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Aggressive puppy.. help!

Daniestreat

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At the end of May I got a new puppy - A Collie x Scottish terrier X Kelpie. He was sold to me at a few months old ( now 8 months ) as his previous owner could not cope with him anymore & I must admit he was an absolute reckless puppy! Anyway, after a few weeks of training he is so much better, however he has now started to show signs of aggression towards my 4 year old Male French bulldog - who is intact.
At first they got along amazingly and would sleep next to eachother and lick eachother etc, but within the last week they have had a fight almost every day. Today for example, the collie pup was playing tug of war with my frenchie when suddenly the pup started growling, mounted the frenchie and then started attacking and biting him. I don’t understand this as the collie was trying to put the toy into the frenchies mouth as if to say come on play tug of war!! They’re fed seperately & food bowls are taken up after meal times, they’re separated at night & separated when I go out. The aggression comes on so out of the blue at the most silly things! He gets walked every day & goes swimming in the lake most days, he has lots of toys to play with.. Can someone tell me what I’m doing wrong or what else I can do? Shall I neuter him ASAP? I can’t keep this up every day, my frenchie starts shaking when he goes near him & I feel absolutely awful about it, Id like to try everything I can before I think about having to rehome as he is being a real risk to my other dog. Please offer advice! Thank you
Ps. I can’t have the frenchie neutered as I was strongly advised against putting him under anathesia again after he had two ops last year.
 
I’ll also add that the collie has not shown a single sign of aggression towards a human. I can take his food, toys, bones & treats away from him or out of his mouth and he does not bat an eyelid.
 
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Is it definitely aggression or could it be play getting out of control? It could be either but since you mention it being during a play session it might be possible.

Also at 8 months your youngster is entering adolescence and might be trying a go at bullying.

Can you keep them separate, at least until the adolescence is over? The more he is able to practise the behaviour the better he will get at it.
 
My thoughts on this is you have a mix of some very highly strung dogs with attitude to start with, your main concern should be for your older dog, it’s not fair on him if he is starting to be fearful in his own home. I think pup is reaching or reached an age of adolescence which can be a nightmare he is pushing his boundaries with the older dog and winning by the sounds of it . Do not castrate the Frenchie he is already feeling insecure with removing his hormones. The pup castration may or may not help don’t castrate both, you are keeping the Dynamics the same. A behaviourist / trainer may help if they can see first hand what’s happening, but for now please keep the older boy safe and away from what ever the younger one is doing, he is your first concern. Monitor their play know what sets his behaviour off, give them time apart .


This bit you won’t like, if this is turning into bullying / aggression towRds your older dog and you can’t fix it, then I would be looking for a new home for the pup, I couldn’t allow my older dog to live in fear. Hopefully this is just a young dog trying his luck, your o,d boy is not able to put him in his place so you need to take control, find someone to help you, you have a few options to try but be prepared if it does not work .
 
Is it definitely aggression or could it be play getting out of control? It could be either but since you mention it being during a play session it might be possible.

Also at 8 months your youngster is entering adolescence and might be trying a go at bullying.

Can you keep them separate, at least until the adolescence is over? The more he is able to practise the behaviour the better he will get at it.

I’m not quite sure.. sometimes it can be over absolutely nothing. It was happening at one place in the house so I gave it a deep clean and sprayed it with water & part fabric softener to get rid of whatever they could smell and that seems to of worked, they’ve not had a spat in that area since. I think they could possibly of smelt something which was starting spats. They are kept separate at night and when I am not home, I have been putting the pup in the kitchen to allow my older dog to have his own space! They’ve been sniffing eachother through the gate and have been fine.
Thanks :) x
 
My thoughts on this is you have a mix of some very highly strung dogs with attitude to start with, your main concern should be for your older dog, it’s not fair on him if he is starting to be fearful in his own home. I think pup is reaching or reached an age of adolescence which can be a nightmare he is pushing his boundaries with the older dog and winning by the sounds of it . Do not castrate the Frenchie he is already feeling insecure with removing his hormones. The pup castration may or may not help don’t castrate both, you are keeping the Dynamics the same. A behaviourist / trainer may help if they can see first hand what’s happening, but for now please keep the older boy safe and away from what ever the younger one is doing, he is your first concern. Monitor their play know what sets his behaviour off, give them time apart .


