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Thread: Aggression!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Eastern USA
    Posts
    30

    Unhappy Aggression!

    3 weeks ago we got a new foster who was rumored to have some food aggression issues. For a week we had no problem, no sign of aggression. But then suddenly he became a differant animal.
    Kota's rumored food aggression has surfaced in a big way. That is why, taking into consideration the possible adoptive home already has a small breed dog, I've decided it would not be safe or ethical to place him there. Overall he is a really great dog with loads of potential, but the aggression has become a serious downfall for him.
    =0(
    Last Friday night I was feeding all the puppers in the kitchen as usual. They eat in order and on command. First Teekon, then Tikaani, and Kota last. We've been trying to teach Kota to sit and wait for his command, and he seems to be picking it up, or at least he was. But that Night I had to hold him away from Teekon as he was growling and trying to steal his food. Next came Tikaani, and as soon as she stuck her head in her bowl Kota went between my legs and attacked Tikaani, who ran away. Instead of eating her food, he left her bowl alone and attacked Teekon for his food. Soon the three of them were brawling all over the kitchen. No injuries or anything, just alot of noise and wrestling.

    Outside Kota has taken posession of all the toys, and attacks any dog who tries to pick one up.
    He stole a wrapper from the trash and got nasty when we took it away, and on Sunday he got one of my daughter Emma's stuffed toys and got quite nasty when I tried to grab it from him.

    Dean and I were really struggling over what to do. We wanted to keep everyone safe, and still keep Kota's well-being in mind. I don't want to isolate him and perhaps do more damage, as I'm sure he's had a rough life.
    We decided that the very best we could do was first keep everyone safe, and allow Teekon and Tikaani to be comfortable and secure in their own territory.
    Kota's posessively aggressive behavior hasn't left us with too much choice.
    He now eats outside. We are still training him to sit and only eat on command, but it's slow going. we refuse to totally give up on him. He has also been restricted to outside only, since I don't need babys or people getting bit, or dog fights indoors.
    He spends the night out in the enclosure with his own bed and own toys and water. He's slept there for 2 nights now and seems quite content, but I still worry about the impact it will have on him being separated.
    Also, we've been keeping a close eye on them outside. We remove the toys when they're together so that they won't fight, and Teekon and Tikaani otherwise ignore Kota. But last night when they came in to eat I found blood on Teekon, which I soon found came from a puncture wound on his hip. It could have been from anything, maybe he and Tikaani played too rough, or maybe he ran into something while rough housing. And maybe it came from Kota, I just don't know. Teekon's wound it not serious and is being treated, but I've been watching to make sure there are no problems outside. If so, I may have to seperate Kota altogether. I don't want to, because I really don't want to isolate him, but he really seems to want to dominate everything around him.
    I don't even have enough control over him to really train him or work with him effectively. He barks aggressively at anyone he sees other than immediate family. He's getting worse and more unpredictable by the day.
    Teekon and Tikaani are high content wolfdogs, but they haven't touched him except to defend themselves. He's half their size and not even close to the same breed. He's a shep/ collie/ husky mix.
    How do I work with him? is there any successful method that can begin to reverse this? If it continues, his chances at a home will be shot, and as he is now he isn't safe enough to stay here.
    Jen and pack

    For Tok, I will always remember the happier days when you howled and played as one of our pack. You will never be forgotten, and you can never be replaced. God has a special place for special creatures, and that is where we will meet again. Forever in our hearts, love always, your family.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northern Canada
    Posts
    5,533
    Some dogs simply can't eat around other dogs. I have several who live quite happily together all day and get seperated at dinner time. It's not a big deal.

    Kota is a resource guarder. It's not aggression. He may not be able to live with other dogs, he may need to have his own space to go to if he is in a multiple dog home. The behavior is manageable and over time, once he realizes that there will always be more toys, more food ect, it may diminish.

    I would try playing the trade game with him. If he's guarding something, you trade him for something else. It helps teach them that they will always get enough.

    Jean Donaldson has a great book on resource guarding. It's called MINE!! I got my copy off dogwise.com
    If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you must find the courage to live it.
    --John Irving

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Eastern USA
    Posts
    30
    The terms of his adoption include no other pets and no children. And I can separate him from the pack here. My biggest concern is overall, he does it even to us. If we have food in our hands he snatches it, and nothing we do to try and stop him has much effect.
    I'm worried that placing him at all is a risk, if someone has small guests that get in his way, or even if someone sits down to drink or eat something and get clipped by a tooth when he snaps it away.
    Even today I was working with him alone. He's learning sit. He decided he didn't want to sit, so I pressed gently on his rump to try and show him what I wanted. He growled. He didn't want to budge, he refuses to submit at all. I tried enforcing some dominance, but everything I tried just made him growl again.
    I put him in a "time-out" kennel. Now I find myself always being weary of him, and I only handle him in the few ways that allow me to keep my face away from his reach. I just don't know when to expect another surprise out of him.
    Maybe just back off a bit on basic training and stick to the much more subtle You're-not-in-charge-I-am training. He just doesn't seem to be responding well to anything.
    Jen and pack

    For Tok, I will always remember the happier days when you howled and played as one of our pack. You will never be forgotten, and you can never be replaced. God has a special place for special creatures, and that is where we will meet again. Forever in our hearts, love always, your family.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northern Canada
    Posts
    5,533
    From your description, I'd guess that you have a dog on your hands who has previously been allowed to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. He's never been taught that he has to respect humans. That's the first thing he needs to learn! I'd put him on an immediate Nothing In Life is Free program. He works for everything--food, attention, walks ect.

    Personally, I don't mind a dog that growls at me. I'd much rather have a dog that warns me than one that just bites. If he had wanted to, when you were trying to force him to sit, he could have put you in the hospital. It's a great sign that he didn't do anything more than growl.

    If you are truly afraid of him, he may be better off in a different foster home. I'm not saying that to be rude in any way. I gave up one of my fosters because I didn't trust Summit. I didn't trust her, she scared me and because of that, I couldnt' work with her and give her what she needed. Summit had issues similar to what you've described. I gave her up after she tried to kill my Kayleigh. Summit is now happily in her forever home.
    If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you must find the courage to live it.
    --John Irving

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