Dog on Dog Aggression

by Carol
(London, UK)

Reader Question: What steps can I take to insure my two canines don’t fight?

My 20 month Bith will often attack my 13yr old Westie. This is usually triggered by the other dog making a noise barking suddenly or if she is distressed, I do not know if the younger one is easily stressed by this she is not fond of other dogs and I do not let her run loose as she quickly goes from play mode to attack. My 2 dogs can rub along together but I never leave them unsupervised, and I separate them when I am away. The younger dog is very good with people.


Vet suggestions to stop dog aggression in its tracks.

Hello Carol,

Your first responsibility in this type of situation is to make sure that your Westie remains safe. It would be a tragedy if he or she were to get hurt. There are many causes for the type of behavior you describe in your bitch, and each is treated differently. It is important to get to the bottom of why she is acting in this way. If you treat her for the wrong type of aggression (e.g., fear versus dominance) you could very well make the situation worse rather than better.

A veterinarian who specializes in behavior can diagnose your dog, come up with an effective behavioral modification plan, and in some circumstances even prescribe medications that can make the situation better.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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