Need Some Help For Friends,x


Well-Known Member
:oops:I know I havent been on for a while,soo busy,sorry,I would really need some help for friends of mine,please,xx
Ok,they have got two boxers,just over a year old (I know,teenage years)one girl one boy, both have been socialized very well from very early on,both are totally fine with dogs and people,on leash no probs at all and have been off the lead from day one with no problems,recall is fab and it was very,very rare that that would do a runner,mostly following their little girl.
They dont even have to put them on a lead to put them in the car to go to the park and no problems with either of them following them back out of the park to the car.All in all very well lovely natured and obedient ,well socialized dogs.
Now the boy has started to have a go at dogs that he does not know,not a full on fight,his whole stance is showing dominance,hackles up and puffed up and jumps on the other dog (big or small) and it takes a good old shout to make him listen and most of the time they have to seperate him. They put him on the lead for a time out,but it doesnt really stop him,next dog,same scenario.
Although,he is absolutely fine with Dodge (they knew him from when they was pups,he was about 1 1/2 and he let them bounce all over him,both at the same time,no trouble whatsoever) and he is fine with other dogs that he knows and has played with previously,could it be jealously??
One time he let another dog sniff his butt,no probs and turned all of a sudden with no signs (well,that we noticed,anyway)
In the moment I suggested a squirty water bottle,just to break his focus and it helps,it snatches him out of it and stops his aggression,I know its a negative method,but had to do this with Dodge at some stage,only took two squirts and he understood:( I didnt like it,but it helped at the time, ok now . . . . sorry for this long winded story,has anybody got any ideas why this happens? And most importantly any ideas how to stop it if my method sounds wrong (which in a way it does, to me even though it worked:() I m sure I left out loads,hubby will be back soon and am trying to type as quick as I can.Any questions,fire away,I will check back as soon as I can,thank you soo much for any input :love::)


Honored Member
If your method doesn't seem to be working he might need to be neutered cause some unaltered male dogs are aggressive toward other dogs other words I'd keep squirting him until he learns to quit. Also if your friends don't now want to get him fixed try having him sit facing away from the other dog and every time he looks at it make him look away by something like a quick tug on the leash or a stern No. Hope your friends can figure out why he is doing this.


Well-Known Member
He is neutered,thank you for replying btw:), the water squirting does work,I was just wondering whether somebody has any other suggestions as to why he s doing it,he is off lead up the park or the beach or the woods,he is not a nasty dog,really honestly not,he has never had a proper fight,its just a load of noise and dominant behaviour displaying pouncing and looks and sounds worse then it is,but they obviously want to nip it in the butt before it becomes a habbit:barefoot:


Well-Known Member
Oh and again,its only with new dogs normally,so I thought about it being a jealousy thing over his mates and all the toys we bring along at the park ))??((


Honored Member
ah geez, yet another well socialized dog, who was well trained, and treated well, not abused, no known traumas,
showing up with signs of dog agression. This dog is now one year old you say? Wow, usually it presents at about 9 months old or even earlier. Interesting.

HAVE HOPE!!! It *might* not be full blown dog aggression, but, this is what it looks like to me....but, i'm just some dog owner, not an expert, so take anything i say with grain of salt.

Because this dog HAS some dogs he gets along with does not mean he can't be showing the now very obvious signs of dog agression. My dog is a TOTAL gangsta, but, even MY dog has some beloved pals that he plays very well with and loves to pieces.

First off, trip to the vet, tell vet you want work up to rule out any possible medical causes as factor in aggressive behavior.
Then, your pals may want to get to a behaviorist, or trainer, WHO HAS ACTUAL EXPERIENCE with dog aggression. finding people who have actual experience with dog aggression is not as easy as you'd think. and encourage your pals, to read this thread on choosing outside help:

Encourage them, if they do not like the method used, they should walk away. A shocking number of ppl use punishment as an attempt to 'cure' dog-agression. YOur pals may have to make a decision if that is/is not okay with how they see dog training.
I'd recommend they watch and observe the trainer IN ACTION, with an aggressive dog,, PRIOR to letting him/her near their dog.
What trainers say they do,
and what they actually do,
can be two different things.

and then,
IF it turns out,
that this dog IS indeed,
(and it might not be, one can not label a dog that way based upon only a few incidents, so have hope)
your pals begin a journey of self education, reading books, online resources, etc etc.
I'd recommend
"The other end of the leash" by Patricia McConnell
"Talking Terms with Dogs/Calming signals" by Turid Rugaas
i'd send them over to Kikopup, who is one of my "positive only" dog trainer hero, who is FREE on youtube. Kikopup has some videos worth looking over.

