Trainer shares 3 tips for avoiding two dogs fighting, and they're all really simple

Dogs sniffing each other
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even if you only have one dog, your pup will almost definitely come into contact with other dogs at one time or another. And, particularly if you have friends, relatives, or neighbors with dogs themselves, your pooch might end up meeting them on a more regular basis.

Like humans, some dogs are more sociable than others. And, your dog might get on better with some pups than others. However, there are things that you can do to help build a relationship between two dogs to make things easier for everyone involved – if you know you and your pup are going to be staying with a friend and their dog, for example. It could help prevent any conflict over things like the best dog toys.

And, certified dog trainer Melissa Goodman of Mission Pawsitive has offered some advice in a new Instagram video. 

Goodman explains in the video’s caption that she’s spending a week training and caring for a client’s dog while they went on vacation, and bringing her own dog, Aspen, along for the trip. However, Aspen hadn’t met Lola, the other dog, beforehand. 

“Aspen was a little overwhelmed during the initial meeting with her roommate for the week, Lola,” she begins in the video. “To help her decompress from the long drive and acclimate her to everything, I stuffed her dinner in an enrichment toy, stuck it in the freezer to make it last longer, and gave it to her in her own space.” She explains that it’s best to feed dogs separately in these situations. 

Before Lola’s parents left the next day, they took the dogs on a long walk, and Goodman explained that it helped the dogs adjust to each other. “Both dogs are getting plenty of enrichment time in the same area,” Goodman says, “But with a barrier, so there’s no possibility for resource guarding, and to help them learn to coexist.”

She explains that dogs don’t need to be best friends for them to get along or be able to live together. But, even if things seem to be going well, it’s a good idea to give the dogs a break from each other with some form of physical separation from time to time. And, don’t rush things, particularly if time is on your side! If you’re looking towards the longer term and bringing a new pup into your home for good, here’s how to introduce a new dog to your home and other pets.

If your pup has struggled with reactivity towards other dogs or simply found it difficult to make doggy pals in the past, you might find this article insightful: My dog used to bark at every other dog she met, now she has canine friends.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.