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dog aggression

March 6th, 2009, 07:46 AM
Hi guys been awhile as we're dealing with an aggression problem here. Long story short our youngest is a puppymill rescue who spent his first 6mths locked in a cage. We have no idea how old he was when taken from his mom, or anything before we took him.

Our Bishop is becoming more and more aggressive with our other two and will attack just out of the blue, he will share his toys 9 out of 10 times, but wow the 10th time. He will attack if one dog is getting up, or getting down,or even thinking about it. He has been aggressive with me in the past actually biting me twice. Of late his favorite target is our 110lb golden who is fed up and has started attacking back (drawing blood twice). If anyone has any ideas how to deal with this that we haven't already tried please feel free to share them. I don't like seeing my golden become aggressive and i really don't like seeing Bishop attack or get hurt. We're now to the point this isn't going to end well if
we can't stop or atleast correct the behavior.

March 6th, 2009, 07:53 AM
Wow, Aslan, so sorry to hear that it is escalating...can't imagine what is going through Bishop's mind. I know you have been on top of this from the get go. Maybe just a combination of Bishop's age, Quincy's "in tact" and guarding. If there are no toys involved are the three good together?

Maybe just limit toys when others are around :shrug: Hobo was like that with ME and toys...I just constantly took it away, made him wait and gave it back when I was you think you can train Qunic to do that???? :D

Seriously, I hope someone has some suggestions for you as it is not pleasant living with that aggressive energy. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

March 6th, 2009, 07:59 AM
lol, somehow i knew you were gonna be the first to respond. Unfortunately it's not something so easy to pin down. An example... grace was sitting at the desk, Bishop laying under the desk.. Bailey went to jump up into grace's lap and bish attacked mid air. I can take toys away from bishop, stick my hand in his food no problem. The dogs a large amount of time will eat out of the same bowl. just suddenly crazy dog appears. And yup it's not creating for a calm environment. Last nights attack Bishop was tethered to me at the time, growl growl, thump bishop pinned by the neck to the floor. Grace is going to keep them seperated anytime she can't give her full attention while i'm over there with you guys.

March 6th, 2009, 08:01 AM
oh yeah guess i should include that both Bishop and Quincy are intact. That is being changed the week i get back from Montreal. And before anyone says anything,Q was for contract reasons and Bishop was for health reasons,both are good to go now.

March 6th, 2009, 08:05 AM
I would take every last toy away if I were you.
You also need to start correcting his poor manners the moment they happen, so that Quincy doesn't have to correct him, himself. To make it easier, I would do I strict training regim for one week. You should umbilical him and during this time he gets no toys and no privledges at all. When he is not tied to you, he is crated. Food should be fed a few kernels at a time after doing OB work ('sit' - give 5 kernels....etc) It takes about 15 minutes to feed this way.....and it really gets the message across that they own nothing....not even the food they consume.

This is a serious issue, blood has been drawn, therefore a bit of tough love is IMO nessecary.

When one of my dogs start getting grumpy with eachother, I swiftly remind them EXACTLY who runs the pack. Everything is monitered and controlled by me, the get no cuddles. Nothing. It sucks, but it only takes a day or 2 for my dogs to get the hint and fall in line.

March 6th, 2009, 08:14 AM
Blackdog we've been doing 90% of what you've suggested and will keep doing it. He is immediately corrected, but a large majority of the time there is seriously no warning what so ever, he can be washing Q's eye's then snap. Thus the seperating them if 100 of our attention isn't available.

March 6th, 2009, 08:22 AM
Is it possible that it is a medical problem?
Many health problems can cause aggression.......

March 6th, 2009, 08:24 AM
other than still being intact nope, he just got 100% health cleared. So now we can have him snipped. My concern being from a mill is weather somebody in his family, knew somebody in his family if you catch my meaning.

March 6th, 2009, 08:33 AM
Aslan, I think getting rid of some of the testosterone will be a good step in the right direction anyways. They are one and two which is like two supercharged adolescents vying for position. I know...I have three brothers :laughing::laughing:

If anyone can figure this out, it is you and Grace :goodvibes::goodvibes:

March 6th, 2009, 08:38 AM
LOL, yeah my two little stud muffins...we know the testosterone is a huge part of the issue as Q man will let bailey do what ever he wants with no reaction, but psychodog gets away with nuffin.

