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Lately my two female dogs have been fighting. From what I can tell, my 14 month old aussie, Zelda, is the one who starts it. It can happen when Zelda is playing frisbee & the other dog, Stella, is outside while she is trying to play. It has also happened when Zelda tried to take Stella's food by attacking her. It just happened tonight when Stella tried to enter a room that Zelda was in. I have a very hard time breaking them up. This time it appears Stella has a cut that is bleeding under her eye and between her eyes. It started happening over the past month or so. Can anyone help me with this? I've never had it happen before and I'm afraid one of them might seriously injure each other, especially since I can't really break them up. Thanks!
 

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Are either or both of the dogs spayed? If not, hormonal changes (even in your maturing pup if she is spayed) can definitely be a contributing factor. If the other dog is getting older that could also be a contributor. You should also rule out any physical problems (such as a thyroid imbalance) with a thorough vet check for both dogs.

If these were my dogs, I would start by picking up all of their toys and chews and save them for times when they are supervised only and feed them separately where they absolutely cannot get to one another. If possible, I would hand feed treats and food to both dogs together but at a safe distance from one another often. I would crate them separately when I could not watch their interactions. I might even crate and rotate them. I would also be sure they were getting enough mental and physical exercise every day. I would work on basic cues that may be helpful before fights start such as responding to their names for eye contact, etc. I would watch for the signs of impending trouble (such as staring, stiffness, hackles raised, whale eyes, snarling, etc.) and redirect in a positive manner. And finally, I would implement Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF - see the stickies here on the forum) and if at all possible, contact a behaviorist for more help:

http://www.iaabc.org
http://www.animalbehavior.org
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Are either or both of the dogs spayed? If not, hormonal changes (even in your maturing pup if she is spayed) can definitely be a contributing factor. If the other dog is getting older that could also be a contributor. You should also rule out any physical problems (such as a thyroid imbalance) with a thorough vet check for both dogs.

If these were my dogs, I would start by picking up all of their toys and chews and save them for times when they are supervised only and feed them separately where they absolutely cannot get to one another. If possible, I would hand feed treats and food to both dogs together but at a safe distance from one another often. I would crate them separately when I could not watch their interactions. I might even crate and rotate them. I would also be sure they were getting enough mental and physical exercise every day. I would work on basic cues that may be helpful before fights start such as responding to their names for eye contact, etc. I would watch for the signs of impending trouble (such as staring, stiffness, hackles raised, whale eyes, snarling, etc.) and redirect in a positive manner. And finally, I would implement Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF - see the stickies here on the forum) and if at all possible, contact a behaviorist for more help:

http://www.iaabc.org
http://www.animalbehavior.org
yes they're are both spayed and have been for a while. ever since this aggression, i've been feeding and playing with them seperately. I've always crated them seperately. I'm not sure how to prevent fights when Zelda appears to be guarding the room. I just want to stop the behavior completely before one of the dogs gets seriously injured. I will look into NILF thanks :)
 
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