Dog Aggressive??

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Dlilly, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Dlilly Honored Member

    I have a problem. :(

    I've been keeping Rory in our other building away from our dogs. I want him to bond with me, and chill since this is a big change.

    Well, I let him meet Bailey, Delilah, and Shiloh through the fence today. He had his hackles up but he put them down when he sniffed Bailey. Then he sniffed Delilah, but when Shiloh came over, he started growling and barking, so I took him away. Later again today, I let him meet just Bailey through the fence, and he was fine, but then all of a sudden he just started growling and barking. My mom walked him and let him meet Shiloh, and she said he was fine. His tail was held high the whole time, but it wagged when he wasn't growling or barking.

    His owner told me he hasn't met a lot of dogs, but he was very playful with them. I know she wasn't lying. I'm thinking he just hasn't met enough dogs and isn't sure about them…?

    We are getting him neutered Tuesday, could him being intact have anything to do with this?

    Right now I'm teaching him to sit, lay down, and watch me. After he recovers from being neutered, I can start some training.

    I don't know how to tell if he is dog aggressive, scared, or just needs to meet more dogs… What does this sound like to you? There aren't any positive dog trainers around to help me….

    After he is neutered, should I just take him on walks and have Delilah on the other side of the road and work with him like he is dog agressive??

    Also, I think him wanting to herd will be a problem. He'll want to herd the dogs. How would I work with that?

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    Don't know much about it(wish tigerlily was hear when she is back she'll be more help). It could mean that he is just over excited and doesn't know what to do with himself. My Missy did the same thing I thought it was aggression but I worked with my friend and her dog once Missy smelled the dog they were fine. It's possible that he is like oh my gosh its a dog I wanna see the dog. Barriers such as leashes, fences and other stuff like that can sometimes cause problems.
    start with them on diffrent sides of the street and slowly get closer. Or have Delilah walk a bit a head of him(far anough that he isn't going nuts) once again slowly walk closer to her. (like every day or week walk him closer to Delilah whatever you feeel works for you.
    The members with DA dogs will be more helpful.:D
  3. SD&B Experienced Member

    I think Southerngirl gave you good advice. Some dogs don't do well with barriers, such as fences, so you can't really be quite sure what is going on. As long as you can both control the dogs, walking them closer together over a period of time is the way to go. As soon as you see any signs, though, it's time to back off. You don't want to cross any thresholds. You just want to get near them. Of course, reward heavily as you get nearer and nearer. It's entirely possible, away from the fence, that the dogs will be able to walk with each other on the sidewalk or it may be that you will have to work quite a while before that can happen. At first, though, start with walking parallel in the same direction with the people between both dogs and significant distance (such as the street) between you. Then slowly get closer and closer, backing off when you see signs of discomfort with the situation.

    TigerLily is more familiar with true dog aggressive dogs, so she might be able to help you with determining the underlying cause here. However, I have very successfully used this technique with a fear-aggressive dog.

    As far as the herding, first consider if it is a problem. When the dogs are getting along and, if the others allow him to herd them, maybe it would be fun for all. If it is a real problem, then I'm not sure what to do. Some dogs truly hate that herding stare that some herding dogs have.
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  4. Dlilly Honored Member

    Thanks for the advice. It actually is helpful. He is a crazy dog and goes nuts (happy nuts) when he sees new people. He might just be exited.

    If he is exited, he shows it in a weird way. (hackles up and growling) Walking the dogs like you described is usually how I introduce my dogs to the fosters. I have a feeling Rory will lunge and bark at her the whole walk. If this happens, what should I do? I've never dealt with a problem like his, so I want to do everything correctly.

    I will try walking him after he is fixed. My dogs are females and are obsessed with boy parts. :p

    I really hope everything works out. I know he is in a new environment and probably still stressed, it's just this is a big issue since I have other dogs, and I'm still going to foster Beagles. I want to find out what's up with him asap.
  5. SD&B Experienced Member

    That's the trick. If you see signs (growling, tensing, stiffness, stiff tail wag, huffing, whatever his signs are), then you increase the distance between the dogs. You try to do that before it becomes full-blown reaction (crossing the threshold). After you get a full-blown reaction, the dog is just toast for a while and it just reinforces its own behavior.

    What you are trying to do is move the threshold closer and closer to the other dog, even if it's only a tiny tiny bit.
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  6. sara Moderator

    This is the best way to shrink the threshold, imo.

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  7. SD&B Experienced Member

    Definitely. The more focus the dog has on you and not on the other dog, the better. Training a look cue before trying the walk should be helpful.
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  8. sara Moderator

    No this isn't a look at me cue, this is a look at that cue. basically, you teach a dog to look at what he's afraid of and change his emotions about it. threshold is easily determined using this technique, as well as helps to shrink it.
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  9. SD&B Experienced Member

    Yes, you are correct. I misspoke. It's a focus technique, but not on you. I think any focus training is going to help, but the "look AT" is a great tool and should definitely be tried.
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  10. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Really good advice given above. Having a dog meet thru a fence is almost asking for trouble. Some dogs just love a good fence fight no matter how dog-friendly they are. My suggestion would be to not try any more greetings with a fence involved.

