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My golden retriever, Samson, is a wonderful dog. Friendly, loyal, and all those other good things that GR's are. Just had his 5th birthday last month. I never worry about letting him off-leash. I don't worry that he's going to wander off and get into trouble. He always comes when I call him. I frequently take him to the park, or frisbee golfing, and he never meets a person or dog that he doesn't like. He'll walk up to man or beast with his tail wagging and say hi.

Except for one particular dog.

My sister in law has an intact male boxer named Mojo. Also 5 years old. Mojo has a lot of energy, but I've never really seen him demonstrate aggression toward people or dogs. Samson and Mojo only see each other once or twice a year, but for some reason that is unclear to me, Samson seems to have some kind of beef with Mojo that no one can understand. Samson will attack Mojo unprovoked, and he has NEVER shown aggression toward any dog other than Mojo.

Over the holiday weekend, we were camping with my wife's side of the family, and all of the respective dogs were there. One evening, I let Samson off the leash so that I could play fetch with him for a few minutes. I was standing about 60-70 feet down a slope from where my sister in law was sitting with Mojo. I was tossing the ball away from everyone out into the field. The first 4 or 5 tosses went just as they always do: fetch, retrieve, no problem. I couldn't believe what happened on the next toss. I threw the ball, Samson went and got it, started trotting back toward me, then about 2/3 of the way back, he veered off and started heading up the hill. I called him a couple of times and he ignored me. He ran straight up to Mojo who was sitting with his "mom" and bit him on the face hard enough to draw blood! I was in utter disbelief. What on earth has gotten into him???

Have any of you run into anything similar with your dogs? I'm sure that Mojo didn't do anything this weekend that precipitated this type of aggression. Whatever problem Samson has with Mojo, it has to stem from long ago.
 

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Our Border Collie we had when I was a teenager was a gentle soul and loved everybody, human and dog, except for the dog that rode in the bed of the pickup that the newspaper delivery guy drove. That dog would bark at other dogs along the route and make them go nuts. One morning, our BC was ready for him. When the delivery truck showed up and the dog started barking, our dog climbed out of his pen, waited until the truck stopped at the stop sign, leaped into the truck bed, pulled the stunned dog out of the truck and proceeded to kick some butt. My Dad ran up to break up the fight. The delivery guy didn't even realize that his dog had left the truck and drove on down the road a ways. That was the last day that dog rode on the delivery rounds.
 

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It coudl be a number of things, inlcuding that he's intact, or whatever. Now that you know it's an issue, you can work on making sure it doesn't happen again. Hard to say too if he was going to check out Mojo and Mojo provoked something at the moment or if it's a grudge. My old dog HATED duck tollers, mainly one, but it was a general 'I don't like them' attitude. I could just say the one dog's name and he'd start growling and looking at me with the 'oh yuck mom' face. But he was able to do team obedience with that dog on the team in the ring at the same time (actually a pretty funny story, the offending dog decided that one of the other dogs must love him and proceeded to go flirt with her right next to my guy sitting there but leaning as far as he could away from the whole scene...).
 

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Dogs can't hold grudges, they're not capable of that level of thought. What it is, is essentially an accumulation of chemical reactions in the brain everytime he sees this trigger, and then once a certain threshold is crossed the dog reacts violently in some way. Who knows why your dog has built up this association in the first place, but it's not a grudge, like "hey you stole my bone 4 years ago! I will never forgive you!" It's a reaction, not a pre-meditated thought.
 

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I had a friend who had a basset and a foxhound. Those dogs loved everyone and everything except for 2 particular pugs. You could hear them bark 11 floors up in our apartment building when the pugs were within 100 feet of them. They even barked when they smelled them in the elevator.

Pepper has a few dogs he hates and barks like crazy at. Its something I'm working on with him, but its not going well.

I assume its all based on scent.
 

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I personally have an intact dog and I can tell you it's probably the fact that Mojo is intact. An intact dog gives off different smells, body language etc and causes other dogs who aren't intact to fight them, all those mating and territorial instincts your dog never went through because he was neutered pop up when he smells Mojo, it's a territorial/mating thing.
I've had to break up fights between other dogs and my dog just because my dog is intact and every other dog in the dog park/field/trail is fixed.
You really need to work with your dog on this, teach him to learn to tolerate Mojo, get them both on leashes and praise your dog for ignoring Mojo. A muzzle for both might be nice to prevent any injuries in case an accident happens and one or both get off the leash.
Contact a trainer near you who can help you work with this, one that will hopefully respect your sister in law's decision to keep Mojo intact, and will get straight to working with the dogs.
My dog's name is Samson as well, how funny.
 

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I don't think dogs "hold grudges" in the way we think of holding grudges over a particular incident, but I do think they can certainly dislike particular individuals. Maisy has an arch-nemesis for sure, a female yellow lab whose name I shall withhold to protect the innocent. Maisy can be reactive to some dogs anyway, but she and this dog absolutely despise each other and her reaction to this dog is completely different and WAY beyond her reaction to any other dog.

ETA: I do also think un-neutered males who are old enough to have matured sexually do tend to get "picked on" by other dogs more than their fair share and regardless of their personalites.
 

