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Dog turns suddenly vicious, wwyd? Update post#74

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  • #21
    My male JRT started doing that when he was 13. He went after both of my female dogs and we would watch him, he'd go from 0 to 100 in a second. no warnings, no triggers. We found out he had kidney failure. He had to be put to sleep. I would guess it is a health related issue.

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    • #22
      I had a dog who suddenly turned mean, attacking another younger dog in the house that he'd always gotten along with. It happened a few times, minor skirmishes, but then WW III broke out, lasted 20 minutes, started outside the house, ended up inside upstairs, with the older dog then coming after me. He was put down the next day. The vets and I agreed that he had most likely had a stroke because of other behavior changes. Currently my old dog (who had been that younger dog!) is picking fights with my female. The older one might be getting senile, he's old for his breed.

      Canine Rage Syndrome is another possibility. It's scary as hell to have a dog with that suddenly turn on you. A friend's dog with it came after me, barely missed my face. We had to convince her afterwards that the dog had to be put down --- had it bitten me, or anyone else, she would no longer own her house, car, truck, trailer, horses ... and she had a daughter to consider.

      Comment


      • #23
        My dogs will occasionally get grouchy with each other and fight, sometimes with no warning that I noticed. And they go right back to fighting if I allow them back together too soon. The Shar-pei females (gone for years now) were the worst about this. They were totally honest with people, so I wasn't concerned. Females in general are worse about fighting in my experience.

        Anyway, I'd be concerned about this behavior if it's come on suddenly and is becoming more frequent, especially with children around. I'm not a Boxer fan either, because I've known too many that aren't tempermentally stable. (Please no flames from Boxer folks- that's just my experience, I know there's good ones out there.)

        If it were my dog, and the vet couldn't find a fixable reason for the behavior, I'd probably have to make the decision to euth., for the protection of the other critters and especially your children.

        Comment


        • #24
          I had a friend who kept 2 brothers together. They were always fighting.

          I have a brother and sister, mixed breed, some kind of northern dog plus whatever, and I've been very lucky. Yes, they were more bonded to each other than to me, but they're each pretty bonded to me now, but I have pretty good dog skills.

          I used to have 2 females that I got a decent time apart from each other. All of a sudden one day, out of the blue, one of them tore the other to shreds and the other one reciprocated pretty badly. I thought some wild animal had gotten into my yard and torn them both up. I took them to the vet to be cleaned and stitched and he asked if I were SURE they didn't do it to each other. I couldn't believe it until I caught them fighting - still with their stitches in. Funny thing was, when they were in separate cages at the vets, they would cry and cry when one of them was taked out for a walk and the other left in a cage, and vice versa when the other was taken out. They'd be fine for a day or 2 and off the the dog fights again. I had to keep them separate for the rest of their lives. NOT fun!!
          Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
          Now apparently completely invisible!

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          • #25
            I have two brothers. They were raised together and apart (I owned one and was gone at college, home for the summer and christmas) Ive never had problems. Maybe I socialized them correctly. We got one at 8 weeks, and the other at 4 months. And then they were together for about 6 months before I went back to school.

            My dog, Woody, is definitely the dominant dog of our little pack. When I was living back at my parents after college, we had a very old black lab. He was 15 at the time. (He was just put down last year at 16)
            When he started to get weaker and senile, Woody would turn on him when there was food involved, or when the two of them were in cramped quarters (walking through a door at the same time) Woody has no past history of food aggression at all. But we think that in their little pack, that Woody was trying to eliminate another mouth to feed by taking out the weakest link.

            Perhaps this is something you are experiencing. I would defininately check the attacker dog first, because she went for the whippet and her sibling, not just the older one.

            Comment


            • #26
              Some dogs (northern breeds, bully breeds, and terriers) can just one day at maturity (often about 5ish) no longer tolerate another dog. But this is as likely to happen if they are raised together for years, or from puppyhood.

              I have a friend who comes to stay for the summer. She has two cockers. This summer my female JRT (who happens to be 5..) has decided she wants to eat the female cocker. Not all the time, but she has ZERO tolerance for any flak from the cocker so we don't let them out together.

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              • #27
                I just wanted to second the idea that there may be some sort of physical problem with either dog. The dogs can sense it. My 7 year old Ridgeback and 5 year old German Shepherd had always gotten along well, we raised both since puppies. They started having skirmishes about the same time that the Ridgie started to drop weight, it took a couple of vet visits to get a diagnosis of Lymphoma. The GSD knew that the Ridgie was sick & didn't like it one bit, and the Ridgie was aggressively on his guard because he wasn't feeling well. It remained that way until we had to put the RR down due to the Lymphoma
                "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

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                • #28
                  I guess I'm lucky. My 4 year old male min pin brothers who have been raised together, get along fine. Knock on wood...

