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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys at the shelter i work at theres like 3 large male dogs that really dont get along. Before a few weeks at the yard they would growl at eachother and fight everyday so always keep them separated now, but im not sure so healthy. Every time when i bring them out to the yards or back inside and one passes a kennel with his enemy inside they both go crazy... Whenever they are on their own they are pretty well behaved and respectful dogs, its just when they run into eachother all havoc breaks loose, and if they actually meet it is a guaranteed fight. It ruins what could be a much more peaceful shelter...Is their a way to train them to accept eachother or is continued isolation the best option?
 

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Some dogs just don't like each other, just like some people. You could try to get them to accept each other, but it may not work. And, IMO, it's not worth the risk of a fight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Some dogs just don't like each other, just like some people. You could try to get them to accept each other, but it may not work. And, IMO, it's not worth the risk of a fight.
thanks, but since this is in a shelter its not so much a problem to keep them isolated, but lets say a professional dog trainer encountered the same problem in a household. The right advice would be isolation or to give up one of them? i know if is possible to make them accept eachother it wont be as easy as isolation but im willing to do the work if is as it might be worth it, just need direction
 

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That depends on the dogs. I'd say that some dogs will never get along. In the extreme rehoming is an option. Some people crate and rotate dogs that don't like each other. I don't know if there is any right advice. It depends on the effort the people want to put into it, the dogs, the home.
 
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Get the book Fight by Jean Donaldson. Might give you some ideas that you could implement in a shelter setting. In the meantime, keep them completely separated. Each fight or incident increases their agitation towards each other. Good of you to be seeking out a way to help them.
 

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Dogs in a shelter aren't in the same situation as dogs sharing a home, so there's no reason to have the same goals or training plans.

That doesn't mean there aren't lots of great options to reduce stress (and fight rehearsals) in a shelter! Besides physically isolating them, I love visual barriers in shelters. Some shelters incorporate those by design (building each kennel out of material that blocks line of sight), most are limited to their original chain link designs. But even with chain link, your shelter could use nylon barriers to block dogs from seeing each other approach, which tends to cut down on fence-fighting considerably. You can find a bunch of different designs for nylon or tarp barriers online, and they are pretty cheap to build and implement.

Along with visual barriers, I love enrichment plans to help dogs in shelters. Dogs in shelters are often very stressed, and fights are only one of the more obvious manifestations of this...anything that reduces stress, enhances quality of life, and helps prevent problematic behavioral rehearsals is a great step. Enrichment can involve anything from toy rotation, puzzle toys for feeding, and more, and helps dogs tremendously. Doesn't mean every dog will magically get along, but anything that improves quality of life is a huge step forward for shelter dogs. Lots of resources out there, and I hope your shelter finds ways to take advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys ill give that book a read, and talk to the shelter owner about that great barrier idea :)
 
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