Fighting, aggressive male dogs bring chaos to a home, and may eventually lead to damaged property, or injury of the dogs and even you. While some dogs have an aggressive personality that is difficult to change, there are ways to control the dogs and train them to get along.
Spay both dogs to remove aggressive tendencies fueled by hormones. Neutering can remove the desire to spray urine, howl, roam or look for a mate -- which triggers fighting; additionally, it can benefit the dog's health in numerous ways.
Do not allow the dogs any unsupervised time together where they can begin fighting. This may require separating them in the house, allowing them individual access to a fenced-in yard or tethering them on separate sides so that they cannot interact.
Remove any toys that they fight over immediately when the problem begins, giving both dogs a firm "no!" and separate them. Do not allow them to play with any toys that induce fighting.
Keep the dogs separated when eating; do not allow them to be near each other until both are finished with any food.
Watch the dogs closely for signs of a brewing fight. Body language such as staring, strutting, body stiffness or attempting to look larger than the other dog needs to be stopped. Stomp your foot and say something loudly, such as "enough" or "knock it off". Praise the dogs lavishly when they stop the behavior.
Teach both dogs basic commands, and use obedience training to halt problems so that you do not have to get into the middle of two fighting dogs -- which could lead to injury. "Sit" and "lie down" are important; training can also include having the dogs sit or lie down several feet apart, facing each other, for several minutes at a time during the day to get used to each other.
- Spend time alone with each dog on a daily basis, away from the home; this allows you to bond and gives each personal time with you and away from each other.
- Have older dogs who display sudden aggression checked by a veterinarian to rule out medical problems.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."