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Old 04-11-2013, 10:27 AM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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Default Payton

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?
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:36 AM
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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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:40 AM
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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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:42 AM
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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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:44 AM
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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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:48 AM
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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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
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).
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
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.
No, no injuries, just a lot of noise. I agree that a lack of injuries is a good thing relatively speaking.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
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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.
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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:25 PM
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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
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
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.
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.
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