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Hello all! Sorry in advance for the long post!

Mya will be turning 5 years old next month and I've been having major issues with her aggression. Up until Mya was about 3 years old she got along wonderfully with other dogs. Mya is spayed and up to date on all vaccinations.
She has been completely large dog aggressive for about a year now. Before she was getting along with some dogs, while she was less than thrilled around others. Up until recently Mya has always gotten along great with small dogs. She is good friends with my friend's weiner dog (male) and I also have a 9 month old Shih Tzu, Bella (female). Mya got along with my parent's lab mix, Molly (female) until Christmas of 2015. She also got along with a friends dog, Samson (male) until about January of 2016. Mya and Molly got along until Molly picked a fight with Mya one day at my parents house and since then Mya cannot be around Molly without trying to attack her. With Samson she did not see him for about 4-6 months and when we tried to get the two of them together again Mya did not do well. Both Molly and Samson are large dogs. Since these incidents I have kept Mya away from large dogs to avoid her being in a situation where she will have the opportunity to put herself in a bad situation.
Fast forward to about a week ago. I was dog sitting for a friend (Toby, Shih Tzu mix) and Mya got along with him great the first day he was here - playing and all. I kept the two of them separated during the night and Mya slept in my bed as always. The next morning I let Mya out to do her business. I then let Toby out to do his business. They seemed to be getting along well. While in the kitchen I caught Mya kind of hovering over Toby and I called her away from Toby. She did as she was told and seemed to be acting normal. On the way from the kitchen to the living room Mya cornered Toby and jumped on him. Mya didn't seem to be biting Toby at all (I can't say for sure as I separated them immediately), but growling extremely aggressively. For the rest of the time that Toby was here I kept the two completely separated as I did not want some else's dog to get hurt in my care. Mya tried doing this one other time while I was letting Toby in. She tried to jump on him as he was walking through the door and I called her away before she could jump on him.
I am extremely concerned for Mya as well as the safety of my own Shih Tzu. I also had a pug for a little over a year that I lost to cancer two weeks ago that Mya got along great with. Mya never seems to give off any warning signs. The only thing I notice that is different about her (in some cases, not all) is either her hair standing up on end or the hovering like I described with Toby. Other than that she just attacks seemingly out of nowhere. I expect it with large dogs and keep her out of those situations completely, but now that she has started this behavior with small dogs I am fearful of what may happen next.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated! I have never dealt with a dog with aggression to this extent. Thank you!
 

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Have you been able to track any type of pattern with her aggression?

With the Toby situation, her hovering and standing over him sounds like she is more trying to dominate him....

Before this aggression started happening was she a "talkative" player?

Is there anything that has changed in her life within the past 2 years? (examples: moving, loss of a family member, change in routine, addition to the family)

Sorry for so many questions, Im just trying to get a better picture of the situation. My Maya is a bit of a handful so I understand 100% what your going through.
 

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Anytime behaviors change, start with medical. I'd have a vet rule out something affecting her.
What did you do when it started? Did you try socializing?
There are times when that backfires by escalating a behavior.
You might be looking at a management type of situation. No other dogs in your dogs life.
 

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I agree with ruling out a medical reason, I'd check her thyroid levels. Honestly it just sounds like you have a dominant female who has gotten away with this behaviour so now it has escalated. This isn't uncommon, personally I would never allow her to be left alone with your new pup and I'd stop allowing her to interact with others. I would also remove any triggers such as treats and feed her in a room or crate by herself.
 

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Sorry ... late to the party here ... spend way to much time on GSDForum. constantly "fighting with people that already know how to train a dog "debating" the how and why of "my" advise!

But I'm here now ... and first to state the "obvious" if there is a "sudden unexpected change in behaviour" getting a "vet check" ... is always good advise! If that fails to turn up anny issue ... then it must be something else???

That said "assuming" the dog checks out OK?? Then it's not that. So then it becomes a "management issue" and "you" got "lucky" for awhile but so you understand ... the most likely "probable casue." Two females in most cases ... is not "recommended!"


Boxers and Buddies" rescue policy is that a home that already has a "Female Boxer" can not adopt another "Female Boxer for there home from them! If they have a different "breed" dog ... then maybe??? Inter female aggression is a thing and "Boxers" ... seem to be the worst of the worst! So "most" likely your not dealing with a "health" issue your dealing with a "Management Issue" ... it just took a long time to surface ... "Crap Happens."

So for what you are most likely dealing with ... have a look here.:

Leerburg | Inter-Female Aggression in Dogs

Now that said ... lots of members here do have multi females and they don't have issue. Most likely ... they either have the "right" dogs are there management skills are pretty good. :)


Multiple "Females" is not a "situation" I would "willing undertake myself. And I'm pretty good. But you know "Crap Happens" so ... never say never. :)

Still to be "seemly" brief "management" is the key! And not fooling around with other dogs ... would be a good step in the right direction! If you want to "solve this "issue" then this dog's life is going to need to change!

I have "Zero" issues with a dog "sleeping with me in my bed" But ... the only dogs that should be allowed that "Right" are dogs with no serious behavioural issues! If a dog has "behavioural issues" then they need more "Rules Structure and Limitations" in there life. And a "No Free Roaming" in the house policy ... should be enforced! If you enjoy ... suddenly jumping up from whatever your doing to "break up a dog fight??" Then continue to do what your doing. You can't control a dog indoors if you don't know where they are??? First hand experiance on that one. My first "Over Size Working Line GSD Rocky" and my "American Band Dawg" Gunther. Rocky always started it! And I got stitches breaking up one of five fights!! But ... I was lucky my "Band Dawg" could take the punishment ... while I struggled to get my "Crap Together!!" Your "little dog" ... not so much!