I can't take all the credit, i've gone to LP, hazel, bendyfoot,frenchy etc for help.

Oh and hazel squirt bottles are filled, don't know how it will work on the dogs but it worked great on Grace (ooopsy)

March 6th, 2009, 08:51 AM
Hey aslan,

Once again, I am sorry to hear what you are going through ((((HUGS)))).

One question, is Grace on board with you on this? or is it you alone trying to correct this? S
he needs to also toughen up and show a strict side. I like what BlackDog suggested, I know you are already doing it, but maybe kicking it up a notch will make a difference, as well as trying to pre-meditate when he may attack. The situation with Bailey that you described, it sounds like a jealosy issue. Sparky did something similar to Max, when Max recently jumped onthe bed, he wouldn't allow him on. So guess what happened? He immediately got banished from the bedroom completely. He has not attempted to do that since. :rolleyes:
I am constantly watching him when Max is approaching, going, coming, laying down, getting up...Sparky is definitely a terrier, and as such, he has the tendency to do some damage. So I nip it, before it begins. I watch him and as soon as he makes a move, he gets a strict "Leave him". If he doesn't - he gets in trouble, but he knows I mean business. On the other hand when DH tells him - he won't bother listening. DH is not "alpha" enough for him. :shrug:

Also, alot of times, its Max that initiates the trouble, he will paw at him and Sparky is only too happy to oblige.

I hope things will work out for you, but you have to be strong and do your best and that all you can do...:fingerscr

March 6th, 2009, 08:55 AM
Grace is definately on board after the spritz in the eye lastnight. i've lifted the toy box, couple furries will be unhappy when they get up.

March 6th, 2009, 09:00 AM
I am so sorry to hear that things have not calmed down. As you can guess, I don't have any suggestions, but wanted to offer you a :grouphug: and send some :goodvibes: that things will get better after he gets the big snip!

March 6th, 2009, 04:33 PM
I'm sorry to hear you're having so much trouble aslan :grouphug:

I think getting them snipped will go a long way. Now that he's an adult I've learned that my usual submissive, happy-go-lucky Chase (who was snipped at 6 months) has SERIOUS aggression issues solely with intact males. It's amazing how much an uneutered male can alter the behaviour of an otherwise well-balanced dog. Testosterone can really be a nasty thing.

It sounds like you're doing an awesome job staying on top of this. Hope it improves after the neuters. :goodvibes:

March 6th, 2009, 04:41 PM
Many years ago, my husband and I had sleddogs, mostly siberians and sibe crosses. A friend offered us a 1 year old malamute that he was having agression issues with. We took him, he was a fine sledder but would jump on teammates and fight. So an old sled racer guy told us to muzzle 3 older dogs and the fighter and put them in a run togather to let them duke it out without anyone getting hurt. We did, it worked, and the former fighter became one of our best dogs ever.
Poor Bishop had a rough start in life, never had interaction with other dogs and probobly never learned to speak dog. I know this method sounds barbaric, but dogs are sometimes the best teachers for dogs.

March 6th, 2009, 05:15 PM
Many years ago, my husband and I had sleddogs, mostly siberians and sibe crosses. A friend offered us a 1 year old malamute that he was having agression issues with. We took him, he was a fine sledder but would jump on teammates and fight. So an old sled racer guy told us to muzzle 3 older dogs and the fighter and put them in a run togather to let them duke it out without anyone getting hurt. We did, it worked, and the former fighter became one of our best dogs ever.
Poor Bishop had a rough start in life, never had interaction with other dogs and probobly never learned to speak dog. I know this method sounds barbaric, but dogs are sometimes the best teachers for dogs.
That can help,some dogs it can take a few times of doing that depending on how aggressive they are.some will fight till their tired and rest for 5 min and start going at it again.

Bishop sounds like he is getting territorial with the toy's and when one of them gets up he thinks they are going to take his toy.