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                  • #29
                    We have two 7 year old Chesapeake Bay Retrievers from the same littler. They definitely have a love-hate relationship. They will play together for hours, and then fight. Fortunately the one lives with my daughter most of the time. Also, their fights, while loud, have never lead to any physical injury. There is a lot of snarling and a lot of saliva. Then, they run off to play with each other. I would not get two littermates again, although the two of them are really exceptionally nice dogs.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Aven View Post
                      Please please please do not follow this advice. Even the American Society of Veterinary Behaviourists are publicly speaking out against his methods

                      Bullying a dog might make the problem go away, but likely it will show back up again like any other bandaid solution. Even if it works why would you want to bully your dog when there are more effective and less harmful methods?
                      Have you read his books or are you just repeating what others have told you?

                      There's no bullying in his books. And I don't know how he could be setting back dog training as he admits all throughout the book he is doing no dog training - and he isn't.

                      All he does is

                      1 - teach owners to approach their dogs from a "calm-assertive" viewpoint
                      2 - make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise, preferably on a leash walking by your side or behind you
                      3 - don't anthropomorhpise your dog

                      What the bejesus is wrong with that? In fact, his in depth discussions of how to learn how to be "Calm & assertive" have helped improve my relationship with my horses, and even other people!

                      Mind I've never watched the show, so I can't comment. But the books are great. Maybe you need to actually read the books before you condemn them, not just repeat what others are saying about them.

                      At any rate, OP, it makes sense to arm yourself with all the information you can gather to help this dog and your family "pack"! No one source likely has the answer for you, but no reason to rule out any possible approach that could help. Good luck!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Some here explains the controversy about the techniques espoused by some, Cesar Milan one of them:

                        http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/ne...e_more_harm_t/

                        ---"Who Uses Punishment-Based Techniques?
                        "This study highlights the risk of dominance-based training, which has been made popular by television programs, books, and other punishment-based training advocates," says Herron.

                        For instance, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan – the popular National Geographic Channel television series – routinely demonstrates alpha rolls, dominance downs and forced exposure, and has depicted Millan restraining dogs or performing physical corrections in order to take valued possessions away from them.

                        And like their previous bestselling books, Divine Canine by the Monks of New Skete focuses on correcting bad behaviors using choke chain and pinch collar corrections rather than proven non-aversive techniques.

                        These sources attribute undesirable or aggressive behavior in dogs to the dogs striving to gain social dominance or to a lack of dominance displayed by the owner. Advocates of this theory therefore suggest owners establish an "alpha" or pack-leader role.

                        But veterinary behaviorists, Ph.D. behaviorists and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) – through its position statement on The Use of Dominance Theory in Animal Behavior Modification – attribute undesirable behaviors to inadvertent rewarding of undesirable behaviors and lack of consistent rewarding of desirable behaviors.

                        Herron stresses, "Studies on canine aggression in the last decade have shown that canine aggression and other behavior problems are not a result of dominant behavior or the lack of the owner's 'alpha' status, but rather a result of fear (self-defense) or underlying anxiety problems. Aversive techniques can elicit an aggressive response in dogs because they can increase the fear and arousal in the dog, especially in those that are already defensive."

                        Owners Often Fail to See the Connection"---

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by shakeytails View Post
                          I'm not a Boxer fan either, because I've known too many that aren't tempermentally stable. (Please no flames from Boxer folks- that's just my experience, I know there's good ones out there.)
                          Could you elaborate on this? Maybe PM me if you have time?
                          It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            I thank you all for the links and info. That is exactly what I was hoping to find. I've got a lot of reading to do and to think about. The vet appointment is tomorrow so we'll see what they say.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I'm glad I didn't know!

                              I'm glad I didn't know about the not raising puppies together thing until now. I have litter mate females that I adopted together and raised together. Although it's been wonderful, I wouldn't do it again just because it was very difficult to get them focused on me instead of each other. Of course, they lived in four places before I got them at 4 months (breeder, shelter, 1st responder from Aussie rescue, Aussie rescue foster home) so that could have been part of it. Anyway, I took them both through two levels of obedience training. They were in back to back classes. I'd do one class with the other in a crate and then reverse it. They are 10 now and fabulous dogs!

