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Behavior & Training > HELP! Male Dog's Sudden Aggression Towards Owner (Me)....
Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 8, '10 8:57pm PST 
Sorry for the delayed response, but he does have double glass eyes - because I didn't get a background on him, I'm not sure whether he's a double merle, but it's definitely a possibility. Our appointment with the specialist is on the 16th, so we'll know more then, but I'm inclined to agree with you about the vision problems.
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by , Dec 9 4:31 pm

Behavior & Training > HELP! Male Dog's Sudden Aggression Towards Owner (Me)....
Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 27, '10 2:38pm PST 
His bloodwork just came back negative for thyroid problems or diabetes, so it's up to the opthamalogist and the tick serology now.
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by , Dec 9 4:31 pm


Behavior & Training > HELP! Male Dog's Sudden Aggression Towards Owner (Me)....

Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 11:10pm PST 
Went to the vet today, and we're doing a full blood panel, a tick serology, and a consult with an opthamalogist.

The vet did a full physical, and noticed something that I have to admit I have seen within the past 3 days, but dismissed: that Fish's pupils dilate differentially, with an apparent lack of reactivity in the left eye. She thinks that it might indicate that there's a loss-of-vision basis for the aggression, and a neurological basis for the loss of vision. We're going to see an opthamologist next week, and until then try to manage the behavior safely. I'm not sure what safe is, since tonight when I came home, I got the same attack and my parents had to intervene. But I'm going to try.

Also found a board-certified behaviorist in the area (thanks for the tips, everyone) and will call her tomorrow.

Given the rapid onset of the behavior, the trembling, the lack of recognition, and the pupil dilation problem, I'm very concerned that the answer is neurological, which puts me in the mindset of either Lyme or a brain tumor, and either possibility really, really worries me.

Thanks for all of the tips and hints, guys - your help is much appreciated. I can't even begin to comprehend this, because everything has happened so suddenly and I just can't quite grasp the utter, staggering randomness of life. He seemed fine just a week ago, and now he won't even let me near him. I have no idea what to do.
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» There has since been 10 posts. Last posting by , Dec 9 4:31 pm


Behavior & Training > HELP! Male Dog's Sudden Aggression Towards Owner (Me)....

Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 6:28am PST 
Thanks, everyone - Fish has been fine all day today, so we're going to hang out together until it's Vet time and see what the good doctor thinks.
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» There has since been 15 posts. Last posting by , Dec 9 4:31 pm


Behavior & Training > HELP! Male Dog's Sudden Aggression Towards Owner (Me)....

Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 25, '10 10:53pm PST 
Thanks, Leah. Based on what I've read, my main questions to ask the vet so far will be: Thyroid problem? Lyme disease? Generalized infection from injury? Ear infection? Vision or hearing trouble? Pain elsewhere? Tumor?

Yeah, the person Fish and I saw before (after a dog park fight) was a behaviorist who specialized in training/rehabilitating dominant dog breeds. We did private consultations and trainings first, then 6 weeks of group obedience. She advised me to train with a prong collar, put him on NILIF, and keep an eye on his dominance level.
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» There has since been 18 posts. Last posting by , Dec 9 4:31 pm

Behavior & Training > HELP! Male Dog's Sudden Aggression Towards Owner (Me)....
Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 25, '10 10:20pm PST 
Fish (2.5 yr old intact male Catahoula) and I live with my parents and their 1-year-old neutered male Shiba Inu, Boh.

Within the past two weeks, Fish's occasional dog aggression has turned into occasional human aggression (towards visitors), and now regular human aggression (towards us). I cannot figure it out. Nothing has changed in his schedule (1 - 2 hours of exercise a day, 2 meals administered separate from the other dog and only after he sits politely), nothing traumatic has happened that I'm aware of, and nothing has changed in our family situation.

Incident #1:
The rapid descent started when he lunged/growled at an afternoon visitor who had met him before, liked him, and wanted to see/pet him. My mom let him out of the room, and he did his usual friendly sniffing for a few minutes - then changed his mind. The woman knows dogs well, and so didn't run or engage him, but just remained calm and quiet and turned away until my mom (I was not home at the time) was able to remove him to a separate room.

But since then, he's lunged/growled twice at my brother (who he's known for at least a year and visits about 3 times a week), my mom (while she was holding Boh), and now me, three times. He's also attacked Boh more and I no longer trust them alone together.

