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Postby amazincc » October 17th, 2009, 12:02 am

How does "true" DA manifest itself? At what age, usually?
Are there early "warning signs" (for lack of a better expression)?

How does one tell the difference between possible true aggression and/or "puppy-is-just-REALLY-full-of-himself"?
Is true DA geared towards all dogs all the time, or just some dogs some of the time?

Faust done lost his mind. :crazy2:
I have a headache. :nono:
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Postby BullyLady » October 17th, 2009, 12:31 am

Well, I can't speak for all, but Shelby is about to turn 2 and her DA just started showing up about six months ago. Also, there are no warning signs..... it's a little frightening. She acts like she is wanting to play, she goes in like she's going to play..... and then she snarks. It seems to be mostly with dogs near her size and larger, though I haven't let her interact much since this showed up so I don't know. She will snark at a dane even..... :rolleyes2:
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Postby Malli » October 17th, 2009, 1:01 am

for Shelby, does she go in and act obnoxious and then get snarked at and then snark back? Or just go in acting like she wants to play and then at contact snark?

Christine I have some limited experience with truly DA dogs from my new job (but not APBT's or like), but Oscar is not truly DA and just I think dominant so nothing personal.
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Postby BullyLady » October 17th, 2009, 1:09 am

Malli wrote:for Shelby, does she go in and act obnoxious and then get snarked at and then snark back? Or just go in acting like she wants to play and then at contact snark?


The latter, she goes in with the body language of playing and then snarks on contact.
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Postby amazincc » October 17th, 2009, 1:41 am

Hmmm... Faust gets snarky constantly lately... over *something*, and over *nothing*. No prior warnings. No prior specific body language that I can see. He just "loses his mind", temporarily. :|
Then, as quick as it starts, it fizzles out - 'til next time.
It's quite a show though, and a little disconcerting. :oops:

Sepp usually doesn't start anything, but I now get the impression that he's willing to "finish it" in the future.
I've been keeping them separated/crated for the most part, to prevent major upheaval.

I am wondering if it's the beginning of true DA, or just really bad puppy behavior.
Faust had a check-up recently, and he's fine, so no physical discomfort on his part. He still loves the cats, and he's super-friendly towards people.
No issues other than the constant trying to bully Seppel, and, on occasion, Daisy.
That, and he physically tries to go through the fence at any dogs who walk on our side of the street... hackles up, growling, snarling, barking, running back and forth like a lunatic. :rolleyes2:
But that could also be "barrier frustration" or something like it... right?

I don't care so much about that, but I'd like to keep everyone safe in my house at least.

Should I start implementing a crate/rotate for good?
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Postby Malli » October 17th, 2009, 2:03 am

I'd at least keep a decent flat collar and a leash on Faust when they're out together...

It sounds like you could tell Seppel to "back off"?

Are there any teeny tiny little body language signals that Seppel might be giving off? Or is it totally one sided? How does Daisy handle it differently?

you probably already did this, but maybe some NILIF is in order for the little sh!t?
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Postby amazincc » October 17th, 2009, 2:37 am

Right now they are not out together at all, because Faust is so damned FAST when he gets a bee up his bonnet. A collar/leash wouldn't prevent him from latching on IF Sepp walked by a little too close... and I'd rather not even let it get to that point of having to physically separate them.

Sepp does back off immediately, most of the time (I only had to physically grab him once) - Faust won't. Example... Sepp was sleeping in his bed, Faust walked over, growled, put a paw in the bed - and Sepp got up and let him have it. :shock:
I then crated the little devil and had Sepp return to his bed. Faust continued to have a hissy fit in his crate, complete w/snarking, growling and barking at Sepp. Hackles raised, throwing himself around at the "unfairness" of it all. lol
Waited for 30 minutes until all was calm, let Faust out - he made a mad dash for the bed and Seppel again. I stepped on his leash just before he got Sepp by the ear. :rolleyes2:

Daisy will immediately snark back, in a major way... hackles up, growling, snapping... the works. Faust will usually do a little yelp and run to me. I tend to ignore him, and I definitely don't baby/console him since he sort of "asked for it" in the first place.

