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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!

We have two female young rescue stray dogs, that are about 1.5 year old. One is bigger than the other. When we first took them in, we noticed the bigger one would push the smaller one away when eating, so the smaller one had to wait and get scraps. Other than that there were no fights.

We started feeding the two separately, not allowing the bigger one to come close to the small one when feeding. That worked very well, and they never fought over food again. They stopped fighting altogether. They would often engage in a "play fight", with either one chasing the other, and then pretend to fight, but always in a playful manner. This play fight would usually end with either one of them lying with the belly up.

The dogs were sleeping in the same dog house that was large enough for both. Again, without problems. Then, for some reason, I think it might have been fireworks at New Year, the smaller one started getting a little bit fearful of loud noises, like fireworks, and hiding in the house. When that happened, she would sometimes growl at the bigger one, as if telling her to stay outside.

So last week that happened, and i think the bigger one didn't accept that, and they ended up fighting really bad. It was very hard to separate them. Now for the past week they were put in separate places (backyard/front yard).

Every time we try to put them together, on a leash, what happens is that the bigger one stares fixedly at the smaller one, without stopping. The smaller one does not reciprocate the stare, she kind of avoids it, but eventually she begins to growl, and so does the bigger one, and they try to engage. If the smaller one is let loose at the beginning, she usually runs around without paying attention to the bigger one.

So, anyone understand whats going on? And more importantly, what can i do to make them live together in peace again?

thanks
 

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Continue to keep them separated. Get the book Fight by Jean Donaldson.

Adult females will often fight when they reach social maturity. Sometimes you can change that with behavior modification. In some cases you will have to accept that the dogs can not live peacefully together. Then you choose whether to carefully manage them and make sure they are always separated or re home one of the dogs.
 

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Oh and there is no such thing as being a dog's Alpha leader. That whole concept was debunked long ago. Dogs aren't pack animals. The alpha leader idea came from a man named David Mech. He was studying captive wolf packs. He has since published a disclaimer to his early conclusions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks Grabby, they're still kept separated, we're trying to see if by letting them spend a few moments together on a leash they might "work things out"
 
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