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  #1  
July 3rd, 2010, 06:23 PM
my.estrella's Avatar Ashley
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,516
So just to sum things up, right now Lexi (3 1/2 y/o Spayed Lab X) and Lady (10+ Female Lab X) are staying with a friend. This friend has four dogs. Three spayed females, one neutered male. During the day all of them get along really really well. At night though, Lexi gets really aggressive with Meatball, the only male. Last night they got in a fight and Lexi actually got hurt. Nothing requiring vet care, but she has some buising and cuts.

So the question is WHY does she do this? It's ONLY at night, and ONLY with him. He's NOT an alpha type dog, he's not egging her on at all. He's the biggest baby of all the dogs so I can't imagine him being threatening to her. None of us can figure it out because she doesn't even give him warning, she just goes off on him.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
July 3rd, 2010, 07:08 PM
Platinum Supermommy
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Location: USA
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I promise she gives him warning you as the human just don't see it. Dogs never "just attack" it's ALWAYS for a reason and there's ALWAYS a warning, but humans have a hard time noticing the tiny flick of the eye twitch of the ear or the silent warning. He's obviously doing something it has to do with something...food, a toy, is there something that goes on only at night neighbor's car starts or something that goes on only at night as he could be reacting to that in a way that makes him unbalanced and she feels she must correct his behavior. Unfortunately without knowing the cause of it or noticing the signs you can't stop it and the more it's allowed to happen the more it'll become a learned behavior and the less chance you have of permanently stopping it.

If it's a long term situation then you need to get a behaviorist in so they can witness it and tell you what the problem is and how to fix it.

If, since you say they're just visiting there, it sounds like it's a short term deal, then I would just switch off crating each dog every other night so as to stop the behavior and keep everyone safe so that it does not escalate (because it will).

And sorry without being there to see (or hear) what it is that is messing with both of them at night I cannot tell you for sure what it is. What I CAN tell you is that it IS for a reason and there IS some kind of a warning to it, just nothing something that you've picked up on at this point (and may never will depending on what it is).
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  #3  
July 3rd, 2010, 07:16 PM
my.estrella's Avatar Ashley
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,516
I was sitting there right by her the other night when she did it and as far as I could tell there was no warning from either of him. The only thing I could think of at the time was she was being territorial/protective of me. He got close, and there was a milisecond of her tensing before she just pounced.

I'm usually pretty dang good at reading her and catching her (or any dog for that matter) before they do anything like this. But I just couldn't see any trigger. It's happened three times now. What we can't understand is why it's ONLY him and ONLY at night. Those are the only two constants. It's happened in the living room, in the yard, there's no food around, no toys, nothing.

It's definitely temporary. They are only staying until I get my own place, hopefully it will only be about a month. Right now they're just being kept apart. There are several large crates, so they're taking turns in those, and alternating between the yard and the house.

I hate it though. They're both such sweet dogs.
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  #4  
July 3rd, 2010, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my.estrella View Post
I was sitting there right by her the other night when she did it and as far as I could tell there was no warning from either of him. The only thing I could think of at the time was she was being territorial/protective of me. He got close, and there was a milisecond of her tensing before she just pounced.

I'm usually pretty dang good at reading her and catching her (or any dog for that matter) before they do anything like this. But I just couldn't see any trigger. It's happened three times now. What we can't understand is why it's ONLY him and ONLY at night. Those are the only two constants. It's happened in the living room, in the yard, there's no food around, no toys, nothing.

It's definitely temporary. They are only staying until I get my own place, hopefully it will only be about a month. Right now they're just being kept apart. There are several large crates, so they're taking turns in those, and alternating between the yard and the house.

I hate it though. They're both such sweet dogs.
But like I said, you probably wouldn't notice a tail twitch or a sidewards look out of the corner of her eye or even just her energy level could change (which the dog would notice but you wouldn't). Many times the silent warnings are VERY VERY subtle to us, which is what makes them so dangerous because they're extremely hard to catch. There you go, she tensed, that was a sign and there was probably one before it that you just didn't catch.

It could be a sound that happens far away (heck you may not even be able to hear it) that makes him get tense or just different that she doesn't respond well to and it causes her to want to "put him in line", there could be something else that she hears that works her up and she can't get to that something so turns her energy to him because he is the "weakest link", it could be almost anything. If it's just temporary I wouldn't waste the time and energy trying to piece things together and then working with them as by the time you do all that she'll be leaving anyway and it won't matter anymore. Keeping them separated is probably the easiest (and safest) route to go. Nothing to do with punishing them or them being sweet or not sweet, dogs are dogs, you can't make them what they aren't and that's how dogs deal with stuff. What you're doing is the best thing you can do for them and as long as you make it a positive experience (like maybe a stuffed Kong while in the crate) then no big deal and everybody's safe and happy!
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