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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9685
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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I have 3 Rotties. One 8yr and 2 9 month brother

Customer Question

I have 3 Rotties. One 8yr and 2 9 month brother& sister. When the Cubs came into th home, my 8 yr old acted like they were her babies. They were all playing with their tug toy, under my supervision and when the younger 7 month female was playing with they if toy the older one tried to join in and. Huge fight broke out. The male backed away. I was able to break up the fight. Just 4 days go the 2 young ones were paying and I was in the house. A fight broke it between the two females again. It was very intense. The younger female is showing signs of aggression.
I have been rotating each female inside the run. They are able to see each other thru a chain fence. The are even kissing each other, just like after the first fight I have trained my Rotties for 20+ yrs. I have no idea what to do. Please call me at
XXX XXX XXXX PLEASE I beg you. These are my babies
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using this site to help you. My name is ***** ***** I am an evaluator of therapy dogs and for the AKC. I have been in the dog field for 25 years and it will be my pleasure to assist you today.
I see you are not on line at this time so I will do my best to answer you here but if you would still like a phone call later we can set that up.
What you are seeing is common when females are brought into the home and begin to mature. Females have a tendency to want to take the lead among the dogs in the home. It can also be that your young girl is not only trying to take the lead, but she may have some possession aggression as well. The would mean she wants what she wants and will fight for it if someone gets too close or tries to take it.
Also your older girl is really up there in years and the young one is sensing this and that she is probably an easy mark to take down among the pack of dogs.
If she is not spay please get this done. It will help a bit but there is more work to be done.
When you have more than one dog you have a pack of dogs and if all their temperaments are easy going then it is smooth sailing, if not you are going to see break outs such as you are seeing now.
They younger one should be getting trained daily, several times a day in short sessions. You want to be sure that you have her under your voice command at all times. You will want to teach her a firm leave it , down stay , and recall command. The leave it command can stop a fight before it happens when taught to 100 % accuracy. The recall should get her back to you if you see she has already started to go after the other dog from a distance. The down stay should have her stay where you put her and not move until you give a release command.
I would use clicker training as this will coincide with the next step that you will have to do in conjunction with daily training which is the learn to earn program. You can use her daily bowl of kibble for this just put the normal amount in a bowl up on the counter and use that for training. You want her to work for you, this puts you a step higher among the home and shows her you are a consistent leader who expects her to listen to your commands if she wants to eat.
I am going to direct you to a site for clicker training and I will put my article on the learn to earn program below as well for you to read over. Please let me know if there is anything you do not understand. If you are satisfied with the answer please rate before you leave. If you need more answers to something you are not understanding you can just hit reply. IF you wish to still talk in person I can send you an additional offer which will cost slightly more, but I will make it the lowest price available.
For now put harnesses on both females, when you are home keep a leash or a piece of clothes line rope attached to the harness so you can pull them safely apart. Another way to get them apart is the grab just under the rear legs where the thigh and body meet (never down below a knee), of the aggressive dog and hold her up like a wheel barrow then while still holding steer her in the opposite direction of the other dog to a safe place. Do this only if you cannot get them apart any other way.
Clicker training/positive method training/ print off
video’s to see how clicker training is done, scroll down to videos
Reactions to Actions or Learn to Earn
Copyright Sally G
In some instances with training depending on how well the dog responds to the above training you may also want to incorporate a type of ‘learn to earn’ training as well.
What learn to earn training means is that you are taking charge of their entire life’s wants and needs. No more free food is put down in front of them. Keep the daily dose of food in a closed tin in the area where the dog is fed, call the dog to you and ask him to sit. When he sits, he gets a handful of food. Do this throughout the day using any command that the dog knows and the dog must obey that command in order to get some food.
You will also take control of when the dogs can play. The toys should have been put away before this but if they were not, put all toys away, then when you are ready to play take out a toy and play with the dog, when you decide play is over put the toy away again.
Petting does not come to them just because they nudge you, you decide when this takes place, which means you would call them to you and pet them at your discretion and ask that a command be obeyed . If they nudge to be petted, you ignore that, but you can give the dog a command at any time to obey and reward that behavior with petting. Again you always want to reinforce a behavior you have asked for. So even though you know the dog has nudged you to be petted, you don’t have to totally ignore the dog, in fact this is the perfect opportunity to turn that nudge into a trick or command and praise and reward the dog for that.
Anything your dog takes for granted such as you opening the door to let it out, putting on a leash to go for a walk, allowing it to walk though a door before you, etc. these are all privileges to a dog that come naturally due to the human’s repetitive actions over time but many humans don’t realize this.
So before you go through that door put the dog in a sit or wait and you walk through first then invite the dog to walk through. Again this should be rewarded with praise. Before you put the leash on you ask for a sit stay. Furniture is a no, no for dogs that have aggressive tendencies because it puts them in a higher charge over the others in the home, even children.
Dogs should not just be allowed on the couch without specific invitation if at all. This need to be close and cuddle is more a human thing than a dog thing. Dogs do like to be close to the one they love and respect, but sitting on the floor next to that person will be enough to please them.
This is not to say that no dog should ever be allowed on a couch, it is perfectly fine if you have stable easy going dogs. It is when there are problem dogs in the home that furniture should be off limits to all dogs.
As mentioned above, in most cases dogs have developed habits that some owners allowed and gave in to over time but did not realize it. What might be helpful to the owner is to sit and make a list of all the good things your dog gets for free by an action that you have let the dog do for years. This will help you to turn those free behaviors into commands or tricks that can earn a reward.
When the dog tries that action to get the desired reaction from you, stop and think, did I call the dog over to be petted? Did I tell the dog it is time to go out and that is why he brings the leash? Did I say let’s play so that is why he dropped the ball in my lap? All of those actions got the dog reactions in the past usually in a positive beneficial way to the dog. So now it is time to turn that all around.
Keep in mind that dogs do what works for them and if it stops working they usually stop doing it. So when they growl or snap at you when you reach for that bone, it usually works as the human won't take it. I would never suggest to take anything from a growling dog, merely explaining that this works for the dog so therefore they do it. Using the learn to earn program does not really give them a chance to become possessive.
Dogs that are well balanced within a group to begin with do not really need any of the above things to change; it is your right to spoil a well rounded dog! It is only homes with dogs in it that have social limitations around other dogs that should need the above direction.