    Do try your first walk with only one dog - trying to meet all 3 at once also may be too much. One dog at a time would be good to start, and you can do it one of two ways. You can either do it from across the street, or have one of your dogs way in front, and you follow with Rory. He'll be getting a good sniff of your dog from behind, and you can gradually get closer and closer, til maybe you then come up on the side (but not too close) depending on his body language. Only after walking for a bit together (altho not too close), if all seems relaxed, you can then let them get closer and meet. If all has gone well at that point, you may want to then have someone else bring on the next dog, and again start walking .. with dog #2 a bit ahead, or off to the side, then get closer and closer, til you can finally meet - altho I'd then back dog #1 off (for the meeting) -- 3 can be a crowd (at first meetings). If that goes well, then start walking again (with now 3 dogs), and have one more recruit join you with dog#3, again from either ahead or off to the side. As you get ready to intro these, then back dog#1 and dog#2 off, so again Rory can meet only one dog - then you can finally bring the other 2 closer. Even for the first meeting when things seem good (maybe at home in the yard) and you decide to just let them all "be dogs", I'd advise letting leashes drag, as that way, if anything were to happen, you (and others) could grab a leash and break anything up that way.

    If they said he had been playful with other dogs in the past, it's very possible that the fence caused most of the issue. Add that to a dog who is stressed (by virtue of being in a brand new place, new smells, new people, etc), and yes, he did the only thing he knew to do ... just lash out and tell everyone to back off, loud and clear.

    I wouldn't worry so much about him being dog-aggressive until he shows you that he is. So far, it doesn't sound like it. The fact that he met your dogs individually and was ok is a good sign. It sounds like the fence, plus maybe too much, too soon may be the issue. He's a high energy dog - and he may be a dog who goes from 0 - 90 very quickly emotionally as well. If so, you're going to really have to work at keeping him calm. Sara posted an excellent video on LAT, really important. I'm working with a reactive dog right now (not mine this time, thank goodness :ROFLMAO:) , and we practice that every single day. She loves other dogs, but is very high energy and when she sees another dog, just reacts by barking and banshee-like shrieking:eek: . It honestly has scared other dogs (not to mention hurt my ears - you'd have to hear it). Working on LAT and changing her emotional state is one of the first things we started on.

    Once Rory calms down you may see a very different guy. Allow him to show you who he is, tho. I guess I'm one of those people who assumes all will go well, until proven otherwise. Go into it with the idea that all will go just fine. Take a deep breath, and don't worry about aggression. Rory had a fence in the way, and was under stress. That in itself can bring out the worst in loads of the friendliest dogs.

    If it were me, I'd find recruits and start walking him asap (with distance) with your dogs, rather than waiting til after Tues. You could get a few walks in that way, and he could begin learning about what his new life is going to be like. He might as well discover that those evil dogs on the other side of the fence aren't the enemy after all - but his new family. :rolleyes::) Get a HUGE bag of chicken or hot dogs or ? and reward the heck out of Rory during the whole walk (except during meetings). The food rewards will, again, keep his emotional state very positive. Keep telling him he's being a good boy (if he's doing anything besides reacting), and make it something he enjoys, keep it light and happy.

    You know we're all here for you, and I've also been living with a reactive dog for years. My bet - Rory's just nervous. Go only as fast as he can go, especially right now cuz things are all so new - use your gut as a guide, when that little voice inside you tells you he's had enough, call it a day. You did a fabulous job with Chance - and you're gonna do great with Rory!
  11. Dogster Honored Member

    All of the advice is excellet.:D Agree.(y)

    Maybe try tiring him out before he meets the other dogs??? it might help him stay calm and have less energy when meeting them. I also think the fence is stressing him out a bit more. It may be that he just wants a quick butt sniff:cautious::ROFLMAO:
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  12. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Absolutely .. on both counts! :LOL: Do see if you can play with and/or walk him before walking them together (to drain a bit of his energy -- but if you play with him, don't walk them together when he's all revved up). The "butt sniff" was why I suggested starting out walking at a distance behind the others, as he'll get loads of scent wafting in his direction, and will be processing info the whole time he's walking. Also, chances are, the dog up ahead will pee - and you can then let him stop and sniff it. Most likely, it won't be an "accident" that #1 dog pees right away (if they see you're following with another dog). Have you ever noticed when a new dog enters a dog park and is mobbed by several dogs, it will pee and "escape", but the mob of new dogs will stay behind and examine the pee? :D No accident. It's leaving all the info (the calling card) all the other dogs need to know. So if one of your family members is walking dog#1 up ahead and dog#1 pees, immed let Rory go get a good long sniff. Intro's have begun.
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  13. MaryK Honored Member

    Fantastic advice. I am wondering, after reading about the fences, if that is why Ra Kismet will go nuts when he hears/sees a dog behind a fence. He was a 'street kid' so probably had a number of 'fence incidents' when a VERY young puppy before I got him.

