Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Aggressive 1 year old dog

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 11:43 AM
I have no idea whats going on with my dog she use to be this sweet loving puppy but things are getting out of hand and its either list her for free and find someone that wants to spend money for professional training cause i can't afford it, or she has to be put down. Its that bad.

Pepsii story begins living as a outdoor farm puppy. I got her just before she turned 4 months old. she's a Lab, border Collie, Blue healer mix. She has always been a scared nervous dog and i can't figure why, however shes amazing at the same time. She can go for walks with out a leash, comes why called 99% of the time. She is main house broke except when scared she will pittle a bit. On leash she i right beside me a slight tap n the leash if shes pulling a bit and she will slow down a bit, she listens to commands but shes still obviously puppy dumb.

But after we crate trained her she started to get protective of it. Then she started to get protective of me, then her food, then my room. Now we have this HUGE mess and i have no idea how to fix it im desprate i've tried everything. I've moved the food from my room, however its very inconvient anywhere else in the house. She is still protective and if she sees my parent going towards my room she will run to get ahead of her growling the entire time. She does the same to everyone actually even my little 2 and a half year old niece.

Things are getting progessivly worse with this protectiveness and growling. she i kid you know will growl for no reason, and will just walk around in the kitchen growling if my mom is in there working on dinner. At night i like to sleep with my door closed and she sleeps with her crate door open but mainly sleeps in it, sometimes on the bed, though i tend to kick her off. But in the morning when my mom comes to open the door she will charge and growl and snarl at her its horrible! its getting worse and worse im afraid she is gunna attack her one of these days, heck she does it to everyone even my niece when she opens the door. She will do the sme during the day if i have the door closed, if you knock or open it she growls and charges you. Even the front door she growls and barks when someone knocks. SHE EVEN jumps the back fence and its over 4ft, we can't afford to make it higher even though she doesn't run away, just growls at people on the street. Ugh!!! This is getting way outta hand.

But on the plus side out of the bedroom she is a very sweet loving dog, she loves belly rubs and going for walks and playing with my neice, keep away with her favorite ball. I just dont understand its like she bipolar?! Is that possible in dogs? I just dont want to loose her cause other then all these problems she is really an amazing sweet dog that just wants some loving like any other one, shes great with kids when their not in my room. PLEASE someone help me i dont want to have to put her down or give her away! :'(
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=12419488&l=6f61bf08a6&id=854440610

Thank you
Mel & Pepsii

BenMax
July 27th, 2010, 11:56 AM
Hi and Welcome to the board.

Firstly, what age is your dog?

Secondly, what you are dealing with is resource issues/aggression. I am curious as to why the sleeping area and feeding area is in one location in a closed room which is yours?

How many people within your household? What is your regime with your dog (walks everyday? feeding time vary or the same? Is your dog sterilized?

NEVER EVER try to rehome a dog with these issues free on any media venue such as craigslist or kijiji. This is very dangerous for your dog if you love her as you say. This is not a solution.

Based on your answers, we will assist you or at least guide you in the right direction.

I hate to say this but 9 out of 10 times animals 'develope' issues based on improper upbringing. When they are pups, everything is cut, but as they grow it's not so cute anymore and for this reason animals are needlessly euthanized or given away to people who abuse them further.

BenMax
July 27th, 2010, 11:57 AM
OK - what the heck happened to this thread?????:shrug::shrug:

luckypenny
July 27th, 2010, 12:01 PM
I don't know where your post disappeared to, but I hope you will read this. First of all, I am so, so sorry you are going through this with your pup. Second, please do not give Pepsii away, especially if the family who is going to adopt her is unsuspecting of her issues.

Are these behaviors fairly recent or have they been building up over time? When was Pepsii last vet checked? The most important thing at this point is to make sure she has no underlying medical issues so a full check-up and blood panel (including thyroid check) is necessary. I think you would be so lucky if that is simply the case and all she would need is some meds.

If not, you and your family will have to sit down and discuss if you will all be willing to work with her issues. It's imperative you're all on the same page together and willing to give it your best effort and with utmost consistency.

Sorry for the personal question but, is your family unwilling, or unable, to afford the costs of a behavior specialist? Have you spoken to your vet yet about Pepsii's behavior?