We DO NILIF, routinely. Faust is, surprisingly, very obedient... except when he is focused on "getting" Sepp.

I'm not opposed to crating/rotating at all... I'm really just wondering what I'm actually dealing with.
I would think that the approach would differ in how I handle the behavior IF it's just a delusion of grandeur on Fausts part, versus true DA... know what I mean? :)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » October 17th, 2009, 6:18 am

How old is Faust now? I know when Inara was about, oh, 8 or 9 months old, she temporarily lost her mind as well. Forgot every thing I thought she knew and just was pretty determined to have me kill her (she's only alive because she's cute). I think there's something about that age.

That being said, around 7 or 8 months old is when Inara's prey drive kicked in toward smaller dogs. After she put a Min Pin's head in her mouth at flyball class (Inara was bleeding, Min Pin was fine, private flyball classes began!), I realized that perhaps all my hard work at "socializing" her around other dogs had failed. Tough pill to swallow. Glad I did though, as if I had not accepted that fact there's a good likelihood that another dog would have been seriously injured by her, if not killed.

Generally speaking, I believe pits can "turn on" anywhere in between 6 months and 4 years old. I don't think there's really any set time. Sounds like Faust is getting a little big for his britches and testing everybody. I would say if you are going to have them out together, be prepared (collars/leashes) to break up a fight. Could be that Sepp and Faust just can't be out together. That sucks for you, but at least each of them can still have time with Daisy.
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Postby Klopfer » October 17th, 2009, 7:18 am

amazincc wrote:Sepp does back off immediately, most of the time (I only had to physically grab him once) - Faust won't. Example... Sepp was sleeping in his bed, Faust walked over, growled, put a paw in the bed - and Sepp got up and let him have it. :shock:
I then crated the little devil and had Sepp return to his bed. Faust continued to have a hissy fit in his crate, complete w/snarking, growling and barking at Sepp. Hackles raised, throwing himself around at the "unfairness" of it all. lol
Waited for 30 minutes until all was calm, let Faust out - he made a mad dash for the bed and Seppel again. I stepped on his leash just before he got Sepp by the ear. :rolleyes2:

That sounds to me like Seppl is loosing his position in the pack and Faust will be "Number 1" now. In my opinion, it's wrong to push Seppl in the "number 1" position because you crated Faust and let Seppl return to "his" bed. That will cause more aggressions than it will help.
You need to keep an eye on how the things changes in the pack and "support" the new "number 1" (doesn't matter WHO turns out of being "number 1" and what you are thinking of who should be "number 1")
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Postby Marinepits » October 17th, 2009, 9:00 am

Klopfer wrote:That sounds to me like Seppl is loosing his position in the pack and Faust will be "Number 1" now. In my opinion, it's wrong to push Seppl in the "number 1" position because you crated Faust and let Seppl return to "his" bed. That will cause more aggressions than it will help.
You need to keep an eye on how the things changes in the pack and "support" the new "number 1" (doesn't matter WHO turns out of being "number 1" and what you are thinking of who should be "number 1")


I completely agree. I always let my five sort -out their "pack positions" (for lack of a better descriptive term) among themselves and support their choices. The only time I step in is when it appears someone is going to get seriously hurt.

pitbullmamaliz wrote:How old is Faust now? I know when Inara was about, oh, 8 or 9 months old, she temporarily lost her mind as well. Forgot every thing I thought she knew and just was pretty determined to have me kill her (she's only alive because she's cute). I think there's something about that age.


God, that stage is challenging. :rolleyes2: The only one I didn't want to kill was Indy. Mac survived it by the skin of his teeth, LOL.

Katy has always been DA, from the time she was a pup; Shorty isn't usually DA unless the other dog starts it first, then she's ALWAYS willing to finish it; Tucker turned on over the spring at about 2 1/2 years old; Indy didn't really have any serious DA until he was 6-ish; and Mac -- Mac turned on like gangbusters at around 2 years old. He's more than willing to kick any animal's ass at any time with very little warning.
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Postby Patch O' Pits » October 17th, 2009, 9:25 am

How does "true" DA manifest itself? At what age, usually?

