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Canine Behavior/Will my 2 female dogs ever get along again?


Hello my name is diane, I am writing to ask you questions on if my two female dogs will ever be able to get along again?   The two dogs are a  two year old Boston terrier that is spayed and a 5 year old Pitt/lab mix that is also spayed.  These two dogs are my girlfriends but last week the dogs got into another bad fight n I just can't do it anymore so I wanted to reach out to see if I could get some help with this because I know my gf will not b able to get rid of either of the dogs.  So she has had the Pitt/lab mix since she was a baby, and then about 2 yrs ago she got the new little Boston terrier as a puppy.  Things were fine between them until about a year ago, they were playing with a toy and the Boston terrier like bit the Pitt/lab and the Pitt didnt like it and like bit back and really injured the Boston terrier, almost popping her eye out and killing her.   She made it through and recovered great only thing is now they can NOT being in the same room ever, they are separated when we are not there and also when we are there. At night the dogs are also separated and get to alternate every night with who gets to be in the bed that night with us.  I also have a Boston terrier that just recently has came into the house, but both females love him and he gets along with both of them but still the girls can not be together.  It told my gf that we needed to try something as far as training before one of us gets hurt or one of the dogs do which of course we don't want.  When they have fought, it is always the little Boston terrier that will go after the Pitt and bite her and won't let go and the Pitt will try so hard to not do anything until she gets hurt n then fights back, but I just feel the Boston terrier is the one that does the looks, or starts it because the Pitt is very much a lover and tries to avoid the Boston terrier even when we are switching she makes sure to not leave the room till we pick up the Boston terrier......   I tried having the Boston terrier in the room ans my dog and the Pitt locked up in the master bathroom with a baby gate so the girls could still see each other and next thing you know the Boston terrier is looking and then running to the gate and then jumped on the gate, opening it and causing another fight.   What do i do?  Please help

Hi Diane -

This is a serious situation.  Dog fights can be draining emotionally as well as financially if one of the dogs (or you) get seriously hurt.  You are doing everything right by keeping them separated.  I think I would discontinue the dogs sleeping in the bed with you though, because that can create resentment amongst the dogs.  Let them each have their own bed or crate that they relax in.  It's kind of like a child getting a room of their own in their parents house.
You may be correct that the Boston is the aggressor, most little dogs don't understand or care that they are small.  Make sure all the dogs are treated equally and that you don't leave toys, uneaten food in the dog bowls, or special treats laying around which could trigger a fight.
Ask your veterinarian for a referral to a behaviorist (not a dog trainer) that can help you to work through this situation.  A behaviorist is a specialist that studied dog behavior and can answer why dogs do what they do better than a dog trainer.  Behaviorists are extremely helpful in cases where dogs are having social problems with people or other dogs.  Good luck!

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Jennifer Ganser, LMT, ABCDT


For canines I can answer questions related to behavior, obedience training, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) For equines I can answer questions related to behavior, barn management, health and massage therapy (anatomy, health benefits) I am not a veterinarian and it is not within my scope of practice as a licensed massage therapist or certified dog trainer to diagnose health conditions. Please contact your pet's veterinarian for illness related questions and emergencies.


I am a licensed massage therapist for people, horses, and dogs and a certified dog trainer. I teach group obedience classes as well as private lessons. I also work with horses and help barns establish good management practices.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Certification Board of Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

2009 - graduate of Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy 2010 - certified in canine/feline first aid + CPR by Red Cross 2012 - graduate of Post University equine program 2012 - graduate of Animal Behavior College Obedience program

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