    Am going to start with the LAT training, as I have kinda been doing that with him in an 'amateur'. He showing MASSIVE improvement though, so with the LAT he will FINALLY overcome his excitement at seeing/hearing another dog(n)
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  14. Dlilly Honored Member

    We walked Rory and bailey together, and Rory didn't do anything bad, but he wasn't very good. He had his hackles up but I just kept walking, and he put them down after he lost interest in her. I couldn't really see his face, but Susan says he tried to nip Bailey. :( I think if we just keep walking them together, he'll get used to her. So that's my plan for now. It only took a minute for him to focus on something else while she was walking next to us.
  15. southerngirl Honored Member

    It sounds like he just isn't used to dogs, not dog aggressive. I had an aggressive dog and there is no way I would be able to walk beside another dog. After a while of working with dogs hopefully he will be fine around all dogs. Good luck and I hope all goes well.
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  16. MaryK Honored Member

    Agree with Southerngirl. Sounds like he's more 'fearful' of other dogs, than dog aggressive. Is that dog friendly? Will it bite/attack me? Not used to this and not sure what to do? If we're afraid of something, we can react in a 'negative' manner, dogs aren't any different.

    He 'lost interest' in her after a while, which means his 'fear' had abated. Dog aggressive dogs do NOT abate, they just get worse, if the worst hasn't already happened:(

    You would not get that close without MASSIVE problems if he was dog aggressive.

    Try introducing him 'slowly' at a distance from his walking companion, using the click/treat keeping him focused on YOU and move up gradually to the other dog WHEN he is calm and again FOCUSED on you. Keep click/treating him and a tip jackiemutts gave me with my boy, when he's been SUPER GOOD allow him to have a JACKPOT NOSE DIVE into the treat bag - as she said he'll think that's the best:D WooHooo Christmas/birthday/easter HEY MOM MUST BE PLEASED:D It worked with my boy:giggle:

    Don't RUSH take your time with him, patience is the key to ALL training whatever it may be:D
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  17. Dlilly Honored Member

    Now that I think about it, I did rush things. :unsure: He was doing such a good job I let him get closer and closer…. I'm going to work on some more LAT training before trying this again with Bailey.
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  18. MaryK Honored Member

    It's easily done, to rush:) Dogs have to assimilate, kinda 'think it over' etc., just as we do:)
    Just start again right from the beginning and CLICK/TREAT CLICK/TREAT PRAISE CLICK/TREAT/CLICK/TREAT P RAISE CLICK/TREAT PRAISE LIKE CRAZY:D Maybe even don't move closer on the first day, or the next, just let him REALLY settle down at a distance.

    I'm doing that with Ra Kismet, he was fine until he was attacked by another dog (he wasn't hurt physically but MENTALLY it upset him) so he started to over -react and then went into a full blown tantrum (see my post in dog behavior).

    Now, it's easy-peasy. Load up the treat bag with his dinner (don't want him over weight). Click/treat all the time, now less than a WEEK later, he'll walk past dogs barking INSIDE their own property (this too set him off after the attack) without turning a hair I STILL click/treat/praise but not so much. Dog across the road, he's still a bit 'unsure' BUT now he will sit and focus on me for 95% of the time. Not yet had to pass dog on the same side and frankly, I don't want to put him to that test as yet because I DON'T WANT TO RUSH him. Giving him time to assimilate lose the fear and realize that 'hey not all dogs are gonna attack me YEAH'.

    Good work and keep it up, you'll soon have a fearless dog, ready for anything(n)
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  19. Dlilly Honored Member

    I've been working on 'look at me' and LAT. I've been using a teddy bear as a distraction, and probably tomorrow I'll work on this outside, then if he succeeds, down the road some other day.

    Poor boy had a bad experience today. :( I was walking with my brother and Rory down the road, and the idiot neighbor boy shot me in the head with a paint ball gun. :mad: I kept walking and soon saw a woman walking her 2 labs on the other side of the road. (On leash, thank goodness!) I would have walked back home but I didn't want to get shot by a paintball gun again, so I walked past them. They started barking at him, and he barked back…

    Keeping dogs away from him is going to be hard. People around here just let their (intact) dogs just roam free. A couple days ago, I was walking Rory and I saw a giant GSD mix walking in the middle of the road. No one around here cares about the leash law apparently. I hid behind some bushes, and Rory didn't see the dog, and the dog didn't see us. I called my mom and she picked us up. The last thing I need is for him to be attacked by another dog….
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  20. Dogster Honored Member

    Oh, that really sucks.:( I feel for you Dlilly. You got shot in the head with a paintball gun?!?!?!:eek::confused::mad: Oh my... I guess you're gonna have to be very careful about the off-leash dogs... But for the owners, you can get DINO stuff:D
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