Sometimes, it's necessary to keep two dogs separate from each other when you're not around, whether due to aggression, temperament incompatibility, or if they "encourage" each other to engage in destructive behavior they otherwise wouldn't do individually. Proper handling of the situation is key. Frequent fighting may indicate underlying behavior problems. Take your pooch to the vet for a complete exam and consultation. You vet can advise you on long-term solutions.
Tip #1 - Allow your dogs to become accustomed to daily separation by placing them in different rooms or crates for an hour or so at a time while you are at home. Let your dogs know you are still around and available if they begin to get upset.
Tip #2 - Crate both dogs or leave one loose while you crate or confine the other. If you choose to confine only one dog at a time, rotate days so each dog is allowed to remain loose at least a few times each week.
Tip #3 - Place a comfy sleeping area and sufficient food and water in the room or crate with each of your dogs. How much food and water you need depends on how long you plan to be away with your dogs confined. Make sure water bowls are in a secure location where they cannot be knocked over onto carpet or furniture.
Tip #4 - Provide stimulation for separated dogs, especially if they are used to the company of another animal. Offer durable chew toys or leave a television on to keep your pups amused.
Tip #5 - Find an alternative method of separating your dogs if you are away from home for more than a few hours at a time. It is not healthy to confine dogs for long periods of time, according to the Animal Behavior Society.
By Sandra Ketcham
BadRap: Living Peaceably in a Multi-Dog Home
Partnership for Animal Welfare: Fights Between Dogs -- How to Avoid and Stop Them
Animal Behavior Society: The Right and Wrong Way to Use a Dog Crate
NYC Doggies: How to Break Up a Dog Fight
PetFinder: Breaking Up Dog Fights in a Shelter Setting
About the Author
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."