Dog on Dog Aggression In The Home


Before you consider a dog board and train program for dog on dog aggression in the home, you should consider why private dog training lessons may be a better route to go.  The majority of owners that experience dog on dog aggression in the home believe that that a dog board and train can return a dog that will not show aggression at the end of the boot camp.  This is not true.

This program has it’s place, which is to train and condition your dog to training system which requires you to be actively involved.  The training system is predicated on a series of commands that you’ll use NOT to eliminate your dog’s aggression, BUT to control your dog’s aggression – HUGE difference!  With dog on dog aggression in the home, dog board and trains can be VERY helpful it will train your dog to listen to you while around the other dog, but does not eliminate the need for supervision and separation.

As with any other obedience training program there is a part of the session that will be dedicated to instruction  on how to properly handle your dog’s aggression.  That said, if you’re the type of dog owner that is good at taking direction a phone consultation to begin with (where you’re able to speak one on one to a professional dog trainer about your dog’s aggression in the home) may be a better fit for your obedience training goals. To better understand, let’s start with identifying your overall goals of residing with dog’s that become aggressive with one another.

When we speak of dog on dog aggression in the home we’re referring to older dogs. That said, if you have an older dog that has been good for years with other dogs and have recently added a puppy to your home, you may exhibit that the older dog is aggressive to new puppy which is very common and is handled much differently either via our phone consult or our puppy workshop.

Before we identify your goal, let’s look at Why MOST pet owners with dog on dog aggression in the home will NEVER improve their situation. Hopefully, through making you see things from different points of view; one from experience and the other from a different representation than what you may be used to having with regard to dog(s) we can make change together.

Most pet owners that have dog on dog aggression in the home with their family dogs share the same challenges, feelings, and thought patterns. Let’s look at some:

The Challenges & Feelings of Having Dog on Dog aggression in the home
Taking care of one dog can be a challenge, two (2) or more can be a chore and when you add dog on dog aggression to the mix, your household can become a very dark and gloomy place. We get it!
Are you always wondering when and where the next dog fight will take place? Do you wonder how strong the dog(s) aggression will become and dread what the severity of the injury or the worst-case scenario may be, while simultaneously……hoping that your dog’s aggression will subside and eradicate.

Then there is the liability of physical injury; pondering if anyone will become an innocent victim trying to break up a dog fight. Oh wait, we’re not done yet with liabilities because there is a financial burden often associated with dog aggression. What if a friend, family member, service or delivery person was to get caught up between the mix and bit? Medical bills/Lawsuit?

Blaming or Second Guessing Yourself Regarding your family’s dog on dog aggression

Being no stranger to dog behavior modification for aggressive dogs we have listened through some of the guilt or second guessing from dog owners that find themselves in this dim, perhaps confused place of residing with predictable or the more difficult, unpredictable dog on dog aggression.

Often pet owners will start to think back and wonder if there were tell-tale signs of the aggression which they missed or took lightly and ignored. Aggressive dogs living in the same household often have their owners wondering if one should be removed which brings on a new pain and disheartening decision of whether or not to rehome one of the dogs (and then, which dog?).

Trying multiple dog training programs for your dog on dog aggression in the home

Another commonality that many pet owners that have dog on dog aggression inside their home have is:

1. trying several different obedience training programs
2. hiring multiple dog behaviorists
3. speaking with Vets
4. talking to family members
5. seeking advice from neighbors and even strangers

There’s no doubt that these pet owners are now seeking help, but all their efforts are spent on the “WRONG” goals, as you will see later.

Dog on Dog Aggression in the Home Often Creates Human Aggression too.

Another unfortunate consequence of dog on dog aggression with family dogs is that it also can lead to human aggression as well. The human aggression is not in the sense of dog to human, but family member to family member(s).
With something as serious as dog aggression there may be different opinions on how to best handle it. And, the family dynamics such as:

1) The amount of the dogs residing in the home
2) The amount of people residing in the home
3) The number of children (residing, entering & leaving)
4) The house schedules
5) The structure of the house

And most importantly, the dog’s temperament, drive and triggers will play a vital role in whether a family agrees or disagrees on keeping or re-homing their aggressive dog. Look, we all know that people have different beliefs and even if everyone is on the same page, people will rate beliefs in order of (THEIR own) importance which everyone is entitled.

To some, not giving up their dog may be very HIGH on the list; others, having a child remain safe and not injured may be HIGHER. “To each his (her) own,” as the saying goes.

Dog on dog aggression in your home requires serious decisions to be made, but more importantly a level of consistency by all members involved. Everyone should be on the same page and be willing to execute the program.

What Is Your Goal with Dog on Dog Aggression in the Home?

Most pet owners residing with dog aggression have the goal of having their dogs naturally NOT be aggressive.

