Adrienne is a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, former veterinarian assistant, and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."
Male-Female Combinations Often Work Better
Why Two Female Dogs May Not Be the Best Combination
You just visited a local breeder and fell in love with two puppies. They are two adorable female pups that seem to love to play together. You inquired about adopting one, but your heart is split in half between the two. You finally decide that you want both, and the breeder seems quite content to double their profits.
If you find yourself considering this sort of same-sex adoption scenario, think again. As cute and playful same-sex sibling puppies are, chances are that once they mature, they will engage in some serious discussions that could turn bloody.
Thinking that both ladies may work it out together is not a good choice. Very likely, fights may escalate, and one dog may severely injure or kill the other. This seems to happen most often when the two dogs are close in age or when one dog is older and a newer dog is introduced to the pack.
When two females are close in age, there is often a lot of competition. They will fight over several competing elements. Such fights seem to occur the most in the presence of the owner. They may fight over who walks first up a ramp of stairs or through the door, or they may fight over sleeping areas, foods, treats, and toys. Sometimes a cause may not be completely visible in the owner's eyes, but one dog may have felt challenged by the other and felt the need to send her back down the ladder.
Adopting a younger female dog while owning an older female is also high risk. The newer dog may perceive the older dog as weak may try to take over. Unfortunately, such fights may have a sad ending.
However, not all female dogs tend to have such fights. There are cases where owners are able to allow them to peacefully coexist with no problems. A big role is played by the owner, applying a "no fight" policy and intervening if something looks like more than a minor squabble. Through desensitization and counterconditioning, a lot of progress can be achieved.
However, should a fight still disrupt, owners must be very careful in their attempts in separating the two fighting dogs. The chances of 'redirected aggression" are high. In such cases, the fighting dogs will get confused by the fight and over aroused up to a point where they may attack the owner attempting to bring peace back.
It is best therefore, to separate the two by startling them. This is accomplished by tossing a blanket over them, watering them with a hose, making a sudden loud noise or grabbing one dog by the rear legs and pulling away as if the dog was a wheelbarrow. You'll need to be very careful.
While many female dogs do get along peacefully, adopting two puppies of the same sex can sometimes be like playing the Russian roulette, their future may be a question mark. As cute as they may be, please try to consider that in the future one of them may have to be re-homed simply because they do not get along. If you are purchasing from a responsible breeder, he or she will not allow you to adopt such combination. If you really must adopt two, a female and a male is a much savvier combination, however ideally consider they should have a few years in between to avoid excessive bonding between each other than with the owner. However, no black and white statements can be made. A lot depends on your level of commitment.
Thinking that dogs "will get over it" and sort things out on their own, is pretty naïve when it comes to raising two female dogs. This may specifically apply the most to certain dogs of certain breeds as some are predisposed to same-sex aggression. Please do your homework seriously and do not take decisions lightly. It may cause you to give up a dog or worse it may cost another dog's life.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: We have two female dogs, one is a year old and one is a little over three. They used to get along great until they both have gone into heat now they fight a lot! Will getting them spayed stop this?
Answer: Spaying them may stop if their fighting is exclusively hormonally-induced, but of course, there are no guarantees. It is actually not that unusual for two female dogs in heat to fight. With raging hormones, there is also likely some level of competition going on. It is best to keep females in heat separate until they come out of heat if spaying is not an option due to the dogs being used for breeding.
Question: I have a senior female boxer-pit mix and a younger bully female that is just over a year old. Recently, they have started fighting so bad that there is usually bloodshed, and both are limping. Does it matter who started it? It happens so fast, almost always when my back it turned. I feel terrible because I can't afford a trainer in my area.
Answer: You may have to keep the two separated, especially when you cannot directly supervise them. There are many cases of youngsters not getting along with older dogs. They may be fighting over resources such as toys, sleeping areas or even over you. It may be difficult at times finding out who started it if these fights happen when you turn your back. It helps to keep toys or other objects that may trigger conflicts out of the way.
Question: Thank you for this article. I have been dealing with this issue for 6-9 months and after the last fight, I am surrendering. So, I know my next step is getting a home for my female dog. What do you suggest? Meaning, where do "Good People" look for dogs? Craigslist? Equinenow? I live on a ranch in the country. Care and love my animals. If she must go, I want her to go to a excellent caring and loving family.
Answer: So sorry to hear things didn't work out, but you are doing the kindest thing as dogs who tend to fight tend to live in a stressful situation. To answer your question, you can do some screening by interviewing people and asking for an adoption fee so to discourage her from going to the wrong people. You can contact rescue groups, especially those catering to your dog's specific breed if your dog is purebred. You can ask help from family and friends. Sometimes, you can get lucky and find some acquaintances willing to adopt. Local feed stores sometimes allow you to post ads on their bulletin boards. Last but not least, make sure you let them know your dog hasn't been getting along with your dog so that your dog is placed in a new home where she can relax as being the only dog.
Angela long on August 06, 2020:
I have.2 female dogs. One a pit mix one a catahoula. They have been fighting. We're vet is a common thing. Please help
Flora chavez on July 23, 2020:
I have a pitbull/bulldog who is about five years old I just got a Old English bulldog she is about seven months they got into the first fight I believe it’s because the seven month old is in heat is this going to continue or will it stop after she’s out of heat
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 09, 2020:
Irishgirl87, please keep them separate and seek the intervention of a dog behavior professional. These cases are complicated and there may be no safe options sometimes.
Irishgirl87 on May 09, 2020:
I have 2 female GSD & 1 male all same age today 1 female & male were attacking the other female around her throat and 3 of us had to get apart and it wasn’t an easy thing to do. All have been through a heat cycle, not sure if the 1 isn’t pregnant or not yet but never fighting like this They are a day apart in age help
William Dill on April 24, 2020:
Animal lover here! I have 3 pound dogs and 3 small-town stray cats. My old female German Shorthair (Daisy) has been attacked by my younger female Boxer mix (Cindy) several times recently, and my newest male Golden Retriever (Bud) jumps in on Cindy’s side. Pretty bad once, and it’s been hard to understand, cuz they’re always been pals. Took the three of them on a walk together tonight and all seemed OK, and then it happened again after we got home and I was getting their food.
Your article (and a few others) helps me to understand why this is happening. Daisy has frequent mild seizures that probably scare Cindy, plus the fact that Daisy may have other ’old age’ problems that incite it, the female vs female dominance thing, along with the common aggressiveness of Boxers. Natural problems and instinct have sort of overruled their past friendship. ☹️
I’ll remember this stuff. Two pound dogs, one male, one female; that’ll be the max!
Hector on December 29, 2019:
I have 2year old boxer and I recently just got a 2month old female pitbull will they get along when the other dog is bigger or not
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 13, 2019:
Contrary, to what people may assume, spaying and neutering is not the universal solution for all behavior issues. Spaying may help reduce only certain hormone- mediated behaviors such as hormone-mediated mood swings and hormone driven behaviors during heat.
Since it seems like both your females get along during their heat cycles, it sounds like spaying may not be the most appropriate solution to the problem.
It may be best to have a force-free behavior professional assess your dogs and determine what may trigger the episodes of aggression you describe.
