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The dog I am discussing is my Radar ( Keeshond/ (we think shepherd) mix)
We got him approx 2 years ago when he was a little pup. He always displayed some agression here and there but it was few and far between, We added some more dogs to the pack and have 3 japanese chins as well, They have all been living together for the past 2 years
When Radar will go after another dog he will give that warning growl first and i will do somehting to startle him but sometimes I am not quick enough. And when he goes for the other dog I dont know what it was that set him off most of the time. I can see if he wanted a bone or somehting, but sometimes it can be that maybe just that he looked at him the wrong way. When he was in foster he was with Rottweiliers and the foster mom did not want to adopt him out but she feared for his safety. That tells me that I am sure he had to fight for his place in the pack and is a learned behavior.
Well just before Radar went for a pen that fell on the floor and the chin was nearby in the same vacinity and the keeshond just attacked him, Since he is deaf I can not yell so i threw water on him to startle him and then threw the comforter I was holding as well to separate them. He was on top of the chin and I do not know how the little one did not get injured. There was no blood or wounds.
After that I coralled the big dogs downstaris and threw a cordless phone at him to distract and the Male Shepherd got over him and domimated the agressor.
The strange thing is that the deaf dog went out and played ( with the phone in his mouth) but when he came back in he gave that warning growl to the one he attacked. It could have been 3 hours later & it is like he didnt forget he had a beef with him.
I dont know what to do. This is not the first time he has attacked a dog in the house. Only 1 time he drew blood from another, and even though it was minor I know too well we were lucky. It just takes a split second to have a major injury

It is few and far between it happens, but it happens
And it is not during feeding....Also, the deaf one sleeps in bed on our heads and I know that is not good as it is a dominent position,
I dont know what I can do to try to get this under control.

I call him my psycho dog because he does this with no rhyme or reason every once in a while.
Any suggestions besides meds?

Thanks
Melissa
 

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Until you get involved with a good, knowledgeable, and experienced trainer/behaviorist to assist you in person, I would separate Radar from all other dogs at all times (unless you know that there is a dog he gets along great with, never a hitch). It's not fair to him but especially not fair to your other dogs. Some dogs just don't get along and when the battle lines are drawn, they could be set for life.
 

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I agree with Diana.

But have you ever had him fully evaluated by a vet? (Blood work, including thyroid tests, urine -- the whole banana?) Sometimes, aggression has a medical basis as well. If this were my dog, I'd like to rule out any sort of medical issues up front. A good trainer will likely ask you if you have, anyhow.

Many dogs are hearing impaired or completely deaf and manage just fine in a pack. They may even thrive in that setting because the other dogs help them figure things out. But one thing I would definitely try to avoid doing is throwing things at him. It's going to make him far more anxious. Imagine not being able to hear anything then something suddenly whacks you. Where did it come from? Most importantly, was it one of the other dogs that did it? If so, I need to attack first next time.

If this were my dog, the first thing I would do is put a drag leash on him. 100% of the time. If he starts to get anxious, grab the leash and lead him to a pre-established safe place where the other dogs can't bother him. The kitchen, the laundry room, the bathroom, his crate. (While crates are great, and I love crates, I like a room too. Otherwise the crate can start to feel like punishment). Pick up the leash but don't touch him, touching feels like petting, and petting him when he's anxious is rewarding that behavior. Lead him calmly away. Put him in his safe place. Once he's there and calm THEN give him a small treat and pet him calmly (deep slow massaging rubbing.). You should have a soft bed inside and one or several toys and chews to keep him busy. You'll want to invest in some baby gates. Tell him he's a good guy, lots of smiles. Then leave him peacefully. Everything is Zen.
He can hang out there until it's time for the next activity -- a walk, playtime, meal, or you think that he and the pack are calm enough to try again.

If he continues to get into these weird anxious situations every time he's loose, you can, if necessary, tether him to you, or attach a carabiner to different places in your home where you spend a lot of time, the kitchen cabinets and your computer desk, the tv room, and let him hang out with you. The other dogs can't bother him when he's with you. He needs to feel safe. Not coddled, but safe. When he's not with you (if you want to watch TV and play with the other dogs at the same time,) he can be in his crate or one of his rooms with a toy or chew, doing his Zen meditations.

I would crate him at bedtime, or tether him next to you on a dog bed. He's already unsure of his place in the pack. Letting him on the bed is just confusing things more.

I think that what your pup needs is a more predictable, secure environment. And you need to create it for him and show him how he can get it for himself. You might find him standing at the laundry room baby gate, waiting for you to let him in. By controlling the environment, you're showing him that you'll keep him safe and that he can keep himself safe. Just as important, you're showing the other dogs that you're in control, that you're the leader.

Management of *all* details of our dogs' lives. It's the key to being pack leader.


My senior has lost about 70% of her hearing. I have two rambunctious kids in the house who are always running around, fighting for toys and chews, and the puppy, in particular, likes to get in my senior's face. But she knows that as soon as she gets under the dining room table, or comes into the computer room and lies at my feet, or lies on Dh's side of the bed, those are her safe zones. I won't let anyone bother her. She can play with the others if she wants, but when she's done, she knows where she can go. When she's outside and starts getting too growly with the puppy, I bring her in the house and lead her into the dining room. Time out. Not a punishment, just time out. She gets a favorite chew and she's happy. The two wild ones continue their play outside, and the world is a good place.

That's management of the environment. It's Step #1.

Step #2 is Training, as Diana mentioned. They go together.

Good luck. Keep us posted!
 

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Oh, "Calming Signals" by Turid Rugaas. There's a DVD and a book. Dogwise.com sells them, so does Amazon.

If you get these, you'll be able to see when your dog is getting anxious long before you hear that first snarl or see even the first curled lip. Very valuable for every dog owner, but I think you especially will get a lot of out them.
 
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