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Old 05-25-2010, 11:59 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Colorado Springs CO
Posts: 1
Default agressive family member. HELP!

We adopted a 3 year old fixed male boxer (Rocky) about 2 years ago. He has had some previos training from his first family and knows several basic commands. He has never shown any agression in the last year we have had him. We adopted a boxer male (Tex) that is now 9 months old. The older male has been attacking the pup to the point that we have to pull him off. Rocky has also bit our neighbor while he was sitting on the couch, and one of my wife's friends. He has become agressive to anybody coming in to the house except our family. He is starting to get agressive over food and I was bitten when one of my kids droped a plate of food on the floor and got in front of him. If I wasn't there I fear he would have attacked my 10 year old son. My wife was calming him down after we pulled him off the pup and he turned on her. She was severly bitten on the for arm. I just picked her up from the hospital after 2 days of I.V. antibiotics. After all of this my wife can't live with out him. I have a 14 year old daughter, 10 year, and 5 year old boys. I fear for my kids and wife's safty, but what options do I have but to put him down? How does someone make that decission to get rid of a family member? If anybody has ever delt with something like this... Help! I can give more detail on what is happening if it would help keep our family together.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:11 AM
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Zoom Zoom is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
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I would have your vet run a full blood panel on him to check and see if there is anything physically wrong with him. It could be a thyroid imbalance, it could be a tumor. Depending on what the vet check says, your next step should probably be to call a behaviorist.

Good luck and I'm sorry you're having to deal with all this. For now, I would work on managing his exposure to his triggers (food, strangers, kids) until you know more.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:24 AM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Location: Central Texas
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I absolutely agree with Zoom, and cannot stress enough how important it will be to prevent any future bites. DEFINATELY keep the dogs separated from each other, they shouldn't be in the same room together. If it were me, I'd make sure that your 5 year old can never interract with the dog - don't let them be in the same room together - because the risk of the dog resource guarding and biting the child is way to high. With your older kids, it will be extremely important to make sure they understand how to spot resource guarding and what to do to prevent being bitten..... which sounds like something you should brush up on yourself. Otherwise keep the dog away from all the kids.

I know it is very difficult to think about loosing the dog you've had for so long, and I do think it's too early to make that decision. Often problems like this are caused by simple hormone/chemical imbalances that can be solved with meds. Other times problems like this can be solved with some behaviorial intervention - a specialized trainer or behaviorist. I hope that you are able to exhaust all of your options before making any decisions. Good luck.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:13 PM
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Vintage Boxers Vintage Boxers is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montana
Posts: 376

Sounds like u need a vet check and an "attitude adjustment"

if u can msg me here or through our website i can try to help!

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Old 05-26-2010, 11:07 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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Boxers can be very domineering and need to be well socialized and trained, with proper management. Since Rocky is now three years old, if it was a training and management problem on your end, I think you would have seen this type of behavior much sooner. Agree strongly with getting a full blood panel. You should also contact Rocky's breeder.

If the tests show he is normal, then the new puppy may be the trigger point. In this case, you need a trainer, or as suggested by Zoom, a behaviorist. You could also board Tex for a week and see if Rocky's behavior goes back to normal.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:55 AM
Pops2 Pops2 is offline
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Location: UT
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i'm going to disagree here and say if the vet rules out medical issues to PTS. if you didn't have children and could ABSOLUTELY prevent his exposure to anyone but you & your wife, then i might agree w/ the behaviorist. but you have children who likely have friends & if there is no medical cause then you have a dog w/dangerously low bite inhibition. that is a bad combination. passing the dog onto someone else isn't the answer either, because regardless of what they say, you can't garauntee they will do what they need to prevent the dog being a threat.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:29 AM
RawFedDogs RawFedDogs is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: West Georgia
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I agree w/ Pops2. You don't have time for a trainer or behaviorist to take 6 weeks to 6 months to MAYBE fix this problem. It must be fixed NOW. If it can't be fixed now, he is much to dangerous to keep around. This is not a training problem. This is a behavior problem and out of the reach of most trainers.

If you decide to go the behaviorist route, be sure and find one with a degree from a real college and certified by a recognized group. This type person will be REAL expensive.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:00 PM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Location: western Wa
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I agree with Pops. I also agree that with excellent counter-conditioning, improvements are promising. HOWEVER....a dog with a bite history is more likely to bite again. It can not be "fixed" or "cured." It's like diabetes. It's not cured, but it is manageable to a degree. The chances of the dog biting again have the potential to be reduced with effective conditioning. But management will ALWAYS have to be excellent and diligent...something that up to now seems beyond this owner's ability. I would not have a dog with a bite history around any children. And I would not pawn a dangerous dog off on anyone else. That person may be able to help the dog, but he may not be diligent enough either and dog bites can be very serious and sometimes deadly.
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