ETA: In the meantime, for everyone's safety, please do not force a confrontation with your dog. If she guards your room, she should no longer have access to it. If she guards her food, feed her someplace safe. Her growling and lunging are very obvious warnings about what may come...respect that until you've decided how you're going to proceed. In addition, please give her plenty of exercise! A dog of her breeds needs hours of daily physical and mental stimulation.

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 12:02 PM
Hi ben... I have no idea what happened i can't even edit it... It just went poof.. i tried to had a picture and it totally just messed up... BUT as for answers..

Pepsii turned 1 in April.

The food and sleeping area is in my room due to space... there is no other place as i live in a half duplex one floor... its verys mall and the box and food dont fit anywhere else.

Theres only me and my mom with another small **** tuz but shes 9yrs old and not much of a bother i would guess. I try to go for at least three walks a week and its usually a free for all i just fill up her bowl in the morning and she eats then and then again at night but its there for her, shes a very odd eatter so thats the only reason i do that, shes not been fixed sadly she can't afford to do that at the moment and im not sure when. but i love Pepsii shes an amazing dog other then all these problems.

I dont know how things went wrong when i raised her, she did the same as when we raised out Golden retreiever years ago and he turned out amazing, Pepsii... shes just gone wacko with it.

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 12:04 PM
also Lucky Penny... We are very very unable to afford a vet... i know this is gunna sound like were terrible but she has never been to a vet :'( Im a bad bad mom to her that way but she appears soo healthy. I guess i need to work more to save up for a visit.

BenMax
July 27th, 2010, 12:09 PM
Phew - I thought you left. Glad you stuck around.

LuckyPenny is very well versed in this area and can provide you with some insight.

What I notice is that she is not getting adequate exercise or mental stimulation which the breeds within her would dictate. She needs a routine or a way to release the energy that she has. There are plenty of ways to educate yourself on how to correct her issues. Maybe someone here on Pets can point you in the right direction for this.

There are ways to correct the behaviours listed. SHe is not a lost cause. At 1 year of age, she can learn what is acceptable or what is not.

Floppy Dog
July 27th, 2010, 12:12 PM
Just a thought here, in your original post you mentioned that Pepsii was a lab/border collie mix. Given her age and breed, is it possible she's starting to display the herding and guarding instincts of the breed? Could some play/work which focuses on this instinct plus behaviour modification training work? You might also check out your local library for a book called "Canine Body Language" by Brenda Aloff, there are several chapters of well illustrated discussion guarding and herding behaviours and how to cope with them.

luckypenny
July 27th, 2010, 12:12 PM
PrincessPepsii, the very first thing you're going to have to consider, is your entire family on board with addressing her issues?

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 12:13 PM
Oh im not going anywhere until this is resolved and excuse my horrible spelling im rushing cause im babysitting two toddlers and im exhausted running on 6 hours of sleep.

Guess by the sounds of it she needs out more. I guess when i go to the barn that should help get her out and about as well as more walks, we do have a large backyard that she does run around in, shes very good with playing by herself since the older dog isn't interested in anything but sun bathing.

BenMax
July 27th, 2010, 12:13 PM
Just a thought here, in your original post you mentioned that Pepsii was a lab/border collie mix. Given her age and breed, is it possible she's starting to display the herding and guarding instincts of the breed? Could some play/work which focuses on this instinct plus behaviour modification training work? You might also check out your local library for a book called "Canine Body Language" by Brenda Aloff, there are several chapters of well illustrated discussion guarding and herding behaviours and how to cope with them.

I think there was cattle dog in there as well Floppy Dog. Great observation and advice by the way.:thumbs up I totally missed that.

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 12:15 PM
Oh and luckypenny... Yes its more my moms idea of getting rid of her then mine. I wanna keep her but we are defiantly wanting to make things work, shes more timid of pepsii because she s the main focus of her growling and charging problem but im sure i can reassure her through things

luckypenny
July 27th, 2010, 12:17 PM
You might also check out your local library for a book called "Canine Body Language" by Brenda Aloff, there are several chapters of well illustrated discussion guarding and herding behaviours and how to cope with them.

