Brooke asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

Help with a newly aggressive dog?

I have a 110 lb great dane mix named Poker. Today, Poker was lying with my husband on our bed and when I came into the room, Poker acted normal and waged his tail. I then patted on the edge of the bed asking Poker to move so I could get in. He immediately started showing me his teeth and growling at me. I told him in a stern voice "No Poker" and he stopped. So I patted on the bed again, and he did the same thing with his teeth and growling. I then pointed to the door and told him to go on and he growled of me and ran off the bed and went outside. Then about 2 hours later, my french bulldog walked by Poker and he started showing his teeth and standing the hair up on his back. He also did this to our english bulldog. Poker is 7 years old, and is generally very well behaved and friendly. He is not the "alpha" dog in the house and has never been aggressive towards me or the other dogs before.

I have never had any issues with this dog before. He was my dog before I met my husband, so he is usually protective of me. I don't want to give him away, but I have a child and don't want to risk it. Is there anything I can do to prevent this kind of behavior? Is there anything I should do as far as discipline if it happens again?

3 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hi, I also have a 110+ lb Great Dane mix (with German Shepherd but looks WAY more like her Great Dane daddy)!!

    Anyway, if you make sure you are the "pack leader" like, NOT pulling on leash, waits for permission before getting on couch, bed etc., NO jumping on you or growling, biting, or nipping and respects you than it could be health issue or something because he IS kind of old and could have arthritis, joint and hip issues and so on.

    Otherwise he is obviously trying to dominate you to get to the top of the pack system. Make sure you don't allow him on the bed and furniture unles he starts to respect you than claim your property!! HOPE THIS HELPED!!

    Source(s): Lifetime dog owner and behaviorist
  • HBR
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    First, I'd have a full checkup to make sure Poker is in good health. Seven years old for a dog that size is considered mature, and he may have the beginnings of arthritis or joint issues, which can cause him pain. Asking him to move can be painful for him, and he may convey that to you the only way he knows how, thru growling. If he checks out OK, than I think you should consult an animal behaviorist. They will be able to give you some ideas. No one will want a 7 year old, large dog that is given up due to possible aggression issues, so I think you really need to get to the bottom of why his temperament has changed. There's usually a reason. You just have to find out what that reason is.

  • 9 years ago

    He's not the Alpha Male, but I think he's trying to be.

    Don't let him on the bed from now on, because the most comfortable place to sleep/rest is reserved for the Alphas, so don't let him on.

    With the other dogs, I think he's just saying that you and your husband are the alphas, but he's second in command, which is okay. He's a lot bigger than the bulldogs, so if they're smart, they won't challenge him, so there won't be a fight or anything.

    If your child is old enough, make sure that he/she shows the dog that he/she is in charge of him, that way your dog won't do anything. If your dog shows any signs of domination to your child, any at all, immediately say "no" and put him in another room. The dog, that is, not the child. If your dog growls at your child, DO NOT move the child or pick him/her up, remove the dog.

    I hope this helps.

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