How To Deal With Dog Fights In Your Multiple-Dog Home

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Break it up! Sibling rivalry between dogs is common and there’s bound to be disagreements. Here’s how to handle tense situations like a pro.

Many dog owners would agree that the only thing better than owning a dog is owning multiple dogs. While having a house full of dogs can be wonderful, it can also be quite challenging at times – especially if one or more of your dogs has a bit of a temper. Even the most mild-mannered of dogs can get into a spat now and then, however, so you need to be prepared to deal with fights if you plan on keeping more than one dog at home. Let’s go over how to deal with these fights and talk about tips for preventing them from happening.

Dealing with Dog Fights

Even if your dogs seem to be the best-behaved dogs on the planet, they are going to get into a fight now and again. The sooner you understand and accept this, the better off you will be. Dog fights will be more common in your household until a hierarchy is established – one dog will establish himself at the top of the pyramid and the others will fall into ranks below him. Even after this hierarchy is established, fights will break out from time to time as the alpha dog reminds the others who is boss.

Related: Pros And Cons Of Raising Littermates

While dog fights are inevitable, there are a few things you can do to keep them from becoming too serious, including the following:

  • Have your male dogs neutered – this will help to cut down on territorial behavior and aggression, especially if it is done before a puppy reaches sexual maturity.
  • Make sure you train your dogs well and often, and establish yourself as the ultimate pack leader – even the alpha dog should be in line below you.
  • Keep your dogs separated when you are away from home – if a fight breaks out while you are around, a loud shout or clap of your hands may be enough to break it up, but if you’re not home, it could escalate.
  • Feed your dogs at the same time of day but from separate food bowls – you should also be sure to set down the alpha dog’s food bowl first. If one dog finishes early and tries to steal another dog’s food, you may need to step in and start feeding the dogs in different rooms.
  • Make sure your dogs have some time apart from each other – this may happen during walks, training, or play time and it is important for developing your dogs’ individual personalities and their independence.

Related: 6 Advantages Of Living In A Multi Dog Household

Preventing Aggression in Multi-Dog Homes

In order to prevent dog fights from occurring in your multiple dog home, you need to understand your dogs as individuals. The way your dogs act in a group could be different from the way they act individually, so you need to cultivate an understanding of the group mentality of your dogs as well as their individual temperament. In addition to understanding your dogs’ temperaments, you also need to identify their triggers. One of your dogs could be incredibly friendly around people and other pets, but as soon as another dog tugs on his tale or bites his ear, it could set him off and lead to dog fight. Understanding your dogs’ triggers and preventing them from happening is the key to preventing dog fights in multiple-dog homes.

As you may already know, dog fights are inevitable in a multiple-dog home. There are things you can do to help prevent them from happening, but in many cases all you can do is step in to stop them before they escalate. By following the tips and information in this article you should be equipped to understand and prevent dog fights from getting out of hand in your multiple-dog home.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

More by Kate Barrington