Use a halti with a dollar store leash attached to it so it can drag.when he starts to attack the other dog you can grab the leash and and correct him well closing his mouth.Also can you receive faxes.? If so i can fax you the book we hand out to our clients.It's about 21 pages long it just might help you.if your interested i can send it to you.

March 6th, 2009, 06:00 PM
wow guys great advice

aslan sending huggs & I hope it gets resolved quickly :grouphug:

March 6th, 2009, 06:55 PM
Aslan sorry your having a tough go of it with the boys! I just want to send my good wishes for them and let you know you can fix it!

You probably do this already but do you walk them together every day?. I have found that a proper walk really helped with fearful dogs and dogs that have that aggressivness. They learn to be a pack when walking and I really think this is where they learn to respect one another! Maybe you and Grace could take them out seperately and then have either one of you join in from behind and let them walk side by side..correct them a bit if they do not look ahead and ignore one another ( i think you know what I mean) and let them walk and real freedom just a brisk walk.

The neuter will be a big plus! glad to hear they are well enough now!

I would banish all the toys in the house until they learn whats good and whats not! all of them have to go through it even if you have a problem with one!

The nothing in life is free I am sure you mentioned using something like this so I would keep that up too! whats the worst that could happen they polish up on their manners.

Best of luck!


March 6th, 2009, 07:13 PM
Thanks for all the great info guys anything and everything can help. All the toys have been taken away and it's been a much better day today, Mr Bishop tried to use a tupperware bowl as a toy.

Angeldogs, i would love to see the book you're talking about but i don't have a fax and am leaving for montreal at the beginning of the week so I don't know if i'd be able to arrange to have it sent somewhere else, if so i'll get back to you. I'll pick up a halti tomorrow and give it a try.

Little leery of the locking them up together muzzled, 110lbs vs maybe 30lbs, hmmm can you say squish. I think there is hope as they are cuddling at the moment.

Keep the advice coming if we haven't covered everything.:grouphug:

March 6th, 2009, 07:24 PM
I dont have any advice but just sending good vibes and hope everything will work out :grouphug:

March 6th, 2009, 07:25 PM
Awww, Aslan I had no idea the problem with Bishop was so bad. :sad: :grouphug:

I have no other advice to add to the great info you have already received but hopefully you will see more improvement once they are both neutered. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

March 6th, 2009, 09:06 PM
We use halti's when working with aggressive when you put their head in a howling postion it closes their mouth like a muzzle.give your verbal correction then release.thats why we use them we don't want to get bit.if it happens it happens the halti is a safety net for us.A gentle leader won't close the mouth so the dog can still bite.

I will get the book/Manual to you.

March 6th, 2009, 09:11 PM
Oh and hazel squirt bottles are filled, don't know how it will work on the dogs but it worked great on Grace (ooopsy)

:laughing: Sorry, Grace :o

If they're too intent upon each other, it might not be enough to separate them, but if you can get even a pause in the action, you can pull Bish out of the fray...

March 6th, 2009, 10:07 PM
I've been trying to recall all that we went through with Gauge... It was so long ago...and there's so much more help for this sort of thing now than there was then--we had a very hard time finding someone who could give us advice (other than 'put him to sleep, he's a lawsuit waiting to happen' :frustrated:)...

At any rate, something came to mind that may or may not translate into your case with Bishop, aslan. angeldogs...your take on this would be helpful, as well.

About the time Gauge started his insanity, my mother was dying. When we went down to Milwaukee for the funeral, we boarded Gauge at the vet. We left him there with strict instructions to the kennel personnel--feed him, take him out to pee and poop, otherwise, leave him be. We did that because we weren't sure if his insanity would extend to biting other people or if it would be limited to just those of us he knew well enough to be 'comfortable' biting, if you understand that strange twist of logic. :o Anyway, the actual effect was that for 6 days he was ostracized from his Pack and had little human contact.

When we got back and picked him up, we started a tough love regime with him: no cuddling, no babytalk, no furniture privileges, no sleeping on the bed, he waited for us to go through doors first, absolutely no pleasurable thing was offered unless he worked for it.

