One year old is starting to nip and show aggression

elvis957

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#1
We have a wonderful lab/boxer female. Only recently she has started to growl at strangers as my wife takes her on walks or if she has a stranger come into the house. The dog is fine when I'm around and has never demonstrated that when I'm around. I thought that she's just being protective of my wife as her and the dog are with each other most of the day.

Our vet said that we have to take her to an animal behavoralist or put her down. She said this condition will only get worse. She said as the dog gets older she'll only get more confident and therefore more aggressive. The vet also said that the dog should no longer sleep with my son (my son is 11) in his bed because the dog will get too confident and will only cause this agression to get worse. Any suggestions? Help!
 

chazhound

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#2
Hi Elvis957, welcome to Chazhound Dog Forums!

I never met a mean lab or boxer. I think it is a little extreme for your vet to suggest 'putting him under'. Has he biten anyone?

One of my shelties growls at visitors all the time, he is just territorial and don't like peeps in his space.
 
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#3
First suggestion (and I don't say this lightly): find a new vet - one who has more compassion and is less judgmental. You wouldn't take your kids to a pediatrician who didn't like kids, would you?

It does sound like your dog is just being protective of your wife. You might want to consider taking her to obedience classes, especially if your wife and son take the class with her as her handlers. This will help socialize your dog and assure that she perceives your wife and son as being in charge.

There is a thread posted here dealing with a dog that pulls on the lead when being walked. Someone suggested a solution that could be helpful to your wife when she walks your dog. You can get halters with the jump ring in front, on the chest, so that when your dog does something you want stopped, you can pull on the leash and turn the dog to face you. Using that type of halter, you wife can pivot the dog around when she (the dog, not your wife -g-) is reacting too strongly and make her sit and calm down.

The only problem I see with the dog sleeping with your son is that both he and the dog are going to get bigger! It's going to get uncomfortable at some point. Get her one of those wonderful, thick dog beds and put it in his room; she'll probably want it where she can see the door. By the way, There is someone here at Chazhound who makes the neatest bed covers. She's designed them to fit over pillows, so all that's being shipped is the actual cover. I'll try to find it and post it later, or it may be in the classifieds, if you're interested.

I'd really be very surprised if a Lab/Boxer cross developed a bona fide problem with aggression; it's just not typically in the nature of either dog. Has she been spayed?

Also, confident dogs are not usually the dogs who become aggressive when you are dealing with non-aggressive breeds (which you are). It's the dog who is shy or fearful that most often becomes inappropriately aggressive.

I've got to ask; did your vet provide you with a referral to a specific animal behaviourist? If so, it might be interesting to find out what kind of ties there are between the two: referral fees, perhaps?
 

HarleyzGal

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#4
Hello, I'm kinda new at this but I've had dogs all my life..I do agree FIND A NEW VET. Putting an animal asleep for being territorial is rediculous and cruel. I would suggest taking her to behaviour classes but you have to keep in mind that she is still only really a baby! My dog's just 11 months old and he doesn't particularly like strangers, one tip is, if the stranger is comming into your home -or stroking the dog on the street or what ever- have him'her jsut put his/her hand infront of the dog's nose and let her sniff. This will allow the dog to see that the stranger means no harm to the dog.

hope that helps! :)
 

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