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Discussion Starter #1
We had a mildly odd experience last night and I'm not sure what to make of it...

I was getting Simon ready to go to class, and I put on his flat collar. Apparently I pinched some of his fur in the clasp, as after I attached it he started whining/yelping. :(

Angus happened to be standing right beside him, and when he started yelping Angus growled and lunged at his neck. I was kind of shocked, and reprimanded Angus and stepped between them, pushing him away with my knee (not hard at all, but this is how I sometimes break things up when they are getting too wound or trying to run out a door before I am ready for them to). I unfastened Simon's collar and re-fastened it, everyone was happy and off we went to class.

It really made me wonder what that growl was about, though. My gut/first reaction was that Angus had sensed weakness and was "attacking" a weaker member of the pack, as you often hear about (hypothetically, one reason dogs supposedly do not show weakness). But then I thought, "What if Angus was not really "attacking" Simon (and keep in mind, I am using this word sort of figuratively...this was not a full-blown attack but just a growl and one lunge/nip at the collar area). What if Angus' "attack" was directed at the offending collar rather than Simon himself? Or, could Angus even process that it was the collar that was hurting Simon, and calculate an attack against the thing that was causing him pain?

It is really interesting, and I guess I'll never know the answer, but I wondered if any of you had any thoughts?
 

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I agree with your observation ! Dylan plays very roughly with Jasper - grabbing his neck and rolling him onto his back and on some occasions when other dogs have been around, one of them has joined in with Dylan in the "attack"

I rescue Jasper on numerous occasions - not that I thnk Dylan has anything on his mind other than play but the other dogs don't know that !

BTW - Jasper does the same to Dylan but only at home for some reason.
 

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I don't know but I can relate.

My old dog, Shadow, attacked and tried to kill my Golden, Wile E. when he (Wile E) had a seizure. It was horrifying. Not only did I have to worry about Wile E.'s seizures, but also about Shadow attacking him. Other than that, they were good buddies. My vet explained that some dogs will instinctively "kill" a wounded/sick animal. Because of that one incident I had to keep Wile E. on seizure meds for his life. I was so afraid Wile E. would have a seizure when I wasn't there and Shadow might hurt him.

It's a scary thing to have to deal with. But I wouldn't overly worry about it as your Simon is not sick, so most likely this would never happen again.
 

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I saw the "attack the weaker member" type thing fairly often when I worked with birds (waterfowl and pheasants mostly). Even if it was a member of their own family (siblings on siblings and parent on young), so it certainly does happen. When we would grab swan and they would vocalize, and every time members of their flock would come at us to attack with their wings (picture a 5 foot tall swan coming at you with an 8 foot wing spread, mouth agape....It hurts when they hit!). When we would put the swan in the crate (remove the vocalizing bird), the aggressive swan would go away.

As far as dogs, I do see it on a minor scale at the day care. If two dogs are playing and things get rowdy, it is not uncommon for several dogs to congregate around the two and start "pushing" kind of like when school yard kids start shouting "Fght! Fight!!!" If we were not right there, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it would not escalate into a pack fight. (There are awaays two of us on the floor when we have dogs loose to stop any potential fights
 

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could he have also thought simon was hurting you? it's hard to tell...zoe has done this sort of thing with zena before. zena is definitely the "weaker" one around here; she's afraid of her own shadow. and like belle's mom said, the rest of them will come running with the fight fight barking and have no freakin clue what has happened, but they are gonna get in on the action. not fun when you are totally alone!
mine have suddenly become fearful of squirt bottles so i keep them strategically placed all over the house. all i have to do is pick it up and then duck their heads and stop what they are doing. bad momma. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Funny story about the squirt bottles! LOL I can totally see that WOULD be very scary when you are alone. I was alone when the boys erupted once. Kevin was outside, with the roofers (probably the stress of this contributed to the fight erupting). I didn't feel like I could leave to go get him. He couldn't hear what was going on because of the noise the roofers were making. It was awful.

Karen, I think I would probably wet myself if a bird with an eight foot wing span flew at my head. LOL!

Linda, I remember that story, and I think that's one of the ones I heard that made me aware this type of thing could happen.

It was so strange when I stopped Angus...he had this look on his face like, "What? I wasn't doing anything?"
 

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Very interesing thread Connie. I was actually going to post just the other day about some similar observations that I have made. Usually around nail clipping time. If I am with one of the other dogs doing nails, Ranger will hover in the background. If that dog yelps (sometimes Blackie does that when I go to dremel her nails before I start, she hates people touching her paws), Ranger will bark and attemp to jump on the other dog. I was wondering if it was a weak dog thing but he will do it if one of the dogs is giving me a hard time, pulling a paw and not cooperating. I almost feel as if he feels the need that he has to back me up. Strange, isn't it?
 
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