If they were MY pals---(both out of kindness, and also out of my own personal beliefs that both dog aggression, as well as supershy dogs, are both conditions that are born into the dog from birth on, is not from 'abuse' etc)---- i'd also reassure them, they did nothing wrong, nor do i think their one(1) dog is "manifesting their own secret inner issues" dispite what the dog whisperer says.
It's hard enough to work on rehabbing an aggressive dog, but when you also feel guilty, it just makes it worse.

It's embarrassing to have ppl always think, "if your dog is having unwanted behavior, you did 'something' wrong." cuz, i dont' believe that is true, and i'd bet, your pals are wracking their brains to think, "What did we do wrong, to this one dog of ours? Was it the time he got scared of a motorcycle? Was it that time we got that new leash he didn't like? What was our error???" and on and on, blaming themselves.

and yeah, contrary to popular belief, neutering does not stop aggressive dogs from being aggressive. sigh.
but, i wish that WAS all it took.


Honored Member
Hi Dodge! :) I have to confess to being genuinely amused that this is a neutered dog. Neutering is not the answer to all problems. Neutering stops a dog being able to reproduce, contrary to popular opinion it is not a behavioural panacea :ROFLMAO:.

"Aggression" in entire dogs is not normally manifested like this. When Zac meets VERY dominant entire male dog they do the whole tail and hackles up, stiff legged circling with respectful sniffing. These very dominant dogs are sometimes aggressive to victim dogs (classic example of a victim is the springer spaniel) to the extent of serious physical damage. These dominant dogs are very selective, they almost never attack another dominant but almost invariably attack "victims".

What you are describing is a dog that is soured to all dogs except specific individuals rather than just targeting "victims". I have seen this in neutered and un-neutered dogs and I've been more noticing of them since the causes of dog aggression thread. The dog you describe is only just maturing he MAY turn out to be simply a bully or he may be genuinely dog aggressive, or it could be something else...

I'd say skip the negatives. If you need to squirt him or pull him off it is far far too late. Desensitize him gradually. Keep him under control, ON A LEASH (but no tugs, no corrections), don't let other dogs approach into his bubble, call him away for a treat or toy before he gets too close (maybe a little pressure on the lead if absolutely necessary but try and avoid this). Work on training that focusses him on the handler while in the vicinity of other dogs. And practice practice practice just like with any other distractions. Don't EVER let him bully other dogs - either he is scared and you failed to protect him OR he likes fighting so much you'll never be able to out-reward/correct it. Thankfully I've had limited experience of this but as far as I can see your gut feeling is right and applying any kind of negative to a dog/dog interaction may break up the incident but it can be terribly counterproductive - you really don't know what conclusions the dog is drawing from the water spray, if he thinks it is from the other dog he's probably all the more determined to attack quickly next time :mad:.

By the way would you like to see a large powerful dog behave like this to Dodge? I hadn't much sympathy with victims until a black lab did exactly what you are describing to my dog (not Zac). Please keep the dog leashed.


Honored Member
yet another well socialized dog, who was well trained, and treated well, not abused, no known traumas,
showing up with signs of dog agression. This dog is now one year old you say? Wow, usually it presents at about 9 months old or even earlier. Interesting.
LOL I knew you'd go to town on this one Tigerlily - and you have the perfect qualifications to do so. I read the opening post and thought WOW a budding Buddy!


Honored Member
Oh, for her pal's sake, i HOPE it is NOT a budding Buddy!!
yes, there are many different things to learn to manage a (possibley to probably) aggressive dog...

I focus on PREVENTING reactions as #1 thing for my dog.
I do believe, the less minutes per year he spends in gangsta mode, the better off he is.

I do think one of the very first things for the owners to learn, (later on, when they are agression-savvy, and more comfortable/less baffled, they can try other things) is that "Let's Go", to avoid all the enemy dogs.
I do that with Buddy. Buddy occasionally initiates the "Let's Go" when he sees a dog that is upsetting him --- all on his own now!!
hee hee.
I think, with Buddy becoming so accustomed to me calmly taking him away from enemy dogs, he trusts me more, doesn't feel HE has to take on the dogs, cuz i'm making the decisions, not him. (who knows, at any rate, "Let's Go" is great first step to learn.)

