Dominance Aggression?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by wagginwookie, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. wagginwookie

    wagginwookie New Member

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    I have a 6 year old pitbull and his behavior changed like someone flipped a light switch. It started a couple days ago when I grabbed his collar to take him to his chain out side and the hair on his back raised and he snarled. I yelled at him and he growled louder. Since then my dogs just been acting strange. The get down command off the (MY!!) bed used to work in a flash now he growls. My dogs constanly looking at me with suspision like he dosent trust me, when pass in a hall way sometimes his tail stops wagging. Its spooky. Another thing I noticed is he can not stay still. He walks all around the house whining room to room he just entered my room for the 5 time whining while laying on the ground staring at me if I dont look at him he will go stare at the wall for a few with his back facing me. The other night I heard him walking around then he howled, thats the first time I heard him howl in 6 years. I aslo think he might be smelling a female in heat and thats why hes doing the roaming the house etc. I dont have a clue. What do you think? Thanks
     
  2. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    You might take him to the vet and get him checked out to make sure there isn't a physical reason for his being so antsy. He could be in some sort of pain.

    Two things I'm curious about: 1) why isn't he neutered? and 2) why and for how long do you keep him chained outside?
     
  3. amymarley

    amymarley New Member

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    i won't even go there
     
  4. Chithedobe

    Chithedobe New Member

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    I'm with Zoom... Why isn't he neutered and how long is he kept chained? Definitely get the dog to the vet soon. There has to be some reason for him to be acting so out of character... I can understand you assuming that a female in heat may be the cause of his aggitation but he's 6 yrs old, has he ever acted like this before? I mean I'm sure that more than one in-season female has been around the area in the past 6 years...


    ~Tracy
     
  5. you dont have to answer yourself to anyone on why he isnt nuetered... however you should go to the vet see what is going on... if it is agression it may be pain agression nothing more or less... then agian it may be dominance because you may not have been showing him who is boss... however just go to the vet nothing else just go
     
  6. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I agree to have him seen by a vet. He should have a complete blood panel done, including his thyroid. Thyroid imbalances can cause behavioral changes and so can other things, such as brain tumors or other pain.

    Keep him off your bed. Do not yell at him if he growls. Motivate him to get off your bed and reward him for getting off with a treat. Make it as fun as possible to obey you. Don't try to dominate him. Do not get into a contest of wills with a dog or put him on the defensive by doing anything which resembles an attack to him. Grabbing his collar may have appeared this way to him since dogs grab eachother by the throat or neck in an attack. Do not interupt the growl-bite sequence. He is giving you a warning and if you punish him for that, he may very well go straight to the bite.

    If there is nothing found medically wrong, then I suggest a certified, reputable behaviorist at this point, to observe how you and he interact and to evaluate just what is going on. This sounds too potentially serious to rely on the Internet. You may need some hands on help. In the mean time, impliment NILIF. http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/nothingfree.htm
     
  7. Chithedobe

    Chithedobe New Member

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    You're right, nobody has to answer anything here when it comes down to it... Although in this particular thread the request for help provided ambiguous information at best. Answers to certain questions like, why isn't he neutered? It is in your power to have him neutered? Would help those who are more familiar with behavioral problems provide more exact advice. Maybe this person isn't the one who makes the decisions concerning the pet... Maybe the person who owns this dog is for one reason or another against neutering his/her pet and with the information provided by very knowlegable people here will change their opinion and realize it may be in the best interest of the dog and society to have him neutered...

    ~Tracy
     
  8. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I don't think being intact is the cause of this sudden change in behavior at his nearly ripe age. A visit to the vet is in order and the vet can be consulted about this too.

    And not all people agree with automatically neutering their animals. Not all people who have intact animals let them breed indiscriminately or cause other problems. There are health pro's and con's in both neutered and intact dogs. I don't think the poster should be put on the spot on why his dog isn't neutered. That is a personal choice. And as long as his dog isn't running rampant, producing unwanted pups or disturbing people, there's nothing wrong with having an intact dog. If a couple of vets have the opinion that neutering would solve this behavior problem, then that would be recommended. But I seriously doubt that that is the cause of this. Lots of people have intact dogs and they certainly don't have this going on.
     
  9. Chithedobe

    Chithedobe New Member

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    Doberluv,
    I absolutely agree that the probability of his new found aggressive reactions stemming from him being intact is small - which is why in my original post I asked if he had ever acted like this before. I don't think that anyone is trying to put the original poster on the spot - I know that I certainly am not. I also do not think it is a cardinal sin to have an intact dog. I do however think - and am sure that many people will agree - that several behavioral problems can be helped and or completely averted if an animal is altered.
    Let me rephrase my original question. Why is he intact? Is he intact for breeding purposes or for show that would prohibit you from having him altered? If not, you may want to consider the possibility of having him neutered - it may not solve the problems but it certainly won't hurt to try. By all means, like I said in my original post, seek advice from your vet.
     
  10. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    I also think that might be a dog in heat.

    When my guy smells a dog in heat he'll be very uneasy around anyone but me.
     
  11. oriondw

    oriondw user not active

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    Beause some people dont like to maul their dogs genitals...

    There is also no point in neutering if you are even a little bit responsible.

    Yeah, and taking him to a vet for check up wouldnt be a bad idea :D
     
  12. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    There is no reason NOT to fix your dog if you don't plan on breeding it.

    I agree with the vet check-up, and I'd also start Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF) - the dog has to work for everything. He has to sit to get a treat, he has to lay down to get his bowl of food, he has to sit for attention.
     
