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Thread: sporadic aggression

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    Default sporadic aggression

    UGH! My 2y4mo bulldog has these episodes of aggression towards my 2 other dogs. Not just a growling "that's my bone" kind of aggression either. I mean full on ATTACK. My frenchie can hold her own and is no worse for the wear, albeit flustered. My 13y old 17lb pug however, cannot. He is usually afraid of her if she barks at him, but today he went full on attack and drew blood. Nothing major, thank goodness. I can usually distract him when I see him staring a little too intently. The attacks a very very infrequent, but it still breaks my heart. I don't know why he has these moments now. He hasn't always had them. He was neutered when he was 1yr, so it isn't that. Just makes me sad.

    Any idea/tips on WTH is going on with him?

    Thanks,
    B

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression



    Welcome to EBN @SeattleRadChick and Thor.

    My gosh...how I know this is frustrating. It sounds like Thor is trying to establish the "Alpha" male dominance rule over your other kids. I have no experience except for what I do with Jewel and Bentley. Jewel really acts out if she does not get enough attention. We try to spread the love around evenly but that does not work all of the time. Jewel and Bentley get into scrapping with teeth, snarling, etc. All we do I break it up.

    You may want to see the advice of a pet behaviorist. @agingermom is in your area and might have a suggestion and I will tag @bullmama , @2BullyMama , @ddnene , @dolphin , @Marine91, @Vikinggirl , and everyone else who I have not mentioned.


    You are not alone here at EBN. Someone will chime in.


    Again welcome to the site.


    Best regards,


    -rj

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    to EBN!!!

    I'm SO sorry you are dealing w/the aggression… I'm having issues w/my 2 year old male bulldog as well. First thing I would do is take him to the vets for a check up… my male has an anal gland infection that is ongoing, and that is what started his issues. Make sure the vet checks his joints, maybe some blood work and x-rays if you think that he may have hurt himself. Next I would contact a good trainer, someone who can come to your home and access the situation w/your other dogs. Walter has learned when he has one of his "episodes" he has to go to his bed or my bedroom… that way nobody gets hurt. I hope that you can figure out his issues soon, keep us posted!!!

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleRadChick View Post
    UGH! My 2y4mo bulldog has these episodes of aggression towards my 2 other dogs. Not just a growling "that's my bone" kind of aggression either. I mean full on ATTACK. My frenchie can hold her own and is no worse for the wear, albeit flustered. My 13y old 17lb pug however, cannot. He is usually afraid of her if she barks at him, but today he went full on attack and drew blood. Nothing major, thank goodness. I can usually distract him when I see him staring a little too intently. The attacks a very very infrequent, but it still breaks my heart. I don't know why he has these moments now. He hasn't always had them. He was neutered when he was 1yr, so it isn't that. Just makes me sad.

    Any idea/tips on WTH is going on with him?

    Thanks,
    B
    Hi, I'm sorry you're going through this with Thor and although I don't have any experience with aggression between my two guys, they used to sometimes play a little rough with other when they were puppies. I would just redirect them by shaking a jar or can of pennies or clapping my hands, which would get their attention and would stop them, or I would separate them and put them in a time out. They did outgrow this phase, but they were never aggressive to each other or made each other bleed. I agree that maybe a visit to the vet may be a good idea to rule out any other causes of his aggression, especially if this is a new behaviour. There are some medical reasons that can cause aggression in dogs such as being in pain or thyroid problems. I hope you can find a solution. Pleas keep us posted on how Thor is doing.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    Aggression in dogs

    Aggression in dogs is cause for concern in many dog owners. Aggression is defined as the threat of harm to another individual involving snarling, growling, snapping, biting, barking, and/or lunging. Understanding the contributing factors in aggression can often help in the treatment of aggression. The most common reason for aggression is fear, but occasionally other factors contribute to aggression. Aggression, whatever the cause, is a very serious issue that should only be treated by working with a veterinary behaviorist that can work with you individually on behavior modification techniques.

    Reasons for aggression

    Aggression due to Medical Problems

    Occasionally, aggression in dogs can be the result of a medical issue. Aggression that is accompanied by the loss of hair, increased bodyweight, and lethargy may be a sign of hypothyroidism. Aggression that appears with convulsions or when the dog has an absent appearance or rapid mood changes may be the result of full or partial seizures. Damage to certain areas of the brain through disease such as hydrocephalus (more common in toy breeds and brachycephalics), tumors, or trauma can also result in aggression problems. A consultation with your veterinarian can diagnose these conditions and offer medical treatment as necessary.

