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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you may have seen my post last week of losing both dogs. They got out/chased a deer into woods and were found fortunatly 5 days later. Both dogs were thin/dirty/very hungry. Since comming home we have had to separate them as Boris who is 2 1/2 keeps attacking the 10 month old pup. Boris is especially mean @ feeding time, we have made sure they are separated eating, but Boris growls the whole time he is eating and if I make any move towards dish he wrinkles his nose and growls. He has done same to DH. Telling him no, grabbing dish makes no difference. I don't know if this is because he was so starved while lost. I'm sure he became top dog to his younger brother. I don't want him hurting LP or growling when he is eating. We had both dogs in yard yesterday playing with new Christmas toys in the snow, and Boris attacked LP & had to be pulled off him. He never showed this behavior before their disappearing act. Anyone have any suggestions on what to do? They seem to both be fine when on leashs on walks.
 

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Did you take them to the vet after they got back? That would be the first thing I would do. Are they up to date or titered on everything?

Since he's probably stressed out, I would work on keeping everything very calm by separating them and/or having Boris on a leash with you at all times for control.

For the food, check out the raw feeding section for a post called what's mine is mine.

Try rewarding all the tiny little positive things with praise, do NILIF, etc. While dogs go into survival mode, I have seen rescues who were left behind on their own when their owner left and were not fed for a couple of weeks who don't feel it is now their right to act like...an animal.
Regardless of what happened, he has to remember the rules.

But I would do the vet visit asap while doing those other things.

that they are are back with you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I spoke to Vet Saturday morning, and Boris actually goes in this Saturday @ 0930 for rabies/kennel cough (he is due for these) and just to be checked out. My 1st thought was his electrolytes are out of whack. But I think being on his own, "in charge of LP" has changed him. He is not the same dog he was before he got lost. I hope time changes this. Sorry to ask, but what is NILIF?
 

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I had two dogs running free at one time for 10 days. When they got home they were sore and tired, but the Alpha male did not exhibit any of the problems you are seeing with your dog. There was no growling over food, there was no attacking the smaller younger male.

What was the relationship between Boris and LP before they took off?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Boris was always the "big brother" but they played well together, slept together, etc... Now unless we are present, Boris for no reason will attack Les Paul (LP). My DH said he didn't growl tonight eating, so maybe the stress is lessening, and it will take time. We have kept them apart when we are not with them, but they can see/hear each other. The last thing I want is a mean dog, one you can't trust.
 

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You really have no idea what happened when they were out there. They may have been fighting over food, etc.

Have you tried anything like Rescue Remedy or something that might calm Boris's nerves? That might help.

In the meantime, I would just go back to square one with him. Be very positive (you getting angry or upset with him for going after LP is not going to help and may even increase his anxiety/aggression) and go back to all his basic obedience training. Again, I would use positive, reward based training. I think you need to reassure him that you are capable of taking care of everyone and being in charge of the pack (not remind in a corrective way, but reassure in a calm, benevolent way). Oh and NILIF is Nothing in Life is Free. you can find more information here: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/nothingfree.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank-you for the link Ruth, I printed it, and will google more info. on it. Boris seemed more like his old self this morning, he picked up a stick on his walk (which he always did in past) and pranced happily with it. It's been a week today since they were found, so I think hunger and probably electrolytes being out of whack made Boris aggressive. He will spend time away from LP tomorrow when I take him to vet. I also want to do some grooming on him separatly. LP can bond with his dad, who he loves (he is my dh's dog).
 

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Sounds like a dominance issue is arising from their being lost in the woods; I would be worried about his growling at you around the food bowl! Stay very calm, and assert your leadership by 'claiming' the space once he gets the physical ok from your vet if he still is having growling issues. Claiming just means you own everything, and he is allowed by you to eat, etc. Depends on what exactly he does, and your relationship with him prior to this incident too. He should not be allowed to growl at you at all. Try leaving a choke lead on him at feeding time, and if he makes any aggressive move against you, give him a quick snap sideways along with a verbal correction, have your spouse help you, might be better with 2 people trying this. Not to sound like a know-it-all, sorry. I've really learned a lot from watching Cesar Millan, and I've actually done some of his techniques with my 2 GSDs, and they really work. Course I never had any food aggression, I always made sure the dogs we owned let me put my hand in the bowl as they were fed, and I could move the bowl, take food out of it, put food in, etc. They all just waited for me to do whatever it was and never growled or anything. Even fed them by hand from the bowl!
Don't know if you ever watched the Dog Whisperer, but it's a good program on national geographic channel---he has dealt with lots of dogs that had aggressions problems for one reason or another. Good luck! Sorry if I sounded too bossy, or whatever, know this is a long rant. Keep us up to date on what happens, ok?
don't try to pet him if he's growling, that just reinforces his behavior!
Only pet him when he is calm and letting you near his food. That also goes for being around your other dog too.
 

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Sounds like you also have a conflict that occurs with dogs so close in age. Why most responsible breeders won't sell littermates to the same person, or why we don't recommend it to people on this site. Makes our 'job' to raise a puppy so much harder, and raising a dog is hard enough as it is. Added to the fact you lost the dogs for a few days and have no idea what dominance issues would have come to play then.

http://www.gsdhelpline.com/2pups.htm

http://www.leerburg.com/2dogs.htm

How are your dog classes going generally? Cause if my dogs are so into their spats with each other, than that clearly shows that they are ignoring ME. And that's the real issue. Little issues they can figure out and work out. But it shouldn't be getting serious if they both have an eye on me as the real Queen in the House. And when I'm losing my position in the home it take Dog Classes to fix them.

Because clearly, when what I am doing is not working (and getting worse?) then a need real help from someone who can see me and my dogs, their relationship with me, and get my leadership role back. The structure of a class setting with a good trainer always has helped.

Me fumbling along by myself rarely has.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Boris is almost 3, LP is 10 months old, they are not litter mates. They are both in yard today together, no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm happy to say after 2 weeks, Boris is back to his normal happy self. He no longer growls with food dish, plays nicely with his younger brother, and seems quite happy again. Whatever took place on their "big Adventure" has finally settled them down. Both dogs had Giardia and are almost done with treatment for this.
 
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