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Discussion Starter #1
We were in the park this morning playing with a ball. Ted who is now 16wks was off lead with Max (nearly 4yrs)

Suddenly a Golden Retriever came bundling down the hill, probably just to join in.

But Max suddenly went for the GR and pinned him down by grabbing him by the butt. I had to run over and smack him with the lead a few times before he'd let go.

The other owner was very nice but I am completely embarrassed & feel awful. Max has never shown aggression before.

Any advise. I'm afraid to go out again
 

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Julie, dogs are dogs.... they are not always 100% predictable and noone can say, but i would VERY much doubt he was protecting his little mate. Chances are it was either the 'resource' (ball) or just didn't like the interloper coming at them so quickly full stop.

It sounds so boring, but dogs out in public with valued items like toys and balls can get quite 'possessive'. Something they would happily share with a dog known to them is a very different cup of tea with someone charging in a total stranger.

For a short while I would walk on walks and not take balls and suchlike just to SEE where *this* is going. IF its something starting to creep into your 4 year old, he will soon show it again at some point. If he has no ball to 'covet and protect' it won't happen again if it WAS just the valued item he was defending.

Chances are 100 dogs have run up to him in his 4 years... so if hes never done it before, either this one was particularly unpleasant in *some way* to his doggy mind, the intrusion was particularly unwelcome or he was just in a crappy mood.

Don't worry. Dogs do dog stuff, and teeth and handbags CAN be part of occasional dog life. Its not nice, but they aren't people, they are much more basic than that and when something pisses them off, they respond like a dog.

Watch the situation, don't get all flappy about it, carry on as normal and just SEE if removing the ball from the equation stops it happening again. If it does NOT, then you can deal with his change in behaviour when you have it cemented that something as simple as removing the ball doesn't stop it in its tracks.

And don't feel bad about not taking throw toy, they really don't need it and to be honest its better they aren't chasing and handbrake turning on a regular basis. Especially the little one.

Di
 

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Barney don't like other dogs approaching Shelby - we usually don't take any toys with us so you can't tell he's protecting any valuables. He used to be very laid back until we got Shelbs but now I wouldn't call him agressive as he won't bite he just growls and wouldn't let other dogs play with her.
Do you think it's different because she's female or he just suddenly changed?
 

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Well its hard to say, but the thing being its nice to *think* 'big dog protects little youngster' and i'm sure in some cases its true... but in all honesty, the majority of domestic dogs leave ALL the protection 'issues' to the humans who they feel are 'in control' (and should be). Basically the leader 'type' person... and that is not *them*... they are just a middle ranking little person with no need to stress as YOU have the 'pack' 'covered', day to day.

So I'm not saying what could be going on here without seeing it and knowing the dogs better, but unless there is a bit of an inbalance on leadership going on, and he feels that the youngster is 'insecure' and he needs to take over the 'protection reins', then I imagine hes just being a grumpy git ;-)

NOW around season time as she matures and hormones rage, THEN his inner man' will come out and he may well get more defensive of his 'potential mate' 9as that is how he would see her even though you see them probably as 'brother and sister'... THE things can change. But should revert, in an emotionally mature dog, back down again to 100% calm and indifference as those hormones pass.

Di
 

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One of my friends has got a huge problem with one of her dogs. She's got two bitches - one is about 4 years old & the other one is just over a year old. The older one became very aggressive towards other bitches (she bites to blood :( ) when the little one is around - I advised her to see behaviourist & to use a muzzle as the situation is totally out of control. Have you got any other advise?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's now happened a second time with same GR. Max attacked the GR but we got him off. I then stood talking to the owner for a while (who was amazingly understanding) and Max and the GR just stood sniffing each other and grazing! I'm hoping they'll be better next time they meet.

But thinking it was a one off with that dog we met a bouncy choc Lab this morning who Max also went for.

My lovely reliable boy has never done this before he's also been very sociable. I wouldn't have got a second dog otherwise

I do keep Ted (4.5months) on the lead when we meet other dogs and wonder if this is setting Max off ?

Any help appreciated but I am going to ask for advice next time I take Ted to training classes. I don't want to Muzzle Max and 99% of time he is fine :cry:
 

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Just a thought but it could be worth getting a vet to check him over fully, he may not be protecting the pup but he could be protecting himself from over-bouncy pups if he has some discomfort somewhere? Could be worth checking out joints etc and keeping an eye on him for any changes of licking himself, stretching out and movements.