    Genetic Predisposition

    Some dogs are genetically predisposed to aggression. This may be the result of either the medical conditions mentioned above or selective breeding for dog-to-dog aggression found in “protection” or “fighting” breeds.

    Fear-Motivated Aggression

    Dogs that fear for their own safety are often the most likely dogs to bite another human or dog. The perceived threat to the dog can be real or imagined. Remember that the threat is from the dog’s perspective. That can mean that a person could have been very innocently trying to reach over the dog and take a hold of their collar, but the dog may have perceived this as intent to do harm to them, which leads them to react aggressively.

    Protective Aggression

    This most often happens when a mother protects her young pups.

    Territorial Aggression

    Dogs may attempt to guard or defend their home or space. This can include barking and lunging at fences or from windows.

    Resource Guarding

    Dogs often attempt to protect resources that they control. A dog may guard valuable resources such as food, toys, and a bed, but they may also guard less valuable resources such as bits of trash. In guarding these resources, they can use techniques such as growling, snapping, and even biting to maintain the control over the resource.

    Predatory Aggression

    This type of aggression is motivated by an animal’s drive to hunt and consume food. This can be seen particularly in dogs chasing smaller dogs, cats, or even young children.

    Frustration Aggression

    When a dog is prevented from doing something that they want or forced to do something that they do not want to do, they can become frustrated and direct aggression towards the nearest animal or person. This same idea can be seen in people. When a person puts money into a vending machine and no food or drink comes out, they become frustrated and often turn to aggression (hitting, kicking, or pushing the vending machine). In dogs, this can be seen in cases where they are physically held back by their collar or forced into a kennel. Another form of frustration aggression is redirected aggression. In redirected aggression, a dog may become aroused by a stimulus (such as a doorbell or dog outside the window) and are prevented from directing aggression at that stimulus and instead turn and attack another dog or their owner.

    Pain-induced Aggression

    Animals of a variety of species attempt to protect themselves by responding aggressively when they feel pain. This typically helps them to prevent future pain. Unfortunately, animals often attack the person or animal nearest to them rather than only the thing that actually caused them pain. For this reason, it is a good idea to handle a dog that is in pain very cautiously. Many owners have been bitten while attempting to help their injured dog. Additionally, the use of training devices that inflict pain on animals, such as prong collars, choke chains, and e-collars, are not recommended because they may lead the animal to become more aggressive to stop the pain.

    Social Aggression

    Dogs naturally live in groups, typically including both other dogs and humans. As in any group situation, leaders and followers naturally emerge. The leaders tend to take charge of a situation and the resources available. Just as in human situations, if more than one individual wants to be the leader, fights can break out. When a lower ranking individual attempts to take control of a situation or a resource (e.g., food bowls or spots on the couch), the leader (or the one who perceives themselves as the leader) will attempt to regain control. This type of aggression is most common in intact male dogs, but can occur in females and neutered dogs as well. Neutering a male dog along with behavioral training may help to reduce social aggression.

    Practicing good leadership skills by using basic obedience to have the dog earn access to toys or food can help in some situations. It is not recommended that you use physical force such as scruff shakes or “alpha” rolls. These do not typically lead to a respectful stable relationship with your dog and often escalate the aggression even further.

    Learned Aggression

    Once a dog has acted aggressively for any of the above reasons but especially for fear-motivated aggression, they may learn that the best way to get what they want is to repeat the aggression. If barking and lunging at the mailman gets him to leave, then the dog will learn that barking and lunging is effective. Similarly, if biting at a hand that is reaching for them gets the hand to go away, they will quickly learn to bite to remove unwanted contact.

    What to Do


    • Talk with your veterinarian about the possibility of a medical cause for the aggression particularly if you notice other symptoms.
    • Seek professional help. Call a Veterinary Behaviorist to get help with behavioral modification of the aggression. Do not expect your dog to get better on their own or just grow out of it. Aggression is a very serious problem.
    • Read our article on Managing an Aggressive Pet to help you cope until you can seek professional help.

    Should I Work with My Aggressive Dog?

