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Sporadically Aggressive Dog

This is a discussion on Sporadically Aggressive Dog within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Put her in a dog cage while all the other dogs are in your bed. Feed her last after you and all your other dogs ...

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Old 10-04-2017, 09:54 PM
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Put her in a dog cage while all the other dogs are in your bed. Feed her last after you and all your other dogs and leash her a lot. You will be controlling everything. I would suggest only you doing it since you girlfriend has no problems with her. You and her do need to stand together though. You two are pack leaders. :-) It might sound like a lot and maybe even harsh but I've seen this work. You will also have more enjoyment with her as she won't be attacking you all the time. She will learn that she isn't up high in ranking anymore. :-) Good Luck just make sure to tell everyone how she progresses in whichever way you choose :-):-)
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:56 AM
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Arrow Can't say.

Originally Posted by xingster View Post

i used to make Harley (my Boxer) sit or lie down when he sees another dog... but he's starting to do this crawl toward other dogs that looks like the stalking photo lol.

He only does it to big fuzzy dogs - Labs or German Shepherds.
I thought it's cuz he wants to play, but I try to distract him with treats, so he doesn't stalk.
It's hard to say how he's feeling without a photo, or better yet, a video of the action wth his whole body in frame.

Does he look worried? - if there a frown-line above his eyes, in the center of his forehead?

BTW, that's the 1st time i've heard either Labs or GSDs described as "fuzzy", LOL. Long-haired GSDs, sure - but not the standard-length coat.

Has he met any GSDs or Labs in person? / Does he play with any dogs of those breeds?
If he does, i'd say he's --> PROBABLY <-- looking to make new friends.
If he knows no Labs nor GSDs, then he might be curious & wants to investigate them, or worried & uncertain about them - no way to tell, from here.

- terry

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Old 10-05-2017, 03:42 PM
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Arrow Dealing with RG & aggro in a dog 15X the size of the Chi

Originally Posted by Lexzl View Post

...my GF owns a dog she [adopted] from the Humane Society - [his adoption] papers state he's a Lab mix (...maybe mixed with Whippet or Dalmatian).

He has a history of aggression toward men but I've been in the picture for a year now.

We all sleep on the bed, sometimes he'll even snuggle & beg to be petted. However he's had some moments of crazy disproportional aggression.

We got another dog as a puppy, & he jumped on her; i broke up the fight, and was bitten in the process. Nothing i held against him.
Another fight ...soon after that, same results; then, nothing for a long time. They get along really well, & love to play.

[During] walks he gets aggressive toward other dogs passing by, about 75% of the time.

He'll also get snippy around food. One day [both dogs] got out & i grabbed him by the harness and he bit me really bad.

All of this we've been able to justify as maybe a bad past, or food aggro, or just surprised and reactionary.

However, very recently, he's been more inexplicably aggressive.
My GF & I were eating, & he lashed out at the other dog, gashing her lip. Maybe more food aggression, thinking she was trying to get our food[?]
Am i counting correctly?
- first dog: Lab-X, M, adopted from Hum Soc; Hx of aggro toward men; shows some RG around food.
- 2nd dog: Female - unknown breed / mix, size, current age; arrived as "a puppy", unk how old on arrival.
- 3rd dog: Chi, recent arrival, also F; no other facts given.

Originally Posted by Lexzl View Post

We added a new member to the family, a small Chihuahua. All lying on the bed peacefully, Chihuahua asleep, he crawls up to her without warning [&] bites at her.
Fortunately us yelling & pulling her away prevented any damage, but we are at a loss.

This whole time we've been accepting of his personality flaws but this was unacceptable.
How can we fix this? We don't want to get rid of him.
Assuming he's about 60# & she's about 4#, the Lab-X is approx 15X the size of the Chihuahua; that's a 2# person vs a 300# person, so the disparity in strength & size is incredible. this is all 'bout keeping the Chi safe, & monitoring all interactions - they CANNOT be together, unsupervised, as in "ever".

"yelling & PULLING HER AWAY" is actually more likely to injure the smaller dog severely.
Yanking on her WHILE another dog has teeth in her, is very likely to rip a huge hole in her skin, not from the dog's bite, but from being PULLED like a tug-toy between opposing forces.
I wouldn't do that again - it's unlikely U will be so lucky, twice.
If he didn't injure her, he didn't intend to injure her - there's no other explanation; dogs know to the fraction of an ounce how much bite-pressure they exert, & how the thing they are biting is reacting at every moment [is it punctured like a ripe fruit, is it just being carried, is it being peeled?...]

