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Dog to dog aggression... Help

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by TNDrew, May 16, 2012.

  1. May 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM
    #1
    TNDrew

    TNDrew [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So i boarded my dog yesterday as we were making an all day trip out of town and didn't want to leave her in the crate all day. She is a 2.5 year old Great Dane. She has been to this kennel for as short of time as a few hours or as many as 8 days during the past 2 years. Never have they had a problem with her and usually got high remarks from everybody. The last time I picked her up the girl at the desk asked me if she ever went to dog parks or anything and said that she had started growling.

    With me being in school full time and working full time nights and my wife working full time days we have been taking her there for the day or on days that I have school all day and work that night she would go early one morning and be picked up the next morning. So she had been going about 1-3 times a week.

    I didnt think anything of it when the girl mentioned it, because hell all dogs growl sometimes. But when we picked her up today the manager met both my wife and I at the desk and said she needed to talk to us. Yesterday she said that my dog had been trying to be the boss of everyone and had started to bite some. So they put her up for a bit and got her back out. Same thing. They put her back up and got her out with the kennel staff and she did great. When they got her out this morning with the other dogs it continued and even got worse and that unfortunately this would be the last time she could stay with the kennel.

    Why is this happening? What could have caused her to become aggressive with other dogs like this and how can we fix it? I had her at petsmart on Monday and it was chocked full of dogs. She never barked or growled at any of them and seemed more relaxed than Ive ever seen her. I don't understand. Im sorry if this seems like a whine bag post, but were gone from the house for very extended periods of time at some points and I refuse to leave her crated or here in the house.
     
  2. May 16, 2012 at 1:56 PM
    #2
    toughtaco

    toughtaco Well-Known Member

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    Many things, are you the alpha male? The kennel workers are probably not showing dominance and the dog thinks they are walking them into a death trap. If you want to wean this trait for anyone else you have to do a controlled dog to dog visit with another dog that is really good with other dogs. Of course it is easier if you have an experienced handler/trainer but you can do this with anyone that would handle the dog. This is just a quick fix, there may be more issues but I dont know your dog.
     
  3. May 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM
    #3
    toughtaco

    toughtaco Well-Known Member

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    Too bad you are a bit too far away from me, I train dogs.... :D
     
  4. May 16, 2012 at 2:02 PM
    #4
    tdubya72

    tdubya72 Well-Known Member

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    My wife owns and operates a professional pet sitting business. She watches dogs in their own homes and environments instead of people having to board them. Boarding is usually more stressful on the animal, noise, other dogs, unfamiliar smells etc.

    My .02 , you should look around locally for a good pet sitter and see what they can offer. Check out http://www.nextbestpets.com for an idea about prices and services that you may be able to find as an option to boarding.
     
  5. May 16, 2012 at 2:02 PM
    #5
    The Yellow Dart

    The Yellow Dart Well-Known Member

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    Maybe she had a bad experience with one of the dogs at the kennel.

    I know my dog loves to play with other dogs no matter what. But there was a time at the dog park when she got too close to an older Rott which didn't like playful dogs. It snapped at her and gave her start. Now she is skittish around Rotts no matter if they are nice or not.

    Just the smell of the other dog might make her aggressive if she feels threatened. The only real way to correct this is to be present when she starts her aggressive behavior and correct it. (sharp NO!, maybe a tug on the collar) Of course, this is hard to do when you have to leave her. Maybe go to the kennel when you have time to stay with her for a bit and observe her behavior. If she becomes aggressive, step in an adjust the behavior. It will probably take more than once.

    Also, look into another kennel. If you remove her from the thing which causes her to be aggressive, hopefully she won't do it. But definitely spend a little time with her at the new place before just leaving her there. If she exhibits any signs of aggressiveness, step in and correct the behavior immediately.
     
  6. May 16, 2012 at 2:04 PM
    #6
    TNDrew

    TNDrew [OP] Well-Known Member

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    She barks at dogs not in our yard with the hair on her neck raised, but if the dog is brought into the yard she's never been aggressive. Usually plays like a pup for hours. She's mentally stimulated here at home and like I said has been very well socialized since 2 weeks after we brought her home. A series of 3 obedience classes.
     
  7. May 16, 2012 at 2:11 PM
    #7
    TNDrew

    TNDrew [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The manager. A lady who has loved Soph since the day we first dropped her off. Said she tries to be the leader of everyone. There are 3 play areas and all 3 are in view of each other. She was going from her play area to the entrance of the others barking and bossing from outside.
     
  8. May 16, 2012 at 2:42 PM
    #8
    Doc35

    Doc35 Well-Known Member

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    This. It's always better to keep the pet in their normal environment, and you don't have to worry about them picking up some funky disease like kennel cough.
     
