Tweeps- I need your advice. Xander is showing a lot of aggression.

Dear friends,

I’m asking for any and all advice that you can give. This has been a rough week with Xander.

I rescued Xander last spring/summer and was told he was great with other dogs. He seemed fine with Izzy for the first couple of days that I had him but would get really aggressive during play. They would rough-house like normal dogs but then he’d take it to another level and act like he wanted to kill her. Frantic, I contacted his foster about this and she said he never did anything like this with her dogs.

This behavior scared me to death and when it would happen, Izzy would also be scared.

These incidents decreased with time but didn’t disappear entirely. One time this past November, their playing got out of hand (Xander taking it to that other level) and he really hurt her. She had wounds all over her and was limping for two weeks.

Since that time, this may have happened once or twice. Until this week. It’s happened twice just this week. The first time was over food- which he’s NEVER done. And then just now, out of no where (they weren’t even playing), he did it again and it scared her so much that she pooped herself. Thankfully, she did not get injured. I had to throw myself on top of him (he was on top of her) and pry him away from her. He’s now in his kennel.

If it’s not over a toy or food, I don’t understand what triggers this behavior. And even when it does happen over toy or food, what can I do to prevent this?

I’m in tears over this. My poor Izzy! She’s scared and I don’t blame her. When he gets like this, it freaks me out as well! But I have to be Izzy’s protector and I have to show Xander that I’M alpha dog. Can you guys give me some advice? Tips? Lessons? Training? This can’t be happening.

So concerned,



6 thoughts on “Tweeps- I need your advice. Xander is showing a lot of aggression.

  1. Hi Juli,

    My heart goes out to you and poor Izzy. I can imagine how afraid she must be of Xander right now. You are going in the right direction and doing the right things. I was also going to ask what triggers his aggression. That would be good to know for you and let your Vet know too. So not to forget before you see your Vet, write down the triggers, what happened that day, any visitor or new thing that might have triggered it, etc…or it may also be psychological, an imbalance in the brain. Hopefully there is not another attack on Izzy so if you can recall last Saturday or the other days that would be good for your Vet to know. If Xander does have to go on meds I am sure your Vet knows what to recommend and Xander will be followed closely. You are going through a lot right now.

    I was thinking of you while I was falling asleep hoping you would get a good night’s rest. I went through something similar with my cats but nothing compared with what you are going through. My husband and I adopted Jack as a kitten. He was a rescue and I was so happy to have adopted him but also scared of the changes it would impose on my other cats but I know in time they find their own space etc…but with Jack he is a feisty red and a kitten so of course he’s go go go and he loves other cats but plays rough with them. Sometimes it’s cute and sometimes it is not. The first couple of months I was so anxious because my two older cats hisses at him, slaps him, growls, runs for their lives etc…and they had never ever done all this before with other cats. It would make me upset to see them stressed. But then other times my Samantha who hisses and screeches at him does have fun running around with him and my big Frank, the older one that Jack just loves to climb on top of him and nip him, well Frank sometimes just loves to groom him and wrestle with him. So there is still the hissing but also the fun times. We adore little Jack so much, there is no way I could give up on him. He is the way he is and we enjoy him and thankfully I am home all day to monitor his crazy playtime and if it gets too much for the others. At least there are the quiet, cuddly times also and the others enjoy him more and more with hisses here and there. Ah well. I adore them all. Things are settling down.

    But what I went through is nothing compared to you. I just wanted to let you know that I understand your sleepless nights and I relate with the love you have with both Izzy and Xander. I am hopeful things will be more positive.

    I hope you all the best at the Vet. I hope they can do something for Xander.

    Hugs and kisses to your sweet Izzy as well.

    Keep me posted.

    Take care.


  2. Hi Juli, I’m sorry to hear what you are going through with Xander. I can imagine it must be scary. Poor Izzy! I know how much you care and love your dogs. Just by asking for help is a step in the right direction and you show how much you care so much for both of them. Last year there was a show called Dogs in the City starring a dog trainer named Justin Silver. I was impressed with his approach and training. He did help countless of families by helping the owners’ ways with their dogs, their approach with their dogs and the dogs itself as well. He is very good for dog aggression. Here is a website I found about Justin and he is also on Twitter.
    There is a contact link on the site and just google his name to get his twitter address. I hope he can help you. I wish you and your babies all the best. Let us all know how you and your dogs are doing. Good luck. ❤

    • Thank you so much for this info, Celine! I appreciate it so much! I’m unable to sleep tonight because of the stress and worry I have over this. Your help and concern means a lot!

      • Hi Juli, I’m sorry you did not sleep that night. I hope you found a solution and you are sleeping better now. It must be scary seeing Xander’s aggression. Have you spoke to your Vet? He might need medication. Not that I like to have pets on meds. Your Vet might know how to work with Xander and fix his aggression and moods. I wish you all the best.

        Thinking of you, Izzy and Xander.

        Take care.

      • Hi Celine-

        It’s been a long weekend!

        Xander showed aggression towards Izzy earlier last week and then he did it again on Thursday night (this time, way worse). Then he did it again on Saturday night. I spoke with his obedience trainer (from a class I took him to in the fall) for quite awhile on Saturday night and she was so helpful. She explained a lot to me and gave me advice on how to look for his triggers, how to handle him when he does this, how to try and prevent them from happening, etc. She’s a life saver.

        I will also make a call to my vet tomorrow morning to have Xander seen by him. I want to make sure that he’s healthy and that this aggression isn’t acting up from an unknown health issue. I will talk to him about meds and see what he has to say about them as well.

        Thank you so much for your concern! This has been hard on me but it’s been even harder on poor Izzy. She’s afraid of him right now. Makes me so sad. 😦

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