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Thread: Flash aggression, Lab

  1. #21
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donna Kerr View Post
    Sorry for how long… A little background -

    3 yr old BLM “Eddie”, full time house dog, very good OB dog, not so hot hunt test dog, very slow to mature. Normally the sweetest boy, who loves to cuddle even with our older dog. Most of the time it is just Ken and I around but when the kids, grand kids and young nieces and/or nephews come, both dogs have always been very friendly and Eddie is a kisser and plays with them all. Eddie is not the friendliest with other dogs though, not all dogs but he has snarled and lunged at some. He has never actually been in a fight with any and gets along very well with our older dog. He does have a bad habit of doing a like half whine, half bark noise at me and rubbing his teeth on my hand when I tell him something he doesn’t want to do but he has never ever left a mark and he will do a puppy pounce and do what he was told.

    So the other night my 6 year old granddaughter, Cloe, spent the night. She has stayed with us numerous times without any issues. She does not tease the dogs, she gives them treats and she will even put them through some OB exercises. Both dogs are normally very sweet to her and they even help put her to bed with kisses and wagging tails. So it is around 10 PM, Ken has gone to bed, I at the table, dogs are laying in the family room and Cloe is lying on the couch in the same room. I can see her perfectly and am only about 15 feet away, open concept. Her arm is hanging off the couch. Eddie gets up, and walks over to Cloe, tail wagging and gives her a little kiss. Cloe reached out with her other had to the other side of Eddie’s head and kind of leans to see the TV. In a flash there was snarling and teeth flashing and Eddie was on top of her. She screamed, I ran and kicked him square in the side, Scrubs even jumped between him and Cloe. It was loud enough of an attack that it woke Ken who knew that it wasn’t good. Eddie knew he was wrong. His body language was clearly submissive and apologetic, if a dog can be apologetic, afterwards. Lots of crying but he did not break the skin. He did leave welts and a red streak down her forehead along with a bent pair of glasses. Ken took him outside and we kept him separated from Cloe for the rest of the night. He was his normal friendly self the next day and Cloe said she still loved him and he was still her friend.

    I don’t know what to think… Ken is talking that we need to put him down (I’d hate to do that) or keep him locked up when the kids are here but I’m afraid that may make him worse and sometimes they just show up. Biggest problem is I don’t know what set him off! I’m just looking for ideas as I’m sure others have dealt with similar situations. Thanks in advance…
    I don't think that many dogs like that, any kind of attempt at hugging. Some may tolerate it more than others but I think it is a bad move.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    How about a muzzle? My vet sells a basket type one made plastic. they even learn to drink with with them on. My vet uses them in place of lampshades...... But it might be a thought. I bet it's eyes and/or ears......
    Susan

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  3. #23
    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    So the other night my 6 year old granddaughter, Cloe, spent the night. She has stayed with us numerous times without any issues. She does not tease the dogs, she gives them treats and she will even put them through some OB exercises. Both dogs are normally very sweet to her and they even help put her to bed with kisses and wagging tails. So it is around 10 PM, Ken has gone to bed, I at the table, dogs are laying in the family room and Cloe is lying on the couch in the same room. I can see her perfectly and am only about 15 feet away, open concept. Her arm is hanging off the couch. Eddie gets up, and walks over to Cloe, tail wagging and gives her a little kiss. Cloe reached out with her other had to the other side of Eddie’s head and kind of leans to see the TV. In a flash there was snarling and teeth flashing and Eddie was on top of her. She screamed, I ran and kicked him square in the side, Scrubs even jumped between him and Cloe. It was loud enough of an attack that it woke Ken who knew that it wasn’t good. Eddie knew he was wrong. His body language was clearly submissive and apologetic, if a dog can be apologetic, afterwards. Lots of crying but he did not break the skin. He did leave welts and a red streak down her forehead along with a bent pair of glasses. Ken took him outside and we kept him separated from Cloe for the rest of the night. He was his normal friendly self the next day and Cloe said she still loved him and he was still her friend.

    Dogs are not really capable of feeling apologetic. He was responding to your kick and going into a submissive mode to you. Touching the dogs neck is an act of dominance and he may have been responding to that, but the dog approached her and that makes me wonder what his intentions where in doing that, it was obviously not for affection from her. I don't think it is an accident that it happened with you not in the room. Perhaps he was trying to establish a pack order and she made a dominant move on him? With her doing OB drills, but otherwise acting in a submissive manner (does that happen?) that may have created a need to establish a pack order. I am speaking just from book learning so take it with a grain of salt. I don't have a solution for you though.
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  4. #24
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    Glad your granddaughter has no permanent physical scars. I know you are hopeful and are checking out his health status to find a "reason" for his behavior, but unfortunately this dog is not safe, whatever the reason Sounds like you will need a permanent management plan . Have you contacted the breeder you got him from? Just a thought before you attempt any re-homing yourself, reliable breeders would rather you return the dog to them. Most breeders actually have such a clause in their puppy contracts. Good luck, it is always hard to make a decision like this about a dog you love, but you need to protect both your own granddaughter and any other children this dog may come in contact with.
    Last edited by dogluvah; 07-03-2014 at 03:49 AM.

