Younger Dog Attacking Older Dog?

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In this post, we will look at some of the main reasons why a younger dog might attack an older dog.

younger dog attacking older dog

Table of Contents

Reasons Why a Young Dog May Attack a Senior Dog

Here are some of the common reasons that can cause this type of canine aggression:

One of the Two Dogs is Sick or Injured

If either dog is sick or injured, this can limit how it can interact with the other dog. This can cause issues, which may lead to aggression.

Issues Around Food or Resources

The young dog might be jealous of the food, toys, space the older dog has. Dogs are like humans. They get jealous sometimes, and this can cause bad behavior.

Jealousy (With Other Dogs or Humans)

Similar to the previous point but this time over interactions with other animals or people. Some dogs really do not like it when another dog gets the attention.

The Onset of Dementia in the Older of the Two Dogs

Like humans, dogs can lose their mental faculties as they age. This can leave them confused or zoning out sometimes. The younger dog may not understand this and will be confused by the older dog’s behavior.

Clash of Personalities

Just like with people, some dogs really do not get on!

(Some more posts from the Pupster Passion Team you might like to read are this one about teeth chattering in dogs and this one about training an older dog obedience (yes you can train an old dog new tricks).

How to Stop A Younger Dog Attacking An Older One

So, now you have some possible reasons why your younger dog keeps attacking the older one.

What can you do about it to try and stop the aggression and fighting?

You Need to be the Boss

As with all discipline problems with one or more pet dogs, you need to assert and maintain your position as the boss of the pack.

This means that you use consistent firm discipline with bad behavior and reward good behavior.

Your dogs should absolutely know that you are in charge, and they need to do what they are told.

Give Them Separate Areas

If possible, give them separate areas for their food and water bowls, dog beds, toys, etc.

This is especially important if you have to leave them alone, in which case they should always be separated.

Tire Out the Younger Dog

Tired dogs make less trouble. So if you run the legs off the young dog, it is much less likely to attack the older dog and much more likely to go for a sleep in its dog bed.

Reward Good Behavior

Whenever you see the two dogs getting on and playing well together, reward both of them but, in particular, the younger dog. This will reinforce better behavior patterns.

We hope this helps you to keep the peace between young and old in your home!

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