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icejack 01-19-2014 12:14 PM

2 "sisters" that dont get along
Hi, we have 2 gsd (3yrs and 2 yrs) that dont seem to get along, before when the youngest was a pup they used to be together all the time. Now when they see each other it and the youngest show any sign of unsure the older "atttacks" her and wants to put her into place. But the worse is when the oldest stop the youngest start going after the oldest. And we need to separate them.

This behaivor started 3 months ago. Now lately the youngs seem to be the one that starts it, either by looking , or buy showing that shes more secire of herself. Yesterday it went so far that by the time we got them to stop they bite both my and my wife. Both of us needed stitches, the dog didnt directly attcked us, but while trying to bite each other they got us.

But when I analyze the fight yesterday it seemed more civilized then before except getting us, it didnt seem they wanted to kill eachother, but nether wanted to surrender to the other.

We need some recommendation of how to deal with this. We have been bad at walking the dogs, so our first plan is to walk daily 1 hr with them together, but will this be enough?

When they are apart or one in the cage and the other with us they are calm and lie down beside us.

Sorry for my bad english but been a while since last I needed to write in english

Nigel 01-19-2014 12:29 PM

Sorry, but its either crate, rotate and lots of management or rehome one of them. Once they (females) start fighting like this its extremely difficult to get it stopped and likely it won't stop. The bites to you was probably redirection. I've seen it posted here several times, males fight for breeding rights, females fight for breathing rights.

havery 01-19-2014 03:50 PM

Are they spayed? Very rarely have I seen two breeding age females of any breed get along well...

OriginalWacky 01-20-2014 01:59 AM

This is something that really can't be addressed over the internet very well, and I'd highly recommend you get with a behaviorist if you want to keep both of these dogs. Even with help, you may have no choice but to crate/rotate for the rest of their lives. At the very least, they should be kept completely apart for some time, as the hormones associated with the fighting take some time to clear out of the system.

It could be they bit you accidentally, but I'd tend to agree this was probably redirected at you. I'd have a hard time recommending that you rehome a dog with a bite history, as there are some circumstances where you can be held liable if the dog bites somebody else.

harmony 01-20-2014 02:22 AM

You are clearly not the boss if they are that old and it starts. you can have two sister pups a 6 weeks that get along and 6 months will take each other down. Two females can get along but when they don't, they wont, they fight to be dominate.

Dainerra 01-20-2014 06:53 AM

1) it has nothing to do with whether or not the owner is "the boss"
2) it can start at any age but 2 years old is a very common time - that is when the youngest will really start to hit her mature size and strength, when she is most likely to think "yeah, I can take her"

a very common saying amongst the old dog people "males fight to breed, bitches fight to breathe" Get a knowledgeable person to come over and watch them interact. They can observe the little signals that the average person may not recognize and hopefully see if there is any outside influence on the fighting. Then they can work out a play to help with the problem.
Even if you are able to get the girls to the point where they are fine being in the same room together with you, I would NEVER leave them together alone for the rest of their lives.

RubyTuesday 01-20-2014 11:50 AM


1) it has nothing to do with whether or not the owner is "the boss"
True. Even experienced owners/breeders have been forced to manage or re-home due to ongoing dog aggression. Bitch on bitch seems to be the worst.


Very rarely have I seen two breeding age females of any breed get along well...
I've rarely known Irish Wolfhound owners/breeders to have problems even with large packs of intact females which included intact males. Rarely, some needed to keep 2 males separate at all times. More commonly, intact males had to be separated when a bitch was in heat. (Minor issue b/c they had to be kept apart from the bitch regardless). I've known owners/breeders of Papillons, Labs, Goldens & Cavaliers who had little to no problems with packs of both intact & altered dogs.

Although da can happen with any breed I'm convinced it's more common with some breeds, GSD among them. I think too it's more prevalent in some lines than others (including one line of Irish Wolfhounds). I'm a multi dog household so it's something I look for in the dogs I acquire, Spanky, my American Bulldog & an unwanted 'inheritance', doesn't get on with Pluto, my mutt pup. This is an ongoing headache & something I hope to not have to deal with again...

Courtney 01-20-2014 12:09 PM

My parents owned female littermates. They did not start living together until they were 6-8 months old. My grandpa owned one and he passed away, of course my parents took her in, lovely girl. They were fine with each other until they turned a year old, inseparable actually. Both great dogs separately - together a nightmare. Bloodshed from these two - my dad with stitches twice from trying to break up a fight (very bad idea) - one girl with a ER Thanksgiving day surgery from another fight to repair her ear - the tip was hanging.

They lost one of the girls last year (she passed away)-she was almost 13 years old - my parents still have the other sister.

Over the years they really had to manage them. They would know certain things that would trigger a fight and avoid those situations. They never played with each other and kept their distance. When the one was sick last year her sister did come up to her and laid down next to her. My parents were so shocked it was the first time in 12 + years that happened and they witnessed it.

My point I guess ...if you are going to keep both you are going to have to really manage them, separate them, pay attention and avoid the triggers that cause them to fight. Good luck.

RubyTuesday 01-20-2014 12:27 PM

Given the bite, management is perhaps the best & possibly only solution for the op, short of having one pts.

MadLab 01-20-2014 02:21 PM

The problem here is the humans got stitches but the dogs were fine.

Personally I'd calmly watch and wait for a break rather than try to separate during conflict exposing myself to a bite. Dog skin is much stronger than humans and they should absorb any bite rather than a human present.

A person is getting redirected on, when bitten during a conflict between dogs. Simply shouldn't be in that situation.

With a calm approach, the dogs will do a lot of snarling and jumping around but won't hurt each other. Any person getting stressed is adding fuel to the situation.

A calm approach will help avoid the same situation in the future. Firm but fair is the way to go with dogs.

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