Dogs can pick-up a day-old chick & carry it whole & unharmed in their mouths;
I had to rescue a newborn chick from a client's fetch-crazy Lab, when I saw him slinking around with an odd expression; the baby was hidden entirely in his closed mouth. The chick was squatting on his tongue, & emerged damp, but perfectly fine; s/he scampered to the hen, as soon as i set her / him down.

Dogs can pick-up their newborn pups to move them, & the pup is not even bruised, let alone punctured.

How much does the Lab-X weigh?
How much does dog #2 weigh, & what breed / mix is she?

If she's less than 1/2 his size / wt, i would separate them when U are not at home - completely separate spaces.

Similarly, if the Chi weighs less than half what dog #2 does, again, completely-separate spaces when no humans are there to supervise.
If that means 3 shipping-crates of 3 different sizes in one room when the grown-ups are at work, then I'd do that. // "Small dogs in crates & big dog out free" is Not Good; he can use the crates as toys, push them around, roll them over, or simply scare the occupants by looming over them, even tho he does nothing whatever.
If the little ones are crated & he's NOT, then he's kept in an entirely separate room with a solid door between them that's securely latched.

Also, if all 3 dogs are present under my eye, AND I LEAVE THE ROOM, the Chi goes with me - always; even to the toilet to pee, to the kitchen to check on dinner, to the door when a visitor arrives / pkg is delivered, if i stand up to answer the land-line, always, always, always.
NO EXCEPTIONS - she's too easily killable, even by accident.

Personally, i'd have the Chi on the bed, & the other 2 dogs off the bed -
on the sofa, i'd have a human between each dog, or if only 1 human is present, Lab-X on the floor on HIS OWN bed, & the smaller dogs on each side of that human -
not side-by-side, but the human serves as a barrier as well as a monitor.

I'd carry the Lab-X own bed upstairs or to the bedroom at night, & reward him for being in it; at random intervals, toss a high-value, high-protein, small-sized tidbit to him, just for being calm on his bed.

B/c of the resource-guarding & size disparities, i'd have ALL 3 DOGS in their crates for each meal, & nobody comes out until the last dog to finish eating, has done so.
That way, no dog can pester another, stand beside their crate & intimidate them as they eat, beg, _______ .
I also wouldn't have the crates side-by-side; at least 18-inches between crates, preferably more.

I'd find a humane trainer with credentials who has experience with aggression in adult dogs;
If U post the area where U live, or a nearby city, someone on the Forum may have a person they can recommend.

Please don't hire anyone who spouts Dawg-Wrassler jargon, or talks about pack leaders, dominance, or otherwise portrays dogs as adversaries that we must conquer.
If U wonder about someone, post a link to their website & we can look for clues to their training style, what tools they use, etc.

- terry

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Old 10-05-2017, 06:24 PM
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Talking TECHNICAL STUFF: don't read this, if U don't want to geek out.

subordinate AKA submissive signals sort into two general categories:
active submission (appeasement), with increased activity & lowered posture,
& passive submission (deference), with decreased activity & lower body posture.
The dog offering a submissive behavior either wants attn from the Other individual, or would like the attn that s/hes receiving to stop.

Active submission is also attention-seeking: nuzzling, licks (ears, lips, face), jumps up, paw lifts, pawing motions, 'smiles', teeth clacks, crouches, pretzeling, & play-bows.
The dogs ears may be pulled back, the tail may be wag in wide low sweeps or circles. These behaviors are often seen when dog greets owner, or between friendly dogs who know one another, or sociable dogs on introduction.

Passive submission usually means a drastic reduction in activity meant to divert attention; it's most-often seen when a dog feels threatened by someone in their social group (dog or human).
The dogs ears may press flat to their head, the tail may be tucked between their legs, they might freeze in place, avert their eyes, lower the head & body, sometimes they go 'belly-up', or even urinate submissively.

Between dogs, submissive behaviors usually elicit apropos responses from the other k9.
If the other dog responds with more-intense intimidation, s/he is a bully, & humans should quickly intervene. Dogs who reply to overt submission with aggro don't display normal canine behavior, & need special management so that they don't traumatize their social partners.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...
- terry

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Old 10-05-2017, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Best Dogs View Post

It sounds like you may have a dominant-aggressive dog on your hands.

I would perhaps start by not letting him sleep on the bed with you ...

Does your dog stand with its head up and ears bent forward or stare at people and other pets intently?
Does he snarl or snap when you approach him around his food?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, he may well have dominant-aggressive behaviour.

