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Old 12-12-2018, 02:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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3.5 year old suddenly attacks a dog unprovoked - please help

Hi Everyone

First time posting here. I am the mum of a wonderful 3.5 year old pittie (possible mix, unknown). We have had her since she was 11 weeks old and from day one we have been doing everything we can to socialize and train her properly.

She went to obedience school as a puppy and continued her socialization up until last week by going to doggie daycare regularly where she would play with all sorts of other dogs, all shapes and sizes. She would also get boarded at the same doggie daycare when we travel and we never had anything but positive things from the staff. They all loved her and always said what a great time she had.

Even as a young puppy however she showed some signs of possessiveness around toys/balls and sticks. She never did anything other than a lip curl if another dog approached but there was definite guarding behaviour there. If she did something like this at home we would correct it by substituting the object with something else (as I thought we were suppose to do) but out in the park it was sometimes harder to control. We likely were not doing the right thing, but we found our best way to avoid the behaviour was to ensure she did not have sticks or balls around other dogs. If there was no stick or ball she played just fine.

That brings me to the recent incident. She was at doggy daycare, another normal day. When she's there the staff know of her obsessiveness with toys so they are really good and they make sure there are no toys around. The way the incident was described to me was one of the staff walked into the play area. As usual, many of the dogs, including Stevie, ran up to greet her. Stevie then apparently "turned and attacked another dog unprovoked". They said they were able to grab her and stop her quickly but not before leaving "a small gash above the other dogs eye" I got no details other than this. i use the quotations as these were exact words from an email. I do not know if this gash is a result of a bite or scratch. She has of course now been banned from the daycare which I understand.

I am devastated by this because it was an unprevoked incident (according to the daycare) so how do you correct something without knowing the cause if the behavior? Even with her known toy possessiveness she never tried to attack or bite, she gave a warning sign. Stevie herself has been lunged at by a few other dogs and Stevie never even responded, she would cower away, so this behaviour is a shock to me. Now with this actual unprovoked incident I am a loss for what to do. I don't trust her with other dogs, but I don't want to do further damage. She is the love of my life and my heart breaks for her because she doesn't understand why she can't go see her friends at daycare anymore (we live across the street so she is always trying to go in and say hi)

I don't want to be a bad mom/owner and I am sincerely looking for advise as to what I should do with a seemingly isolated incident. I say seemingly not because I do not believe the daycare but perhaps it happened so fast something was missed. I feel that if I continue to keep her from playing with other dogs her behaviour could become worse but at the same time I fear something happening again.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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This dog aggression is very common in bully breeds and Stevie is at the perfect age for it to show up. Keep in mind these dogs do not need other dogs for companions and only need their pack which is you and your family. Dog aggression can not be trained out but it can be controlled. There is plenty of good information on this forum on how to do just that. These dogs have no business in dog parks or doggy day care centers. Do some research on the breed of dog and its history. That is why the bully breed is not for everyone. You are all the dog needs and I assure you she doesn't miss her friends. That is a human's emotion, not a dogs.

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Old 12-12-2018, 09:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
 

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My dog has that as well it’s bad so or dog will be a solo dog with our family
He has his pack


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Old 12-12-2018, 10:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
 

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Although I agree with Joe and have read up and down this forum and done my fair share of research on bully breeds. I DO believe that dogs do benefit from play with each other. I don't do dog parks or day care or any group play at all.

I've found that my dog does well playing with just one other dog, usually female and I often set up one on one playdates. Hopefully i don't get torn apart for suggesting this but I do think that if you have a couple friends you know she plays with well that you could also maybe approach it in this way?
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
 

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Originally Posted by Choisauce87 View Post
Although I agree with Joe and have read up and down this forum and done my fair share of research on bully breeds. I DO believe that dogs do benefit from play with each other. I don't do dog parks or day care or any group play at all.

I've found that my dog does well playing with just one other dog, usually female and I often set up one on one playdates. Hopefully i don't get torn apart for suggesting this but I do think that if you have a couple friends you know she plays with well that you could also maybe approach it in this way?

We have tryed but this is how we got him when we adopted him he is 3
I don’t know what happens in his last life but there is 0 love for other dogs







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Old 12-13-2018, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Choisauce87 View Post
Although I agree with Joe and have read up and down this forum and done my fair share of research on bully breeds. I DO believe that dogs do benefit from play with each other. I don't do dog parks or day care or any group play at all.

I've found that my dog does well playing with just one other dog, usually female and I often set up one on one playdates. Hopefully i don't get torn apart for suggesting this but I do think that if you have a couple friends you know she plays with well that you could also maybe approach it in this way?


