URGENT: My boxer has become VERY aggressive toward other dogs - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default URGENT: My boxer has become VERY aggressive toward other dogs

the story: I have a purebred boxer named max that is a two year old neutered male. Extremely personable dog with great personality, and 99% of the time is a joy to be around. He plays well with no complaints from my younger brother and sister most all the time, no aggression problems towards people at all.

I also have a seven year old Lab/golden mix named charlie, who is also a neutered male. He is a fairly large dog, around 90lbs. same story, very sweet dog, weve had both of them all of thier lives and both are treated and trained with the utmost respect.

The problem: The dogs now for no appearant reason will engage in SERIOUSLY violent fights, with the boxer usually instigating the fight. They fight to a point where they have to be broken up by myself and my father to pull the dogs off of each other, best analogy i could give: think of the videos from the Michael Vick trials.

Charlie has lived with other male dogs before and never had this problem, MAx has fought one other dog when he was very young. Max has even jumped at the family cat, followed by charlie coming in to jump max in what looked like Charlie "taking up" for the cat, as crazy as that sounds. Charlie, being the larger dog by about 35-40lbs. usually "wins" but even when we are holding them back, max still lunges trying to fight.

The fights are very sporadic, the last one we had was when the family (with the dogs) were on vacation at the beach in July, which we know that one was caused by max licking a hot spot on charlies neck, and charlie didnt like that. but in the last week, there have been two very nasty fights, where both had come away bleeding and both myseff and my dad are pretty beat up from pulling them off of each other. I am at a complete blank on why they fight.

I need help desperatley, my mom and my sister are in tears, we love both dogs so much and are terrified that if they get in a fight while no one is here to stop them we could come home to one seriously hurt, or worse. I know that if i keep breaking them up, i am eventually going to get hurt as well.

Please help, ill take and all suggestions and advice, ill be happy to provide more information if needed. i am praying right now this doesnt happen again, but if there is anything i can do to be proactive, ill do it.

thanks,
Grey
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Okay, I'm not the best at this, but since you want any and all advice-here's my two cents.
Since Charlie is older, Max might be trying to dominate him to become leader of the pack(between the two of them). Max would probably benefit from some obedience training.
You also might want to rule out any medical issues-I have read that a thyroid problem can cause changes in behavior. Other things probably can as well, so a medical check-up might be a good idea.
You didn't mention if you crate them when you are not home, but you might want to, or keep them in separate rooms when no one is home, so you don't come home to ?
Is it only your other dog he has a problem with, or is it any other dog?
Also in the mean time, you could keep a leash on Max (let him drag it around with him), so if a fight breaks out you can try to separate them without getting right "in the middle" and getting hurt youself. Does Charlie stop if you get Max away? If not, keep a leash on him as well. Less chance of you getting hurt if you can just grab leashes and pull them apart.
I am by no means a behaviorist, just trying to think of things that might be of help.
Good luck ! Maybe other members will have some good advice, and let us know what happens.

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Last edited by Gypsiemouse; 12-28-2010 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Easier said than done, but to keep yourself safe while breaking up the fights, don't go for head/neck... grab the dogs by the back legs and pull them away...

I'd say it would make sense to methodically go back and think about when this all started occurring and look for ANYTHING that may have changed in your dogs' routine... timing of being fed, potty schedule, etc. All of these things can throw a dog out of whack.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsiemouse View Post
Okay, I'm not the best at this, but since you want any and all advice-here's my two cents.
Since Charlie is older, Max might be trying to dominate him to become leader of the pack(between the two of them). Max would probably benefit from some obedience training.
You also might want to rule out any medical issues-I have read that a thyroid problem can cause changes in behavior. Other things probably can as well, so a medical check-up might be a good idea.
You didn't mention if you crate them when you are not home, but you might want to, or keep them in separate rooms when no one is home, so you don't come home to ?
Is it only your other dog he has a problem with, or is it any other dog?
Also in the mean time, you could keep a leash on Max (let him drag it around with him), so if a fight breaks out you can try to separate them without getting right "in the middle" and getting hurt youself. Does Charlie stop if you get Max away? If not, keep a leash on him as well. Less chance of you getting hurt if you can just grab leashes and pull them apart.
I am by no means a behaviorist, just trying to think of things that might be of help.
Good luck ! Maybe other members will have some good advice, and let us know what happens.

.
thanks! ive done some research on the thyroid issue and hes got a vet appointment scheduled next week. so well see there.

Ive always been under the impression that pack leadership was part of the problem, but ive had other male dogs together and never had this problem, and max also has a problem with the family cats at times, things Charlie has never done.

As far as the crate goes, Max recently outgrew his and weve never had charlie in one. So that might be something to investigate. A new, bigger one is on the shopping list.

the last few days have been incident free, but then again, they went about 6 months before this past week with nothing happening. When they arent fighting, they play great together. So its all some stuff to investigate.

thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I`d lean toward the testing for his place in the pack theory too;

He`s at about this age anyways.

Got to assert yourself as leader of the pack with no 2nds or lieutenants.

...with all that implies.
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