  9. May 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM
    #9
    TNDrew

    TNDrew [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The only problem with this is that we live in a very rural area.
     
  10. May 16, 2012 at 4:41 PM
    #10
    bethes

    bethes Señorita Member

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    She's probably just out of her comfort zone. Think about the stages a little kid goes through, sometimes they want to explore and sometimes they hide behind you. And sometimes they get upset about something only they see. A dog is a lot like a 2-year-old. They can be moody. She's fine with staff so at least her aggression isn't toward humans. Maybe she's just decided she's alpha in the doggy playpen and that's all there is to it. Maybe something had her spooked that day.
     
  11. May 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM
    #11
    Cypherian

    Cypherian Well-Known Member

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    Hey,

    There are many reasons this may be occurring. However, with out observing your dogs body language in that environment. Knowing your dogs past etc, it would be hard for anyone here to help you with this but in a very generalized way. Yellow Dart hit on one possibility which is a bad experience dogs have a situational / location memory if there has been an incident between your dog and another it could cause your dog to be stressed hence a trainer would have to see your dogs body language and what brings the behavior out i.e. certain location, person handling etc.

    You stated “She barks at dogs not in our yard with the hair on her neck raised, but if the dog is brought into the yard she's never been aggressive” the hair raising is called “piloerection or the hair standing on end at the shoulders or from the shoulders down the back is a sign of arousal or excitement associated most often with fear. In addition to the bristling hair, the dog's pupils are likely dilated, or open wide. Although the dog looks aggressive, he is fearful and this is a sign to back off. The more hair that is standing on end, the more nervous or fearful the hair standing makes the dog appear larger to scare off the source of the reaction.” This effect is seen in a lot of animal’s cats, porcupines, etc. His reaction to the dog being brought in and playing indicates it’s excitement but it doesn’t always. When the attempted biting occurred did the manager mention what else was going on or if his hackles were up, tail up or down, ears forward or tucked back, opposition reflex ( backing away) or avoiding going to the area the person was leading him to, body posture crouching or hunching, mouth open fully, partially showing all the teeth or partial? . As you can see there is a lot that goes into understanding what was going on with the dog at that time.

    You may also want to have the vet do a good check up dogs that are not normally aggressive becoming so can be an indication of a medical issue. I personally have seen this with a Belgian Malinois with degenerative spinal condition. The dog was approx 5 to 6 when I got him as a partner he had torn up several people who attempted to handle him for no apparent reason. Most thought he was just that “Sharp” observing the dog during training there were a few indicators but I had to fight chain of command to get anything done. After almost 2 years and me and him having several physical discussions he made his point over the end of 42 ivories and I made mine. Anyhow what was occurring were nerves being pinched high in the shoulder area which hurts like hell if you have never experienced it. He felt it was me causing the pain since I had the leash and he reacted.

    My suggestion would be to get the dog fully checked out medically to rule that out. Then find a reputable trainer with an animal behavior back ground and exp anyone can read a few books and watch a few videos and hang a shingle out that says they are a dog trainer there is no regulation on private K-9 trainers with the exception of a business license and following federal and state guidelines on operation a boarding kennel.

    There are several others here who have the same back ground as a K-9 handler that I do and you’re going to get a million opinions on what to do or how to train the dog to stop the behavior as there are tons of ways to train a dog but only one will work for “Your Dog”. You will have to decide on what is right for you and your animal, so do your homework.

    Cypher
     
  12. May 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM
    #12
    TNDrew

    TNDrew [OP] Well-Known Member

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    well after calling and talking to them after reading all the posts, the kennel has almost completely restaffed in the last 2 months and have been getting more and more dogs. a friend of ours pulled her dog from there because she was getting away with too much and had become disobedient at home. there is another kennel in the area that she recommended and from checking it out seems very legit. they offer training there as well as a boarding/day care type setting.

    Cypher - she just had a check up at the vets on Monday and every thing looked fine. I will keep a close eye on her and see if i notice anything out of the ordinary between now and the first of June when she has to go back for her hear worm shot.
     
  13. May 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM
    #13
    taco2010trd

    taco2010trd Well-Known Member

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    You don't have time to own a dog imo. You should think of letting someone adopt it who can spend some more time with it.
     
  14. May 16, 2012 at 5:57 PM
    #14
    TNDrew

    TNDrew [OP] Well-Known Member

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    We have time, just like now I have had the last 8 days off. But there are days when our schedules don't work out and theres just not anyone to let her out and when we go on vacations. It was just a great place for her to get some good exercise and socializations on days in which i didn't want to leave her put up all day. 1-3 days a week is really not that much. I would venture to say that most folks work 5 days a week 8 hours a day and if they don't take their dog some where or let them out, then they just stay up. I wouldn't want to do that either. 'Preciate the thought tho buddy
     
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