Malu Started a fight
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    Hello,

    Malu is about 9-1/2 months now and he is exhibiting agression towards a specific dog. Here is the backstory.

    My My mother and I walk malu and the 7 year old family springer spaniel to the local bike path/recreation fields. Once into the open area and away from the road many of the dog walkers let their dogs off leash to run and play. Malu has had a great time and behaved well with other dogs when we let him off. On two seperate occasions we have run into a golden retreiver puppy (8-12 month old) when walking to the park area (on leash). On both occasions the golden will lay down and stop in its tracks ( I have no idea why). Malu for some reason gets very agressive and will pull towards the dog and growl and show teeth. I have never seen him do this to any other dog or in any other scenerio.

    Today, while i was away at work, my mother decided to take Malu down to the park with her. She let the dogs off and my mom wasn't aware that the women and the golden had entered the park area. Malu noticed the dog and ran over "attacked it". I am not sure in what manner he attacked the other dog but a friend of my mother was able to seperate the dogs very easily. His comment to her was that he thought if he was really trying to hurt the dog that he would have probably gotten bit when he stuck his hand in there to seperate him. No harm was done to the other dog but the owner was quite upset.

    Any idea what could be causing this behavior? It seems like he may be trying to assert his dominace with a younger dog. Hehas an appointment next thursday to be neutered, maybe this will help. I am mostly dissapointed that I can no longer trust him off leash with other dogs.

    Thank you for any advice,

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  • How old is the other dog? And do you know if it has been neutered? Kipawa would growl a little at intact males when he too was intact, but since his neuter, I have not heard one growl out of him. Also, when at a dog park where you let your dog off leash, it's important that you keep your eye on your dog at all times. Do you have good recall with Malu?

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  • Could just be two intact 'teenagers' or just something about the other dog Malu doesn't like, no good reason. There is an older ****er spaniel that Eddie cannot stand, no reason anyone can see. Ed doesn't 'attack' but will circle and nip at the dogs tail, but not really playfully. Fortunately the dog doesn't come to the park very often; if I see them I leash Ed immediately and leave, as it is my dog that is the problem!

    Hopefully neutering will help. If the other owner is game, you might take both leashed dogs for a walk together, several feet apart, then let them get gradually closer, eventually sniffing the same things and getting to know one another. this has been a good way we have introduced dogs.

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    I think it speaks well that no injuries were done to the golden…Could it just be dogs trying to see who is top dog?? Just a thought.

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    I think it may have beem Malu trying to assert himself as the top dog with the other pup. As far as recall goes, its a work in progress. I don't let him off the leash unless we are signifigantly isolated from the road. I think the extremly submissive behavior of the other dog added to the situation. As soon as the dog sees Malu it lays down and kind of cowers.

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  • I have to say that his being aggressive to a dog being submissive raises some serious flags to me. I would ask if the other dog is neutered, and yes, teen hormones may be the issue. But that the other dog is submissive and he still goes for it displays a behavior I would find disturbing in any breed.

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    submissive behavior is suspose to "cut" off agression in other dogs..its a way of saying, hey, I am not interested in fighting.
    This dog not reading or ignorning that behavior is a concern….

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  • I am unsure from the description of the Golden Retriever's behavior whether it is being submissive or not. When it lays down, is it in a stalking type down? If it is that could be triggering Malu's response.

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  • Doesn't sound like this is the problem, but you may want to read this article and see if any of it sounds familiar

    http://www.flyingdogpress.com/content/view/42/97/

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    Ivoss,

    I think you are probably right. I guess "Submissive" wasn't the right word. The golden lays down in the way that a dog would lay down if commanded to. It still looks very alert. Its not like a submissive lay down and roll onto its side like that I would generally expect when a dog was being submissive. Coincidentally, Malu used to exhibit similar behavior when larger dogs would be walking towards us on our walks. He would "lay down" about 10 yards before the dog got there only to stand up and walk up to the dog quickly when it got close. I have since stopped him from doing this because i thought other dogs might find it to be aggressive. He has met at least 1/2 a dozen dogs since the incident and hasn't done anything strange.

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  • Dogs don't have to roll over to be submissive. Just laying down, not 'crouched to leap" can be very submissive.

    However, if this is the ONLY dog he reacts to, maybe he picks up something you aren't with the dog. Maybe the dog lives with other animals that set him off. If you can, find out from the other if OTHER dogs respond to it that way and what other types of creatures live in their home. I nearly caused Arwen and Cara to have a stroke one day when I came home and had been holding a lamb.

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