One of the rules of canine learning is that you cannot make people or dogs like each other. Concerning dog on dog aggression both dogs are threatening each other and it has become personal and unless you take control of both dogs there is very little hope.
One of the main goals when working with this type of aggression is to avoid the situations initially which are creating the problems hence crating is essential.
You need to scramble your dogs world so nothing seems familiar you need to stop the patterns that activate the aggressive behaviors. You have to avoid any situations that create the aggression. Trigger points and how your dogs react to them are the key problems. You need to take away the trigger points and introduce them back together gradually over a period of time. This is where a crate would be essential. Your goal is to become the pack leader.
1: Crate when you cannot supervise your dogs (2 hours in the crate, 20 minutes out) your dogs are to be observed separately. Note: Your dogs are to be taken out separately and worked separately. When positioning the crates put some space between the crates but the dogs should be able to view each other. Over a two week period you should be able to move the crates closer till they are next to each other.
2: People are not to be challenged, played with, made to be friends or try to be the leader of your dogs that position is reserved for the dog owners.
3: Leadership does not come from punishment is comes from your attitude, your presence and your energy towards your dogs. Your dogs need to know that you are taking control that you are in charge and that you are going to deal with any situations unless you tell the dog or dogs differently.
4: Keep talking to a minimal the only time you should talk is to give commands.
5: Praise will be minimal, quietly and given only when a special behavior has been seen.
6: NO shouting or smacking or jerking when your dog is triggered. Steady “pressured” attitude from your body, a verbal warning and take your dog away from the trigger which may just be going towards the crate of the other dog.
7: Feed in the crate and place water outside. Put in crate the prepared food and than feed do not stand, watch, praise, or pet. Leave your dogs to feed 15 to 20 minutes than remove the bowl even if there is food remaining. After you remove the bowl you can store the remaining dry food than clean the bowl and put it away till next use.
8: No toys, treats or food are to be in sight or available except at feed times in the crate.
9: On a daily basis you should have structured obedience, walks and structured play. If you work your dog just before feeding please make sure your dog cools down in their crate for 20 minutes before feeding. If you want to work your dog after they eat make sure your dog has digested their food for 20 to 30 minutes.
10: No wrestling or tug games. No petting your dog if they ask for it. If your dogs are quiet and laying down – leave them alone- let them rest in their crates.
11: Do not be tempted to train or walk or have in the same common area till their crates have been together for two weeks. At first you are going to have your dogs on leash each with a handler. You will be working with distance in between the dogs than throughout the weeks you will slowly close in the gap. Do not rush this exercise take your time.
12: When visitors come put your dogs in separate rooms or crate. Visitors are not to talk to your dogs, make eye contact, pet them, or have any interaction.
13: Work on you becoming the “force” of control.
14: If your dogs look tense at all when crated or are barking at the other dogs throw a tennis ball or sneaker at the crate do not let them see you doing this. Do not pick up the item immediately and do not challenge them personally.
15: If your dog demands attention or bump you for attention turn into them or turn away and do not pet them.
16: When your dogs are relaxed you can call them to you and give them a gentle stroke on the shoulder area and then ignore them. Do not get carried away with petting.
17: If your dog leans on you while you are sitting or lies across your feet move your legs away.
Obedience, control and confident leadership are the keys without physical aggression from you. Separate, take control and over a period of 30 days begin to bring them together slowly and gradually as they accept each other. Do not rush anything or you may set back training take your time. Final note, have the dogs vet give him or her a thorough physical sometimes an illness can cause aggressive behaviors.