2 year old male Cane Corso dog agression

Discussion in 'Cane Corso' started by Dorian_2301, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Dorian_2301

    Dorian_2301 New Member

    Hello!

    My 2 year old cane corso male has started to show dog aggression after we have put down our female dog who was 4 years old. He was very good and friendly dog, and she was the aggressive one (towards people and other dogs). After she died, he started showing aggression towards unfamiliar dogs, now he doesn’t even sniff them, just attacks as they approach. He is still very friendly towards people, and also very obedient, but his attitude has significantly changed toward other dogs when they approach.

    I would appreciate any advice on how to correct this behavior! I know that I have also been nervous after I noticed he is showing aggression, because I have lived for 4 years with very aggressive female (dominant-fear agressive female), so it has been hard for me to relax now when he is starting to show this behavior. Thank you all in advance!
     

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  2. BlackShadowCaneCorso

    BlackShadowCaneCorso Super Moderator Staff Member

    Have you talked to the breeder about his abrupt change in behaviour? Has anything else changed? Have you taken him to the vet to ensure there is no medical reason for the temperament change that he is displaying?
     
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  3. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    What Black Shadow said...

    I'm sorry to hear about your female. If you don't mind me asking, four seems very young. How did you lose her?

    The first thing I would do is stop allowing your male to approach or be approached by any other dogs. I'm of the opinion that dogs do not need to meet other dogs. What is his threshold? How far away are other dogs before he starts reacting? Can you have him him be a distance from any other dogs and have him focus on you while they pass? Any details on how you handle his reactivity, distances from other dogs, training methods you use, etc. would be helpful.
     
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  4. Dorian_2301

    Dorian_2301 New Member

    Thank you for your answers!

    I have checked with the vet, he is healthy. She also said that the possibility is that now when he is not living with the dominant female, he is trying to be “alfa” and that this is kind of a territorial aggression.

    I wouldn’t want to talk about the death of the female, since this is a painful topic for me, and I would like to focus on him.

    Anyways, he is a bit tense when a dog is approaching, but he is not reacting until a dog approaches. I tried to correct him with collar and leash, but that doesn’t seem to work, he just gets scared and lies down. Also, I have tried to “punish him” with the “time out” when he attacked his boxer female friend from my brother, that seemed to work, since he haven’t attacked her anymore (these couple of times he attacked because of the toy they played with).

    Today, I managed to keep his attention with the ball when a small dog approached (he is very driven by the ball), and when he managed to keep the contact on me and the ball I rewarded him by trowing the ball to catch. When he sees the dog which is not approaching, and I say - Stay - he stays, and looks at me. So the only time when he reacts is when dog approaches to us/me. He used to be a very playful dog with other dogs, but now he welcomes them with tension.

    As I mentioned above, my female CC which passed away, was very aggressive (they were not relatives), so I am a bit tired of aggression and want to correct this ASAP. I do not yell at him, nor do I beat him, I use calm tone and sometimes time of as a punishment. I reward him with a ball and play , or cudle, when he obeys.

    I hope I have given you more info now!
     
  5. Dorian_2301

    Dorian_2301 New Member

    Also, I forgot, I have talked with the breeder, and he said that I should just correct him, that this is also normal to an extent for them. I have met a grandmother of my dog, she was huge and very friendly towards humans and puppies.
     
  6. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    Hmm.... some thoughts:

    1. He's 2 yrs old, which can be one of the "test periods" - so he may just be testing boundaries again, and may relax once he realizes he doesn't need to push everyone else away to be comfortable.

    2. He just lost his "point guard" - it sounds like the female was the one to address all new "stuff", and "take care" of any "intruders"... now, he's feeling stressed that he's supposed to take over that job. I'd say it's your job to take over the role of "intruder detection"... and let him know that YOU are in charge, and will call him if (and only if) his protection is needed.