And just a second thought, my 2 get 'rough' with each other and generally a bit grouchy if they are over-tired, need to toilet or are hungry/thirsty. If I figure out which one and sort them out then they immediately calm down and become more sociable. Is your older boy getting good 'down time' ie lots of rest away from interruptions/activity of family/pup? Trying to throw some ideas at you from my experiences.

It could be a good idea to take Max along to training classes as well for some 1:1 time with you and like you say get some help on the ground with what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes thanks Laura. And I'm going to just walk Max separately for a while to see if problem persists. I will also take him for a health check next week too.

When puppy classes start again next week I'll speak to trainer to see if a 1-2-1 I can do for Max

Do u think I should keep Max on a long lead or just be prepared to get him if we meet another dog. Don't want to make things worse by giving off wrong vibes
 

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I'd what makes me feel happiest when it comes to long line or not... I probably would long line if max were mine I think. I would probably purposefully find folk to walk with with him and other dogs... I'd also go to places we were likely to be alone and do training or play sessions. I'd have a think about how best to get him returning to me. A bit different, Tucker used to chase leaves and nothing so he went on a long line and I taught him to return to a whistle. Tucker also has a habit of barking at some dogs when greeting, I taught him without other dogs around at first to come running to me when I clap my hands or squeaked a toy to get fuss, praise and treats. I can get him to return to me if a dog or owner is upset by the barking...

I think you have the start of a good plan forward. Remember that dogs are dogs and they aren't going to get along with all of their kind, just like we don't get along with all people in the world. Its about teaching them what to do when they don't get along
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks. The two of us had a good walk this morning but met nothing bouncy and had no probs.

It seems to be young bouncy males he has problems with so maybe it is a Dominance thing

I'll keep Ted out the equation for a while and see what happens
 

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Can you describe what action he takes on these incidences of 'setting on' the other dog? Are there any injuries? Gob on the coat of the dog he seems to be flying at? is the other dogs scared/bolshy/keeps wagging but crouches?

Di
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Diana. Both incidents no injuries thankfully.

The GR both times has come bounding up. First time out of no where. Lots of harsh growling from Max and snarling. He pins the GR to the ground. First time by the bum second by the neck. As I say 2nd time I chatted to owner after and the dogs were fine together.

Yesterday I was out with both my two and my step father and Their GR!
I saw this bouncy choc lab come towards us so I grabbed Max's collar. Ted was on lead.

Ben my mums GR was playing with the choc Lab but both were up on back legs trying to dominate each other. Max unfortunately slipped his collar and launched in and again pinned the Lab down by the neck. The choc lab was yelping. My husband smacked Max and he let go. The dog ran off and his owner followed making no comment at all to us. A by the by but the Lab had no collar on!

I'm sure you have some good advice
 

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If both dogs have just come bounding up to him then in dog terms that is "rude" - it may well be that these two dogs are lacking in social manners and that Max is just telling them. If it was full on aggression, neither Max nor the GR would've settled down and pottered about nearby grazing, sounds more like Max has put the GR in his place than anything else.

It may well be that living with a puppy has made a difference to him - not in a bad way but just that he won't put up with certain rude behaviours from other dogs anymore. Murphy my old Lab didn't lift his leg to wee until we had Amber - he was just soooo laid back ( and still is).

I do think having subsequent dogs changes the original dogs views of things somewhat and more than likely how he views himself. Quite often I don't think you see the whole dog until you bring another into the mix, I've noticed changes in all my dogs each time we've added another and its interesting.

Nothing major but just little subtle differences - very interesting!

Oh, and the fact the chocolate Lab's owner just walked on would suggest to me that his dog is often getting told off by other's and its nothing out of the ordinary.....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you so much. Thank you thank you thank you

Max has always been Mr Sociable. Been to my sister in law (a dog sitter) and her endless stream of dogs and to our regular Dog sitter with her 3 Flatties when we are on holiday and been a model citizen!

It is out of character for him. He has never started a fight previously but has always defended himself where necessary.

He does put Ted in his place & shows his teeth (which was a shock at first) but always wags and just mouths at him. We let them get on with it to a point.

Always having a single dog the two dog family is new to us so want to be sure we are doing the right thing!

:D
 

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I would just keep an eye on things and it would definitely be a good idea to walk them separately as much as you can whilst Ted is so young as its nice for the older dog to have their own time and also good for the puppy to build up his social skills and confidence without the older dog for back up.
 
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