Aww. . . you bred a litter, or you visited a litter of some super cute Aussie pups. You thought to yourself, just one? Why not two? With careful supervision, this can be a successful arrangement, but all too often I get e-mails about fighting sibs. Why would they fight?
Dogs do have a pack order. This means that ideally, you are the alpha-dog or “top dog” and your family is the beta-dog. Your actual dog should be a subordinate. When two or more dogs are reared together: they will do what is natural to them.
If your dog is naturally submissive and easy going, you’ll never see a problem, but many Aussies are not. They are fast to correct poor behavior on the part of another dog (real or perceived) and just as they can challenge their owners, they can also challenge their peers. This can lead them to duke it out. Often times a little scuffle will solve the problem, but most of the time, humans interject (and rightly so) to stop the fighting. There are ways to settle the dispute without allowing your dogs to fight.
One way is to figure out who is the most dominant dog is. This is the one that usually eats first, leads the other dog, or anything that is done first. While you may not like it, the best thing to do is favor that dog. When feeding, be sure that that dog eats first, that that dog goes through doors first, that that dog goes upstairs first and that that dog is pet first. This forced behavior on your part will make both dogs less confused and eventually you will not need to enforce the dominant dog’s dominance.
Want to avoid it all together? Look for mellow, submissive dogs to comprise your pack. Beyond that, male/female matchups are the most likely to be trouble-free.