Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs

It is always a bit strange to me that we expect our dogs to be social butterflies. People often get very embarrassed when their dog barks at another dog, growls, or vocalizes in any way.

Indeed it is more natural for dogs to be wary of other dogs. After all, when a wolf pack sees a new wolf in their territory, they will chase him away. In fact, wolves are very protective of their territory, and dogs can be as well, unless they are trained otherwise.

Even then, we should not expect our dogs to like all other dogs.

Some dogs just do not get along. Other dogs may get along when they are young, and start showing dog to dog aggression once they have matured. Just like us, dogs grow-up and change based on their experiences, training, relationships with others, and their natural temperaments.

Even dogs that live together and seem to get along very well may sometimes exhibit aggression with each other.

  • Why does a dog show aggression to another dog?
  • Is this something that we can help our dog with?
  • How do we stop dog to dog aggression?

Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs
Stop Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs | Source


Often, it seems like dog to dog aggression comes out of nowhere.

One day our dog is best friends with the neighbor's dog, and the next day they are in a no-holds-barred fight.

Where does the aggression come from? How can best friends suddenly turn into bitter enemies?

Although it may seem to us that our dogs start fighting for apparently no reason, that is frequently not the case. There is usually a reason or a trigger event that sets off the aggression. In addition, dogs don't usually launch into an all-out aggressive attack of another dog without some initial warning signals.

In fact, dogs usually start communicating with each other from afar through body language and some vocalizations.

There is usually a reason or a trigger event that sets off dog to dog aggression.
There is usually a reason or a trigger event that sets off dog to dog aggression. | Source

The Butt Sniff

My Shiba Inu can sometimes get aggressive with other dogs. In particular, he does not like new dogs coming over to sniff his butt. Butt sniffing requires a fair amount of trust because the dog is allowing someone he does not know to put their teeth very near to his sensitive areas, and far away from his own teeth. The dog doing the sniffing could easily attack and seriously wound the other dog before he could even respond.

When meeting another dog, my Shiba usually has loose body posture until the other dog starts to approach his butt region. Then ...

  • He starts tensing up and shows the other dog that he is uncomfortable with that butt action.
  • If the other dog does not back-off, Shiba will usually lift his lip and start a soft growl.
  • If the other dog still does not back-off, Shiba will quickly turn around and air snap.
  • If the other dog still does not back-off, a fight may occur.

Since we do not speak dog, we often miss all of this useful information. Instead, all we hear is the bark or the growl. We interpret this as dog aggression, get embarrassed, and start punishing our dog for actually doing all the right things.

My Shiba gave many warnings to both me and the other dog, and it is only after we ignored all of his warnings that he contemplated using his teeth.

If we keep correcting our dog for giving warning signals and properly communicating his unease, he may decide to skip all the middle steps and go straight into an attack the next time he meets another dog.

If we keep correcting our dog for giving warning signals and properly communicating his unease, he may decide to skip all the middle steps and go straight into an attack the next time he meets another dog.
If we keep correcting our dog for giving warning signals and properly communicating his unease, he may decide to skip all the middle steps and go straight into an attack the next time he meets another dog. | Source
Shiba Inu Sephy and Siberian Husky Shania sharing a meal together.
Shiba Inu Sephy and Siberian Husky Shania sharing a meal together. | Source
Siberian Husky Shania working on her bully stick in peace.
Siberian Husky Shania working on her bully stick in peace. | Source


Dog to dog aggression can be triggered by a wide variety of stimuli. Furthermore, whether a particular trigger causes an escalation into aggression also depends on the current mood of the dogs, energy levels, and other surrounding context.

Two common triggers -

  1. Competition over resources.
  2. Self-defense from a perceived threat.

Dog fights frequently occur over food, toys, territory, or reproductive rights. That is why it is against the rules to bring a bitch in heat to a public dog park. This can very easily start a fight among the male dogs as they compete for rights over the female. Dogs may also fight to claim food and territory.

For example, both my dogs get along very well. They even have their meals together. However, when I give them a high priority item, like a bully stick, I separate them. This lets them work on their bully sticks in peace, without having to worry about it getting stolen. My Shiba Inu is a big time scamp and he really likes stealing things just for the hell of it. If he tries to steal my Siberian Husky's bully stick, that might trigger a fight.

Note - what causes an aggressive episode is highly contextual. For example, my dogs can eat together without any problems because to them, the regular food is not worth fighting over. However, if they were both really hungry, then it may be a totally different situation.

In the butt-sniff case, my dog was trying to protect himself from a perceived threat, i.e., the other dog placing his teeth close to my dog's sensitive parts. What is perceived as a threat will be different for each individual dog. Therefore, it is important to carefully observe our dog and listen to what he has to say. If we can identify his aggression triggers, then we can start to help him get over them.

Shiba Inu Sephy and Siberian Husky Shania are best of friends.
Shiba Inu Sephy and Siberian Husky Shania are best of friends.

Aggression and Dominance

A trigger event causes conflict between two dogs. This does not necessarily mean that the conflict will escalate into a fight. If one of the dogs is willing to submit to the other, then that is usually sufficient to resolve the conflict.

For example, my Siberian Husky is a more submissive dog. Whenever there are any real conflicts, she will usually submit to Shiba Inu by rolling onto her back and exposing her tummy.

Dog fights usually only arise when both dogs are unwilling to submit. In this case, they resolve the conflict with their teeth. This is why dogs with more dominant personalities are more of a challenge to live with because they will stick to their guns and not back down. Others must acquiesce to their position. The same is also true for people with more dominant personalities.

When I got a second dog, I made sure to get a dog with a more submissive personality. My Shiba Inu has a dominant temperament, and gets along better with more relaxed, playful, and submissive dogs.

Aggression and Dominance
Aggression and Dominance | Source


In cases of dog to dog aggression, it is usually very helpful to hire a professional trainer. A professional trainer can observe our dog in real-time and catch body language that we may miss. This allows us to effectively interpret our dog's interactions with other dogs and identify the source of his aggression.

Some things that have helped me deal with my Shiba Inu's dog to dog aggression issues -

  • Always stay calm and always have a plan. If we become angry, fearful, or frustrated, our dog will pick up on that energy and become even more stressed.
  • Create as many neutral experiences as possible. If nothing happens every time we see another dog, our dog will learn to be more relaxed in the presence of other dogs.
  • Do not let a dog practice aggressive behavior. The more he practices aggression toward another dog, the more likely he will repeat that behavior in the future.
  • Set our dog up for success. Only let him greet friendly and relaxed dogs that we are absolutely sure he can handle. This helps to build our dog's confidence, and helps him better handle greetings with other dogs in the future. It will also help us build our own confidence.
  • Desensitize our dog toward other dogs in a controlled training environment.

