Interdog Aggression And What To Do If Your Dog Fights With Other Dogs

Dog aggression is the bane of many dog owners. Aggressive dogs are sources of tension and fear, and causes social awkwardness that makes it difficult for you to pass owners and their dogs on the street.

Interdog aggression, occurring when a fight between two dogs erupts, is particularly dangerous and leads to the severe injury of both dogs. Separating formidable dogs in a fight takes a great deal of risk and may lead to owners being injured themselves.

Hence, being aware of the signs of interdog aggression is highly necessary. Knowing why dog fights start helps you nip them in the bud.

Warning Signs of Dog Aggression

Recognizing the signs of dog aggression, whether in your own or another dog, allows you to take quick steps to prevent it. A dog communicates with its body and uses it to show his aggressive, negative feelings.

These signs are progressive.

The Rigid Tail

The first one s a rigid, straight tail. An upright tail tells you that the dog is feeling threatened by another dog’s presence.

Baring of teeth/ A Snarl

An aggressive dog would also bare his teeth. With his gums pulled back, the teeth and canines are obvious. A snarl is a sign that you should restrain your dog.

The Low Growl

He would also emit a low, menacing growl that shows his desire to get rid of the threat.

The Guttural Bark

His bark, too, would be low, unhappy and fierce. This is a bark he gives to tell the other dog to go away.


He may nip the other dog’s neck or tail as a warning. If you still have not removed your dog yet, now is the time to do so.

A nip usually leaves no mark.


The dog slowly gives in to his aggressive feelings and snaps at the other dog.

Progressive biting

The dog begins to bite, with different degrees of severity. Some bites may create enough pressure to bruise the skin. Others cause puncture wounds. Dogs usually aim for the neck and face areas.

As the fighting becomes fiercer, one dog may bite the other repeatedly, in rapid succession. These are quick bites that cause the skin to tear.

Interdog Aggression : Why your dog fights with other dogs

Dogs show these signs of aggression for various reasons. A dog has many grounds for wanting another to go away.

It’s Territorial

The first of these is that it is protective and territorial. A dog is a loyal, responsible animal. Its instinct is to protect you and your property. You may not want to discourage such behavior entirely. It is prevalent in livestock guardian dogs like the Great Pyrenees and the Newfoundland,

After all, the duty of dogs is to guard you and your belongings.

A dog may also want to guard its own property. It becomes aggressive when it wants to prevent its food or toys from being taken by another dog. This is otherwise known as territorial aggression.

Experiences Were Not Positive

To add, the dog may have negative experiences. Rescued, abused dogs, in particular, may cower in the corner and snap when anyone tries to touch it.

Frightened that other dogs may hurt or abuse them, they become aggressive and show what is known as fear aggression.

The Dog Was Not Socialized Properly

Further, a dog’s previous owner may not have socialized it properly. Lack of socialization is common in rescue dogs. A dog that has little interaction with other dogs and people is insecure around them sees them as threats.

It becomes aggressive and tries to protect itself from perceived intimidation.

Some Dog Breeds Are Prone To More Aggressive Behavior Than Others

Moreover, some breeds are more prone to aggression than others. Dogs bred for fighting, such as mastiffs and pit bulls, are definitely more ferocious than other breeds.

Their inherent tendency for aggression gives them a poor reputation and makes them the subject of negative news reports and publicity.

The Dog May Want To Protect His Status

Another reason for aggression is that the dog wants to stay as the dominant leader of a pack. If he thinks that another dog may oust him, he will defend himself with all his might.

Aggression is a show of dominance.

With knowledge of the telltale signs of dog-to-dog aggression and its causes, you are ready to take steps to stop it before it begins.

Aggressive Dog Training – A Primer On How To Train Aggressive Dogs

Aggression is a serious problem for quite a number of dog owners. Behaviors like growling, biting or snapping can be scary and irritating, and dogs of any breed can be aggressive. Although it may be difficult to train an aggressive dog to become that sweet, nice, obedient and well-trained pet you have always wanted, there are steps you can take to stop that behavior. But before beginning the aggressive dog training process, it is important to understand what causes aggression in dogs so that you can know your pet better.

What Causes Aggression In Dogs?

– Sometimes, the behavior of the pet owner to the dog may lead to aggressive behavior. This includes constantly chaining the pet, feeding him poorly or excessive punishments.

– Aggression can also be a reaction to other pets. This occurs when the dog wants to mark its territorial boundaries and be recognized as the leader.

– Being surrounded by strange people may also lead to aggression.

