Sharing a home with two or more dogs can prove a bit challenging at times. If you've got two dogs from the same litter, sibling rivalry is usually not something you need to worry about too much. However, on the odd occasion it can become a real issue which results in them fighting over the slightest things although there are specific triggers that can set them off. The result is both dogs come away with quite nasty bites and injuries and more often than not this means an expensive trip to the vet.
Even dogs that have grown up together and always been the best of buddies may one day turn aggressive towards each other. However, in the main when fights occur it's usually one particular dog that wants to be the more dominant character in the household. The trouble can kick off when another dog refuses to be submissive which results in the two of them vying to be 'top dog'. However, all too often sibling rivalry only happens when people are around and typically when dogs are about to be fed. When food is the trigger it can result in dogs getting more possessive about their food and this in turn can escalate to being aggressive in other situations too.
When two or more dogs that start showing aggression toward each other, you need to be really assertive towards them ensuring your pets know you are the alpha dog in the household rather than them holding this position. If necessary, it might be worth enrolling the assistance of a dog behaviourist before any of the dogs suffer any serious injuries due to sibling rivalry.
Triggers that cause sibling rivalry tend to be the following:
There are things you can to do which would reduce the risk of sibling rivalry escalating into a serious fight and this includes the following:
Sharing a home with several dogs is great fun, but you have to make sure they all know and respect the fact you are the alpha dog. Sibling rivalry often occurs even when dogs have known each other for a very long time because there is a bit of confusion as to who is the Boss in the household. Your dogs will have set their own hierarchy which you also have to respect, but with this said you also need to treat all of them in the same way and not to favour one of them more than any of the others. Food is often a trigger for sibling rivalry and if this is the case in your household, you need to nip things in the bud or a small argument could escalate into a full blown fight.