How to Stop Dog to Dog Aggression
How to Stop Dog to Dog Aggression | Source

Dog Socialization

Dog socialization has recently become the new it thing. Dogs are often forced into social situations that they are uncomfortable with. However, if a dog keeps having negative experiences with other dogs, he will ultimately resort to using aggression to protect himself.

Successful greetings condition a dog to enjoy the company of other dogs, negative greetings teach him to be anxious or fearful of his own kind.

If we continue to force our dog to meet unbalanced dogs or dogs with conflicting temperaments, we will only worsen his dog to dog aggression issues.

If we help our dog by carefully choosing his play-mates and respecting his social boundaries, he will grow up to be a more balanced, confident, happy, and relaxed dog.

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If we help our dog by carefully choosing his play-mates and respecting his social boundaries, he will grow up to be a more balanced, happy, and relaxed dog.
If we help our dog by carefully choosing his play-mates and respecting his social boundaries, he will grow up to be a more balanced, happy, and relaxed dog. | Source

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Comments 70 comments

Rustly36 11 months ago

I have a 2 year old cocker and have recently introduced a 14 week old cocker pup. For 90% of the time they play really well. Mouthing, growing, rolling round with each other but it is most definitely play. However, on occasion, things get out of hand and too rough. The growling changes tone and it looks nasty, although they have never bitten each other.

Any advice please.

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shibashake 3 years ago Author

For more serious cases of aggression, it is best to get help from a good professional trainer.

Some things that I do to help my dogs get along-

1. I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. I supervise my dogs very well especially during play and meal-times. If there are any conflicts, I resolve them in a fair and consistent manner before things escalate into a fight.

2. I manage my dogs' excitement level by throwing in many play breaks, teaching them impulse control, and making sure they have many positive and structured outlets for their energy.

3. I create as many successful dog-to-dog interactions as I can so that my dogs learn to see my new puppy as a friend and companion, rather than as a competitor.

Here is more on what I do to help my dogs get along-

michisjourdi 3 years ago

I came here hoping that I would be able to solve a problem. My mother adopted a chihuahua who needed a home. She already had about four Maltese dogs.

The chihuahua would shoulder-check the other dogs, instating dominance right away, wanting to take top place in the pecking order.

But one of the puppies, once older, decided to take him down a peg or two. Now that the puppy was an adult he began sparring with the chihuahua. Then the other dogs got in on it. It didn't used to be too bad, but now it's gotten worse.

The rest of the dogs in the house will gang up on and beat him until they are pulled off of him.

Is there any way to stop the aggressive behaviour of the rest of the pack?

Allison 3 years ago

Great hub! You seem to understand dog aggression well.

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shibashake 3 years ago Author

What works well with my dogs is to set-up some clear and consistent dog-to-dog interaction rules. In this way, my older dogs know exactly what to expect from puppy and vice versa. I make everything fair and consistent, and I prevent any anti-social behaviors. One important rule for my dogs is "no stealing".

During meal-times, I supervise them very closely and make sure that each dog has enough space to work on his own interactive toy. I body block them away from each other if they get too close, and in this way prevent any conflicts before they occur.

If there is any stealing, I no-mark the behavior and replace all of the stolen food and more to the victim. The thief goes to timeout right away.

However, I find that it is best to prevent the stealing from occurring in the first place, and teach them that they get rewarded more for staying calm, and working cooperatively together for me.

I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs, and teach them that they have to work for all of the things that they want, including their food. In this way, when they want food, they usually come to me and we do a short obedience session where they get rewarded well.

Here is more on what I do to keep the peace at home-

Here is more on the NILIF program -

Donna 3 years ago

I have a 13 mth & a 8 mth old boxer males (both desexed at 6 mths). They get along fantastically. They sleep , play and eat together (bowls side by side, even swapping bowls halfway through) The last 2 weeks the 8 mth old has snapped about 6 times at the older dog (usually only when he is hungry or over special food). The older dog is submissive and retreats so no actual fight has occurred. We have growled at the younger dog. I want to get rid of this behaviour. What can I do? Is reprimanding the younger pup the correct thing and is there anything else I can do so that that younger pup does not learn to do this all the time.

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shibashake 3 years ago Author

Hello ach007,

The problem with enclosed dog parks is that there are usually a fair number of dogs in a fairly limited space. The dogs all have very different temperaments; some want to play all the time, some want to wrestle, and some of them don't want to play at all. There is a lot of excitement, stress, and very little structure or supervision.

I used to take my Shiba Inu to the dog park, and he ended up developing a lot of bad behaviors because of his time there. He would get overly excited and start behaving badly, he would copy bad behaviors, and if confronted, he would not back down. The more he practiced those bad behaviors, the more likely he is to repeat them, so the problem only worsened with time.

Here is a bit more on our enclosed dog park experiences-

Shiba Sephy does much better in smaller and more structured play-groups. In a smaller group, I can supervise him well, and teach him positive interaction behaviors and play rules. I can also properly pick his play mates, and make sure that he learns good behaviors from them.

ach007 3 years ago

Hi there,

I have a mix between a Dogo Canario and a Cane Corso, he just hit "puberty" and is 9 months old. Lately when we've been to the dog park, he has ended up in fights, not been anything serious until now, but from what im reading here its probably because usually one of the dogs back down. Now today, he ended up in a fight with a Staff that came in to try and play with the male nudered dog he was playing with (been friends for long), Non of them would let go of each other when we tried to separate them. My question is if this is related to him hitting puberty and trying to establish his place? or is he aggressive? Its never been a problem in the past and he is a super relaxed dog at the dog park, its just when he meets dogs that doesn't act the way he is used to.

Ty for the help

shibashake profile image

shibashake 3 years ago Author

Dog-to-dog desensitization exercises helped with my Shiba Inu. With desensitization, we slowly help a dog to re-associate a previously negative stimulus (e.g. another dog) with positive outcomes. Desensitization also helps us train a dog to use alternate behaviors to deal with his stress and fear.

