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Good evening. There is something strange going on with two of my dogs and I was just wondering if anyone has seen anything like it or might know what the deal is:

My 11 year old GSD/lab mix is declining in health. He has more mobility issues lately and has been chewing himself more often (he has done the chewing off and on for most of his life). He is obviously nearing the end of the line but he still eats, drinks, goes outside to do his business and continues to interact with the other dogs, although he is general activity level is limited and it is difficult for him to get up from a lying position.

My akita is almost three years old. He has always been close with the elderly dog, seems to respect the elderly dog's position in the pack and has never been confrontational with him, like he is with our other two dogs a GSD and a norwegian elkound/gsd mix (who is much smaller than all of the other dogs).

Lately, since the elderly dog's health has been visibly poorer, the akita spends more time laying with him, which seems like concern for the elderly dog (I'm not sure if this is a misinterpretation or not) but he has also been chewing on the elderly dog in the areas where the elderly dog has chewed himself, usually where there is a wound. I am just wondering if this is normal behavior or not. I guess it seems almost like he is trying to groom the elderly dog, or try to heal his wounds or something like this. Or is he is trying to contribute to the poor state of health because he senses that the elderly dog is in a vulnerable state.

I do not know whether I should be concerned that this is some sort of aggressive behavior or if it is a loving act, or whether I should let it continue. I have tried to separate them but the elderly dog will seek out the akita and lay down in front of him an allow this behavior to happen. He will yelp if the akita hurts him, in which case the akita stops momentarily, and then continues. As I write this, they are sleeping in the corner together.

The other two dogs have shown no change in behavior toward the elderly dog for the worse or better, they seem indifferent or perhaps they do not realize the elderly dog is not well.

Any experience with this type of thing or advice? Thanks in advance :)
 

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Not seen it be but it sounds more like inept medical care than aggression! If you can't make him stop this is an alternative and they can still be together.
. :(

Maybe it late, but this seems harsh to me. I saw zero mention of concern about aggression.

Yes. If they are close then it seems normal to me. I would discourage it. I would hate for your old guy to get injured. But it sounds like the Akita is trying hard to help his old friend. Maybe try taking them on a short walk together, find other things for them to chew on?

I am sorry you old boy is declining. It is so tough to see a beloved pet teach their end.


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I do not know whether I should be concerned that this is some sort of aggressive behavior or if it is a loving act, or whether I should let it continue.
The OP mentioned aggression not me.

Fabric muzzle is a viable option if the Akita is hurting the old guy while trying to help him. If the OP can stop it without a muzzle no problem.

A muzzle, much like any other tool when properly used is not a big deal. I can put the fabric muzzle on Rocky at any given time and he has no issue with it.

He can still pant drink and take treats with it on. It's just an option not a punishment.
 

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i would not use a muzzle in this situation
i would reprimand the akita gently though when it bites too much
it sounds like a case of barbering or flea biting the senior dog?
this is affection not aggression
the old guy would not seek out the young dog if the young dog was harming it
 
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