Senior Rat Terrier has become very aggressive

by Dawn
(Floral City, Florida)

My mother has a 16 year old male rat terrier. My sister has come to stay with her for the past 2 years, she has a 6 year old basset hound ( female) and a 5 year old Red Heeler/Pit mix ( male). During the past few months, the terrier has become very aggressive towards the Heeler. If the Heeler is laying down, all is fine but the moment he gets up to move, the terrier attacks him ( luckily terrier has few teeth and can't hurt him) The Heeler is submissive and runs from the terrier. Only thing we can think of is that his arthritis is painful and that is making him aggressive. We ordered Dasuquin and are hoping that helps ease the pain so he won't be so aggressive. The only time he attacks the Basset is when she is too close but I feel bad for the Heeler because he is so loving and doesn't understand.We've had the terrier at the vet and she suggested tranquilizers but we don't want to drug him up like that. Keeping fingers crossed with hopes near future is more calming

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Nov 20, 2014
Fighting Dogs
by: Adam G. Katz

Your problem is that your dog didn't get a motivational correction for exhibiting the aggressive behavior.

You need to:

1. Establish yourself as the pack leader.

2. Put both dogs on a "Nothing In Life Is Free" program.

3. Do not leave these dogs together unsupervised.

4. Get both dogs fixed/neutered/spayed.

5. Keep a leash and collar on both dogs, when you're with them-- so that you can start correcting the aggression.

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Employ the "Nothing In Life Is Free"
approach, so that your dog starts to view you as the "pack leader." If your dog doesn't see you as the leader, then your corrections will be meaningless. So, if you're doing subtle things (inadvertently) to undermine your leadership role around the house-- it will be counter-productive.


Adam G. Katz is the author of, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" -- which you can find at

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