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Urgent, please help dog agression.

970 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  3GSD4IPO
We have a Saint bernard who is three years old, Balou and a corgi/collie whatever mix named Koda who is six months old. This is the third time Koda has become aggressive with Balou. This time he wouldn't let Balou inside the house from both of them being outside. They were literally playing outside less than a minute before that. This is beyond puppy play. Koda suddenly starts growling and barking, his hackles raise and his ears go back. Balou just stares at him and wags his tail, he doesn't even understand why Koda becomes aggressive and neither do we.

My husband said that if it happens again we have to get rid of him. I refuse. Koda hasn't drawn blood. Their normal play is pretty harmless. He's not sick. I don't know what's happening. We've tried separating them, Koda is placed in a large crate in our living room so it's not as if he's closed off from us or Balou. We let him out for an hour or so then outside and back again. So, he's in and out of the Kennel. I don't get it.

When it happens we scold Koda and put him either outside or in the kennel for an hour or so. It doesn't seem to help because this is the third time. I'm afraid of a fourth! Koda hasn't shown any hostility towards our cat or any humans.

Please help.
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Let me add that Koda has been around Balou since he was about five weeks old. Yeah, five weeks that's another story.
it's a door way , it's a natural dog thing ... all dogs can take advantage of doing it.. "resource guarding" part or whole,, you still have a corgi... they no softy's very powerful direct and super confident in what they bred to be.... You as the owner must step in and teach your pup manners.. They change grow from puppy hood into adult hood.. they can start challenging other dogs in the household as they become who they are as an adult. 6 months, 1 and 1.5 years old. 3 years old.. they are changing and we must grow with them in teaching them good manners in the house hold... getting to that bliss of maturity where the petty stuff doesn't matter to them anymore...
Thanks for the reply. Um, so this is in writing it might sound sarcastic but it's not meant to. How do I go about doing that? We already correct him by saying "No," and then separate them. He still hasn't changed. I've been reading a lot about sudden aggression and I think the first step is to get him neutered ASAP. But what do we do in the meantime? How do we discourage this behavior if it pops back up again?
I'd meet the dogs outside the door and have one go in at a time. I'd use tiny treats to reward good behavior at the door. Doorways are a problem for dogs, guide him to better behavior.

Read up on resource guarding and work on techniques now before any more types of this sort of thing pop up. Do lots of trading for toys, establish good manners at their meals and so on. I won't allow my two to have chews unless separated even though they have never fought over food for instance.

He's a mix of herding breeds and corgis can be pretty intense. Some of this is maturing and some is the breed mix. You may have to get used to a new level of noise, maybe he is simply a noisier dog than Balou.

If you note any other behaviors that might be related to herding perhaps getting him a big ball to herd around would be fun for him. It's actually a sport now as well, Treibball.
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Kathyy ^^^ will add go out and leash your corgi and do it correctly with him about letting you Saint go in first ... take them both to the kitchen and have them (sit) and wait to be named to take their reward.. Nothing in life is Free .... is another good training approach idea to read into.. Your corgi is being a jerk.. I wouldn't call it aggression.... typical of the breed which is take charge, head strong, and manipulates if they don't have structure.. Miss behaving , taking charge where they shouldn't be taking charge... get up walk over to them put a leash on them and get them to willingly come with you out of the situation.. (teach them by doing it with them how to stop, and move on to better behaviors) when they give you their attention and come with you.. take them to the kitchen (sit) give them a treat for letting go and coming with you... as puppies they don't have control of themselves so you have to help them learn what to do with themselvs when natural instinct kicks in...
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Thank you both for your replies! I've had three dogs at once, all middle aged rescues, two females one male and I've never had to deal with this type of behavior. Yeah, it does seem like he's being a jerk... I live by the "nothing is free," code. I'll read up on doorway issues because I've never even heard of that before, thank you! Also, I'll leash train inside the house a lot more. Koda does sit and wait. He might take forever to wait but he doesn't get a treat until he does. If we tell him "No," for just about everything else he does listen. He's a chewer so he has his own toys in a large kennel. When he has something and we give him a firm "no," he stops chewing on it. It's only this BS he pulls on occasion with Balou. It's more that my husband is terrified that Balou or Koda will get hurt. Does anyone have any advice on what to say to calm him down? He held onto Koda when the behavior happened and Koda didn't bite or nip at him all of Koda's attention was at Balou. This is why I am thinking it's not straight up aggression.