Here is more on dog-to-dog desensitization and some other things that I tried with my Shiba-

nerdbomb565 3 years ago

I have a question, my dog is Husky mix with Shepard, and my neighbor and I try to get him to play with her dogs that are just now maturing and he growls and barks at them every single time they try to play with him, but they are both very playful pups and just want to play with him. Now he's been able to do ok with one of the pups and a friend of mines husky as well, plus I adopted him and the people I got him from think he was abused and abandoned when they found him. I really don't know how to train him to stop being aggressive and I was hoping you could shed some light on that.

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shibashake 3 years ago Author

Yeah, I am not a big fan of enclosed dog parks. I also took Sephy really often when he was young, and he started picking up a lot of bad habits from the dogs there. He does much better with smaller and structured play groups.

In addition, we go to much larger unenclosed parks and do hiking on trails instead.

Here is a bit more on our dog park experience-

Jeanette 3 years ago

Thank you so much for this! My family & I recently adopted a male husky between the ages of one & two. He's been the sweetest most relaxed dog we've ever seen...he does have major separation anxiety while left alone so that's something we're working on...we've been taking him to our local dog park to give him play time & interaction with other dogs. Even when other dogs would growl at him he would ignore it...until this weekend. He's now trying to dominate every dog in sight & when one of them doesn't like it & growls at him he snarls. Today he actually got into a fight with a much smaller dog & almost got into another fight with a huge German shepard. He loves going to the park & whines every morning to go because it's become our routine...but I don't want him to continue this behavior...especially if it's because he's feeling uncomfortable. We have two children & two female cats & he's wonderful with far...I just don't want it to escalate into aggression towards my children. Any ideas? Thank you so much again...your posts have been the most helpful so far.


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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Ashley,

One thing that helped with my Shiba Inu's dog reactivity issues is systematic desensitization. Here is a desensitization exercise that I used to do with him-

Here are some of the things that I do to keep the peace at home with my dogs-

Getting help from a professional trainer can also be very helpful. A professional can not only identify what triggers are setting off the aggression, but also put in place a training program that not only helps our dog, but keeps us safe as well.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Rose,

I just recently got a great suggestion on this issue!

Adele suggested getting a bright vest for her dog that says "In training". That way, hopefully more people will know to stay away. I am thinking of getting something like that for Lara as well. Here is Adele's comment-

I have noticed during my walks that people are much better about giving me space when I tell them that I am in the middle of training - which I always am. :D Kindda like people know not to disturb kids when they are in the middle of their lessons.

Ashley 4 years ago

I have a 2 yr old male chow and Pitt mix he's a very sweet loving dog, some people that come around he's okay with and some not. He's always been fine around other dogs at the dog park and stuff. A year ago my roommate got a male Pitt everything was fine they shared the same kennel ate together laid on each other best friends !!!!!!! Then last week they started fighting over food, my 2 year old dog was starting it they got in two big fights bleeding. We got separate kennels and put their food In different rooms. During one of the fights I got bit pretty bad and I'm scared to even get around them so we have been keeping them completely separated . I got the 2 yr old fixed yesterday and he still starts attacking the kennel when he sees the 1 yr old Pitt and they go at it through the cage. I can't even let them out around each other to try to do anything !! I need help please!!!!

Rose 4 years ago

Hi! This is Rose who wrote you a few months ago about my "Chaweenie" who is very "anti-dog-social" during walks. I was re-reading your advice, which helped me again to remember it is o.k. to walk away from dog owners eager to introduce their dog with mine.

My question this time is how to deal with the HUMANS, not the dogs! Lol... Why is it that so many dog owners are intent on having their dog socialize with mine? I am getting tired of explaining my dog is not friendly. I have recently tried putting a muzzle on her, but then I have to explain to EVERY passer-by that she is friendly - to humans only. So what can I say to all these social-coordinators who seem insulted if I do not allow my dog to meet theirs? Thanks again! Rose

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Some things that have helped with my dogs-

1. Strict dog-play rules.

When I get a new dog, I teach her what these rules are so that she knows how to interact with my existing dogs and vice versa. For example, there is no humping.

I also have a three legged dog, so I do not allow my other dogs to chase her and tackle her. It is ok if she chases them, but not the other way around.

When my dog does something unacceptable, I no-mark to let her know that is it not good behavior. Then I tell her what to do instead. If she does not listen, then I stop play briefly. If she keeps going back to humping, then I put her on a brief timeout.

2. Play-breaks

I have many obedience breaks during play. This teaches my dogs to focus on me even when they are excited. Play breaks also help to calm things down so that nobody gets over-excited.

3. Safe haven

There is a safe area during play - this is usually between my legs. :D When a dog comes over to me, I make sure to keep the other two away. In this way, any dog can get a break when they need one.

Here are more of the things that I do when introducing a new dog-

Vanessa M 4 years ago

I have a 9 month old female pit bull and a 2 year old mastiff/pitbull mix the female plays aggressively. I know they are playing but she tends to play too tough and I don't think she understands she's hurting the male although he squeals. I'm not sure how to tame her aggressive playfulness. The male dog has scratches from their play time but, I'm afraid he will get hurt because he does continue to play with her he just seems to allow it. What should i do?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

" Is it possible for a male to be willing to fight a female?"


This is what I do at home to introduce a new dog and keep the peace-

Some of my experiences with dog dominance-

basenjimomma 4 years ago

Hey Shibashake! I have a 4yr old not neutered male Basenji. I recently purchased a 1yr old female Basenji (not spayed. I purchased her to breed with my male. As of right now they both seem to be dominant. When the female wants to sniff my males butt he sits down...un-willing to allow her to do so. When he sniffs her she freezes and growls. Im afraid if I just let them do their thing they will fight. Is it possible for a male to be willing to fight a female? If they are both dominant types won't they hurt each other? When they aren't sniffing they seem to want nothing to do with each other. They ignore each other. When Im sitting on the floor petting my male (who ive had since he was 6mo) and she comes over to get attention from me he will kind of scoot away and sit down farther away from her. Any advice? My personal email you can also send advice to is storm_girl2009 at Yahoo

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TheHorseTeacher 4 years ago from Arizona, USA

Outstanding info and well written!

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Carrie11,

It would be difficult to tell why a dog fight occurs, unless one is there to observe the dogs, read their body language, and view the surrounding context.

In general, when dogs fight it is usually over resources. A common resource is food, but it can also be anything else that the dogs desire including sleeping area, attention from people, access to the backyard, and much more. What were the dogs doing before the fight began? Where were the dogs? What was their body language? What was the surrounding context - were there any unexpected events, noises? What were the people doing? Was everyone relaxed? Were there any sources of stress for the people or the dogs?