I wasted an entire year getting my gangsta dog to focus on me while dogs go by. This DOES PREVENT a reaction, but does absolutely NOTHING to help Buddy shift his inner attitude. Nothing. It's a lil harder than you'd think, too, to keep a gangsta focused on you, when the focus of his obsession is just right there.

i DO use that, "Look at Me" as a bandaid, as a last maneuver, when all my other tricks fail me. And "look at me" IS something they really DO need to learn, one of those "first things", imo. but, once they get 'round to working on Fido's inner attitude, this "Look at ME"will become more a 'last resort' type of move.

What DOES help, is rewarding the dog for CALMLY looking AT the enemy dog, not me, but the 'enemy'....that actually does help desensitize the dog to other dogs.
This MUST BE done at whatever distance it takes for your dog to do comfortabley. If it is 300 feet away, so be it, it's 300 feet away this week.
Maybe next week, 290 feet away----Fido is far enough away he is not yet reacting, Fido calmly observes and looks RIGHT AT enemy dog, and Fido gets treats for looking calmly at enemy dog.
then yoy leave.
THAT actually does help shift Fido's inner attitude somewhat.
BUT, that----------rewarding dog for focusing calmly on his 'enemy' ---------- is a lil advanced, not something they need to work on first week..

By doing that "reward for calmly observing the enemy", i can, over time, desensitize Buddy to all manner of 'enemies' in his own neighborhood, some of which Buddy decides he likes very much after all.
But, Buddy getting used to Fluffy, does not help Buddy with any other dog than Fluffy. It only applies to Fluffy, not Charliedog. Buddy does NOT generalize.

THAT was a complete shock to me at first. I thought, once i'd finally desensitized him to all the dogs in our own hood, that he was 'cured' rofl. I was so naive then...but NOPE....
He is just used to THOSE particular dogs now. ha ha. He still yells, "Ey, you wanna piece of me?" to all NEW dogs. But nowadays, he's got to be a lot closer to get honked off aobut new dogs.
But, he's doing the best he can. and he is better than he used to be. He really is.

ALSO, many people recommend those Gentle Leaders, but, i am not sure if short nosed dogs like Boxers can safely wear those, i don't think so, but, i don't know. but some ppl swear by those as being helpful to some dogs.

ALSO, THEY MIGHT WANT TO GET A CHEST HARNESS, to avoid neck yanking, when their dog is breeching at the end of his leash.

To me, dog aggression is like Type 1 diabetes, you can learn to mostly control it, most of the time, with the occasional "whoopsie" moment here or there,
and controlling it gets easier and easier with practice........... but you can't 'cure' it.

DODGE, please tell them this DOES get EASIER with time. (i mean, IF it turns out that their dog actually is dog-aggressive, i mean, we don't really know that for sure yet) Please tell them, it gets easier. And please tell them, their dog can't really help it, his lil dog brain is wired differently, and he is doing best he can, and he can get a lil better. I hope they do not get mad at their dog. Some ppl do.....

they want to work on PREVENTING reactions, not untangling ones in progress.
they will get quite excellent at spotting the slightest build ups--THAT is when you can intervene, right as it is beginning. That is when they will learn many different things that can be done to help head off the whole argument...I've got a lil list, also from Kikopup, and Tx_Cowgirl, but, that is kind of advanced, for later on.
Right now, they are just learning their dog, like mine, is 'not right'. (IF indeed that is the case, might just be a 'bad month' or something, a flu bug or something...)

Once the dog has 'crossed over' and reacted, well, there's really nothing one can do to stop a reaction in full swing, short of buckets of water, but, calmly exit the scene, leave...."Let's Go".