Incident #2:
The first incident with me occurred last Saturday night, when I returned from an overnight stay out of town. I got home around 10 pm and entered as I always do and called out for him. At the time, Fish was in the kitchen with my mom (as he often is), and she opened the swinging door to let him out to see me. He came towards me, saw me, and began growling/lunging/barking immediately. I was shocked, but assumed that perhaps he didn't realize it was me. So I waited for him to recognize me and go "Oh! My bad - thought you were a stranger!" but...it didn't happen. He just kept growling at me, even when I tried talking him down in a calm voice. Eventually, I was able to get his leash hooked onto him and he settled a bit - then slowly the aggression seemed to fade.

Incident #3:
The next incident was last night - I arrived home after midnight, found him in the office, and received the same treatment. Startled, I did yell at him, immediately realized that it wasn't going to help (of course), and so tried to calm-talk him down out of it instead. Once his growling had diminished somewhat, I again put the leash on him, took him outside, and walked him around a little. He growled the entire time - even while he was peeing on a bush! Again, I waited and talked to him in a calm voice until he quieted, and then put him in a sit (even while growling, he was still obedient to commands - even falling naturally into a heel without having to be told). In the sit, however, I saw that his pupils were dilated and he was trembling powerfully.

Incident #4:
Then this evening, when I was preparing to leave the house for Thanksgiving visits, he growl/barked at me again - he was lying on my bed and we were just work-playing through some commands (shake, other paw, sit pretty, etc.) and he was getting treats when he just suddenly changed his mind and began growling. I tried to ignore the growl and offer him another treat - an attempt at distraction. He took the treat from me, but continued to growl. Deciding that I'd rather not play whose-room-is-it-anyway with him when I arrived at home later, once he settled down, I took out of my room and put him into the office with water and a snack (he had already eaten dinner and been out, etc.). Glad I did, because when I got home and went to let him out, he started to growl at me the minute I opened the door, and escalated it when I entered the room. I left him and tried again a few minutes later - same thing. I left him again and haven't gone in there since.


So I don't know what this is all about. The growl isn't an I'm-going-wild-and-vicious growl, and it's definitely not the worst I've ever heard him make, but it's an I-mean-business-back-up! growl with barking mixed in and one or two lunges, but no snapping.

I'm guessing there's some root medical/physiological cause, and so I've made a vet appointment for tomorrow. But what could it be?


The only things of note in the past 2 weeks or even within the past 3 months are:
1. Boh got neutered (3 days ago)
2. I found 4 ticks on Fish - only 1 attached, though (3 weeks ago)
3. Fish hurt his rear right toenail (2 weeks ago), but it hasn't completely healed. Doesn't seem to cause him pain, and he lets me touch it without complaint, but I see him licking it a lot and it's still a little angry-looking.
4. Fish has thrown up 3 times in the past week - but he's always had a sensitive stomach, and so I didn't think much of it at the time, since we were in the midst of switching dog foods in response to a potential allergy.
5. A skin rash/allergic reaction that appears on his chest/under-forelegs, itches him, and may have been related to the Science Diet he was eating. (past few months).

Help, please - in any way that you can. Answers, suggestions, questions I should ask the vet - anything that helps Fish helps me.
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» There has since been 20 posts. Last posting by , Dec 9 4:31 pm


Behavior & Training > Inter-dog Nighttime Jealousy/Fighting

Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 23, '10 7:20am PST 
Fair enough, guys - seems like it's only a big deal if it spreads or if Fish gets excessively rude about it. Boh has started sleeping on the opposite side of my bed/the room now, and Fish seems to appreciate that more. So maybe it was just that Bohemian was keeping him up with all the pacing/playing.
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» There has since been 1 post. Last posting by , Sep 23 3:59 pm


Behavior & Training > Inter-dog Nighttime Jealousy/Fighting

Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Sun Sep 19, '10 9:34pm PST 
The culprits:
Fish, a 2-year old, 60 lb unaltered male Catahoula (mine)
Boh, a 10-month old, 15 lb unaltered male Shiba Inu (Mom's)

The case:
The boys get along great...most of the time. However, at night, once Fish has entered the bedroom to sleep, he appears to give Boh approximately a 20-minute window to come to bed - after which, he growls/snaps/chases him out of the room.

Further, if Boh begins moving around the room after Fish is in bed, it's all snaps and growls until either I intervene or the poor thing finally sits down quietly in a corner somewhere and at least pretends to doze off.

The facts:
1. It's very specific to the time/place. Fish does occasionally snap at/correct Boh for things like taking food from Fish's dish, stealing a bone while Fish has his head turned, etc. - but those interactions appear to be much lower in fervor than these nighttime episodes. I have seen the same behavior during the day time ONCE - when I arrived home earlier than I typically do, both dogs were sleeping in my room, and I woke them up. Fish and Boh both tried to greet me at the same time, and Fish turned and chased Boh out of the room.

2. It doesn't appear to be related to a particular area of the room - Fish sleeps on either his bed, beside mine, or the settee catacorner, and doesn't appear to guard either of these inordinately.

