Stop Dog Fights Before They Happen!

Ask most dog owners and they will tell you that owning a dog is a wonderful experience. Look in the photo albums of dog owners and see how many pictures feature the family with their dog. Proper dog training, especially beginning with puppy training, will contribute greatly towards making your dog ownership both pleasant and rewarding.

Some people, so pleased with their decision to own a dog, are driven to owning a second dog. Even those who carefully followed dog training tips, and trained their dog successfully at home, may find that the rules change slightly when bringing home a second dog.

Experienced dog trainers emphasise that an important aspect of successful dog training is the ability to overcome a dog’s natural instinctive actions, as well as our own natural reactions. By following the advice of professional dog trainers, it is quite possible to train your puppy or dog.

However, instinct is a powerful force to reckon with. Even if you were able to train both dogs separately before bringing them together under one roof, you may discover that the pull of nature may provide a counter effect to your dog training efforts. Look at children, for example. Loving siblings will get into fights with each other. The same is true of dogs.

By following a few simple, helpful suggestions, you can help avoid those dog fights that can happen even between the best of canine friends.

Plan in Advance – If you already own a dog, and are planning to adopt or purchase another, do not choose a dog of the same gender. Most dog trainers agree that two males or two females are far more likely to engage in disagreements.

Breed is Important – Do your research before obtaining your second dog. Different breeds have different characteristics. Some breeds are well known for not getting along with others, while other breeds are far more agreeable. Either choose a second breed that is compatible with the first or be prepared for some extensive home dog training.

Choose Your Toys Wisely – Dogs like to play with toys and many of us are attracted to the toy shelf in the pet shop. However, just as children have their favourite toys and may not be willing to share, so, too, with dogs. Rawhide toys, pig’s ears, or other toys made of dried animal parts are most likely to bring out the selfish instincts of your dog. Choose a plastic or rubber bone, rather than real ones. Synthetic toys are quite durable and your dogs will be far more likely to share them with one another.

Personal Space – We need our own space; so do dogs. In order to avoid competition, designate separate eating areas for each dog, complete with their own individual bowls. If you have brought home a puppy as a playmate for an older dog, the puppy should have its own crate. To ensure continued dog behaviour, each dog should have time and space away from the other each day.

Follow the Leader – Dogs, by nature, follow a pecking order. One will always be the leader. Social equality is a human concept, not canine. You may see signs that the puppy is “bossing” the older dog, or that the small dog is asserting itself over the large dog. Dog trainers emphasise that this is nature at work. Do not try and interfere. The dogs, not you, will decide who will be dominant in their relationship.

Attention, Please! – Puppy training, or dog training, for your new addition may require much time and energy. Do not sacrifice your relationship with your first dog. Be sure that you still make time to shower the first one with the same love and attention that the new dog is receiving. You may find it helpful to “review” some of your initial obedience training with the first dog, as he may decide to seek your full attention by ignoring some commands. A quick review and assurances from you will keep him happy as well.


I'm a professional dog trainer who is sharing my journey as I transition to positive reinforcement based dog training methods.

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