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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20408
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My two male dachshunds who have lived together very happily

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My two male dachshunds who have lived together very happily for the past year suddenly had a terrible fight this evening. I have separated them but I'm really worried that they won't be able to co-exist any more. What can I do?

Hi JaCustomer,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is Jane. I have been involved professionally with dogs in the healthcare and behavioral fields for over 20 years. I’ve worked as a Vet Assistant and Behaviorist and have extensive experience in dog reproduction, as a breeder, for even longer than that.. Canine behavioral issues and training are also my specialties. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I'm so sorry that no other expert answered your question earlier. Your question just showed up on the list of unanswered questions that I have access to and I wanted to help. I hope you will rate my answer rather than the delay.

Do you still need help with this matter? If so, it is necessary for me to get a little information from you before I can type up your reply. Your patience is appreciated.

How old are the two dogs?

Are they both neutered?

Could you explain exactly what is happening such as what was going on before any fight, what happened during the fight and after?

What did you do?

Are they currently separated?

Did they draw blood on each other?

Have they had any training?

Was one in the house before the other?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
One is 2 yrs and 4 months old and the second one is 1 yr 10 months old. They are both neutered and until yesterday were good friends. I'm not sure what started the fight as they were in the kitchen but they were really going for it. I separated them with a broom and kept them apart until my husband came home. He put them back together and they circled each other but didn't fight. I must admit that I was so shocked I panicked. No blood was drawn but it was very frightening and I'm worried that the situation will worsen. I got the older one as a puppy and rescued the younger one when he was 10 months old. Today we had to go shopping so we left them in the kitchen for a couple of hours and it was all fine when we got back. I know I need to stay calm but feel very stressed. Do you think they're working out who's top dog? At the moment they're both sleeping and all is quiet. I've never had a minutes concern before but now I'm really worried that they'll end up hating each other. Any help would be much appreciated.

When a new dogs comes into a household, usually the older dog already in the household is the boss and remains the top dog. However, when dogs read about 18 months of age, they tend to test their place in the pack and since the other one is not that much older, he may feel he has a chance at the top position.

In most cases, it is best to let them try and work it out on their own if no blood is being drawn and there are no serious injuries. However, obedience training is recommended so you can control them without having to touch them as that is when most owners get bit.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

Additional training can also help if the situation gets worse. Both dogs should be leashed and if one dog even looks at the other dog, a correction should be done. Any sign of aggression including a prolonged look, hair raised on the shoulders, a growl or even a stiff legged walk, should be corrected. A correction is a quick tug of the leash and a firm low toned "NO". Once you have done this couple of times, you should notice the dogs ignoring each other. When that happens, you will want to reward them for the desired behavior. Again, use tasty treats like the hot dog slices. This teaches the dogs that you WILL not tolerate fighting in YOUR pack.

Most likely they will work things out but you should also learn body language so you can determine what is being transmitted to the other dog by their body language.

I hope I've given you great service. If so, I'd appreciate a 5 star rating. The rating should be based on my answer and not any site issue. Experts are not compensated until a rating is done. If you have any other questions at all, please reply here and I'll be happy to follow up with you even after you have rated. .

Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you Jane. We had a quiet evening and night and I'm trying to stay calm and in control of the situation. Maybe one did something that really annoyed the other one and they started fighting. I know dogs live in the moment so I'm hoping things will resolve themselves. There is some tension between them but no aggression thank goodness. I have given you a 5 star rating.

Thank you so much for the great rating. I do appreciate it. I also hope you let me know how they are doing from time to time.