    3. Using the ball is great for a distraction to get things headed in the right direction. I'd also use "wait" a lot - as you see a dog, far, far in the distance, have him "sit" and "wait" and watch the dog pass by safely... then give him the "OK" to continue on your walk. Repeat, a lot. I take Denna off the side of the walkway and have her sit about 2 meters away from any people approaching... as soon as they pass, we continue on. It's just a habit now. She knows she doesn't get to sniff or greet strangers, she gets to move out of their way and watch them pass. That's her "job".

    4. Is there somewhere nearby where you can observe dogs doing other stuff - where they would not approach you - where you can just walk him by them, and reward him for not reacting, and for keeping his focus on YOU?

    5. Are there any group obedience classes around that you could take? That's a prime opportunity to teach him that listening to YOU is what will be rewarded, and reacting to nearby dogs is unnecessary... it would also get you in a room with a trainer that might see first hand what you're dealing with - be clear with the instructor what he does before you join the class. They might want to do an evaluation first and see if you need one-on-one work before joining a group. I find group classes a great way to reconnect with my dogs - it forces us to "listen" to each other in new situations again.

    6. How does he do just all around with socializing? Can you take him to new places, parks, outside stores, among crowds of people (no dogs), near trains, sporting events, children's playgrounds, etc.? Starting over with puppy socialization and confidence building exercises might help him find himself, too - and help him bond more with you again. If he's feeling lost without the female's presence, this might help him a lot.

    7. Realize that he might never want to "play" with other dogs... his family is you, now. Many dogs can be completely happy with a very small circle of "family", but getting him to relax or at least not react to dogs passing by should be totally doable.

    Keep us posted!! I'd love to see more pictures of him, too. The sample in that one picture is beautiful.
     
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  7. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    As always, great advice from Denna's Mom. And some very pertinent questions.

    Would you mind sharing the name of your trainer or training facility and your location? Did this trainer work with your female?

    Thoughts .... You describe some resource guarding behavior. The dog attacking over a toy. This type of guarding is a very common thing and there are a lot of resources to help with that. You also say that with a collar correction the dog gets scared and lays down. This tells me that you may have a very soft dog that doesn't take physical punishment well, because a collar correction doesn't usually produce the behavior you've described. Would you mind explaining how you do a collar correction? What kind of collar is he wearing? I'd also be curious to know if he shows any separation anxiety.

    And now I'm going to ask something that I know is likely to upset you. I'm sorry. I truly wouldn't ask if I didn't think it might be important. Your female. You state that she was very aggressive. Living with a dog like that can have an effect on other dogs in the household. Even if the dog doesn't attack the other resident dog, they create an environment of anxiety, stress, fear, etc in the household. I think it's important to analyze how things were with her in the house, and if she was euthanized due to a behavior problem (I'm SO sorry to even bring this up and maybe cause you pain), discussing this may be beneficial to the current situation. I think it may honestly be imperative to dealing with your current issue.

    I don't want you to feel that there is or will be any judgements here. Not from me. I've been there. I have experience with dogs with severe anxiety and fear issues. Dogs with aggression issues, including resource guarding and dog-dog aggression. I also just sat in on a behavior consult with a board certified behaviorist. Boy was that eye opening. I knew a lot about what the behaviorist was saying, but she did things that really made sense and changed a couple of things up that we were doing. Subtle changes, but important ones.

    Please don't feel that I'm just being nosy about your other dog either. I'm not. I know the pain of living with a dog that needs constant management. A dog with aggression. I know what it's like to just want a normal dog. I truly do. But I also know that when you have a dog that just exudes tension, the household can be a very different thing when they're gone. Very different.

    I would honestly suggest a consult with a board certified behaviorist. Unfortunately they're quite pricey and there aren't very many of them. That's why your location might help in locating resources for you.

    Just had a couple of other thoughts. How old was he when you brought him home? Have you asked the breeder about other dogs in his litter/lines? Is this breeder a show breeder, hobby breeder? How would you classify them? When you say the vet has seen him - has a complete blood panel including thyroid been done? Okay. I'm done now, lol. Sorry.
     