– Suffering from a disease might cause the pet to show aggression due to the pain that he is experiencing.

These were some of the major causes of aggression in dogs. Once you notice that your dog has aggression, you’ll have to carry out training to correct such behaviors while taking the aforementioned causes into consideration. Here are some aggressive dog training tips.

How To Train Aggressive Dogs

Play a dominant role

You should always play a dominant role in the relationship, and remember that it’s your responsibility to keep the dog under control. Though the dog is an important member of the family and deserves to be treated with respect and love, he should always know that he has a lower social ranking in your family hierarchy. Let the dog understand you are the leader and ensure he always obeys your commands.

Set the playing limits

Train your dog the difference between aggression and play. Dog playfulness can sometimes be misconstrued as aggression, however if he plays too roughly or hard, you need to control that behavior early. A dog should be handled gently, particularly around children. If the puppy bites, reprimand him immediately. Though most dogs may not intentionally hurt you; they just haven’t yet learned the playing limits.

Socialize the dog

You puppy should be comfortable around other people and pets. The best way to achieve this is to introduce him to many people and animals. In the early stages of training, start by introducing the aggressive dog to well-behaved dogs and he should always be kept on a leash or muzzled if necessary. Only when the puppy begins to learn respect and submission can he be introduced to children, adult strangers and other pets in a more controlled environment.

Increase contact

If the pet becomes overly aggressive with you, try to increase your contact with him. Never let the dog make you to be fearful as this will only strengthen his behaviors. Tighten your control over the dog by providing him with whatever he needs be it love, food, water, or even play time. When the dog understands you are the sole provider, he will really value you and obey all your commands.

Reward obedience.

The goal of any dog training is to make them submissive to their masters. When the dog obeys your command, he is showing he recognizes you as the dominant being in the relationship. You should praise such behaviors with love and treats. If the puppy is aggressive, but has some submissive behaviors, often use the commands he respects to increase the frequency of his submissive behavior.

Conditioning Behavior

Identify what triggers your pet’s aggressive behavior. By knowing what upsets him, you’ll be able to prevent such situations. Once you know the triggers, start to counter-condition them. This is a popular method in psychology and is known as the conditioning method. For example, if the dog becomes aggressive when trying to cut his nails, you will want to address this problem by gradually conditioning his thinking to have his paws done and working your way towards introducing the clippers.

Similarly, whenever you find the dog barking, fighting, or lunging at other dogs, divert his attention by either removing him from the room or distracting him with a different activity, such as playing or giving him a treat. But if he continues with this behavior, shout ‘NO’ in a firm and stern manner. Overtime, this will help him to associate not barking or lunging at other dogs to getting shouted at or being given a treat.

Reprimand the dog

It is advisable to train the dog when he is a puppy. When the puppy begins to bite your hands or nip your toes playfully, take measures before it develops into something more aggressive and uncontrollable. When this happens, be firm and shout ‘NO’ loudly. A pup will often get this message. But if the biting persists, lock it in a room for a few minutes. This would make him know that his behavior is unacceptable. It is also important to make the puppy understand that you’re the alpha leader.

Seek professional help

If you have tried everything and the problem still persists, consult a professional. Professional animal behaviorists can identify problems that owners might be unable to see. They can train you on how to handle the dog more effectively. Alternatively, you can sign up the dog for a behavior training class. The professional trainers are able to teach your puppy the proper manner of behavior.

These were some tips that you can use to effectively train an aggressive dog. Remember that aggression does not go away overnight. Once you develop an effective training plan, remain consistent. Stick to the plan, and do not jump to the next step till the dog is ready. It can many months or even more, but with persistence and patience, you will be able to see changes in the dog’s behavior. If you train the pet well, you will be assured of a well-trained, obedient, and well-behaved dog that will lend you many moments of joy and happiness.

Stop Dog Aggression On Leash

Maybe among the very awkward behaviour issues is a puppy who acts harshly on leash, whether towards other animals, dogs or individuals. Frequently these dogs tend not to show any aggression when off-leash. The variation between off-leash as well as on leash behavior provides a hint to the issue and also the answer though perplexing to dog owners. Understand that leash aggression constantly affects unintentional signs in the owner which produce a vicious circle. Here’s how:

In adolescence, typically at some stage, the puppy growls, barks at or catches at a man… or a puppy just lunges. The handler is embarrassed and surprised, and not certain what things to do. If not managed right, the puppy worsens over time and may persist in this behavior.

