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Topic: Problem with my dogs...can someone help me out with suggestions? Please.

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Subject: Problem with my dogs...can someone help me out with suggestions? Please.
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 2:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2007
Posts: 7
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This is the first time I have posted to the forum but I am having a terrible problem with my dogs and don't know where to go for advice. I have 2 dogs a Jack Russell (Spunky) aged 6 and a Golden Lab (Bam) aged 5. These dogs have been raised together since small puppies but all of a sudden have become extremely jealous of each other. Spunky is growling and nipping at the bigger dog even if he just walks by. A few days ago they got into it over a toy and Bam almost killed my Jack Russell. It was all I could do to get him off of the smaller dog. Now my Jack weighs about 22 lbs while the lab is nearly 100 lbs. But this did not stop Spunky from continually running back in and biting at him ( if you have a Jack you know how tenacious they are) after I got them apart which just started it again. Took over 20 minutes to break this fight up and then Spunky hid in his house all day growling viciously at me anytime I went near him. He would not come out of his house or have anything to do with me for nearly 10 hrs. now everytime he walks by Bam he growls and bares his teeth. Needless to say I have thrown the offending toy in the trash since they both seemed to think it was theirs. . But it is still continuing after 2 days and I am absolutely terrifed to leave them alone together. Everytime I leave the house I picture coming home to my Jack lying dead. It would break my heart to get rid of Bam and not sure I even could. but it would also break my heart for my Spunky to be killed. I just don't know what to do or how to handle this. It came on so suddenly and I just can't figure out why.  Has anyone else ran into this problem and  PLEASE could you offer me some advice? Thanks so much and I welcome anyones comments.  Jeannie

Last Edited on: 2/23/08 3:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/23/2008 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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Maybe you should take Spunky to the vet.  Sometimes when there's a physical problem or irritant, the dog reacts by attacking - especially terriers.  That seems to be thier default mode for problem solving!  It can't hurt to get him checked out.  The vet can put him on doggy prozac if he's just having a hard time generally.

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 2:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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I agree with Sharon.  A change in behavior like that could well indicate some medical problem, so you should definitely have him checked out.

In the meantime, lock them in seperate rooms while your gone.

Date Posted: 2/23/2008 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2005
Posts: 571
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Agreed as well. Behavior changes in an adult dog should be checked out by a vet. One of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, for example, can be an increase in fear or aggression.

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2007
Posts: 7
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I just returned from a 3 day trip so am just now getting the comments left. Thanks to all 3 of you for the excellent advice. I honestly never thought of that..I feel bad now.. I will call our vet first thing in the morning and get him in. He is very hyper anyhow and at his age I keep thinking he will eventually slow down. He is a ball of energy!! I really really am so grateful for the advice..Thanks!! 


Subject: !!
Date Posted: 3/20/2008 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2008
Posts: 247
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I agree that you should take your dog to the vet to get his health checked . but another thing you might want to cosider, you did not mention if your dogs were nuetered or not . if both or one is not fixed that might be a source of agresion as well at about age 1 is when dogs get all there adult hormones going so they might be fighting because of that as well . Some books that might help you figure it out and help fix it are books by Ceaser Milan and he also has a training show On the National Geographic cannel called Dog Whisperer. Good Luck. And a tip about Jack Russell they are hyper and active there entire lives.   

Date Posted: 3/20/2008 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2008
Posts: 282
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I would suggest that you bring BOTH dogs to the vet and rule out any medical problems first.  Sometimes in rare cases one dog will sense a medical problem in the other dog and that can be seen as a weakness that can cause aggressive behavior in one or both of the animals. 

If the medical tests turn up nothing (I hope that is the case), then look at your house to see if anything has changed in your lives.  It could be the smallest thing - a new bowl, a new food, blanket, etc.  Once aggression shows up in one area it can ease over into others.  You also need to look at if anything has changed with YOU.  Have you been upset/worried/stressed about something lately, or is there someone new in your life?  Animals can sense changes in our moods and behaviors but are not always advanced enough to figure out what is causing the change.  If you are stressed about a big project at work, for example, one of your dogs might sense the stress and wrongly blame the other dog.

I wish you and your dogs good luck.

Last Edited on: 3/20/08 8:05 PM ET - Total times edited: 1