The conversation comes up all the time, and it’s been a topic of discussion again recently: “Should you, or should you not, have two female dogs in the same household?” We hear plenty of stories about two females that get along great together – and that’s amazing, but it’s not typical. There are countless research studies that show females have a higher rate of aggression toward other females than they do toward males, or than males have toward other males. And we have to give creed to all this information. Here are just a few snipits of this type of research:
“There is a higher incidence of aggressive behavior between dogs of the same sex. Two males or two females will often view each other as rivals, even if they appear to get along most of the time. This is a fact for every breed.”
“When two dogs of the same sex live in a household together, they are required to decide which one will be the top dog and which one will be the bottom dog. The ‘decision making’ can become nasty and even violent. The ultimate pecking order can have an undesirable effect on both of the dog’s personalities—one of the dogs can become dominant to an unhealthy degree and the other can be pushed so far into submission that it’s not good for him. In this common scenario, the top dog becomes tyrannical and the bottom dog lives a nerve-wracking life of perpetual submission. This is an unyieldingly stressful set of circumstances for the entire household.”
“Generally, I like male/female pairings in a two-dog household, then male/male pairings, with female/female pairings at the bottom of the list. That is not to say you can’t see successful duos with all of these combos, but I think most behavior consultants would agree that the worst cases of interdog aggression are usually between females, and when these dogs live in the same home, managing the situation can be a nightmare for the owners — and is tough on the dogs, too. Generally, a second dog of the opposite sex is a good idea for most families.”
“Same-sex dogs are more likely to fight. Two males (or two females) are much more likely to fight than a male and a female. This is true of every breed, not just pit bulls, because two dogs of the same sex are likely to see each other as rivals.”
“The first thing that might be surprising to most people is that female dogs are more often involved in fights than are males. [In a recent study] only 32 percent of aggressive incidents involved conflict between two males, while in the remaining 68 percent, females were active participants. This is consistent with previous research which showed that when females get into an aggressive situation, injuries are apt to be more severe and the fights tend to be longer and more furious.”
To sum up, Save-a-Bull’s position is this: dog aggression is a behavior found in every breed, but because of their breed history, pit bulls might be less tolerant of other dogs. Add to this the research showing female dogs are less tolerant of other females and it can create a recipe for disaster. As pit bull advocates and owners, it is our responsibility to understand our dogs and to put them in a position to succeed. It is because of this that we will not place a female dog into a home with another female dog.
“Let’s not blame the dogs for a trait bred into them by the evilness of man. Let’s understand them instead, so we can provide responsible ownership and give them a chance to show the world why they are so deserving of our love.”