Understandably, the owner starts to expect any scenario that might activate this behavior. Seeing an approaching dog prior to the dog does, or man, the owner tightens on the leash so he stiffens his body position and is able to command the puppy better and retains his focus. The puppy starts looking to see what’s the owner therefore worried, and sees the change in the leash pressure, the handler’s own body position and breathing, and he sees it, and starts his behaviour that is hostile.

Do you realize that step one in training will be to provide somebody or some thing the dog needs?

To get to, while utilizing an anxious body position and a a good lead to excite the puppy right into a state that is more competitive?

Here’s the fundamentals:

Train your dog! Make an effort to educate basic obedience commands and your puppy’s self control, which you commend his great behaviour and encourage it.

Be aware of the earliest signals. No dog’s lifetime is spent entirely within a hostile state. Learn what body-language your dog demonstrates when he’s relaxed and calm, as also when he goes into a more hostile disposition, and what modifications occur. Observe for modifications in whiskers as well as lips, mouth and head, ears and neck carriage, eye form, tail carriage and total position. Intervention in the initial hint of an issue is less unsuccessful than wanting to take care of the aggression that is full-blown.

Redirect the puppy’s focus. By offering a command the dog understands in a cheerful, positive tone, it is possible to redirect the puppy’s focus to working along with your back. When possible, shift direction and go from the scenario – the puppy can-not walk briskly and be dominant at the same time.

Alter the body position, alter the emotional-state. Body language is only an outside expression. It’s not impossible by altering body position to modify an emotional-state and vice-versa. For this reason the guidance to “stand-up straight, smile and you will feel better” really works! In the event of aggression, imagine how difficult it will be to be mad in case you had been sitting in a comfy seat by means of head and your face calm.

Concentrate on altering the body position using firm strokes of your fingers (touching the dog) and insist the puppy sit quietly without any tension to the leash. This really straightforward technique is incredibly powerful.

Know about body position and your breathing. Since we often hold our breath when stressed, and therefore tighten our muscles (details which don’t escape the puppy), it is necessary to respire in a way that is regular. The most easy way would be to either sing or inform a fairytale to the puppy, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. While this seems ridiculous, the silliness that is very relaxed and keeps you calm. How up tight can you get talking in the woods about three bears and a blond?

Aggressive behaviour needs to be directed and focused. Put the puppy under a command, like “sit”, utilizing the leash if required to assist him, however instantly loosen all tension in the leash. This doesn’t mean to offer the dog his leash’s total independence – keep your hand to the leash in this kind of way to ensure that if desired he can be easily controlled by you, however don’t have some tension in the leash. In the event place breaks, gently remind him what he was requested to do, and re-position him.

Learn an appropriate answer to rudeness and the distinction. Quite a few dogs are labeled competitive when they may be reacting in a totally proper canine way to rudeness. This typically happens with the others puppies whose owners permit them to be quite ill-mannered since they consider their dog is just saying “hello” for your dog. What’s actually occurring is a variant of an entire stranger hugging and running up to you personally! Do not let your puppy make an effort to shield him from wellmeaning but uninformed owners who permit their puppies to be ill-mannered, and be ill-mannered. (To find out more with this, please read our post “the dog Only Needs to Say hello!”)

Yelling does not equal homicide! Not many disagreements that are canine result in just about any harms that are serious. Though it’s frightening when dogs bark and growl, snarl, keep in mind that dog behaviour is mainly threats and posturing created to prevent battle that is actual. Your puppy uses his gestures and vocalizations in exactly the same manner. Should a there appear a physical struggle, most puppies seldom inflict any serious harm and have bite inhibition. Understanding this allows you not imagine the worst, and to remain more composed!

This Is A Good Video On Interdog Aggression

The author differentiates interdog aggression from handler aggression, discussing how a dog can be 100% dog aggressive but perfectly fine around humans.  Or vice-versa: Handler aggressive, but okay around other dogs (usually a symptom of the owner having an unbalanced relationship with the dog!)

How to Stop Interdog Aggression

Interdog aggression refers to a situation where a dog is too aggressive towards strange dogs or ones in a similar household. In most cases, this behavior is considered normal. However, genetic and learning factors can make some dogs too aggressive.

interdog aggression

Interdog aggression can manifest itself with almost any breed of dog

This form of aggression is common among non-neutered dogs. It can begin during puberty, which occurs when a dog is about 6 or 9 months old. But it can also start when dogs are socially mature, which happens between 18 and 36 months. Interdog aggression usually happens between dogs with similar gender.


