Dog on Dog Aggression
A canine with tendencies toward aggression does not make him bad, but it DOES mean that you need to always be on your guard when another pooch is nearby.
Inter-dog aggression is unfortunately something that certain pet owners deal with on a daily basis. Putting your pup in the best situation to succeed is paramount. There are a number of stimuli that can set aggressive behavior in motion and only you know which tics that really tick your terrier off.
While your dog may not be a wild animal, his ancestors were. Canines are hardwired to place a premium on the resources they have in the moment. Resource guarding refers to their natural desire to protect that item of value. This could be anything from food to a treat, bone, toy, a favorite place, or even a person.
If Fido #1 gets aggressive around the food bowl, feed the two at separate times, leaving the other in the crate or in the other room. If bones or toys are the key igniter for your dogs, assign toys to certain dogs and don't let the other one interact with them at all.
Resource guarding can be an issue anywhere from the household to the dog park. Do your best to stay on top of things when you see your pup getting into a precarious resource situation.
Adopting A New Dog
If you're anything like me, you can't bear the thought of your little guy all by himself as you work the 9-5. A solution many opt for: Adopting a new shelter dog to make things a little less lonely for Fido #1 while giving Fido #2 an equal amount of love and care.
Fidobiotics believes in the power of adopting from shelters and giving a downtrodden pup another chance at happiness. When it comes to adopting your second dog, there are important facets to consider, such as age and gender.
Most shelters will tell you the same thing: Bring your furball with you before deciding on a second dog so you can get a quick feel for their chemistry.
If you already have a female, look to adopt a male and vice-versa. Many incidents of dog on dog aggression happen within the same gender. Beyond that, it can be helpful if your new canine is still in the puppy stage. Many older shelter dogs need help, but personality correction becomes much more difficult once they become fully socialized (18 months).
There are common sense reasons why adopting a second dog can initially be hard on Fido #1. Your incumbent canine has enjoyed a life spent without competing for resources or affection (besides that pesky boyfriend), and has not experienced being bothered by ears nibbled, annoying licks, and the occasional humping. Your dog has much more experience managing the personality of their human, so bringing a new dog into their life can cause an abundance of stress.
In most cases, canines learn each other's quirks relatively quickly and become fast fur friends. While a bed of bones, chew toys, and cuddling cuties is what we aim for, things aren't always quite so civil.
Allow your two dogs to meet each other in a stress-free environment, with food and toys out of sight and snout. During introductions, have them both leashed and a buddy to help facilitate this potentially tenuous time. Do your best to give praising speech and actions when they begin the sniffing process, show them that this grand meeting is a good thing.
Pay close attention to their body language Pinned ears, tucked tails, or hair raised on the spine are all indicators of fear, stress, or aggression. If this is an issue for you, there are resources to learn how to keep your dog calm.
If your two canines aren't so sure about the situation, don't rush them into it. It could, and likely will, take some time.
This unexpected marriage may just take maintenance on your part to keep fur from flying.
Ahh, the dog park. A messy dust bowl of unexpected side tackles and soggy balls for us, and a glorious haven of mud puddles, more balls than a pup can dream of, loving humans every direction a snout can turn, and playful skirmishes. Well, not always playful.
Fights at the dog park are a commonality that most owners have seen or have had the misfortune to be impacted by. While parks are the premiere place for play and exercise, they can carry risk, especially if your pup is prone to dog on dog aggression.
Even if your companion animal only exhibits warning bites or snaps, it may get misinterpreted, taking things to an unnecessary level. This is why it is imperative that every owner out there knows what to do if their companion animal gets into a violent scrum.
Most fights begin and end before you can blink, but when you are in the position to do something, you must be fearless and quick in breaking it up. An extremely common way to break up a fight is by grabbing the hind legs of the aggressor and pulling his or her legs away from the toothy scrum. Be sure to use a loud and gruff command when doing this, as it alerts them that you are not a canine and are not interested in becoming part of the fight. If your dog is prone to bouts of aggression or can be an instigator, be sure to carry vaccination and shot records.
However you handle the aggression, it is important to remember that your dog's aggressive behavior is a combination of nature and prior experiences. Be as patient as you can and remember the signs and tips we covered!