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Thread: aggression with 2 year old lab. Need Help Please

  1. #1
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    Default aggression with 2 year old lab. Need Help Please

    Hi,

    I have a two year old male lab and a 4 month old female lab. I guess let me start from the beginning. The two year old male has had some anger issues with me during the first year possession with food etc. But I now have this corrected and have not had issues with him in a long time. I got the female at 8 weeks old introduced them in a neutral location and everything was fine. I brought them home and he wacked her on the head. This was probably my fault for introducing them to fast etc. Second time was a month ago when the puppy was by him sleeping, not sure if she jumped on him or what but he bit her again requiring a few staples on the face. Third time was last night, the male was drinking some water and she ran past him and he bit her again requiring a few more stitches. Is this stuff normal? These two are fine most of the time usually playing together running around with no problems. He never has really laid into her but just gave her a quick whack.

    Is there something I can do? He just worries me if this keeps going on and hurting the other dog and also when we do have kids is he going to be a problem.

    Any suggestions or past experiences would be great.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    What did you do when he bit the puppy the first time?
    Wayne Nutt
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  3. #3
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    I threw him away and got on top of him. I then revisited introducing a new dog. I read up on it and if I was playing with the puppy and he came over started playing with him or pet him instead. Supervised them quite a bit and praised him while playing with her etc. and did not have a problem until the second time which was a month later when he was sleeping. I was not there for that one and not sure what my wife did.

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    Off the top of my head, I would research the concept of Nothing in Life is Free. There is tons of info on-line about it, and it can work wonders with dogs who show issues similar to your dogs.

    To your question "Is this stuff normal?" I would say, definitely not. It might be normal for a dog to get snippy with another younger pup...to get peaved or growl a bit in warning if a younger dog was bothering it, but it is NOT normal for a bite to be so severe that it leads to staples or stitches. You are right to be worried, and these 2 dogs should not be spending any time together unsupervised.

    Until you get these issues worked out, it would be best to crate both dogs seperate from each other when you can't be in the same room with them. Don't allow them to take naps together at all, and don't allow them to be alone together in the same room for even a minute. I would also suggest you feed and water them seperately, perhaps even in their crates, so the pup has no access to the older dog's food/water.

    Regarding children, as a mother of 4, I can say that this is DEFINITELY a red flag issue with your older dog, and that you must definitely work to get this straightened out before bringing any children into the mix. An animal who doesn't growl or show any body language or any warning whatsoever, and moves right to a bite that is bad enough for staples/stitches is a very dangerous animal to have around children.

    I know there are lots of excellent trainers on here who will give great advice on how to train your older dog and perhaps fix this issue. I'd also suggest you contact a good trainer in your area to work directly with you and your dog asap.

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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Keep them separate until pup is older, at very least, keep pup on lead when out loose with male. Keep one crated while the other is out, that sort of thing. One of my old males never would tolerate a young pup getting in his face too much, after they were 6 months or so, he was fine. It isn't worth the risk of damage to a young pup, to let them play with untrustworthy adults, and sorry, don't care what you do, how much you punish, beat, whatever, the older dog, he's still likely going to snap at pup again. It takes some pretty intensive work to made a dog rethink those kinds of behaviours and you and your wife have to be totally on the same page. As for kids, dogs and kids are two very different things. Just because he snaps at a pup doesn't mean he's going to be kid-aggressive. Mine loved kids more than adults, just disliked busy pups getting on him. But, you need to do your homework on training, supervision, of kids and dogs, all of them, regardless.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Keep them separate for now! Supervise any play activity and stay close so you can intervene when warranted. Others will chime in with good suggestions. Good luck to you.
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    Senior Member T-Pines's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jklessig View Post
    I guess let me start from the beginning. The two year old male has had some anger issues with me during the first year possession with food etc. But I now have this corrected and have not had issues with him in a long time.
    What was the method/approach used to address this problem with the male?

  9. #9
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Place the dog in an all adult, single dog household and be honest with them about the issue.

    If you're planning kids in the dog's lifetime, it's not worth the risk.
    Darrin Greene

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    Darrin is an excellent trainer, and if that's his advice, I'd take it to heart. In all honesty, that is what I would do if faced with the exact situation you are.

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