Dog Aggression

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by Trish04, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Trish04 New Member

    I have a 6 month old lab. He LOVES everyone and every dog, until recently. He now has this odd aggression for dogs that look like Pit Bulls and one or two other stocky dogs in our complex.
    He plays in the dog park for hours on end, no problem but if he sees these dogs while on the leash he makes these horrible growling noises and lunges. The funny thing is though, his tail is wagging like he happy excited. I don't get it but he's a strong puppy and he's scaring my neighbors.
    How can I change this behavior? I'm so frustrated.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. Dlilly Honored Member

    Does he only do this on leash?? Does it happen to other dogs that are on leash? How does he act with Bully dogs off leash?

    He might be lunging because he wants to play, and is just really exited. I can't know for sure since I'm not able to watch him.
    MaryK likes this.
  3. Trish04 New Member

    He does it only on the leash. It sounds scary! And he's so strong I find it hard to control him. In the dog park he's playful and loves ALL dogs. On the leash with dogs like pit's or staff. terrier, he sees them and just loses it. But his tail is wagging furiously. I don't get it.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. southerngirl Honored Member

    What does the rest of his body look like(ears, tail, body stiff)?
    MaryK likes this.
  5. Trish04 New Member

    not stiff at all. He looks excited and ready to play but he sounds like he's going to rip the other dog to shreds! And he lunges.
    MaryK likes this.
  6. MaryK Honored Member

    First, he's started going through adolescence and his hormones are kicking in! He'll react differently to all manner of things, and totally forget most or all of what he's learned so far, so hang on in there it's just a 'stage he's going through'.

    So long as his body is relaxed, ears are down (not pulled back or too much up) and his tail isn't wagging excessively, I'd say he's wanting to party/play with other dogs. An excessively wagging tail isn't a calm relaxed dog, rather a dog who's over reacting, either from fear or aggression I'd say he's more wanting to play though, so don't immediately hit the panic button, thinking he's aggressive or fearful, remember all new hormones are racing around him at present.

    However, I would start training him that this is not acceptable. One, he's getting big, that means harder to hold for you, two other dogs may not appreciate his overtures (my boy would go into over reaction if he was too close due to being attacked) and three you want a lovely, well mannered boy not a rowdy hooligan:D:rolleyes:

    When he even looks like barking and carrying on at another dog, start click/treating him and asking for 'look at me'. You may need to train this in the garden or house first, and make sure he gives you FULL eye contact, not just a look at the bait bag!

    Also, if you have someone else with a totally bomb proof dog, have them walk the dog at a distance away from you, watch his reaction, click/treat for good behavior. Gradually decrease the distance but do NOT push this, it's better to be slow and take your time, than rush things.

    Also ask for sit and reward for sitting, while he's sitting he cannot bark and carry on.:) Just keep treating, don't worry too much about the click it can be tricky to become a treat dispenser and click at the same time. While he's eating his brain has gone into the hunting mode, rather than attack mode, so he'll settle and eat those treats rather than barking and carrying on over the other dog.
    DevonW, jackienmutts and bekah1001 like this.
  7. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Mary K has some good advice. If you can start giving him treats and maybe even luring him into positions, distracting him etc. before he even notices the other dog is coming that is good. The goal is to prevent the behavior. If it never happens and he doesn't have the chance to practice it and make it a habbit it will be easier to get rid of.
    I would also suggest to immediately find a dog training class with a positive trainer that has experience with aggression. Or if you can work around the same dogs regularly. If there are dogs at the dog park who aren't food aggressive you may want to alternate between play off leash and on leash training sessions. Make sure to let him play a while off leash fist so he is not in an overly excited state, because that can trigger the aggression.
    Whether or not it is aggressive or just reactivity it is better to start immediately while he is still young. The more positive training you do, the more work on self-control, and the more positive interactions with other dogs the better he will be.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. sara Moderator

    Doesn't sound to me like DA. I think you have a dog that's just seriously over-eager to play. working on his self control will help... Labs are just seriously boisterous dogs and cant seem to keep a though in their head for long at that age. LOL Self control exercises should help, and the other's advice is excellent :)
    MaryK and southerngirl like this.

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