It really depends on the individual dog.

Are there early "warning signs" (for lack of a better expression)?
How does one tell the difference between possible true aggression and/or "puppy-is-just-REALLY-full-of-himself"?

Always watch for posturing/body language and learn the dog's comfort zones. With some it may be more of toy or food aggression around others in the pack or as others have suggested challenging for the top spot and not true DA.

Is true DA geared towards all dogs all the time, or just some dogs some of the time?
...Again that would depend on the individual dog

LOL Guess I wasn't much help with those answers.

IMO there is always a trigger or sign and a dog doesn't just all of a sudden act out; though we don't always pick up on what is going on in the situation. It honestly comes down to knowing your own dog.
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Postby BigDogBuford » October 17th, 2009, 10:48 am

It does sound like your pack dynamics are changing. IMO the most PITA dogs are the ones that perceive themselves as not alpha and are always jockeying for top dog position.
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Postby mnp13 » October 17th, 2009, 11:23 am

Posting from my phone but I'll do my best...

The fence may be barrier frusteration, may be being territorial, may be aggression, probably a mix. I'd put a. long line on him and stop that behavior immediately. He'll decide to go over the fence at some point and then things won't be pretty. Self corrections are a beautiful thing, set him up ;)

Dog aggression can set in any time but I think maturity is the most common time - just my opinion. I agree that it sounds like he's testing the waters with Sepp however I don't agree that you can't create pack order if you choose to. We did at our house. It takes consistent enforcement but you can do it and it becomes second nature just like crate and rotate or nilif - it's just a management tool.

Remember to look for the 'not a warning' warning signs. Unbroken stare, erect tail, tension in legs and/or back. Hackles are a warning - and 'confidence' dog aggression doesn't want to display the kind of warning that might make the other dog decide to leave. Check out that video with inara and riggs again, you got good at body language with Mick, you need to look for similar stuff now - his had a lot of fear mixed in too but some elements will be there.

Yes, even dog aggressive dogs - fear or confidence based - can get along with some other dogs or other animals. Riggs is fine with Ruby, Emma and Tribble. Inara is fine with Ruby and is in love with Connor. Connor doesn't usually like other male dogs but didn't mind Score or Tribble. Of course, Riggs is usually fine with female dogs and about killed Inara on sight, but completely ignored her when she was loose in the living room - but in a down so wasn't making any eye contact or 'bothering' him in any way. Cleo and Merlin got along mostly, and she got along with Emma (except for her psychotic episodes but that's a different issue)

And yes, it certianly could be 'puppy full of himself' and - I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS BUT IT COULD WORK IF THE PROBLEM IS NOT DOG AGGRESSION - Sepp could take care of that (supervised.) The problem with that
that is if you are misreading you could have a complete and total disaster on your hands. (All you lecturers out there cool your jets, Christine knows what she can and can not do with her dogs, I'm quite sure she can responsibly handle my comments)
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Postby ArtGypsy » October 17th, 2009, 12:51 pm

Sorry this is off topic, but Michelle--you posted that from YOUR PHONE??? :shock:
Crap, I can barely dial a number sometimes.....
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Postby Malli » October 17th, 2009, 1:38 pm

Does anyone else disagree with ("pack dynamics" not withstanding) letting Faust kick Seppel out of his bed? (not that Christine was not doing that...)

I mean, fine, first to eat, first out the door, whatever, but his own bed?

My parent's dog has been known to growl at Oscar over my mother (both being petted at the same time), and while she gets scolded (unsucessfully I might add :rolleyes2: ) at my mom's house I saw her "think" about it when my parents visited for lunch at MY house and there was certainly going to be none of that in my dog's own HOUSE!

Do you guys think in a multi dog household that some pack oriented issues could be made "off limits" or is that equivilent ?
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Postby BullyLady » October 17th, 2009, 3:07 pm

Malli wrote:Does anyone else disagree with ("pack dynamics" not withstanding) letting Faust kick Seppel out of his bed? (not that Christine was not doing that...)

I mean, fine, first to eat, first out the door, whatever, but his own bed?