    This is really a personal decision and depends on the amount of time and money you are willing to invest in the dog. It can also depend on who the dog is being aggressive towards. If the dog is only aggressive towards strange dogs or people, it may be easier to manage the situation than if the dog is aggressive towards your children. If you do not have the time or money to work with the dog, you will need to consider options such as surrendering the dog to the breeder or shelter where you got them. Before you consider re-homing the dog, you will need to be open and honest about the dog’s aggression issues to ensure the safety of everyone involved and you may still be held liable for any future behavior of the dog. Euthanasia is always a humane option for aggressive dogs which the owner cannot work with for whatever reason.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleRadChick View Post
    UGH! My 2y4mo bulldog has these episodes of aggression towards my 2 other dogs. Not just a growling "that's my bone" kind of aggression either. I mean full on ATTACK. My frenchie can hold her own and is no worse for the wear, albeit flustered. My 13y old 17lb pug however, cannot. He is usually afraid of her if she barks at him, but today he went full on attack and drew blood. Nothing major, thank goodness. I can usually distract him when I see him staring a little too intently. The attacks a very very infrequent, but it still breaks my heart. I don't know why he has these moments now. He hasn't always had them. He was neutered when he was 1yr, so it isn't that. Just makes me sad.

    Any idea/tips on WTH is going on with him?

    Thanks,
    B
    I would do two things... back to basic training, nothing in life is free tool is great and easy. This will help you to identify what might be triggering the attacks. Are the attacks always on your older Pug or any of the pack? have there been any changes in the home that would upset his 'schedule'... some one move in or move out, new furniture, some change to routine? And, as others have stated, take him to the vet for a full head - to toe check up... blood work, thyroid, x-rays. Sudden aggression is usually due to some type of pain which makes them go into protection of themselves.

    we had a similar issue with Banks, she was always very dominate and would attack other dogs, but she never, not once would place her teeth on us. Well in a two week time frame, she did it to both of us... with me, I was not has concerned, because Daddy was her main leader and she tolerated my commands. so, once she placed her teeth on Lewis I flipped, called our vet... at the exam, I told him everything and he agreed she had to be in some type of pain. We left her for a day of tests, blood work great, thyroid normal, x-rays... not so good --- we did not know it, but she had swallowed a 2 inch stone that was bouncing around her stomach and causing lots of irritation to the lining. She never showed any signs of pain, discomfort nor did her stool look different never even threw up. So, my point is, just because there are no signs of a health issue, does not mean he is not in so type of pain.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    There is a part of your heart not alive until a bulldog has entered your lif
    e.

    Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    thank you all soooooo much for the input and advice. I am starting obedience classes soon, and I think a full workup including x-rays might be the way to go. He is a chewer, so I hope nothing is in there causing trouble. He did it again last night and my pug ended up needing staples behind her ear from a gash...just broke the skin, no major damage. Other than to my heart.

    B

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleRadChick View Post
    thank you all soooooo much for the input and advice. I am starting obedience classes soon, and I think a full workup including x-rays might be the way to go. He is a chewer, so I hope nothing is in there causing trouble. He did it again last night and my pug ended up needing staples behind her ear from a gash...just broke the skin, no major damage. Other than to my heart.

    B
    I would definitely supervise him at all times when he is with the other dogs until you can get him checked out...

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    Welcome!




    "Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and
    filling an emptiness we didn't even know we had."




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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    Sorry you are going through this I know how it feels it breaks your heart to see them fight. I have 3 guys and the fighting started last year. I now have to keep Sadie 7 away from Taylor 4. They use to be best friends, but Sadie's excitedness causes the fights. Taylor's insecurity causes her attacks and they are full blown fights blood drawen. Not good. If we are out on the lawn together I keep a spray bottle with me to stop the fights. I love them all and it is sad to see them fight.

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    I had a behaviorist come to the house and it seems it is my Frenchie that is the source of the issues. She is a nervous girl that doesn't do well with people in her house. It is totally my fault for not getting her out and around a lot of people. The behaviorist said that Thor picks up on her energy and gets all amped up. She said he is like a teenager trying to figure out where he fits in our world. There is training that still needs to be done. I need to train him to "stop" and "come" whenever I tell him....no matter what he is doing. All has been well. His harness seems to calm his energy, too. My pug is still a bit nervous around him, but she is getting better. I don't even think he remembers why she is scared of him and avoids him...which hurts my heart. Thanks for all the advice!!

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    Default Re: sporadic aggression

    Thank you for your update & glad to hear you got Thor
    the help he needed to stop attacking her.

    It may hurt your heart that she avoids him but some
    times, it is what it is & might not ever change for her.

    Whatever works is a good thang!


    My 1st bully, Brutus
    RIP beloved boy.

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