Dogs can be retrained and desensitized toward their aggression triggers, however we want to first understand the cause. Once we do that, we can come up with a plan of action.

Carrie11 4 years ago

I have two German Shepherd females (sisters). They have both had dominance issues occasionally. Yesterday out of the blue they literally tried to kill one another. I'm not sure what set them off, but it wasn't over food. Everything was calm and quiet, next thing I know, they are mauling each other. We got the two separated, but we don't know what to do from there. We are not able to hire a professional dog trainer, but we would like to know why this happened and should we let one go to another home?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello TLM,

Here are some of the things that help to keep the peace with my dogs-

1. I supervise play sessions very closely, especially in the beginning. There is no bullying allowed, and I have many play breaks to keep them from getting over-excited.

2. No stealing. I hand out food, toys, and other resources and they are not allowed to steal from each other. If there are any resource conflicts, I step in and handle it before there is any aggression.

3. Group obedience training. I do group training with them, and reward them very well. This teaches them that staying calm and working together gets them the most stuff.

4. A safe place to rest. When my older dogs want to rest and do not want to be bothered, I get puppy to leave them alone. I also have a fixed routine for puppy, that includes rest time so that she does not wear everyone out.

Here is more on what I do when introducing a new dog into the family-

Congratulations on your new Shiba!

TLM 4 years ago

I have a 2 year old chihuahua who is teeny tiny. She's been a tad spoiled as she has been an "only child" since 4wks old when I took her home. We decided to adopt an 11 month old Shiba Inu mix from the humane society. It's not going very well. My chihuahua is very nervous and growls/nips at the Shiba when she is around her. The Shiba is a pup and quite hyper, and my Chihuahua has never been hyper. I am at a loss here. I have had many dogs and never been this stumped about how to help them get along. I am worried the Shiba will snap and attack my tiny Chihuahua. :-/ any ideas?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Sharon,

When my dogs have disagreements it is usually around resources, e.g. space, attention, toys, etc.

Several things that help me keep the peace at home-

1. No stealing rule. I make sure they do not steal from each other. When there are conflicts, I step in and resolve it for them before they resort to aggression.

2. Group obedience training. I do group training with them so that they learn that being calm and working together gets them the most rewards.

3. Supervision during play. I supervise them closely when they are playing and have many play breaks. This prevents them from getting over-excited and turning play into something else.

4. Dog to dog desensitization exercises can also be helpful.

This is more of what I do with my dogs at home.

In cases of aggression, getting help from a professional trainer can also be very helpful.

Sharon Harmon 4 years ago

I rescued a Shih Tzu a year ago who didn't show any signs of aggression to neighbor Westie in fact they appeared to love each other and played good all the time daily. Then, last week the Shih Tzu started viciously attacking the Westie after circling and butt sniffing. She latches on and it is almost impossible to get her off the Westie. The Westie doesn't appear to fight back and is now afraid of the Shih Tzu . What should I do. They are both neutered adult females.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

It sounds like she has learned that aggression works to keep other dogs away, so she keeps using it.

In terms of retraining the behavior, dog-to-dog desensitization exercises may help-

During retraining though, it is important to keep her on-leash during walks so that she does not practice aggressive behaviors with other dogs. This will also help to keep everyone safe.

In terms of keeping the peace at home, this is what I do with my dogs-

With dog-to-dog aggression issues, I find that getting help from a good professional trainer can be very helpful. A good trainer will be able to read the body language of our dog, and help us with timing, consistency, and a structured retraining program. A trainer can also help us to communicate clearly and accurately with our dog so that she learns quickly, and does not get confused as to what we want.

Hecate 4 years ago

Hi ShibaShake,

My boyfriends mother has two dogs. I spend a great deal of time at their home and take the dogs(one springer cross and one westie) to the beach with me on the weekend for my run. If the beach is quiet and let them of the leads and they run about with exuberance for a bit and then pretty much fall in with me as I walk and then jog. More often lately I noted that I had to distract the Springer Cross with stones when we started to approach other dogs. When they got to close, like the butt sniff, she started to almost panic and then broke into a high pitched bark to frighten them away. This mostly happened when she was in heat and then it started to become a regular thing if any dog came near her at all. Then it developed further into crouching with tale between the legs and aggressive snarling, barking and lunging for the other dogs. Now it's at it's worst, if she sees another dog on the beach she lies on all fours as though stalking, then sprints after them and does a swooping half circle in front of them, never getting to close. It's an act and she's posturing as best as I can discern. But when I see this start to happen it doesn't matter what I say or do to distract her, she will not listen. It back fired on her recently when she got to close to a dog and he attacked her back, I put her on the leash for some time straight after and repremanded her for it, but none of it made a dint, she went straight for the next dog she saw 5mins after I left her off again. At home she bullies the westie to a great degree even though they get on well, she will attack her for no reason. She is a very dominant dog. It can happen on the beach too, her exuberance gets the better of her and her playfulness becomes aggession. The attacks at home happen regularly enough, 1 to 2 times a week but always out of sight of anyone in the house. Both dogs were nutered recently which we thought would help but it hasn't improved things. She is a great dog, and is incredibly smart but I am getting to my wits end with her, and tonight I smacked her for the first time, which is something I never want to do again. I brought them out for a walk and was distracted by a friend. The dogs were slightly ahead of me when a A young boy came up to them. He growled and barked at her, she barked back, Then the boy turned back to his family, She bounded after him for a minute and for a moment I really thought she was going to bite him. I would really appreciate some guidance and advice from you as you know what you're talking about. Thanks!

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Jay,

Household dogs usually fight over resources. Sometimes it could be over food or toys, but it can also be over access to people, sleeping area, attention, and more.

Here are some of the things that I do to help my dogs get along-

It may also be helpful to get a professional trainer to observe the dogs so that she can identify the actual aggression triggers. Once we identify the triggers, we can set up a plan to help desensitize our dogs to those triggers.

Jay 4 years ago

Hello my to Chiauhauhs fight for no reason! My younger dog looks at my older dog and starts growling for no reason, then they attack each other vicoucly? Help please!

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

With my dogs, I have noticed that conflict usually occurs over resources - for example food, sleeping area, personal space, affection, etc.

Management of resources can be helpful. For example, I hand out the food to each dog and make sure there is no stealing. When one dog wants to rest, I make sure the others do not go over to bother him. I direct them elsewhere to go to rest. Each of them also have their own crate space.

