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Cage Aggression

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Cage Aggression
  • My 13-year old Shar Pei Mix HATES being in his cage.  I have to put him there at night and during the day because he starts fights with my other 2 dogs.  He will go to his cage (which is in the basement area) willingly because he knows he will get a treat, but as soon as the treat is gone, he starts growling and lunging at the cage door.  His eyes get glazed over and he will stand there growling and barking and lunging.  I have tried talking softly, talking loudly and sternly and even kneeling in front of the cage talking to him.  Nothing works.  It gets even worse if one of the other dogs happen to come downstairs for a drink of water -- he goes crazy.  I have tried leaving him out of the cage and just putting him in the basement, but he doesn't like that either.  It's now at the point where he barks all night long and keeps us awake.

    Some of you might have seen my previous post "Shar Pei vs. Akita"....here is an update:  3 days ago Rufus (my Shar Pei Mix) was pissed off because I was checking out the length of his toe nails to see if they needed to be trimmed.  When I was finished, he tore across the room and attacked my other dog, Harley (a German Sheppard Mix).  The Akita was outside at the time.  As my boyfriend and I tried to keep Rufus from attacking Harley, we both ended up with major bite wounds.  My hand was bit twice and is now swollen and infected.  My boyfriend was standing in front of Harley (who wasn't fighting back).  Rufus wasn't allowing anything to get in his way.  He lunged at my boyfriend and bit through his pants which left a 5-inch open wound requiring a trip to the emergency room and several stitches.  That evening we decided that Rufus was going to need to be put down.  This was the final straw as he was completely out of control.  Since then, we have both calmed down and neither of us can bear to let him go.  He has been my loyal companion for at least half of my life.  I am still willing to work on eliminating the "triggers" that set him off.  I realize I might not be able to do this, but I must try.

    So, I think that the cage is causing alot of aggression and anxiety in Rufus.  He feels isolated from "the pack," but I cannot leave them unattended as Mikko (the Akita) can open the gates I have put up and he can easily jump them.  My next step is to move the cage upstairs from the basement to see if that helps, but in case it doesn't, does anyone have any tips for a dog exhibiting cage aggression?

  • Millsan

    My 13-year old Shar Pei Mix HATES being in his cage.  I have to put him there at night and during the day because he starts fights with my other 2 dogs.  He will go to his cage (which is in the basement area) willingly because he knows he will get a treat, but as soon as the treat is gone, he starts growling and lunging at the cage door.  His eyes get glazed over and he will stand there growling and barking and lunging.  I have tried talking softly, talking loudly and sternly and even kneeling in front of the cage talking to him.  Nothing works.  It gets even worse if one of the other dogs happen to come downstairs for a drink of water -- he goes crazy.  I have tried leaving him out of the cage and just putting him in the basement, but he doesn't like that either.  It's now at the point where he barks all night long and keeps us awake.

    Some of you might have seen my previous post "Shar Pei vs. Akita"....here is an update:  3 days ago Rufus (my Shar Pei Mix) was pissed off because I was checking out the length of his toe nails to see if they needed to be trimmed.  When I was finished, he tore across the room and attacked my other dog, Harley (a German Sheppard Mix).  The Akita was outside at the time.  As my boyfriend and I tried to keep Rufus from attacking Harley, we both ended up with major bite wounds.  My hand was bit twice and is now swollen and infected.  My boyfriend was standing in front of Harley (who wasn't fighting back).  Rufus wasn't allowing anything to get in his way.  He lunged at my boyfriend and bit through his pants which left a 5-inch open wound requiring a trip to the emergency room and several stitches.  That evening we decided that Rufus was going to need to be put down.  This was the final straw as he was completely out of control.  Since then, we have both calmed down and neither of us can bear to let him go.  He has been my loyal companion for at least half of my life.  I am still willing to work on eliminating the "triggers" that set him off.  I realize I might not be able to do this, but I must try.

