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Hello, I am sorry in advance for the long post. Here is my pack of pups. They all have birthdays over the next 6 weeks so I am rounding up the ages a bit.

4 yo female black lab, spayed, 70 lbs. She is the "alpha".
3 yo male GSD, neutered, 120 lbs. Big baby.
2 yo mix, 1/2 english bulldog, 1/4 husky, 1/4 boxer, neutered. 75 lbs, short and thick.

My mix has that stereotypical bulldog mentality where he won't ever back down from my other dogs even though he is essentially harmless being so nonathletic. I am talking about play fighting, he has never shown any real aggressive tendencies, but he is also very stubborn about giving up toys or a spot on the couch or dog bed, especially when he is cuddled up next to me or my gf.

At about a year old he started challenging my lab more and more. She is pretty chill so it took a lot to get a response from her. Eventually she would go at him. Making a lot of noise, pinning him down by the neck until we pulled her off but doing no damage. Just a wet neck and at the very worst he would have a tiny, non-bleeding scratch from her nails. This would happen every other week or so. We were getting concerned because he obviously wasn't learning who was in charge and we didn't want her to actually injure him. Over time it's happened less and less....until the last 3 weeks where both my gf and I have been working from home full time due to COVID and social distancing.

My lab has never had to put my GSD in his place. Despite being almost twice her size if she looks at him funny he will go sit in the corner. Now she has started going at him like she was my bulldog mix, but for hardly any reason. If he was too close to me or he had a toy she wanted. She went after both of them a total of 5 times in 3 days.

We have one of those collars that has the beep/vibrate/shock functionality. We have only ever used it for the beep. We used it to train her to stop barking on command because voice commands weren't working. We haven't had to use it for over a year, but have had her back in it since this rash of attacks and none have occurred while she wears it, but the last time we took it off for an hour she went after the bulldog mix.

After every incident, once we separate them, she is always immediately right back to her happy-go-lucky self. She will start wagging her tail and go lick the face of the dog she had just pinned down.

She has also taken to laying under my desk while I work. She has never done this previously. She has always been much more interested in being with my gf.

We are a bit stuck with what to do about this. Maybe the behavior change is because of the change in our routine? Maybe she has a health issue? I feel like this is unlikely and not the best time to take her to the vet. When we brought the behavior up with the vet a year ago they suggested a trainer but with it happening so infrequently they couldn't observe the behavior and had little to advise us to do. I am all for getting a trainer to come in, but again, not the best time to be doing this.

I also don't like having her in the collar full time. She doesn't like it and while it keeps her in line I don't want it to be the long term solution.

I would be very grateful for any suggestions.
 

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The first suggestion is to get rid of the collar. Whatever the issue is, using an aversive tool might interrupt it but it won't solve it - it might suppress the symptom but it won't fix the cause. And that raises another question, why she was barking that made you use it in the first place. It may or may not be related to the problems now.

So, why she might be going for your other dogs could be any of a variety of reasons. It won't be bloody mindedness, she is doing it for something she sees as a good reason. Maybe she is in pain, maybe it is hormonal, maybe it is the change of routine, maybe it is that she feels threatens her claim on that particular spot on the floor. Whatever the reason, if she associates the collar with that, it's only going to make things worse - she has the pain, discomfort, disruption to routine or challenge to try to cope with - or whatever is causing the behaviour - PLUS the collar. Does that make sense?

I appreciate it is hard to get to a vet but that would be my first suggestion, including bloodwork. And, I'd keep her separate. It isn't fair on her, or them, to be on edge like this, it must be stressful for all of them.

If you do get a trainer, please look for someone who uses force free methods. Whatever the cause of this is, punishment won't fix it and could make it worse.
 
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