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My dog Lucy got into her first serious dog fight yesterday with my daughter's dog. They have played with each other since Lucy was a puppy and this is the first time they have gotten into a fight this bad. I think it started when my daughter's dog got her front paw stuck in her collar while they were playing. I'm guessing she growled or nipped at Lucy to leave her alone because she was pretty helpless and scared. Something set Lucy off ahd she tore into the other dog. She had the dog pinned against the couch and my son-in-law. There was actually fur flying. I grabbed Lucy's back legs and pulled her off. She immediately stopped and showed no further aggression. My daughter's dog had a little bite mark on her muzzle and a pretty bad bite on her back that went through the skin and left two holes. My daughter's dog was pretty upset, but Lucy acted as if nothing had happened. It was like flipping a switch. One minute she was fighting like crazy and the next she was looking for something to play with. Do I need to be concerned? Do dogs carry grudges? Has Lucy turned dog-aggressive?
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Sounds like both dogs are female, in which case this isn't uncommon. Bitches can play together for years, then one day a switch is flipped as you said, and they start fighting. Often this occurs when one or both are reaching maturity and is more common in intact females than spayed ones. How old are Lucy and your daughter's dog? Are both spayed?

Unfortunately, often when this starts, it will continue and chances that the two will need to be kept separated and not allowed together any longer are high. Bitches often do carry grudges, and will look for an opportunity to finish what was started.
 

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Another thing that happens here in the land of misfit dogs...

If there is something wrong with someone lower than her, rank wise-if they are vomiting, getting their nails cut, get hurt in any way, etc., Bella will "attack" them. Because I am expecting it, it doesn't escalate. I am not sure what would happen if I didn't know-if she would really do some damage or not.

It's an odd behavior. I know of another dog that does it.

It did have a positive side one time-Ava impaled herself on a crate panel and was flailing and Bella flew through the air like some TV GSD and landed on her, preventing further injury to the paw, and allowing me to get there to restrain her.

So that's just an oddity I am throwing out there. No one here likes it, that's for sure. But things go back to normal after it's done.

But be aware that it could be something more like what Chris is saying. Because my dogs are not what I would term...typical.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They are both spayed. Lucy is almost 19 mos. My daughter's dog is around 5 or 6. They normally play well together but Lucy is very persistant in continuing to play when the older dog dog wants to stop. Seeing Lucy fight like this was scary. She looked like she wanted to kill. I was relieved to see Lucy stop so quickly and not want to continue fighting when I grabbed her and pulled her off. I can't believe people train dogs to do this and then pay to watch and bet on it.
 

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Other than behavior, the other thing to watch out for is those darn collars. We don't keep collars on our guys when they're playing for this reason. If you can, you may want to consider removing them when they play. It just eliminates another "firestarter" between the two of them. I'm sorry you had to go through this...they aren't fun and it's challenging to stay calm through them. Also, be careful separating them...you did good by pulling at her hindquarter. It's a good reminder to people not to pull at collars to separate the fighting dogs.
 
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