Sibling rivalry refers to conflicts between dogs living in the
Sibling rivalry arises between dogs when there is instability in
the dominance hierarchy. That is, when the social position of each dog is
not clear or is in contention.
Dogs usually establish their dominance
hierarchies through a series of ritualized
behaviors that include body postures
and vocalizations. This ranking is
based on the behavior and view of
the dogs, not what ranking you prefer.
You cannot choose which dog you want
to be alpha. Dogs will establish
this among themselves, and any attempt
to interfere may result in increased
Prevent sibling rivalry -
permit your dogs rules.
You need to respect
and support whatever "dominance hierarchy " your dogs establish for
- Alpha dogs
must be allowed to take toys away
from subordinate dogs, to push in
to receive attention from the owner,
to control favorite sleeping places,
food, and other valuable resources.
Support the alpha dogs status
by allowing this to occur.
- Do not undermine
their hierarchy by attempting to
treat the dogs equally and democratic,
or by preventing the alpha dog from asserting his position.
- Do not stop
the expressing of signals and ritualized
behaviors that establish dominance,
like snarling, growling or snapping.
For us humans it looks and sounds
worse than it is. They only do it
to impress the other dog, to get
- Do not protect
the subordinate dog, because he
is younger or smaller.
- Always, without
exception, the alpha dog gets
the preferential treatment. He gets
his food first, you pet him first,
he goes into the car first, with
him, you play first, and he is groomed
- Never, attempt
to break up a fight between dogs.
These rules are
valid not only in your house, but
also in the park, at the beach, at
the vet. Whenever two dogs approach,
open the leash let them sniff each
other, and try not to hinder their
puppy socialization or temperament tendencies
some dogs may escalate into serious
aggression. If you have to break
up such a fight, do so by squirting
them with a hose. Alternatively,
throw a blanket over the heads of
both dogs to confuse them.