Sudden aggressive behavior in younger female dog?
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Thread: Sudden aggressive behavior in younger female dog?

  1. #1
    gms08's Avatar
    gms08 is offline Junior Member
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    Sep 2012
    Minneapolis, MN

    QuestionSudden aggressive behavior in younger female dog?

    Hello all! This is my first post here, and I am looking for some advice.

    My dog is a 7 month old Ivory Lab named Poky. She is by far the best behaved dog I have ever owned. Her temperament is beyond belief for a dog her age, and she is usually extremely friendly and loves everyone.

    That being said, today we were out sitting on a bench on a street with lots of passer-by's. She saw someone across the street getting into their car and started to growl a bit. I corrected the behavior, and thought nothing of it.

    A few minutes later, some people passed by saying what a cute dog she was. Again, she growled and barked a bit. I corrected again, and kind of pulled her back behind me just to be safe.

    On our way out, another man knelt down to say hello, and she growled at first, but then backed away timidly.

    I am extremely confused about her behavior and do plan to call her vet, but it is a Sunday, and they are closed.

    Some more info:

    -She is currently un-spayed, so I thought that maybe this was a sign of early heat showing? (We do plan on having her spayed, but our vet suggested that we let her go through her first heat cycle due to a UTI she had when she was a puppy. He also said that she was a bit "tucked up" and having a heat cycle would allow her lady-parts to mature and drop a bit, causing a healthier situation later down the road).

    -She also has some diarrhea over the last day or so, if that may lead to any clues.

    I appreciate any suggestions or similar stories any of you may have!

    Thanks in advance!


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  3. #2
    labby's Avatar
    labby is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009
    *points to her right palm*


    First of all, she's yellow, not ivory.

    In some lines, 7 months old is old enough to come into season. Are you sure she isn't? Make sure you wipe her vulva every other day or so with a white tissue to be sure.

    Also, sometimes girls get bitchy just before their seasons. Usually though its directed at other dogs, not people. How was this puppy socialized by the breeder? This behavior is sudden? You said you corrected it. How?

    It could be that she doesn't feel well due to the diarrhea. Definitely get her and a stool sample into the vet tomorrow when they open.


  4. #3
    Brette's Avatar
    Brette is offline Senior Member
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    Jan 2012
    Meow Town


    If its not that she's in heat, I think she could probably benefit from doggie school. Your local obedience club can provide socialization for your dog and she'll learn to listen to you. A class setting is great because it is a controlled, safe environment that includes other dogs.

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  6. #4
    gms08's Avatar
    gms08 is offline Junior Member
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    Sep 2012
    Minneapolis, MN


    Thanks for these quick responses!

    -yes, we know she is truly still a yellow per AKC, but she's as white as white can get, so we like to call her ivory still
    -we wipe her down every day, most times twice a day. This was due to her vulva being tucked up originally, so now we have just gotten into the habit. We have seen no swelling, spotting, discharge, or anything that looks like she may be coming into heat yet, but I know the signs can be very minor in some cases. we will continue to do so.
    -she was socialized by the breeder from week one with many different people/animals/etc. she is very well mannered and comes everywhere with us all of the time, so she continues to be very well socialized (even around wheelchairs and crowds, she does VERY well)
    -by sudden, I mean I have never seen her behave this way before. Like I said, she is extremely well socialized and always acts very positively to any person or animal that would try to greet her. By correcting, I mean saying no, and then stepping in front of her so she is out of eye contact (and reach if she were to lunge) with the person.

    Thank you again for your suggestions! I will definitely get that stool sample ready for the vet tomorrow. Please let me know if you have any other ideas! I am thinking it may be hormonal due to heat coming on.

    -Poky has already graduated from Level 2 Obedience, and can already pass every task for the CGC Test. She is not old enough to test yet, but she is extremely well behaved.
    -We also take her to the dog park at least once a week, and she has regular playdates with neighbor dogs, as well as, like I mentioned above, being everywhere with us (such as art fairs, outdoor gatherings, family parties, etc.)

    Thank you both again for your comments!

    Any other ideas/suggestions more than welcome!

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