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A New Look at Interdog Household Aggression

Updated: Dec 2, 2018

Most cases of interdog household aggression involved same sex pairs and the majority of cases involved female dogs. Half of the cases required veterinary attention prior to treatment. Instigators of aggression were typically younger and the second dog in the home. Owner presence was a major trigger for fighting. A proportion of dogs in the study had risk factors (multiple owners, adopted after the sensitive period for socialization, acquired from a shelter or pet shop, orphaned, the single puppy in a litter). Many dogs had other issues with social interactions involving fear and aggression, or phobias. Owners were generally compliant. The total number of fights, frequency of fighting, and severity of fighting was significantly reduced following treatment. Effective treatment recommendations included a leadership program to create consistent interactions with the owner, mood-stabilizing medication, and creating a hierarchy between the dogs.



Dr. Kathryn Wrubel is now affiliated with Intown Veterinary Group, Inc.,

Animal Behavior Services, 247 Chickering Road, North Andover, MA 01845

Dr. Louise Maranda is now affiliated with University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Clinical Research, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655

Corresponding Author: Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman

Kathryn M. Wrubel1, PhD, Alice A. Moon-Fanelli¹, PhD, CAAB

Louise S. Maranda² MVZ, MSc, PhD, Nicholas H. Dodman¹, BVMA, DACVB

Department of Clinical Sciences¹

Department of Environmental and Population Health²

Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

200 Westborough Road

North Grafton, MA 01581

#BehaviorGeneral #Behavior #SmallAnimal #HumanAnimalBond

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