This is a new one for me, hopefully someone can advise.  My Murphy, PWC, 27 lbs, 14 months, AKA Mr. Happy Friendly Mellow, Loves all Living Things had a houseguest, Charlie the 10 lb. girl poodle, 7 years, also very happy and mellow. All was great for 4 days, lots of playing, barking, frapping, etc.   Last night i was on the couch with doggy treats, and gave one to each dog on each side of me. Charlie the poodle ate hers too quickly and started making the "hork gack hork gack" noise. In the blink of any eye, Mr. Mellow Murphy had bared his fangs and was viciously attacking her neck  and face, accompanied by lots of growling and barking and snapping. Charlie snapped back, and i had to use both hands and all my strength to pull Murphy off her. A couple minutes later, all was fine and they were frapping joyously through the house.  What the heck was that? I really think he would have done her harm if i hadn't intervened.  Is there some natural predator that "horks"  that stimulated his predatory response? It freaked me out and now I'm not giving them any treats for the rest of eternity!  Any ideas for me?

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Hi Kelly - i feel better after reading this, thanks for making it seem like a "normal" behavior. This pack dynamics thing is fascinating, I need to read more.
My first thought when I read this was that the poodle was in a position of weakness. Lilliput reacts strongly when another dog is, for example, needing help to climb up on furniture, being pulled on a leash, attempting to climb out of the lake onto a dock, squeaking like a wounded rodent. Does she want to eliminate the weaker members of the pack, or of the world in general? Does she want to create a race of super-dogs?

She would also react, as mentioned, to any food-related incident. The poodle's "weakness" might have been that she might be leaving her food unguarded while she "horked", a reason for a sneak attack if I ever saw one.
Most dogs like to eat in peace, instead of treating them with only your legs in between, treat them further apart.

If you know who eats faster, hold that treat above your head and let him get fixated first. then let the slower eater fixated on your other hand so he can eat closer to you. When both dogs are ready and have performed their tricks, throw the treat far away so that your faster eater can run and fetch the treat himself, simply drop or hand feed your slow eater from your side.
My slower eater has made a bit of a game of it, I think. I give him his treat first. He runs in the other room with it. I make my girl focus on me (which she needs work on anyway) and treat her. She swallows hers, then we go into the other room and there's my guy, treat between his legs, just waiting.

I swear he's taunting her.
Guess what just happened at work.....I have my dogs with me today and we have 2 rescue cats at work. Its lunch time and they all sit around me. Max the cat started to make the sound like he was going to vomit. Sally started barking, and if I hadn't just read this discussion this morning, run to Max to see what was happening and do what…. eat the vomit?? go after him?? I stopped Sally and closed her cage. I moved the cats to their room and then let Sally back out. She was sniffing all around where Max was. Sally is very timid, she didn't get a chance to get close to Max but I don't know what that was all about!! If I hadn’t just read this post I wouldn’t have thought to stop Sally when she wanted to go running after Max.
This is the crew at work I was talking about... Bucher, Sally, Max & Sammy. I had to photoshop Sally in, she isn't real sure of the cats.

What a bunch of cuties!!!
my first corgi went after a guest pug when the pug got too excited and started snorting... it was mostly a noisy "show" attack but still scary...
Sometimes, Yoda and Chewie would start before the food is even served! I would be preparing for the food and they would have their own snarling match, but it would never amount to anything. I do have them eat on the opposite side of the room to prevent any food aggression. Chewie is the fast eater, I swear sometimes Yoda ate slowly just to taunt Chewie!

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