We hated treating him like that but by gum, the combination of ostracism, then NILIF, worked to get him under control.

This brought him in line with a standard of behavior acceptable to the human part of the equation. We didn't have any other dogs then, however, so I'm not sure how this would translate to Quincy and Bishop's relationship :shrug: But I was wondering if boarding Bishop out somewhere while you're gone might help, aslan? Give Quince and Bish both a break from each other? It would certainly make it easier on Grace while you're gone...

Two factors that need to be considered, though--

1. Bishop was basically isolated for the first 6 months of his life. Boarding him in isolation might not do his psyche any good...; and

2. How do Quince and Bishop react when one has been gone for a while (be it on a ride or a walk or whatever) and then comes home? Is there posturing and grumbling or just sniffing and greeting? Reintroductions might be rough if a lot of posturing is the norm, since Quincy would likely not put up with the young upstart coming home all uppity. :o

Any thoughts on that, angeldogs? I know that in Gauge's case, his whole demeanor was changed when we got him home from boarding. Probably would have just been temporary until he regained his confidence with us, but by the time he had recovered, we'd instituted the new 'tough love' program and had regained some control...

March 6th, 2009, 10:28 PM
Angeldogs, I will contact you tomorrow, i'm exhausted at the moment and am going to crawl onto the bed or couch which ever grabs me first.

Hazel, today has been a GOOD day, no toys at all, bishop found a lonely tennis ball and i took it when he put it down. They went to grumble over Qmans bunny, poof off it went so nothing. Only had one minor growly and it was bailey getting attention while i was in the bathroom and bish tried to push him away. i stopped patting bishop told him no, and continued patting bay. A few minutes later i patted him again. alls been good since.

If the dogs are seperated they just sniff no posturing. we usually walk them together and i usually have both Q and bish with Q in the lead. And never had an issue other than Q can't walk in a straight line. If things stay calm bishop will be staying with grace who will seperate them a few times to give them a break. If it doesn't stay smooth the vet i used to work for will take bishop while i'm away and give him the run of the kennel so he's not crated. He loses it completely if you try to crate him. Forget anything else you mentioned, sorry.

March 7th, 2009, 12:17 AM
I don't have any advice just :fingerscr :goodvibes: this can be worked out quickly, but I do want to point out a couple of things so they don't get missed by someone who might have suggestions:

An example... grace was sitting at the desk, Bishop laying under the desk.. Bailey went to jump up into grace's lap and bish attacked mid air.

I know you've mentioned this before - Bishop's guarding is not just over toys it also extends to people.

He loses it completely if you try to crate him.

Bishop was from a puppy mill so crating him is not an option

March 7th, 2009, 12:53 AM
Wow, what a tough situation :sad:.

I think you already have some great advice. I agree with neutering but wouldn't expect it to be the magic answer that solves all the issues.

I would go with the tethering and also would ask how are you correcting him? I know you have been worried in the past about traumatizing him due to his past so I wonder if maybe you aren't being very "firm" ?

I also agree with a halti. I use it with Lucy on walks with Riley because she is a tad "bitchy" and Riley feels the need to defend her when she picks an argument. The halti prevents her from even engaging so therefore he doesn't feel defensive :shrug:.

I would also remove all toys and make sure to bring them out for one-on-one play that you initiate and end.

I think a super solid "leave-it" command and also a "place" command would be extremely useful. You probably already have a leave it but just in case here is some hints but I would be sure not to limit this just to food but to use it with toys and work up to walking by each other and the dogs using the command..

The place command is one we were taught with Riley's trainer and it works very well to focus and settle him (as well as him brother Sam). Basically you determine a "place", point to the place and give the command, guide the dog to the place with a leash and then reward. The dog must stay in "place" until released but can sit, lie etc as long as it does not leave. I practice this with Riley's bed, a blanket, park benches, place-boards, logs, stumps, rocks etc. I did it with endless objects tons of times a day for the first week or so until he got solid and basically would get on almost anything. The harder the object (ie. smaller, odd shaped etc) the more he has to focus. Basically you want Bishop to learn that he has to go somewhere and stay put until released. It will help to focus and calm him down and get him out of the head space where he thinks he controls the environment.

