Dogs not getting along is an all too familiar scenario that could escalate into a full-on fight. When this happens, the immediate concern is for the safety of the dogs. When dogs attack each other, they can get hurt or injured. So before their animosity turns into a fight, you must find out what’s influencing the dogs’ aggressive behaviour towards each other so that you can address the problem.
As a dog owner, your intervention is needed to prevent conflicts and fights. The following approaches will help you correct your dogs’ behaviour and help them get along.
1. Be the leader of the pack.
Establishing your roles as the leader of the pack is important. Once your dogs acknowledge that you are in charge, they will become less rebellious, more submissive, more stable, and non-aggressive.
- Do not allow your dogs to pull on the leash when you walk them. You need to be the one leading them, not the other way around. Train your dog to walk beside you.
- During playtime, make sure you are the first to initiate the game and set the rules. You should be the one in control of the game such as when to start or stop.
- Avoid encouraging your dogs from jumping on you or other people. Jumping is an impolite way of greeting and a sign of dominance.
You may also like: Dog Training: 8 Golden Rules That Can Turn Anyone Into an Alpha Dog
2. Observe equal treatment.
If you are living in a multi-dog household, it is crucial to give each of them the same love and care. Avoid making them feel like they need to fight for your attention.
- During training sessions, make sure to train them together. Prepare the same activities and exercises for all your pooches.
- When you go out for walks, take them all with you. Avoid walking your dogs separately to allow them to bond.
- However, you should only do these when your dogs are trained to be calm and relaxed during walks.
3. Maintain the pack hierarchy.
Since dogs are social animals, they have a well-defined pack hierarchy. Each dog in the pack knows his place in the social order. Maintaining the pack hierarchy is important to keep the pack stable. If you can control the alpha dog, you control the rest of the pack.
4. Socialisation is a must.
Although socialisation is recommended to be done during puppyhood, even adult dogs can still be introduced to it. Keep in mind that socialising your furry friend is a gradual process. Thus, you need to have patience and understanding. To properly socialise your dogs, follow these steps:
Begin by simply going to a dog park and sitting on a bench with your pooch. Choose one which is located a little far away from the pathway where other dogs regularly walk. Each time your furry friend sees a pooch, make sure to give him a treat and praise him.
Gradually lessen the distance between your pooch and the path after doing step 1 for several sessions. In time, you should be a few feet away from the other pooches but not close enough to interact. Keep in mind to reward your dog with a treat and praise every time he reacts calmly when he sees another dog.
After several sessions, start walking laterally to the path. Maintain a distance that is far enough to prevent the dogs from interacting. Try to keep your dog’s attention on the path you are walking on. Then, give him treat and praise if he can stay focused and calm without getting distracted by the presence of other dogs.
Approach another dog owner who has a friendly and relaxed furry companion. Ask them if it’s okay for your pooch to greet their dog. Once the owner agrees, make sure to keep the greetings brief. Let the dog maintain a distance at first. Upon crossing paths, allow them to slowly approach and greet each other. If your pooch shows any sign of aggression, give a verbal command to steer his attention away from the other dog. Continue the walk but on a different path. On the other hand, if it is a positive interaction, reward your furry friend with treats and praises.
Repeat these positive introductions with different dogs with various energy levels and sizes.
5. Think about the territory.
If you are planning to introduce your pooch to another dog, factor in the location. Dogs tend to get highly attached to their humans and homes. Bringing another pooch into the house can cause them to become territorial. Thus, it’s best to carry out the socialisation in a neutral place.