2dogs fighting for dominance


Basic Member
Hi. We adopted a male Golden Retriever one year ago. We then adopted a male German Shepherd in February of this year. They both turned one in September of this year. Most of the time they play with no problems. Sometimes it looks a little rough, but no fighting. I noticed that my Golden Retriever will snarl and growl at the German Shepherd sometimes and then they will jump on each other and fight. There is usually no blood (only once when the Golden's foot pad was bleeding)just terrible growling and thrashing. I think they are competing for top dog. My daughter's 3 year old black Lab mix also lives with us. He is top dog and the other two respect that. I do not know how to stop the younger dogs from fighting. Help!


Staff member
Hello, Welcome to DR forums. Let me start by suggesting that you seek out a qualified professional to observe the dogs in their environment. We often suggest this when bites and or fights are involved.

Was the paw injury to the Golden caused by a bite? I would also suggest separating the dogs until we can figure out what is going on etc known triggers.

Are any toys, food or humans involved when you are observing the aggression? Any triggers that you can think off? Etc proximity...

I would separate the dogs in question and only have 100% managed supervision when they are together. This will involve having separate sections in the home gated off and maybe crates if needed. Teaching them alone time will also help. Alone time is when a dog can be separated from other dogs and humans while be calm and relaxed.

I would also suggest if not already doing basic obedience to advanced. This always helps build confidence and relationships.

I’ll stop here for now because so many things go into a situation like this, hence the suggestion to seek out a qualified pro :)

I would also add some links to articles that I think will help in this thread.

Feel free to ask questions...