Since it seems like their fights may occur when you are not home but perhaps upon coming home, there are chances that they may be overexcited about your return and this caused them to redirect on each other. It may therefore be that you may just need to keep them separated when you are not around if they tend to get along in all other circumstances.
Also, the behavior professional may suggest ways to help your dog recover emotionally from the attack since it sounds like she has been suffering some tension since then.
Of course, these are just assumptions. Only the professional may make specific recommendations based on several factors on whether your dog may be better off re-homed, spayed or whether management and some behavior modification may do.
In the meanwhile, here are some helpful reads:
Jessica Higgs on October 13, 2019:
I have a three year old Husky/malamute mix, and a year old German/Lab min. both we received from different homes. My husky grew up and was trained around 5 other male huskies, and my lab was 5 months when they had to give her away due to them moving. My husky got along with other dogs when we got her, only aggressive when my sister tried to feed her male dog and my female dog from the same food bowl (yeah we know, dumb), so when we took in my Lab we made it a big point to train my lab to respect space. My husky ( who was two at the time) took too my lab (who was 6 months at the time) fairly quickly. Often sharing food and going in the same kennel, both refusing to leave. Even when my Lab started her first heat at 12 months, and my husky went into heat at the same time, they were both very buddy buddy, until one night we went to the store and came back to my husky trying to take a bite out of my Lab. When we walked in she had my lab pinned down. I'm not sure who started the fight and what caused it. My lab got a swing in because my husky's lib was bleeding and my labs neck was bleeding as well. Since then, my Lab is very nervous around my husky and my husky is very "watchful" around my Lab. My husky also doesn't really like other dogs anymore. The odd part is, my husky had puppies and (of course) didn't like other dogs around her puppies, except my Lab. Almost as if she trusted that my lab wouldn't hurt them. and both My husky and Lab would back each other up if another dog even looked in their direction. My husky also has bad anxiety, so when they're in their kennels My husky needs my Labs company to feel secure and safe. She will also let my lab within arms distance before she turns her whole body away. My lab in no way shows any signs of aggression towards my husky, but we don't trust that one, if not both, would be aggressive if we were not watching. Would spaying the both of them resolve the issue at hand? or would we need to get a behaviour specialist (trainer) with the possibility of needing to rehome one? We would like to do everything we can before we give one away, as we love both dearly. What would you suggest as to our options?
Eman Afia on September 23, 2019:
I do have two female dog one beagle and the big one is dogo argentino they were getting along till the small one had her heat they fighted badly I separate them but by any chance if I spay the beagle is it possible that they will not fight again ?!
Nancy on July 11, 2019:
I have a 4 year old golden lab retriever mixed best bread so respectful and frendly and a 2 year old frag not to bad but lot of a big mouth when it comes to bucking but recently I've noticed the small one snapping at the older one when i play with both of them she bites the older puppy on the leg and starts humping if the other one is sleeping on my bed when the little one has been on my bed and has been told to get of she gets off but scratches her bed like a tantrum i dont know whats going on i love both the dogs the same but i think my partner shows more love to the small one and i might do the same to the other one so what do i do i need to stop the small one before it gets to much with her attitude
Carole on June 06, 2019:
For the past 30 years we have always had 2 female German Shepards at a time. One has been older and one younger. When the older passed we would get a puppy. We currently have 2 shepherds 9 yrs & 1 yr. We have never had an issue with any of our girls not getting along. Our dogs have always shared sometimes eating and drinking out of the same bowl at the same time. We prefer female dogs over males and will always own females only.
Martin on November 04, 2018:
Hello..I have 2 Cocker females mother and daughter they get a long just fine...In fact they are buddies and always playing fighting against another Cocker I have which is a male.
My question is.....will the male suffer when the mating days of 2 females arrives ???....................I will put the male in the front garden but obviously he will "smell" her 2 companions are in heat......¿ can this proximity be bad for him or for his baheaiviour ?....I must add I will not spay him).....
Maybe I shold take the dog somewhere else ?? ..Like to a shelter for 10 days ??..or is it OK for him to just smell the females in heat ??....Thank you !
Jacquelyn Gamble on July 07, 2018:
I have a two-year-old pit and a 5 year old boxer the pit will stand in front of the Box or underneath her chin not letting her pass or do anything this does not happen all the time happens a couple times a week what is that behavior
Kristy on June 04, 2018:
I have a six year old English bull terrier she is fantastic in every way, great with the kids, sleeps inside, spoilt rotten... About six months ago my sister called me in tears she had just gotten a six month old English bull terrier just like ours but it wasn't working out as Lexi was too high energy for her 11 year old boxer to the point she had to keep them separated ..i said we will give her a go as she is also submissive to kids our top concern. Lexi arrived and ledge our dog was a great teacher a few growls to let her know who's boss and that was that. They get pack walked every night if not the next... We found as Lexi got older she is starting to stand up for herself more trying to get on ledges bed even though she has her own things like that barking at ledge as well. If I put a bowl of water down after there walk Lexi always let's ledge drink first she knows who's boss. We recently got her desexed after her first cycycle....please tell me this will calm her down any hints I would never ever ever get rid of Lexi she's family now
bookpaw on March 24, 2018:
i love my female dogs
Susan on January 27, 2018:
I adopted 2 rescue dogs, male and female. A few years later, my brother had a litter of yorkie/Jack russell mixes. I adopted a female at 6 weeks. A few years later, we are having loud vicious appearing fights. Sometimes I don’t see a trigger and other times, the Yorkie is taking a toy from my other female (who is dachshund mix). The Yorkie also bosses my male. The Yorkie is always pushing the other 2 aside, so she can go outside first. She pushes around in the food. Not sure if she is putting her scent there. She is very nervous around strange dogs and she gets over excited with loud noises or other dogs barking outside and she directs that negative energy towards my other 2, by nipping (not actually biting) and barking in their face. I did try to break up one fight and got a chunk taken out of my arm. The Yorkie appeared to show remorse and was subservient for a day or 2 afterwards. She is weird about food and she won’t eat when the other 2 are eating. She also doesn’t come when I have treats. She actually runs over to her bed and wants me to bring it to her. I really don’t want to give her away, but I’m worried about the “arguing.” After the incident, where I got bit trying to intervene, they didn’t have any problems for a few months. I’m looking for suggestions on how to work with the Yorkie and calm her down.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 25, 2018:
Jo, there are always exceptions, this was outlined under "Not all female dogs tend to have such fights. There are cases where owners are able to allow them to peacefully co-habitat with no problems."
Jo on January 25, 2018:
We have a 3 year old female heeler mix and a 4 year old female border collie mix. They were instant friends and are inseparable. A friend brings over her female Chihuahua mix and other times our son brings over his female mut. All around the same age. They all play together so well. No growling or biting. I have heard for many years that females don't get along very well with each other, but that has not been our experience.
Rigby on July 22, 2017:
I have a question. I just found out that my parent's dogs had a bad incedent. One female dog gave birth to puppies and the other female dog ate them. I am still shocked. What is the explantion for this ?
