DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I just moved in together about three months ago with each of our dogs. We have brought our dogs together for playdates before, and they were always playful. Since we have moved in, and they are together all the time, they are fighting and terrorizing our household. We have tried to keep them separate, but it's becoming an inconvenient task to make sure they never see or hear each other, which is quite impossible. They bark and go after each other every chance they get. My boyfriend seems to think we have to get rid of one of the dogs, but how do we begin to even make that decision? I know I do not want to give away my dog and I couldn't expect him to either. Where do we go from here? -- Feuding Dogs
DEAR FEUDING DOGS: I recommend that you two invest in a dog trainer who can take your dogs for a period of time and help them to get acclimated to each other. Trainers can often teach dogs how to behave in a way that can be challenging for owners. The trainer can also come to your home and work with the dogs there to see if you can reach peace in the household.
As far as letting one of your dogs go, that is virtually an impossible decision, certainly not one that I can make for you. If you end up believing that your household cannot survive both dogs together, you may need to find homes for both of them and start over again. Obviously, that would require very carefully finding the right home for each, so that they can prosper. Consider that a last resort.