Payton

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Beanie, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I need some advice guys.
    This morning Payton picked a fight with Auggie. This is actually the third time this week. The first was Monday night, I was sitting on the couch watching the basketball game while all the dogs were playing on the floor. I don't know what happened, but suddenly Payton was snarling and going at Auggie and Auggie was trying to get away making yelping sounds. Pulled Payton off and it stopped immediately. Auggie was fine, it was just a lot of noise. Payton ran up to Auggie about five minutes later and was licking all over his muzzle, then invited him to play, they played and chased each other and it was like it never happened.

    Last night everybody came in from going potty and because it was pouring rain I had towels to dry them off. I dried off Pepper first, then told Payton "get in your towel" (which he knows from going to the lake) and was drying him off. Auggie wandered past and Payton started growling at him, seriously. I told Auggie to get away and Auggie was moving away and Payton lunged at him - I caught Payton since I was toweling him off, told Auggie to get away again, and finished toweling Payton off with no problems, then was able to dry Auggie off with no problems. Payton was kind of walking around looking at Auggie a bit sideways but I told him to lay down and he settled down and that was the end of it.

    This morning they came in, it's still raining. I put a towel over Pepper, put a towel over Payton, and was reaching to put a towel over Auggie when Payton started growling at him. I reached down to grab Payton and he lunged at Auggie snarling and fighting. Auggie again was just trying to get away making yelping sounds. I pulled Payton off and he was snarling and growling and kept trying to get at Auggie. I took him to the opposite side of the room and kept drying him off and the whole time he was snarling. I tried putting the towel over his head so he couldn't see Auggie but that made it worse. After I was done drying him off I took him and Pepper in the other room, crated Pepper, then crated Payton... just quietly, I didn't really say anything, just put him in there. He was expecting me to fill up his twist n treat like I normally do but I didn't think it was a good idea to give him a bucket of cookies after attacking Auggie, so I didn't... so he had some loud crate tantrums while I finished getting ready. I left the room, toweled off Auggie, and put Auggie away too so Auggie wouldn't come in the bedroom while I was still getting ready and wander by the crate and antagonize Payton more.

    I think Payton was trying to pick a fight with Auggie at some point on Saturday too, or maybe Friday night, because I distinctly remember after they all got baths and I was brushing out Payton telling him "I'm sorry I threatened to chop your balls off," so he must have tried to pick a fight with Auggie over something and I told him if he didn't quit I was going to chop his balls off. But I don't remember what happened and it was not a full-on fight.


    The towel thing seems simple enough, it seems like resource guarding. Is he guarding me or the towel, or the experience of being toweled off by me? And why is he only going after Auggie? Pepper was standing right next to Payton while all this went on this morning and he didn't even look at her. It specifically seems to be Auggie. He has never tried to pick a fight with Pepper, or with Georgie. Auggie has no testicles but ultimately he IS a boy...

    Payton will be two years old in May.
    I'm assuming first thing to do is take him to the vet and have them take a look at him. He had a T4 run at his 1 year annual and it came up totally normal, I would be a little surprised if it came up unusual now.
    Also he has had the recent change in his food. Is this ridiculous or can a change in food bring this on? He's eating a LOT more now, he gets 2/3rds per meal twice a day (and still isn't putting on a ton of weight either, but at least he's not pooping in the house or having any kind of diarrhea.) It's lower protein and lower fat, so I would kind of expect the opposite honestly.

    I didn't sleep well last night because of all the rain and flooding going on here so I'm really overly tired, and I'm really emotional right now, but if it were up to me I would be calling the vet and making an appointment to have him neutered. I know it's a kneejerk reaction and not really logical right now but I am seriously considering it so it's not off the table. I've brought it up with the co-owner and asked her input as well, if this is just some kind of "I'm almost two so I'm testing how much of a jerkface I can be" type of thing or if we need to be considering something more serious here. Since he was bought with the potential to be used in her breeding program we have to discuss it anyway.


    ETA: the only other thing I can think of is Auggie has been on Baytril for his UTI for the last two weeks, he just got his final pill this morning. Maybe he smells differently because of the abx?
     
  2. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    Why was he not corrected? That kind of behavior warrants a correction at my house. It sounds to me like more than a "I'm testing the waters."

    Since he has done it multiple times, I would separate him and Auggie till you get Paytons issues fixed.
     
  3. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Ugh. I went through something similar with Pip and Squash when Squash was about 8 months old, except their roles were reversed. I would definitely take him to the vet as a starting place but in the short term I would recommend a couple of things.

    First, just keep them away from each other. You don't want them practicing this sort of interaction. Until you figure out a longer term solution, crate or gate and rotate. Don't towel them off in each other's presence.

    Second, when I consulted with a veterinary behaviorist one of the eye-opening things she pointed out to me is that I was being a "social facilitator" for BOTH the dogs... unintentionally, I embiggened both of them, turning what might have been a minor incident into an all-out attack. My boys are great together outside now, but occasionally have some tense moments - it's the hardest thing in the world but I just turn my back and walk away, and everything diffuses because I'm not on anyone's side. Not that you want to walk away when your dogs are so close, but if I was toweling the dogs and one got snarly I would pick someone up and take him into another room without saying a word to anyone (ETA: After further thought, I'd probably snap a leash on Payton before I started toweling off so I could lead him away instead of having to pick him up).