Carib gyal on July 21, 2017:
Not true. We have 2 rottweiler litter sisters. They are inseparable!
Casey McDoogins on July 03, 2017:
We have a lab/pit bull female and lab/weim female. At first, we thought we were going to have to actually have the lab/pit put down because she bit everything and everyone so hard (blood everywhere). She was especially rough on our other older dog. Took a couple months for her to not have her neck resemble meat loaf. After months of training her on bite inhibition (she's now around 9 months,) she is still sometimes mouthy but it's night and day. We're fine tuning our responses to further mold her into a more relaxed dog, but I'm so glad we've been able to keep her.
Pia on May 22, 2017:
I have a 5 y/o GSD, a 2 y/o Belgian Malinois and a 4 y/o Carolina Dog, all females and two are rescues. They get along fine, but we paired them carefully. The GSD was the first and she is the alpha, the Malinois came second and she was happy to allow the GSD to be Alpha, the Carolina Dog came in 3rd, tried to push her weight around (all 35 pounds of it) and was quickly put in her place by the GSD and we have never had an issue again.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 07, 2017:
Ang Ela, well as the article outlines " Not all female dogs tend to have such fights. There are cases where owners are able to allow them to peacefully co-habitat with no problems." And this is true as you can attest. I have seen great cases but also the awful ones. It can often be a matter of poor management and several other factors come to mind. I have seen many cases where dog owners assume that dogs should solve issues on their own, but this only caused an escalation of the problem and rehearsal of behavior. I do agree with you that it can often be an issue of lack of training and providing poor guidance. Thanks for commenting.
Ang Ela on May 05, 2017:
Hmmmm, I prefer female dogs and as such I have always had, either pairs, or larger packs of female dogs in my life and I do not relate to the issue raised in this article at all. I have heard people espouse this view over the years and I always find it irksome.
My current girls, are a great Dane I raised from a puppy and a German Shepard I bought from the pound as a five year old. My opinion based on my many years of personal experience, coupled with my experience as a dog trainer is that people quite simply don't know how to and don't want to be in control of their animals, they are almost completely devoid of instinctive ability to control their animals and they can be drilled on training techniques over and over and over again, and still fail to put basic techniques into practice. The other issue I see is animals being left at home all day and left to their own leadership, it is a disaster, we need to be constant companions with and leaders of our animals. I am privileged to have a home based business and so my dogs are constantly with me, which contributes immensely to pack harmony.
Stolly on March 26, 2017:
Silly is a great and perfect dog
Bet on February 17, 2017:
I had a 5 year Border Collie female (spayed) and brought in a female Doberman pup and did not spay her. All was fine for about 4 years and the Doberman decided that she should be alpha...it was a bloody war even after I spayed the Doberman. It was never very clear who was challenging and it was never over food. I had to strongly enforce a "no aggression" law...regardless of who was doing, both dogs got reprimanded and sent to crates or a pen. After a year or so it was under control and a truce was called but I never relaxed my guard. I love both breeds but I will never have two females again.
Emily Martinez on January 27, 2017:
I have an 11 month standard poodle and 9 month old english sheepdog..both females unaltered. They're so close they only play fight with toys ... never aggressive. They're inside dogs and I'm a work from home mom. I've had a very blessed experience.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 26, 2017:
Sal, are they spayed dogs or intact? I am upset to hear the rescue lady suggesting your dog should be destroyed! Just because a dog doesn't get along with another dog doesn't have to mean euthanasia, many dogs like her do wonderfully in a one-dog home or perhaps with a male dog. You have not failed your dogs, this happens and there are countless people going through this.
Sal on December 20, 2016:
Yes.. I truly wished I had known this a year ago .. I have two female boxers & over the past three weeks it has been hell!! My 3 year old suddenly has turned aggressive toward my 1 year old, I have been in touch with a behavior specialist & her advice was to check for thyroid problems .. on both dogs & the results came back normal! I know after just two very aggressive fights I cannot let either dog near each other has my older dog is holding a grudge after these nasty fights!! I have exhausted all options, I would never ever recommend anyone have two female boxers. This is something no pet lover should have to do, but for the safety of both, one has to be taken from the home to be rehomed .. agatha is 3 a beautiful lady & Bailey is 14 month White boxer with a little rebel in her soul. I love them both dearly but due to a quality of life, it is in the best interest of both bitches. Bailey just can't defend such a aggressive alpha dog .. agatha does not have a. Mark on her but Bailey is on antibiotics due to puncher wounds on her legs .. they only have had only two fights in the past year & that was enough for me to witness ... I would not like to see anyone go through this kinda of behavior & I have never seen this kind of behavior in my life just because of a dominant alpha problem. Just got the results back after 4 hours of our vet assessing both & a panel of blood work done on both .. no health problems with either dog & confirmed agatha does not need to be Distroyed as the boxer rescue lady recommended. The vet said I donot have aggressive dogs! But would put agatha on Prozac but does not think it will fix this problem as they just donot like each other. this is shocking for me & broken my heart!! I have failed my beautiful boxer dogs!!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 23, 2016:
I wonder if one dog may have stepped on or accidentally hurt the other during play or if one dog played rough or was actively resource guarding the ball. .You will need to have a trainer assess in first person, but generally once a fight erupts, there are chances more may come, so best be safe than sorry and keep separated when you are not actively supervising.
Gemma on May 14, 2016:
What initiated the fight was playing ball with the 4year old Shepard. The 3year old went after her and when the 4year snapped at her a fight broke out. When they are together outside (I'm watching them from inside) they are fine. What I have notice now is the the 3year Shepard will go up the 4year old Shepard and sniff her all over.If she is laying down she will go sniff her. And the 4year old Shepard will get tense I little and will let her sniff her. This never happened before. If we go somewhere I'm afraid to leave them alone together. Will I ever be able to leave them alone together? Or will I always have to leave them separated? I hate having them separated because they hate it as well! Thank you the response!!!!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 13, 2016:
It's hard to say, you need to evaluate what triggered it in the first place. Were there resources one was defending from the other? Were they aroused by something and redirected on each other? Unfortunately, once they start fighting the chances for a second fight are quite high if the same circumstances present themselves.
Gemma on May 12, 2016:
I have two female German Shepard one is 4years old and the other one is 3years old. They got in to a big fight where we had to take one to the vet. We have been keeping them separated since. But when they are together they get along very well ( we are not supervising them outside, we are watching them from inside the house). Is this behavior temporary? Will they fight again?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 03, 2014:
Your dogs are at risk for serious injuries. I would manage the environment the best you can and seek the help of a dog behavior professional who uses force-free methods that can help you out. The risks at stake are too high. Here are some helpful reads: https://discover.hubpages.com/animals/Dog-Behavior... and https://pethelpful.com/dogs/-Why-are-My-Dogs-Sudde...
