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Help with aggressive behaviour


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Hi all,

Hoping for a bit of help, guidance.... anything really.

We have a 14 month male desexed BC (Kobe) and we are having problems with what seems to be aggression and biting. In the family is also a 4.5 month old Labrador (Millie).

There are some things we have noticed with Kobe in the past few weeks and change in his behaviour… not for the good though. He is becoming a lot more territorial and aggressive when entering a space he doesn’t want you to go in. Examples, of this are as follows;

  • Going to change their water bowl. If he is there he wont let you get near them, even if they are empty. If you try to get closer he will jump up and he will snap at you (generally the hand), his lips will flare and he will bare his teeth. We tell him no and try to distract him with something else. If this doesn’t work, we have been walking away and coming back later.
  • The same things occurred when getting his food bowl to put dinner in it, he will have the same reaction.
  • He will do the same thing if we tell Millie off or try to go to Millie to take something from her.
  • He will also react in the same way even when we are simply standing in the kitchen as an example and we go to walk from one of the kitchen the other, he will jump up and attempt to bite hands. He does show aggression, his teeth are bared and lips raised. The other night this occurred and he was about 1m away from me. I took a step to the side and jumped at me and bit my hand, the skin wasn’t broken, however there was reasonable force behind the bite, he then had another one or two bites of my leg. A similar thing happened to my wife the night before, however he bite her leg (no attempt at hand) however thankfully this was over her jeans so there was no damage, however there was force behind it.
  • What we did notice last night is that Millie was have a bark and snarl at him if he tried to get a toy, or come under the coffee table so he would back off and almost back himself into a corner and stay there. It seemed he was too afraid or too anxious to move as he was afraid of being snarled at again. I’m not sure if the above points are him lashing out because of this?

We are now at a stage where we are frightened to do certain things, or are very very weary and cautious of doing / interacting in certain ways because we are not sure how Kobe is going to react.

The generally play well together, a bit of rough play, sometimes it gets a bit more rambunctious and "heated" however that only lasts for 5 seconds or so and they go back to playing again or going their won separate ways.

We have engaged the services of a dog behaviorist and she is currently working on a plan, however I just thought I would see if other people have advice / experience on this as we need to get sorted before anything worse occurs.

Thanks all.

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This is a serious situation and appears to be escalating. If not stopped immediately it will become an untenable situation. I am glad that you are getting good professional help from a qualified dog behaviorist with this problem. Do not go to anyone who suggests you react with anger, shouting, or force of any kind with the dog,  as that will most likely escalate the problem.

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Agree with the 2 posts above.

And, if you think that Millie is having a negative effect on the situation, I would institute some separation time for the 2 dogs, and would do some play and/or positive reinforcement training with Kobe. Even if it doesn't improve the situation, you wlii probably gain more insight into his behavior issues.

Please keep us updated once the behaviorist has seen Kobe.

Good luck.

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