HomeLIFE STYLEWhy Do Dogs in...

Why Do Dogs in the Same Household Fight?

Free Subscribtion

Dogs are known for their loyalty and companionship, but what happens when they start fighting with each other? It can be a distressing situation for pet owners, but understanding the reasons behind these fights can help prevent and resolve the issue. In this article, we will explore the common causes of fights between dogs in the same household and provide practical tips on how to stop them.

Causes of fights in multi dog households and how to stop fights

Understanding the Triggers

Just like humans, dogs have their own set of triggers that can lead to aggressive behavior. Some common triggers include resource guarding, territoriality, possessiveness, fear, anxiety, and hormonal changes. Dogs may fight over toys, food, treats, attention from their owners, or their favorite resting spots. It’s important to identify these triggers to effectively address the problem.

Resource Guarding

Resource guarding occurs when dogs become possessive over their belongings. This can include toys, food bowls, treats, or even their owners’ attention. When one dog tries to take away another dog’s possessions, it can escalate into a fight. To prevent resource guarding, it’s essential to supervise interactions, provide separate resources, and teach dogs to share through positive reinforcement training.


Dogs are naturally territorial animals, and conflicts can arise when they feel their territory is being invaded. This can occur when a new dog is introduced into the household or when dogs try to establish dominance over certain areas of the house. Creating separate spaces for each dog, such as using baby gates or playpens, can help alleviate territorial disputes.

Fear and Anxiety

Fear and anxiety can also contribute to interdog aggression. Dogs may become fearful or anxious in certain situations, such as during thunderstorms or when meeting new dogs. When dogs feel threatened or overwhelmed, they may resort to aggression as a means of self-defense. It’s important to address the underlying fear or anxiety through desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques, along with seeking professional help if necessary.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can play a significant role in dog fights, especially when dogs are of the same sex and one is going through sexual maturation. Intact males may become aggressive towards other males, and females in heat may display aggression towards other dogs. Spaying and neutering can help reduce hormone-driven aggression and should be considered as part of the treatment plan.

- Advertisement -

Stopping Dogs from Fighting in the Same Household

Now that we understand the reasons behind interdog aggression, let’s explore effective strategies to prevent and stop fights between dogs in the same household.

1. Get a Vet Check

If your dogs suddenly start fighting or if the aggression seems unprovoked, it’s crucial to schedule a vet check. Physical pain, illness, hormone imbalances, or other medical issues can contribute to aggressive behavior. Identifying and addressing any underlying health problems is an essential first step in resolving interdog aggression.

2. Develop a Training Plan

Creating a training plan tailored to your dogs’ specific needs is essential for resolving interdog aggression. This plan should include management strategies, counterconditioning, and desensitization techniques. Consider consulting a qualified trainer or behaviorist who specializes in positive reinforcement methods to help you develop and implement an effective training plan.

3. Supervise and Manage Interactions

To prevent fights, it’s crucial to closely supervise and manage interactions between your dogs. This may involve using baby gates or playpens to separate them when necessary, especially during mealtimes or when valuable resources are involved. Providing each dog with their own designated space, including separate beds and food bowls, can help minimize competition and reduce the likelihood of conflicts.

4. Prevent Resource Guarding

To address resource guarding behavior, implement strategies to prevent competition and promote sharing. Pick up food bowls after mealtimes, provide each dog with their own water bowl, and separate them when giving out treats or chews. Teaching dogs to take turns and rewarding them for sharing can help prevent fights over resources.

5. Give Individual Attention

Make sure to give each dog plenty of individual attention and quality time with you. This can include walks, playtime, grooming sessions, or simply sitting together. By providing individual attention, you can help alleviate any feelings of jealousy or insecurity that may contribute to interdog aggression.

6. Teach Stationing Behavior

Teaching dogs to have their own designated spots or beds can be beneficial in preventing conflicts. Train them separately to go to their designated areas and gradually introduce them to each other’s presence. This helps establish positive associations and teaches them that being near each other is a calm and rewarding experience.

7. Train Basic Obedience Cues

Training your dogs in basic obedience commands is essential for maintaining control and preventing conflicts. Teach them commands such as sit, stay, and leave it, using positive reinforcement techniques. Regular training sessions not only reinforce obedience but also provide mental stimulation, which can help reduce boredom and potential triggers for aggression.

