My dogs are aggressive with each other around other dogs

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My dogs are aggressive with each other around other dogs

This is a discussion on My dogs are aggressive with each other around other dogs within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I need some advice on my two dogs. I have two female American Staffordshire mixes - a 2 year old and 5 year old. We ...

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Old 01-29-2019, 12:24 PM
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My dogs are aggressive with each other around other dogs

I need some advice on my two dogs. I have two female American Staffordshire mixes - a 2 year old and 5 year old. We have had the 2 year old since she was a puppy and we rescued the 5 year old almost a year ago. They normally get along really well but lately whenever my parents bring their 2 male labs to our house, my two girls get aggressive with one another. This started a few months ago and I'm not sure what is causing it since they've been around the dogs in the past and it hasn't been an issue. My 2 year old gets along really well with the labs (the 5 year old tolerates them but doesn't really want to play with them) so I'm wondering if she has become possessive of them, like she's saying they are HER pack. We have noticed that she has been asserting herself more as she grows out of the puppy stage. When it's just the two of them, they are totally fine and there are no issues. Has anyone experienced anything like this or have any advice? My parents live a couple of hours away so they can't just leave their dogs home when they visit and I would hate to have to board my 5 year old every time they came over or we went to visit them.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:22 PM
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Sounds to me like this is possibly what is called "redirected aggression" in your home when the visiting dog is at your house.

Look up redirected aggression and see if it fits your situation.

Here is an excerpt from an online article about this and how to work on it:

Redirected Dog Aggression Explained in Simple Terms

by David

One of the lesser understood-by-the-dog-owner types of aggression is known as redirected aggression. Sometimes redirected aggression looks like another kind of aggression (owner directed aggression, leash aggression, dog aggression, etc.) which can make it not fully apparent at first.

Redirected aggression is simply aggression, excitement, arousal, or frustration that is directed at a particular target but when the dog is unable to reach the intended target, the dog redirects that energy to what is near to it.

. Here are a few very common examples that demonstrate how you might see redirected aggression in a dog:

You’re walking your dog on the leash. He is very social and friendly with new dogs, and he really likes greeting every dog he meets because he is used to going to the dog park. As you walk down the street and he sees another dog, he begins straining at the leash, barking. The longer he does this, the more frustrated he becomes, and you feel a nip to your thigh.

***Two dogs that live together and get along well are relaxing when the door bell rings. Both dogs run for the door and before you can open the door to let the visitor in, the dogs have turned on each other growling and biting.

Why does redirected dog aggression occur?

Redirected aggression ALWAYS happens when the dog is in a state of arousal. It doesn’t matter what the stimulus is for that arousal. There are a variety of stimuli that can cause such a heightened state of arousal.

The most common type occurs when the dog is overly excited, hyper, or in anticipation while excited. The longer the dog remains in this elevated excited state, the more likely he might redirect that energy onto something close to him. This is very common in breeds that excite easily like terrier breeds and some herding dogs, although it can be seen in any breed of dog.

Anything that builds up frustration in the dog while he is in an excited arousal state will also increase the likelihood of redirected aggression. Frustration builds when the dog doesn’t feel he can reach something. That means anything that serves to restrain the dog (like a leash or tether) or any type of barrier (like a fence, kennel, or baby gate) can increase the frustration the dog feels in the moment.
I personally think a dog that is uncomfortable or stressed (like with dog visitors for example) may also redirect on the other family dog due to the stress load.
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Old 02-07-2019, 03:32 AM
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If you have multiple dogs, redirected aggression can be a problem when they are in the yard together. If someone walks by who they feel is a threat, and they cannot get to that person, they may fight with one another. Work on territorial aggression to prevent this behavior. If you hear them barking at a passerby, bring them inside until they have calmed down.
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