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by Dean

We have a pair of jack Russell terriers, brother and sister , 5 years old who we have raised since birth. Recently they have started to fight, not just play but as if to kill. They have wounded each other, the male almost killing the female. What has caused this? No change in any routines have occured. And what can we do? Today they attacked each other while we were present.

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Dec 09, 2013
Brother and Sister Jack fighting
by: Francis

It's hard to say what caused it but usually it has to do with competitiveness and dominance. It does sound like a very serious situation. Usually, though they seem severe, siblings usually work these things out. However, the alpha dog should be pet, walked, fed, etc. first. If you can afford to, I would bring in a behavioral pet specialist otherwise the fighting can seem very scary.
Make sure both Jacks are getting plenty of exercise to wear them out as tired dogs won't fight as much. Remove anything territorial that the dogs can fight over - likes bones or toys.

If they do fight, at the start of the fight use a startle to get the dogs attention and then under obedience take the combatants to separate places and enforce long stays, up to a half hour or more. This will teach the dogs that fighting results in long boring stays.

Feed separately at first and then use lots of obedience when you re-attempt to feed them in the same room. Use stay before releasing them to eat. Do not allow them to go to each other’s bowls. If they try, reprimand and lead them back to theirs. Keep leashes attached if necessary.

Also play with them separately. Have one "stay" while you pet the other in a different area and then switch.

If your dogs are not able to do obedience commands, maybe obedience (separate) training will help.

Good luck!

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