Your dog sees you as a apart of the pack, but needs to know he's at the bottom of the pack, as right now he probably thinks he is at the top.

To let your dog successfully know he is at the bottom... you need to dominate all aspects of his life, meaning, when you play with him for example with a ball, when you're finished do not let him win or have it.
When it's time to feed him, you should also avoid letting him eat until you instruct him to.

... a dog trainer would be a good idea, too.
Forget "status".
Dogs don't live in hierarchical order; if they did, every time they exited a door, the dogs in a multi-dog household would file out in the same order, time & time again; they don't.
The dog nearest to the door, exits first - it's a practical scramble, every dog for themselves. Order is nonexistent, most of the time.
[Bitches in heat scramble things - but they should be SEPARATED from other dogs of either sex, anyhow, as estrus both provokes fights between other dogs, & bitches in estrus will begin fights.]
If U have a dog who's a PITA, who guards the door to prevent others leaving or stands at the dog-flap to prevent other dogs ENTERING, that's a specific issue with that dog; it's not a universal pattern which serves as a blueprint.

Also, dominant-aggressive dog is a misuse of terms.
A dog can only be dominant TO another dog. Dominant is one side of a dyadic relationship; there's a submissive dog who's the other side of the equation. Plus, they have an ongoing relationship - they're housemates, either owned by the same persons or owned by housemates, or owned by relatives / spouses / other.

Dogs who meet at the dog-park for the 1st time as strangers are NOT 'dominant : submissive' pairs; any dominant displays are EVENTS between them.
Even if they see each other daily, they are extremely, extremely-unlikely to become a set-in-stone Dom:Sub pair.

One of the telltales of a Dom:Sub pair is that the submissive dog always displays ACTIVE SUBMISSION a-k-a APPEASEMENT when they re-encounter each other, even if it's only been 5-mins since the last meeting.

Active appeasement includes such puphood gestures as
- crouch, or even roll-over to display the belly
Often the dog crouches or rolls-over while looking away, underlining their non-threat.
- lick the dominant dog's chin, or a corner of their mouth
Pups solicit adults to urp-up food for them, using this signal.
- a forepaw lifted, often with the head lowered / eyes averted
Young pups use this to ''apologize' to their mother, & later in life, use a lifted-forepaw-with-eye-contact to elicit attn from their own human/s or to request help from friendly strangers.

Even dogs living as housemates are rarely in fixed relations; who does what at any moment is more a matter of how each dog feels, what they want right now, & what's happening around them.
It's very changeable - today Rudy gets the ball, tomorrow, Jody does, the next day, Annie gets to it first, & carries it around in triumph all morning, only setting it down to pee. *shrug*

For dogs who REALLY, REALLY CARE about certain things or classes of things, their housemates - & even complete strangers! - quickly discern their mania, & generally defer immediately.
After a brief acquaintance, dogs accurately suss out who wants what most, & they make it a default - this saves a lotta friction, & IMO, humans should do this more often.

Guarding food from other dogs is actually dog-normal behavior; it shouldn't be punished, the humans should simply make sure that no dog can take another's food, nor can any dog harass a dog who is eating. // Humans should never mess with a dog who is eating unless it is literally a life-or-death situation, & for those, a pre-trained, heavily reinforced, practiced, fluent 'DROP' is highly recommended - If U must actually physically "take" the food from the dog's mouth, ANY BITE U RECEIVE is, IMcompletely-immoderateO, deserved - 'cuz U didn't teach the dog to "drop it" on cue, B4 that emergency occurred.
Sorry, but that's what training is for - to prepare for emergencies, & avoid injuries, traumatic fallout, emotional turmoil, & unhappy associations that taint our relationships with our dogs. *shrug* When U do not need it is when U do that training.

re "Rank adjustment" / "status" / "pack leader" & similar, it's superfluous; I'd address the behavior, & skip already-discarded hypotheses.

- terry

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Old 10-06-2017, 07:34 AM
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Lightbulb re 'dominate the dog' methods, As Seen On TV & elsewhere

a straightforward article regarding 'dumbinance' in dogs vs actual, as-defined-by-science dominance (it's directed at other DOGS, not at humans, & is re RESOURCES, not 'status'), & how "dominate the dog" techniques can cause explosions of violence -

Experts Say Dominance-Based Dog Training Techniques Made Popular By TV Can Contribute to Bites | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

Dr Yin was a vet-behaviorist, Board-certified in behavior as a specialty; she includes specific cases in which the advice of a certain TV-host was followed by owners or those they hired, with disastrous results.

- terry

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