                              OP: I know that if mine started fighting I would need to be checking for a physical issue. Good luck and let us know what you find out!
                              Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe

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                              • #35
                                Good luck with your appointment. IF your vet can definitively rule out a physical issue, I would consult a behaviorist, not cesar milan.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Aven... how do you feel about the Nothing In Life is Free method of training?? or do you just deal with little dogs?
                                  I agree with Arcadien. I have been using the same principles with my dogs since before ceasar was ever on TV. Be calm. Own your surroundings, and be a leader.

                                  You want to TRAIN a dog use reward based training... you want to LIVE with a dog, Be a calm assertive leader.

                                  for all the naysayers about negative reinforcement methods, how do you teach a 80 lbs adult lab that you jsut got from a humane soc. NOT to jump up on you, your family, or children in a quick effcient and effecive manner?

                                  just curious. With the understanding that it is very different starting a puppy from 8 weeks up to rehabbing adn retraining a full grown adult large breed dog. (I'm leaving small and medium size dogs out of the discussion as I have no interest or expereince with them and to take that a step further I won't even begin to get into bully breeds or other protective assertive dogs like Arcadiens COs... (BTW.. where are the pics of Beou all grown up??? )

                                  OP. I would suspect a medical cause for the agression. Until you find out what's wrong I would keep the female separated from the pack.
                                  If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by jnel View Post
                                    Saint Bernard/Lab/boxer mixes and weigh over 100lbs

                                    attacked my smaller whippet mix female.

                                    attacked her brother and ripped up his ear.

                                    she wouldn't let go. I ended up slamming her into the kitchen cabinets and jamming my knee into her ribs to get her to release the other dog

                                    She wasn't hurt and didn't care about me, my commands to back off or anything

                                    Yesterday Cassie went for the whippet mix again and tore up her ear... There was no warning Cassie just attacked. Again Cassie wouldn't listen

                                    attacks are so fast and she is so strong and they've escalated in intensity

                                    I'm also concerned that she'll turn on me or my kids
                                    You asked WWYD? I would put this dog in a kennel and get it to the vet ASAP and leave it there until they find something or put it down. An unpredictable 100 pound dog that attacks without provocation is a loaded gun.

                                    Keep your children, your other pets, and yourself safe.

                                    Something to think about: If your vet does find something like a sore hip, and you start treating her for pain, do you honestly, in your heart of hearts, ever think you can trust her?

                                    I couldn't.

                                    This is not a good scenario, and I hope you can find a solution. But if this were my dog, and even though it would hurt like hell, I would put her down. I would never be able to trust her, and I wouldn't take the risk of rehoming her.

                                    Good luck. Hope you find an answer.
                                    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Catersun View Post
                                      Aven... how do you feel about the Nothing In Life is Free method of training?? or do you just deal with little dogs?
                                      I agree with Arcadien. I have been using the same principles with my dogs since before ceasar was ever on TV. Be calm. Own your surroundings, and be a leader.
                                      I do love NILIF. You can do that quite well with out supressing your dog, teaching it to redirect etc. In fact it is very popular with behavorists.

                                      Originally posted by Catersun View Post
                                      You want to TRAIN a dog use reward based training... you want to LIVE with a dog, Be a calm assertive leader.
                                      Calm and assertive is all great and fine, one handling animals should always be calm and controlled. How ever strangling a dog till it passes out on tv has NOTHING to do with making a dog livable, even if you are calm and assertive while you do it. (or freak a dog to the point its foaming at the mouth, turns and bites the owner.. all things you can see on his show)


                                      Originally posted by Catersun View Post
                                      for all the naysayers about negative reinforcement methods, how do you teach a 80 lbs adult lab that you jsut got from a humane soc. NOT to jump up on you, your family, or children in a quick effcient and effecive manner?
                                      Simple. I do it all the time. First off don't give the dog total freedom to do as it pleases for the first few days. Spend 10 minutes teaching it how to great people. Would you teach a needy child not to do flying hugs by scaring it or worse by making death threats (ie alpha rolling)

                                      And its not just negative reinforcement. I don't really use it with my dogs (and I compete with them in agility, obedience, rally, dock dogs and do movies) but I do use it with horses. I am ok with people who know what they are doing using negative reinforcement. Its that fact that Milan isn't even doing that right lol. Dogs are NOT wolves, and even wolves don't behave the way he claims. He is a charismatic man who really has no training, no certification, no actual titles..

                                      Who would listen to a horse trainer that had never taken lessons, never shown and who every time something didn't work said "well you didn't follow my program then" Watch the show with the sound off. When you can't hear his anthropomorphic prattle you will see scared dogs, panicked dogs, and dogs who are acting abused. Studies have shown that dogs (other animals too) cannot learn effectively, in some cases not at all under conditions much less stressful than that.


