I have 3 desexed bitches, one 8, one 4 and one 2 years old. the oldest dog tries to assert her dominance over the second eldest and this has at times escalated into fights which have occassionally resulted in superficial wounds. however this week we have had to take the older dog to the vets with several deep cuts. without removing one of the two dogs can you suggest anything that might help. the elder dog initiates the trouble but the younger stronger dog retailiates eventually. i wonder whether changing the order in which we feed them will help as we have always fed them in age order. should we feed the second eldest first now, then the eldest then the baby. the trouble has only been an issue since there have been 3. the baby knows her place and just stays out of any trouble. i would appreciate any help. regards debbie glover
ANSWER: dogs fighting
Hi Debbie. I feel the answer may more so lay within you. Quite often dogs will squabble when they feel they have to sort each other out. In reality, as 'top dog' you should be quite confident in telling them who is boss and they shouldn't really need to question this. Basically if you can be more of a leader with them, they wont need to worry about it themselves. I'm thinking some basic group training classes may do a great job in putting you back in charge and helping them to see you in a new light. Even if they are well trained ? going over these lessons will help to re-establish the trust and bond. Also make sure that there is very clear punishment for un-suitable behaviour. E.g. squabbling results in you marching the offending dog in to the laundry and leaving her there for 5 - 10 minutes. Make you interactions with your girls, controlled, meaningful and simple.