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Discussion Starter #1
My beautiful little golden girl started attacking the other dogs in our family when she was 6 months old.she has AKC obedience awards and is trained. We have worked with a behaviorist too with no improvement.she will viciously attack over a treat, another dog being petted or toys. She goes for the face and will not back down. Our other dogs are Danes. 2 are very scared of her and the other is a 10 yr old who has always ignored Evie .
I have read all the books and am at my wits end. She is wonderful with people both children and adult. She is from a very reputable breeder.i got a golden for all the things she is, I had no idea this would happen. I have always had a multiple dog household with no issues, everyone always knew their place.

What do I do? We have been unable to stop these attacks. I never know when they will happen. She is now 21 months. I have been working on this for months and I have a ton of experience with dogs, just never this problem
Help!,
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this. It is never easy to see this happen. I can't imagine what your family must feel like.

May I ask what you've tried so far, what you've read and who you've seen? It will help us advise you better if we know of any other resources you might want to explore.

Have you had the opportunity to speak with a veterinarian who specializes in behaviour or an actual veterinary behaviourist? If so, what tests have they run, if any?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Aggressive to family dogs

She has been to an animal behaviorist here in town, who helped with some issues, like when I took here to class or on a walk, she would come in and go after which ever dog she could find.
I have spoken with my vet, while she hasn't done tests, her exam was normal. Her behavior with people is incredible. I love this dog for so many reasons.
I have read several training books including the Cesar Milan books. I think Eve looks at me as pack leader, but she looks at my husband more like a possession. She gets very upset when he pets another dog, gives another dog a treat. I had Evie before we got married and I told him he has to maintain the pack order but he doesn't really get it. She loves to sit on his lap and mine and when another dog walks by she'll lift her lip at them. I tell him to push her off, but mostly he doesn't.
Evie will be 2 in a few months, this has been going on since she was 6 monthts old. We go weeks without an episode but then there will be a flurry of them. This weekend, we were out of town and she went after my very old dane girl, who now has a few lacerations.
This started with my male, who would always try and take her toys. In training classes there were always dogs who would maul her in puppy play time.Then I took her to the dog park to run off some energy. She has no interest in the other dogs, only the people. But big dogs there would always jump her so I stopped taking her.
I am at a loss, I've never dealt with this before and don't know what to do.
 

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For starters, I suggest you keep her separate. The habit of aggression or dominance is hard to break but you start by prevention.

The second is to bring in a behavior specialist and have them evaulate everyone. This is not a problem that can be diagnosed on the Internet or at a class.

Good luck.
 

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I am attaching the link to help you find a Certified Veterinary Behaviorist. They are not a dime a dozen and will have more specialized training than others. Any trainer can call themselves a behaviorist, if I were in your shoes, I would be getting a second opinion and I would be looking for the very best person I could find. I don't know what part of Wisconsin you are located in but there are board certified doctors in Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana so hopefully you can find someone to see you soon.

http://www.dacvb.org/resources/find/

Previous posters are correct, you need help from someone who can see your dog in person. I do have a question, did the behaviorist who you have already seen not make any suggestions about managing her?

She shouldn't be allowed up on the furniture, up on your laps, anything that might trigger an incident should be removed (toys, treats, bones) and if that doesn't help she needs to be gated, crated or Xpenned, so that she isn't a danger to your other dogs until you can get this under control. If you have to go out of town again, please board her so that she doesn't hurt your other dogs. Do you have her dragging a leash in the house so that you have a way to pull her off if she goes after one of the other dogs?

Until you can get to the new Behaviorist, you might look up the protocol of "Nothing In Life is Free." I won't pretend that I have much to offer, but this might be a good start until you can get professional help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok thanks everyone. I did use a certified behavior specialist. He s CPDT-ka graduate of animal behavior college and certified by professional dog trainers council. He helped a lot with one issue. But she's been going up the ladder to my oldest dog who is not well anyway. The other two say away from her you just ever know what little thing will set her off.
 

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It's great that you used a CPDT and it sounds like you got some good advice.

I would also suggest a vet behaviourist as described above and definitely to stay away from Dog Whisperer stuff and others suggesting similar training. Dominance theory as a training methodology is highly controversial to say the least. What you might want to read instead are things like Grisha Stewart and Leslie McDevitt if you're interested in books which focus on behaviour science.

May I add to this that you actually have one of the most famous Dog Behaviour experts around, Dr. Patricial McConnell - Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. Highly recommended.

Please come back and let us know how things are going.
 

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I sympathize greatly because I'm going through some of this myself. I have a new dog who turns put to be woefully under socialized and as a result becomes aggressive with any dog that seems afraid of her. My male has had issues with resource guarding and has developed a dislike of huskies. My trainer is very good with multiple dog households and that experience is proving invaluable.

My first recommendation is that when you are not home to keep the aggressive dog where she can't reach the others. And whenever toys or treats are being given or played with. Your other dogs should be able to live and eat without fear of being attacked.

Good luck. Hope you come back and let us know how things are going.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi all, I will look into a behavior specialist, closest one is three hours away. Also I think the idea of no laps and no furniture is a great idea. I think a lot is jealousy. We are going out of town in a couple of weeks and I think I will board her so my pet sitter doesn't have to deal with this. We both love this girl- she was everything I hoped she'd be, except for this. She loves people and has no interest in playing with other dogs, mine or otherwise. Will also read the books suggested.
 

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I can understand your frustration ~ I have a boy who has a guarding issue (only with toys) and is dog aggressive as well (he was a rescue) and we have tried many things ~ most haven't worked. He is fantastic with people and smart as a whip. Funny thing is that he does have a few "friends" that he likes, but past that he seems to hate most other dogs on sight. I seem to be able to help him accept some other dogs with continuous exposure (starting with walking together, then highly supervised short play periods with leads on).

Just a thought, have you had her thyroid tested? Low thyroid has been attributed to unexplained aggression in some dogs .. you can check out Dr. Jean Dodds research on this subject. Good luck with your girl and let me know if you find something that helps.
 

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Please see either a veterinary behaviorist or a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. You have a serious issue here who needs to see the top professional you can. If you absolutely cannot make it to a veterinary behaviorist or CAAB, there is a service at Tufts University where you can send in a video and fill out a questionnaire and have a professional consult. Nothing in Life is Free is a good start and you may want to look at the book Mine by Jean Donaldson which is about resource guarding.

Have you spoken to your breeder about this issue? The breeder should be your first recourse for any puppy issue.

Your dog's issues sound like a brain chemistry issue and she may benefit from psychiatric medications. While issues with outside dogs may result from bad experiences at class or the dog park, the level of aggression with dogs inside her family is something else. In fact the situations with the dogs in puppy class and the dog park may have occurred because the other dogs sensed something off in your dog or because even at that young age she was not capable of understanding what the other dogs were telling her.

We have a new 9 month old Golden pup member of our dog park. This dog is socially clueless and cannot understand when older dogs are telling him to back off. Even after an older dog corrects him, he comes right back jumping at the older dog's faces. It may be genetic, it may be the result of poor socialization before the pup was three months old. Dogs who seem to repeatedly be bullied by a variety of other dogs are sometimes clueless themselves.
 
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