Jackie on August 02, 2014:
My Daughter and Son-n-Law have 2 females, both are partially Black Labs that are 1yr apart! But recently they have made a move from an Apartment to a Trailer and in less then 3wks the 2 have gotten into 2 TERRIBLE fights since them living at the Trailer!! It's been so bad that BLOOD has been drawn on BOTH Dogs and 1st time I had to break them apart and the 2nd time my daughter said she tried the water spraying to separate them BUT didn't phase them!! Any way my question to you is what do we do or what should we do? They are usually well behaved dogs and are kennel trained to where if NOBODYS at home they are locked up in there separate cages til somebody gets home!! Please HELP my kids are in desperate need for advice!!
k9education on February 10, 2014:
Count me in as another individual (and trainer) who learned this lesson the hard way. When my first female was approximately 1.5, we adopted another female and a male. At first, they all got along great. We took them everywhere together, including a backpacking trip in which all slept together peacefully in our tent. A few months in, they started having little squabbles. The squabbles quickly escalated in frequency and intensity until they could no longer be classified as squabbles. One day while I was alone with the 2 girls, my first female found a rabbit carcass in the yard. The other female bolted clear across the yard - over 1 acre away - and went straight for her throat. There is no doubt that she would have killed her if I hadn't intervened. The 2 girls have lived apart inside our home ever since, separated by a gate at all times.
We have since gotten 2 more males and my older female has no issue with any of them and never has. Although we wouldn't leave the males alone together while we were out - as little grumbles could turn into more without supervision - we have no concerns about them living together peacefully while we are there. If we were to get another dog, despite the fact that we already have 3 males, we would almost certainly get another male. Although some have had the opposite experience, our experience is that 2 or more males generally get along better than 2 or more females.
Finally, in response to the gentleman who said that neutering will not reduce aggression, you are unequivocally incorrect. Neutering absolutely WILL reduce aggression; scientific research has proven this over and over. However, it will not eliminate aggression and thus, it is not a panacea for all multi-dog issues.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 02, 2013:
Since you were eating pizza, it could be also the boxer was guarding the food you had and didn't want the other dog it and near you. However, consider also that when you rescue a dog, they get attached to you especially if you have been training her and providing her trust, and may end up being clingy and sometimes even protective if you become a resource worth of guarding against another dog. It takes time for new dogs to learn the rules of the household. If this occurs, it would be best to keep the dogs separated for safety. Then, train the boxer the "off" command. In other words, when he comes near you, get up and say "off" and when he backs off, give a treat. Train the same to your anatolian. Alternatively, train a "go to your place" command that you should practice alone and then after it's proofed well, you can train it with the other dog around. When you have a multi-dog household, it's important to ensure dogs are well under voice control. This can help prevent fights from happening if caught before the first signs of trouble starts. However, at times, no level of obedience can work to prevent fights and the remaining choice is then keeping them separated for safety.
beth on June 02, 2013:
So I've owned a female Anatolian since she was 5 she is now 7 years old with a bad leg. Recently we adopted a female boxer 5 years old not spayed yet. Since we adopted her I've been working a great deal with her on being aggressive and lunging at humans when being outside which she was doing great. Now I've been spending quite some time with her because she seemed too need to learn how to potty outside and not indoors so I play with her outside and let her run around while she stops and potty many times. Once she's good I bring her in and feed her and give her lovings and tell her how proud I am. Today I was sitting in recliner eating pizza and both dogs were near me older dog went to get closer to me well the boxer went and jumped over my legs putting claws in my leg so I screamed that startled my big dog too step back and the boxer had growled, but then ran to hide. Husband came and picked her up and placed her in crate. Not sure how I can let her know she needs to share me if I'm needing to spend so much time with her? Help
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 22, 2013:
HelloFlowerpower09, boxers are a breed that can be predisposed to same-sex aggression. Good to hear things are going smoothly right now. In my experience, things tend to get a bit critical generally between the ages of 12 and 36 months. You may find this read helpful for future reference, but hopefully you'll never need this info. Some owners never have a problem, others do. As in almost everything dog, it depends on several factors.
FlowerPower09 on May 22, 2013:
I have 2 female boxers, one about 2 or 3 yrs old ( her name is coco ) and the other one is 5 months old ( named chata ). Coco is spayed and chata is not yet. So far we haven't had any problems with both females. When chata was about 2 months old coco showed her was the alpha, she also helped chata with the potty training, knocking on the dog and simple commands. Where ever coco sleeps chata follows, Chats has learned a lot from coco. She also knows when coco is eating she can be around but not eat at all till coco is done. I hope they stay that way.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 14, 2013:
It's really hard to say without seeing the behaviors, so I'm just making assumptions.. It sounds like a case of re-directed aggression, that may have nothing to do with hormones as it may be a learned behavior. Guests are a common trigger due to a high state of arousal. In this case, a behavior consultant may be a better choice than a dog trainer. Look for a CAAB or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist to help you out. Don't feel embarrassed, this is a common problem and it's not your fault.
katie on April 14, 2013:
help...we made a mistake. We have a 10 yr old english bull boxer mix, gracie. She is a mellow gal who essentially wants to curl up in a blanket. She has never been fond of dogs. A few yrs ago i moved in with my fiancé. He had a 12 yr old rot. They were able to co exist, as the rot accepted gracie was boss. The rot passed away. we bought a german shepard pup last yr. after reading this i am embarrassed. I really thought it could work. Gracie has let the pup know to leave her alone by growling, never biting. more recently the shepard has started fighting back. the door is the hot spot. knocking or doorbell has now triggered 4 fights we had to separate, one leading to vet trip. I have consulted numerous trainers with varied advice. Our shepard is getting spayed soon. will this combined with more training possibly lead to helping the old dog, gracie remain the alpha? Should we be looking at placing the shepard elsewhere? in the meantime we are separating them when potential visits may occurr. ANY suggestions appreciated
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 29, 2013:
Oooops, yes, I thought they were just 4 weeks. It's really hard to give them away, especially when you worry about the homes they will go to. I hope you are able to find them loving owners, best wishes!
keith3668 on March 29, 2013:
Thanks Alexadry, but my pups are 4 months old and their mother is 4 years old, so maybe you misunderstood and thought I meant 4 weeks old. Thanks for the comment. My dogs get more love then my own family members, they are my life, this is why the thought of selling them kills me.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 29, 2013:
Keep them in the home with you at least until they're 8 and ready to go to new homes. They need to be inside the home and part of the family if you want them to go to homes and be used to living in a home environment. Make sure you socialize them when they're in your care to children, other pets, all kinds of people. Spread the voice about the pups and screen people interested in them. Let them know your pups were raised to be part of the family. Five female dogs may turn out being a problem especially in a breed known for being same-sex aggressive.
keith3668 on March 28, 2013:
I have a male and a female Cane Corso. My male is 6 years old and my female is 4. I had puppies by accident about 4 months ago. I had 6 puppies which 2 died, and it literally broke my heart. Of the 4 pups, they were all females. I was planning on getting them fixed as well as the mother Cane Corso. They are of course adorable and get along great. I have not seen any signs of dominant from any of them. The mother still cleans them, plays with them, they are all great together. I was planning on building a strong fenced steel kennel to keep them separate once they get older and i start to see any kind of aggression. I currently live in Costa Rica, and people do not take care of their dogs like people in the US and Europe. They want to buy a big dog, only to keep them outside for a guard dog and not part of the family. I want to keep one or 2 female pups, and sell the other 2, but i could not begin to imagine which one to sell. I feel I would be doing harm to the pups if i sold them, knowing they would not get to care and love that I would give. I work from home and both of my adult dogs have been around me literally about 95% of their lives. I do not know what to do, I want to keep all of them, but it sounds like I would really have a problem with 5 fixed female dogs. Any ideas.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 10, 2013:
Good idea to seek the opinion of a trainer. I hope things work out, but at times sadly the risks at stake are too high to take chances.