                                      Originally posted by Catersun View Post
                                      just curious. With the understanding that it is very different starting a puppy from 8 weeks up to rehabbing adn retraining a full grown adult large breed dog. (I'm leaving small and medium size dogs out of the discussion as I have no interest or expereince with them and to take that a step further I won't even begin to get into bully breeds or other protective assertive dogs like Arcadiens COs... (BTW.. where are the pics of Beou all grown up??? )
                                      Small dogs and large dogs learn the same. THere are some breed differences ie a CO is nothing like a Saint for example and are NOT for joe average. Same with breeds like Filas..

                                      And for the record its a lot easier to work with a full grown dog with full attentions spans. I love puppies but give me an adult everytime. This is why I love rescue. I am too busy now, but for a while I was getting the dogs who had serious bite histories etc. I have been there. Interestingly enough the ones that come in with bite histories are the ones who come from Milan loving homes. They try intimidating the dog repeatedly and suppressing with out fixing. Finally the dog has enough and savages someones arm or leg (thank goodness they are JRTs)

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Op, I feel for you. You are in between a rock and a hard place. I do not envy you. We have had to rehome a dog because of Dog on Dog aggression. The Border Collie and the Pit Bull wouldn't back down from each other. We rehomed the BC. He is very happy being a retired single dog with an active man. Female PB is still dominantly playful with our Alpha, Jake. Jake is 10+ years old. PB is very hard headed....she is perfect on a leash. She is perfect wearing remote collar. Without collar, she ignores me. Hard headed dogs!!!!

                                        All of ours are together inside when we are home. The dogs are separated when we leave. Too much damage can be done too easily without supervision. We do put the PB and Jake outside together. No problems then. It is only when going out the front door and on walks. Can't find out why....doesn't matter. We have it under control now.

                                        I did find out by treating BC and PB as separate packs, we had a terrible problem. They would make faces through doors and crates. It was stressful for us and the BC and PB to keep them in the same hourse/yard on rotating schedules. It was easier and better for all to rehome the BC. Either dog is perfect by themselves or with our other dogs....those two didn't get along.

                                        We are not afraid of our PB, neither are our other dogs. We keep a close eye on her in situations that trigger her odd behaviour. She hasn't EVER turned on us. We have had her since a puppy. She is just insistent upon playing too rough. If it were to the point of severe blood shed, on routine basis, as was the case with our BC, we would have her evaluated by the vet. If no problems were found, we would try rehoming or euthanize her depending on what the experts said. I just know that cohabitating packs is a difficult and dangerous situation.

                                        Good Luck. I don't envy your situation.
                                        Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                                        Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Arcadien View Post
                                          Have you read his books or are you just repeating what others have told you?

                                          There's no bullying in his books. And I don't know how he could be setting back dog training as he admits all throughout the book he is doing no dog training - and he isn't.

                                          All he does is

                                          1 - teach owners to approach their dogs from a "calm-assertive" viewpoint
                                          2 - make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise, preferably on a leash walking by your side or behind you
                                          3 - don't anthropomorhpise your dog

                                          What the bejesus is wrong with that? In fact, his in depth discussions of how to learn how to be "Calm & assertive" have helped improve my relationship with my horses, and even other people!

                                          Mind I've never watched the show, so I can't comment. But the books are great. Maybe you need to actually read the books before you condemn them, not just repeat what others are saying about them.
                                          \
                                          I have only watched the show. He anthropomorphizes the crap out of them. He chokes dogs till they pass out and their tongues are blue. He lets fights break out (very easily seen coming if you have ANY dog knowledge) has no way to break it up and then offers to trade the dog with the owners, after he blames them.. He forces a scared dane onto slick flooring till it foams at the mouth in panic. I have seen dogs redirect and bite owners when they get too panicky with this stranger attacking them.

                                          What he does is make the dog to scared to express itself. So instead of making the dog better and overcoming its fear, he just makes the dog more afraid of the humans. His success rates are not that high, this is why they don't do follow ups.. but any time they fail, its always the people's fault. Not that you can see that putting a bandaid on a serious wound might hide the problem, but isnt' a miracle cure.

                                          You want to do the dominant crap with your dog, fine. But you can do it without bullying or hurting the dog. But one of the biggest issues with the idea of dominance is that it pits you against the dog at the basic level. I am a leader. I don't care who goes through the door first as long as if I say stay, they do. I don't care if they hop up on the couch as long as they got off with a cue.

                                          Dogs aren't even pack animals.... They a social, yes, but left to their own devices no pack animals. (read coppinger and the studies on the pariah dogs) So being a pack leader assumes your dog is stupid enough to think you are a dog and that you think your dog is a pack animal.

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