This bit you won’t like, if this is turning into bullying / aggression towRds your older dog and you can’t fix it, then I would be looking for a new home for the pup, I couldn’t allow my older dog to live in fear. Hopefully this is just a young dog trying his luck, your o,d boy is not able to put him in his place so you need to take control, find someone to help you, you have a few options to try but be prepared if it does not work .

Hi!
I did state in the original post that I can’t have him feeling scared & that I won’t castrate the frenchie as I was advised against it, & I also said that I wanted to try everything before thinking about rehoming - but I do know that would have to happen if it continued! I’ve booked the pup in to be castrated and hopefully it will help!
& yes of course I will keep him safe I i am a responsible owner ..
Thanks for replying
 
It's a real shock to find you've got an aggressive puppy- happened to us two years ago nearly. We also had an elderly smaller rescue dog. But if you can find ways to manage it (remembering that what may look and sound horrendous to humans isn't necessarily the same to a dog) then it will pass. We managed it by keeping them apart if the puppy was getting over the top and just supervising them generally. They slept in different room when the puppy started getting the old boy up at dawn to play (also us!). BUT we've had times when the old boy looked at the end of his tether and we took junior away, only to have the oldie come back a few minutes later and instigate play! All I can say is try to keep a calm atmosphere in the home, play with the puppy on his own and start teaching him better manners and it really will pass. We now have peace and they are good friends and good company for each other.
 
It's a real shock to find you've got an aggressive puppy- happened to us two years ago nearly. We also had an elderly smaller rescue dog. But if you can find ways to manage it (remembering that what may look and sound horrendous to humans isn't necessarily the same to a dog) then it will pass. We managed it by keeping them apart if the puppy was getting over the top and just supervising them generally. They slept in different room when the puppy started getting the old boy up at dawn to play (also us!). BUT we've had times when the old boy looked at the end of his tether and we took junior away, only to have the oldie come back a few minutes later and instigate play! All I can say is try to keep a calm atmosphere in the home, play with the puppy on his own and start teaching him better manners and it really will pass. We now have peace and they are good friends and good company for each other.
Thank you so much!!! I do hope so. My dogs are my life and to get rid of the pup would break me! Were they neutered? X
 
The older dog was and the puppy not- so I don't think it's always a solution. Our 2 yo cocker is still not neutered because things settled down and whereas I think there are good reasons for it in bitches, with males it's not always the best thing, especially when very young.
 
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The Frenchie doesn’t “have to be” surgically desexed - he can be neutered via injection; he’d keep his testes in his scrotum, they’d just atrophy, no longer making testosterone or sperm.

He’d still make more testosterone than any estrogens, & would still be perceived as M by other dogs; he’d be the equivalent of a surgically desexed M dog, w/o the op, & w/o GA.
His adrenal glands & pituitary also produce androgens, & these would continue production; both sexes secrete F & M hormones, the difference is which hormone class is in the largest proportion of the total. M dogs secrete more androgens, F dogs more estrogens, just as in human sexes.
A sterilizing injection only requires a local anaesthetic, which is also usually an injection, with a small bore needle.

I would neuter both, the elder by injection, the younger via surgery.
Surgical neuter is immediate; injection is not, it takes a few weeks for full effect, & the younger dog is currently amid the flood of androgens that peak at about 9-MO, when he will secrete FIVE to SEVEN times the testosterone in his bloodstream, than would be found in an intact 12 to 15-MO M dog.
He’s already awash, & is literally a fortnight away from the most enormous exposure to testosterone that he will experience, in his entire life - & that’s why any hormonally fueled behaviors intensify at this time, mounting, leg-lifting, humping even in midair in some dogs, escaping to roam, pestering Fs of any age or hormonal state, & fighting with or posturing at other M dogs.

The trick is that anything he learns during this super-male period (which he’s already in, it just hasn’t peaked yet) he won’t “forget” when he’s neutered, EXCEPT for leg-lifting to mark inappropriately, such as indoors, on human legs, on other dogs, etc; that will be enormously reduced, post-desex, if not entirely eliminated.
One study of dogs with longterm habits of pee indoors found that 90% of them needed no other change after they were neutered; leg lifting in the house just ceased, no B-mod, no off-limits areas, nada.

But if he gets to practice mounting, humping, escaping, posturing, fighting (anything from a minor squabble to exchanging wounds), he will keep that knowledge - & the more he rehearses it,
B4 he’s neutered, the more entrenched & habitual the behaviors will be post-desex.

And if anyone says that he will lose all confidence & turn into a spineless quivering mass of nerves, I shall plunge face-first into my oatmeal & inhale... deeply. :rolleyes: :D

Warning:
I am about to detour into personal experience re pediatric desex, “loss of confidence”, “it’s too early / they’re too small”, etc. if this is too much info or too upsetting, please skip it. :)

Over the last 5 years or so, i’ve seen this belief that M pups cannot be neutered or that M dogs cannot e neutered “before they are mature”, or they’ll become timid nervous Nancies, become more mainstream in the U-K.
In some instances, ppl insist that no M dog should be neutered B4 he’s at least 2-yrs old, or even pushing it out to at least 3, in the case of giant breeds. I’m sorry to say this, but 3-YO for more than a few giant breeds isn't adulthood; it’s already middle age - they will die at 6 to 7-YO.

Yet in that same period, no one I’ve asked has provided a single study with data that concludes “neutering M dogs destroys their self-confidence, & this is a lifelong after-effect of desex; they are unable to recover emotionally”, or any similar summary. // As a trainer in the USA, where municipal shelters & private rescues alike have been desexing pups & kittens before they are placed for adoption, which means pediatric desex prior to 12-WO (that’s the cutoff for pediatric -anything from 14-WO to 20-WO / 5-MO is termed “prepubertal”, 5 thru 7-MO is pubertal, 8-MO & up is post-pubertal or adult).

That further means, since “early neuter” (both sexes) became standard practice in the early to mid-80s, here in the USA, over those 30-plus years, millions upon millions of adult dogs have aged & died after a normal lifespan, even tho those poor creatures were heartlessly sterilized by unfeeling vets, at the direction of deliberately cruel shelters & rescues. :D
Millions of cats in those 30-plus years have also lived & died, after pediatric desex & adoption (or sale).


And millions upon millions more will be desexed, as healthy pups over 2# weight, before they are allowed to be adopted - or healthy kittens similarly desexed, prior to their adoptions, & in private sales, entire litters are currently desexed before they are transferred to their individual buyers, by some breeders’ veterinarians. :)

Since we kill 3 to 5 million surplus pets in the U-S every year, & can’t seem to break that plateau, I personally hope that more breeders will desex their pups & kittens prior to transferring them to buyers.

I remember vividly the many years when we slaughtered 15 million unwanted cats & dogs, every year - which was horrific. I never want to see the U-S backslide into wholesale killing again.

Also over those 30-plus years, over half of my clients’ pets, feline & k9, have been pediatrically desexed. If they were anxious & timid before desex, the surgery neither made them self-confident nor even more timid; if they were neurotic, they were still neurotic after sterilization, & if they were normal friendly animals, they remained normal friendly animals.

I am happy to say I now live in the pediatric-desex pinnacle of the entire U-S, with over 75% of pet dogs & cats across all of New England NEUTERED, most of them desexed as pups & kits; in metro Boston specifically, in large parts of the city, neutered pets make up
90% or more of the popn.

As U’d expect, the Boston neighborhoods with more intact pets are where incomes of residents are lower, & more of these lower-income owners choose to get
M dogs rather than Fs as “protection” or at least as a barking alarm, & many of those owners still believe that neutering will reduce their dogs’ protective instinct.

New England as a whole, & Boston as a city, is in the enviable position of needing to *import* pups & kittens for the local shelters, as so few unplanned or unwanted litters are born here.
I’m delighted - in Norfolk, Va Beach, Chesapeake, Newport News, & Hampton, during the 12 years I spent there in durance vile, the shelters & rescues were constantly overflowing with healthy young animals who would soon be dead.
I’m much happier with a dearth of kits & pups in need of homes! :)

Off the soapbox, JMO & IME,
- terry

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