RL on March 10, 2013:
I'm so sad reading this article! I currently have a 3 year old rescue mutt and there is a 1 year old mutt that is my neighbor's but she doesn't want her anymore. I have been walking and feeding her (since her owner wont do it) the past month and I have fallen in love with her. I'd really love to have her but when I tried walking them 2 together, my old dog growls and snaps and aims for her neck, it's very scary. I'm trying to get a trainer to help us but now I don't know if it will ever work. :(
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 30, 2012:
Marc, indoors there are more resources at stake. First of all, indoors is where they are more inclined to compete for attention. If you sit down, your pitbull may not like it if your beagle makes any move or looks at you, because she may think she is entitled to get most of your attention. If you come home, she may feel like greeting you first. There are also most likely beds, favorite sleeping spots, food bowls, toys and most of all, you. Remember that pitbulls are not likely to get along with dogs especially those of the same sex, this is even stated in the standard. At 8-9 months she is nearing social maturity and this is when these traits come out. You may find this article interesting, please practice caution, things can get ugly: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Dog-behavior-Why-are-M...
marc on November 29, 2012:
I have two female dogs. One is about 1.5 years and is a beagle/shepherd mix (40 pounds). She was adopted from the pound at about 2 months. The other is an 8-9 month old pitbull mix female. She was abandoned at my work so I took her home . The two dogs spend the day in a large fenced in yard while I am at work. They seem to get along fine I even caught them napping on each other one day. When they come in the house though all hell breaks loose. Blood is shed. Therefore I keep them separated and try to balance my time with each one . The pitbull puppy is always the aggressor. I noticed she often pees on the floor like she is marking it even though she is trained to go outside. The fighting really stresses out the beagle mix she shakes and is very withdrawn after a fight. She is a super friendly mellow dog and a little stubborn(typical beagle traits). The pittbull mix is a very very loyal dog. she follows me everywhere she is always trying to please me by sitting shaking her hand licking and is protective of me but friendly with humans. also she sleeps with me in the bed. the beagle sleeps on the couch (as her preference) . why do the dogs get along in the yard but fight so much in the house? The beagle is fixed the pitbull is not (as far as I know). How can I get them to not fight in the house?
nicole-terese on November 23, 2012:
I had 2 female bull Arabs up until 2 weeks ago, they were a year apart best buddies for a year then all of a sudden hated each other and fought til the death, I lost my baby girl!
emily on June 12, 2012:
i have 2 female german shepherd and 1 male germsn shepherd
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 18, 2012:
What you are seeing is not that unusual. Many in your same situation keep both dogs but this often translates into lots of management (ie rotating the dogs, keeping them separated) If you rehome one they may miss each other at first, but when dogs fight there is often a lot of stress and they may not live to their full potential. If you need to rehome look for a rescue that puts a lot of emphasis on placing the dogs in loving homes. Best wishes!
luvmypits2 on May 17, 2012:
I am asking anyone that can, please help!!!
As a child I was never allowed to have "pets", especially dogs! 4 years ago, my husband gave me the best gift ever, a puppy! She is a pitbull. I have had her all this time, and last year I got a blue-nose pit puppy. Also a female. Both have been chipped, spayed, life-insurance, etc...
The problem: I've been noticing that they have been more aggressive with each other the past month or so. My oldest is 4 years, my youngest is 10 months. I've been told that maybe I should re-home my youngest. I love them both, they are like my kids! My question: is there a way to keep them both? If not, how well do pits adapt to "re-homing". Will they not miss each other? How will my oldest adapt to not having her around after having her x 10 months?
A lot of you must think I'm crazy, and I may be...I'm really upset over this. I don't want to give her to someone who is going to fight her, or even put her outside. She is used to lots of attention, sleeping at the foot of my bed, etc...I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing she's out there somewhere not knowing if she's hungrey, cold, alone, etc...Please someone help me! They are more than "just dogs", they are to me anyway.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 12, 2012:
It's not you fault, don't blame yourself! Unfortunately, there is not much literature about this and many owners find out just as you did. There are countless owners in your same shoes and the fact that dog trainers and owners that have owned dogs for decades still encounter this issue, is proof that this often has little to do with how the owner has raised them. Since you mention they are not spayed, here is an interesting hub: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Dog-behavior-Why-are-M...
Jessica on May 11, 2012:
omg i didn't know this i have a ridgeback/curr named Karmaand a pit/jackrussle terrier named Felony...they are 4 months apart...and i have always maintained a calm non aggressive household...i always pet Karma first since she was 1st and tried to keep the peace so she wouldn't get jealous and Felony the 2nd dog follows me like always shes drawn to me...they recently turned 1 1/2 and have twice tried to kill each other.. the 1st time i gave em a few days and a mood stableizer and they were fine then all of a sudden the older one got mad at the younger one and boom they did it again and almost shredded my husbands arm when he broke em up...im soo heart broken and they are seperated now but its almost to the point of giving one of them away....i don't agree its the humans fault cause i have done everything to the letter of raising them good and calm..if any one believes this they OBVIOUSLY haven't had the problem we have....but this makes me feel better that i have done steps and its not just our girls its a common real thing..i wish id've known cuase i feel bad subjecting them to this...it sucks to see them in pain after a fight...i am a nurse so ive done steps to scrub and clean wounds and doctor them but looks like spaying them and maybe a diff medicine for mood is in the works and deff separate yards or new homes..im so sad i feel like a horrible mom for not knowning this earlier...i love my girls like family
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 22, 2012:
I actually wrote a hub specifically about intact female dogs not getting along about a month ago,:
lisa chamberlain on April 22, 2012:
actually two female dogs about a month before they are due to come into heat they will get aggressive with the other female due to breeding rights. In the wild the dominant female would get breeding rights same as in the house hold pack. This is how i can tell my female is with in her time a month a head and to separate the females .
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 14, 2012:
Do you know which dog gets upset if the other dog is pet first, given attention first? I would recommend consulting with a veterinary behaviorist/certified applied animal behaviorist to see the dogs and see what can be done. Any chances you can keep them separated? many households are forced to do so when there is same-sex aggression. Here are is a helpful hub about stopping fights:
Taylor on March 13, 2012:
I have been dealing with this problem for about a year and a half now. I have two female dogs a jack russel terrier and a border terrier about every 6 months they get into fights and almost every time they have drawn blood. The fights are fairly new to me and our family and they never happened when the dogs were puppies. I got the border terrier 7 and a half years ago and I got the jack russel a year later. Every time a fight occurs it is normally over which dog is getting attention one growls and the other responds in a snarl and before we know it a fight occurs. It is extremely difficult to separate then once they have started. In the most recent one we dumped buckets of water on both of them and they have had no response to it at all. This past fight my border terrier was pinned down by he jack russel and if we didn't separate them she would have killed her. My border terrier got puncture wounds and scratches on the body and we had to take her to the pet emergency. My jack russel terrier is very sweet around our family but not at all good around strangers or anyone she doesn't know. Nobody in our family wants the jack russel and the humane society won't take her. I know taking her to the pound or something is a bad idea but I just want to know if there is something else I should do or know before I go to my last resort in putting her down.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 07, 2012:
It is really up to you. Some people choose to live keeping dogs separated all the time and monitoring with eagle eyes every interaction, others rather prefer having dogs live a normal life and decide to rehome one.