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Some males take issue with intact males. I've seen it happen in daycare(with males that were left intact for medical reasons).

Sometimes, there's just something about that other dog. Kaki hates, and I mean HATES, one of the other females in my daycare. I don't know why this particular dog just sets her off. One day, we showed up to work and I took Kaki into the yard not knowing that the other female had just showed up to. She wasn't even looking in Kaki's direction but soundlessly, Kaki ripped across the yard, grabbed the back of her neck, pinned her , and gave her a good kill shake until I broke it up.

Prior to that I've never had to physically separate Kaki from a fight. And she did NOT let go easily. There's just something about that dog...

I watch her like a hawk now and we haven't had any more serious brawls but the desire is still in her, plain as day.
 

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Dogs can't hold grudges, they're not capable of that level of thought. What it is, is essentially an accumulation of chemical reactions in the brain everytime he sees this trigger, and then once a certain threshold is crossed the dog reacts violently in some way. Who knows why your dog has built up this association in the first place, but it's not a grudge, like "hey you stole my bone 4 years ago! I will never forgive you!" It's a reaction, not a pre-meditated thought.
I don't think she means "that" kind of grudge, I hunk she means a "I don't like your attitude twds me" grudge. I think dogs hold "those" kinds of grudges, Josefina has a new-found grudge twds my OH's friends rat terrier, last september when we were here (she was still a pup at the time) Busy (the terrier) would break up Izze & Josefina's play when they would play & be a general "buzz kill" for everyone. Well, this year she tried that when Josefina & our friend's new puppy were playing & Josefins quickly before anyone could stop her precedddd to rip her a new one, now we have to watch her around Busy.

Also Izze had an on going prob with my folks dobie mix that none of us could figure out, when Izze was staying there they had to be kept separate because they would tear into each other.
 

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I don't think she means "that" kind of grudge, I hunk she means a "I don't like your attitude twds me" grudge. I think dogs hold "those" kinds of grudges, Josefina has a new-found grudge twds my OH's friends rat terrier, last september when we were here (she was still a pup at the time) Busy (the terrier) would break up Izze & Josefina's play when they would play & be a general "buzz kill" for everyone. Well, this year she tried that when Josefina & our friend's new puppy were playing & Josefins quickly before anyone could stop her precedddd to rip her a new one, now we have to watch her around Busy.

Also Izze had an on going prob with my folks dobie mix that none of us could figure out, when Izze was staying there they had to be kept separate because they would tear into each other.

Haha, we're getting a little vague here. "This kind of grudge, not that kind of grudge"

I think whatever kind of grudge you wish to call it, it's not an accurate description. Grudge means the dog harbors resentment, and resentment is a purely human concept (as far as I know) where the human feels they were "wronged" by someone. None of that stuff exists in the dog world. They don't sit around the house thinking, "dangit, I hate what boxer dog did to me a month ago, I deserve better!". The most accurate way to describe the situation is, it's a reaction to a stimulus, and when the dog is exposed to the stimulus repeatedly, the chemical buildup gets higher and higher each time. If nothing is done to desensitize the dog to the stimulus, it results in an outburst. It is NOT some sort of rationalized hatred.

For me, it's not necessary to analyze the dog any further than what I just described above. Trying to get inside the dog's thoughts and psyche is about as futile as trying to grab a cloud. The next step would be to figure out what exactly is the stimulus that triggers violent behavior (is it a certain way the other dog sniffs?) and seeing if you can either manage it or do some classical conditioning on it.
 

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Jubel has a nemesis and they will both aggressively lunge and snarl at each other when they see each other. It's a shepherd mix who frequents the park near my house who doesn't get along with a number of dogs and is intact. Jubel's never had an issue with any of the other intact males we've encountered so I think that has little or nothing to do with the mutual dislike between them. The first handful of times we ran into each other walking in the park we let the dogs greet and the shepherd mix snapped at Jubel each time so I didn't allow them to greet after that.

I'm not sure if Jubel decided on his own to dislike the shepherd mix or if he read into my not letting them greet anymore as a reason to dislike the shepherd mix. I did my best to not make an issue of it, to just tighten up the slack on the leash and walk on passed. One day Jubel froze, body stiff, hackles up, and stared when we saw the shepherd mix heading down the path from about 30-40' away, shepherd mix froze too when he saw us. I turned around and headed the other way but to this day both of them snarl and lunge if we cross paths in the park. I avoid it and turn around and go the other way when I see them, the shepherd mix owner doesn't think it's that serious "they want to play." He has accepted the fact that they shouldn't be around each other now but it was slow going, Jubel actually likes the owner a lot. If we are hanging out in the park on a weekend morning with our doggy friends he'll put his dog in the car (he plays fetch with him in the tennis court) and come say hi to us for a short bit. He'll occasionally comment about how well Jubel is getting along with everyone else just not his dog. I haven't bothered to point out to him that other than his dog Jubel likes or at least peacefully co-exists with every dog he's met BUT his dog and his dog doesn't get along with a number of dogs.

