My two dogs won't stop biting each other.
This concerns me because of their sizes, I'm afraid that my big dog gets out of control and ends up hurting my little one. What can I do to stop them from being aggressive? Or do they play like that?
I doubt they are "fighting". This sounds more like rough play. Rough play is common between dogs, especially puppies.
Aggression or rough play?
It's important to be able to distinguish between aggression and rough play.
If one or both of you dogs are showing any or all of the following signs, it is true aggression:
- Very rigid body
- Raised tail
- Guttural barking or growling
- Showing teeth
- Flat or pricked up ears
- Intense staring
I doubt your dogs are fighting, so the next section of my answer is unnecessary, but this is a safety hazard so I am including it anyway:
How to stop a dog fight
If this is happening between your dogs, it is essential that you stop all fighting and take the next steps to prevent it.
To stop a dog fight mid-fight, take these steps:
If your dogs are truly fighting, do not physically intervene by putting yourself or your hand between them. I know they love you and you love them, but in the middle of a fight, they will bite anything.
Here are some ways to stop a dog fight safely for yourself, and your dogs:
Assess the situation/determine the aggressor
Throw a blanket over the bullboxer
Put an object (like an umbrella) between the dogs
Pull the legs of your dogs backward (needs two people, also known as the Wheel Barrow Method)
Spray them with a hose
Remove the dogs from the area
Take your dogs to a medical professional to assess any injuries
How to prevent a dog fight
Feed your dogs separately to avoid aggression over food
Prevent aggressive situations (like withholding a toy they tend to fight over)
Provide separate sleeping areas
Get your dogs used to socialization with other dogs
Spay or neuter your dogs
Watch for stress in your dogs (such as stress over thunder)
Gradually get your dogs used to each other (let them see each other for 15 minutes before removing one dog)
Exercise and play with your dogs to burn extra energy
Is rough play okay?
If your dogs:
are not showing signs of aggression
are wagging their tails
take turns chasing each other
and have the opportunity to leave the situation but decide not to (in the case of a power imbalance or hierarchy)
Then it is normal. It will develop into a greater friendship and understanding between your dogs.
Some dogs play rougher than others. This is also normal. Make sure that if you are having a puppy play date with a dog, not from your household, the other owner understands that your dog is only playing and that they are free to remove their dog from the situation if feeling uncomfortable.
Rough play is okay, aggression and fighting are not. If your dogs are fighting, you need to take further steps to stop it and to prevent it.
It is important for your dogs to have a healthy and equal relationship.
Please consult a trained veterinarian if unsure about any of this.