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Sudden Agression

 
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abbygwp
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 23
Location: Jupiter, Fl

PostPosted: 07/20/04, 10:56 pm    Post subject: Sudden Agression Reply with quote

My Abby (who turned 3 on 4-1) has all the sudden become agressive with our older dog (who turned 11 on 7-4 and is not a gwp, but a small dog) that she has been sisters with the entire time we have had her.

Twice in the last 2 months Abby has gone at Onyx in a rage and bit her throat and head. 1 small laceration on the head and a bruised larynx, but Onyx is OK.

We are now dealing with a major delimia and our vet is confused as well. She shows NO other signs of agression at all and gets TONS of exercise.
We are giving her some time hoping it's a stage, but I fear for my little dogs life. At this point, we are discussing having to maybe give her up or put her down which we don't want to do as she has always been the most awesome dog.

She has had a full work up at the vet, with the thinking it was medical, which it is not. She had a brain scan done, thinking it was "mental" and maybe controllable with meds, it is not.

Abby will go after Onyx and not stop until we can get them pulled apart and put in separate areas of the house to cool off. There is usually no indication this is going to happen, she will just walk by Onyx and attack her violently.

Any suggestions would be helpful here!! Thanks!!!
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cheerio
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Joined: 11 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: 07/21/04, 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may be looking at the wrong dog! Have Onyx checked by your vet.
In the wild, a sick animal is rejected by the pack. This may be what Abby is doing. In my home, when a dog start being attacked by the others, it is often that this dog is ill. We have discovered a pyometra in one of our female before she showed any sign, a bone cancer in my old boy, before he even limped, and an infection I hadn't noticed on one of my male, only because they had become the punch bag of the pack.

I would therefore consider having a full exam for Onyx, and, should nothing come of it, I would continue to keep an eye on it.

Now, in the eventuality that it is mere dominance, the most important thing, and the most difficult, is NOT to interfer in the pack order. Consoling Onyx and/or punishing Abby usually reinforce the fact that Abby is dominant and that Onyx is weak, thus making the matter worse. The best thing is avoidance, and, when you see that Abby is about to attack Onyx, to quickly change his attention towards a game or a treat, or the leash for a walk...

Good luck and let us know what happens
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abbygwp
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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Location: Jupiter, Fl

PostPosted: 07/21/04, 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheerio...Thanks for the advice!!

We did have Onyx checked out too when Abby bruised her larynx, but the vet did not find anything other than she is old. Maybe we are all missing something that the vet is overlooking..I guess it's time to take her in for another senior evaluation.

We love Abby...and it's just weird that all the sudden she is agressive. She has shown NO agression before, even as a puppy playing. It would break our hearts, as well as the hearts of our children if we ever had to get rid of her or put her down. She is a member of our family, and is treated as such.

I will make an appointment with the vet for Onyx asap. Hopefully we can put an end to all this. We try not to consol Onyx or punish Abby, but I am sure we do to some extent.
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K2K
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Joined: 22 Oct 2002
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Location: Washington State, East of the Mountains

PostPosted: 07/22/04, 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheerio makes very valid points.

I'm kind of leaning towards the "little sister" becoming the pack leader theory also.

Are they both spayed?

An animal behaviorist (a good one!) should be able to shed some light on the problem. My worry for you right now is that your family is becoming apprehensive waiting for the next go-round, and that is telegraphed to the dog, which of course makes everyone nervous.

Now, here's the part where I'll give my own theory about this kind of thing. It may seem out of the blue, but there's got to be some sort of doggie communication that we people don't always see. I'm not saying that Onyx is issuing a challenge, but SOMETHING is going on and unless Abby has gone around the bend (which I would think you would have seen signs of before now) there must be subtleties that we humans aren't seeing.

Personally, I would keep a diary of what was observed before, during and after the altercation...

And, this I'm sure won't make me popular, but I believe that both dogs need to get in trouble after a fight, no matter who started it, even tho one is littler than the other. About 4 years ago, my 6 mo. old GWP started a fight with the 85 pound Akita one day over a toy. Kes the GWP started it, Kaita fought back, but I, acting as alpha, ended it after a few minutes. And then they both got a good scolding/shaking. That was the last time they ever had a fight.

I really hope it all works out for your family and Abby and Onyx! Could you please keep us posted?

Best,

Karen
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J Shelton
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Joined: 09 Nov 2002
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PostPosted: 07/22/04, 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did the same as Karen. My female spayed min. schnauzer is older and when my gwp female entered in the picture and got a little older they got into it about 2 times. I layed into both of them pretty well at the time of the argument and has not happened since.
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