In this way, it is clear what the routine is, and what belongs to whom. It also teaches them that I am the one that manages resources and I am also the one that resolves resource conflicts. They don't have to do it themselves.

I also do group obedience sessions together, and teach them that they get the most rewards when they stay calm, and work cooperatively together for me.

All my dogs follow the same rules, and I teach them that when there is conflict, I will be the one to handle it.

Here are more of the things that I do to help my dogs get along-

punkinqtbp 4 years ago


I am very worried about my pitbull. Someone had him in my area and he was very underweight and was not treated very good. I could not help but to take him home with me because I felt so bad for him. I was worried about him with my son but it was love at first sight. He is a very sweet and loving dog and sleeps in bed with my son every night. He has been going to my moms house while I am at work because he is spoiled and I do not want him to be home alone to long. My mom has four dogs and he was really close to her female lab mix. He would eat out of the same bowl, cuddle on the couch, lick each other and he would run to the door to see her. They just recently became aggressive towards each other. The first time he became aggressive when they were eating. Then he was sitting on the couch and she looked at him and they started fighting. Any advice? I am starting to hear from my mom that he is a pit and that is why he is aggressive but he is so sweet and loving. I do not think it is caused by his breed but something between them. He does not attack any of her other dogs.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Rose,

With my dogs I mostly focus on creating neutral experiences - i.e., this means making sure that they stay calm and just ignore the other dogs. I only let them meet very calm dogs that are under very good control of their owners.

When it comes to dog-to-dog socialization, I have found that it is important to set my dog up for success. I make sure to not only maximize positive encounters, but also minimize negative encounters. This will help him to build confidence and associate other dogs with something positive.

In addition, dog-to-dog desensitization exercises can also be helpful because it trains a dog to stay calm in the presence of other dogs, but in a structured and controlled way.

Here is more on my dog-to-dog experiences-

Rose 4 years ago

I already know my half doxie half chi hua hua is not going to get along well with others. However, when we pass other dogs on the street, the other dog's owner invariably gets insulted when I do no allow my dog to socialize. One lady in fact yelled at me "You need to take your dog to dog school to learn how to socialize!"

Is she correct? Should I be trying everything in my power to change my dog's attitude? Or should I just keep avoiding other dogs? Btw, if I see my dog and the other face to face, I pull her away, as the face to face usually leads to my dog starting a fight.

Thank you!

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Leslie,

Congratulations on your new dog!

When I got a new puppy, my Shiba Inu did not trust her in the beginning. He did not want puppy coming near him, because he did not really know her, and was unsure of her role.

Some things that helped them get along-

1. Group obedience training sessions. This taught them that when they are calm together and work together, everybody gets rewarded.

2. Fixed routine for puppy. This makes her role clearer to the other dogs.

3. No stealing.

4. Consistent rules for everyone.

5. I also made sure that puppy did not bother the other dogs when they are uninterested in playing. Each dog should have their own space when they want it.

In general, I tried to make time together very positive. I make sure to step in and handle resource conflicts, and teach everyone that they get more as a group.

Here is more on my experiences with introducing a new dog into the pack-

Hugs to your pack!

Leslie 4 years ago

I just recently adopted a year old female cocker spaniel. I have 3 other dogs in the home, hey are all chihuahua's (2 male one female) I dont understand why my "new addition to the family" doesn't like the other three dogs. When they get close to her she growls and shows teeth. I am noticing that the other three dogs are starting to try at all cost to avoid her. Will this behavior go away? How do I deal with it? She is a really great dog other than this aggression she is expressing. Please help!

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Kat,

I also had some dog-to-dog reactivity issues with my Shiba Inu, Sephy. Doing dog-to-dog desensitization exercises can be helpful.

With Sephy I started small, with non-reactive dogs, and then very very slowly increased the strength of the stimulus.

Another thing that helped with Sephy is to teach him to ignore other dogs. The more neutral experiences we had with other dogs, the more calm Sephy became when he saw other dogs.

kat 4 years ago


i have a three year old irish setter, who was completely fine with other dogs until he was atacked and biten by a border terrier that he used to previously play with quite happily. Since then I am noticeing more of a problem. He will now lot let other dogs come near him when on the lead, he will then launch and bark. however if I let him off the lead as the same dog approaches, he will hide and avoid.

he was happily playing with a young dog in the woods the other day. He seemed to be enjoying being chased. However when the dog caught him we had the same problem launching and barking. he has not actually biten.

This does not happen with every dog, there seem to be a few certain types that is like this with, espectally german sherpherds. It seems that as long as the dog has no real interest in him he will be fine. Anything overexcitable he doesn't like.

I had him on the long line in the front garden, whist out front with the children. The gate was closed. A lady walked by with her dog who sniffed mine through the gate. He was wagging his tail, next thing I know he has dived through the gate and onto of the poor dog!

any suggestions as to how I can solve this problem?

thank you for your time

katrina liddle

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Dogs may show aggression toward other dogs for a variety of reasons. When addressing aggression issues with my dogs, I first identify the trigger event - i.e., what exact behavior, location, object, etc. triggers my dog's aggressive reaction. Once I have identified the trigger event, then I can come up with a plan to address it.

In terms of enclosed dog parks, they may not necessarily be the best place to teach a dog socialization skills. I used to take my Shiba Inu to enclosed dog parks, but he was learning bad habits there, getting over-excited during play, and actually becoming more reactive to other dogs. The quality of experience in a dog park depends a lot on the people who frequent the park and whether there is good supervision. Here are some of my experiences with enclosed dog parks-

KJ 4 years ago

I have a Siberian husk that is now a year old and he started to show aggression toward other husky and German shepherd. I had him when he was ten weeks old. I would take him to the dog park 5 day a week to get him socialized and he was a nice dog when he was younger. now

he want to fight every dog. What can I do to prevent him from fighting.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

"We have asked the vet and some trainers that we know. "

Hmmm, what did they say?

Usually when there is aggression between two dogs, there is a trigger event. It can sometimes be difficult to see what the trigger event is, but as you say, it is usually centered around resources.

Common resources that dogs may fight over can include food and toys, as you have mentioned. They can also include space, affection, attention, sleeping area, digging area, etc.

Are there any similarities in the circumstances surrounding the attacks? Did the attacks always happen in a particular location? Was is always inside the house? Does it only happen when they are unsupervised?

When aggression situations arise with my dogs, I make sure to supervise them very closely and keep them separated when I am unable to supervise. In this way, I can carefully observe them, prevent fights from escalating, and identify the trigger event. Once I do that, I can start desensitizing them to the trigger event.

