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Please help.  I don't know what to do about sudden aggression.  There is no way I can keep my white boxer, Hope.  I have 3 young boys 3, 5 and 7.  We've had her for a year with absolutely no problems.  No starting yesterday, she's very aggressive.
 

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Welcome to to the forum, so sorry it's not under better circumstances. If this aggression is comepletely new behavior my best advice would be to get her to a vet ASAP. Underlying illnesses can cause dogs to act out in bizarre ways. Also, until you get to the root of the problem, I'd advise keeping her on a leash in the house so you can get control of a situation quickly. I'm sure others will hop in with other ideas, let us know how it goes. I know you're scared, dog aggression is terrifying, but please look for the cause before deciding to rehome your pup.
 

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i agree with donnersmom, it is highly unusual for a dog who had been perfectly fine to lash out like that.  i have never faced that particular problem with a dog but i did with my cat , it turned out that he did have health issues. i am not trying to scare you or anything, but in my opinion the best thing to do would be to give your vet a call and explain to them what happened. by the way, how old is hope? good luck and let us know what happens .
 

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Dogs have different ways  to alarm their owners of their health issues, so definitly take him to the vet to get checked out. Make sure you ask the Vet for a blood test. Some health issues can be missed. I think his aggression might be because he is in some kind of pain.
 

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I woud try to rule out health issues.  Also if lack of exercise decreased.  Dont give up on the dog until you have done everything possible.  I would also after all health checks out, consult a professional trainer.   They can help with the issues, hopefully and make him back into the family pet he was:)  Good luck!
 

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Can you explain her behavior in more detail.. is she growling, biting, lunging??? Also what was happening when she acted like this?
ditto, looking into health issues though.
 

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When you take her to the vet for a checkup make sure they test THYROID.  Hypo thyroid can cause aggression and is usually very easy to treat medically.  It is also prevelant in the boxer bree.

More details on what is happening would be helpful to let us know.

Nano
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hope is 1 and 1/2 years old.  We've had her since 6 months.  She has NEV ER shown any signs of aggression like this.  As soon as my son's 9 year old friend came in the door, Hope lunged at him and went towards his head with her paws and mouth.  We pulled her back by her collar and put her outside away from teh child.  Later, the child was sitting on teh couch and at teh dinner table and Hope was fine.  About 1/2 hour later, we heard a cream from upstairs and my 7 year old son ws holding Hope from hurting the boy again.  She had jumped at him again and scratched his back with her nails.  We kept them separtated for the rest of the boy's visit.  That was Friday.  Yesterday (Saturday), a different boy came over (6 years old) and Hope went to attacke him as soon as he waslked in teh door again.  This is so unusual.  
Here are some bits of infor that may having bearing on this situation????:
we also have chickens...the other day, Hope's collar came off (invisible fence) and she got to teh chickens...she didn't kill them, but messed around with them.  She also got into the chicken feed.  She threw it up later that day (Friday).
She is fine with us...my husband and 3 kids.  We had different people over last night and put her on a leash.  If she was not on the leash, she waould have attacked them.  Her aggression didn't bother the guy that was here and he ended up playing with her and Hope was then fine around him.  My babysitter is due to come here tomorrow.  She has 2 young boys as well and although she's comes here every weekday, I can't take a chance on Hope's aggression issue right now.  Of course the vet is closed til tommorrow.
Here's my question...say there is in fact a medical problem...does that justify keeping Hope and taking the chance that this will not happen again????  I am so upset...I don't know what to do.
 

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Assuming that it is a medical problem, 1st get that fixed then work on her social skills. Kinda sounds like she has some guarding issues, what was her history before you, do you know??? Socialization can take some time and effort but maybe she needs to be taught to meet people under a variety of circumstances and know that you are in control NOT her.I know it's scary but try not to convey that to her, if it's a guarding thing your nervousness may wind it up even more. I still lean towards medical since this is a new problem. BTW, I'm pretty impressed that she didn't wreak havoc and kill the chickens.... makes me think even more that this is a medical problem. Thyroid or something neurological????
 
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I agree with JayJay...sounds like an excited dog who just doesn't know better than to jump up...Bo has given me a bloody nose when excited and has almost knocked my mom down....6 is a little young to be left alone with such a big dog
 

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We got Hope from another family that couldn't keep her becuase theyy were never home...they also had children.  Hope has always been good with kids...we had 30 people here at Christmas time...fine.  We go camping at campgrounds...fine.  Nieces and nephews come over...always fine.  She has NEVer been like this with anyone, ever.  We are a very social family...people over all of the time.  She's always been perfect!
If it is a medical thing...can this be fixed or will I always have to worry?  I can't live worrying all of the time...not knowing if she'll be like that again.  Thanks to everyone for your suggestions..keep them coming!
 

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Maybe the reaction is from fear.  Two little boys visiting rattled our dog's crate when he was a pup.  He got the two in a corner when they visited a year later.  He did not use his teeth, but mouth butted one of their arms hard.  He also used his mouth on the arm of another child at the dog run because he was waving a red pail near his face. There were no teeth marks.  It left a bruise, and the mother attempted to sue us.  He'd also show fear when we even walked near a school where there were children's voices.  We spent a year or two working to desensitize him with the help of a behaviorist.

We always had to crate him when children were around.  When we get a new pup it will never be exposed to a child in the house unless I am right there watching what's going on.  It was a mess.  One bad experience, even a small one, can cause lots of problems later.
 
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if she has thus far been use to kids...it would lean towards medical...maybe one of the chickens hurt her...or a blockage from the birdseed...definately check with the vet...when she approached the kids...did she growl? Was her hair on end? Did she snarl?
 

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Is she growling, hair up and trying to bite to draw blood?  I would call that aggression.  Boxers LOVE people and usually charge like a train whenever anyone comes to visit (at least ours do), they are just so excited to see someone new that they get overly excited and usually jump, push and play bite.  I wouldn't consider that aggression.  Ours still do that to some extent, we usually keep them back behind a kids gate until they are able to calm down some when we get company.  We let the people approach them so our babies can smell them and get used to them.  THEN when we let them out of the gate they are much calmer and able to be around everyone.  

Another possiblity is that one of your childrens friends hurt your dog when you didn't know about it.  That could cause her to be afraid and become more aggressive of children.  Children also scream alot and act afraid when a bigger dog comes at them even if it is just to play which can make the situation worse.  

Also like others said I would have her checked by your vet to make sure that there are no problems from the chicken feed or another illness she may have.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When she did this to the boys, she was definatly snarling...hair raised, etc.
I understand boxers are plyful, but why all of the suddenn would this happen when just the day before she was fine with two kids coming through the door..and other visitors a day before that????  She hasn't ever rushed towards someone, jumped on them, etc.  She usually walks up to them calmly and sniffs them...that's it.
 

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[quote="momofwhiteboxer\";p=\"66655":39rcqb2i]When she did this to the boys, she was definatly snarling...hair raised, etc.
I understand boxers are plyful, but why all of the suddenn would this happen when just the day before she was fine with two kids coming through the door..and other visitors a day before that????
 

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Sounds like those two kids the day before could have done something mean to her.
Yes, I would check that!

Hair raising also does not always mean aggression but fear or uncertainty.
Don
 
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