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I recently had two war dogs chained up next to each other, guarding the entrance of my fortress. Suddenly I noticed blood and body parts covering the hallway and, checking the reports, it turned out the war dogs had somehow turned on each other, one managing to kill the other.

I've never experienced this before - I was under the impressions dogs were automatically "domestic" and can't revert to a wild state. If that's the case, what triggered this fight? A bug or a feature?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Crowded animals will fight, perhaps that was the reason, though I don't know what constitutes being crowded and the behavior isn't well documented - the best i could find is a sentence in this DF wiki article.

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Interesting - they were chained either side of a 3 tile wide corridor. I'm not sure if that counts as crowded, but its good to know –  Landric Feb 20 '13 at 21:26
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I think being crowded for animals is occupying a square with another animal in it. If that's the case, putting one of the restraints 3 tiles down the corridor from the other one should avoid such deaths without significantly lowering detection rate. –  kotekzot Feb 20 '13 at 21:35
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Even better, you should be able to chain them on either side of a 4-tile wide corridor and still have perfect detection of thieves and snatchers. –  Paul Z Feb 21 '13 at 3:37

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