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Moving and Sudden Dog Aggression

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Moving and Sudden Dog Aggression
  • In June I moved from a 3 bedroom home to a one bedroom apartment bringing my 10 year old lab/greyhound mix and chihuahua. The chihuahua seems to have adjusted fine. However, my 10 year old lab mix (Goldie) has become very dog aggressive (except to the chihuahua) when we go on walks. She has never been this bad before and has already torn my left rotator cuff. I can't hardly control her anymore. I bought a Halti which has helped me control her better but it hasn't helped the aggression. The vet put her on a "doggie Prozac" which seems to have brightened her mood inside the apartment but has not yet helped the aggression. I am to the point that I am afraid to take her on walks because I can't afford another injury or a lawsuit. I now take them on a walk at 10 pm at night (instead of 7 pm) because no other dogs are walking at that time. I am lucky becuase I have a very well lit apartment complex and I feel relatively safe.  She doesn't just bark at them she actually lunges and acts like she is going to kill them even when they are just walking by and minding their own business.

    One example of her aggression is as follows:

    My mother has two dogs whom Goldie has known for 9 years now. They go camping together and used to go on walks together. However, on this last vacation trip in July (one month after moving) Goldie attacked one of my mom's dogs (Cherokee) twice. It took 3 of us to get them apart. Goldie and my mom's dog are very strong.  The first fight occurred inside the camper and the other one inside the car.  Then about a month ago I had to go out of town. I could not find a dog sitter so my parents agreed to let them stay with her (both dogs have stayed there before without any problem). My mother let her two dogs out in the backyard before I brought my 2 dogs inside. Once inside we let my two dogs settle down a little and then went to let my parents two dogs inside. My mother had a hold of Goldie on a leash held to her right side. The sliding glass door opens from her left side. Immediately as she opened the sliding glass door Goldie lunged (ripping the leash out of my mothers hand) and attacked Cherokee. My poor mother got caught in the middle of it (getting bit in the hand by one of them). Luckily I was still there and came to help. It took all I had to get Goldie apart from Cherokee. They are both very strong. I had to literally drag Goldie outside.  Goldie got bit in the side and Cherokee got bit in the leg. Luckily they weren't severe bites and could be tended to at home. My mother had to keep Goldie outside the entire weekend.

    My family and myself are devastated and don't want anything bad to happen to Goldie but I don't know what to do. My dogs are my KIDS and are considered my parent's granddogs. I can't change the living situation.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or answers as to why she has suddenly turned on other dogs and how to correct it?

     Thanks for any input.

  • I don't have any advice but I'm sure others do. There's an aggression section above that  you may want to read through for ideas.

    I sure hope you can get some suggestions on how to deal with Goldie and Welcome to the board!  

  •  Sudden aggression in any dog warrants a complete physical.  If nothing physical is discovered, then next step is (important to separate the dog from other dogs that trigger aggression in her) seek help from a behaviorist (Animal Behavior Society has a list).  I never trifle with dogs that actually do damage to one another - it only gets worse without intervention.  You may not be able to change your living situation, but you will probably have to change the way you manage the dogs.  Get some professional advice.