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  8. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    Excellent suggestions and insights. I agree wholeheartedly. And, if it helps, we had a very aggressive dog in the house, She was very Dominant, and although she was great with my CC and great with the half-Doggo/AM Bully, anything and anyone else, any other dog...all hell broke loose. She cost me a lot of money over the past few years and eventually, after much emotional hand wringing and possible lawsuits, I helped my daughter make the decision to put her down. She had all the benefits that could be afforded to help her overcome her behaviour, but to no avail. I am so very sorry that you have traveled this road, it is painful.

    My female CC took over as Boss Dog, not aggression per se with other outside dogs (still loves 99% of them), but with the Doggo! And he stands down when she acts aggressive towards him. Factually, I think she blames him for losing Bella. He's still here and her friend is gone. 2+2= he's the problem. My CC has become much more vocal and aggressive at the door and with strangers that suddenly pop up around us, but far short of Bella's behaviour. I suspect your male's aggression falls far short of your female's aggression. But, yes, the job of protection is now on his shoulders, he was shielded from that before by her.

    I think the ball idea is great, good behaviour is rewarded right away with play. I believe you can bring this around, and he can Learn to Trust that You are the Alpha and he can return to a more relaxed state. If you can afford/find a certified behaviourist I'd suggest you do that. Boxergirl is very knowledgeable and if She can Learn a New Behaviour, then You Can Too!
     
  9. Dorian_2301

    Dorian_2301 New Member

    Thank you all for your answers, for investing time and energy. It took me a couple of days to think about your replies.

    Ok, so Boxergirl, you are right, the female was put down because of her aggression. I am still grieving and I didn't want to invest myself in justifying my decision and defending myself from judgement, when I came for advice. So, thank you for providing this reassurance and no-judgement space. I will show you the short story of Sofija (female). I adopted her when she was 3 moths old, and she was already very aggressive towards adult people, children and dogs. She was showing equal treatment to everyone, except me. I follishly and ambitiotly thought that I was the one who was going to save her, and the next thing you know, my life became constant tension, caution and often hell. After working with her for a long time, I managed to make her stop reacting all of the sudden. People knew her boundaries and they respected them so she haven't bit anyone. Until a few months ago, when I was on a bussiness trip and my family was taking care of her, like always, because they have a yard and she was very happy there, while I'm away (I live in an apartment). A child entered their yard, and she attacked him furiously. He was in luck that she didn't inflict serious harm, because she backed out when my mother screamed. After some time I decided to put her down, because I felt like I couldn't take any more chances, this was the last drop. Since she died I feel like I have lost a child or a love of my life. But I continue functioning and I am very dedicated to Uroš (male).

    Anyways, I brought Uroš home when he was 2 months old, and Sofija (surprisingly!!) excepted him right away. Before, she would attack puppies without a problem. And he started loving her right away too. He was a great puppy, very friendly towards other dogs, a bit insecure towards people, but after he gets familiar with them, very friendly to them too. He is very into play and cuddling. When he was alone, he would play with other dogs just fine. But when he was with her, if she growls, he tries to attack the dog to which she growls at. It seemed like he is not thinking at all when he is with her, like he is just following blindly her decisions. We live in Montenegro, so I don't have access to any good (or any at all) behaviorists and classes, only dressers, which are not good, and all using physical punishment. I tried to go once to one class with Sofija, but the guy who was a trainer started beating her, and I decided to drop out (I barely stoped myself from beating him, and I am a peaceful guy!).

    You asked about separation anxiety, yes he had it. When he was puppy, everytime I walk out of the house (even for 10 minutes), he started eating my shoes and books. I solved that eventually with the crate. When I correct him with the collar (it is a choke collar) I just pull it strong when he attacks, because he is so strong, that is the only way to stop him. He attacks only when the dog is right in front of him. Before that he is just silent and in alarm mode (body language). A few days ago, he started playing with a dog, and then the other dog approached, and he started being under tension, and then they started being close to me (maybe that is irrelevant, I don't know), and he attacked. Before that I tried to walk with him near them and he was perfectly calm, even very focused on the ball I was holding.

