Clomicalm for dog aggression? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 03-22-2010, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
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One of our dogs is seriously dog aggressive. He's a neutered American Bulldog, about 2 years old. The last 6 months or so it has escalated; he freaks if he sees a dog out the window or outside our fence. If our 2 dogs are in the fenced yard together and he flies into a rage about a dog on the street, he will redirect his aggression to attack our other dog. The other dog usually ends up with some bad lacerations and punctures, and is understandably really nervous. Because sometimes they are best friends, sleeping and playing together, and sometimes the AB wants to kill him.

The AB is extremely, incredibly, above-all-expectations gentle and loving with people, especially children. He adores people. This is good and bad, because he will also sometimes launch an attack on the other dog when he feels that the other dog may be taking human attention away from him. This is less predictable- I can pet them together without this happening, and they will eat out of the same bowl without incident- but twice my 5 y.o. son's attention has apparently been the reason for a fight.

The fights are severe and I don't believe they would stop until one or both dogs were dead, if my husband and I didn't intervene. We are able to take hold of both dogs by their hind ends and pull them apart without them turning their aggression on us. The important thing is to stay behind them, not get in between, which is what my husband did on Saturday. He was accidentally bitten by the American Bulldog as I was pulling him back and he was going in for a last bite at the other dog.

I've worked with trainers and tried different training methods. He is a severe case and while we've made some progress by identifying and avoiding his triggers, it's not markedly better. Tonight they had a skirmish that my husband quickly broke up, but our son was on the floor and unable to jump on the couch as quickly as usual. He was bowled over by the fighting dogs until I pulled him to safety. He was unhurt but it scared us to death.

So now the dogs can only be out of their crates one at a time. This is not how any of us want to live... My husband is beyond angry and does not want to keep him. He wants to put the AB to sleep. This breaks my heart because I LOVE him, and he LOVES people so much! He'd be a good single dog, but it's nearly impossible to find an appropriate home for a dog like this, according to my friend in bulldog rescue. And honestly, even if we could find a home like that- I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with rehoming him. What if he got away from the new owners and killed someone's dog? So I'm devastated to consider it, but maybe putting him to sleep is the most responsible thing to do?

I emailed a vet with our dilemma and got a response. She suggested trying Clomicalm to try and decrease his aggression. She said if it works, it will take a few weeks to see a difference. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

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#2 of 6 Old 03-23-2010, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
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No, huh? Well how about this. What do you think of putting down a dog like him? Healthy, people-loving, but clearly dangerous to other dogs.

Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

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#3 of 6 Old 03-23-2010, 11:01 PM
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Clomicalm has been tried in dog to dog aggression....but it is off label use only.
You've worked with trainers but have you been referred to an animal behaviourist?
A dog to dog aggressive dog can be adopted out to a family without any pets and can do quite well in that situation.

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#4 of 6 Old 02-13-2012, 12:35 AM
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Hi Lula's Mom,


Ive only just read your post on Clomicalm for dog aggression. We are having the same problem with our 2 boxer dogs.


Did you ever find a solution?


Our female boxer has just been started on Clomicalm, no changes yet but it has only been about 1.5 weeks.

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#5 of 6 Old 02-13-2012, 04:05 PM
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It would not hurt to try the medication. Beyond that I can really only see a few solutions.

One of the dogs should go. It is very, very unfair to expect your second dog to live in nervousness, fear, and anxiety that the next attack is right around the corner. You've said that your second dog has gotten lacerations and puncture wounds from being attacked by your AB. it is not fair that he continues to be subjected to this. If you don't wish to rehome/ put down the aggressive dog then you should find a new home for this one ASAP.

Not to mention that having this dog around your other dog in your house is DANGEROUS for you, your husband, and your child. Your husband has already been bitten once. What happens if your child gets in between the dogs when fighting. I shudder to think of what might happen.

If medication and a behavior sepcialist cannot help your dog then finding a specific kind of home might be an option. It sounds like this dog cannot be around other dogs, ever. If you keep him or rehome him then it should be made absolutely clear that the dog needs to be confined in an area with no dogs at all times. For me that would mean being in my fenced property or in my car. No walks in public, no taking him outside of my fenced area.

If I could not personally guarantee that my dog would never be in contact with another dog again for the rest of its life, of if I could not find a home that understood that this is what the dog needed then I am sorry to say that I would probably feel that I had to put him down. greensad.gif Even though he loves people he does not sound like a safe dog for a family, and I would always be worried and waiting for his next attack, wondering if someone in my family would get hurt or if he would kill another dog.
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#6 of 6 Old 02-18-2012, 08:43 AM
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You cannot treat dog aggression with medication, the same way you cant treat people with a medication to like other people. I would absolutely not put a dog down for being DA, its a fairly normal trait especially for a bulldog. You need a certified behaviourist, and I dont mean a random person in your area who claims to be one, since the profession is unregulated anyone can claim to be one, and it can cause many serious issues if they do not fully understand dog behaviour and learning. I can help you find one if you would like.


What you need to do is crate and rotate your dogs:


many many people with bull and terrier breeds crate and rotate for the entirety of their dogs lives, as long as your dog is being exercised, mentally stimulated and loved then it is a great alternative to getting rid of one of your dogs.


You also should work on desensitizing your dog:

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