I have a very large "pack" in my house, with four humans and three dogs. Two are miniature schnauzers and one is a boxer. One of the little ones is the oldest and has always been the alpha. The youngest (the boxer) has been beta, and the smallest schnauzer has always been the most submissive of the pack order. They all understand that all humans (even strangers) are above them in the pack order. Lately though, there have been a number of fights between my boxer and the alpha --probably more than twenty. The boxer and the smallest have fought once (although the boxer continually threatens her and the smallest goes out of her way to avoid the boxer now; poor baby), but there has never been a fight between the alpha and the smallest. It usually takes two humans to pull the dogs apart (because they need to be pulled apart; it's not just one dog being attacked --both are attacking). Last night was really bad, and I have a deep cut on my hand that looks like it might scar. My knee is still torn up from a fight last March; I think it should heal if I dont cause any more damage to it. My questions to you are: 1) What is the cause of these fights? I have my suspicions (read on), but if you've been in a similar situation, I'd love to hear from a veteran. 2) What can I do to prevent future fights? xx My suspicions for the causes of the fight are: 1) The alpha is getting quite old. She is eleven years old (schnauzers live from approximately 12 to 16 years) has congenital heart failure. She is on five different medicines to be taken twice daily and is having problems with her vision now. I am wondering if the beta, my boxer, is challenging her for the alpha position. But that wouldnt explain the incident between the boxer and the smallest...? 2) The boxer may have an internal problem. We have talked to the vet about the problem, and he prescribed her Xanax, which made the fights less frequent but didnt stop them, and we cant afford to keep her on Xanax indefinitely, especially when it is not working all that well. He says that it's a dominance issue and that it will be worked out eventually, but what are we supposed to do? Let them bite and claw at each other (and sustain serious injuries; like I said, I myself am probably going to have a few battle scars) until they work it out? I only wonder if maybe she has a problem because our boxer is epilleptic. Could that have anything to do with the fights? I only suggest this because she seems to be the constant in these fights. She is involved in every single fight. 3) It could be a food-possessive problem. I am noticing that food is sometimes involved in the fights. They have broken out around "dinner" time for the dogs (never in the morning) and as a precaution they now eat in separate rooms. Yesterday, pizza was ordered and people were eating in the family room where the food was lower to the ground. I personally didnt think that the food was anywhere near either dog, but could that have sparked the fight? If it is a food possessive problem, I am not sure which dog would be the aggresive one in this situation. The boxer has always been laid-back with her food around humans, while the alpha is much more aggressive... xx Our dogs are well-loved and someone is always home to take care of them. I am home often now that it is summer, and my mom works from home three days a week. My grandfather is retired and lives with us too. We dont take them for walks as often as we should (generally dogs should be walked once daily, sometimes twice daily depending on the breed), but they get plenty of daily exercise. Like I said, we have spoken to our vet and he doesnt seem to be concerned. But I am. The alpha is very sick and frail and I fear that our large boxer could leave permanent damage if I dont act fast enough, and the fights are scary enough that I know in the future, I will never own more than one dog at a time. Advice?