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Discussion Starter #1
I read the thread about the two female dogs fighting and how serious bitch fights can be. I have two female dogs and from time to time they fight. The thing is, it's never over food, attention, or dominance of any sort. They usually start when the dogs get over excited. Usually barking at something outside. We have been working on getting them to quiet down and not get so excited. We have had some success. But if we just let them bark and go crazy, often Banjo will end up growling directly at Aurora and then they will have a nasty fight. It's not like they're fighting to the death or anything, but it is pretty nasty. Are these the same thing as Bitch fights? Or is this not as bad? They love each other, really, they play together a lot, and never have any issues, unless they get over excited.
 

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You're doing the right thing to keep them calm and try to prevent fights. If they serious it isn't as much of a worry. I would say it sounds less serious then really bad. If it were bad you'd know. Redirected aggression is what it seems to be. I've had bad "dog" fights and bad "bitch" fights. Serious injuries or life threatening. Then I've had less serious fights, tiffs and "fights" that never really were fights just an upset without physical harm done to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sometimes it looks really scary and blood is flying around the room, but when they stop, there's only a couple little scratches on their noses.
 

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Sometimes it looks really scary and blood is flying around the room, but when they stop, there's only a couple little scratches on their noses.
Not good, and it does sound like redirected aggression. Even if it's accidental, someone is likely to get more than a scratch on the nose one of these days. Eye injuries are expensive, as are busted teeth and scratches that become infected.

I recommend you contact a qualified behaviorist, in addition to getting these dogs altered (if they aren't) and keeping them separated unless you can supervise them:

http://www.iaabc.org

http://www.animalbehavior.org

When allowing these dogs to interact they will need to be supervised and you will need to be aware of environmental changes and the slightest signals the dogs may be sending to eachother so you can redirect them in a positive way before a fight develops. You're going to have to learn about dog body language, triggers, thresholds and what your dogs like that they will respond to in tense situations. Just allowing them to continue duking it out IS a recipe for disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Did you read what I wrote? I don't allow them to just "duke it out" we have been working on keeping them calm when they start barking at something outside (which is almost always what triggers Banjo's little growl) and with some success, as I've said. We can't really afford treats at the moment (much less a behaviorist), although next time I'm at Big Y I will pick up some of the really cheap bulk ones, but for now, we try to distract them while saying "Hush" and then say "good hush" and reward them every time they are quiet. They are getting very slowly better at stopping. Me and my bf have also become very good at grabbing the two dogs and holding them away from each other. Luckily Aurora, the bigger one is not dead-set on fighting, so you just have to yell and hold her back, and then scoop up Banjo in your arms. Neither of them are dead-set on fighting, it really is not difficult to stop it once you hear Banjo's growl. They are seperate while we are gone (one in a crate and one in our bedroom), and they are both altered.

It's odd, though, because Banjo, in general, is a very submissive dog. For awhile when we first got her, she even peed submissively. I know the level of submissiveness varies depending on who the dog is dealing with, but Aurora has always asserted herself as fair but dominant, and Banjo respects that all the time, except when she gets over excited. The fighting got REALLY bad (uncontrollable) while we lived for 2 weeks at my parent's house where there is always some kind of crazy excitement (screaming teenagers, etc), but at this point, I think they've only had one fight since we moved out of that place, other than that, we've kept them from fighting.

No I'm not terribly concerned. Basically I was just shocked when I read the thread about Bitch fights and started wondering if my dogs, being two females, were really trying to fight to the death. When I analyzed it, it didn't seem to be the same thing, and wanted to assert that not all female dogs fighting should be classified as "bitch fights" and wanted some thoughts as to whether I was on the right track thinking this.

Oh, and a scratch the size they've got, is no more dangerous than they might get walking through the woods. Or even rubbing against a sharper plastic edge on their crates. It really always turns out just to be a tiny little nick. If they are in so much danger of that getting infected, then they need to be kept in a padded cell.
 
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