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Old October 5th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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bendyfoot bendyfoot is offline
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Around the first birthday is a pretty typical time for dogs to "test the waters" and challenge the authority of mature dogs in the household/pack, especially if they naturally have more dominant personalities.

Spaying both females (if they aren't already) can definitely help, but it's not necessarily a sure-fire cure. We had a rocky couple of months when our youngest dog reached the age of one and started to challenge our eldest, alpha female (both were spayed at the time). There were a handful of really nasty, bloody fights. Luckily no one was hurt too badly, but they were not much fun. The thing is, if it's a dominance thing, there's not much you can do about it other than supervise carefully, isolate the dogs from eachother when you can't supervise, do lots of positive, fun activities (but NOT ones where excitement levels get too high - excitement can lead to aggression) with BOTH dogs, be safe, and break up fights safely when they happen. Dogs need to establish their own pecking order, and although we can influence it somewhat, most of it has to happen between the dogs themselves. When we meddle too much with what is pretty normal behaviour, we can sometimes make things worse. It could very well be that your corgi will NOT be the dominant dog at the end of this.

In our house, we basically did what I said above...supervised, kept play fun but low-key and controlled (i.e. brought it down or paused the play when the energy levels got too high), watched them closely, and let them sort it out. After about 3 months, the fights stopped. Our alpha maintained her status, and the younger dog defers to her (but is still a brat-luckily our older dog is a very stable leader and puts up with a lot of bratty nonsense). It's entirely possible that, as our oldest dog ages further and becomes a senior, we could see the dominance roles changed again. These things are rarely 100% stable/fixed.

Be warned: it IS possible that your two females will simply not be able to coexists. It's not the norm, but it's a possibility. Work on enforcing your own leadership role in the house, keep the environment safe and calm, ensure all dogs get plently of exercise, and hopefully this time of turmoil will pass.
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