Dogs aren’t people and don’t need to play with each other. There’s no true benefit to the dog and you’re potentially asking for trouble. Half of the DD, Nala, loves everyone and wants to be everyone’s friend but she’s quite happy at home with me. The other half, Kaos, is a dick and doesn’t really like any other dogs except Nala - his sister. He tolerates Ciara but barely and I have to keep a close eye on him. Fortunately he’s very obedient and I know my dogs well so I’ve managed to avoid most trouble. There’s been small tiffs a few times but very few. If I hadn’t spent the time and effort to properly train them all I would absolutely be in a crate and rotate situation.

That was a total tangent but my point is we project our feelings, beliefs and thought patterns onto our dogs. Sometimes it’s to fill a need in or for ourselves, sometimes it’s a lack of understanding or education and others it’s just a subconscious or even unconscious habitual thought pattern. But we all need to take a step back sometimes and try to remember that they are dogs not people and need to be treated and cared for as such.


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Old 12-13-2018, 01:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Well put Jess!
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
 

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I understand what you are saying, and I am definitely working on not projecting my human feelings. There is a human component in setting up playdates: me wanting to get energy out of the dog without having to throw the ball/play tug for multiple hours a day.

You really don't think that dogs benefit at all from playing with each other? I have read plenty about dogs benefiting from each other's company and play and they do seem to enjoy it.

I knew that it would not be a popular thing for me to say here, but just wanted to give an example of something that works for me and my dog. I understand that this can change and his selectivity could go full on DA.

Also, another tangent, I'm having a little difficulty with the all encompassing "bully breed". When I got my dog, I just assumed he was a pit by appearance, and people would always come up to me saying, "Oh, he's a definitely 100% Rednose Pit". I got a DNA test as a gift and the results came back very shocking: majority (~80%) German Shorthaired Pointer + Lab, only a total of 15% American Staffy + Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and 5% Mastiff. Who knows how accurate these actually are . But if in fact this DNA test is accurate, would my dog still be considered a "bully breed"? And also made me think, that maybe most dogs labeled as pits are really just mutts?

Thanks for letting me discuss!
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Choisauce87 View Post
Also, another tangent, I'm having a little difficulty with the all encompassing "bully breed". When I got my dog, I just assumed he was a pit by appearance, and people would always come up to me saying, "Oh, he's a definitely 100% Rednose Pit". I got a DNA test as a gift and the results came back very shocking: majority (~80%) German Shorthaired Pointer + Lab, only a total of 15% American Staffy + Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and 5% Mastiff. Who knows how accurate these actually are . But if in fact this DNA test is accurate, would my dog still be considered a "bully breed"? And also made me think, that maybe most dogs labeled as pits are really just mutts?



Thanks for letting me discuss!

Nope I wouldn’t call your dog a BBM at all with that very little bit of AmStaff in him although those tests aren’t always real accurate. And I love those light bulb moments. YES MOST “Pits” are NOTHING more than mutts. Especially in the general public arena.




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Old 12-13-2018, 11:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Choisauce87, no need to thank anyone for allowing you to discuss anything. That is what this forum is all about and when we share our experience and knowledge we all benefit from each other. Ideally, anyway.

You are correct, many of the dogs on this forum have no pedigree papers without which there is no way of knowing the dogs lineage. These dogs are mutts despite their nose color. My mutts included.

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Old 12-14-2018, 12:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
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And just for the record, all mine are mutts too :-)


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Old 12-14-2018, 02:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
 

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i think it is very neat that although mutts, they share similar characteristics both physically and behaviorally. When I got mine as a puppy, I read up on training him as though he were an APBT and do think he is better for it!

Oh, and zaptear, such a cute pic of your dog with his pack! Poor guy looks like he got torn up pretty bad!

Last edited by Choisauce87; 12-14-2018 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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My girls are 3 years old now. A year ago or so I was giving them baths in the back yard. After I finished with Beau, I washed Trini. As soon as I was done with Trini they attacked each other. I couldn't tell who started it. I was surprised. What I now believe is that they were/are jealous/possessive. Now they are crated and rotated and much happier dogs. We don't do dog parks, doggie playtime but I do take them to obedience training (separately). I agree with Jttar, these dogs just need you.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Odie, Sounds like you have a good handle Beau and Trini and everyone's content and safe. Good to see you back here.

Joe
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Old 12-22-2018, 01:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Joe, good to be back. I didn't see this post when I posted yesterday.
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