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Thread: Aggression Problems... Need advice!

  1. #1
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    Aggression Problems... Need advice!

    Hey y'all....

    Ok, here's the problem.. Charlie is getting increasingly aggressive towards the pups. Anna in particular. The other day when I was getting their food (it's in a closed off room) I heard a ruckuss outside the door and Anna screaming. I drop everything and open the door to see Anna on the floor Charlie with a grip on her neck. Now, part of her neck is swollen and we have to keep the marks clean to prevent infection.

    Then yesterday, we put all the dogs in the kitchen/laundry room like we always do when we leave the house. We get out to the car when I hear growling, snarling and SCREAMING! We hurried back in and when I looked in the kitchen, again, Anna on the floor, Charlie was locked on to her neck, Chloe looked like she was trying to get inbetween them, and Arthur was cowering in a corner. I jumped in, broke them up and saw that Charlie had litteraly scared the poop out of Anna.. she had messed herself.

    I know that it's natural for dogs to set boundries, etc, but this is unacceptable. And I don't know what to do. I'm afraid if he keeps pulling this, I'm going to have to rehome him, which would break my heart.

    Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated!
    "He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
    -- Immanuel Kant

  2. #2
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    hi heinz57_79,

    How old are Anna and Arthur? I'm thinking they're probably too young to be left alone with Charlie, especially in an enclosed space. I started leaving Oz alone with Murph and Maddie at 4 mos, but he was twice as big as them at that age. Also, I'd leave them outside, where he had ample room to get away from them. And vice versus, M&M had their small dog house to get away from him, if need be.

    Gully, however at 5 mos, still isn't being left alone with Oz and Murph. Not an aggression issue so much as getting hurt in rambunctious play, without me there supervising to tell'em to calm down. I do let him and Oz outside alone together when I'm home, but I can somewhat supervise a lil' and they've got more room to manuever without somebody getting slammed into something.

    That was the long way of saying, while they have issues, you need to be there supervising, so things don't get out of hand. Also, are you making sure that Anna and Arthur aren't getting more attention than Charlie and Chloe?

    Par...


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  3. #3
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    I would definately not leave them alone unsupervised until you can figure out what is provoking Charlie to do this.

    How old are the puppies? Maybe as they're getting older and bigger, they are becoming more of a threat to Charlie so he's trying harder to put them in their place. I would start treating Charlie as alpha to avoid any confusion among them (as long as the other dogs are okay with that and don't start fighting more). Give him his treats and petting first, feed him first, etc etc.

    It may be beneficial to have a behaviorist out to assess the situation. I know it can be pricey, but I'm sure its worth it if it means you won't have to rehome Charlie.
    Alyson
    Shiloh, Reece, Lolly, Skylar
    and fosters Snickers, Missy, Magic, Merlin, Maya

  4. #4
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    Both Par and Aly asked how old the pups were... Both Anna and Arthur are around 5 months, but they outweigh Charlie by upwards of 20 lbs. The aggression just started being an issue a couple weeks ago. Believe me, if I could leave them outside during the day, I would, but there's not way when it's over 100 degrees out there!

    Yesterday, when we heard the fight we immediately separated them, leaving Charlie and Chloe on one side of devide, and Anna and Arthur on the other.

    We're not leaving anyone alone unsupervised, not any more.

    The idea about calling a behaviorist might work. We have one who I called about Chloe way back when we first got her. THey charge $50 for the initial consultation, then go from there.

    Thanks, Aly and Par for the advice!
    "He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
    -- Immanuel Kant

  5. #5
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    I think you've already been given some good advice and I'm not sure I could really add anything. I'm thinking the reasoning is like Aly said, Charlie's place in the pack is feeling threatened, and perhaps Anna is lowest on the rung so she is getting all the heat. I once watched a show on a wolf pack and rather than focus on the alpha wolf, it focused on the omega wolf, which is the lowest ranked wolf in the pack. Every pack member tended to pick on and take out their agression on the omega member, the poor thing was the pack scapegoat. But it happened later that particular omega got killed, injured in a hunt I believe, and the entire pack actually mourned her for a week. They didn't play or hunt and they just laid around, subdued.