What I've done:
I'm of the opinion that, since I am the one who gets up at 5 am to go to work every day, I get to decide who does and does not sleep in my room and when they are and are not allowed to enter it. So I have a few courses of action that I've used: (i) call Fish to my own bed when I sense the aggression starting, (ii) separate them when aggression appears imminent, (iii) scold Fish and protect Boh (by sheltering him until he can get into the room), (iv) or on very rare occasion, scold Fish and put him out of the room and let Boh in.

The last time, however, that I tried strategy iv, I opened the door 3 minutes later to find Fish hiding under the piano, shivering crazy hard and whining softly to himself - basically very broken-up about the whole thing. I haven't done it since.


Anyway, none of these seem to be effective in the long-term, and I'm quite confused as to what this is about - would love to know!

Questions:
Is it just that Fish get sleepy and irritable when he's ready to go to doze off?

Does he feel vulnerable because he's sleeping and react with fear-aggression?

Is he guarding me, because he thinks I'm asleep already (I am often in the bed at this point)?

Or is this part of a more generalized pattern of aggression towards Boh that will intensify?

Is this age and alteration based? (I'm sure it is, in some part, but I doubt that's the sole reason.) But if so, in what way? Is Boh just progressing from puppy-to-adulthood and so Fish is holding him more accountable for behaviors he deems inappropriate (like wanting to play-wrestle at 1 am)? Or is Fish growing more intolerant of Boh as he reaches sexual maturity?

Anyone have any insight or thoughts that might help?
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by , Sep 23 3:59 pm


Behavior & Training > Getting MORE rebellious after training...

Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 18, '10 1:19pm PST 
Update time!

OK, so first: Fish does hear perfectly well (when he feels like it!) - I haven't had him BAER tested, but the sort of normal reactionary tests that vets will do seem to indicate that he hasn't got any problems on that front.

Fence Jumping: Fish hasn't jumped the fence AT ALL since I started trying the long, loose, lightweight lead! What a fantastic idea - he tried once or twice, I grabbed the end of the lead and stopped him, and since then he seems to think that I have some new, omnipotent control over him from a distance! laugh out loud

Resistance to the Leash/Collar: No longer using the prong; still hates the Halti headcollar. (See below)

Ignoring Commands: Some improvement! I've gone back to the more positive reinforcement, and at least his recall has improved. I've also started playing more games with him - and that seems to have really had an effect of improvement.


More on the Halti:

So Fish and I have started working on the headcollar now, and that is going....interesting. I definitely feel more comfortable on it than I do on the prong - good for me, apparently neutral for Fish. He resists just as much as he did with the prong, with the difference that once the prong is on, he kind of relaxes - once the headcollar is on, he is just obsessively occupied with trying to wriggle out of it/shake it off/get his paw stuck trying to pull it off. This happens even when we go in stages - he'll be OK to sniff it, then OK to touch it, have it on his neck, etc. But the second it closes around the muzzle, he's like oh no - off it comes. Maybe he just needs more time to get used to it.

But, as one poster suggested (Tiller?) I'm now pretty sure that Fish is reacting not to the feeling of the prong itself, but to the lack of control he has while on it. My theory has been reinforced a little this week by his behavior with the headcollar.

Fish and I actually started out working (back in the day - maybe at about 9/10 months?) with the easy walk harness - I had trouble with that (perhaps using it incorrectly?) - because I didn't see that I had much more control than before over him - in fact, the harness seemed to give him some kind of sled dog-like power. So our pattern has gone:

Regular collar --> Easy Walk Harness --> Martingale collar --> prong collar --> Halti head collar

Any advice on how to make the halti work for us? Is this a good brand? I like that it seems more gentle than the prong, but still does help with walks. Fish doesn't like it yet, but maybe he just needs more time?



@ Pepper:
(i) I really have trouble with the idea that the only solution to Fish's behavior is to only leash walk/run him for the rest of his life. I feel confident that he can be taught boundaries, and have those boundaries reinforced in a way that makes him understand/enjoy/abide by them.
(ii) Fish is not "so out of control that he can't be trusted in group class." I don't put a prong on him to control him in that setting - our group class (with the original trainer) requires prong collars for all dogs participating.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by , May 3 12:27 pm

Behavior & Training > Getting MORE rebellious after training...
Fish Box

crazy little- bundle of joy
 
 
Barked: Wed Apr 14, '10 8:15am PST 
Wow! Thanks so much for all the hints, help and advice, guys! I will definitely check out the books you've all recommended, and in the meantime start to look for a new trainer!
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» There has since been 51 posts. Last posting by , May 3 12:27 pm

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