  13. Athebeau

    Athebeau New Member

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    :) Well said Doberluv, I think if they follow your advise they will see improvement. ;)

    This sounds like that silly Alpha training - train of thought. :rolleyes: You get better results and a dog that trusts you by earning the dogs trust not forcing the dog into submission. I rescued a Rottweiler which was like this when I adopted her, her owner used very bad training techniques by trying to be tough with her. It took me about a year to gain her trust and turn her into the wonderful dog she now is. By using the NIFIL policy and positive training only, I achieved wonderful results with her. Once a dog loses trust in it's owner it takes a lot of positive training to get rid of that distrust. Trust me, if you treated me like that and pushed me around if I were staying at your home, I would take it for so long then I would start reacting to the harsh treatment. Your dog has shown amazing control thus far.

    It sounds to me as if this dog does not trust you at all. You are unpredictable in your dogs eyes. It sounds like you need to go see an animal behaviorist who can show you how to act around your dog. So far I find your dog has shown amazing control around an unpredictable person. When the tail stops wagging the dog has just become tense, not knowing what mood his owner is now in and what punishment is going to be dealt out. The dog is confused. Of course, I am assuming that you are using dominance to control and train your dog. If not, then I apologize.

    As already suggested I would take your dog to the vet to make sure every thing is alright. He may be in some sort of pain (Arthritis etc.).

    Second, I would rethink the way you are dealing with this dog. I commend your dog on how well he has tolerated your harsh ways. I have a feeling that you try to dominant your dog by being physically harsh and yelling. If not, then I apologize. Dogs need to be shown proper behavior in a positive manner, dogs respond to happy owners better than harsh owners. Dogs are not born knowing all human rules, and by punishing the dog when they do wrong this can be counterproductive. You show the dog the proper behavior and lure the bad behavior into the proper behavior and reward when done right...not punish when done wrong. :)

    As far as having an intact male, I have had a few intact males live with me. My current male Dilon was just neutered this year (he is about 5 years old). He was neutered due to shooting blanks, not due to any behavioral problems. He has the same temperament as before he was neutered, except the only problem I have encountered is now that he is neutered he has a huge interest in food and has started a little bit of food aggression with the other dogs. I am working on this successfully with positive training. So, for him, he couldn't care less if one of the other dogs came over and ate out of his bowl when he was intact....that changed once he was neutered.
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Ah-haaa.....I see.

    Well, I can tell you, after reading some studies done over the past 30 years from someone who seems pretty reputable, I'd be thinking twice the next time I get a dog about automatically neutering or spaying right off the bat. Osteosarcoma is more prevelent in n/s dogs, as are some other serious health issues. Dobermans already have a high incidence of osteosarcoma. (I'll post that thing which I found on another forum in the health section.) But the bottom line...you're damned if you do and damned if you don't health wise.

    Anyhow, back on track here...medical issues aside, there could be some leadership issues. The dog was defensive about having his collar grabbed. Why? Has anything happened to the dog in the past where grabbing at him was associated with punishment? Has the dog been trained with mostly punishment based methods? Or was this strictly an instinctive reaction? Sometimes these things can come back and literally bite you in the butt. Perhaps none of this is the case. I'm just asking to try and get an idea of what transpires between dog and owner...what the dog/owner relationship is based on.

    Does the dog have to earn anything? Is he pushy to get his way about things and then given them? How much obedience training does he get? He is allowed on the bed which is not a bad thing in and of itself as long as he knows his place in the family and that his place is that of a working position and not a leadership position. He may have been fine all this time and may have known where he fits in but could there have been any changes in family structure, any backing down on the owner's part as far as continuing the rules and enforcing them, as the dog is aging....but with motivation and reward and not stern, harsh dominance? (sometimes when a dog ages, owners start giving consessions and letting down some of the rules to give the older dog a break... and a dog can develop a new sense of entitlement)

    I'd be more focused in on if there were something that might have lead up to this over a period of time, than whether he is intact or neutered. Sure, hormones can play a big role in the way a dog thinks. But with proper handling, this can be managed.

    I would definitely talk it over with your vet. And make sure there isn't an illness going on....blood work etc. Best wishes.
     
  15. thank you doberluv... having him intact isnt going to change his personality lol which is basically what they are saying

    tracy try to focus on the thread not me please
     
  16. yuckaduck

    yuckaduck Guest

    I agree neutering will not change any dominance issues. However it can help in some of the sexually related issues, ie. smelling a bitch in heat.

    A vet trip is in order to verify no pain or uncomfortable things are physically taking place. If that comes up clean then a behaviouralist is in order and obedience lessons. Even if he has been to lessons, take him again they deal with these kinds of issues.
     
  17. filarotten

    filarotten Moderator

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    I say a trip to the vet is definately in order. He could be having vision problems, hearing problems, or any number of things wrong. If he is having hearing or vision this could have possibly startled him when you grabbed his collar, if from behind. This could cause him to show aggression, and possibly, why he is not minding as before. As far as neutering, I don't see how this could relate to these problems. I agree though, harsh punishment could only make things worse at this point in time. Try positive reinforcement.
     
  18. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I was more curious than anything when I asked about the dog being intact, not demanding.
     
  19. no, i was just letting her know she has nothing to prove or has any reason to justify her self zoom... not towards you hun... :D hugs i knew the way you were coming off hehehe... and i agree vet is in order...
     
  20. filarotten

    filarotten Moderator

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    Zoom, I didn't direct my neutering statement towards you. Sorry if you took it that way.(( more hugs))
     

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