Ok, first off I know I should get professional help and I want to do so but I have just moved house, my job went from full time to only 19 hours a week and my partner's work is practically non-existent at the moment. So, we are going to probably end up asking a friend for some help to get professional help for our dogs but wanted to put the situation out there here to see if anyone had this problem before and what you did.
The situation is this, we have two rescue dogs. Have had one for nearly 5 years and the other for 4 1/2. We got Sway first, she's a Pointer X, we think. We've also been told she may be Hungarian Viszla cross. About six months after we got her we got Tilly, a Bull Arab cross. They got along great, never fought, would play rough but never viciously and never hurt each other.
Since we've moved they have attacked each other 4 times and this last time I got bitten because I was trying to break it up. Thankfully the bite wasn't too bad and didn't break the skin much and after I got bit they stopped fighting immediately. I was stupid to try and step in between them but wasn't really thinking straight and wanted to stop them from hurting each other. Now in these four times they have done this in the last 3 weeks they haven't actually hurt each other that I have ever discovered. Though Sway does have a scratch above her left eye that I have no idea how it got there so maybe it was from Tilly in one of their fights. But there has been no serious injury thankfully.
Anyway, I have no idea why they are doing this. To me it seems to be random but I know there must be a reason in their minds. Last night I think it happened because my partner was yelling out to me to come to where she was and Tilly was barking (she doesn't like yelling) and my partner was telling her to stop barking but she wouldn't and when I walked in the room I saw Sway go up to Tilly and was walking in front of her trying to push Tilly away from my partner - that's when Tilly attacked her and Sway attacked back. However in other instances we haven't been yelling. One time they were just in the living room with us, walked by each other and started attacking. I have no idea why this is happening with them. It happened twice before in the old place we lived at, but it hasn't happened in quite some time so I thought whatever the issue was had sorted itself out but now it seems to be back worse than ever.
After the fights they will still sometimes look at each other warily and stay away from each other but after 15 min or so they are back to being friendly. They will lay next to each other, or play with each other. Last night they slept with each other like always. Not cuddled up but in the same bed.
One last thing, they never seem to fight when we are not here. They are left together in the house for sometimes up to 8 hours at a time and I have never come back to any problems and I would think if they are fighting and we are not here that they would end up fighting each other until real injury was caused as the fights are quite vicious. At least they look it.
My only thought is that there is a dog in the house at the back of us and they bark and carrying on it and jump up on the fence (they can't jump over) and the other dog barks and carries on at them so I wondered if this could be redirected aggression but they have attacked each other, like last night, when they hadn't seen or heard the other dog for half the day or more. So not sure it could be anything like that.
Anyway, any advice would be appreciated. Especially about how I can stop an attack before it starts if I see one coming and also how to stop the fight if it does happen again in a safe way for myself and the dogs. Thanks for reading this long post!