    Good luck. It's hard to go through this, I've been there. ETA again: In my case, neutering Squash DID help, but Pip is really weird towards intact males, so... not really the same situation. I suspect neutering wouldn't make a difference either way in your situation.
     
  4. GoingNowhere

    GoingNowhere Active Member

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    It would sound about right that he's growing up, essentially going through "dog puberty" and the heightened testosterone levels are making him more snarky toward the one other male dog in your household. Of course, that's probably just one possibility out of a slew of them.
     
  5. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Have there been any injuries to date? I'd still be taking this very seriously, but a lack of injuries generally means more of a posturing thing vs all out aggression.

    Payton is right at prime "jerkface with other dogs" phase for sure, so the less this is practiced, the better, until you get a better handle on things.
     
  6. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I keep thinking of things I forgot to say... anyway, in my case resource guarding ME definitely contributed, so I would absolutely consider that as a possibility. There are so many things that COULD be going on and it can be SO hard to be objective about your own dogs' interactions that if it's in your budget you might benefit from having a consultation with a behaviorist who does house calls.
     
  7. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Yes, I agree that I will be rotating them for at least a few days while I try to figure out what's going on... definitely.
    I think you make a really good point. I didn't really think about it because Auggie is a good boy and I knew if I told him "Auggie go away" he would just toddle away and not be concerned with Payton being a butt.

    No, no injuries, just a lot of noise. I agree that a lack of injuries is a good thing relatively speaking.
     
  8. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Yes, for me Squash had rolled on his back for Pip and was totally deferential, but Pip was standing over him really, really stiffly and it was going on forever and it made me nervous. So I thought "oh Pip is so good he always recalls I'll just call him over here tra la la."

    Well yea, he called off but as he was departing Squash gave him a bratty teenagery parting kick and then Pip went after him. In retrospect, and seeing how well it works to just walk away from any tense posturing between them since then, if I'd just stayed out of it things probably would have been fine.

    Stupid teenagers, and stupid insecure old men.
     
  9. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    My first thoughts reading this is that it is stemming from resource guarding. I suspect this because the scenarios you describe are all ones involving you, close quarters, activity. And Payton being a jerky teenage boy too (luckily that does get better). Also IME male dogs are often more respectful of bitches and what they may try with another male, they won't with a bitch.

    I very much think if during his displays, you just walked away, he'd likely stop. Such threats aren't any good if there isn't an audience. I wouldn't nessarily go to full on crate and rotate, unless this is happening all the time and is unpredictable. Instead, I would make sure to separate them during times it's likely to occur. Make a point to practice impulse control stuff with both dogs every day. Crate Games or mat work where you take turns working one while the other waits. Build new, incompatible behaviors into the situations that Payton is being a jerk in, which will change his focus. So if coming into the house is an issue for example, change the rules. Everyone sits outside when the door is open (can be taught just like the beginning phase of CGs) ir at least Payon sits and waits to be let in. Once in, I'd teach Payton to sit on a mat and wait for any needed post-outdoor maintenance he might need. This stuff, with a smart dog like Payton would probably be easily taught within a week or two. And instead of coming in and thinking "Look what a manly jerk I am!", he'll be thinking "I sit here and it makes her feed me". Obviously, you'll need to teach it separately and add Auggie to the picture in a very controlled way or it wouldn't work so well.

    Savvy went through a real jerky phase with Jagger involving coming in the house. With him it was him being a bad, herdy, bossy dog instead of resource guarding but still fairly similar issue to your's. Aimed at the older boy dog who wouldn't rip his face off for the behavior (Ziggy has made it more than clear since day one that Savvy is constantly on thin ice LOL). And creating better order to the coming and going pretty much solved the issue. Along with him growing up some more. And he still has his balls ;)
     
  10. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This. I also wouldn't rush to crate and rotate as it can be difficult bringing dogs back together after a separation if there were previous tensions. Managing scenarios where a spat is likely to occur is your best bet and I agree with walking away to diffuse the situation.
     
  11. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    You've gotten great advice from the above posters, I'd definitely be putting it to use. But I'd like to pose a question. What happens if you, when you see those first slight signs of Payton becoming uncomfortable and testing Auggie, simply popped him right up and removed him from the situation? Quick, quiet, and easy removal. And Payton's small enough that you can do it. I've found this type of behavior from myself on a dog that is just showing the signs of getting upset completely takes the dog by surprise and changes his mental state.
     
  12. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Oh God, that made me laugh. Thank you. Because I've been near tears about this all day and really needed a laugh.

