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Thread: From social butterfly to aggressive behaviour

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default From social butterfly to aggressive behaviour

    Hello,
    I'm new to this forum and am looking for advice. Effy is a pug x cavalier who is close to 15months old. She has recently starting to show aggression towards other dogs during playtime in the past couple weeks. We have noticed this behaviour a couple times at the park and it has happened on her last two visits to doggy day care. She will start playing like normal and then after a period of time she will start growling at the other dog. We live in an apartment but have access to a large common area where she has played with the neighbours dogs since she was 4 months old. She is well exercised and get to spend about 2 hours minimum at the park each day (she has always had a high level of energy) and is off leash one we arrive there. She has been attending doggy day care about once a week since she was 6 months old. I'm not sure if it is a change in hormones or if she wants to be pack leader. I am taking her to the vet this week to get her next lot of vaccinations and will ask the vet about her change in behaviour, but I was wondering if anyone here had any suggestions. Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    to the forum

    Are you sure the growling is aggressive and not just playful? Some dogs can get quite vocal when playing without actually being aggressive.

    Is she just growling? or is she raising her hackles and biting? or trying to stand over the other dogs?

    Also, is it with all dogs or just certain ones? I know one of my dogs growls sometimes at other dogs that are getting too boisterous and in her face she's not trying to fight with them she just wants them to back off a bit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Geelong, Vic
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    I too would ask is she just being a rough player. Unless she's trying to latch onto other dogs or bashing them around I woudlnt say she's aggressive, just bossy like most pug dogs are. I have a pug here and this morning she decided to latch onto my dogs ear when she tried to eat out of her bowl. Attitude packets.

  4. #4

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    Often a dog growling can be a way for a bigger dog to play "rough" with a smaller dog without actually being rough. It's very hard for anyone to judge without actually seeing what you are describing.

    If she's not actually biting the other dogs, maybe you could get a video clip and post it up here. Some of our experience dog behaviourist members might be able to tell you much more if they can actually see the behaviour.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Is Effy desexed?

    I'm not sure if this will help or not. My dog is desexed and she sometimes gets growly. She is loud with some dogs when she's playing and not with others. I can tell when she's happy because there are lots of play bows and side side zoomie motions. When she's unhappy - her whole body rolls up, tail tucks under and her head goes down, and she uses me as a shield.

    When she got to about 2 years old - she did start standing up for herself at the park - and she'd scold (but not hurt) rude dogs.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2013
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    Thanks for all the replies effy is desexed. The growling at other dogs is a new thing. She has always tried to grab other dogs ears since she was a pup, didn't know it was a pug thing. It's not necessarily directed at any type of breed. She showed her teeth apparently at day care and she's been playing with these same dogs for over 6 months. Vet said its not necessarily dominance but could be that she is over stimulated

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    She is maturing and perhaps after a certain amouint of play she has either had enough or is as you say she becomes over stimulated, or maybe she is being rough which causes a reaction in the other dogs which causes her to escalate now she is maturing.

    I had a dog once that when she started maturing she would start playing nicely and then she would slowly become more and more stimulated and the tone of play would visibly change and not in a good way. You can generally tell by the body language of both dogs what is happening. You will need to be careful she doesnt pick on the wrong dog to do this to if she is becoming growly or she could get nailed.

    I would be watching her carefully and if you detect any change I would stop her playing. You dont want her to start reinforcing the pattern or the behaviour escalating. Probably though you need to have someone knowedgable to watch as to what exactly is happening if you are not sure. Best to get on top of these things early on.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 06-06-2013 at 10:23 PM.

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