I have 2 female shih-tzu dogs, Kiko is 1year old and is in our family first. We just brought the second shih-tzu, Niuniu back a month ago, she is 1 year 3 months, she is not officially ours yet, we are just taking care of her for the owner (who does not know if he wants Niuniu back) However, despite the difference in age, Kiko is bigger in size compared with Niuniu. Here is the problem, the both of them keeps engaging in fights, like biting each other & chasing each other, usually its Kiko who starts it first. But Niuniu occasionally starts the fight too. My mother gets very upset whenever the 2 of the dogs start fighting and Niuniu is often the one to get hurt as she is smaller in size. Kiko always gets punished (e.g. beatings, tied up to a leash causing her to be restricted to a place and locking her in a room) But the fightings still continue. What should I do? I do not want to send Niuniu away, we all have the bond with her. But the fighting never stops! Please help (:
Well, you are causing most of the problems yourself.
Let me explain. Kiko is your dog. She was the only dog in the house and now there are two. You were probably giving the new dog more attention than Kiko. This just confused them so now they are fighting for dominance. By punishing only your dog, you are giving mixed messages to both dogs that makes them think they need to fight it out.
First thing. STOP BEATING THE DOG! Violence begets violence, so knock it out! Next, if they start fighting, stop them and separate both dogs. You need to tell both of them "NO". Keep an eye on them. You can usually tell when they are going to start getting "difficult" and when you see that, stop them before they start! You need to show the dogs that you are the alpha and then they will stop fighting so much. Treating them equally should end the issues. Once they recognize that you are in charge, they will not have to fight to make themselves in charge.
And for the one person's information, female Shih Tzu are not territorial! I have 3 unaltered females and 2 unaltered males and none of them have any dominance or territorial issues. It is all in the training of the dog.