I'm not really sure where to put this post?
Anyway, We have 2 dogs, 2yo Border, and 8yo Cocker. Cocker has a history of being beaten up by bigger dogs, and I am her 4th owner. She's fantastic with people, but not so much with other dogs (occasionally she'll find one that she likes, but incredibly rarely)..
Anyway, the cocker, bella, tollerates the border collie, Lucy.
Lucy tries to herd Bella, and Bella doesn't really appreciate it. She usually just growls till Lucy gets the message and then she'll back off. Usually it'll take Lucy a few minutes, she'll get distracted by something else that's moving (ball usually) and forget about Bella.
If she does manage to herd Bella into a corner, bella will sit down, and Lucy will hover over her, front on. Occasionally she'll just sit next to Bella once Bella has sat herself in the corner, and it's as though Lucy is 'holding' bella in the corner, if that makes sense. I attribute this to the sheepdog she is.
Recently though, Lucy only has to approach Bella, and Bella loses it. She jumps up on her back and initiates a fight. Doesn't go through the usual doggie avenues of growling, baring teeth etc before becomming aggressive.
This only happens when someone is outside. When we're out walking they're fine, dog park is also ok.
They did have issues with food initially (10 months ago) and some fights started between them , but they are now tethered for feeding, and there haven't been any problems since we began tethering them, till now.
It seems to happen more frequently after their dinner. I've tried taking their bowls away, leaving their bowls (empty), and the aggression is triggered by something else, either way.
It was suggested to me by a behaviourist at our obedience club that as Lucy (younger dog) got older, that she would try to challenge bella for her place in the pack.
I thought that Bella was still above Lucy in the pack structure, however, Bella's behaviour is leading me to believe that perhaps Lucy is now higher than Bella and that Bella doesn't like it.
Someone else also suggested that Bella could be developing dementia.
I'm taking Bella to the vet tomorrow to rule out medical issues, and am wondering if anyone has any ideas about the situation?
I'm finding it quite hard to be objective about it, and I'm not always outside when the aggression begins (or prior, to notice triggers).
Any thoughts on the situation would be very much appreciated.