2 formerly friendly female dogs fighting?

I have had Puppy for about 5 years (she’s approx 6 yrs old). She was spayed 2 1/2 yrs ago.
My parents, who live next door, have an English Shepherd named Robbie. Robbie is not spayed and is about 2 yrs old.
They previously got along fine, playing together well, although with the occasional test of who’s alpha. Puppy has always been alpha. The pack also includes my female, 18 month old, non-spayed mini daschund: my male, 2 yr old, neutered mutt: and my parent’s 2 other dogs. They are a 6 month old female and a year old male, neither one altered.
Last night, Puppy &amp: Robbie got into a fight. I came in on the action after they had been fighting for about 5 minutes, so I’m not sure what caused it. We were able to separate them and take them in our respective houses. They both spent last night licking wounds, and seemed very sore and swollen this a.m. (i know, what you would expect from a fight) When they met up today, they were both wagging tails and seemed fine with each other, then after a few minutes Puppy attacked Robbie again. The few spats they’ve had regarding dominance never caused any wounds and were always accompanied by snarling, etc. These 2 fights were different. They seemed so focused on trying to kill each other, there was no growling or snapping, just biting and tearing.
Any insights? Why would they suddenly turn on each other? Seems like Puppy started today’s fight, but I’m not sure about last night’s.

Robbie was not a serious threat to Puppy’s authority as a baby, but now that she is a mature intact female , she is! I do Australian shepherd rescue, and we’ve found over many many placements that the worst combination possible, in terms of fights, is two females.

The boys will usually bristle up, make lots of sound effects, rear up on their hind legs, and try to pin each other. The dust and fur fly, but the injuries are usually minor. Once the dominance issue is settled things calm down considerably as the pack structure becomes stable. Ongoing fighting is usually due to having two males of similar dominance levels – I have that situation in my home right now and just have to keep them separated when I’m not right there to make them both give me a side by side down stay.

The girls are another story altogether. Their fights are less theatrical display and much more serious. Typically they do not rear up – they just go for each other, sometimes with no more than a look or a growl. The injuries often are more extensive. The girls are less willing to accept defeat and a lower status, so the warfare tends to continue. They don’t just beat each other up and then go have a beer like the boys.

If Puppy is clearly the alpha in terms of force of personality and size, you can reduce tension in the pack by backing her up if she disciplines Robbie for getting in her favorite resting spot, pushing out the door ahead of her, etc. But if Robbie is becoming a dominant adult and fighting back or instigating, you will have to keep them separate when you aren’t there to supervise. Five minutes is a LONG fight for dogs that aren’t gladiator breeds.

If things get too serious and you have to break up a fight to prevent injuries, there is no 100% safe way. But ways that often work with less risk to you are

1) Throw a blanket over the top of them to disorient them – hopefully they’ll break apart trying to escape

2) Turn the hose on them, especially in their faces. Unless they really love water that should be a distraction that allows you to quickly leash one and tie off to the fence, then do the same with the other.

3) Their balance becomes unstable if you grab and lift the hind legs, like a doggy wheelbarrow. Usually that will cause almost any non pit dog to release. Then swing that dog away and walk them in that position to be tied at the fence, put into a crate, etc.

4) A friend broke up her two Border collies by loudly popping a bag of potato chips over their heads. BCs are sensitive about sound: they jumped back in startlement and the surprise of &quot:stuff&quot: raining down on them. Then they got too busy eating potato chips to care about each other anymore.

5) If it turns out you have a pair of hardheads, you may have to make them do &quot:doggy pushups&quot: if you catch them so much as giving each other dirty looks. &quot:Down! Sit! Down! Sit&quot:, etc., repeated for about 20 seconds and followed by a side by side down stay for a few minutes can help them see that fighting earns them work!

The biggest concern here is that the other dogs in the pack will join in and either gang up on one dog or have a free for all. Pack behavior can be dangerous and most multiple dog homes have had at least one fatality over the years.

there’s a battle about dominance here robbie is younger and probably has just reached maturity there for she thinks shes boss and puppy feels threatened about it witch cause them to fight to see who is pack leader there is three things you could do
1 seperate them
2 let them sort it out by them selfs(by fighting)
3 YOU claim pack leader and you shouldnt have any more problems
i have 7 dogs and i often find my dogs trying to claim pack leader but i am alpha and they know that so i dont have any fighting

In every multi dog household one dog will always strive to be an alpha you will have to keep an eye on this behaviour before it gets out of hand.

the fist time they meet they may like each other
but if they see each other too much one dog may think the other is invading it’s territory

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