Have the trainers observed the dogs together in their home environment? What did they say?

JahMartin 4 years ago

We have a German Shepherd mix and a cocker spaniel mix. Both were adopted a few years ago and have become amazing additions to our family. Recently and it seems out of nowhere our shepherd has begun to attack our spaniel. It started out with her showing aggression towards the spaniel but, as soon as we told her no she would stop. Within the past month however she has begun to physically attack our spaniel mix. They never fought over food or toys before but we decided to separate the two when doing these things in hopes that it would stop the attacks. It hasn't. Although they happen few and far between they are getting worse when they do happen. We have asked the vet and some trainers that we know. She doesn't show aggression towards any other animals or people. In fact she is very loving except towards our spaniel. What can we do?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello wmarschke,

With Sephy, I supervised him closely whenever we were at the dog-park. If he starts with any anti-social behavior, I would non-mark him and stop play. He has to come back with me to a quiet part of the park for a mini-timeout.

This would be easier if the dog has good recall. With Sephy, I had to go and get him each time.

We don't go to enclosed dog parks anymore for a variety of reasons. Here are some of our dog park experiences.

antonija 4 years ago

Hey, great article. It has really helped put my dog's behaviour into context.

I have a 1.5 year old weimaraner/lab cross and he is increasingly showing aggression towards other dogs- but mostly only in forests. As soon as he sees a dog in the forest he begins jumping around them and barking, as if he wants to send them away. Sometimes he even does this to a lone star person that might be roaming in the woods. I know this is an issue, but I am just stuck on how to resolve it. He is off leash during these hikes, which are in remote areas where there usually aren't any people/dogs. Because of his breed, he REALLY needs this exercise. When he is having these barking spells, he could care less about what we say. I really want him to just relax when he sees these dogs/people! Otherwise, he is not nearly as crazy on our sidewalk walks. He does bark at them though.

I've noticed that this has been increasingly becoming worse. Do you have any tips/suggestions you can share?

Thank you.

wmarschke 4 years ago

Hello Shibashake,

I have the same experience as Danyelm. A 7 year old rot/lab mix with a new little brother. The 18 month old and the 7 year old have been going to the park together all week and all is fine. Just today, the older dog went after two dogs that he saw the younger dog playing with. He actually went into the mix to break up the play and then went after the other dogs on two separate occasions.

Any tips on breaking this behavior as it just appeared in the last 24 hours and we want to address it right away? The "little brother" can take care of himself.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Danyelm128,

One thing I did notice with my Shiba Inu just after I got a second dog is that he was very protective of her. She is a 3-legged dog, so when we went to the park and other dogs played too rough with her, my Shiba would go and warn the other dogs away.

Was the puppy near your Rottie when you went to the park? He could be trying to protect puppy.

Another possibility is that he could view puppy as 'his' and does not want to let other dogs playing with puppy. Rotties usually have pretty strong guarding instinct.

It is difficult to say for sure unless one is there to observe the dogs and the entire context.

One possibility is to get a professional trainer to go to the park with you. In this way, the trainer can view the body language of all the dogs and can more accurately pinpoint the true triggers for the behavior.

Danyelm128 4 years ago

Hello, I have a 6 year old rottweiler and he is neutered and he has always been the laid back non aggressive dog we could take him anywhere and he would be fine with other dogs around him. Well we recently went and adopted a 6 month old chihuahua as a kind of buddy for him and another pet for the house because are rott is getting older and not as playful. Well are rott plays fine with the chihuahua at home and never has shown any aggression or resentment towards him. So one day we went to go to the dog park where we have taken are rottweiler many times and have never had any problems and we thought it would be fun to take the puppy out also for some running around, but as soon as we got there another dog started to get close to are rottweiler and he got real aggressive real fast wanting to attack the other dog just for coming close we thought maybe there was something just about that dog because he has never done that before but as we went into the park and other dogs began to come near him he did it again and we just can not figure out why we were thinking it is because we got another male dog in the house so maybe he is showing his dominance to the other dogs but because we have never had this problem we are not sure. And if it is because of the puppy we are wondering if it will change after he gets neutered also so are rottweiler wont feel less masculine if they do feel that way.

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Tennyson,

Sounds like the new puppy may be warning the other dog away from his most valued resource, which is your attention. :)

I just got a Sibe puppy in March and she was pretty clingy in the beginning as well. Some of the things that helped her get along with my other dogs-

1. Teaching everyone that when they are calm and together, they get rewarded really well with treats and affection. I give them the most attention when they are behaving well together with puppy.

2. Group obedience training sessions.

3. I prevent resource guarding and stealing. If puppy tries to guard 'me' from my other dogs, I non-mark her (No or Ack-ack) and give her an alternate command. If she ignores that, I withdraw my attention from her. I only give her attention and affection when she is behaving well.

Puppies love being with their people, so we can use attention and affection as a strong reward to get them to repeat good behaviors and stop bad behaviors.

Here are a few articles that may be helpful-

a) Introducing a second dog

b) Stop resource guarding

c) Separation Anxiety

Tennyson 4 years ago

I have a large lab/shepherd mix who's lived with me for almost 9 years. She's been the only critter in the house until a week ago. She's always been really mellow and laid back. The new puppy, about year old, had a rottweiler as its mother and probably a beagle as the father. He's only about 1/3rd the size of my other dog, but I've seen him get quite aggressive toward her, even nipping her in the neck once. He now growls when she gets near and this is discouraging her from spending time with me as he clings to me almost all the time. He also has separation anxiety as he starts to bark/howl with a minute or two after I leave the house.

Any ideas?

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Daz,

Sorry to hear about the attack. There are also loose dogs in my neighborhood and my tripod dog and I have gotten harassed before by some of these dogs. Even though they did not cause her any physical damage, the experiences have made her a lot more wary of new dogs.

"when she sees another dog she lies down and creeps closer to the other dog"

My Shiba Inu used to do this. He would lie down and do this intense, unblinking stare.

I have found that it is best to redirect him and prevent him from doing this. Once he gets into a pouncing-down position, it is difficult to get him out of it.

What has helped is to create space and just move him along. The more neutral experiences we had (where we just ignored the other dog), the less stressed and reactive he got when he saw other dogs.

I also did a lot of dog-to-dog desensitization work with him.

Here are more of our dog-to-dog aggression experiences-

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Ann,

What has worked well with my Shiba Inu in terms of dog-to-dog reactivity, is doing desensitization training with other dogs.

