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So, I have three dogs. One older (8--Rusty) male neutered cocker spaniel, another (2--Mr. Darcy) male neutered cocker spaniel, and a (1--Sadie) female spayed gshep/sheltie mix. Rusty and Mr. Darcy are products of a puppy mill, and Sadie is a rescue. Rusty is food aggressive, and WILL bite your face off when it comes to food. He's like this with other dogs, along with people including my mom which is his Mama. We've tackled this problem by separating the dogs when being fed, and observing them as they eat. There's been very few fights. Mr. Darcy is my baby, and he is very submissive but definitely has fear aggression towards males, especially when they approach me. He won't show teeth or growl, but he will give one of those warning barks and kind of cower back behind me or collapse on my feet. Now, Rusty is not really a dog's dog. He'd much rather be in the company of humans than other dogs, and it was hell trying to get all three to get along for a good couple of weeks, but they settled. Mr. Darcy and Rusty just kind of ignore each other, and Sadie and Mr. Darcy are best friends. They play fight a lot and neither show aggression towards the other.

To end this long story, two days ago during feeding time, Rusty stalked on over to Mr. Darcy's bowl to steal a kibble that he dropped on the ground. This happens, and Darcy just usually ignore it and lets Rusty grab it before I yell at him and he scoots off. This time, Darcy and Rusty went at it. I pulled up Darcy and held him in my arms and Rusty bit my calve. To make matters worse, he held on and chased me. When he calmed down, I noticed Darcy had got him good on the nose and I went to clean the blood. When I grabbed his nose he attacked again and bit my upper thigh very hard. Darcy didn't see this because he was in the backyard with Sadie. He did see the first bite, though. Now, Darcy is lowering his head and growling at Rusty when 1.) Darcy has a toy and Rusty if even near him, 2.) Around dinner time even if Rusty is merely in the same room with him, 3.) When we put Darcy in the crate when he starts giving Rusty that 'look', and 4.) When I am holding Darcy and Rusty walks by. Mr. Darcy was NOT ever acting like this in the two years I've had him. He's always been the subordinate one and has long realized to ignore Rusty and focus his playtime with Sadie. In the crate he is especially nasty, even growling at me and not listening to my commands. He doesn't ever show teeth, raise fur, or bite, even when I start to pet him and baby talk to him in the crate. Simply low, hunched over growling. He doesn't growl when I am touching him. I'm very concerned because this happened pretty much out of the blue. I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow (thank God I work at one because I'm demanding every test!), and talking to a trainer asap.

Sorry for the long post, but my mom has given me the ultimatum of 1.) Move out into low-income housing since I'm a very poor nursing student or 2.) Put Mr. Darcy down. The mere thought of putting him down, seeing his lifeless body bagged and thrown in a freezer made me burst into tears today and I would honestly feel like I was losing a part of my existence doing so. I am desperate to try anything.
 

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Vet visit like you are doing with a full physical and blood work up is what I would do. Make sure to do a thyroid test as well as general blood work, and check for lyme disease and other similar diseases. I would make sure they check the teeth, and range of motion in all limbs. Any time an animal exibits odd behavior that is so out of the norm you should check for a physical problem.
 
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