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Question
Posted by: Bianca | 2011/03/17

letting dogs fight it out

My parents always used to let their dogs sort out their own disagreements and sometimes they had quite bad fights. This is the only thing where I could find fault with my parents or their dogs. In every other way they were perfect. I think it is bad to let animals hurt each other but maybe my parents were right?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Bianca, nice to hear from you. To a degree, i believe your parents were correct, and sometimes human interference can make the situation worse, but as i said to Mark, in the answer above, we should be pack leaders and show what is and isnt allowed. Think of it from a human point of view - would you allow your children to beat each other to a pulp? No, of course not. You would lay down the law and would allow them to settle many of their differences between themselves, but there would be rules in place of what is and isnt allowed and consequences for unacceptable behaviour. I believe that it is important for owners to understand how their dogs think and act and to recognize the signs of possible reactive behaviour and have the tools to sort out possible problems and this
is why i do so many workshops and have started the free Friends website for owners.

Personally i find that more fights occur when the owners are not assuming the pack leadership and the simple implementation of House Rules and showing the dogs (not with violence of aversive methods) that the owners are in charge very often stops the fights completely and you have a happy pack that know that the pack leaders are doing their dog properly. Hope this helps, thanks Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/03/17

Hi Bianca, nice to hear from you. To a degree, i believe your parents were correct, and sometimes human interference can make the situation worse, but as i said to Mark, in the answer above, we should be pack leaders and show what is and isnt allowed. Think of it from a human point of view - would you allow your children to beat each other to a pulp? No, of course not. You would lay down the law and would allow them to settle many of their differences between themselves, but there would be rules in place of what is and isnt allowed and consequences for unacceptable behaviour. I believe that it is important for owners to understand how their dogs think and act and to recognize the signs of possible reactive behaviour and have the tools to sort out possible problems and this
is why i do so many workshops and have started the free Friends website for owners.

Personally i find that more fights occur when the owners are not assuming the pack leadership and the simple implementation of House Rules and showing the dogs (not with violence of aversive methods) that the owners are in charge very often stops the fights completely and you have a happy pack that know that the pack leaders are doing their dog properly. Hope this helps, thanks Scotty

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