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One And Only Flash Of Aggression


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Percy is super laid back. I think maybe the second day we had him, we had to take a chew treat away from him after realizing it wasn't safe and he growled a little. But since then, nothing. If he's lying on his bed, I can brush his teeth, grind his toenails, the little dog (Lulu) can sniff around him, etc. He barely twitches an ear. After that first incident with the chew treat, I have successfully and easily removed things straight from his mouth when needed with not even a hint of a reaction.

 

Last night he was lying on his bed in the family room while we watched TV. Lulu went over to her bed, which is a few feet away. All of a sudden he started barking and growling and showing teeth. Lulu moved away--I think she was confused, but not scared. She didn't growl back at him. It was over immediately and he became his normal self.

 

I've never seen him sleep startle. I've accidentally kicked him and stepped on him at night with no reaction whatsoever. So what was this? If he was deeply asleep, I don't even see how Lulu going to her bed would have woken him up.

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I usually look to medical if aggression is sudden. Maybe he's in pain or not feeling well?

 

The other possibility is him being "fine" with all of that prior was him just tolerating it and now he's tired of it and losing his patience. I always trade for a yummy treat rather than just taking things away and try to avoid disturbing my dogs when they're sleeping on their beds.

 

But I would investigate whether he's not feeling well, especially if it repeats.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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It's extremely rare that I take something away from him. Once was out on a walk and I had no treats. I don't think it's a "I'm tired of this and asserting myself now" kind of thing because Lulu wasn't really near him. I guess I'll see if it happens again.

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Remember that these hounds sometimes can be totally asleep with their eyes open. You may not be able to tell the difference between awake and asleep, so a sleep startle when she got close or walked by is entirely possible. Not aggression, but a startle. There is a big difference in using those terms. At this point it is something to keep an eye on so that you can figure out which it is and address it as needed.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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It's extremely rare that I take something away from him. Once was out on a walk and I had no treats. I don't think it's a "I'm tired of this and asserting myself now" kind of thing because Lulu wasn't really near him. I guess I'll see if it happens again.

That seemed less likely to me anyway given your description. I think watching and waiting is a good approach for now. It may have been coincidence that she was walking by at the time that it happened and it was a one off - weird dream or something. If it continues to happen then you know you need to look into an underlying reason. By the way, if it does continue to happen, put some management into place right away while you get help and try to sort out what's going on so no one gets hurt. Use baby gates or x-pens to keep them separate and call him off of his bed rather than approaching him on it for any reason.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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If he was truly being aggressive the little one would be dead. He *could* have easily bitten her, but he didn't, so IMO that's not aggression. It might be sleep startle, or he could be resource guarding his bed.

 

Remember, dogs have a different level of appropriate discipline than we do. Percy may have been warning LuLu away for a while and you just didn't see/hear/understand it. Then, this situation comes up and he feels like he needs to make a bigger statement - growl-snarl-snap - and it's all over. Neither dog probably cares or even remembers what happened, while us humans totally freak out!

 

He's NOT being aggressive, he's just communicating more loudly than normal! If it happens again you may need to take some steps to keep LuLu safe and away from Percy's space. Or she may have learned her lesson and will stay away on her own.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Your post made me remember that there was one other time when he sort of grrrr'ed at her when she went to her bed. It was in a different spot then, and to get to it, she had to walk very close to him. So we moved it. He hadn't had any issue with her being there in the new spot. But yeah, maybe just communication between the two of them and no big deal. I've just never seen him show his teeth like that or growl like that. I didn't scold or correct him. Just kind of say "Percy? Everything ok over there?" And it was over.

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Both of mine will growl at the other occasionally in the above type of scenario. Some months ago it escalated on both of their parts for some reason unknown to me, and if the resting one was on the sofa, I ordered him off. It died down quickly.

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remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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Guest Amos93

My family pets (2 terriers) are very vocal towards each other. Growling and barking when they arent happy with the way the other is behaving!! Ive never ever in the 11 years we have had them seen them physically fight though. A couple of snaps here and there when having a tiff over a toy but thats it. I guess it is just how dogs communicate with each other. I wouldnt worry too much ^_^ x

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