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Discussion Starter #1
I was a frequent poster a couple years ago, but this is my first post in a long time.

To establish the situation:
I still have the two dogs in my signature, Odo & Kira. Since I last posted we have added a Lab/American Bulldog mix that I took in when my brother was going to take him to the pound. His name is Scoob. Scoob weighs about 70 pounds, Kira 20, Odo 12. All are neutered/spayed. Odo & Kira I've had since they were 8 weeks old, and they're both about to turn 3. Scoob is just over a year old (birthdate approximately November/December 2010) and he came to us in September of 2011, so he's been with us 5 months.

Just this week, after five months of everyone getting along relatively well, we've had three incidents with Scoob that I think may be due to resource guarding/aggression, but I just don't know. The first was during mealtime. They eat in their crates. The crates are lined up side by side. Scoob, with nose buried in his bowl, growled at Odo in the crate next him. Odo, apparently offended, went into a barking fit at Scoob, who continued to growl until I clapped my hands at which point both quieted. Later that day (Tuesday of this week) my daughter (15 years old) let them out (fenced back yard) and a couple minutes later heard horrible yelping. She opened the door to find Scoob had Odo pinned to the ground and was chewing on him while Odo yelped and Kira barked/bit at Scoob's face. She, and believe me I've had a talk with her about this and how dangerous it is, went out and smacked Scoob on the butt. He immediately tucked tail and backed off and Odo hopped up and ran across the yard. She said when Odo ran, Scoob immediately gave chase. She yelled and clapped her hands and he stopped. She grabbed Odo and brought him in. Scoob was unhurt, Kira was unhurt. Odo had a gash on his lower neck/upper shoulder that looked bad at first but was actually pretty superficial. What makes me think that may have been a resource issue is that there was a rather large stick laying by where the incident began and all three dogs love sticks like they're made of bacon.

Since that incident the dogs are not allowed outside as a pack and Scoob & Odo are not allowed loose together unsupervised and when Scoob is out with Kira we closely watch the two of them. For meals, I swapped the crate order so that Kira is next to Scoob but this morning he growled at her while he was eating. She isn't as reactive as Odo, so when Scoob growled at her, she ignored him, but Odo flipped out down on his end, barking and spinning around in his crate. In the house the dogs continue their normal behaviors without any aggression. Odo does get really barky when Scoob & Kira play. Kira growls during play (anyone who has a boston or two will know what I mean - they can sound really mean when they're playing and excited). Could the fight have been Scoob trying to knock Odo down a notch in the doggie hierarchy?

My boyfriend wants to just get rid of Scoob, but I'm wondering if this is something we can work through/work on. I'd really like to keep all three dogs. I love Scoob and he's not an aggressive dog at all. He's a super sweetheart and part of me thinks the fight may have been him just getting carried away trying to play. He doesn't seem to comprehend how big he is compared to the other two. Does anyone have any advice? Is there a way to help Odo and Scoob to be a little calmer with each other? They don't hate each other. They lay and sleep on the same doggie bed, they lay side by side and chew on toys. Other than the food growling thing, which is new, the only rowdiness we've seen is Odo barking at Scoob when Kira gets rowdy. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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The feeding problem does sound like resource guarding. I wouldn't line the crates up all in a row to feed. I'd put them in a different room.

The incident in the backyard sounds like a fight. Which could be dog aggression from Scoob or Odo could have actually started it. You can't know since you didn't witness it.

Resource guarding can be treated, or even just managed. If you don't have to feed the dogs in the same room, don't. If Scoob is dog aggressive, or just doesn't like Odo (not every dog likes every other dog), that can be sticky. You could end up crating and rotating, especially given how much bigger Scoob is.

I would consult a behaviorist. Look for one that uses positive reinforcement and is a behaviorist, not a trainer.
 

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I think it's really, really positive that there was no real damage and that the dogs redirected so easily. I think the questions is, are you willing to manage this situation and be very vigilant?

I have a rule at my house: Whenever there has been a snark-fest, I give the dogs a couple of weeks to cool off before I let them play again. It takes a while for the dogs to settle down and get over things. Some say it takes that long for stress hormones to wear off.

The good news/bad news is that the Am bull dog is hitting adoloescence. He could get less tolerant. Or become less likely to engage in stupid battles. Time is going to tell on that. He's still sort of an extended pup.

Are you able to supervise all interactions unless you have him crated/penned?

It's a lot of work, but it sounds like you are in a decent place to do it. Your new guy has great bite-inhibition and is willing to give up the fight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The dogs are crated when we're not home, and any time we can't supervise. Kira and Scoob are both chewers, but only when no one is looking. Scoob's first day alone in our house he ripped up a 2' x 2' section of carpet and dug all the padding out, then the next day, before we could get a big enough crate, he chewed up two pairs of slippers and tore the carpet off of one step for good measure, heh.

Previously the only time they weren't directly supervised was outside, but after the latest incident they're not outside unsupervised either. Odo and Scoob don't go outside together at all and when Scoob is outside with just Kira, we stay at the door and watch. Scoob is generally a really laid back dog and very people oriented. His first time at the vet (he came to me unneutered and having had no shots, flea infested, and with yeast infections so bad in both ears that he was bald around them from sratching) the assistant gave him a treat, and then the vet went to check his teeth, and Scoob obediently opened his mouth and the treat was just laying there on his tongue. Not much seems to faze him, which is why it was shocking to hear of the fight. Odo is a little more high strung, and very verbal, but has never been aggressive with people and the only sign of dog aggression we've seen is barking at strange dogs when he's in the yard or when Kira is present or barking at Scoob when Kira makes noise while playing. He goes to the groomer regularly by himself (well, I drive him there, obviously) and plays with dozens of dogs of all sizes and has never had an issue. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong dog with resource guarding. Maybe Odo is guarding Kira as a resource.
 
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