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Bitter fights between two female dogs are a common occurrence. Dog owners witnessing a regular spat between their intact females may not even understand the exact reasons for such aggression while looking for amiable solutions. Read below to understand closely the causes for a quarrelsome temperament in female dogs that is devastating not just for the contenders but also the entire household.
The two females you own are around the same age and compete for breeding rights: In a wild setting two female dogs of the same age will never be part of the same pack. However we tend to ignore this and keep two female pooches almost the same age together in our household making it like a forced pack in domesticity. When female dogs reach social maturity which is between 12 to 36 months of age there is a competition to win breeding rights especially if there is a male dog around or living in the same house. Heat cycles and pregnancy affect hormones and intensify the odds of such fights even between two previously friendly females. In a natural environment a particular female breeds with one male and the other female will accept this breeding right humbly or move away to form her own pack with another male.
Fights to attain the top rank in social ladder: Dogs are pack animals and there is always a system of social hierarchy within these groups. In homes with more than one dog there is always a ranking system to be respected with one alpha and the rest considered subordinates. These dogs will always fight for their positions within their group/dog family. In natural setting dogs vying for a certain position may leave the group upon failing to alter or attain the top spot.
Domesticated dogs establish a social order and are driven by a ranking system too. You may be able to pinpoint the leader by noticing the pooch that enters the entryway first, takes the best spot for dozing off, greets the human owner first or gets to pick the best dog toys before the others. The others in the group seem content with their subordinate roles. But these ranks aren’t permanent. When an alpha dog ages a younger one in the pack may want to replace the weakened leader. In such a circumstance the dominant female will feel an urge to defend her position.
An older dog begins to face age related concerns that may include deafness and other illnesses perceived as failings by the lower ranked canine.
How to stop these dog fights and deal with aggressive behavior?
Fights between female canines over breeding rights and rank can turn very damaging for the two parties leaving them severely injured. You trying to stop a clash that’s underway will only leave you with a bite or two from the raging canines. It’s best to quickly consult an animal behaviorist in case your two females are at loggerheads with one another or your female pooch tends to get aggressive with the neighborhood females. A behaviorist will assess the dogs’ behavior and possible triggers for aggression.
Certain toys, dog treats and bones could be responsible for frequent clashes between pooches living in the same household and the professional will advise you to remove them from the scene.
It’s better to let the pets have their independent space and private boundary for most part of the day. Rotate them to have their exclusive time with you and other family members. Interactions between the two would mean that you have to oversee them till the time they are together in the same space.
Unfailingly following such a routine will yield positive results. Patience and consistency on your part will lead to progress. The goal is to prevent any possible clash from occurring. A behaviorist will also be able to guide you towards understanding warning signs preceding a fight in order to prevent it from ensuing. Negative behaviors such as guarding food, toys other resources and staring need to be watched closely.
Behavioral problems could also be a result of hypothyroidism. Therefore arrange a veterinary examination of your pets to rule out this medical condition responsible for confrontations between dogs that were earlier amicable.