    Trying not to get off track here, but I'm thinking if Anna is taking the role of the omega member of the pack, that might also explain some of Charlie's aggression. He could be taking out any and all frustration he may be experiencing on her. I agree talking with a behaviorist might be a good idea, to get some one on one ideas at least.

    I remember when Tasha was 6 months old and suddenly began lunging/growling at strangers near her, I was alarmed and talked to my vet about it who recommended a consultation with a behaviorist. This particular behaviorist charged nothing for a first consultation and he came to my house to see her and her reactions for himself and to talk with us. He took about an hour or so with us, meeting Tasha, gauging her reactions as he stood near her, then sat down, then laid on the floor (as soon as he laid down on the floor, the most non-threatening position, she came over to him wagging her tail). I was always impressed at how kind, insightful, and willing to do as much as he did free of charge, but I don't know how common it is to find people like that.

    Best of luck though.. It would indeed be tragic for any pups to have to be rehomed due to this. I think it is still early enough to be able to keep it from escalating.
    Mom to Tasha, Raven, and Rudy the greyhound

    Missing always: Tommy, at the Rainbow Bridge

  6. #6
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    The odd thing is, if anyone could be considered Omega, I would think it would be Arthur! He's a weenie! I know between he and Anna, she is the Alpha. Could it be that there are different pecking orders between the 4? Also, the one who's made it very clear from the very beginning that she is Alpha is Chloe. No one messes with her. Do you think Charlie feels that his place is slipping? Even if he isn't really Alpha, he could feel that his place on the totem pole is sliding.... does that makes sense?

    I've gotten some good advice, now i'm just sort of trying to figure out WHY this is happening all of a sudden. Especially when I know, if they wanted to, Anna or Arthur could do some serious damage to my lowrider Charlie....
    "He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
    -- Immanuel Kant

  7. #7
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    How have things been going over the past few day? Good I hope. Update when you can.

    Huney, Bon & Simba-missed so very much
    Remembering all the Rainbow Bridge Pets

  8. #8
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    My 2 females challenged each other for the higher status as well, but Abbey is 50 pounds, and Jada was around 80.
    You have been given great advice, I hope the behaviorist can help you out. I was all set to call one in, and the girls worked it out on their own--no blood--one day, Jada walked over to Abbey, and Abbey just rolled over on her back, and that's what she does to this day. It took a few weeks, and they were NEVER left alone unsupervised, but we have a happy home again.
    Emily, Kito, Abbey, Riley, and Jada

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by anna_66
    How have things been going over the past few day? Good I hope. Update when you can.
    We made a couple calls, one to a vet, one to the behaviorist. Both gave pretty much the same advice as on here. The behaviorist said to be sure to feed Charlie first, even let him outside first, etc. And to call him back if things don't get much better. *sigh*

    In the past few days, things haven't gotten much better. It seems like every half hour or so I'm yelling, "CHARLIE!!" and grabbing him off of Anna. And I know it's horrible, but every time I'm cleaning the wound on her neck I get so mad!! And I'm finding more and more little booboos all over her. We're going to keep trying, doing everything we can, but I'm so afraid I'm going to come home and find someone dead, even though they're now separated when we go out. I'm just paranoid I guess. Or one day I won't be able to pull them apart. Or Anna and Arthur will realise they're so much bigger than Charlie and will decide to really fight back.

    Am I too worried? It's like knowing one of your kids keeps beating up the other one, but they're sneaky and it's hard to catch them and discipline them. It's just so frustrating!
    "He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
    -- Immanuel Kant

  10. #10
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    Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear things aren't getting any better.
    Wish I had some words of wisdom, but unfortunately I don't

    Huney, Bon & Simba-missed so very much
    Remembering all the Rainbow Bridge Pets

  11. #11
    Oh i am sorry you are going through this JC, how have things been today?

    I too would be worried in this situation.
    Rhi *Hooman* Clover *Rottie x ACD* (RIP to my BRD) Elvis and Tinny *The BCs* & Harri *JRT* Luna *BC x*

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