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I'm in DIRE need of some useful advice. To begin, about a year ago I found my bulldog's litter-mate on the local rescue's website and decided to foster her. I knew it was the same dog, because how many dogs do you know that look the exact same, and have the same story of being run over with an electric wheelchair as a puppy resulting in neurological dysfunctions creating a tainted equilibrium? The Vet claims she has inner ear damage resulting in her lack of balance. I say it's DEFINITELY neurological. Her eyes twitch when she's angry, stressed, or too excited. She has tremors occasionally, and couldn't even hold her back legs straight without throwing them to the left making her fall over and unable to walk. I took her in, taught her how to use the stairs, how to walk upright, how to eat sitting instead of laying. I'll admit, I baby-ed her quite a bit because I had to reteach her everything she ever needed to get by in life. A year later, we're living in a different state, and she's now permanently part of the family because I couldn't just pawn her off to someone else that doesn't understand her disability. But... She has come a long way, and has made a 180 degree change from her original physical state.

Now the current issue is:
Due to favoring her for such a long time, trying to get her life some-what normal, she's grown EXTREMELY attached to me. I am her human, and her's alone. If she's snuggling me, and one of the other two dogs tries to be by me, she goes into straight up kill mode. No warning signs, nothing. This happens about once a week. The other 98% of the time she is the sweetest dog you will ever come across. Everyone that meets her just falls head over heels in love. All it takes though to turn from angel to devil is another dog trying to get pet/rubbed on/laying on the same couch as me/next to my chair when she's already doing that action.

I talked to some of the girls that also have disabled dogs within my rescue, and they told me to put her on tranquilizers. I don't think I could live with myself if I put her on drugs (I won't even take drugs myself). I've had a vet tell me to make the decision to put her down, and I refuse to do that when I know there has to be a way to correct the behavior. And I WILL NOT give her up. I have emotionally invested WAY too much time, love and effort into her that I will never give up on her. I'm looking for useful advice to correct her behavior. Actions and behaviors I can use, myself, to direct her towards a less possessive lifestyle. Might I add that she doesn't do this when my fiancé is home alone with them, or when the dog sitter stays at the house when we are on vacation. It is JUST me she acts this way around. Please help this sad, sad pup mamma so her family can be happy again.
 

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Poor girl! It sounds like you've done a ton for her already and I'm so glad you're willing to help her even more! My best suggestion would be to contact a behavior consultant from International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Alternatively, there are veterinary behaviorists from these organizations: http://avsabonline.org/resources/find-consult and http://www.dacvb.org/resources/for-the-public/. It sounds like quite a severe case of resource guarding (you can read a bit here for some background) and that you could both really use the hands-on help from a pro. Good luck!
 

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Darn, Crock took my answer.

I agree that is sounds like a severe case of resource guarding, and your best bet would be a behaviorist.

It can be hard to correct when the dog is guarding against other pets in the home but it can be accomplished. Does she know any commands, and will she obey them when she's in that state? For now it will be best to manage the situation, if you know she's getting upset redirect her, or defuse the situation before she explodes. An example would be if she's laying next to you and another dog comes up for pets then get up and away from her before petting them.
 
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Thank you all for your resources and suggestions. Rain, that's a great suggestion. My only problem is, that she doesn't show any warning signs. I decided to find this forum because I got back today from being out of town for work for two days and she's already gotten in a fight with each of my dogs in one night. My fiance and I were in the art room drawing and she was laying next to me. My bulldog just walked past me and into the room and my aggressive dog attacked her. and then about an hour or two later my lab put her head in my lap and she attacked her too out of no where. I'll definitely keep your ideas in mind though. THANK YOU!
 

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Oh wow. :( It definitely sounds like you need to establish a management plan immediately. Are you familiar with the term "crates, gates, and rotate?" Pretty much establishes a separation protocol--such as using pet gates to section off areas of the house so that your "problem pup" can be in one and your others can be in the other, or crate/ex-pens to contain and rotate dogs. No more free-roam through the house for anyone, or at least, no more letting the other dogs have access to her.

I know it sounds harsh and a hassle, but until you get a handle on this with your behaviorist, it's safer for everybody. I would also recommend you have your girl wear a harness and drag line/leash so that you can always have control of her when you need it.
 

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You're welcome! Thank you for not giving up on her.

I'm wondering if whomever had her before you punished her for growling, and so she learned that growling is bad, it's very rare that a dog will attack without warning unless it was taught that growling is bad...

Until you can hire a behaviorist you may want to consider keeping her separate from the other dogs, either in her crate, a room set up for her, or use babygates. I recommend counter conditioning, but you should get a behaviorist to show you how to properly do that.
 

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great advice so far, but i wanted to add that i think you need to reconsider what putting her on drugs means. you are attaching a human stigma to something that could have an incredible impact on her quality of life. i know of people who have tried medication to help with behavior issues, and not had much success, BUT i also know people for whom the change in behavior was so dramatic, they kicked themselves for being resistant for so long. also, the term "tranquilizer" means one thing, but there are other types of meds besides tranquilizers. either way, have you even discussed the idea with your vet?



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