8. Top Tips for Peaceful Coexistence

If you have dog siblings, these additional tips can help ensure they get along well:

  • When introducing a new dog to the household, allow them to meet on neutral territory to reduce territorial aggression.
  • Avoid favoritism and ensure each dog receives equal attention and affection.
  • Feed dogs in separate areas to prevent competition and resource guarding.
  • Provide each dog with their own bed or crate to establish a sense of personal space.
  • Limit play fighting among littermates to prevent it from escalating into aggression.
  • Walk and train dogs separately, especially during developmental periods or when facing hormonal changes.

9. Learn to Read Dog Body Language

Understanding dog body language is crucial for recognizing signs of discomfort, anxiety, or potential aggression. By learning to interpret their subtle cues, such as growling, lip lifting, raised hackles, and staring, you can intervene and defuse potential conflicts before they escalate into fights.

10. Seek Professional Help

If the aggression persists or escalates despite your efforts, it may be necessary to seek professional help from a qualified trainer or behaviorist. They can provide a fresh perspective and develop a tailored behavior modification plan to address the specific needs of your dogs. In severe cases where safety is a concern, rehoming may be the best option for all involved.

Remember, maintaining a peaceful and harmonious multi-dog household requires patience, consistency, and a commitment to understanding and addressing the underlying causes of interdog aggression. With the right approach, training, and management strategies, you can help your dogs coexist peacefully and enjoy a happy and balanced life together.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not replace professional advice. If you are experiencing issues with interdog aggression, please consult a qualified veterinarian or animal behaviorist for guidance.

Type Keywords to Search


Most Popular


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles

Can I Sleep with My Dog? The Pros and Cons Explained

Deciding whether to let your dog sleep in your bed is ultimately a personal choice that depends on various factors, including your dog's health, your health, personal preferences, and lifestyle.

Understanding Head and Front leg Tremors in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Tremors in dogs are involuntary rhythmic muscle movements that can resemble shaking, shivering, or trembling. While they can be alarming to witness, it's important to understand that tremors are not the same as seizures.

The Ultimate Guide to Rugged Pet Playthings for Dogs

When it comes to our furry friends, we want nothing but...


Read Now

The Ultimate Guide to Dog Winter Clothes: Keeping Your Pup Warm and Stylish

Winter is a beautiful season, with snow-covered landscapes and chilly air. While we humans can bundle up in warm jackets, hats, and scarves, our furry friends also need protection from the cold.

Training an Older Dog: Tips to Tackle Aggression and Leash Pulling

Training an older dog may require adjustments and patience, but it is possible to teach them new behaviors and improve their overall obedience and require different training approaches for older dogs.

The Criminalization of Fatal Dog-on-Dog Attacks: Unveiling the Great Debate

Fatal dog-on-dog attacks have sparked a heated debate regarding whether criminal charges should be imposed on dog owners. We will delve into the multifaceted arguments surrounding the criminalization of fatal dog-on-dog attacks.

The Best Automatic Dog Feeders for Convenient Mealtime

Feeding your dog on a consistent schedule is crucial. But what if your busy lifestyle doesn't always allow you to be there for every mealtime? That's where automatic dog feeders come in handy.

Why Are Dogs So Cute? The Science Behind Their Adorable Appeal

Dogs have always held a special place in our hearts. Their adorable appearance, playful nature, and unwavering loyalty make them beloved companions for millions of people around the world.

The Importance of Dog Licensing and Education in Germany

Have you heard Dog Licensing in Germany? As dog ownership continues to rise in Germany, authorities are recognizing the need for responsible ownership and the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of both dogs and the community.

The Ultimate Guide to Rugged Pet Playthings for Dogs

When it comes to our furry friends, we want nothing but the best. Dogs bring joy, companionship, and endless entertainment into our lives, so it's only fair that we provide them with durable and engaging toys. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of rugged...

Complications With TPLO Surgery in Dogs: What You Need to Know

TPLO surgery is a treatment option for dogs with CCL tears or ruptures. While complications can occur, proper veterinary rehabilitation can help manage these issues and promote successful recovery.

B12 Deficiency in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

This article will help you understand and address B12 deficiency in your dog, focusing not just on the physical symptoms but also on your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.

The Ultimate Guide to Training Dogs: Tips and Techniques for Success

Training a dog is a essential part of being a responsible pet owner. Not only does it ensure the safety and well-being of your furry friend, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

How to Ensure Your Pet’s Happiness and Comfort While You’re Away

Leaving your pet behind while you're away doesn't have to be a source of worry. By following these strategies and tips, you can ensure that your pet remains happy and comfortable during your absence.

Why Do Dogs Sigh? Understanding the Meaning Behind Canine Sighs

Dogs are known for their expressive behaviors, and one intriguing behavior that many pet owners have observed is their tendency to sigh. But what does it mean when a dog sighs?