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Old February 20th, 2014, 10:02 PM
hypnoticarmpit hypnoticarmpit is offline
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Exclamation Is my dog sick or just bad behaved?

Hi, I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

We've had a German shepherd named Chester for around 8 years now and he's ten. Up until recently he was one of the best behaved dogs in the world; he was a big softy who had never tried to hurt anything. He's always accepted my stepfather as his pack leader and has always done what he was told. A month ago we got a new puppy who's very playful and Chester doesn't like it, which is understandable as he's getting old. Whenever the puppy tries to play he growls and bears his teeth bit his behaviour is steadily getting worse. He is growling at my sister"s cats as they try to eat from their own food bowls, he's barging his way into my sister's bedroom in the middle of night and now he is growling my sister and her boyfriend.

And then today! Last week we took in a two year old boxer named Alfie as he was about to be put down. At first Chester was growling and bearing his teeth but after a couple of hours he was fine and was even playing with him. Alfie is extremely timid and submissive to Chester. Today Alfie walked to the kitchen to get a drink from his own water,bowl and Chester locked on to his neck, dragged him halfway across the kitchen and tried to rip his throat out. My boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend all tried to break up the fight but it took my boyfriend hitting Chester with a sweeping brush to make him let go. He bit alfie hard enough to draw blood and alfie wouldn't even fight back; he went to the toilet all over the floor in fright. Chester has never done anything like this before! He has been around new dogs his whole life as we used to be a foster home for rescued dogs and he has never acted like this!

Also, my sister brought him to go to the toilet the other night and said that Chester was whimpering as he urinated and she thought she seen drops of blood in his urine. Could this be related to his behaviour? (he is being taken to vet for this on Monday btw). Does Chester have a neurological problem, is he sick, or just badly behaved?! Please help, thank you!
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Old February 21st, 2014, 12:10 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Location: California, usa
Posts: 855
I would do a couple of things.

First, bringing in dogs when you have senior in the house can present its own problems. I would consult a trainer that uses positive reinforcement to help with this transition.

Senior pets can hurt, and can have issues that we don't know about. Joints get achy, etc. Thyroids can run low. I would have a thyroid panel run (be sure the free T4 is included), and, ideally, I would have some xrays run to check on joints. If he isn't on a good joint supplement, I would certainly be starting one at this age. Sounds like you definitely want to have a urinalysis run too, to check for an infection.

When a stable dog starts exhibiting this type of behaviour, the first thing I definitely look for is a medical issue. Good luck!
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Old February 21st, 2014, 07:09 AM
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marko marko is offline
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I agree with a vet visit for sure! and would love to hear the feedback the vet has when you relay this story. I wonder if the poor dooger may be losing some cognitive function.
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Old February 21st, 2014, 09:24 AM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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I am going to along with marko , as I was thinking the same thing . My last never growled at me until he got cancer. Finlay was lying on the couch and out of the no where he looked at me with a glaze in his eyes and started to growl at me as if he did not know me. I think the OP should bring the their dog to the vet for check up. He could also have an infection that causing to act this way. The fact the dog is acting strange around the stepdad is a red flag to me. If the guy is nothing do anything difference to the dog this could sign the dog needs help.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 10:06 AM
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Dog Dancer Dog Dancer is offline
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Any updates on Chester. I hope the vet was able to find something that would explain the behaviour. If not then Chester definitely needs to be segregated from the other dogs.
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aggression, behaviour problems, dominance, german shepherd

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