Science behind two females fighting - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Question Science behind two females fighting

So, back story;

My sister and I brought home puppies at about the same time. Mine is a GSD, hers is a Labrador/border collie/retriever mix thing, both females. So the pups have been raised together and are generally good buddies.

My sister and I took her dog, and my parents three females (a blue healer/collie mix, viszla/lab, lab/pit mix) for hike in the foothills (minus my dog because she was lame) and I don't know who did it, but one of the dogs said something I swear (I'm thinking the blue healer mix because she has attitude issues) and this giant dog fight broke out. We got it figured out and they were fine after. Since then, my sisters dog has started a brawl with most dogs, and is usually fine with my dog because I make it VERY clear who the boss is in my house with her, and ANY dog who comes to my house. '

Well, my sister is pregnant and asked if I would work with her dog so she behaves better, so I said yes, bring her over, well, first day, and our two dogs got in a fight today. They were both disciplined and now I watch them closely, and make them go into a down stay while playing just so they know that I am the boss, and I say when they can and can't play, and how rough, they also must go into a down stay if either of the them gives that "quiet" you better watch out look (Any other tips on what to look for is ALWAYS appreciated )

My question is, why do females have bad fights? I wondered if it's because my sister keeps her dog locked in her back yard and has pent up energy that needs to be ran off and so she is anxious, but neither is fixed yet, and I guess I wanted to know your experience on two females living together. Even if it's a short while.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 04:51 PM
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A co-worker once put it best....

You can't put two women in a 50 acre field without a cat fight.

As a woman, I not only agreed with him...I laughed so hard I cried.

I think that crosses species

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 05:16 PM
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Dogs fight for breeding rights.

Bitches fight for breathing rights.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 05:17 PM
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My experience has either been neutral or very bad. My first dog was a sweet lab/border collie cross female. She is now 12 but has never had an issue with any dog. She isn't super submissive but dogs just seem to respect her and don't push her. Enter my Cattle Dog mix Scarlett, also female. They have never had an issue but they aren't buddies and could really care less about each other. They are pretty different personalities so they seem to have just reached an agreement to not bug each other. This is my neutral experience.

Then, about two and a half years ago we adopted our female GSD, Sasha, when she was about 2. She is insecure with other dogs and decided pretty quickly that Scarlett was not a dog she wanted in her pack. She never really bugged Tango, my older dog, but her and Scarlett within 6 months hated each other. We have worked really, really hard to get them to at least tolerate each other but I will never be able to trust them together. Scarlett has been in surgery 3 times because of Sasha and we've even considered rehoming Sasha because of the constant stress it causes the entire household, including the dogs.

I think you're doing the right thing by nipping it in the bud now as best you can. I agree with Jax and that comment made me crack up too because it's the honest truth!! It also probably doesn't help that they're both still intact.


Tango, lab mix 10/01/2000
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 10:07 AM
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It would be interesting to do a study on how female hormones affect behavior, and particularly, same-sex aggression. I have noticed females, when intact, are most "bitchy" right before they come into heat. Which hormones are raging and which hormones are falling at that time? Do males' hormones have a moderating effect on dog-aggression, once the pecking order is established?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 03:43 PM
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The only serious fight I have ever had was between an intact female and her spayed aunt. These two HATE each other so much that if I could not have figured out how to separate them the older dog probably would have ended up dead. I have noticed that the girls can get snarkier before heat cycles, but this was not the trigger in the above case.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Dogs fight for breeding rights.

Bitches fight for breathing rights.
Now THAT's a keeper!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 06:55 PM
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My WGSD and my mom's Jack Russell grew up together (75 pound shep, 10 pound Jack) They were great together UNTIL they turned about 2- then they hated each other- the jack usually initiated it (not MY dog- ) Thankfully I moved out soon after.

What to watch for? Constant staring- they should be allowed to "glance" at each other but no long term looking, the stare is what will usually start it, but if they understand they aren't even allowed to look at each other, you shouldn't have to watch for the rest of the body cues- stiffening up, trying to stand taller, of course hackles up- there is just so much to watch for, hard to describe in words- maybe go to You tube and see if there any vids to watch for what to look for.

Good luck!!

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