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Stop dog fighting.

Species: Dog
Breed: Mix
Age: 2-5 years
Hi
I have 3 dogs and the one dog is a bit pushy towards the other dogs, she will nip at them or bossy them around. Sometimes a fight happens when the other dogs can't take the pushy behavior. How can I stop a fight from happening? should I correct the pushy behavior? What should I do?


Also I wanted to know if you know of any brands that offer low protein dry dog food for my older dog
thanks


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This is a tough question to answer as there is no easy solution.

My first question would be whether or not Lassie is spayed. If not, then getting her spayed can make a difference. Hormones can play a big role in behavior issues.

I would highly advise starting Lassie in some obedience classes. You'll need to mention to the director of the classes that she has some dog aggression issues just to make sure that they are comfortable taking her on. She may need to wear a cage muzzle during the classes for everyone's safety. (A cage muzzle allows her to breathe just fine while still offering protection.) Obedience classes will teach her to to be obedient to you, but will also teach you how to give her commands and how to deal with her bad behavior.

You might also consider a hiring a private trainer for Lassie as well.

You can talk to your vet about possibly using some medication along with the training. Something like Reconcile or Clomicalm can help her to do a little better. Medication on its own (without training) is not likely to do a whole lot though.

The safest way to break up a dog fight is to grab your dog's tail to pull her away. It's a tough call though because you could potentially cause her harm. You never want to get your hands near the dog's face or head for obvious reasons.

The food question is really a second question so I won't go into great detail. But generally, I don't recommend a special food for seniors unless they have a particular health problem. So, for example, if your dog has a kidney problem, then I'd recommend a prescription kidney food. If you wanted to feed a senior food simply because the dog is getting older, then all of the major brands really do sell senior foods. I like Royal Canin, Science diet and Iams. But again, if this was my dog I would stick with his or her regular food unless there were health issues.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

thank you, after the fight, what should I do with the 2 dogs? tell both of them no? a time out? thanks


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm...I don't really think there is much that you can do. If you do any sort of punishment, it's just going to add to your dog's anxiety. A time out may be helpful just to calm your dog down and keep her separate from the other dog. But, it is not likely to teach her not to do it again.

I think I would just do what I could to keep the dogs separate so they don't go at it again and that's really all you could do.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.