Excellent reference! She also wrote, Aggression in Dogs, Practical Management, Prevention, & Behavior Modification. A must read for anyone dealing with aggressive dogs.

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 12:20 PM
Sounds like a good idea to start with ill look into these books asap. any advice in the mean time on how to scold the growling when it accures?

luckypenny
July 27th, 2010, 12:29 PM
Pepsii also needs much more structured exercise in addition to off-leash running and playing.

Oh and luckypenny... Yes its more my moms idea of getting rid of her then mine. I wanna keep her but we are defiantly wanting to make things work, shes more timid of pepsii because she s the main focus of her growling and charging problem but im sure i can reassure her through things

Unfortunately, I understand your mother's position all too well. Pepsii can read/sense your mother's fear (her timidness is completely understandable so please don't dismiss it). It's why it's so important everyone sits down and agrees to working on Pepsii's rehabilitation.

So, #1. Family meeting.

2. Keep everyone safe and don't put Pepsii in an environment where she will guard or react aggressively.

3. Find funds for a vet appointment (some vets will allow for a monthly payment plan, you have to call around, or better yet, ask to meet directly with owners of veterinary clinics).

4. Ideally, you should meet with a behavior specialist who can come to your home and assess the situation properly. On-line, we can't see exactly what going on unfortunately. You're going to need someone who has extensive experience with aggression issues...I can help you find someone in your area. Until then, get a hand on the books previously mentioned...your mother especially will need to read them as well.

5. Hours of exercise daily, both structured and off-leash to help burn off some of Pepsii's energy and to teach her new boundaries. Everyone in the family has to participate.

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Thank you so so much everyone!!! Ill defiantly keep you posted and let my parent read this whe she gets home. I was desprate and really getting to the point where i just didn't know what to do. Im glad found this forum site thank you so so much :D:grouphug:

luckypenny
July 27th, 2010, 12:34 PM
any advice in the mean time on how to scold the growling when it accures?

PLEASE DON'T!!

That would be forcing a confrontation and will, I promise you, make the situation all the worse.

Write a list of all the situations she's reactive in. We can go from there.

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 12:46 PM
ok

Shes super protective over her box(crate), food, and my bedroom. She will growl at anyone that comes in. If my door is closed heck she growls if someone walks by it, knocks on it or opens it. Thats when she charges growls and snarls at my mom in the morning, and its hard cause i dont like sleeping with my door open at night. She will growl for no reason, i've seen her just laying watching my mom work in the kitchen and she just growls, she will just walk around and growl its rather stupid. As i menton in the post but it went poof.... Is it possible for a dog to be bipolar cause she is soo sweet and then she does all that... its crazy. She also growls and barks when someone knocks at the front door. She jumps the fence and its 4ft plus. My nighbors have pitbulls and they have growling barking fits, a fence keeping them apart i swear keeps them from kissing each other. We try to only let them out when the pitbulls arnt out.... does this help?

luckypenny
July 27th, 2010, 01:14 PM
Shes super protective over her box(crate)

You have to get it out of your bedroom. She should not have free access to it unless you need her in there so keep the door shut when she's outside of it, or when she's inside of it.

food

No more free-feeding and not in your room. Once in the am and once in the pm. Important: Everyone (other than children at this point, keep them safely away) should have the opportunity to ask her for something ie, sit, down, etc before her bowl is placed on the floor. Take turns dropping/tossing morsels of food near or in her bowl (other than her kibble eg, pieces of cheese, ham, hot dogs, etc.). Only do it once or twice per meal to begin. If after 3 minutes, she doesn't finish her meal, call her out of the area (good time to take her for a pee break) and have someone else remove the bowl. You mentioned she's reactive when your mother prepares meals...she should be crated at these times out of view and not allowed to intimidate your mom.

and my bedroom.

Again, no access to your bedroom, ever at this point. If she's super well exercised, she should be able to settle in her crate (door closed) in another area.

She will growl at anyone that comes in.

Place her crate away from the main entrance and have her in there if anyone comes to the door. You can cover the crate with a light sheet and ignore her completely. She should not be taken out until she is perfectly calm and you know it's safe to do so.

