Forget the old “Pat the dominant dog first” or “feed the dominant dog first” rubbish. This creates more problems than solving them! Treat ALL dogs in your home as equals, meaning all dogs must abide by your household rules as well as practice manners and self control.
Therefore YOU pat/feed whichever dog YOU want to first!!
Dogs will almost always fight over resources.
Those resources can include (but are not limited to):
• YOU, any form of attention from YOU
• A 1 metre circumference around YOU
• Rooms in the house, doorways which lead to YOU, food, bed, toys etc etc.
Watch for cold hard stares usually given from the pushy dog to the other to warn it to stay away.
Interrupt this behaviour by blowing an air horn, blowing a whistle, clanging pots etc and move the offending dog on very quickly. He/she just lost the privilege.
Don’t put up with pushy behaviour from any of your dogs if they demand attention from you. With more than 1 dog in the household, this almost always escalates to fights because we empower the pushy, more determined dog each time.
Plenty of walks as a group. Walking is a primal activity which their ancestors did a lot of. It’s a sort of migration from A-B. Walking forms the bonds and acceptance in a group of dogs, therefore walking all dogs together is important.
Make the submissive dog very important in your life. Many times we pay so much attention to the bossy/pushy dog that we forget the one that gets relegated to the bottom. Take these dogs with you on outings. Bring them into the house on their own or take them out to training or adventures with you on their own. The pushy dog needs to see that the other dog also is also valued by you. And NO, they don’t get jealous! They’ll want to sniff the other dog upon arriving home to see where he/she has been. The pushy dog may even be happy to see the other dog return home.
If you see signs of unrest amongst your group of dogs at home, seek the services of a professional immediately.
There is never only 1 fight…there will almost always be another one down the track. Fights can start to increase in both frequency and intensity so if this situation is occuring, dont’ hesitate to get help. It is almost always too late for rehabilitation of the situation once you have had to separate the dogs after a very nasty fight.