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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wow, I don't know what to think about this as it is so not like my dog Cash. Cash will be two in November and we added our new golden Sam (9 months) to the family in Feb. Cash is super laid back, smart as a whip and wants to please. Recently we've had a couple of incidents where he has gotten a little aggressive with other dogs. We have socialized him from the get go and the two incidents happened on a leash so I thought that might have been the issue.

Last night he and Sam were at a friends house who has a Brittany Spaniel. The were there for a full hour before we arrived. My husband and I walked outside to see how they were doing and they were having a good time. All of a sudden, Cash and the Brittany get into a vicious, up on hind legs, pinned down dog fight. It was not playing it was a dog fight. My husband had to break it up.

I'm trying to figure out why Cash did that as I do believe he started it. Is this a pack instict thing? I"m so perplexed by his behavior and am scared to let him around any other dogs now. I've never seen him act this way when it was just him. It seems like such a pack instict or him asserting dominance. We were not at his home but my friends house so I wonder if that has something to do with it.

Input?
 

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Is Cash neutered?
He's right at the age where you WOULD expect to see this, if you're going to see it. He's coming into his adulthood, and he's exerting himself.
At this point, do not trust him around other dogs. He's feeling a need to show that he's the boss, and if the other dog has the same inclinations you can end up with a very bad situation.
Is the Brittany a male also?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, Cash is neutered. The Brittany is also a neutered male. My pup Sam is also recently neutered. Will the phase pass I hope? It happened so suddenly right when we walked outside. Cash saw us there, greeted us and then he and Cooper just got into it. I was in total shock!
 

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Be careful who you pin the blame on. Many times dog fights are started with just a look.

Because you walked into the Brittany's back yard, it may have presented with a body language that only Cash interpreted and so he reacted to a perceived threat.

I saw this on a dog training program. The bitch who always looked so innocent was the one causing all the problems. So, instead of labeling him agressive he might better be labeled defensive. Does the Brittany have a reputation for picking at other dogs?

A dog who is laid back, well socialized isn't going to turn agressive over night unless there is a underlying medical situation.
 

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How close was the brittany?Was he comming to say hello too? It could be resource guarding (you). Definatly at the age of social maturity when such behavioral problems begin to manifest. Was any real damage done to either dog?
glddog04
 

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I'm just throwing this out there to think about, but, at least in what you said at first, the only difference I see between the hour they were playing fine and them getting into a fight is that you and your husband showed up.

I'm not saying he is going to fight when you guys are around but, this time, you guys could have possibly been the changing variable for some, weird reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Brittany did come up and say hello to us too. I do think the changing variable was us coming over. The Brittany is a pretty laid back dog but his is a humping kind of dog too. I don't know if that is telling at all in dog language. What is so interesting is that we were out of town last weekend and both dogs were at Camp Bow Wow. Cash had day play for two days with all kinds of dogs and did just fine. NO incidents at all. SO, I really think it has something to do with us being there.
 

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There is really no way to be sure unless you have instant replay, and even the its not so cut and dried ! I would avoid play times without supervishon for a while.

*IF* it is reasource guarding you can try to desensatize by pairinggood things (high value food) with the (first at a distance) appearance of another dog then decreasing the distance (slowly over time)

I wouldnt atomatically assume your dog has aggression issues. Pay close attention to his body language. Learn to read when a situation becomes stressful for him, take him away before he has time to practice unwanted behaviors.
glddog04
 

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I adopted sage when she was 4 months old. We went to obedience class, had playdates with other dogs, and all was well. When she turned 2, it changed almost overnight. She gets along fine with my other 2 dogs, but I cannot let her around new dogs without taking lots of precautions. also it seems like she challenges dogs her size, and leaves smaller dogs alone. I had a 4 lb poodle foster puppy who she LOVED, and then a 10 lb maltese foster who she ignored but never tried to fight with, but she sees a dog her size and she goes crazy.
 

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Now that you mention it Taz, Penny changed at about that same age. I hadn't put 2 and 2 together until I read your post.

Before that she was all about loving every dog she met. Then she became shy and like you I kept an eye on the situations. In her case it was so she didn't get overwhelmed and fear bite.

She, too, had been through 2 years of obedience classes, socialized and loved everyone and everything. For the past 5 years she seems comfortable only with small dogs (yep, the yipper/snappers that get right in her face) and puppies. I think it's because the scale tilts in her favor. She would actually hide behind us if another dog came along or run for the porch is she was outside, off leash.

Lately though, at 7, she's becoming downright outgoing with all dogs.
 

