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To give some background, Ragnar is my 2 year oldish bulldog/German Sheppard mix & Sam is my 2.5 year oldish Dalmatian/pit(?) mix. We've had both dogs for about a year & a half, but we had Sam a little before we got Ragnar. Sam's past is a mystery, we adopted him from the pound. Ragnar, however, was rescued from an abusive owner. In the time that we've had both dogs, they've only fought over food, Ragnar being the one who starts it. But lately, Sam is the one starting fights. But there doesn't have to be food or toys. We can be having a quiet evening & suddenly Sam attacks poor Ragnar. Ragnar always attempts to back down but usually doesn't get the chance unless we step in. Last time I stepped in, Sam accidentally bit me & I couldn't walk for a week. Ragnar too has suffered injuries but they were minor. I don't know what's happening with Sam out of no where but I'm getting concerned. I don't want to have to make any difficult decisions. Is there a way to correct this unruly behavior?
 

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I would say separate these dogs at least until you figure out a plan for dealing with what's happening. Every time the two of them go at it they ingrain the behaviour and it becomes more likely they'll go more seriously over something smaller. It sounds like this has been going to a while and won't resolve itself on it own so you need a game-plan. And a good behaviourist.

If you take a look at some breed-specific forums there might be some good information for you. I don't own those breeds but based on what I've read here are some ideas.... All those breeds have a tendency towards dog-aggression (pit, german shepherd, bulldog even dalmatian). From what I hear its pretty common for dogs to turn "on" to dog aggression when they hit maturity around 2 ish. Not having seen them (and not being a professional) I can't say for sure, but I would definitely consider it a possibility that their breed genetics are just reaching full influence. I really think you need to find a qualified professional to help you who can actually see and evaluate the dogs based on a full history... IMO keep them separated until then.... Others may chime in here with more seasoned advice. Good luck!!
 

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I would say separate these dogs at least until you figure out a plan for dealing with what's happening. Every time the two of them go at it they ingrain the behaviour and it becomes more likely they'll go more seriously over something smaller. It sounds like this has been going to a while and won't resolve itself on it own so you need a game-plan. And a good behaviourist.

If you take a look at some breed-specific forums there might be some good information for you. I don't own those breeds but based on what I've read here are some ideas.... All those breeds have a tendency towards dog-aggression (pit, german shepherd, bulldog even dalmatian). From what I hear its pretty common for dogs to turn "on" to dog aggression when they hit maturity around 2 ish. Not having seen them (and not being a professional) I can't say for sure, but I would definitely consider it a possibility that their breed genetics are just reaching full influence. I really think you need to find a qualified professional to help you who can actually see and evaluate the dogs based on a full history... IMO keep them separated until then.... Others may chime in here with more seasoned advice. Good luck!!
The odd thing is its upsetting when it happens, of course, but it doesn't happen very often. The last time was last night, but the time before that was Christmas day. And the time before that, I honestly couldn't say. Its been too long to remember. They even had a doggie play date today with another pup (around 6 months) they've never met before who is also likely a pit mix and everything was flawless. I really haven't a clue what his trigger is.
 

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Thinking back to the last incident and Christmas day. Write a list about everything you remember happening leading up to the event. Compare lists and see if anything is similar. It might seem like nothing happened, but maybe the list will help you notice similarities or help you come to an "ah hah" moment. As for the other advice about getting a dog behaviorist, that might be a good idea. Depending on where you are located some of the regulars on here might be able to give you good recommendations.
 
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