The causes tend to vary from one dog to another. Dogs usually try to prevent conflicts by being aggressive. The aggression can be caused by past experiences. If you do not give your puppy an opportunity to socialize with other dogs, it may develop fearful aggression especially if it is timid. In this case, the dog considers it necessary to attack the other dog before it is attacked.


“The causes tend to vary from one dog to another…”

Interdog aggression can also occur if a dog is trying to protect its turf. This is referred to as territorial aggression.

Female dogs can also display aggression towards other dogs in attempt to protect their offspring. If another dog tries to come close to their offspring, a female dog may become aggressive.

Some dogs also become aggressive as they try to protect their resources such as food and toys. They may attack other dogs that try to use the resources.

A dog may also feel the needs to be aggressive in order to assert its dominance among dogs in the same rank.

In some cases, inter-dog aggression occurs when one of the dog feels that they need to protect an individual or animal from a dog they perceive to be a threat. In this case, the aggressive dog is trying to be protective.

Stopping Aggression

The first step to stopping inter-dog aggression is to recognize agitation signs in your dog. Once you recognize the signs, you can react promptly to stop the aggression before your dog causes harm.

One of the best ways to stop your dog from being aggressive towards other dogs is to use a muzzle. A muzzle prevents your dog from injuring the other dog. Use the muzzle until your pet learns how to respond to situations in a calm manner.

Another effective solution is to socialize your pet. You need to put your dog in situations where it has to be among strange dogs. But you should always have a leash on it to allow you to take charge of the situation in case the dog becomes aggressive.

Your dog is less likely to feel aggressive if it encounters other dogs regularly. If your dog approaches another dog and seems to be lunging aggressively towards another dog, you have to pull the leash back and command it to stop. Pull the leash downward as you draw it back to put the dog in a less aggressive position.

Train your dog to remain still when another person or dog is approaching. You should also issue firm commands without yelling. Your dog should not sense anxiety when you respond.

Dog Aggression Toward Strangers: Why Your Dog Does It

It can get confusing when your dog seems so mild and well behaved at home with the family, but gets really aggressive when strangers visit or when you walk your dog in public.

dog aggression toward strangers

Dog aggression toward strangers can appear suddenly, in almost any breed

Your dog’s aggressive behaviour can appear to be random and seemingly uncontrollable, but we’re going to let you know how this isn’t true. 

Dogs live and think in terms of packs. The family that they live with are part of their pack. Dogs are very loyal creatures, and live to love and protect their pack. When they are at home, they are with their family. This is where they are comfortable, so you are not likely to see forms of aggression here. This all changes when a stranger comes into the house. 


“If you lack control over your dog’s aggressive reaction towards a stranger, then your dog doesn’t think of you as the pack leader…”

To the dog, strangers are posed as a potential threat to the safety of the pack. It is in the dog’s natural instinct to protect his pack. What happens next determines where the real problem lies. If you cannot control your dog and indicate to him to back down, the problem is with you and not your dog. 

If you lack control over your dog’s aggressive reaction towards a stranger, then your dog doesn’t think of you as the pack leader. He thinks that he is the pack leader, and it is therefore his job to protect the sanctity of the household. Dogs, like most wild animals that live in groups, work out a hierarchy within their packs. The pack leader protects the group and decides what is a threat and what isn’t a threat. If you aren’t asserting your authority over the dog, then he is not going to respect your opinion, because in pack hierarchy, you are below him.
Furthermore, the idea of the pack leader doesn’t stop at just one person or animal. Maybe your dog will listen to one person in the house, but not another. This is because the former person has asserted their authority and the latter has not.

The dog sees himself as below the first person but above the latter. In order for your dog to assume a submissive role to each member in your household, the dog needs to be trained with not only the same commands, but also needs to have authority asserted over him by every member in the house. 

This becomes increasingly important for the women in the house that might be menstruating. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and they are very acutely aware of any women menstruating in their vicinity. This becomes an issue when other dogs are in the vicinity. When female dogs are in heat, they bleed. This is an indication to other dogs that they are fertile and ready to breed. Your dog may get along great with other animals, most of the time, but occasionally lashes out at other dogs for seemingly no reason. The reason may be that a women in their pack may be, or about to be, menstruating. Your dog is attempting to protect the women from the other dog, and assert their ownership. This is more of a problem with male dogs than it is female dogs. It is then, particularly important for the women in the house to assert their dominance over the dog.

