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Old 12-31-2008, 12:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

Hello: This is a little long, but I wanted to state all the facts.
I am the owner of a great girl named Roxy. I am new to this and I will admit wasn't entirely ready, but she was someone's" accident" who literally fell into our laps at the best time she could have, as we don't have any children yet and my husband and my schedule are very flexible and we had enough time to devote to her training and exercise. I had to take her home, no matter how much work it was going to take and since has enriched my life more than I could ever haveb imagined.
She is 9 months old, and we have had her since she was 2 months. She is well socialized with other dogs and people and has never shown aggression to others, only a bark or growl here and there to alert us to something suspicious. We also have 3 cats that she only wants to play with, but they won't have that yet. She finished her first heat cycle about 3 weeks ago. We will be getting her spayed in about a month.

We were hoping to get her spayed before her cycle, but then it arrived and we had to wait. About half way through her cycle, she had gotten very defensive about any of her food and her personal space. We let her roam the house, but there is an area where her crate and dishes are. She has snapped at me several times if I just walk past her when her food is out. Lately, she hasn't even been gobbling it down, just watching me, and her food. I don't watch her eat, but if I go to walk around her, she runs to her dish and hovers over it. Or she will guard her bones, but not touch them. She is finished with her cycle now and I thought that it would go away, but these instances have continued. She is less agressive towards my husband, and while we are both involved in training and play time, I am around more often and am more of the disciplinarian. I take her food or bone away once she does this if I can, and show her that it is "mine", not hers.

Will this go away once she is spayed? Is this normal? Thanks so much.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

i would try hand feeding her for a few weeks. so that she sees the food truly is yours and that she has to earn each and every morsel. many rescues recommend doing this the first month you bring a dog home to gain their trust and help establish pack order.

i'd question if this is solely due to her heat cycle. handler aggression doesnt sound normal to me at all.
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

At least in my humble experience, I have never seen aggression during heat cycle in the female dogs I have had/ known. Most recently, Riley is just ending her first... so I would question the soley to heat cycle thing.

I second the hand feeding. Maybe if you feel more comfortable, start somewhere away from the "food space" and work your way back there (based on her reactions).

Is there inconsistency between you and your husband? Are you feeding her on a regular basis? Maybe those questions can give more clues as to what is going on!

Sounds like you got a great dog and I'm glad she enriched your life so much! (I feel the same with my 11 month old!)
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

Some females react very differently when in season. I would give some weight to the hormones, but I also would work on correcting the problem. Hand feeding is a good idea or just putting her in her crate and letting her eat. Then take away the food dish and in the mean time take away any treasures bones etc. She can have the bones and toys when you say not when she feels like it.

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Old 12-31-2008, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

Thank you for clearing that up a little. Before I read the responses, I actually decided to start hand feeding her the other day, and she was confused but did okay with it.
We have a regular scheduled feeding time, but I am usually the one to feed her.

In the past few days, she hasn't wanted to eat. Just guard her food.
She is also having a bout with pano that we just got diagnosed. And the limp started to appear during her heat cycle, which is why I wasn't sure which factor would be the cause of her aggression.

Can the aggression be pain related?? How do I help her?? Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

one buffered asprin with something yummy, continue the hand feeding
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

Quote:
Originally Posted By: roxykong
Can the aggression be pain related?? How do I help her?? Thanks.
definitely, and the combination of the two even more so.

as maxgunnar said - continue the hand feeding while managing the pain from the pano. a good joint supplement and an aspirin here and there.

i know that you said you're usually there for her feedings, but since she's currently having the issue with you - if you can, i'd make sure that you're the only one feeding her for the next month (including treats). if her water is at the same feeding station as the food bowl in which she's guarding... remove the food bowl and move the water to a different side of the room.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

if it is possible, feed in a crate , kennel or seperate room
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Heat cycle aggression? Suggestions please...

Hormones or pain can throw off the appetite. In the case of Pano or Hormone lack of appetite I don't push food. So you could have a grumpy female on your hands with heat cycle and Pano. I had a female that had Pano flare up with a heat cycle, she just got real quiet and a bit withdrawn.

I did use some natural Anti-inflamatory stuff nd some baby asprin with this gal to help her feel a little better.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default I am so frustrated!

Hello,
Here's another thought/question: Is it possible she is allergic to her food?

I have been giving her some buffered asprin and it seems to help with the pain. But now she doesn't want to eat at all. I hand fed her for about 2 days and she would finish a meal. But now she won't touch it unless I put some kibbel on the floor. And when she doesn't eat it, and I go to clean it up, she snapped at me this morning. I am so very frustrated and heartbroken about this.
We were at her "grandparents" the other nite and she gobbled down her food like normal, but once we got home, she won't eat again. She will eat her treats, and peanut butter with the asprin. I even tried putting treats in with her food, but she just picked them out.
This is taking it's toll on me. I know she doesn't hate me, and she will snuggle up to me right after she snaps. I can't figure it out!!
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