  5. #25
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDog View Post
    How about a muzzle? My vet sells a basket type one made plastic. they even learn to drink with with them on. My vet uses them in place of lampshades...... But it might be a thought. I bet it's eyes and/or ears......
    This isn't a bad idea at all.
    Darrin Greene

  6. #26
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    If you rehome this dog get a release and hope for the best.
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  7. #27
    Senior Member Donna Kerr's Avatar
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    Again - THANK YOU ALL for the support! We really appreciate it... more than you know. Ken took him in today and he has a bad ear infection (he showed a lot of issues last night - shaking, scratching and the like), right ear where she reached up to. Ken did not ask about his eyes but he is going again next week with me and I will have that checked along with his thyroid. Still does not excuse it and once a dog does something like this I am convinced they get may, and will, do it again a LOT more easily. Kids come first and foremost and we are going to get a muzzle - good idea Susan, thank you. We are not going to re-home him. He will have the muzzle and/or kennel when the kids are here.
    Cloe has also told EVERYONE that Eddie doesn't get hugs, I told her that NO dogs get hugs, even Scrubs (the most gentile soul) and she agreed with that. It is TOTALLY true that kids and dogs communicate totally differently, and getting complacent, is NOT a good thing...

    Happy independence Day All!!
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  8. #28
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    At first I avoided responding to this thread. It's been too soon. However, here is one perspective. First of all, there probably is no one set of circumstances that can apply to a specific case. Here's one example of a dog with issues.

    Gunny was a singleton. He was totally blue when taken by C-section. My vet gave him a fifty-fifty chance of surviving. That was two strikes right off the bat. He made it and seemed to be an outstanding retriever. Then he became bowl possessive....really nasty. Solved that problem. Then he became crate protective. Solved that problem, too. All seemed fine for awhile. Then one day at duck camp he was attacked by another dog "out of the blue". After that any dog that stuck his nose in his face should have known better. Actually, I learned to manage that problem, too. "Managing" became a 24/7 effort...it became a habit....in a strange way it was just the normal thing to do.

    At about three years old he was neutered after finding out he had a very bad hip. Obviously, he had excuses. Then one day, I reached down to give him the same pat I had been doing for two years and suddenly I was bleeding......nasty, sudden snarling bite. It was very unnerving to say the least. There is nothing more demoralizing than to have a dog you raised from a pup turn on you "out of the blue". I reacted pretty much in anger and he was on his back immediately and I bled all over him. A few minutes later he was walking around like nothing happened.

    Did a lot of soul searching and did nothing in a hurry. Talked to Pete (RTF) several times and did a lot of reading. I decided the problem was to be "managed" with regular, impromptu OB on leash before feeding....actually before and after everything. He was fed separate from the other dogs and in a manner in which I could retrieve his bowl after he left it. I spent several months having chilling moments waiting for another shoe to drop.

    Routines were established in the house and everywhere he went to "manage" the issue. Every once in a while he would suddenly turn into a snarling "wolf" in his crate, but the situation was managed. No one was every bit again. He trained well and passed several hunt tests in a row all the way through a Senior Title. However, his hips were just not up to heavy training.

    The last few years Gunny was a great dog to hunt with. However, every once in awhile the wild wolf in the crate would suddenly flare up. I'd leave the duck camp trailer for a half hour and return to find a calm dog looking at me saying "What?" The shivers continued to surface every once in awhile.....but he was being successfully "managed".

    Now the last three years we have been raising our now four and half year old Granddaughter. Gunny was always managed to never be in any situation remotely related to interactions with her. Things were sailing right along with no issues. One evening I was preparing to take the four dogs out for a midnight airing. They had been sleeping in their crates in the living room. Gunny is let out last and as usual taken to the door for the airing yard on lead. Tonight when I reached for the latch, he snarled and turned in the "wolf" thing that I had not seen for almost a year. A chill went up my spine to my brain saying "this is the last straw".

    I called my vet early he next morning. His first comment was "I've been surprised that you have not made this call sooner."

    A month later, I suddenly realized just how much emotional energy was being expended every "freeking" single day for years to "manage" the situation. The atmosphere in our house has changed dramatically...especially for me. The other three dogs are very much more relaxed now since they don't have to always be looking to maintain the proper distance. I should mention that every single time the four went out to air I was in the yard "supervising" which is just another word for "managing".