How To Stop Dog Aggression Towards People

Aggression in dogs is an emotion that can cause severe harm if it is not handled appropriately. The dog might attack people or other dogs and you might not even enjoy taking it out for walks. The good news is that it is possible to stop the dog’s aggressive behavior with a little bit of training.

The following are some of the things you can do so as to stop the aggression of the dog towards people.

1. When you take the dog out for a walk, be sure to keep it on leash, and make sure that the leash is short. This will enable you to have total control over the dog when you are walking with it.

2. If your dog constantly acts aggressively towards strangers, socialize it. You can correct the dog’s aggressive tendencies by using leash restraint and slowly introducing it to more people, both young and elderly. It is advisable to introduce the dog to people, especially family members or friends that it will be constantly in touch with it, before twelve to fourteen weeks of its age.

3. When you are walking with your dog and you see people with or without dogs approaching, you will need to move it to the sidewalk as far as possible from the people or other dogs. You will need to position yourself in such a way that you are in the middle of the path between the other people and their dogs.

4. When the dog is still young and growing, you will need to manage its environment. If it is nervous around people, you will need to keep it on leash at all times until it gets used to them. Forcing the dog to hang around people can make it skittish, something which will only increase its fear and consequently its aggression.

5. If you are walking with your dog and it tries to attack a person, give it a quick snap back with its leash. After that, you can tell it to sit down just to show it that it is important to be calm when it meets people and that attacking is bad. This is something that you will need to do every time a person walks by your dog and it tries to display aggressive behavior. After a few tries, its aggression will simmer down.

6. Give your dog obedience training lessons, but be sure to keep them short and consistent. For instance, you can make a scenario where a calm dog meets a person by calmly sniffing them instead of attacking them while the aggressive dog is watching. That will show your dog what behavior is good and what is bad.

7. If your dog continues to display aggression towards people even after you have tried your best to calm it down, you will need to seek help from a professional animal behaviorist as soon as possible. If you do not take steps to salvage that aggression, just a single attack or bite may end up causing a lot of problems.

Seven Reasons For Dog Aggression Toward Other Dogs

Sometimes what is perceived and believed to be aggression in dogs , can sometimes just be things like hyper energy, natural inquisitiveness, or eagerness that your dog is experiencing. That is why , considering that, when our dogs show acts of aggression to other dogs, it is essential for us to try to understand what our dog is thinking in that moment and also what he wants us to know. Ask yourself: what is my dog trying to say when he is being aggressive? For issues with aggression in dogs, it is important to take things like age, health, sex, preferences, and breed of dog into account. This article will provide you with seven different reasons why your dog may be experiencing dog-on-dog aggression. 

1.) Your Mood
Remember to stay decisive and calm. A lot of times dogs will pick up their masters emotions and feelings and reflect on them. Sometimes, you may not even be aware that you are feeling angry or upset but your dog will notice, and begin to act up, only with more intensity then you. If you consciously control yourself and calm down then your dogs behavior will improve. A common thing that dog owners do is tense up and get nervous when their dogs approach other dogs. Try to stay cool, calm and collect so that your bad energy does not project onto your dog. 

2.) Avoidance
Ignoring your dog will cause him to feel as though you do not care or you don’t love him. Make sure you give him some attention and remind him that he’s loved. Also, do not avoid other dogs. Allow your dog to approach other dogs. If you don’t he will take matters into his own hands and behave badly when hes around another dog. 

3.) Challenging Other Dogs
If you are uncertain of how another dog acts, then it is okay to avoid it. Go across the street or back into an alley until the dog passes to avoid an altercation. 

4.) Protection
Sometimes your dog may attack other dogs because it is trying to protect you. Play with other dogs to show your dog that they aren’t looking to cause harm to you. 

5.) Jealousy
If you spend too much time with other dogs , your dog can potentially become jealous. Make sure that you avoid spending too much time with other dogs as opposed to your own. 

6.) Dog Is Not Disciplined
If your dog keeps getting away with being aggressive towards other dogs then he will continue to do it. Come up with an appropriate punishment that will take place when your dog has a confrontation with another dog. Be sure to follow through with it and make sure that the dog knows why he is being punished. 

7.) Dogs Look
Sometimes something as simple as the way your dog or other dogs look can be triggering. There isn’t too much you can do this about this except for remove your dog from the situation and keeping them away from the other dog. 

Those are seven reasons why your dog may be showing aggression to other dogs. Just like any other problem, recognizing the problem and working towards fixing it is the first step. Pay attention to when your dog behaves poorly and you will usually be able to identify why he is doing it.