I wouldn't call it a grudge between them but they certainly strongly dislike each other. For Samson it's very likely he just doesn't like being around intact males, it's pretty common. Not a good situation but not uncommon.
 

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Dogs can't hold grudges, they're not capable of that level of thought. What it is, is essentially an accumulation of chemical reactions in the brain everytime he sees this trigger, and then once a certain threshold is crossed the dog reacts violently in some way. Who knows why your dog has built up this association in the first place, but it's not a grudge, like "hey you stole my bone 4 years ago! I will never forgive you!" It's a reaction, not a pre-meditated thought.
I think we don't give dogs enough credit.
 

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Boxers tend to piss other dogs off too. Their forward eyes and "forward" manner can really put other dogs off. Boxers have huge energy and a weird playstyle.

I have owned a boxer and watched her irritate other dogs. I own a dog who hates all boxers. On sight.

I adore the breed, but some dogs have real issues with them!
 

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I'm going to humanize and then de-humanize our dogs in this statement (FWIW)...

Ask yourself this question, do you get along with everyone? Or, do you sometimes find people you don't get along with for whatever reason? Dogs are the same IMO. That said, how they have a "grudge" is just different than how we may have a grudge.

I'm not going to guess why your dog did what he did, but I wouldn't try to figure it out in this instance. Those two times a year I'm sure you can make other arrangements where both dogs can not get to one another.
 

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I think we don't give dogs enough credit.
My sentiments exactly, ESP with ACDs :). They are a totally different breed, they relly are one of those breeds that I sware understands what you say to them like your talking to another person or something.

Perhaps they don't hold grudges in the way humans to with contempt but more on a simplified scale "you've attacked me before, therefore I dislike you" other animals besides humans hold grudges, it's been documented that elephants hold grudges against the villagers who killed their herd members who raided their crop stores, the elephants came back & distroyed the village.
 

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I haven't read all the way through this but early on I do see the same response as about what I'm going to say. In any case... dogs don't hold a "grudge" but that doesn't mean they have to like every other dog they cross paths with. Jax has done the same thing. 6 months and never a sign of aggression. He may have had a single bark directed toward one or two people, and he's growled maybe two or three times at another dog if he's rubbed absolutely the wrong way in the dog park, but absolutely nothing unprovoked of a real aggressive action. Yet, this one particular dog in our obedience class...suddenly on the 4th class of 6, Jax decided he hated the other dog and caused an absolute scene multiple times in the last 3 classes. I corrected it by reintroducing him to the gentle-leader collar, but you could still see that he was hardly having it.
 

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I'm going to humanize and then de-humanize our dogs in this statement (FWIW)...

Ask yourself this question, do you get along with everyone? Or, do you sometimes find people you don't get along with for whatever reason? Dogs are the same IMO. That said, how they have a "grudge" is just different than how we may have a grudge.

I'm not going to guess why your dog did what he did, but I wouldn't try to figure it out in this instance. Those two times a year I'm sure you can make other arrangements where both dogs can not get to one another.
This.

Shambles is a stupidly friendly dog that loves every dog in the world and wants nothing more to play. He threw himself into intensely exaggerated play bows the second he saw DarkMoon's Peanut. However, he inexplicably wanted to throw down with Xeph's Strauss, who was doing nothing to provoke him in any manner. I had to keep him away and distracted the entire time. Haven't had an incident with him otherwise. Jack also absolutely hates a Bulldog mix on our block, who is a giant baby and has no interest in harming him. He hit the ground like a wet blanket when Smalls corrected him once.

On the flip side, Jonas has ill regard for other strange dogs out in the world. He will tolerate new dogs at our place, but not dogs in general. He bizarrely has had four dogs that he totally loves. An old foster, a neighbor's Dane mix puppy (that has since moved away), our other neighbor's Pit, and an elderly Dachshund on the block. For reasons unknown to me, he WILL play with these dogs and always got excited to see them.
 

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Alot of intact dogs get "picked" on my fixed dogs.

Both of mine are intact and are friendly goofballs who love all dogs. But both get picked on by other fixed dogs.

Just yesterday at the dog park. Blaze was wandering around sniffing the ground and a cocker came in. And that cocker belined for Blaze and started ripping in to him (barking, snarling, lunging, Snaping) For what I can only assume was because Blaze is intact.

There is a shepherd about a year old near us. whos owner does the same walk in the neighborhood and about the same time I go every night. Blaze and Solo (more solo though) HATE HATE HATE this dog. The first time they met him, they were cool with him. But he is a rude dog. No sniffing, just belines it for my 2 and starts play smacking them on the back. he isnt agressive, just rude about his invitations to play. Solo can not at all stand this dog. And I have had to pry Solos mouth open more then once to get him to let go of this dogs neck. (Solo was on a leash the shepherd is off) Blaze normally loves to say hi to the neighborhood dogs and will trot up for a hi and a sniff. This dog he will literlly look at him, and go the other direction, he wants nothing to do with him lol.

I find alot of boxers tend to get in to fights, be it their fault or not. Blaze cant stand most boxers (though he does love a select few) and same with solo. I think they are just to much for most dogs. they are very energetic and use their feet way to much in play.
 
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