Honored Member
Staff member
Several things....
First of all, yes, he is maturing, and they will see changes in his behavior. He could certainly be well on his way to a life of dog aggression. Tigerlily, I AM going to point out things that could have triggered this behavior, but I am simply viewing the map of possible roads from overhead and explaining various reasons that COULD be the reason for his aggression. ;)

If he is off-leash frequently, and it is not STRUCTURED, then he could have very well determined that the whole world is his territory and how DARE anyone think they can behave freely as if it were theirs! Meaning, if his off-leash experiences have mostly been, "Off you go, come back when I call you but do what you want until then," then basically, the world is his backyard. Off-leash experiences do still need structure, in my opinion. My dogs do get off-leash walks, and they do get off-leash released times, but we still have structure. Off-leash walks mean they still have to maintain an acceptable position determined by me (not too far ahead, and not lagging, basically heel with no enthusiasm or eye contact expected). If I give them a release cue, they can run, play, whatever, until I call them back into position. Think of it this way: if they are in the backyard, they can do whatever they want until you call them in or go out to play with them. If you have the same expectations everywhere else, they don't really have any structure anywhere, even though their recall is good off-leash. So my point is, he COULD have developed this mindset that all territory is his and other dogs can't just barge in without determining a pecking order.

Another option. They continue to break up his attempts to establish a pecking order with NEW dogs. If he hasn't been a nasty dog before, and it seems like these fits are mostly noise, maybe the best thing to do is let them work it out. They have to determine a pecking order somehow, and not letting him do that will only build his frustration. He tries to work things out with a new dog, his owners make a big fuss over it. Hmm, maybe Mom and Dad acted like that last dog was a really big deal, maybe the next dog will be a really big deal and I should be prepared for it.

Could also be that he has ALWAYS been a dominant dog, but in this stage in his life his body is changing, which may also change his personality. As a dominant dog, he may not have ever been "put in his place" by a more dominant dog, so he wants to test his limits. There are dogs who are so incredibly dominant that they do look like dog aggressive dogs, because they are major bullies. I've known one of these. He could get nose to nose with another dog with no reaction, if his owner was working with him on it. But if that dog had done one thing he thought was disrespectful, his correction was way over the top. Not a snap or a growl, but get on top of the other dog and bite their neck or muzzle. Just about the HIGHEST level of correction a dog could give another dog, and this dog skipped all minor corrections to go straight to this one. He was a major bully, but was NOT simply dog aggressive. He did not react to any dogs at all, no matter how close, unless they gave him a reason to. He just had an extremely physical and aggressive way of showing dogs he was an alpha. I don't think this option is likely, as true dominant bullies are typically extremely dominant even as puppies. But, just throwing another option out there. :)

And, there is the option that some wires are simply criss-crossed upstairs, and it hasn't become apparent until now. His body is changing, inside and out at this age, and those crossed wires could have been hardly noticable until this time in his body's maturing stage. Either way, really the solution is the same, of course personally tailored for that dog, but the basic groundwork for dog aggression is the same no matter what the reason is.

Also, it might be a good idea to bring NEUTRAL toys to the dog park. Not his, or hers, or Dodge's, nothing that they might have possessive feelings towards. Toys that belong to no one, that no one plays with except at the park. Special dog park toys. :)

No matter what the reason is for his aggression, they do need to start educating themselves and learn how to see his signs. Knowing a dog's body language that they exhibit before breaching threshold is incredibly important in figuring out how to help them. :) Once you know what they're going to do before they react, you can figure out how to keep them from reacting.

Whether his aggression is caused or born with him, THEIR behavior is more important than ever and they will need to learn how to conduct themselves when working with him in order to not make his aggression worse. Definitely would be a good idea to find a behaviorist to help them start working on this problem right away.

I do hope that it is not an early version of Buddy, but if it is, he can certainly be helped and is young enough to make huge improvements. :)


Honored Member
Good advice, Tx.
Interesting, if it was being off leash (many aggressive dogs are worse ON leash than off, as is my own) caused it, the 'no structure' thing, odd that the other dog they have did not develop aggression, too.
I'm assuming, since they have TWO dogs,
that they treat the two dogs the same way. Like, if Fluffy is off leash, so is Binky. Odd that it did not hit both dogs...both being in an 'unstructured' environment, which is sooooooooo commonly done by most dog owners, is allow dogs off leash to roam about freely.
It'd make sense as the 'cause' of Binky's aggression, if it applied to most dogs, but, most dogs, even if running free around their human, do not develop aggression.

But yeah, THAT might be 'what the human did wrong' and it just only impacted their ONE dog, but not their other dog...
........for "some reason".

