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D2009-08

Dear Daisy Dog

We have two “fixed” shepherd-boxer mixes, Rhett and Scarlett. While both dogs are wonderful with people, Rhett has recently become aggressive with other dogs, including Scarlett. What can we do?

Daisy Responds

Aggression is too complicated – and too much is at stake – for me to be able to recommend a simple solution to your problem. So here’s what I suggest:

First, see your veterinarian for an exam and lab work to rule out physical disease that might trigger aggression, such as hypothyroidism or painful arthritis.

Next, see a behaviorist recommended by your veterinarian.

Join an obedience training group with both dogs, and practice daily. Even when your dogs are distracted by other animals, you still should be able to control them with your voice.

To help maintain peace, teach the dogs to sit calmly before they eat, play, take a walk or receive any human attention.

With the help of a good veterinary behaviorist, success is likely. Please let us know how it goes.

 

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