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How to handle a dog which is super agressive towards other dogs in the house?

asked 2016-07-28 20:05:02 -0500

Hi, I am currently sitting this dog. Her owner brought her for meet&greet with my resident dog. She was fine other than being sheepish a bit. Today the owner dropped her at my place. From the moment this dog entered, she started barking like crazy at all dogs in the house. I assumed she was stressed of the whole situation and attention to her. When the owners left, she came down and became quiet. Not for long. Now every time other dog passes by, she barks and bark and barks non stop. Other dogs catch this thing and bark too. It got to the point that I had to take her to another room but while I led her there she became so outraged that other dogs tried to get into fight with her. I blocked her and now she is in her crate in the other room. While she is there, all dogs get along fine. I still have 8 days to look after her. I don't want to keep her all alone. The owners are out of town. How would you handle this situation?

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answered 2016-07-28 21:18:32 -0500

Whenever I introduce guest dogs to my home, I do an extensive meet and greet process to get them introduced to the "pack", which is vital to preventing any aggression throughout a stay when you have resident dogs. Your home is personal territory to your resident dog, and to any dogs staying there. When a dog walks into the home without having become acquainted to the other dogs, sometimes things are tense! My best recommendation would be to get them out of the house to meet each other on neutral territory. That way, when they come back in the home they can feel more like a pack. I'm not sure how many dogs you have in your home right now, but it doesn't have to be all the dogs at once. I would start with two, maybe the two that seem to have the most tension between them - take them on a walk - a long walk, if they can manage a longer walk - walk them close to each other if they will tolerate it. You want them to feel like a pack, like a dog sled team - like they are working together to accomplish something. By the time they get home, they will hopefully have been so focused on the "task at hand" that they will have forgotten about the tension between them. Then they can walk through the door together and that act of entering the home together is SO BIG!

Do as much of this as you can. Walk the "problem" dog with all other dogs in the house, on one on. Walk all the dogs together. Get as MUCH tension out of that house as you can. Get as much energy out of the dogs, at the same time!

If this does not work, you have options! Contact the owners! There is no shame in saying that it is not working out. Maybe they have a friend or family member who can take the dog. Rover support can also help out by finding a replacement sitter. Do not be afraid to contact Rover support, this is why they are there! You shouldn't have to deal with a dog that is just not working out! Sometimes dogs aren't a good fit, that's just the way it is -- you can do everything in your power to make it work, but there is a point where you have to address the facts.

I wish you the best of luck! Definitely stay on the safe side and use your gut instinct. If things are not safe with the dog in the home, contact the owners and Rover support.

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Agreed. Although I've managed stays of 2-3 days with truly aggressive behavior where I had to watch every paw step to ensure a fight didn't break out over something innocuous like a dog passing by to get a drink of water, I would have contacted Rover if it was as long as 8 days. Not fun for the pack

Deb A.'s profile imageDeb A. ( 2016-07-28 21:45:26 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-07-29 14:45:42 -0500

Thank you for your advice. I have 5 dogs including mine in the house right now. Actually she got bitten by the ear today and I had to take her to a vet. I contacted the owner and she seemed to be ok with the situation. I followed your advice and took all dogs together for a walk. They are fine when they are outside. Once we got in, she tried to create drama by barking and nipping on other dogs. Once I felt like two dogs got upset, I pulled them to myself and distracted. It seems this lady loves attention. So I am trying not to give it to her when she barks and is aggressive. Now she is in a crate sleeping. She barked in the beginning. But because I distracted other dogs from interacting with her, she lost interest. I am still keeping eye on her and all of them and will be more cautious about meet and greet from now on.

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It is SO difficult not to give in to attention seekers, especially when it comes to aggression. I'm glad she has lost some interest and is giving you some down time - this is certainly not an easy stay for you!! I hope you are able to get through with not too much bumpiness for these last few days!!

Sloane W.'s profile imageSloane W. ( 2016-07-29 16:41:33 -0500 )edit
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answered 2016-08-06 11:34:42 -0500

Set out a large crate for her (a big wire one is best) and let her lay in there for a while until she gets her bearings. Sometimes dogs just feel really overwhelmed and stressed out, and they need a safe place to hide for a while.

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