    Each case like the one in this thread are not exactly the same. This post is offered only as another example. I would add the one thing I avoided at all costs was the advice given often that revolved around using aggression to solve aggression. Then again maybe if I had attempted to solve my problem in this manner Gunny would not have been around nearly as long.

    Keep in mind this is only one story. The point I'm trying to make is it will not always be a "walk in the park" to manage. One can make all kinds of excuses for the behavior - eyes, ears, genetics or a bad happening....whatever, but you will never, ever be totally comfortable again......unless you have a very short memory.

    p.s. And yet I still tear up thinking about him.
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 07-04-2014 at 09:24 AM. Reason: spelling
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  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by KwickLabs View Post
    At first I avoided responding to this thread. It's been too soon. However, here is one perspective. First of all, there probably is no one set of circumstances that can apply to a specific case. Here's one example of a dog with issues.

    Gunny was a singleton. He was totally blue when taken by C-section. My vet gave him a fifty-fifty chance of surviving. That was two strikes right off the bat. He made it and seemed to be an outstanding retriever. Then he became bowl possessive....really nasty. Solved that problem. Then he became crate protective. Solved that problem, too. All seemed fine for awhile. Then one day at duck camp he was attacked by another dog "out of the blue". After that any dog that stuck his nose in his face should have known better. Actually, I learned to manage that problem, too. "Managing" became a 24/7 effort...it became a habit....in a strange way it was just the normal thing to do.

    At about three years old he was neutered after finding out he had a very bad hip. Obviously, he had excuses. Then one day, I reached down to give him the same pat I had been doing for two years and suddenly I was bleeding......nasty, sudden snarling bite. It was very unnerving to say the least. There is nothing more demoralizing than to have a dog you raised from a pup turn on you "out of the blue". I reacted pretty much in anger and he was on his back immediately and I bled all over him. A few minutes later he was walking around like nothing happened.

    Did a lot of soul searching and did nothing in a hurry. Talked to Pete (RTF) several times and did a lot of reading. I decided the problem was to be "managed" with regular, impromptu OB on leash before feeding....actually before and after everything. He was fed separate from the other dogs and in a manner in which I could retrieve his bowl after he left it. I spent several months having chilling moments waiting for another shoe to drop.

    Routines were established in the house and everywhere he went to "manage" the issue. Every once in a while he would suddenly turn into a snarling "wolf" in his crate, but the situation was managed. No one was every bit again. He trained well and passed several hunt tests in a row all the way through a Senior Title. However, his hips were just not up to heavy training.

    The last few years Gunny was a great dog to hunt with. However, every once in awhile the wild wolf in the crate would suddenly flare up. I'd leave the duck camp trailer for a half hour and return to find a calm dog looking at me saying "What?" The shivers continued to surface every once in awhile.....but he was being successfully "managed".

    Now the last three years we have been raising our now four and half year old Granddaughter. Gunny was always managed to never be in any situation remotely related to interactions with her. Things were sailing right along with no issues. One evening I was preparing to take the four dogs out for a midnight airing. They had been sleeping in their crates in the living room. Gunny is let out last and as usual taken to the door for the airing yard on lead. Tonight when I reached for the latch, he snarled and turned in the "wolf" thing that I had not seen for almost a year. A chill went up my spine to my brain saying "this is the last straw".

    I called my vet early he next morning. His first comment was "I've been surprised that you have not made this call sooner."

    A month later, I suddenly realized just how much emotional energy was being expended every "freeking" single day for years to "manage" the situation. The atmosphere in our house has change dramatically...especially for me. The other three dogs are very much more relaxed now since they don't have to always be looking to maintain the proper distance. I should mention that every single time the four went out to air I was in the yard "supervising" which is just another word for "managing".

    Each case like the one in this thread are not exactly the same. This post is offered only as another example. I would add the one thing I avoided at all costs was the advice given often that revolved around using aggression to solve aggression. Then again maybe if I had attempted to solve my problem in this manner Gunny would not have been around nearly as long.

    Keep in mind this is only one story. The point I'm trying to make is it will not always be a "walk in the park" to manage. One can make all kinds of excuses for the behavior - eyes, ears, genetics or a bad happening....whatever, but you will never, ever be totally comfortable again......unless you have a very short memory.

    p.s. And yet I still tear up thinking about him.
    Your story made me tear up, too. So sorry for your loss
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  10. #30

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    These incidents - He does have a bad habit of doing a like half whine, half bark noise at me and rubbing his teeth on my hand when I tell him something he doesn’t want to do but he has never ever left a mark and he will do a puppy pounce and do what he was told. - coupled with the attack on your grand daughter lead me to believe with Eddie it is going to be a matter of "when" and not "if". Your prioritization of the dog over your grandchildren maintains his position of dominance in your home. Faulty reasoning on your part.

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