Ginger on February 07, 2012:
I am currently facing this issue. I have a four year old female chihuahua, and about a month ago I decided to get a 6 month old female chihuahua.
I feel so ignorant now, but it never even crossed my mind that my dog would not want to share her space with another dog, especially a female one! I am a huge dog lover and activist, and all I wanted was to give one more homeless dog a loving home. (Both are from shelters)
If I don't keep them separated, my older dog will constantly bully the puppy. She absolutely HATES her. Nothing majorly aggressive, but I certainly have noticed the animosity increase and the bullying getting more intense since the puppy has gotten older and more assertive.
The puppy now feels right at home, and I swear she has started to somewhat challenge my older dog for dominance. She hops on top of her back, and has started to growl and snarl to protect her territory. She basically refuses to submit to my older dog. After reading the posts above, I fear that things are only going to get worse. If it's already getting bad, and the new one is still a puppy, I can only imagine how it will be when they are both adults.
My mom has offered to take the puppy, and I wonder if I should jump at this chance. On one hand, I have grown very attached to her, but my older dog literally hates me now and I fear an escalation in fighting.
Tanja on February 06, 2012:
Thank you very much for your answers you helped me a lot.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 06, 2012:
If she is listening to you very well and the puppies are no longer scared it sounds like you have made a lot of progress! You can apply leave it to virtually anything you don't want her to get close to. I use leave it for something I just dropped on the floor, squirrels on the road, etc. When your dog complies to leave it, it helps to reward every now and then with a treat. If you are concerned she gets too near the puppies and you do not trust her, a leave it should work if she knows this command well. Be very cautious. Best wishes.
Tanja on February 06, 2012:
Again thank you for your answer. Well every dog here in this household is trained. And yes she is listening to me very well and she knows already the leave it command. So if she is near the puppies I have to say to her leave it?
And the puppies are not scared anymore I observed them now and they try to get near her again but now I'm a little careful because like I said I don't know if she is correcting them or not, but thank you again. You helped me a lot.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 05, 2012:
I chose the term ''terroroizing'' from your description ''The puppies are now scared to death whenever she comes''. That does sound like terrorizing them to me, anyhow,your Rottie mix sound oblivious to your commands and jumps over the boundaries which suggests you have little control over her. It is imperative that you teach her the ''off'' and ''leave it command'' and that you gain a lot more control if you are not going to re-home the puppies. The problem here is that she sounds like she had little training and in multi-dog households this is imperative. With no control, it means the dogs must be separated or trouble may ensue. Here is a hub about the leave it command;
Here is another one:
If you are giving too much attention to these new puppies, your rottie mix may feel like they are taking over. If you must give them attention, do it out of her sight. The pups were supposed to meet your dogs in neutral grounds and not so suddenly. this creates disruptions in the pack structure. Hope this helps... it is really hard to tell if she is correcting them or if she is acting out aggressively..only an expert coming to your home can ultimately tell..best wishes.
Tanja on February 05, 2012:
Thank you for your answer! I guess I will thinking about it to call a dogtrainer to look at the situation.
But the puppies cried a little but after that they went back to their normal activities. And I don't think that my dog is terrorizing them, she only does that when the puppies come near her. So I guess that's different, because sometimes she goes to them and smells on their buds so I don't think that she is terrorizing her. Maybe you have another solution for me how to handle the situation? I put up some boundries and my Rottiemix can jump over them ot another room so she is be able to go and she is doing it. So is it really that she doesn't like them or something different?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 04, 2012:
It is hard to say if your dog is simply ''correcting puppies'' or if there is something more into this, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Generally, you would see ritualized aggression (growling, body postures and symbolic biting)without any actual intent to hurt the pups, when they are put into place. Real aggression is unusual towards puppies. The fact the pups are terrorized of her is suggesting it may be too much. When a puppy is corrected in the right way, she will appear startled for a few seconds and resume activities, yours instead sound terrorized and this is not good for their upbringing. You further mention it got bloody on top of that which further convinces me you are seeing something abnormal. Only time can tell if this is something that can possibly be worked out, I think it is in your best interest to have a trainer/dog behavior specialist take a look to assess the situation. All you can do in the meanwhile is manage (you say you use a muzzle) but if the pups are terrorized, I would keep them in a whole separate room.
I would also seriously consider rehoming the pups unless you are willing to keep the dogs separated for life; with four females in the household, it is hard to imagine everybody getting along together. Best wishes!
Tanja on February 04, 2012:
Hi, I have two female dogs one is a Rottweilermix (3) and the other one is a Boxermix (2). Both are not fixed yet. But they get along really good. They are really good dogs and play together very well and they sleep together in our bedroom. But recently I adopted two female puppies from the same litter. They are cockerspanielmix. Unfortunatly my 3year old Rottweilermix is correcting or biting them whenever they come near her. She is not aggressive and she never was, but I'm concerned. Now she is wearing a muscle until I can figure out how I can solve the problem.The puppies are now scared to death whenever she comes. Because today it got a little bloody. I train them and they are sleeping in their crate in different rooms. One is sleeping in my oldest sons room and the other one is sleeping with my other son.In their crates. Can you help me please? I'm really not sure what to do. I thought that puppies are still under puppy lisence.
Theresa on February 02, 2012:
I'm ashamed to say that for someone who knows so much about dogs, the one thing I didn't know was what would happen with an all female pack. I've never had an all female pack before but I do now and am dearly paying the price. My dogs are english mastiffs (try pulling 400 lbs worth of dogs apart, I just about ended up in traction). I have four, yes four females. The two older ones are only 6 months apart, and the two younger ones are from the same litter (yes, I know, too bad I didn't at the time) everything was fine until my male mastiff died last winter and since then its been a nightmare. George always trained the new pups and whenever they started playing rough he'd come and stand over them and they would immediately stop. Here I thought he was just being a fun wrecker, didn't know he was keeping them from killing each other. We can go for months without an incident, but when they happen they are deadly. Luckily we do our own stitching and needling so we don't have expensive vet bills but its only a matter of time as the older one refuses to give way. I've gotten to the point where I'm now putting her at the very back of the pack. She's fed last, let out last, petted last. I have never had an issue over food (they're fed raw and fed side by side) never had a fight over a toy. When the first fight started it was over who got to my son first, so the fights are definitely over alpha position. I can see it already starting in the two younger ones so I am being very careful to maintain the pecking order. Hopefully it works. This last fight there was no one home to stop it and it was so vicious that the alpha female broke her tooth in half. The other had an 8" gaping hole in her chest and another across her throat so you know they're going for the kill. The two younger ones are going to be well over 250 lbs. each so I'd better get it right. We're looking for a new home for the one female as I don't know what else to do. As for not being a strong enough alpha, I am definitely strong enough. If I'm there I have no problem stopping a fight (as long as I'm there when it starts and it doesn't get to the point of no return) and they obey me without hesitation. I've thought about getting a cattle prod but I don't know if that would make the situation worse. I like your idea of an air horn though, maybe I'll try that before I find her a new home and see if that works.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 18, 2012:
You need to manage resources with these two gals. Feed them in separate rooms and keep toys, food, attention and anything valuable out of reach. You may have to keep them separated for safety sake since your older dog already went to the vet to be treated. Have your older checked by a vet, hearing, sight, senior disorders... many times younger dogs step in when they sense an older dog weakening. Your younger dog very likely is trying to step in, but the older dog is reluctant to submit...this can turn very ugly if you do not separate them, best wishes...
