Dog with Animal Aggression

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 10:57pm PST 
If the doxie was killed in only a few minutes as the OP stated, I can only assume it was a fast, purposeful kill which involved a grab to the neck. Which seems to be the dog's M.O given what she describes happened to the litter mate. From what I can glean from the information presented to me, I don't think it was an accident.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 12:19am PST 
Amy I am so sorry you have to go through this. Please understand that some dogs are just wired wrong and it sounds like Maddie may be one of them. I have been where you are and it sucks. It would be irresponsible to let someone adopt her and I suspect that you would always wonder if she was ok.
Take Cohens advice for your sake and hers. Your girl kills things, thats never going to be acceptable for a pet. Consider the consequences if a child gets in the way someday while she is attacking something. my heart breaks for you, truly.hughug

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 7:14am PST 
I agree with Smokey. What you are experiencing is certainly not unique. I know lots and lots of greyhounds that would never be safe around any small animal and would kill them. It does not prevent them from making excellent pets.

The question is can you yourself manage your dog's environment to the point where the opportunity will never present itself?

A shelter may indeed euth a dog like this. Rescues seldom have single dog foster homes, but it is a possibility you should explore. Additionally, some rescues may be willing to post the dog and do the screening for you (of course, you would probably have to allow them to keep the adoption fee) while the dog continues to live in your home.

But this seems to be focused on small animals? What is the response around larger dogs?

Member Since
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 11:13am PST 
Thank all of you for your responses. I was afraid most of you might say to euthanize her. Maddie and her brother (Cooper) are the first mixed breed dogs that I have ever owned, prior to adopting them I only bought pure bred dogs. In February this year, I had to euthanize my two year old aussie due to cancer. It was the first time for me to ever see a dog euthanized, and it ripped my heart out to watch the life disappear from his eyes. From that day on I decided to "save a dogs life" and I adopted two puppies that might not otherwise have a home. It seems so ironic that not even a full year later I may have to euthanize a dog that I thought I was saving. What makes the situation worse is that I'm not sure it is her fault. If she would have ended up in a home that had no other pets this issue might not have happened, or perhaps it is her training and socialization that was the problem..I'm not really certain.

Maddie is not a large dog, she has the build of an English Bulldog only slightly taller. She weighs around 25-30lbs. If you look at her without knowing her past, you would not see a vicious dog. She doesn't really challenge larger dogs, she has gotten a little nippy with a few big dogs in the past, but always backs down and will roll onto her back with most large dogs. My biggest worry is that she might be more willing to challenge a bigger dog once she is full grown, she is going to be fairly short, but you can see that she is going to be very muscular.

My sister's dachshund had pretty large gashes on his hind leg, front leg, by his ear, and a smaller one at the back of his neck. I did not see any bites on his back or stomach, so I believe she must have killed him by grabbing his neck. We were home when it happened and the attack only lasted a couple of minutes, she was actually caught in the act, so I don't know what point she would have ended her attack on him.

Occupy Dog St.
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 12:00pm PST 
The first thing that stuck out to me is the fact that these 2 litter mates were in the same household. This is not an uncommon outcome because of the intense amount of social pressure some dogs can develop. Litter mates don't supply enough variance in social behaviors and doesnt allow some dogs to reduce social pressure until they snap. The same thing has and can be played out with dogs who are exposed to certain styles of doggy daycares.

IME once a dog has developed to this point, they will never be trusted around other dogs/animals and sometimes certain people again.

I've also noticed that these types of dogs have the tendency to freeze or use certain eye contact/hard stare as warning signs. Most of the time, there were many warning signs all along, but were so subtle that the owner never recognized them.

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 3:51pm PST 
I'm really sorry you're going through this.
Knowing how precious my Doxie is to me, if she had been killed by your dog, I would want Maddie euthanized. I know that's a selfish way of thinking, but it's how I would react.

I can rationalize that sort of extreme aggression or prey drive-whatever it is-with other small animals, but to kill another dog...so quickly...and with her being so young...it just strikes me as "wrong". By that I mean out of normal parameters. I personally would not be able to trust her.

Now having said that, maybe it would be possible to rehabilitate her. But already, two lives have been lost. Is her life worth risking any more lives?

If she were to have another chance, extreme measures would need to be taken to ensure that she was NEVER around any other animals smaller than herself without maximum supervision.

I don't know, I've never felt so strongly about this before...maybe because a Dachshund was killed.

Again, my heart aches for you. You were only trying to save a life, and I'm sure you love her very much.
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