Good luck :goodvibes: :goodvibes: :goodvibes:.

March 7th, 2009, 09:06 AM
:goodvibes: that the good days continue and you can get a handle on this quickly.

March 7th, 2009, 09:28 AM
Hmmm, never had an aggressive dog so I can't give any advice. Everyone has given you a ton though! Hopefully you can find the answer.

You said Bishop has been health checked. How about Quincy? Maybe that's why Bishop is going after him? :shrug:

March 7th, 2009, 10:13 AM
So far so good today, TeriM, lol oh believe me and definately forceful but not abusive. depending on the situation depends on how i deal with it. If i'm patting Bish and one of the others and he growels, i stop patting him and tell him no. I hold of patting him for abit or make him earn it. We did discover that Quincy is instigating too. They all had treats this morning, Quincy of course hoovered his down, then continually moved closer and closer to Bishop until he was literally ontop of him face to face, at which point Bish started to growel. Grace put her finger on Bishops nose and told him no, and i made quincy leave the room.

14+ Quincy has had a thorough going over at our breeders expense(gotta love her) just incase we had decided to use him for stud. As soon as she heard there was an aggression issue she agreed to him being snipped. He is an excellent weight for his size, hips,eyes,ears all good, blood, pee and poop are great. so when i come back from Montreal both boys will be a few ounces lighter.

Oh and while i was out screwing up my door casing measurements i picked up a halti, at the moment he's staring at me with those big sad eyes. Little does he know guilt doesn't work on me.

March 7th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Hazel the NILF training is the best thing to do for a dog when you bring it into your from pup to an adult dog.dogs need leadership from their humans and with us doing leadership exercises like you did.

Aslan is going to have to do the samething.

I don't know how to just qoute certains parts of a look at where growler has qouted Grace at the computer desk.

I agree with growler about the gaurding.and him under the desk puts him in front in a gaurding postition.and most likely Bishop gave Bailey suttle signs to back off and when Bailey didn't he attacked with aggression.

March 8th, 2009, 08:39 AM
Hi Aslan

You have got a lot of good advice. The only thing that I was going to say, was that probably all wasn't Bishops fault. The others send out messages :eek:that we don't even see. But I think you have figured that out already.

My only suggestion is to pick a few things and stick with them. Sometimes it takes quite a while to change things. Snipping will definately help, but the problem has already been established and will need to be worked on.

Our foster, Greta is just like that, you don't know what will make her go after one dog and not another. She has just started an obedience class, and had a disagreement with an airedale. The trainer told DH that it was the airedale that started everything, but of course we had thought it was Greta. Just trying to explain that things go on between dogs that we don't see.

In your situation, you said that when you go for walks Quincy is out front. That indicates to him that he is Alpha. It might be a good idea to let him walk beside you. Just a suggestion.

Good Luck and please keep us posted. Enjoy next week, don't work too hard. Don't want you to put your back out again.

March 8th, 2009, 10:31 AM
Good advice Sylvie...Your right about what some doggies sense from one another! We both know that with Greta and many others you havve shared your home with. Definately bring Quincy man back beside you and keep them all at the same length! :thumbs up

March 8th, 2009, 12:47 PM
Thanks guys for the great advice. Ummm i apparantly didn't explain the walking thing the way i meant to. Q man is beside me, bishop is usually a little behind me, like maybe a stride. Lol, i'm the big meanie, not even Grace walks infront of me. Well we're on the 3rd day of so far so good, only little bits of showing teeth and quickly and easily distracted. Bailey made it quite clear all along that neither of the other two are allowed near him if he has a treat. So now when Qman and Bish get treats Bishop must lay on the floor next to me and Q stays with Grace. If one is finished and the other isn't, neither is being allowed to get up until both are done. Bishop got to play with his tennis ball for abit this morning(tuckered him out) and Qman had his bunny. When play time was over the toys were put away. Keep your fingers crossed.

March 8th, 2009, 05:25 PM
:fingerscr:fingerscr here.