    I hope I have answered all of your questions and gave you more material!

    P.s. This is another picture of us! :)[​IMG]

    Thanks again to all of you.
     
  10. kingmark

    kingmark Active Member

    Susjed pozdrav kakve to probleme imas? Nije to neki problem moja zenka boerboela je isto takva sa drugim psima pogotovo zenkama i neki su psi jednostano takvi, dok te god slusa i mozes ga kontrolirat ja se nebi zabrinjavao sam budi oprezan i nauci ga jako dobro citat i predvidjet ga i nemas brige. Inace ak oces nekog kao strucnjaka u zg ih imas kakti na biranje pa ak ti nije predaleko il problem potegni pa probaj.
     
  11. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    There's a lot to think about here. I don't want to make too many suggestions yet. I have more questions. How is he with people? Strangers? How is he with people that approach you? You said he seemed to react more when other dogs got close to you. Does he do the same with people that don't have dogs with them? How is he with people coming to your home? How does he do at the vet? Any tiny thing you think may be relevant, or even not, might be important.

    I'm very, very sorry about Sofija. For what it's worth, I think you made the only decision that you could. I don't think you were foolish to think you could help her. I think that you did a remarkable job managing her. I think any dog that attacks a child, unprovoked, is a huge liability to themselves and their owners. Management is often the best way to live with and keep dogs like Sofija, imo. Unfortunately, even under the best circumstances management fails. Because we're human. And because things happen that we can't predict. I also understand the huge loss you feel now that she's gone. I'm very sorry.

    I think that dogs learn behaviors from their housemates. You said that when Sofija would act up, Uros started acting up. I think that's very common. It's why a confident and stable dog can be so beneficial to one that is timid and lacking confidence. I think you may have some "unlearning" to do.

    For now I think that you need to use management again. I would allow no other dogs to approach. Maybe not forever, but absolutely for now. I believe that every time a behavior is performed it's more likely to be repeated. Especially if the behavior results in the desired result - which is likely the uncomfortable thing going away. Is there any reason he must interact with other dogs? Try to really look at the dog in front of you rather than worrying too much that he's going to be just like Sofija was. I know that's hard to do. I really do. But try.

    I'm sure we'll have more thoughts after we find out a little more about how he behaves in other situations. And I want to sincerely thank you for talking about Sofija. I know how hard that was. I also completely understand how empty it feels when our "special needs" dogs are gone. When you put so much time and work into a dog, there's a special bond that develops. Even if there's some relief when they're gone (and that's normal), there's still a huge hole left. But I bet you'd say you learned more from your girl than from any easy dog you've had. Use what you learned going forward. Even if it's just management skills. That's going to help you a ton.
     
  12. Dorian_2301

    Dorian_2301 New Member

    Thank you again for many of your kind words. This helps and means a lot.

    I will try to answer further to your questions.

    He is good with people. When he first meets people he is cautious, he doesn't want to approach them, and if they reach out to him, he steps back (sometimes a bit like he is afraid). But soon after that, he approaches them and becomes very friendly, wants to cuddle and play. IF for example we are in some place which has a yard, and he sees someone approaching the gate, he runs towards it and barks (but not attacks the gate like some dogs). I believe that even if someone would enter the gate he would not attack, but he could be easily afraid by someone showing him that they are in charge. When people approach me, he pays attention to them, sometimes he sniffs them, sometimes he just looks at them. He never reacts to people. Same as people coming to our home. He is curious, but it takes a bit of a time for him to approach them (couple of minutes). He likes to be left the space to approach on his own, doesn't like to be approached. He is very calm at vet, never reacts on pain.

