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Old December 29th, 2008, 12:19 PM
Howdy1010 Howdy1010 is offline
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Sudden Aggression to another dog - NEED HELP!

Hello there,

my parents have a dog...mixed breed (def. has some pointer in her), medium size, almost 3 years old, lively and always happy, nicest dog you could ever ask for! Well, over the holday we had a couple incidents that occured....each involving this dog and another one my family owns.

She has a older brother...smaller dog, mixed breed, 10 years old, has def. livened up since we bought the younger dog 2 years ago, also a very nice dog (although we bought him and he was abused but has totally done a 360 and is a great dog.)

Well...over the holiday break the younger dog and the other dog were playing (like they have done for over 2 years now!) And all the sudden this "playing" turned into a vicious fight. She got ahold of the olders dogs neck (she is bigger than him) and WOULD NOT let go. Growling ensued and the older dog retaliated and ended up accidently biting my Dad's hand. We finally got them seperated and they were both shaking and scared. This has never happened before...completely shocked by this! They have known eachother for over 2 years and is great with dogs. My sister has a bulldog and pug that always come over and they all play....no problems.

We seperated them...she went outside for a little....both had NO marks on them (except my Dad who got a small bite from the older one) and eventually everything was back to normal.

Well, 2 days later this happened again....I came home early one day and they were both happy to see me. While my Dad was beginning to feed them....the fighting happened again! This time it seemed alot worse....The older one (again!) had her mouth on the older dogs neck. WOULD NOT let go....we finally seperated them and the older one was very shook up and the young one was sent outside. She knew she did wrong b\c her head was down hours after the incident and just layed on her back when I came close.

We do have outside company visiting for a week or so, and our place was very crowded for the holidays (with everyone home). I am just SO confused b\c this dog is such a baby (both are) and have NEVER caused a problem ever. This has just started happening, and although there are no marks on the dogs....this is devastating to watch!

What is happening? She did go to a trainer when we first got her 2 years ago(but never went back for more)...she also doesn't seem to go on alot of walks...ever since my parents got a fence. So, I know she should ger more exercise.....But why would this suddenly be haoppening? I have some theories but would love some advice!!!

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Old January 1st, 2009, 01:55 PM
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catlover2 catlover2 is offline
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Location: GTA (Greater Toronto Area)
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Howdy, I'm surprised you haven't had one response from some of the dog "experts" on this forum. Sorry, I don't have vast experience with dog to dog aggression (much more experience with cats) Have you contacted a dog trainer or behaviourist, particularly one that deals with aggressive dogs? That's the best I can suggest.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 02:22 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,187
Wow I am also surprised that you have not a response from dog people.

Firstly this is not uncommon. Play may sometimes get out of hand - it happens with dogs of the same litter, dogs brought up together whom would normally get along.

Since there is a hiccup in the 'normal' routine with more guests than normal this can cause an imbalance within the dynamics.

But there is something that you did state which can be a reason for the disruption. If a dog is not getting the normal routine of walks and interaction with other dogs during walks then this is more than likely the main cause.

Animals must be constantly socialized and if the dog being alone within a fenced yard has taken up the norm of walks and visuals of other dogs including interacting whether just eye contact then the dog will 'loose' the proper good behaviour around even those that had visits from time to time. It boils down to excitement which leads to over excitement and intolerance from another to come to heads.

My best advice is to ensure that the dogs get daily walks in high traffic dog areas once again. This will help them interact accordingly amongst each other next time.

Since this incident has happened now twice, the next few times must be monitored accordingly. I would safely say that it is important that the next time the dogs are together alot of excercise should be done individually before they met once again. Allow the normal sniffing but do not let them 'play' together for a while and once they do they should play in a controlled situation. By controlled then I would suggest that the two masters of each dog being outside. If you know your dogs body language then you will know when and if there is a problem that may arise. This way you can intervene without it being a big deal for them.
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Old January 1st, 2009, 07:55 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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If I understand the post, these two dogs share the same home and have gotten along great for the past two years. Also get along great with other dogs. One is 3 and the other is 10.

Other than "playing," there aren't enough details to determine how the first altercation started. The second one was while food was being prepared. These 'fights' are sudden and recent.

Dogs have a way of communicating with each other using subtle body language and facial expressions...something that is often difficult for the untrained eye (meaning us humans) to pick up on. If one dog does not understand and/or doesn't respect and/or can't see or hear what's being communicated, often trouble can result.

Is the younger female the more dominant of the two? My sense is that your older dog may not be reading the body language your younger one is displaying. Perhaps he came too close to the her bowl? To your father while he was preparing their meals? Without seeing exactly what happened, it's hard to determine what's going on between the two.

One thing I do strongly suggest, is that you have your senior dog's vision and hearing checked. This may aid in determining whether or not he can read your other dog's cues and whether this may be contributing to the sudden problems between the two.

Until you find some concrete answers, please feed both dogs separately and provide constant supervision when they are together.
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." -Will Durant
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