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Thread: Sudden Change in Behaviour

  1. #1
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    Default Sudden Change in Behaviour

    Hi everyone,

    My rottie mugged another dog today and it is not in his nature to do that. I'll tell you how it all happened and I ask for advice on what to do and reasons as to why this might have happened.

    Brief history on Boof: 6 approx years old, got from pound as a 12 month old, very social and friendly, lives with a kelpie x who is 11 months old. He is desexed and has good basic training (sit, stay, lets me take his food while he eats, etc)

    Recently he has had an extra dog in with him and Roxy. she is a 7 month old staffy and all 3 dogs have been playing fine and sleeping together. they all eat together and the only time he growls is if the staffy trys to steal his food but this has now stopped as she has been getting fed far away from him so she doesnt bother him.

    When he plays with roxy he is good and will dominate her if she gets too full on but its not nasty and he never bites. its more of a quick sharp grawl and a paw pushing her down in a "no thats enough" fashion. He does this with the other puppy too and she just rolls over and submits straight away.

    Today all dogs were walked/run and a swim in the pond a couple hours before the incident. all 3 were back in the pen and we were out working on the motorbikes. the dogs had been in the pen about 2 hours (give or take) when all of a sudden the staffy screamed and u could hear boof mobbing her. by mobbing i mean pinned on the ground mouth over her throat (no teeth) and grawling with aggression that I had never seen before. I called him off but he wouldnt stop, luckly i was able to open the gate just enough and the staffy ran out and he was left in with roxy.

    I checked the staffy from head to tail and no marks but lost of drool on her body and throat and was a little shaky. Both dogs were back to themself like nothing had happened after 5 mins. They are now apart and will stay that way for the night.

    so thats what happened. now i need ideas on why it happened and what I can do to make sure he doesnt do it again. I dont know what set him off and it worries me. He is my best friend and I dont want him to have to be put down but if this is more than a one off and means he wont be safe anymore around other dogs or kids then I would have to

  2. #2

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    I don't know but maybe the Staffie has pushed too many buttons and the Rottie has thought enough is enough.
    The food might have been the beginning and he could take it no more.
    Or he can feel his position in the family tree under threat like going from number in the dog list so has now decided to make the worning I am going to be number one for a long time to come so this will just make sure the message is solidly inplanted in the Staffies mind.
    I an no dog trainer so I don't really know I hope someone here has the right way to fix this for you.

  3. #3
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    I can't help really but to be honest, it doesnt really sound particularly like aggression to me. If he was holding the staffy down without using his teeth, it sounds to me like he might have just been saying "enough".

    My big boy does this all the time to my wee girl when she is getting particulary annoying and she always screams because shes a brat

  4. #4
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    If there were no damages then it wasn't an attack but a warning that the other dog had probably done something the other didn't like.
    Was there food, a bone or a toy the rottie favoures around?

    Mine always have spats but at least they are of a similar size.

    If you are very worried then permanent separation might have to happen.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  5. #5
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    No food or toy around. I'm thinking it was just a final warning to the staffy. The owner of the staffy thinks that too.

    Its just back to the 2 for the next few days so I will see if he gets rough with roxy or any other changes. After talking to the other dogs owner, who is more worried about boof being hurt than his own dog, I think it could also be a bit of jealousy because Boof was my number 1 man and now he has to share me with a 2 legged man so he isnt getting as much attention and lashing out a little.

    but if he gets grumpy more and more I might go to the vet and see if he has something wrong like an infection or something making him irratable

  6. #6
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    Scuffles between dogs often sound/look worse than they are, I reckon. My old dog got involved in quite a few of them and she never actually bit a dog. And only once got bitten herself. It's mostly about letting the other dog know who's boss.

    I understand that you'd be worried, but I think just monitoring her to see if she starts to make a habit of this behaviour would be enough for now. If the behaviour starts repeating itself regularly, you might want to consider consulting a behaviourist.

    I also think her behaviour around dogs (and dogs she knows well too) has nothing to do with how she'd behave around kids (or big people). I once had people suggest that I should put my dog down because she'd brought down a kangaroo, with the argument that she might do that to a child. I thought it was highly insulting to suggest that my dog would not be able to tell the difference between a kangaroo and a human!

  7. #7

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    I've got 2 rotties and recently "boy" sister in laws rottie ( who is lilys litter brother) has come to stay with us due to fencing being replaced at his home. The 3 of them sound like they are fighting really bad. Jumping up on each other like fighting bears. Wrestling, growling, snarling etc. People around us must think we have a dog fighting ring. But noone ever gets hurt and after their wrestling matches they will always go and lay together. I think rotties just have a very vocal play and even warning system.

    In my opinion if boof wanted to hurt the staffy he would and he was prob just asserting his authority in HIS yard.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessalyon View Post
    I've got 2 rotties and recently "boy" sister in laws rottie ( who is lilys litter brother) has come to stay with us due to fencing being replaced at his home. The 3 of them sound like they are fighting really bad. Jumping up on each other like fighting bears. Wrestling, growling, snarling etc. People around us must think we have a dog fighting ring. But noone ever gets hurt and after their wrestling matches they will always go and lay together. I think rotties just have a very vocal play and even warning system.

    In my opinion if boof wanted to hurt the staffy he would and he was prob just asserting his authority in HIS yard.
    I 100% agree, your dog was playing. Using play fighting to display dominance. And we all know that staffy's do go on a bit, never tire, never get the 'hint' and have to be told in "that voice" for humans. Or they are deaf. Im sure rottie's have to have staffy voice too. And now we have one again, i realise how high pitched and girlie a GSD sounds like when its playing lol

  9. #9
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    so far so good. Boof went on a play date with a GSD today and he had a good play and wrestle. I think everyone was right in him just asserting himself and it looking worse because of the size difference and the staffy being such a screamer. The GSD and him were trying to pin each other and they were growling but it never got bad.

    thanks everyone for the comments. it put my worries at ease

  10. #10
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    quick update on all the dogs.

    Boof is his normal snuggly self again and back to taking everything in his stride, including Roxy sitting on his head when he refuses to play with her.

    Roxy is her wonderfully annoying self and trying to round up everything that moves including the bugs. hahaha got to love Kelpies.

    And the little staffy is fine and as dopey as ever. She still cops a flogging from the other dogs when she doesnt get the point but now I watch it I see its not aggressive its just a very firm "f off"

    Thanks again everyone

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