First lesson "in retrospect" use a "freaking crate" and train "Place!" You can't control a dog ... if you don't know where they are???

The "Crate" does not necessarily have to be life but use of one is important. That and "Sit on the Dog," and Training "Place" and more time spent with "One on Walks" with the "problem dog" are "Required." As well as a "No Free Roaming" in the house policy for this dog. You can't control a dog if you don't know where they are???

The specifics for doing "this" can be found here.:
German Shepherd Dog Forums - View Single Post - My 11 month old GS is crazy!

There is a lot there so ask questions if you chose. None of it is hard ... in my view but doing it does require an owner's "commitment to make some changes!" So if it makes sense?? Feel free to ask questions. :)

That said ... you've already taken the "first step" to solving your "issues" if what I am doing is not working??? Stop think and do something different?? It took "stitches" to finally get that point across to me ... "Good Times, Good Times." :)
 

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I heard that dogs can became aggressive when they are in pain...
Well I have no qualifications for offering Medical Advice but ... seen the "Sudden Unexpected" change before ...hmm mostly "GSD" but maybe that's just based on number of active members but whatever. :)


dogs can became aggressive when they are in pain.Yes they can . But some dog's are also stoic. you don't know they are in pain?? Maybe a flinch if you touch a part of them or something similar??? But something like that does not usually casue the owner "Freak Out" factor.

Medical Conditions that casue "changes" in brain chemistry or a bad reaction to a drug that a dog is taking (saw that one ...two years ago) can casue for lack of a better term "Psychosis." The dog really no longer seems to know/care about the owner?? Unexpected Growling/Snarling and a far away look kinda thing. And then he's fine and then it happens yet again???


None of that really applies here?? ( In my view) it seems more like a change in household management is required?? But as they say "Sudden Unexpected Change in Behaviour" ... "Get a Vet Check" to rule out a medical condition first. No harm in that. :)
 

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Yes, she's always been a very talkative player. The past two years have definitely been full of change. My pug passed away, we have moved, I have started a new job with different hours, etc. Mya has never been aggressive with a dog in her own pack. If I have my front door open and she sees another dog walking through the screen door she goes absolutely nuts. Walks are horrible, but only if she sees another dog. She get along wonderfully at home with the other dogs and cats. She's never been good or you aggressive, but she can be with treats if not separated. Mya has never been aggressive with me or any other people. Mya knows basic commands and listens to them well, however, if another dog shows up those commands go out the window and Mya is in full attack mode. She will lunge, growl, bark and show her teeth. Anytime Mya has ever gotten in a fight she has always hovered first and they have to be physically broken up because she will not stop.
 

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If I have my front door open and she sees another dog walking through the screen door she goes absolutely nuts.
I don't doubt it ... you already know she has an other dog "problem." And you keep giving her opportunities to practice making "Poor Choices." The "interim"solution for "this" issue is easy ... close the door. :)


Mya knows basic commands and listens to them well, however, if another dog shows up those commands go out the window and Mya is in full attack mode. She will lunge, growl, bark and show her teeth. Anytime Mya has ever gotten in a fight she has always hovered first and they have to be physically broken up because she will not stop.
Soooo ... "NO" then a dog that is "properly trained ... listens to there owner "regardless" of "distractions" ... that's kinda the point. A dog that "picks and chooses" which "Commands to Obey" at any given time is "not" a "Well Trained Dog." There's no dancing around that "Fact." Until you come to terms with that ... "No one here" can help you.

That ... does not mean we will not try, but having an understanding of the part in bold by "you" ... would be helpful. :)

Until you come to grips with the part in bold ... you have "Zero" chance of solving this yourself. Under those circumstances ... the best advise is going to be "Find a Trainer."
 

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I agree with Chip, this happened to my boxer female but in a much milder way. I stepped up the training and when I issued a command my dog had to follow it or it was back on the lead or had to lay down for a while etc. They have to do as they are asked 100% of the time.

I also agree with Kaco Boxers - you may just have a dominant female which is what I have and have known it since she was little. So with lots of training and rules and also really looking ahead for possible problems when you are out walking and calling the dog away we are more or less happy and let Lily off lead in most situations.
 

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Once the medical is ruled out I agree with the other posters she needs new rules. It sounds as though she does not respect you as the alpha. Also dogs once the reach full maturity can act differently than as a pup. I added that because you said it has been a couple years. My boy had acted very similar to Mya and then allowed a 9mo old pup into our pack with no issues. When he became an adult is when they started having problems. Structure, boundaries, and continuous routine is what they need to become balanced again. As another poster wrote, I won't place two females together either. Yes there are exceptions to this rule but over the years of rescue I have found that majority of power breeds don't want to have a another female in their house. But until you have things under control you can't set her up to fail with another dog. It's not fair to her or the other dog. Have you looked into a trainer? I didn't see that mentioned in your post.
 

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Once the medical is ruled out I agree with the other posters she needs new rules. It sounds as though she does not respect you as the alpha. Also dogs once the reach full maturity can act differently than as a pup. I added that because you said it has been a couple years. My boy had acted very similar to Mya and then allowed a 9mo old pup into our pack with no issues. When he became an adult is when they started having problems. Structure, boundaries, and continuous routine is what they need to become balanced again. As another poster wrote, I won't place two females together either. Yes there are exceptions to this rule but over the years of rescue I have found that majority of power breeds don't want to have a another female in their house. But until you have things under control you can't set her up to fail with another dog. It's not fair to her or the other dog. Have you looked into a trainer? I didn't see that mentioned in your post.
Since we can't do the "Like Thing" I'll just say "Good Post." :)
 
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