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Old 11-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My spoo gets excited and attacks

Twice this week Stella has gotten excited and attacked Carley. She has not hurt her, Carley does not fight back and I have been able to get her off . The first time was on a walk and they saw a deer and wanted to chase it. Today we were in the park and Stella was doing so good, not barking at other dogs at all. I was so proud of her , when I first got her she went nuts if we saw another dog on our walks, jumping and lunging , barking her fool head off ect. then we passed a couple with a crying newborn baby. Stella went nuts and jumped on Carley much worst than the first time. She did not break skin , but I got scared this time. Carley again stayed calm and let me handle it. I got her off , told her NO! and hit her with the end of my leather leash. It did not bother her in the least, she did not act the least bit upset, or scared ect. That would have broken Carley's heart... Carley went right back to nothing happened as well. What should I do about this? I have stayed very calm, not yelling or anything until I get her off of Carley. But is there anything more I can do?
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't have any advice to offer. This would be a heart breaker for me. You can't have Stella attacking Carly when ever she's stressed. The phrase, "I was able to get her off," is troublesome to me. I hope other poodle people can offer more guidence.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I swallowed my pride and asked my sister for advice. LOL She is a dog trainer and I hate it that she is always telling me what to do with my dogs... She adviced me to keep Stella right by my hip on a short leash and let Carley have more , so the dogs are not ever next to each other. Then she adviced me to be more watchful of Stella's ears and tail and to correct as soon as she starts to show excitement, never allowing it to go so far. She is going to work with her on "Leave it" this week. I get a pro for free ! lol She said that Stella is a bully and Carley is a dog that is easily bullied adding to Stella's agression. She thinks it is not too bad because no skin has been broken and mostly it is all fuss and little bite. I have also contacted their Breeder, both my dogs came from the same Breeder, but Stella was sold as a puppy and Carley was kept to breed with by the Breeder until she was almost 7 years old. Stella is not the dog that Carley is, I hope in 6 more years she will be. There is 6 years differance in their ages. I also e-mailed another breeder that was recommended to me by a member . I don't want to re-home Stella , so I have to get this worked out. She has come so far in the short month that I have had her. I have to make this work!
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like Stella is getting frustrated about being unable to reach what excites her and is turning her frustration onto Carley. I've seen "sibling" dogs do that to each other before. They feel they must have an outlet for their frustration/excitement/energy. Kinda like when a dog doesn't get enough exercise it starts tearing things up in the house. I think your sister gave you some good advise about management and the training. I wouldn't smack her next time, that's only going to add to her frustration, and sometimes if dogs are really worked up smacking only excites them more. I will admit, mine get an occasional smack on the behind if they are really naughty and I know they know better, but in cases of aggression I purposely don't do that even though its tempting.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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From my experience, it sounds like a dominance display. The external factors (being unable to chase the deer, the crying baby) made Stella uncomfortable and challenged her sense of "being in charge," so she attacked Carley to Stella because being alpha over her is something she can control. I think the best way to stop it is to make sure Stella knows YOU are alpha, not her, and that you won't put up with such behavior. Establishing that you are alpha will also make her feel safer in unfamiliar situations because she'll know you are in charge and it's your job to make sure the pack is safe.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Poor Carley.....Poor Stella.... I'm sure Carley wants her peace & quiet back and Stella is acting out! Perhaps you are going to get this all sorted out without too much stress for all! I hope so! You are lucky to have a relative to help Stella ......you just don't know how she was trained in her first months of life and finding the key to unlock her anxieties will be quite the chore! Good thoughts and wishes for you........
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think mom24doggies is right, it is not really aggression towards Carley but redirected aggression. It sounds to me like Stella has quite a bit of prey drive. The things that have started these incidents are pretty classic triggers of prey drive. First, the deer, a fast-moving animal running away and second, a crying baby, which to some dogs sounds like the cry of an injured animal. When Stella can't indulge the predatory aggression that's been triggered, she redirects it to the nearest object which just happens to be poor Carley.

"Leave it" is a great command. All of my dogs have learned this command and somehow they all managed to figure out what it really means is "stop whatever it is you're doing or thinking about doing"! LOL It can mean anything from "don't eat that bunny poop on the ground" to "stop giving that other dog the hairy eyeball" to "don't even think about chasing that squirrel". As your sister said, once Stella knows the command you'll have to be very observant around things that you've learned set her off and give the command the minute she turns her head towards the exciting object.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If I were in your shoes..the first thing I would do is go back to basics. Since your relative is a trainer, should be simple. Take her out by herself and practice- sit, stay, heel, long stay, come. Progress to distractions with the same commands (small ones at first, progress to more lively) This will help build Stella's confidence in both herself and you. She is still fairly new to the family, and seems strong-willed. Give her time, but also take control of (gradually) more and more of her actions. Just me, but I would walk them separately until I was confident that I had better control over Stella. Carley doesn't deserve to be the brunt of her frustration, and Stella needs to focus on what is acceptable and what is not, especially in public situations. THEN add the distraction of Carley's accompaniment. Also, if you do foresee an "episode" of misbehavior, counter it with learned commands. For instance..If a stroller (or tiny dog, or anything that mat set her off and lose focus) comes toward you.. make her sit, or just redirect her attention towards YOU with any command..and AWAY from the approaching possible distraction. Her priority should be YOU, and what you expect from her, not any old noisy thing across the street or "over there". Bottom line, get her behavior "solid" before adding Carley to the mix. Hope this helps in some way.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In addition to leave it, really work on her down command will likely help. If she a dominant dog, putting her into a down stay when something exciting is occuring, not only redirects her attention, but puts her in a vulnerable position.

It also gives you something to redirect your attention to. It's hard not to get worked up and start to anticipate this type of thing, which will likely cause her to be more reactive. Working on drills (push ups= down, sit, down, sit, stand, down, but only when you ask, etc) when you sense there may be an issue is a useful way for you to turn any residual nervousness you have into a positive learning experiance.

It also means that when you blows through your command in a really intense situation and you step on her leash and pull her head to the ground to keep her from attacking her sister, she knows what is expected of her (down) and you can praise her when she stops.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am not really sure what to add, there are some good points above.

I just wanted to say that I am sorry you're going through this, and that I hope you get it taken care of quickly.
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