    Impulse control is definitely a constant thing with Payton, that's for sure. We have been working on going OUTside because everybody will try to charge the door but coming inside hasn't been an issue until now. Resource guarding has become a slight issue outside of this. Last week he found the bone of some unfortunate creature in our yard and I told him to "out" it into my hand, and he growled, but then dropped it in my hand without any more complaining and that was it. That's the first time he's ever not wanted to give me anything though, and I didn't really think much of it because the other day he stole a paper towel tube Auggie had and I told him "out" and he immediately dropped it without any kind of complaining, and I wasn't even anywhere near him. I have still been trading toys a lot with him since the incident with the animal bone though.

    We are off to the vet this weekend to have Auggie's urine re-checked, I think I will ask for a T4 draw just to be sure. Breeder agrees that he's just being a teenage jerkface and it's nothing worth panicking about though.

    Apparently Fetching Tags is having a sale JUST in time for Payton to remind me of the other phrase I wanted on his Fetching Tag...
    stupid intact male dog.
     
  13. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I don't think it's fair to blame his bad behavior on his balls. They may contribute to it, but it shouldn't be blamed on that. Many people have multiple males and no problems.

    I use positive motivation training, the majority of the time. That said, this type of behavior no matter the dog needs a correction. He needs a little "come to jesus" moment IMHO.
     
  14. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This brings the rage out in me. That is all.
     
  15. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Honestly, it happened so fast this morning I don't think I could have reacted like that. The warning was so short. No warning Monday night either, no snarling or growling of ANY kind, just suddenly fighting. I still have no idea what that was about since I didn't see the start of it. I happened to have ahold of Payton last night when it happened and that's the only reason I was able to stop that at all.

    I'm not sure if picking Payton up and taking him away would help if he's resource guarding me though...

    Everybody is out together right now and Payton is not giving Auggie the side-eye or anything, he whined at him to play. Auggie is quietly giving Payton some space however, and I'm okay with that... let tempers mellow out a bit.
     
  16. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    This is very good thinking on your part. He may actually find it quite reinforcing!

    LOL Glad I could help :)

    I can say the same about Savvy. I think the impulse control issues contribute to the problem. Because dogs who don't naturally have much (ummm...any?) impulse control tend to get wound up real easy. And getting wound up lends itself to this sort of problem. I really do think Payton will get better with some impulse control type work involving this scenario, some management and time to grow up. I can't remember the last time Savvy wanted to herd Jagger due to dogs coming in excitement at night but for awhile if I wasn't right on top of the situation, he'd have done it every time Jagger came in. I would not consider this a "same sex aggression" issue or consider Payton a serious threat to Auggie at all from what you described. Obviously, you want to change the behavior because it's not fair for Auggie to have to put up with Payton being such a jerk to him. You're a good trainer and you have put a lot of effort into working with your dogs, I don't think managing, training and reworking this behavior is out of your abilities at all. I mean by all means, if you have reason to believe there is serious aggression consult a behaviorist, crate and rotate, etc. But from what you are saying here, I agree with Payton's breeder - I don't think there's any reason to panic.

    It is interesting about the resource guarding. Did he have any tendency towards that when he was younger? Most of my Belgian girl's scuffles have tended to stem from resource guarding tendencies, though I'm not sure everyone would think that is what it was right away.
     
  17. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Can Mia join the manly jerkface club? lol I'm kidding but I think my point was that I wouldn't blame it on Payton being male either. 90% of the time Mia is the instigator of our paps and is the one trying to start ****. I don't think it's true aggression, just overstimulation and redirection. She's a butthead sometimes and is the worst with Beau. Summer diffuses things pretty well on her own but Beau himself is a manly man and he comes back at her a lot. Bernard is intact and is very peaceful but will go on the defensive rarely especially against Queen B.

    I wouldn't worry too bad about it being SSA or anything if it's just noise. Mia's impulsive and often just seems to not know what to do with her energy and she gets frustrated so the dog closest to her gets it. I am not sure if it is the right thing to do but I DO break them up when it happens. She will usually knock it off with a 'hey hey!' You can tell she is incredibly, incredibly overstimulated at this point. She will be opening and closing her mouth repeatedly in excitement.

    I also know what will set her off too. Letting dogs out of crates and going outside are two big ones. So we try to plan ahead and avoid those scenarios.

    I am not sure if it's the same thing, it's so hard to get the scene exactly when you're just reading it online and not seeing it.
     
  18. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    It's weird, he has never guarded things from me (or other dogs) until that creature-bone last week. Any scuffles that have ever happened are over pulled tails or ears or just an overzealous play-bite - or the occasional Georgie is too annoying for Auggie and he wants her to go away and never come back, but that's not Payton - and they are scuffles in that one dog yelps/barks and the other dog knocks it off immediately... never a fight. We've never had any fights until Monday even with all four dogs in the house.


    At least Payton is not the only jerkface around here LOL.
     
  19. DogKisses

    DogKisses Durp Dog

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    Just something that hasn't been mentioned, it's probably just a teenager thing but what about Pepper? Could she be going into season, and it's making him loose his marbles?
     
  20. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Thankfully no - I still have two months before she goes back into season. =P He is very good about letting me know when the girls are coming into season, but it's historically been because he becomes a big pathetic grovelling crybaby who can't stop himself from whining... or pacing... or singing his song of woe...
     

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