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Probably nobody knows the answer but why would two female dogs suddenly start fighting?
They have lived together since the younger was a puppy so like five years. They are both fixed and it sounds like vicious dog snarls and barks but I don't think they bite eachother just snap. it only happens around my brother so could it be territorial? I can't seem to figure it out I don't see a cause and they act civil right afterwards.
Most fights are either territory disputes or one dog trying to gain superiority over the other. They will likely work it out between them. This is the way that animals settle their disputes. I try not to step in unless it grows vicious and I'm worried one or both might get hurt. My dogs get along 98% of the time, but when the meeker one decides to assert herself, the alpha dog (also a female) puts her back in her place. They are then fine for months. If they don't stop, let me know, because there are some things you can do if it gets severe.
I don't have the answers to your question, I just want to warn you to watch them very closely and see if the fighting escalates over time. My friend's two female dogs started fighting here and there. It eventually escalated into heated dog fights that would usually occur when no one was home to witness or intervene. The dogs eventually injured each other so severly that they both had to be put down. These were otherwise friendly family pets. I don't want to scare you, I just want to warn of of the worst-case scenario. And I'm not talking about quick little barks and snaps, I'm talking about a full-on fights that had to be broken up by spraying them forcefully with a water hose. So hopefully you are just experiencing quick little snarls, growls, and snaps that are warnings, not full-on fighting and biting.
I deal with this issue with my clients quite often. Same-sex fights are very common. There can be many triggers that set off dog fights, and sometimes the only way to tell what the triggers are is through direct observation. There are many possibilities. Since you mention this happens when your brother arrives, it could be they are very likely competing over who gets to greet him first. Also, if they are both very excited, this state of arousal may put them up for ''discussions''. Is one dog much older the other? At times, a younger dog senses the older one is getting older and frail and may attempt to assume a more assertive role.
Smart and Fun is very right: always keep a watchful eye on them. I know too many owners who have decided to let their dogs handle it and an expensive vet visit later have regretted it. Best wishes!
I have to agree 100% with LoriSoard. As a former obedience trainer I have seen this kind of behavior play out over and over. It usually is because one of the dogs wants to be the alpha and most likely it is the younger dog that is starting the fighting as a challenge against the older alpha female. She is either going to prove her dominance or things will quiet down for a while until she feels it is the right time again to prove it. There isn't much you can do at this time but to let them work it out. I am not saying let them hurt each other but if it is just some small scraps I would keep an eye on them but not get too involved. They will determine who is going to be the dominant one. It is just like a wolf pack in the wild.
Even with femaile dogs this isn't horribly uncommon. Dogs can be territorial around people. I had a female german shepherd who was unfailingly loyal to me, but she was also a shameless flirt with men. My parents have a dog that is the same way. I can very easily see if you have two females vying for the attention of one person - especially male - territorial natures can come out. Just keep an eye on them to make sure it doesn't escalate too far. Dog spats aren't too big a deal, it's when they escalate and get their adrenaline flowing that it can get serious.
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