I also try to create neutral experiences by ignoring other dogs and just moving along. Distance helps a lot when passing other dogs so I usually cross the street or walk some ways into a driveway.

Daz 4 years ago

Hi, i have a British Inuit who was attacked by a collie about a year and a half ago. Until then she was a sociable dog but since then when she sees another dog she lies down and creeps closer to the other dog leading it into a false sense of security and then pounces on it and grabs it by the throat leaving me with costs to pay. I know the previous attack has triggered the recent behaviour but i am now trying to remedy the problem as it is making dog ownership a chore rather than a pleasure. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

ann 4 years ago

Hi we have 7 huskies and 2 mals and as a rule they generally get on well together. But we do have one particular problem our bitch when at home is brilliant if she in an enclosed area with other dogs she is brilliant but when she is training and a dog passes her she lunges at them we are usual quick enough to stop her doing any damage the dogs have been on leads so there has been no amunition for her to try to attack the other dog any ideas on what would make her do this and how we could go about trying to stop it many thanks

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shibashake 4 years ago Author

Hello Jenn,

I just got a Sibe puppy earlier this year and my Shiba Inu (4.5 years old) did not want to have anything to do with her initially.

Some things that helped -

1. Group obedience training sessions. This teaches the dogs to work together.

2. Creating positive experiences when they are together. I would reward both of them well for staying calm when they are together.

3. Prevent stealing.

4. Make sure that the older dogs have alone time when they don't want to be bothered.

Here is more on introducing a new dog into the household -

Jenn 4 years ago

I have a male Golden retriever he is an older dog, about 8 years old. He has always been the dominant dog. I have a few month old Lab/blue heeler who is very friendly, she always tries to play with the golden retriever. He doesn't like her coming near him, when I am around he is good about showing the warning signals. She doesn't listen usually so I have to grab his attention so he doesn't bite her, but when I am not around or he doesn't think I am watching if I call her he instantly bites her. He bites hard enough to leave gashes. Is there a way I can stop him from doing this? I wonder if he will always be this way to her since she doesn't exactly pick up on the warning signals. I also have another female chihuahua who he gets a long with, they never cause each other any problems and sometimes even play. However he will not have my lab/heeler near him. If she is he makes her stay or he will bite her. Is there any way to change any of this?

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

"what is the best way to make him move?"

Very interesting issue.

With my Siberian Husky I try to move her away once I see the other dog in the distance. The more distance there is between her and the other dog, the easier it is to get her moving along.

But she is only a medium sized dog.

For larger dogs people usually suggest using a head-halti. The head-halti allows us to control the direction of our dog's head so it is easier to break their stare and turn their gaze away from the other dog.

However, most dogs usually dislike wearing the halti and it may take a while to get them used to the 'collar'.

I did try the head halti briefly with my Siberian but she totally did not like wearing it so I went back to using a regular collar.

I also did a bunch of dog-to-dog desensitization exercises with my Shiba Inu and that seemed to help with the intensity of his reaction to other dogs.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello mavalos0513,

Yeah my Shiba Inu also used to be very reactive towards other dogs. Two things that really helped us -

1. Controlling my own energy.

In the beginning, I would get very stressed when I see another dog because I am anticipating that my Shiba would go nuts. When that happens I would get strange looks from other dog owners, and have to go through a whole leash biting episode with my dog.

However, when I anticipated and got stressed my Shiba would pick up on that energy and get even more crazy. Once I was able to stay calm and control my own energy, things improved a lot with my dog.

2. Creating neutral experiences.

When we see other dogs now we just ignore them and move along.

I used to stop with my Shiba but when I did this he would just get obsessed with the other dog and do this intense stare. I noticed that his entire body would be quivering. Then if the other dog even comes near, my Shiba would explode and lunge.

For my Shiba, what worked best is to treat other dogs like a non-event. We don't do anything special and we just continue with what we are doing.

Here are some other things that helped with my Shiba -

MojoMa 5 years ago


I have a similar problem as mavalos0513, my Golden Retriever is neutered and will turn 2 soon. He used to be nice to every single dog, but in the last 3-4 months, he has started to show aggression, esp to smaller male dogs. When I see him being all stiff and still towards an approaching dog, I always try to divert his attention and move him away, the problem is sometimes he would just sit down and refuses to move, he is about 33kg, I am about 48kg, what is the best way to make him move? By pulling on his leash, he will just get tenser, I am sure he can sense my tension, I think sometimes he reads it wrongly and thinks that I am nervous about the other dog, but in fact I worry he will get aggressive. Please help!

mavalos0513 5 years ago


I have a 2 yr. old lab retriever sheppard. He is a very loving dog with all family members and with non-family members when he gets used to them.

My problem comes when I walk him. Charlie pulls when our walks start but stops once he has used up some energy. My biggest concern when walking is that when we encounter another dog walking, Charlie wants to lounge at the other dog in attack mode, often taking me with him. I don't remember him doing this when he was younger. It didn't seem to start until about his second birthday.

If I see another dog coming, I try to distract him, go in a different direction, or sit him until the other dog walks past. When he starts to show aggression, I start calming him down by rubbing his back, talking to him and using myself as a block all the while holding on tightly to him.

This seems to work most times but makes walking him difficult when we encounter other dogs frequently.


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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Vem.Jfm30,

Four paws up to you for helping out a Sibe in need.

"They fight when my Bulldog gets real excited and jumps on us. They fight when a sqweaker toy or rope toy is around. And also over raw hide. And once when he ran ahead of her and cut in front of her."

Sounds like they are fighting over resources, you, toys, being in the lead.

Here are some of the things that I do when introducing a new dog into the family -

Some of the key things that helped with my own dogs -

1. Supervision is very important especially in the beginning.

2. I try to step in early and prevent any aggression from even starting. For example, I remove high priority resources like raw-hide. I also stop "play" very often so that none of them gets overly excited and loses control.

3. The less they practice aggression with each other, the less likely they will repeat that behavior.

Group training together also helps because it teaches them that when they work with each other, they both get rewarded very well.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Andrea,

Many dogs view attention from us as a valuable resource. Therefore, they may try to keep us all to themselves. :)

When my dog shows this behavior, I non-mark him and give him an alternate command. If he does this, then I reward him with affection. If he does not, I withdraw all of my attention from him. If he continues to show aggression or escalates his behavior then I put him in timeout. This teaches him that aggression = no attention, but being calm and following commands = attention.