If my door is closed heck she growls if someone walks by it, knocks on it or opens it. Thats when she charges growls and snarls at my mom in the morning, and its hard cause i dont like sleeping with my door open at night.

Why it's so important she no longer has access to your room. She can't be given an opportunity to behave this way.

She will growl for no reason, i've seen her just laying watching my mom work in the kitchen and she just growls, she will just walk around and growl its rather stupid..

She is growling for a reason. In these types of circumstances, she is very purposefully intimidating your mother. Again, do not give her opportunity to do so.

Is it possible for a dog to be bipolar cause she is soo sweet and then she does all that... its crazy.

She has learned that her behavior gets her what she wants, when she wants (you can compare it to a spoiled child having a tantrum). What's important now is that she be taught alternative, safe behaviors. It will take time though, please don't expect miracles overnight. In fact, she may very well get worse before she gets better...it's why I keep repeating to avoid confrontation. You have to plan in advance what you're going to do to address this.

She jumps the fence and its 4ft plus. My nighbors have pitbulls and they have growling barking fits, a fence keeping them apart i swear keeps them from kissing each other. We try to only let them out when the pitbulls arnt out....

She should not be let out unsupervised if she can jump the fence. Not letting her out while the neighbors dogs are out is a good idea at this point.

PrincessPepsii
July 27th, 2010, 09:01 PM
my parent and me have gone over everything and are talkng it out. I also forgot to mention that she will growl when my name is being called. Thats rather odd no?

luckypenny
July 27th, 2010, 09:36 PM
No, it's not odd. Your name does not have the same meaning to Pepsii as it does to you. It's a sound to her...a sound that she must be negatively associating if she growls when she hears it. Some questions to consider: Is your name yelled out while you're on the other side of the house? When your name is called, what tone is used? Does your name sound like a word used when someone is upset with Pepsii? Are you in your room when you're called?

Dogs learn by association. Something=something. It's all cause and effect. She doesn't understand that her behavior is inappropriate because it's getting her what she wants. It's simply who and what dogs are. It's your job to safely teach her that her unwanted actions no longer work. The safest way to accomplish this is by teaching her alternate, acceptable behavior. The least safest way with a dog that shows aggression is with punishment. You can't treat aggression with aggression, it will only make it worse.

For example, she barks/growls when she wants food. She's ignored. She learns that barking/growling doesn't work (you must be careful though as some behaviors can worsen before they extinguish). You teach her to sit nicely and wait a minute before offering her food. She learns the alternate behavior that sitting/waiting = food. Am I explaining this easy enough?

Luvmypitgirls
August 8th, 2010, 10:30 PM
Ok please don't take this the wrong way, but if she can't afford a vet, how can she afford a behavorist?

Goldfields
August 9th, 2010, 05:52 AM
LP, I can see the cattle dog traits in this dog. They sense fear and act on it. For instance, standing relaxed at ringside at a show with my blue girl, a guy comes down to see the lovely cattle dog he spotted from the car park. Loves the breed but admits he is scared of other people's cattle dogs - wise man. LOL. Anyway, he asked if he could pat her, and honestly, she was not an aggressive dog and had never misbehaved with anyone else, but anyway, I kept watching the ring and said "Sure, she's fine". Next I hear her teeth snap together, the devil, so she certainly knew he was wary. Nothing in my tone of voice or body language to make her suspicious of the guy. We became good friends but you know, every time he visited, she'd set him up.
Your advice is excellent, I only wanted to say that tone of voice is very important with this breed. If someone sounded angry with me when they yelled at me, this breed could see it as threatening, and if I sound exasperated or angry when replying, my dog would be wanting to back me up. You have to be very firm and consistent when you train them and not allow them to get away with anything. They must understand that you are pack leader. I've enjoyed reading your advice, you'd make a good cattle dog owner. LOL.
PrincessPepsii, my old cattle dog, 14 years old now, would still want to guard me if I let him say get up on the bed while I was lying in it. They are bred to guard, but they are also one person dogs, so if you are in that prone position, vulnerable in the dog's opinion, well my bloke would even tell my husband not to come close. It's just not on though, it's dangerous and you must do everything you can to stop it so your poor mum doesn't feel threatened. Pay good attention to what LP tells you.