I'm leary of the "let them duke it out" to "establish pecking order". I hope that works out okay, it *might*.
It certainly wouldn't with Buddy. shiver. YOu could send in 100 'dominant' dogs, to "put Buddy in his place" and Buddy would still be Buddy the gangsta, even after 100 dominant dogs "put him in his place". It's not like that with agressive dogs. Might work for 'normal' dogs, but IF IF IF this boxer does have the dog-aggressive brain, fighting will only make him worse, only strengthen his belief he DOES need to fight with all comers.

Lol, see Dodge? Ppl who work with dog-aggressive dogs, DO have different ideas on what causes it, and what might help, that is why your pals will need to self-educate, so they can sort out, what ideas they like, what ideas work for their particular dog. I've changed my mind on a few things along the way. I'm still learning, tweaking things, adding in new ideas all the time to try to help my gangsta.

(sorry, i don't know these dogs name, lets call the aggressive dog Binky for now)
When Buddy does that aggressive, very unfriendly "oh yeah?" greeting, he does not appear to be interested in 'establishing pecking order', which implies at some point, if allowed to argue around, Buddy would then sort it out, and then get along....but instead, Buddy seems interested in causing a fight/argument. But, maybe Binky is not going to be dog-aggressive.

It implies, that IF an aggressive dog and another dog get to have at it, they will settle the dispute, "once and for all" or something, which probably won't happen. ---- IF the dog IS truly an aggressive dog, i mean.
That WOULD work GREAT with two NORMAL brained dogs, yes it probably would, the 2 normal brained dogs would argue around, and make their decision, everyone falls into their places, life goes on, and would be at peace from then on.
But, Tx, it doesn't work that way with aggressive dogs. They are not 'normal'. Sort of like dog autism or something---Some rules and patterns won't apply. (well, i mean IF this dog IS dog-aggressive)

and Once the dog HAS had it's first full on fight, it gets harder to rehab them, imo. the dog has a new level of ...something.
and whatever word (?)belongs there, the new level of it ---it's not good.

On the one occasion that i can recall a full out scarey fight happening iwth Buddy, (cuz back then, i foolishly thought the two dogs WOULD "just work it out", "establish a pecking order" cuz i was used to normal brained dogs..........well, it was bloody fight, actual blood drawn, very frightening and very hard to break up to save the dogs) well, AFTER THAT, Buddy, who had made some progress had regression, and was all shook up for a long time afterwards......... acted FAR FAR FAR worse for some time afterwards,

it was a real set back in our progress,
and it took me a lot longer to re-establish his trust in me, that "When you are with me, you do not get into fights. Buddy, your lifetime of being a gangsta is over. You are with me, you are safe." kinda thing.
Maybe not the msg you send to 'normal' dogs, but, it works for Buddy.
He's calmer, he no longer 'expects' to fight the way he used to.

I think Buddy truly has come to realize, "if mom is here, i can not escalate and get into a fight, i'm going to leave here in one piece, no blood, not ever again, my fighting days are over, now i can only get a scary bark out once in a while.". (sorry for anthropomorphising there hee hee.)
Buddy is finally becoming accustomed to NOT fighting, NOT reacting now. Nope, he's not cured. But he's better, and easier to manage.

But that might work, too, just letting Binky duke it out with every new dog that he doesn't like. *Could* work for Binky....

but I don't do that with Buddy, for Buddy, who actually IS dog aggressive, that would be chaos. shiver. But maybe for Binky, since we don't with 100% certainty that Binky is dog-aggressive (although it sounds like it) maybe that will not lead to further escalation,
and further notion in Binky's head that it IS up to him to take on other dogs. I've mostly removed that idea from Buddy, he knows he does not get to react/fight, we are going to leave IF he loses it = we leave. It's our routine, Buddy counts on it now. but, each dog is different.

Maybe in the future, i'll consider letting Buddy have at it, "to work it out", but i can't picture doing that mistake again, so for now, i'm all about preventing fights.
And maybe what does work to help Buddy become a calmer, mellower dog, won't necessarily apply to Binky. All dogs are unique.