I don't see a problem with that as long as there is another bed available for Seppel to go to. When we had Sirius we always kept two dog beds in the living room/dining room so that when Shelby kicked Sirius out of the dog bed he was lying on, for no apparent reason other than that he let her, he could just get up and go to the other one across the room. He didn't too much mind being kicked out, Shelby was happy because she kicked him out, and Sirius just settled in on the other bed. No harm, no foul, so we let it happen.
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Postby Marinepits » October 17th, 2009, 3:43 pm

Our guys play "musical beds" all the time -- no one has a set favourite. I have five of the exact same comfy squishy beds, plus a couple of other ones around the house. All the beds are big enough to hold two dogs at a time if they are inclined to cuddle, LOL.

When we had just a couple of comfy beds, the dogs would try to force each other out all the time. That's when we got multiple beds, just like we have many multiples of favourite toys.
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Postby furever_pit » October 17th, 2009, 3:57 pm

It sounds to me like Faust is getting too big for his britches and he is trying to find his place in the pack. Though that doesn't rule out DA as a possibility later on down the road.

I've been dealing with a similar upheaval with Gator over the last few weeks but since my guys were already separated 99% of the time I just decided to go with the strict crate and rotate. Even tho I don't think it is DA in Gator's case, I just don't really feel like dealing with two male bulldogs who want to pick fights and squabble over things. Maybe that makes me a lazy owner, but I truly think it is what is best for my dogs.

I don't think that you necessarily have to go to a crate and rotate routine. Not yet anyway. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you luck with it. Faust sounds like a fun little dude (what can I say I love me some attitude lol).
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Postby Klopfer » October 17th, 2009, 3:59 pm

Malli wrote:Does anyone else disagree with ("pack dynamics" not withstanding) letting Faust kick Seppel out of his bed? (not that Christine was not doing that...)

I think dogs will not know the difference between "his bed", "her bed", "your bed" or "my bed". It's just a bed...
If I (in the "higher position") don't want my dog to be on the sofa (where he's allowed to be), I tell him to look for another place to sleep. Faust, in the "higher position", is doing the same. As long as Seppl accepts this behaviour, everything is ok.
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Postby amazincc » October 17th, 2009, 4:52 pm

Hmmm... you guys have given me lots to think about - thanks. :)

The problem w/Faust is that he actively tries to bully Sepp for hours sometimes, unless I step in. I have several identical dog beds all over the house, but Faust only wants to sleep in the one Sepp is in. When Sepp moves to another one - so does Faust. Sometimes he will only sit and stare at Sepp for a while, sometiomes he will get physical or even growl very quietly... but Sepp always ends up moving... and this can go on for hours. I'm not cool w/that... same as I wouldn't let one of my kids pick on one another for no reason. I think, personally, there is a big difference between sorting out pack dynamics and being an ass... am I wrong? lol

I feed all the dogs in separate locations. They get bones/high-value treats that way as well, because stuff like that definitely creates an issue between the boys. Playtime consists of one of the boys being out w/Daisy... they are not allowed to be both in the yard at the same time unless Faust is on a long lead and I'm right out there w/them.

Sepp is very laid back by nature, always has been. However... he still outweights Faust by about 25 pounds, and a serious altercation could end badly IF Sepp chooses to "step up".
Faust is pushy and tenacious... and very, very persistent when he has his mind set on something. He has come very far from being the timid little puppy I took in five months ago... :rolleyes2:
I do love his confidence though... "ain't no mountain high enough..." and all that - that's Faust. :lol3:

As far as pack dynamics go I have no problems w/the dogs sorting it out amongst themselves, to an extent. I don't expect them to love each other 24/7, but I do expect them to learn to co-exist semi-peacefully in the same house.
What can I do to encourage and re-enforce that w/out playing "favorite"?
Right now I take turns crating one of the boys when I'm too busy to pay full attention to both of them, and they take turns sleeping w/me at night. Sepp seems to be okay w/that arrangement, but Faust gets pretty vocal and resentful at times.

Oh, and Michelle... did the long lead this morning, and after flipping himself for the third time Faust decided it was better to come when called instead of trying to barrel through the fence and ignore me. :D
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