This is the NUMBER ONE (1) reason why MOST pet owners with any type of truly aggressive dog should NOT commit to a dog behavior or dog training program.

While most of us (including professional dog trainers) would love to be able to waive a magic wand over or across our dog(s) to eliminate their aggression towards one another, we must realize this is not realistic.

The goal of sending your dog to a doggie boot camp to eliminate their aggression, for the most part, is unrealistic. A truly aggressive dog cannot be fixed.

If your focus is on having your dog’s temperament be changed by the dog trainer, you are probably going to be dissatisfied at the completion of the program. And, if the communication between you and the dog behaviorist was inaccurate, you may harbor very hostile feelings towards the dog trainer for misguiding you about the expected results.

They’re hoping for someone (dog behaviorist) to fix their issues; therefore, many people seek a dog boot camp for aggression. They’re left under the impression or often the case of
misrepresentation that upon return their dog will no longer be aggressive; this is not true.

Dog boot camps are VERY EFFECTIVE, but for dog on dog aggression in the same household there is little that can be done vs private dog training lessons or a phone consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

What SHOULD Your Goal Be with Dog on Dog Aggression in the Home?

Your goal should be to increase the chances of safety while trying to improve the lifestyle of your family and dogs based on YOUR family situation and type of dogs that you have; everyone’s situation is different.

This is MOSTLY accomplished through:

1) Proper handling of the dog via obedience commands
2) Strong supervision.
3) Crating or separating the dogs when you cannot be there to supervise
4) Avoidance, where practical, of know aggression triggers.

To Achieve your goal from a dog trainer’s point of view, you MUST first understand that your dog will probably always be aggressive and you will have to navigate your dog via obedience commands and have you dog be obedient to you, while YOU ARE present. Absent your presence, a dog that is truly aggressive cannot, in our experience, naturally change their stripes.

Are You Stuck in the Past with Your Dog’s Aggression in the Home?
One of the many reasons why most owners of aggressive dogs, not only dog on dog aggression in the same household, but any type of dog aggression fail is because they often get stuck in:

1) The PAST: he was such a great dog and he never exhibited any type of aggression.
Most people when they call dog trainers whose job is to help them and their dogs to move forward together are NOT ready to leave the past. This is a HUGE problem that creates a BIG obstacle.

The dog behaviorist (obedience trainer) whatever name they’ve or you have assigned to them understands that they’re being summoned to help with your dog’s aggression in the home, but at the same time, you’re still in denial (understandably so, not an easy thing to digest) which will impact your desired results.

Quick Tip: Before hiring a dog trainer or dog psychiatrist to help with your family’s dog on dog aggression in the home make sure that you’ve past the point of denial and are ready and willing to address the present conditions – it should be money & time better spent if you find the right dog trainer.

Are You Ready to Move Past the “WHY” with Your Dog’s Aggression?

2) The WHY: why all the sudden is my dog now aggressive
Are you still searching for an understanding of why your dogs are aggressive with one another? If so, this may also present a problem because at the same time your dog behaviorist is searching for the answer of “how to make things better?”

Yes, it is important to “attempt” to understand the “why” with dog on dog aggression as it is with anything. However, sometimes with anything as with a dog’s behavior, there’s “NO” why, there’s only “because, it just is.”

In order to be productive with dog on dog aggression in the home, we must move past the why when we cannot get the answer. Contact the dog behaviorist or dog trainer when you’re ready to move forward will help you to achieve success.

3) The WHEN: When we know the “WHEN” with dog on dog aggression in the same household it becomes rather easy to prevent dog fighting. That said, because of our beliefs, looking in the rear-view mirror & trying to figure out WHY your dog is showing aggression to your other dog(s) prevents many dog owners from fixing the problem (not having their dog’s engage in fighting and biting).

Notice how we didn’t say fixing the dog’s aggression – that will always be there in a truly aggressive dog.

Dedicated Dog Training has helped to make things better for many dog owners with dog on dog aggression in the home, while steering other dog owners or aggressive dogs away from what they perceive to a good dog training investment including a dog board and train program.

Although, dog board and train programs are great for commands many times they will not fall inline with the dog owner’s expectations of fixing their dog on dog aggression in the home.

We get it. Many pet dog owners that deal with dog aggression in the home have went through an obedience training program or two before realizing their goals were not met.

  • Elaine McPherson

    My female GSD is very aggressive towards our male ( younger) GSD hat came to live with us

    • dogtraining

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks so much for the comment! Dog on dog aggression in the same household can be rather tricky. There are many variables that go into deciding how much, if at all, improvement can be made with this situation. Age is definitely one of the factors along with severity & amount of time the aggression has displayed. If you’re still seeking help, can you provide both your dog’s ages and tell us how each dog is with other dogs outside of your family. Also, where do the dogs sleep at night?


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