Re: "maybe he's becoming aggressive cuz his body is changing now", Most All dogs bodies change as they mature, yet most do not turn dog-aggressive. It's 'something else' going on for Binky...

my guess is,
that Binky was displaying earlier signs of dog aggression, probably for months, and either it was not noticed/ignored/wrote off as bad day or blamed on "Wow, that dog Fido really set off our Binky, wonder what is wrong with Fido?" kinda thing, but, i'd bet, there have been signs for a while. Or even seen as rough playtime.
Or, perhaps, for past month or two, or from age 9 months to 1 year, for whatever reason, maybe Binky wasn't much around New dogs very often or for that short period of time, or maybe not close enough to argue with New dogs during those 3 months.. But, i'd bet Binky had earlier signs, just a guess. Or, lol, maybe Binky is a half-miler slacker, lol. Sort of "behind"--- IS A JOKE. =D

RE: toys. IF Binky is dog-aggressive, toys are probably always going to be 'an issue'. Until you are further along in the aggression management, i'd skip the toys altogether.
Neutral toys would work for 'normal' brained dogs, but, if Binky is who i think he is, even neutral toys will be a trigger.
Certainly, over time, they can try to work on those things, when they are more adept at spotting the early signs that Binky is about to lose it....

but, for now, i think, reducing minutes spent in gangsta mindset is good goal for now. And toys do set off most dog-aggressive dogs.

Other things you might notice will set Binky off are:
~doorways (this includes gates, any opening of any kind) Try your best to not let Binky and any new dog be at a gate or doorway at same time. You'll see what i mean.
~narrow hallways--triggers some fights.
~Many aggressive dogs are worse on-leash than off leash.
~Any place super exciting to the dog, he's more likely to blow a fuse.
~Occasionally,not always, but sometimes, treats can set up stress for dogs like Buddy, not always, but, it can be dicey once in a while..Especially, if like both dogs get a bone to chew. Not the lil treats put into their mouths, but something that takes a while, Binky will start to get a 'tude about it all, esp if New dog is there.
~Other dogs approaching Binky's owners might set him off, too.
~groups of dogs
~running dogs,
~ excited dogs can set off some dog-aggressive dogs into reacting.
~dog parks
~doggie schools or doggie sports or doggie gatherings of any kind, might be more than Binky can handle, at least before any work is done with Binky on his issues...

but, like Tx said, THERE IS MUCH HOPE for this dog to become well controlled!!!


Honored Member
Also, be aware, anytime Binky does react---,
for next 20 to 30 minutes,
Binky "won't be right"....Binky might even mildy argue with his best friends during that next 30 minutes, and will DEFINitely argue with ANY new dog he meets for next 30 minutes, even one he might have accepted in another hour or two. I figured this out, and later read about it, i think it helpful to know that.
Cuts down on fights/arguements, if you know, "Well, it's 2pm, and Binky just argued with Fido at 1:45, so, he's probably going to have a go at this new oncoming dog."
Just move in another direction, away from all dogs, for next 30 minutes. RE-calming a dog, to help them get through that 30 minutes after a reaction, can be done, but, it's fairly difficult, takes practice for you, and for the dog, to get the hang of, "How to calm dowwwwn" again, and it is still a lil dicey to rely on if new dogs come by during the 'post-reaction' 30 minutes period of time, it's longer for some dogs.
Also, many dogs will "pull" on their leash after reactions, even if they never do otherwise. Is another reason it's good to help them re-calm dowwwwn again.

I can post what i do to help re-calm Buddy after a reaction, so he is not completely nutters for next 30 minutes, if you want me to.

i wish them the best of luck.


Honored Member
BUT, Dodge,
if i can only pass on ONE bit of advice,
that i think evvvvvvvveryone would agree with,

Most dog-aggressive dogs get scolded for growling,
as if
that will make them 'be nice'.

nope. It only teaches the dog to skip that all important, VIP warning growl.

then you are left with a dog that is harder to read,
and will go straight for a bite. which is the Last thing you want.

If dog growls, calmly get him out of there, but do not scold the dog for growling. You can even be secretly glad that you DO have a dog who will offer up a pre-bite warning growl.

Don't correct growls. Please tell your pals that one, Dodge.


