Fighting in dogs that are the same breed, sex and within 3 years of age of each other is common, especially as one or both approach the age of 18months-2years and reach social maturity.
So what did we do? First I want to say that the girls parents are amazing, and follow through with all that is suggested.
We started with a thorough veterinary examination including blood work to rule out underlying biochemical reasons. Next we ensured separation after an incident of up to a week to allow the adrenaline and cortisol levels to return to normal.
We also implemented many things including management techniques that could be used to redirect them if their owners could predict an incident may be about to occur.
This included mat/station/place training, target training, crate training, leave it, muzzle training and impulse control work.
Take the time to follow the girls on Instagram @bonnieandbailey_
See below for more information and a visual demonstration of the name game in action.
The other things useful for the girls in training included deference - teaching the dogs to look to their owners and make eye contact for guidance, and also to take a breathe on cue. Being able to cue a breath, means that you can then use this to slow your dogs breathing down, and just like us humans this has a calming affect. And last but not least, the very powerful look at that game - which teaches a dog to engage and disengage with potential triggers.
However none of this would have been possible without first reducing some of the anxiety the girls were feeling. This included the use of Adaptil collars (firmly fitted as they are activated by body heat), nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals under veterinary direction.
If you have dogs at home that are having interdog issues, please don't give up without seeking appropriate attention and help from a veterinarian, qualified force free trainer and behaviour veterinarian where required. It cannot always be rectified, however it often can and with careful management the stress for all involved can be greatly reduced.