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Canine Behavior/blind dog sudden aggression

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Question
I have a multi-poo, she is 5 1/2 years old.  She got SARDS about a year ago.  She was such an active dog and loves people and our other dog, who is a 5 1/2 year old Lhasa Apso.  We got them both when they were 8-10 weeks old.  
Just recently she had been very aggressive with any dog that comes to our house to visit and twice she has snapped at our other dog.  She has adapted to being blind as much as that is possible, she does not play anymore and does not like to go on walks.  She has gained so much weight I am worried she will have other health problems.  (I am not over feeding her she just very cautious and does not want to move too fast)
My friends that have brought their dogs over are telling me that I should medicate her.  I have told them this is her house and I will not medicate her so they can bring their dogs over. She is not a mean dog I feel she has a handicap.  I am worried though that she been a little aggressive with our other dog.  It has only happened twice with our other dog, it happens always with visiting dogs or while we are out no dogs can come sniff her without her being nasty.
I am not sure how to handle this and do not want it to get worse.

Answer
Hi, Sharon. I am very sympathetic towards your situation. Has she been progressing with dealing with it? Since you mentioned she is still cautious and doesn't get around much. This can never be an easy things to go through. As far as the sudden aggression, how recent are you meaning? I can only guess based on other situations I've gone through that with her development that she has been treated differently and potentially a case of not being reinforced of positive behavior. Meaning, are you correcting the aggression? And if so, how?

There are other questions that come to mind. Such as how exactly is she reacting? Is it simply sensing another dog or is there nose to nose contact or sniffing? What situations happen when she snaps at your own other dog?

As far as the weight issue. First, I would recommend keeping her active to continue progressing or progress further. One thing to consider weight wise is we only need to feed based on the energy level, which means less active gets fed less. However, I back up to my previous statement as that could also help her on getting resocialized with the environment and other animals. Yes, though, overweight is a concern. It can lead to diabetes as well as other health issues.

Please feel free to add any other thoughts or questions as I'm also concerned with her. Thank you for your time.

Canine Behavior

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Melissa Burg, RVT/Behavior Consultant

Expertise

I have experience with multiple obedience issues, including anxiety, different types of aggression, introductions to a new pet and basic obedience situations, such as housebreaking, excessive leash pulling and excessive barking. There are several approaches to each behavior issue, depending on the animal's environment, as well as the breed, sex and age. I can also help you decide whether the problem sounds medical or behavioral.

Experience

I recently graduated with a Veterinary Technician degree with an emphasis in behavior and obedience training. I spent 5 years working in animal shelters where I trained shelter dogs in basic obedience and corrected behavior issues and educated adopting owners how to continue the training at home.

Publications
"Pawfect Pets;" a weekly column on canine and feline health and behavior tips.

Education/Credentials
Associate's Degree in Veterinary Technology from Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa.

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