What also works with my dog is to teach them that when they are together and calm, they both get rewards. I do group obedience training with the dogs together so that they learn to work together and to focus on me instead of on each other.

Here are more of the things I do when introducing a new dog -

Make sure to keep everyone safe. If we are not careful, a dog may redirect his frustration and aggression onto us. In cases of serious aggression it is best to get help from a professional trainer.

Vem.Jfm30 5 years ago

Hi. I recently adopted a Siberian Husky with Heartworms. I could not let the beautiful girl be put down.

But we have an English Bulldog male, Neutered, and they have little fights every couple of days. Twice she has left cuts on his face and head. Nothing serious though.

I know she is not spayed. But we have to wait a little longer into her treatment my vet told me.

They fight when my Bulldog gets real excited and jumps on us. They fight when a sqweaker toy or rope toy is around. And also over rawhide. And once when he ran ahead of her and cut in front of her.

I really do not want to give this dog up. She is a complete doll with us and our toddler. She just gets in these little confrontations with our boy. They do eat next to each other no problem and they also cuddle on each other at night.

If you can help me and point me in the right direction that would be great.

andrea 5 years ago

i have a 3 year old male boston terrier and a 6 month old male winner dog and terrie mix ...the 6 month old will attack the bigger dog when he comes near me or he will show agression towards my daughter wich the bigger one is more drawn too ...what can i do ...he relly goes at him barking and attacking help please

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

That is awesome! I am glad that things went so well. The only thing better than a happy dog are two happy dogs. :D

"One question I have for now is what do you do when someone knocks at the door and the dogs start barking? Once we saw it was someone we knew we told the dogs it was ok."

That is what I do as well. My Shiba is the only one that barks when people are at the door. When he does that, I go to check who is at the door or outside the house.

Usually he stops barking when he sees me. If he does not, I give him the "Quiet" command. In both cases, I praise him and reward him for alerting me and then for being Quiet afterward.

Sometimes he keeps going and will not stop. In those cases, I will get him to come with me to another room and do something else. If he keeps on barking after repeated attempts, he goes to timeout.

Mrs B22 5 years ago

Thanks again for your suggestions and advice. I am happy to say that yesterday when we went to visit our daughters pit-bull puppy (3-4 months old)it was a really good visit. It only took me awhile to break the ice with not allowing the pit to smell the Ragles butt. I stayed in between and created a space for each other until they got warmed up. After a very long walk with me handling both it was even better. I gave them both love attention and allowed them both to have their own space/food etc. Their was only one or two times where our raggle growled when he felt the pit was too close. Looks to me like the raggle gets defensive when a much larger dog comes up to him. On our walk a daushand came up to our Raggle and they both got along right away but when a larger dog came up the raggle would show aggression. Showing I was the leader and in control made a difference. One question I have for now is what do you do when someone knocks at the door and the dogs start barking? Once we saw it was someone we knew we told the dogs it was ok. I just don't want our dog to not bark or protect when we need help. In other words I don't want to confuse our Raggle...

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

"I am curious as to how you handled #5 as far as step in immediately without getting bitten"

If the dogs are already biting, it is probably best to consult with a professional trainer. A trainer would be able to see the dogs in real time and identify exactly what is triggering the aggression. A trainer can also tell you what to look out for in terms of body language from the dogs and create a safe plan to desensitize the dogs to each other.

With my own dogs, I know them very well and I have also trained them to have really good bite inhibition (soft mouth).

Putting my puppy on a lead in the beginning also helped a lot because then I have much better control of her and don't have to grab her with my hands.

In general, I keep puppy with me and only let her interact with my Shiba when he is interested in interacting. I.e., I let him come to us to initiate interaction rather than going into his space.

When he starts to show signs that he wants to be left alone (he usually will stop play and lie down with a toy), I bring puppy away and engage her in something else. In this way, I simply redirect puppy's attention.

I try to create positive encounters so I don't let them interact unless I am pretty sure that my Shiba will be receptive to it. In the beginning, I did not allow puppy to smell my Shiba's butt because I knew he was uncomfortable with it.

From his point of view, butt sniffing is pretty threatening because he is exposing a vulnerable part of himself to the teeth area of another dog. Once he got used to puppy as being part of the pack, he became more relaxed about butt sniffing.

I consulted with several dog trainers in the beginning to help with my Shiba's dog reactivity issues and each session helped me understand my Shiba's behavior and motivations a bit more.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes with Raggle and puppy.

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Mrs B22 5 years ago

Thank you for the suggestions. I am curious as to how you handled #5 as far as step in immediatley without getting bitten..would I tell our Raggle no when the Pit-bull was smelling him or would I have the Pit-bull moved away from the smaller dog by saying "no" until they got used to each other. Again the pit-bull is a puppy but already twice the size of our raggle.

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shibashake 5 years ago Author

Hello Mrs B22,

When I got my Sibe puppy Lara, my other Sibe took to her right away, but my other dog, a Shiba Inu was more slower to trust.

Part of this is because of his natural temperament. He does not like strange dogs invading his space and smelling his butt.

Some of the things that helped -

1. I created a lot of positive experiences when they were together. For example, I would do a lot of obedience sessions with puppy. My Shiba Inu would come over sometimes and I make sure to reward him well when he is calm and together with puppy.

2. I did group obedience training. In this way, the dogs learn that when they work together, they all get rewarded. Therefore, they are part of the same pack rather than competing individuals.

3. I made sure that puppy did not bother my adult dogs when they wanted some peace.

4. I made sure that there is no stealing of food and toys.

5. When there are any issues, I step in immediately and deal with it. In this way, my dogs know to leave things to me rather than try to handle conflicts on their own.

Also, in the first few months I supervised play sessions very closely and only let my puppy play on-lead. When there is a big difference in size, the bigger dog can easily hurt the smaller dog even if it is just part of play.

This article has more on my experiences with integrating a new dog into the household -

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Mrs B22 5 years ago

We have a Raggle..beagle rat terrier dog about 1l pounds. Recently a pit-bull has come into our daughters family. When we put the two together our Raggle (a male) was being sniffed at his butt by this female pit-bull who is a puppy close to 25 lbs. I am confused as to what to do when our dog growls or snaps at the dog. We are afraid this pit-bull will grab onto our dog in the future and hurt him. The owner saws we should stop our dog from showing aggression before his dog gets bigger and fights back. Any suggestions? This is putting a wall between us and our daughter because of her boyfriend wanting our dog (which was his to begin with) to be different or braver than he is...

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