abby harris on January 18, 2012:
Help i have 1 female staffy and two female staffy cross dogs two of 7 years old and one that is nearly two. The two older dogs get on really well, But i am having problems with the younger one and one of the older ones. I had the younger one from a puppy she was dumped on me by a friend so i said i would take her on. When she hit 8 months old the problems started they had quite a few fights in the space of about 3 months. Then i had her spayed (all so the other two are spayed) all though there has been no fights for a year until this week things had been tense at times. The younger one will stand over the other one when she is eating and try to push her out of the way when she walks past her. The fight they had this week was over my partner throwing a stick which they both went after. It ended up with my older dog going to the vets. Have you got any ideas how i can help defuse the situation between them as it is still rather tense. I feel the younger dog is trying to dominate the older one.
Vanessa on January 15, 2012:
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 15, 2012:
I cannot guarantee it will work but it may make things easier, here is a helpful article full of tips by the dog listener a trainer and behavior expert:
Vanessa on January 15, 2012:
I have two 6 yr old females brought up together since they were puppies (60 lb american bulldog/ lab mix- dominant one and a 40 lb mutt). It wasn't until last year that they had their first big fight. We tried to get them back together, but the more dominant one refused to even look at the other one so we decided to play it safe and keep them apart at all times. I had no idea what this aggression was about until I just read this article.
Last week our house was broken into and when we came home the robbers had let the dogs out - they were both perfectly fine in the same room! So we decided to go with it. Everything was back to normal with the smaller dog being completely submissive and then... one week later a fight broke out yesterday at my mans feet. Thankfully he was able to catch it right away without there being any blood shed.
Anyhow, my question is if we make it a point to establish the more dominant dog as the alpha by petting her first, feeding her first, etc. can we try to get them to co-habitate together as they were? I didn't know about this pack order thing so I can say that I've felt bad at times for the more submissive dog and tried to give her more attention at times. Every time I have I have clearly seen that the bigger dog would get jealous or show some signs of distress. So, I'm guilty to that.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on January 06, 2012:
Heather, problems are not granted to 100% happen, there are owners who have raised sibling same-sex dogs with no problems. However, it is important to recognize the chances for problems. I would consult with a trainer to assess them and help you train them separately if you are concerned. They can play together, but it should be limited to no more than 1-2 few brief sessions a day. If they spend too much time together there are risks for them to bond and this create problems. However, as they grow they may no longer get along and fights at times may ensue. Consult with your trainer, he/she may see how they behave around each other and may be helpful in making an informed decision. It is hard to predict the future though and be able to tell if they will get along as they grow or not, so it is more a guess, best wishes!
heather on January 06, 2012:
I need some advice. My husband brought home 2 female lab pups this week. He wanted them to grow up together with our 4 children. I am very worried now. I already see the dominant one, who is doing well with potty training. The other is very quiet & stand off-ish. We are taking them to training (he is taking 1 & I am taking the other), & we plan to separate them in crates. Do I need to get rid of one now before we get anymore attached? I read they should be completely separated for at least 1 year, but this defeats his purpose. We live in the country, so they have open space to run, but how can I not let them play together? They are both getting spayed as well. Is there anything I can do to prevent the fighting from happening? We've had more than 1 dog our whole lives with no problems, but we've never had 2 pups at once. I am worried that something could happen to the kids as well. This was never a thought, until I googled how to train 2 puppies at once! Now I'm stressing! Can someone give me advice please?
A.J. on December 30, 2011:
I love. This it's so helpful with my pregnant dog it is wonderful but ugh some peole out there I got an chihuahua and she just gets in fights over food with my other chihuahua and where she wants to. Sleep but she just wants to be a higher rank and she's in heat. The first day. She was in heat, was the first day that the fight started she always growls at my other boxer and chihuahua when I give her an bone too . Thanks.
John on December 27, 2011:
Good stuff! I think you all are wonderful owmers!
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 22, 2011:
Jen, as the owner of Rottweilers, I understand your concern about showing how friendly and loving pets pitties are, but this has nothing to do with with how they behave with people. Pitts are wonderful around people. If you read the UKC pitbull breed standard it clearly claims ''Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog''
Now, socialization and training can work somewhat at a certain extent, however many females just don't do well together, especially when they are close in age. Training at this point, would help only by possibly making your dogs responsive to you to prevent fights, but this occurs being on a 24/7 ALERT MODE, never being able to relax. You are doing the right thing, and it is great your family is willing to take one of your dogs. I really don't see how time apart may help the issue. Best wishes and happy holidays.
jen on December 21, 2011:
and we have always been people who had the need to show people how loving and friendly our pitties were im totally heartbroken over this
jen on December 21, 2011:
i have two female spayed pitbulls i got one then the second one 9 months later they are both 4 years of age they were never once aggressive towards eachother up until 2 or 3 months ago and its happening more often and mostly when my boyfriend is home it seems. they arent aggressive towards any people or other dog just eachother.the younger one is so calm and such a ham but she seems to be the more aggressive in this situation ive already took all the toys away i don't get how one minute they are cleaning each others faces and cuddling next to eachother then 20 minutes later all hell breaks loose and after they are seperated its like nothing happened. it breaks my heart because these are my children and but i don't want them to kill eachother and i am now pregnant and cant be dealing with this when i am 7 months pregnant. i was unaware of that you should avoid having two females up until i looked this up. they are extremely well behaved besides these incidents luckily my parents are animal lovers also and refuse to let me loose one of my kids so i brought the younger one to my parents house. but will time apart do anything for this behavior or any training?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 16, 2011:
Marc, It is in the pitbull standard to be dog aggressive and same sex aggression is very common. According to UKC ''Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog''
Nobody can ultimately keep you from taking this new pup home, but you should be ready to learn how to manage them well and you should definitively keep in a corner of your mind that once reached social maturity things can dramatically change and there may be chances you may need to keep them separated and rotate the time you spend with each one of them.
marc on December 15, 2011:
I have a 6 month old spayed female pit and just got asked to adopt a friends 6 month old boxer they are both gentle as can be I have read all your concerns and realize these breeds don't back down from a challenge but I really would love having her as apart of the family please give me some positive feedback (fingers crossed)
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 14, 2011:
Lyndsey, not all female dogs will necessarily fight, but it is good to be aware of this problem. Stopping them from playing too rough is good because it shows them you have control, therefore should they engage in a fight one day, you may have better chances of telling them to stop.