Well-Known Member
Phew,thank you so much all of you,so much info,its really appreciated:love: your fingers must be sore from typing,sorry:barefoot:

Tx,your post makes the most sense about his behaviour (no offence to anybody else!!), we never just let them get on with it though,we always play with them.The toys we bring are just toys for the park and he is more than happy to play with any dog once he knows him/her.The way you desrcibe it as becoming the backyard makes total sense,thank you! I really,really dont think (seeing him nearly every day) that he is a truely dog aggressive dog,honestly.
Its so difficult to explain,I m trying to think of how to put it in words . . . after reading all your posts my mind s blank,lol!
He does not react to any dog walking past,he will only react when he says hello,what they are doing in the moment is,they call him back and treat him (well,all three of them are coming back,LOL) before he gets to a dog that he doesnt know and keep him on the lead for a while,it seems to help him before he acctualy greets the dog. But how will he learn how to greet nicely off leash when he wont get the oppurtunity to learn ))?(( or do you think he will calm down with time if they continue to do this?
Tigerlilly,thank you,I know about the growl and have told them :) he does not seemed to be hyped up afterwards,just goes back to playing with either one of the dogs (and sometimes there can be up to 10 dogs or more! Thats why I really dont think its proper dog aggression,mind you,I aint a trainer,just a geeky dog owner that reads up about whatever I have a question for and cannot get enough about learning "how to's" ) :LOL:
Thank you guys,xx (got to get on with dinner now,never enough time:rolleyes:)


Honored Member
Staff member
All just possibilities, not saying any of them IS the reason. The no structure option is assuming it is a non-permenant behavior problem that could have an easy fix. If other dog is submissive, could have not shown any effect from lack of structure. Really that solution is assuming the dog is an extremely dominant dog, and lack of structure only increased his mindset that he's the boss. :)

Letting them duke it out is also only once they have ruled out that he is not dog aggressive, but rather just a dominant dog trying to establish his dominance. It is very very hard for us owners to do, and scary. But sometimes it's just what they need. Definitely NOT NOT NOT the answer if the dog is truly dog aggressive. Only if he is a super dominant dog, and just a bully.

If he does not REACT to every dog, or even most dogs, he is probably just a dominant dog. Structure and consistency is incredibly important with incredibly dominant dogs to avoid an aggression issue. If he only gets aggressive upon actually meeting them as you say, chances are he is just super dominant. From what you are saying, he sounds just like Kujo, a Shiba I knew with the same issue, only much worse. Just as not every dog will react the same to one training method, not every dog will react the same to lack of structure.

Before casting him off as definitely dog aggressive or definitely dominant, I would think you all should do lots of observing to make sure so you can then choose a training plan to follow. You will be helpful as being the outsider, not living with him everyday and thinking of him as "Mr. Sweet Boy" that they've had all his life. You can hopefully study him as just a dog, and his behavior might be clearer to you than to them, as they will (probably) not be as able or willing to see his issue for what it really is.

EITHER WAY....when they approach another dog with him on leash, they need to teach themselves to relax and not expect anything so they don't reinforce his aggression. In a book I read written by the owner of a dog/people-aggressive dog, she would sing Happy Birthday to keep her mind off of freaking out because they were approaching someone. Probably looked silly, but not any worse than having Cujo on the end of your leash. :)

IF HE IS definitely dominant....

Once they've learned his signs, they need to be watching for them as they approach another dog. At the FIRST tiniest sign of his dominant/aggressive show, THEY(not the other dog) need to turn around and walk away. Being a bully doesn't get you anything but being alone. :) They can also recruit a helper with a strange new dog to walk towards them from wherever he is comfortable(meaning NOOOO signs AT ALL of his bully display), and reward for being calm. He and whoever is holding his leash are not moving, other dog and handler are just coming towards them. They can also combine these two exercises, both dogs and handlers walking towards each other, reward for calmness, walk away if ugly. Depends on him and how he responds.
Basically these two exercises will just teach him how to greet another dog in an acceptable way. He is STILL going to be a dominant dog, and still a bully. But much more managable.

I can't really say for sure since I haven't seen him, but if he is as bad as Kujo was, training will always improve his behavior but he will always be a bully. Kujo was extremely dominant from the get-go, but his behavior didn't become an issue until he was around a year old. He actually belonged to a Petsmart trainer, a friend of mine who is excellent and I've learned a lot from her. He came to work with her almost daily, and did not react to any dogs, unless...
If they were overfriendly and rude, rushed him even if tails were wagging, generally just overexuberant. He was a Shiba Inu, not a large dog, but I did see him take down a Lab once that rushed up to him and tried to lick his face. A friendly dog in a human's eyes, a rude brat in a dog's eyes. Very quickly he had the Lab on his back and was snarling at him. Sara had her back turned and the Lab had come around the corner. In that situation Mudflap would have snarled, and maybe snapped. Kujo wanted to be standing over him with the dog on his back and snarling like....well, Cujo.
If a dog approached him calmly, he was okay with them. No reaction really, did posture but did not instigate anything. Sara did a lot of work to get him there, though.
If a dog ignored him completely and was not interested, he was smitten. He looooved Mudflap from the day he met her because she had no interest in him at all and could care less about him. He was a funny little dog.
Sara read Click To Calm and basically took him through the whole book, and was able to get him nose to nose with another dog easily. But, he was still a bully till the day he died. That's just how he was. She did once find a dog that did not tolerate his behavior, and they had several tiffs until Kujo understood he was not going to be on top for this one. Once he realized that and chilled out, he loved that dog and was just as comfortable with him as with any other dog he knew.


