Suddenly aggressive

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Suddenly aggressive

Post by Smiley_sarah123 on Wed Dec 28 2016, 20:11

My 10 year old Staffy unexpectedly bite my 10 month old baby on the face, it was over a dog treat we didn't realise was on the floor. Luckily my daughter is okay. That was two days ago and we've put up some baby gates to keep them Separate but my Staffy is now growling and bearing his teeth to her through the baby gate...
He's been off his food for weeks and for the past year he growls when our feet touch or come near him in bed. Would these be connected to his sudden aggression? I'm so confused with what to do, should I have him put to sleep as he's become aggressive? Will it just get worse?

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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by -Ian- on Wed Dec 28 2016, 20:36

Hi ya Sarah, welcome to the forum from Flo and me Smile

Have you had him checked over by a vet, if he's off his food and not wanting to be touched would suggest he's in pain or discomfort and if that is the case all may not be lost so my suggestion is a visit to the vets at the earliest opportunity.



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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by GRAHAM.C on Wed Dec 28 2016, 21:14

Yes i'm inclined to agree with Ian,if he is off his food and not fond of being touched there must be a good reason.You are certainly doing the correct thing keeping the baby and dog apart.I would take the dog to see your vet and explain the situation and what has happened,and ask for an extensive examination of the dog,there is most likely a problem that is troubling him that is making him react that way.Hope the problem is quickly solved.
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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Mistys Mum on Wed Dec 28 2016, 21:51

Welcome from misty and me. I agree with the above, it sounds like he is in pain and I'd definitely recommend a vets visit. Do let us know how you get on.


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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by LizP on Thu Dec 29 2016, 08:19

Another in agreement with the above. Any time you get a change in behaviour there will be a reason and what you're describing to my mind points to something physical, discomfort of some sort.


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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Mia05 on Thu Dec 29 2016, 18:53

i agree with the above he needs a check up.xxx
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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Smiley_sarah123 on Thu Dec 29 2016, 19:27

He's been to the vets today and apparently he's fine, they recommend a behaviourist but that will take a week to see one.
Will they really be able to change my dogs behaviour enough to trust him?

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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by -Ian- on Thu Dec 29 2016, 19:30

They may if they can figure out what's causing the issue. Now that you know there is no underlying health issue the behaviourist should be able to assess fairly quickly.

What did the vet say about him going off his food Sarah ?


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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Jenc on Thu Dec 29 2016, 19:41

If the vet says he's fine health wise then maybe it could be something to do with your little one as he has changed over the past year. Is she your 1st child as your boy maybe feeling put out by her & getting worse over time. I'm no expert so I personally think a behaviourist would be a good idea.


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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Smiley_sarah123 on Thu Dec 29 2016, 20:19

The vet was kinda rubbish and just said he wasn't losing weight so he is probably okay, she's given him a few anti sickness to try.
I'm so annoyed at myself, he was so good with her up until he bit her, it's completely my fault :-( they were meant to be best friends :-(

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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by -Ian- on Thu Dec 29 2016, 20:49

It's not too late Sarah, lets see what the proffesional says about whats going on. Odd that the vet didn't investigate the food issue, is he eating ok now ?


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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Mistys Mum on Thu Dec 29 2016, 20:50

Don't be mad at yourself, it's not your fault. From what you say your vet isn't the greatest so it's maybe try a second opinion and definitely a behaviourist is worth a go.


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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by LizP on Fri Dec 30 2016, 08:26

Can you get another vet's opinion? I've seen too many cases of vets not understanding animal behaviour and the impact of physical issues on it. I think I would at least run bloods for your lad, not just say 'he looks fine'.

A behaviourist is a good idea. They will see things you don't and have ideas you don't. They will also be able to see if there is anything you are doing inadvertently that might be contributing to the situation, such as your understandable worry feeding through. With someone coming to your house to witness the behaviour at first hand, you should get some much clearer answers.

If there is no underlying physical problem, my guess is that you can get back to where you were. Trust is a tricky thing but with a professional's help you should be able to work through this.



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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Smiley_sarah123 on Fri Dec 30 2016, 08:50

The vet did say that we can get some bloods done after I see the behaviourist, I might push for them to be done sooner

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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by gillybrent on Fri Dec 30 2016, 10:08

dogs don't 'suddenly' become aggressive for no reason. that's a fact!

has he ever been food possessive in the past? what were they doing at the time - describe, if you can, exactly what happened.

how did you socialise him with your baby when you brought her home? have you ever tried to get her to give your dog a treat? i know that's difficult with such a young child, but you could hold her hand while she does it.

hopefully a behaviourist will be able to work with you all to solve the matter, but in the meantime i would definitely try and get some tests done at the vets to completely rule out ill health.

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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by Smiley_sarah123 on Fri Dec 30 2016, 11:43

He's never been food aggressive or shown any sort of aggressive behaviour.
We had just finished eating lunch, my baby throws alot of food on floor for the dog so he'd eaten some turkey.
I bring her in the lounge and plonk her on the floor, dog also comes in. I start showing her dad clothes I bought in the sale, he was on sofa on laptop. I thought my baby was crawling towards her dad but she must of been going for his treat. He had it between his paws but he wasn't eating it, he had it since the morning. He growled but before we could react he had bitten her face.
He looked just as shocked as us and he run off with his tale between his legs and wouldn't stop shaking.
I would never of thought he'd do it again but he's been snapping at her through baby gate and he even looks scared :-(
I'm letting them mix a little right now while I'm in between and he's normal again but he's eaten a lot of breakfast and been out for a long walk

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Re: Suddenly aggressive

Post by -Ian- on Fri Dec 30 2016, 12:03

It does sound like he was as shocked as you were and in all probability he didn't want your little girl getting his treat. He knows he's done wrong from what you are saying and is showing signs of fear rather than out and out aggression. This can come from your understandable nervousness around him.

I would still get the behaviourist in as you'll learn loads more than you can imagine but i would also suggest you try and relax atround him, dogs really do pick up on our feelings even if we don't show them outwardly.

One last important thing, whatever you do do not leave them both alone together just in case there is a repeat but do try and get them to interact in a controlled way by playing dog games i.e ball fetch games and thus building their confidence with each other. He will need to rebuild his trust just as you all will with him but I think you can get there.


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