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Canine Behavior/aggression btween 10 year old litter mates


I have two female litter mates Plott and Calahula mix 10 year olds. These dogs have always been together no matter what sleep eat run play always together. I lost my Bloodhound pup about two weeks ago she was 8 months old. Since the smaller of two sisters has become agressive to the larger sis to the point of fighting till blood shows . Never have they done this before . I have separated them but every time the small dog can she goes for the bigger dog. I have a 2 year old male. Neither has a problem with him. I am at a loss as to why or what to do . Ant advice would be great Thanks Kerry

You need, ASAP!, a certified applied animal behaviorist.  I'm sure you will find one in FL but I have posted links.  NO DOG TRAINERS.  You need a professional who can intervene in this problem which is based on social hierarchy.  The death of the puppy disrupted something in the relationship between these two.  Litter mates can be a serious problem, as often temperament is quite similar between them.  When it comes to two bitches fighting on sight, the problem is approaching a place where there is NO rehabilitation, none.  Find a CAAB and do it fast:

It may be necessary, based upon the expert's observations and thorough history, for one dog to be on some sort of medication (a beta blocker, propanolol, would be my choice).  But WHICH dog is quite difficult to determine and I can't see anything from here.  You cannot allow any further "attacks" since it will get worse, much worse.  Separating the two is not ideal but until you find someone who can help you must never leave these two alone, for any reason.  Put house tabs on BOTH dogs (a house tab is a lightweight leash with handle cut off) when you are at home.  Observe the "offender" carefully for body language.  Interrupt ANY show of aggression.  Pick up the leash.  Circle the dog (as if following a hoola hoop) left, right, left, right, until she has changed her "mind" and looks at YOU.  Then ask for "sit", praise, release.

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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