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This is around the age that Asia started becoming aggressive with some dogs as well. She was also well socialized and quite submissive but had dominant traits we weren't seeing at first but became clear through more training exercises with her. She also has no problems when I am not around and was recently in a kennel where she played with many dogs for a 9 day period with no issues. I think for her it was dominance and maybe resource guarding mixed in. We now avoid dog parks and she sems fine with dogs we meet on the trails because she can just say hi and move on.

Maybe with Cash a round of obedience classes and using the Nothing in Life is Free method will help to reinforce you are the pack leaders. It definately did with Asia.
 

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Shadow stopped liking some other dogs when he turned one. Shadow was the puppy at the dog park that always got humped and never stood up for himself. It seems after his two hip surgeries at the age of 7 months and 11 months, when I took him back to the park, he didn't like some of the dogs, but none of them dared try to hump him. He never went after them but would bark and run in the other direction.

Shadow will be 7 in December. This happened this morning and I am sick over it. We were walking around the block with Shadow and Tucker. My husband had Tucker, I had Shadow. A neighbor gets his two older GR's out of the truck and they're barking. The neighbor said, "Can they meet? Where do you live? I said, "Shadow doesn't like other dogs, but Tucker does." Tucker did fine and then Shadow was doing okay from where I stood with him. They did finally meet and I don't know why I let the meeting go on. I stopped paying attention. I was listening to how the neighbor got his two GR's. Big mistake. I'm not sure what happened, but Shadow turned and he actually got ahold of Tucker and Tucker paid the price. Tucker now has two puncture wounds in his ear and will be going to the Vet tomorrow. I really do not think Shadow even knew which dog he had his teeth on. They've been fine ever since and Tucker is not intimidated by Shadow. I am livid...

A part of me thinks that Shadow was protecting me and Tucker and my husband were the closest. I wouldn't be surprised if Tucker bumped into Shadow and Shadow was clueless it was Tucker, but I just don't know.

This type of behavior is very disappointing and is a major concern. You are not alone.
 

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In my opinion, this is not something that will just pass. It is something that needs to be addressed and fixed unless you want to keep you dog separated from other dogs from now on. Now that it has happened once there is more of a chance that it will happen again until resolved. A trainer may be able to help you.
 

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I agree that a trainer will be helpful but in my experience it has not totally resolved the issue. It is a constant process and those of us with dogs with this issue need to be careful and always aware that our dogs have this potential. I have found ways to manage it(ie not going to dog parks, watching body language, training and correcting for any signs of aggression etc...) but I still see signs now and then and am very careful when Asia interacts with dogs. It is very upsetting and frustrating especialy whe they are such great dogs in every other way.
 

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If your instincts tell you that this is a problem, listen to them. I never thought Shadow would put his teeth on another dog, but I always worried about him not liking some dogs. He went 6 years with only being mouthy and then this. In his case I do not think he will go after Tucker again, but he's on close watch. I have a friend who is a trainer. I've already sent off my email to her.
 

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Kimm, displaced aggression is pretty common and it sounds like that's what happened.
I have a few dogs that I board here that have to be separated when they're boarded even though they're fine at home. As soon as they see other dogs across a fence, they turn their agression on each other.
Some trainers believe it to be a form of frustration because they can't "get at" the dog they really want to get at.
 

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I hope I never have to see displaced aggression ever again. These two have been together for six years, have been in the company of other dogs, had another dog live in our home for almost a month, go on walks together quite often, and this never happened before. :no: Tucker is the one who goes a little nuts when my neighbors dog charges our fence. Shadow just walks away. Ack!

I don't want to hijack this thread. I just hope the OP knows that there are others out here dealing with something similar.
 

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a lot of humans get bitten because of displaced aggresssion, too. The dog REALLY wants to get at the other dog, and turns and bites his human instead.
 

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Well, I guess if he ever bits a human we will have to consider putting him down. He was properly socialized, been to training, got his CGC a long time ago. So...I will need to be very watchful, talk to a few people I know, and take it from there. No one should live in fear. He has been very easy to read most of his life and I have never felt threatened by him.
 

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Kimm, I wouldn't worry about Shadow or Tucker either. Yesterday I was out in the yard with the dogs. The neighbor across a small field from me was out playing football with his son and the son's friend, and he had both their german shepherds out running around. They kept throwing the football over near my yard, and the GSD would chase after the boys. Well at one point, Sage was barking hysterically and turned and snarled at Taz, my golden. Didn't turn into anything but its kind of the same thing that happened to you. After the GSD ran back to its yard everything was back to normal.
 
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