And yeah... Koda is very vocal, he even groans in his sleep when something wakes him up.
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Patricia is giving excellent advice as usual so I have nothing to add to that.

However, Balou's reaction to these incidents sounds interesting...sounds like he's basically thinking ''OK, this is just puppy BS and I'm not going to react negatively to it. Eventually he'll get tired and go find some other fun''.

It could be that Koda is trying to ''demote'' Balou a notch or two in the pack structure but if you step in and show Koda you're the top dog not him he might settle down as Patricia suggested.
Might also be Koda is still getting a puppy pass? Stable adult dogs let puppies get away with a lot of stuff. If so puppy pass is due to be up any day now.

If Koda is feeding into a powerful herding instinct he may not be able to read Balou's 'not a cow' body language easily and unless you are able to step in and teach Koda that Balou isn't a cow and not to be moved around as he pleases Balou will have to correct him. From what I've seen dogs don't often recognize or accept corrections and escalate the confrontation. So I absolutely believe your husband is right that this could get really serious but with training and recognition of his triggers you can mellow out the situation so Koda learns to moderate his impulses and behave.

Sometimes you get a dog that really ups your dog game. Koda may be one of them. I hope this turns out to be a fun training puzzle rather than a frustrating one.
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Again, thanks for the replies! Also, thanks for being courteous... I know this is the internet but um some people can be rather callous, not here mind you, but other groups and what not. I.E. if you don't teach your dogs tricks beyond basic obedience training, or if you don't use specific products like certain brands, or if you don't teach a certain way I dunno I think every dog and every owner is different.

Kathy, you might be right about the "puppy pass." I'll be petting Balou and Koda with come up an start softly mouthing his legs or neck. Balou might turn around and start playing with him or he just lets him mouth him. The thing about Saints is that they normally don't really do the order pack type mentality. Sure, there's the saintly teens where they lose their minds for a bit but other than that they don't really do dominant/submissive behavior like one might think.

WesselGordon, I think you hit on another point... It could be puppy BS and Balou is out of his puppy hood now. It was just scary to hear and see Koda like that. Koda has tried to herd me but not Balou. Anytime Koda mouths Balou, Balou is laying down or sitting up not walking. Koda doesn't nip at his heels either. Maybe he just is being a big brat? It's odd but Koda doesn't ask/show affection much. Even though I made sure to pet him everywhere and pick him up constantly as an "infant," not in an annoying way. I show him plenty of affection and in the past month he has finally started coming to us for affection.

"Sometimes you get a dog that really ups your dog game. Koda may be one of them. I hope this turns out to be a fun training puzzle rather than a frustrating one."

Sigh... So far Koda has been the hardest dog I have ever trained. And I had rescues that were not house trained or obedient compliant, no aggression though. This little, I love him I swear I love him... But classes are going to be a must with him. I really am hoping that some fresh perspective will help. He had a really bad puppy biting phase and knew how to sit before he knew his name, I don't know how that happened but it did. He was pretty easy to get to stop biting and to sit but the rest? It's just weird. Like he looks at you as if he almost has it and then it's gone... He still has accidents in the house despite the going out every hour, treating when he does go outside, and kenneling off and on. Sometimes he will get close to the back door when he needs to go and I treat him, it's like it's almost there just not yet. But he'll sit in a freaking second!

Sorry for complaining... I do love him he's just a bit frustrating.
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Correction from Balou might be what's needed and if he's stable it shouldn't be a problem.

I've had a stable older dog take about as much nonsense from a pup as she could and all the older dog did was grab the pup's muzzle and flip her over onto her back and gave a slight growl. That accomplished the older dog let go and turned around walking off as if the pup suddenly wasn't there. Lesson learn by pup and end of the issue.

OP: I'll admit that kind of scenario can escalate in milliseconds and there's a lot of noise and flashing teeth involved but in that particular case the pup didn't respond positively to human intervention and I knew I had a very stable older dog. Let's hope this pup sorts himself out and it doesn't go beyond what all of you can cope with.
Leave a leash on the Corgi mix dog. Give him no opportunity to behave like this. Remove the option. Manage the dog. If he won't pay attention to you, insist on it (leash correction, prong collar, whatever is needed).

Be the one in charge.

You man also separate the dogs and handle each one separately. This is more work and this is what I do with three dogs (and what I have always done).
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