    So, I think that the cage is causing alot of aggression and anxiety in Rufus.  He feels isolated from "the pack," but I cannot leave them unattended as Mikko (the Akita) can open the gates I have put up and he can easily jump them.  My next step is to move the cage upstairs from the basement to see if that helps, but in case it doesn't, does anyone have any tips for a dog exhibiting cage aggression?

     

     

    I don't know how to put this any more politely.  You have 3 dogs, a couple of which seem to be grossly undersocialized or dog aggressive (socialized dogs rarely fight and puncture one another or the humans they live with), and you have large dogs, capable of doing major damage.  When a dog bites you, he meant to bite (in the time it takes you to pull a hand away, a slow dog can still bite it four times) so your dogs seem to have little or no bite inhibition, otherwise no one would have gone to the ER.  You (and they) are living in a dangerous situation.  A five inch wound is not a minor injury!!!  Do NOT excuse aggression, or let this go on without professional help.  If you cannot afford to hire a veterinarian or Ph.D. behaviorist, you either find a way to keep all the dogs separated, or you eliminate the ones that are doing damage, especially to humans, from the group.  Obviously, you are having NO SUCCESS at dealing with this yourself, and if you take misguided advice from an Internet message board, you may end up in deep doo doo that you cannot get out of.  Sometimes, the addition or subtraction of a dog from a pack situation will change the whole dynamic, but, without help, you are unlikely to know how to deal with these dogs or which dog is the true problem.  CALL A PROFESSIONAL before someone is seriously injured beyond what has already happened.  Take advice that makes sense and is backed by education and experience, not advice that is well meaning but only tells you what you want to hear. 
     

  • Milsan I am truly sorry that you got bitten.  I'm sorry you're experiencing this violent behavior, but obviously the violence/aggression has escalated.

    I will offer no advice other than this:  Hire a professional behaviorist NOW! 

    No one on this forum is qualified to give you advice sight unseen.  With the issues you have, it is irresponsible for us to try and offer you any more advice than has been given in your previous thread.  

    Please consult a behaviorist, there are tons of them out there and this is exactly what they are there for. 

    And cage/barrier aggression usually disappears after the barrier is removed.  So this is NOT that, it is plain aggressive behavior and someone else will get hurt or a dog will die if you do not act now and get professional help!

  • I agree that you need to see a behaviorist asap if you plan on keeping Rufus. For now, you need to manage the environment for all of the dogs, and yourself. If you have to, when he acts up leave him in the basement barking, and wear earplugs, until you can see the behaviorist.

    Also, has this behavior just started, or has he always hated his crate? Or has he only recently started to be crated? How long have you had the other 2 dogs? Are they recent additions? Has Rufus been checked by a vet to see if he has any medical issues?

  • I felt like I should post as an owner of a dog with aggression issues herself.  You really do need a professional if you'd like to keep all the dogs.

    I don't believe his issues are with the cage but the anxiety, etc. is coming from other dogs being in the home.  He doesn't know how to handle that.  I don't think it's that he's separated from the pack but that the pack is there at all. 

  • have you had this elderly dog checked out by a vet?  his behavior sounds really over the top- perhaps he is in pain and thus cranky beyond belief, or maybe he is developing senility problems?

    I personally don't think it's very fair to the dog to suddenly decide that at age 13 this dog has to be kept in the basement in a cage much of the time. Quality of life is much more important to dogs than length of life. His quality of life sounds bad right now, barking and aggressive and caged.

  • Why can't the other dogs go in the crates the Rufus stay out free, how would that work for him?  

    I hope you don't decide to put you family pet down becasue of the other dogs.  But now that you have this pack of dogs who don't get along you are in a dangerous situation and need to MANAGE and get professional help.  I just don't see why it is always RUFFUS who has to be caged and isolated.  Give him a break and put the other dogs in the basement for the night and let him be a pet again.