    This is not the case with dogs. He never backs out of fight. Also, this aggressive behavior has mostly occured now with males. We are now on a vacation and one stray female came to our yard, he has been playing for days with her and from the beggining. HE growled one time on her because of the toy, but I said NO, and he stopped.

    There is no reason for him to interact with other dogs, but I would like to manage his behavior. I would love, when I am ready to get another puppy of CC, and I wouldn't like him to transfer this behavior to a new dog, or to become more territorial. If I get a male, I risk him to be aggressive to the male when he grows up, if I get a female, I risk him to be more aggressive towards other dogs, because of her.

    All your advises are helping me!

     
  13. Dorian_2301

    Dorian_2301 New Member

    Thank you again for many of your kind words. This helps and means a lot.

    I will try to answer further to your questions.

    He is good with people. When he first meets people he is cautious, he doesn't want to approach them, and if they reach out to him, he steps back (sometimes a bit like he is afraid). But soon after that, he approaches them and becomes very friendly, wants to cuddle and play. IF for example we are in some place which has a yard, and he sees someone approaching the gate, he runs towards it and barks (but not attacks the gate like some dogs). I believe that even if someone would enter the gate he would not attack, but he could be easily afraid by someone showing him that they are in charge. When people approach me, he pays attention to them, sometimes he sniffs them, sometimes he just looks at them. He never reacts to people. Same as people coming to our home. He is curious, but it takes a bit of a time for him to approach them (couple of minutes). He likes to be left the space to approach on his own, doesn't like to be approached. He is very calm at vet, never reacts on pain.

    This is not the case with dogs. He never backs out of fight. Also, this aggressive behavior has mostly occured now with males. We are now on a vacation and one stray female came to our yard, he has been playing for days with her and from the beggining. HE growled one time on her because of the toy, but I said NO, and he stopped.

    There is no reason for him to interact with other dogs, but I would like to manage his behavior. I would love, when I am ready to get another puppy of CC, and I wouldn't like him to transfer this behavior to a new dog, or to become more territorial. If I get a male, I risk him to be aggressive to the male when he grows up, if I get a female, I risk him to be more aggressive towards other dogs, because of her.

    All your advises are helping me!

     
  14. DenyMcKusker

    DenyMcKusker Member

     
  15. DenyMcKusker

    DenyMcKusker Member

    There is alot of great info here. I just wanted to tell you I had to put a dog down due to her aggression. She was a pit bull. She only loved me. She would tolerate until she didn't feel like it. All hell would break loose and the pack (8) would all jump in. Dogs would die. You made a decision that is very hard to do. I am sure we both made the right decisions. Take Care, Deny
     
  16. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I would not allow any dogs to approach him at all. It sounds like he can see them, but not be approached by them. Cross the street to create distance if there's another dog coming. Always keep moving, if possible. I also make sure that my dogs aren't surprised by anything coming. I give them a heads up and then move away. His behavior toward strangers seems pretty normal to me, just going by your description. As for wanting to bring in a puppy at some point - I think that's very individual to the dog. And it may be that things would be fine for a while until the second dog is reaching maturity. If he can be an only dog, then maybe that's something you have to accept.

    I do have more to say. I almost always do, lol. But I have back to back appointments for a while. Please do post back with any updates or worries even if you're not getting responses quickly.
     
  17. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    I love and trust Boxergirl's information! (and not just 'cause she said I had good ideas. LOL)

    I was going to throw out the concept of "clicker training". If you haven't tried it with Uros yet, I think you'd both enjoy it. Again, it's more a method for you two to bond and learn how to communicate with each other - but I think that will help your dog gain confidence as well as a desire to defer to you in strange situations or around strange dogs.

    There's a trainer on youtube, "kikopup", that I like to watch to get tips on clicker (or "marker") training.
    Here's one of her videos on creating a "positive interrupter" noise... I use a sing-song whistle (like a "yoo-hoo" noise), which I can make louder than her kissy noise... and works better in public spaces, too. :)

     

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