Lyndsey on December 14, 2011:
Dobe breeder, I would agree with your point about ensuring they're exercised enough that they just want to sleep! The article shocked me too, I'm nervous now about how my girls will get along for the rest of their lives.
Lyndsey on December 14, 2011:
Hi, I was just reading your article ' I am now very scared of what the future will hold for my two dogs! They're two females, jrt cross from the same litter & are now 18 months old. They play rough & both try to jump each other now & again. They cry if separated, sleep together all of the time. We have never seen them have a fight, if we think the rough play is getting too rough we stop them & they stop immediately (I read b4 that if it's a fight u physically have to separate them) after reading the article & some of the comments I'm afraid one day this is all going to change! If we keep a sense of calm between them & stop the rough play will this help eliminate the risk of them turning on each other? We're not planning to get anymore dogs & both of them are spayed since 6 months old. Thank you
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 12, 2011:
You can scold another dog without her interference if you are consistent and make the rules clear. I own Rottweilers which are a breed prone to the hall monitor syndrome. At first they would get into the way even if a cat was hissing at me or another dog was jumping on me, they had this little tolerance of other pets misbehaving near me or other dogs misbehaving. At times, they still try to intervene but it takes my 'off' and a step towards them to put them in place. It just tells them 'no thank you, your help is not needed!''
The muzzle is just a management tool, it does not teach anything, it is just there for safety sake until better behaviors are taught.
WORRIED!! on December 12, 2011:
Thank you so much. I just don't trust Cail anymore. Will I ever be able to scold another dog without her butting in? Also, I do know how to introduce a muzzle properly, I did alot of research today. But will getting the muzzle help her to realize there is no point in correcting the others?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 12, 2011:
Worried, it sounds like Cail is demonstrating ''the hall monitor syndrome'' where she feels the need to correct any behavior that is not appreciated. Make it clear to Cail you do not need back-up, teach the ''off command.' which means ''get out of my space''. You can teach it by saying ''off'' in a stern tone of voice and moving into Cail's space so she knows her help is not needed nor appreciated.
The muzzle may help while you teach order and ''off'' to keep everybody safe. Do you know hoe to introduce it properly?
It is hard to say if things will escalate but it does sound like there is tension and yes, where there is tension, things can potentially get worse. Best wishes.
WORRIED!! on December 11, 2011:
my husband thinks maybe we should get a muzzle for cail, so she can be restrained and at the same time see that it is okay.
WORRIED! on December 11, 2011:
k. long story and I need help the other night, Taz (8mo. lab/pit male) and Pepper(1.5yr husky/aussie spayed female) were play wrestling. Unfortunately, Pepper's jaw got caught on Taz's collar and they were stuck. I immediately ran to help when I heard taz cry. Out of frustration, pepper groaned ( i say groaned rather than growled, cause there was nothing mad about it) and our other dog, Cail (1.75yr lab/beagle spayed female) attacked Pepper. I broke it up and my husband untangled the two. The next morning Cail was still trying to bully pepper and I managed to break up a fight before it started. That night, when letting them out, pepper tried to approach and play with Cail. Cail attacked. Really bad. Pepper's ear had an inch slit in it now right by the head (Don't worry we had a vet take care of it.) Now they cannot be around each other at all without Pepper being terrified to the point of shaking and Cail trying to kill her. Taz just can't figure out why nobody will play with him. I think Cail was trying to protect me in the whole situation, but now I am worried about Cail with Taz. If I go to scold taz for something, Cail will go up to him and start bullying him. Like smacking him with her paws. Is this going to escalade? Is there anything I can do? Will I have to get rid of a dog? If so, which one?
dobe breeder on December 05, 2011:
Yesm this article is shocking me a bit, i have 2 female Doberman 6 years old and 3 years old. Plus one male Dobe 2 and half years old and a yorkies 4. I always says it;s the dog owner"s fault always. By being the pack leader.. you make sure your order are followed, in our family no fight is allowed and all the dogs( or my babies like i call them) are doing just fine. one advised i can give is.. Make sure a tired dog is a happy dog. lots of exercise. They are like us, If they are stressed.. take your car and make them run ( as you know you can"t walk dobies),a good 10 km, Everybody comes home tired. Nobody have time to fight.. they just want to go nap.
love-my-pits on December 05, 2011:
I have 4 pittbulls. mom, dad, and two female pups. they r very good dogs, but lately the one pup is fighting with her mom. at first the mom and pup were very protective over their toy bones. so they no longer get to play with the bones. i don't understand why she is doing this all of a sudden. the dad, mom and one pup wiegh around 70 lbs. the pup that is starting the fights weighs 57. i don't know if it is jealousy? the mom was my boyfriends baby when we got her at 6 weeks. then we got the dad at 6 weeks about 7 months after we got her. they grew up together and had pups almost 2 yrs ago. now the one pup is my boyfriends baby. but i would think the mom would be the one to be jealous? I just want to know what to do. they used to "make up" after they fought but now the pup just watches her mom like she planning her next attack. any suggestions?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 01, 2011:
Nicole and Stacy, this hub may be helpful for you:
Stacy on November 30, 2011:
I have an 8yr old Boxer, Bella, and a 3yr old Great Dane,Radley. Both female. We also have a few males in our four legged family. Recently my Boxer has started picking fights with my Dane out of the blue. This is causing a major melt down with all the dogs at once and huge brawls ensue. I was worried something was wrong with Bella because she is a super sweet dog. I don't want to lose either of tham but they are really worrying me. Any training or diversions you can recommend? It only seems to happen when I am around if they are just with my husband alone they are fine.
Nicole on November 30, 2011:
Hi, I have 2 female Staffords - 2 years different in age, the older one is desexed. They have had a couple of 'fights'. They've never drawn blood, it doesn't seem like their mouths connect to the other's skin at all but they make a hell of a noise and we have to pull them apart. I can't really pick why the fights are starting though... Given that they have had a few of these with no injuries, do you expect things will escalate and one (or both) will get hurt?
females on November 10, 2011:
Hello, I have a grandmother, mother, daughter and another daughter, all at different ages and all get along. they do fight if food is near by and sometimes a quarel now and then. On the other hand I used to have a male and a larger dog male who killed him a few days ago. They were both locked up and one climbed into the other. Was so heart breaking. Dogs are animals and you must never think they will get along for ever.
Cheyenne on November 08, 2011:
I have three dogs, 2 females, 1 male.
The females are 1 month apart and the smaller female dog *Papillon* Is getting realy aggressive to both male and other female dog *Shes a boxer*
We do not know what todo, Thje female papillon is getting realy mean toward our other female boxer, she growls and causes fights, even bites are her, and the boxer wants to fight back, but we do not want to papillon to get ehr aswell. The boxer is much larger and can easily kill her.
Both were purchased from breeders.
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 04, 2011:
This new hub should be helpful to you: