There is really something not right in his head.
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Thread: There is really something not right in his head.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DefaultThere is really something not right in his head.

    and I don't know how to fix it. I have followed every bit of advice and have read the books and seen the behaviorist. I really don't know what else to do with him! Ernie is getting very aggressive...each episode is more intense and more violent and it takes less stimuli to set him off. We have been hand feeding him since he got fixed and starting showing food aggression.

    The beginning of the week my husband was on the deck with the dog and was reading a magazine in a chair. Ernie approached him started growling and within second was on his arm. This is the result of that episode


    Yesterday, my DH took Ernie on a 2 mile walk while I was at work. When I got home his doggy friend came over and they played for about an hour. Then we took him for a 45 swim. After he calmed down I brought him out of the crate and was hand feeding him. My DH and my MIL were in the other room and were not arguing but started talking in louder voices. Ernie turned towards the room they were in looked back at me and started to growl. Withing two seconds before I could react he was at me getting me on the stomach..


    He then proceeded for my arm...


    It's hard to see but I have bruising all up and down my arm where he didn't puncture the skin. While the bite on my arm looks small it is very deep.

    I am so upset and don't know how to correct the behavior. I have even gone as far as doing the alpha roll...not an easy feat as Ernie is so strong. My whole body feels as if I have been in a motor vehicle accident it aches so bad. It really had no effect on Ernie when I tried it earlier in the week after another incident in which he tried to bite. The behaviorist has placed him on Prozac but it may be weeks until we see any effect from that. In the meantime my husband wants nothing to do with the dog as he has lost all trust and says Ernie can never regain it. I am starting to become afraid of him and I am sure he picks up on that. I am so upset b/c 95% of the time he is a sweet puppy but he is becoming more unpredictable. My husband and I want to start a family and I would be scared to death to let Ernie near any baby. He has been around children in other situations and has been great with them so far.

    We have had him checked out for a medical reason that could be causing the situation and there is nothing. He was fixed about a month ago and his behavior has been worse since being fixed. I really don't know what else we can do.

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    Oh my, those are some nasty bruises and bites. How old is Ernie? When did he start the food aggression - quite awhile before this all started or is that how this all began?

  4. #3
    toyland444 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    I have no advice, but I wanted to say how sorry I am you're having to deal with this sort of behavior......hugs...

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  6. #4
    AbbyandMolly's Avatar
    AbbyandMolly is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.


    I'm not even sure what to say, but I hope that you can get this sorted out very soon.

    Have you spoken with a behaviorist?
    *Stacey*
    ~Abby, Molly, and Penny (the honorary lab)

  7. #5
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    Oh my goodness!

    That is a nasty wound on your tummy :'( I'm so sorry!

    I wish I had some good advice for you. Everything started after the neuter? Could he have had some sort of reaction to the anesthesia? :-\ I know I'm grasping. It just seems so strange that that's when it started.

    I am really not sure what I'd do in this situation. Angus went through a period of acting rather crazed at time, when he was a young puppy.

    Another grasp: When he was neutered, did they by any chance do shots the same day?

    I'm just so sorry.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    He first started with this behavior at 4 months of age when we gave a marrow bone and went to take it away after 15. He just growled at that time. We worked with a trainer and taught him leave it and give which he has been pretty good with except when he gets something really high value (like my aunt's sunglasses which she left in his reach).

    The food aggression was never an issue until the day after we got him fixed. We have right from the get go pet him/put our hand in his dish while putting in a high value treat like cheese. However the day after surgery he growled and snapped at my husband for just being near the dish. We have hand feed him since then (just about a month now).

    Ernie is 9 months old. He was born a single pup and we took him home at 8 weeks of age. Right from the start he never cried or whined even when left alone in his crate. He has no fear of anything--or so it seems anyway--storms don't bother him, fireworks didn't bother him on the 4th of July as many of the neighbor set them off. He also barely sleeps from the time we got him. Even if you wake up in the middle of the night he will just be laying there quietly looking at you. The second day we had him Ernie fell asleep under the table but if he is out of the crate he is always on the move. He may sit or lay down but it is only for a second. The only time he will sit or lay down for longer is if you put him in a sit/down but at that he still has only mastered about 5 minutes on each then he will get up.

    I want to do the right thing for Ernie I just don't know what the right thing is. I can't risk my safety and the safety of our friends and family if this is something that can't be corrected. It frustrates me b/c everyone we have talked to is saying "you are doing everything right" but he seems to be getting worse!

    I am still waiting to hear back from the behaviorist after this episode. I called last night but of course this happened after business hours. After the episode a week ago he recommended the Prozac but since putting him on it we have been bit 3 more times (I do realize it takes a while to build up in the system and start working) but again it just keeps getting worse.

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    AngusFangus--I wish I could pinpoint what exactly triggered the food aggression. Even if he had a reaction to the anesthesia it should have been out of his system and by now. As far as I know he didn't have any other shots...he didn't even have an IV line for the surgery.

    I keep telling myself that this is just puppy stuff and he will grow out of it but he has bitten a couple of times now where there has been now food involved and he bite without any provocation--just a growl and then he is on you.

    I love him and don't want to give up on him but I am really afraid of him right now!

  10. #8
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    I'm sorry you're going through this, but this is NOT something that can be dealt with over the internet. Period.

    Call the behaviourist and have them come out ASAP. In the meantime, it's NILIF time for Ernie. He's either in his crate or tethered to you (and if you are afraid of him, get a basket muzzle), and he has to work to earn the right to breathe, let alone move.

    I would also get a full veterinary checkup, including a full blood panel (test for thyroid function too)


    I don't know what your behaviourist has suggested as a treatment protocol, but please, no more alpha rolls.

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    Drake started biting, lunging and growling (he is 6 mos. now) and when I tried to stop him he seemed to get worse. For awhile I would cross my arms and look away from him or get up and walk away and he would stop and have this look like well, why aren't you paying attention to me, but even at some point that didn't always help. I worried about it - I didn't want an aggressive dog and it didn't seem to be getting better and when I tried to reach him, he would back up so I couldn't get ahold of him. I would just be sitting in the chair and he would get up and lunge at me and bark and bite. So, for awhile I started keeping a leash on him at all times. He just drug it around the house. I could get ahold of him and right away when I reached him, he would settle down and stop. Then, I noticed that when the leash was on him, he would never do it at all - I think he knew I had easy access to him. Now, he rarely has the leash on and he has only done it once in the last month. Not sure if this would help or not. I just knew that when he did this that he would stop if I could reach him and the leash helped to get that control. May not be proper training, who knows, but may be worth a try.

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: There is really something not right in his head.

    That's the thing we have taken the NILF approach it hasn't worked. I really didn't want to alpha roll with him but I am desperate to try anything at this point. We have followed everything the behaviorist has said and gotten him checked out by the vet and their is nothing medically wrong with him.

    I realize that this is a problem that can't be dealt with over the internet. I am just at my wits end and need help and support and it seems no matter where I turn I am not getting the help I need. The behaviorist hasn't called back. The only person who called back is the trainer that we had come to the house when he was 4 months old. She said the prognosis for this type of situation is not good and I fear she might be right. I have had labs before and known many labs and have never dealt with anything like this.

    He does great with his obedience class and when we practice at home. But it's like a switch goes off in his head and when he gets into that mode there is nothing to change and no time to react.

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