan. Inform everyone about what to say and do in case your dog is about to do his guarding gestures. Remind them to walk out immediately right after they say the magic word.
You should also inform them how long they will ignore our furry friend and where they will go. If everyone does the same thing, your dog will eventually realize and achieve the goal you want him to achieve. The same as other discipline, being consistent in implementation will make the process successful.