Same age dogs grown up in same house and get along have sudden fights

My friend moved in with her boyfriend and his kids years ago. She got a puppy akita and her step-daughter got a puppy westie. The dogs are the same age (now both 3) and both female, and they grew up together, very playful. But over the past year/recent months, the two dogs can be fine and then suddenly fight. Because the akita is now much bigger the teenage kids blame the step mom (my friend) and her dog, but the akita is so calm and quiet.
I'm thinking maybe there is no clear leader in the house, as father babies his kids and lets them do what they want, (teenage girl having westie on her lap letting it eat from her plate during meals).
Although there is also a negative/stressful/angry environment as the step kids no longer like the step mom.

Could it be the conflict between the people living there? The lack of clear leader? Needing one dog to be dominant? The westie can be quite nervous/anxious, could the akita be trying to stop that?

Asked by Member 1140055 on Nov 10th 2012 in Other Behavior & Training
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Akitas are slow to mature and without careful, proper upbringing can develop dog-aggression. As well, both dogs are female. The akita is just now becoming an adult. Please consult a vetinary behaviorist, not a trainer, who can come in & see what is going on. They will develop a specific plan for the family.
Until they do..NEVER leave the dogs unspervised together. There is a very REAL danger of death.
The akita should be getting a minimum of at least a solid hour of exercise..2 is better. The westie needs at least 45 minutes. Training for both dogs is needed. The Westie needs to go back to being a dog..not a "baby." Are they spayed? If not, do it now.
Aggression issues need to dealt with hands on with professional help. Internet advice will be varied and vague. Without seeing the dogs, no one can offer any valid advice.
Any *pack, *energy, or *leadership stuff ala "famous tv dog rehabilitator" should be filed under "G" for Garbage.

Member 904338 answered on 11/10/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Charlie Brown Cocoa Puffs

pack leadership isn't garbage. it actually works. this comes from experience not tv. i'm not saying what you see from a tv behaviorist is right or wrong. i watched his show the other day for the first time. its ok i guess but its tv. take it for what it is. however, besides the plethra of issues going on there not having a pack leader is a huge one. the human/handler (aka person who spoils the crap outta their dogs because their so cute and cuddly and then wonders why they have issues later)need to learn to be the pack leader(not another dog) take some obedience classes. the Akita is a northern breed. very powerfull. westies can be relentless. the potential for real damage and death r there. you (the humans) need to get a handle on yourselves. the dogs aren't to blame here. the humans involved are.

Charlie Brown Cocoa Puffs answered on 11/22/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer