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  1. This will be long as I try to include any information that may be useful. Wink will be 10 months old next week. I adopted him as a 10 week old rescue border collie puppy back in January. He was from an unplanned but un-prevented litter on an Amish dairy farm. Wink was well socialized for a couple weeks at the rescue, then with me. I was planning to do pet therapy work with him and took him to all sorts of places, met lots of other people and other dogs and he was doing well. From the beginning there were some issues with resource guarding. I'd transitioned him to a raw diet within the first week and sometimes I'll give my dogs large pieces of food that are difficult to cut up, letting them eat enough for one meal and then taking it away for a later meal. The first time I did this with Wink he objected pretty ferociously. The intensity was unsettling in such a young pup, but I worked with him trading up and learning a leave it cue with lower value food items. He's never been happy with my taking high value food from him, but we'd gotten to the point quite some time ago where it's been manageable. And he was also quick to bark, both at things that caught his attention and demand barking. So, things had been going well up until maybe around 7- 8 weeks ago. I noticed that he was barking at more things more often and more excessively; he was quickly becoming more reactive to both people and dogs. I chalked it up to adolescence and possibly a fear period, but it kept intensifying. And it started becoming more aggressive. I took him to a farmers market one day and he went berserk barking at people, in particular a boy of about 11-12. He actually jumped up at the boy and nipped him. Fortunately he only got the boy's shirt but it was really unsettling; it looked aggressive to me, not just over excitement. I know this boy. I think he has Asperger's but he did absolutely nothing to provoke this. He hadn't tried to pet Wink (I think he may have asked, but hadn't moved to do it yet) or done anything out of the ordinary. A couple weeks later there was a boy visiting at the neighbors' house on the other side of the fence. He reacted very intensely. The boy moved further into the back of the yard and Wink followed, barking more loudly and aggressively. I was finally able to catch him by the collar and he tried to bite me. I'm not proud of this, but I reacted and slapped him on the muzzle. When I did that he snapped out of his frenzy, much like what you see in old movies when someone gets slapped to bring them out of hysteria. It was that dramatic. During this time he was also having slight brief scuffles with both of my other 2 dogs, especially the female. Tansy can be a bit of a brat, but until July of '15 I'd had three dogs and they all got along without any trouble. I rarely saw who started these tiffs and they usually lasted no more than a second. Then two.Then they kept increasing both in frequency and magnitude until there were a couple full blown fights. The latest at least have been over food. On Friday there was a huge fight over a cow hoof he was trying to steal from Tansy (when there were half a dozen nearby he could've had). She was trapped in a corner and he wasn't going to stop; even when I had him by the collar holding him back he was still trying to attack her. They've always been able to share licking food bowls or containers, but yesterday I gave them the basin I'd been using to cut up some beef and he went at Tansy in the worst fight yet. And he's attacked Bodhi for being near the garage door (dog food is stored in and often handed out from freezers in the garage), and Bodhi never starts fights. Ever. In between episodes he's still the sweet pup I've always known. He plays nicely with the other dogs, sleeps curled up with Tansy and is affectionate to me. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I've taken away all chews except when he's crated and am very careful to be sure to avoid any food when either of the other dogs are around. I'd been considering it for a while, but after the fight with Tansy on Friday, I contacted the rescue to tell them Wink wasn't going to work for me and made arrangements to return him. We have an appointment for me to relinquish him this Thursday. As you can imagine, I'm heartbroken, but I need to have some peace in my household and I know my limits when it comes to the amount of work that it would require for the behavior modification he would need . . . if it would even work. But then there was a post from Dogs Naturally magazine on FB this morning about bad behavior being caused by health problems. www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/dogs-bad-behavior-health-problem/ Of course I'd considered the possibility, but this didn't look like the examples of thyroid or pain based aggression I was familiar with. But then this paragraph especially is making me wonder. After episodes, most of the animals appeared to come out of a trance like state, and were unaware of their bizarre behavior. … Investigators in recent years have noted the sudden onset of behavioral changes in dogs around the time of puberty or as young adults. (Ellipsis original) The first sentence describes perfectly what happened in the back yard, and the second is right on the mark with his age. The article goes on to say: The typical history starts out with a quiet, well-mannered and sweet-natured puppy or young adult dog. The animal was outgoing, attended training classes for obedience, working, or dog show events, and came from a reputable breeder whose kennel has had no prior history of producing animals with behavioral problems. At the onset of puberty or thereafter, however, sudden changes in personality are observed. Typical signs can be incessant whining, nervousness, schizoid behavior, fear in the presence of strangers, hyperventilating and undue sweating, disorientation, and failure to be attentive. These changes can progress to sudden unprovoked aggressiveness in unfamiliar situations with other animals, people and especially with children…. Could this be related to a thyroid issue? Is it something that could be treatable? Has anyone here had a similar experience? Of course I'll call the vet first thing in the morning to arrange for a blood draw, but in the meantime I'm really hoping some of the vets and/or techs may be able to shed some light on this. Thanks for reading. roxanne p.s. Just now as I was proofing this he went for Tansy again. No food, no chews, nothing to guard. Keeping them separated now.
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