My 5yr old female is suddenly aggressive

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KikiDiki623's picture
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My 5 yr old female dobie is suddenly aggressive toward our other dog. The two dogs (Male Collie (neutered)-Cody 7 yrs, and Female Doberman (spayed)-Kiki 5 yrs) are two peas-in-a-pod; they get along great unless there is food or bones involved. When it comes to food or bones, Kiki will growl at Cody, her hair will stand up and there have been a few times where Kiki actually lunged out at Cody to attack him-- just never drew any blood or caused any real harm. I never put my arm in to seperate the two, but I do try my best to break her focus and I smack her on the butt or throw something to make a loud sound; nothing seems to work-- when my girl is in this type of mode there is no stopping her.

Lately, I've been getting real upset with Kiki. Just the past few days she has been getting real nasty toward Cody. He will be walking by her and she will start growling like crazy, her hair goes up, yet there is no food or treats around at all. I have no idea what to do and am worried that this could be more than just a behavioral problem-- considering that she has never shown this kind of aggression before. Should I take her to the vet? Or should I look into training? Please advise if you have any helpful information!

KevinK's picture
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I would do both of what you suggested, sudden behavior changes are usually 1 of 2 things... a medical issue, or lack of propper training.  I just want to make sure as well that this is actually aggression vs. rough play.  Can YOU take away her bone or food, or will she act the same way with you?  She may be resource guarding, if that's the case there's some things you can do to stop that.  I would start out with the vet visit though, and keep your eyes on them.

KikiDiki623's picture
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Yes, any human family member can take her bones/toys/food away from her and she does not growl or even blink. I will do just that-- take her to the vet and seek proper training. Thank you so much!

KikiDiki623's picture
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My brother is sick in the head and for some reason always like to bring up the worst-case scenario's when an unusual situation occurs. He has me real worried, he claimed early yesterday that Kiki's problem is due to her brain growing too large for her head-- he stated that dobermans get this "disease" with their brains. Is this true? Can her vet visit wait till after Christmas? Or is this something that should be checked on immediately? I understand that behavioral changes can be due to a medical issue, but it is only when Cody will walk by her-- just with Cody. Otherwise she is listening, she is eating, drinking, playing, running, walking, ect.

I know I can always call my vet and ask such questions, but I know that they will talk me into bringing her right away. If she needs it, I most definitely will-- Kiki is my baby. If it is something that can wait till after the weekend, I would MUCH rather prefer that given that she doesn't have any other signs of something being wrong and the "no-time" factor over the next few days. Any thoughts?

DJ's Dad's picture
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...he claimed early yesterday that Kiki's problem is due to her brain growing too large for her head-- he stated that dobermans get this "disease" with their brains. Is this true?

 

ABSOLUTELY NOT!  That's an old myth that there is NO truth to at all.

As far as taking her to be checked by the vet---if it were me in that situation, yes, I'd be already at the vet's office with her.  If you want to wait till after Christmas because it's not convenient for you to go now, then I'd suggest you crate or baby-gate or whatever it takes to keep the two of them separated before something happens that you will regret.

KevinK's picture
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Dobermans brains growing too big for their skulls is about as real as santa clause coming down your chimney to drop off gifts.

jeshykai's picture
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I think vet first, because generally when dogs aren't feeling good they don't give signals like you would think they would.  It's rare you have a dog that shows, "I don't feel good", but signs are often in the behavior and intolerance with their fellow dogs could be a key clue that something else is going on.  Especially if they have lived together for years without issue.  

If they can't see anything, and its very possible they can't and she's healthy, a trainer is always good to give you a perspective on your dogs you may not see because you're living the day-to-day.  I'd seek referrals and references when you do seek a trainer, because you want to get the best when you spend that kind of money.

Good luck!! Grumpy dogs are the hardest to handle sometimes.

Dobertime's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-19

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I just read this - but I am wondering - is there a posibility that the other dog is sick?  Could the dobi be picking up on a new weakness and is attempting to move her way up the pack?

Lori's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-03

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Both are possilibities.  That's why most animals don't show when they are hurt or weak because in a pack that means they could be pushed out.