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Old February 6th, 2010, 01:52 PM
e1oi5e123 e1oi5e123 is offline
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7month puppy caused serious attack

hi—our puppy, a 7 month old rhodesian/pit mix, 45 lbs. was just in a terrible fight with our neighbor’s dog and bit one of the owners fairly badly. the other owner (understandably) almost killed my puppy—they have small children. normally my dog and the neighbor’s dogs are the best of friends. the other dogs are twin 1 yr old golden doodles. but lately our dog has turned more aggressive. she began biting the other dogs maybe a month ago, and we correct it when we see it (loud, stern NO, and separate/remove her). this is another level and my husband and I are scared to the point of possibly putting our puppy down. the guilt over the attack is almost unbearable. The puppy isn’t aggressive toward us or other humans. She is aggressive mostly when the other dogs want our attention and love (and we love these other dogs, we’ve known them and had them in our home since they were puppies themselves). All 3 dogs go back and forth all day between our two homes, and perhaps this has caused some confusion about who belongs where. Our pup is almost never alone (I work from home). I don’t know what do do. we love this puppy insanely. and our neighbors love her too. we are all very sad, and think it’s probably genetic. the attack was unprovoked as far as they could tell. they also told me our puppy has been stealing their dogs’ food. she’s always wanted to dominate the other 2 dogs, from day 1 @ 8 weeks, but now she's become super-alpha and we need help. I want to stress that this isn't just "puppy nipping"--she had her jaws clamped on the other dog's throat, and punctured the other dog's skin. The owner's were both bitten and bleeding, the wife needs possible stitches.

Last edited by e1oi5e123; February 6th, 2010 at 02:00 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old February 6th, 2010, 02:13 PM
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It's hard to read aggression unless you're right there when it happens, so I hate to venture an opinion over the internet. I know how very heart-wrenching it can be when behavior like this surfaces, though.

My suggestion is that you find a good behaviorist in your area who can evaluate your pup and her interactions with the group and give you an assessment as to what's happening and how best to correct it. The sooner you can do this, the better, of course. Meanwhile, it's probably best to keep the dogs separated as much as possible. It might also be a good idea to keep a spray bottle (plant misters work well) of a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water handy. It's not a fail-safe, but if you see dangerous body language, a quick spray in the face may divert your pup off her intended target. It stings the nose and eyes but causes no permanent damage.

But for sure see if you can find a behaviorist to do an assessment and work with you. And I wish you all the best!
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Old February 6th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Wow. A Rhodesian and a Pit--both strong willed breeds needing a lot of direction and socialization from infancy--combined in a dog that has not had enough of either. You do have a very large problem.

Has this dog been spayed? If not, please do so for everyone's sake. Have you taken her to puppy classes or obedience training? You and she both need them before she gets any older.

I would begin using NILF training immediately. [nothing in life is free] Restrictions as to what and when she eats, where and when she plays, and lots of controlled exercise, not "free play" is needed to give this girl the security she requires to not feel she needs to take matters into her own paws. At this point, her hormones are bringing her into young adulthood, and she is trying to control the other dogs in her environment. If she is free to go to the neighbors, she doesn't have enough structure. Most importantly, get a local trainer to help.

Have some pics to share? She sounds like a good looking girl!
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Old February 6th, 2010, 03:46 PM
e1oi5e123 e1oi5e123 is offline
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yes, she's been spayed.(previous post was deleted..?) Thanks for the replies, and yes, I think Bay needs more structure, and some delineation between "her" house and "theirs". it all seemed so idyllic---all 3 running free in the jungle, all friends--but something is obviously wrong NOW. it's so strange because 80% of the time she loves both dogs, and she's not aggressive with any other dogs (though she doesn't see many others, we're pretty remote). There's only one dog trainer on-island, i can only hope that she's good.... Bay is really smart and still young so I hope we can get this behaviour changed. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...&id=1344075231
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1344075231

Last edited by e1oi5e123; February 6th, 2010 at 04:22 PM. Reason: missing post
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Old February 6th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleRR View Post
to give this girl the security she requires to not feel she needs to take matters into her own paws.
I completely agree.

e1oi5e123 , don't give up on your girl just yet , she may only need training
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Old February 7th, 2010, 09:16 AM
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e1oi5e123,

Out of curiousity, did the people get bit separating the two dogs? Or did your dog have another incident?
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Old February 7th, 2010, 10:32 AM
e1oi5e123 e1oi5e123 is offline
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yes, they got bitten trying to unlock Bay's jaws from their dog's throat.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 11:28 AM
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The second link worked--she is just as I envisioned her--a beauty! I am sure you can turn her around--just more structure and exercise can make a very big difference. I hope your local trainer is good--keep us posted.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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Separating a dog in an altercation with another dog is completely different biting scenario.
Although biting is never fun, humans have to be prepared and careful to separate dogs in a scuffle, or they will get bit. I know it is hard, but try to forgive your puppy and yourself for the humans getting bitten here.

I completely agree with the NILF training.
For context, I have a bulldog who is part of our family who is dominant and quite aggressive with other dogs- so this is part of my reality too.
He has to be highly supervised around other dogs. I watch his body language and there are many indicators that will tell me he is going to be a dominant jerk. I watch carefully and intervene when necessary. Sometimes he just does not get to participate in certain situations because he is not being responsive enough to our training.
We have had him 6 months and he has come soooo far, but he is constantly working on his obedience- which is about posture, and communication with other animals.

I completely agree with getting him into training, and additionally, I would keep him on umbilical cord with you for the next little while. Don't be too hard on yourself though, many dog owners have these same challenges and it does not mean you have a bad dog or that you will have to get rid of him.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 02:26 PM
e1oi5e123 e1oi5e123 is offline
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will keep you all posted--the trainer thinks we have an excellent chance of turning our girl around because she's so young (and our neighbors are willing to train their dogs too). All of yoru replies have been so kind and I thank you much
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Old February 7th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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Yep getting between dogs more than likely results in getting bit. Quincy and Missie (2 dogs under 15 pounds) went at it over a treat yesterday. I mean kill time, I separated them and as a result got bit by Quincy. Yes he drew blood, and was really submissive to me after he realized he bit his Mom. Did I get mad, of course not. Sometimes this happens. Get your baby to a trainer and I wish you all the best.
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Old February 7th, 2010, 08:21 PM
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Kudos to you for willing to work with your puppy. I would strongly recommend you find someone who has solid experience with this sort of aggression. By the sounds of it, if she bit and held on to the other dog by the throat, she meant serious business. I also want to mention something I feel is very important. Please don't ever leave her unsupervised and off-leash around the other dogs at this point...and never, ever around children. Some dogs do not view children as adult humans...one of ours would treat them the way he would unruly puppies...so please, please be careful.
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