Honored Member
Ohhh, i so HOPE it IS some temporary problem!! and not the inborn dog-agression brain being displayed when the dog matures.
I hope, i hope!
I probably misunderstood when i read:
//"Now the boy has started to have a go at dogs that he does not know,not a full on fight,his whole stance is showing dominance,hackles up and puffed up and jumps on the other dog (big or small) and it takes a good old shout to make him listen and most of the time they have to seperate him. They put him on the lead for a time out,but it doesnt really stop him,next dog,same scenario"//

//"One time he let another dog sniff his butt,no probs and turned all of a sudden with no signs (well,that we noticed,anyway://


//"Oh and again,its only with new dogs normally,"//

I HOPE YOU AND TX ARE RIGHT, that this IS a 'normal brain' dog, and just having a bad month or two, and just needs training, socialization, structure and leadership, etc etc etc. He's just "dominant", not aggressive.


IN "click to calm", there IS loads of great information, but, of all the things i've tried, teaching a dog to feel and display calm behavior,
with his leash being pulled as his 'cue' to display calmness,
was really difficult for ME to teach to Buddy. I could have been doing it wrong. I've interacted with others on dog-aggression boards, who also had trouble teaching that particular cue.
Also, in 'click to calm', Emma describes her dog as 'dog-agressive', not a 'bully'. Her dog was also a well trained, well-scoialized dog, being raised by a dog behaviorist!! but, out of nowhere, began to display what she calls "dog-aggression" at age 9 months old.

btw, what IS the difference between a bully and a dog-aggressive dog? Wow, if i call Buddy a 'bully', that sounds just sort of macho, not as bad nor permanent as 'dog-aggressive'. I think, from now on, i might just call Buddy a 'bully', makes him sound better. Dog-aggressive sounds more ominous, imo.


Honored Member
Any thoughts on why the "lack of structure" (running free off leash beside their human)

only impacted ONE(1) of their two dogs?

Why didn't BOTH dogs develop aggression, er, "become bullies" with such 'lack of structure'? Why doesn't that experience, running around off leash, make more dogs aggressive, instead of just a few random dogs, here or there, becoming 'dog-aggressive' or 'bullies' cuz they ran free off leash???


Honored Member
Staff member
I'm not saying lack of structure caused this alone, I'm just saying if this dog is definitely just an overly dominant dog, then lack of structure could certainly make the situation worse. Could have no effect on other dog simply because of personality. Say for instance other dog is submissive, or even middle of the road. The lack of structure option was really just an idea to be honest, because if he is an overly dominant dog structure is REALLY important. I could be way off, just an idea. Maybe I'm a control freak, but it seems to me like if they are off leash all the time without any structure then they could have the mindset that the world is their territory, which could have adverse effects depending on the dog.

In my opinion, a bully is not reactive. Like Kujo. Kujo did not react to dogs in any way, unless they rushed him, tried to dominate him, or if he was meeting a new dog in his home. He could walk peacefully through Petsmart and look like a normal dog. But if a dog decided they wanted to rush up to him and play, the first thing on his mind was, "This dog doesn't know who I am! I need to SHOW him!" An extremely dominant dog also tends to skip over the normal displays of dominance and go straight to an extreme correction, like an alpha roll, going for the neck or muzzle, etc. Kujo never snapped or just growled at a dog. He always went straight for the most severe correction a dog can give another dog.
The few overly dominant dogs I have met are all like this. But, when the pecking order is established, an overly dominant dog won't have another problem with the lower dogs again. Everyone knows he's on top, and that's that. Dogs who do not pay any mind to the overly dominant dog will never have a problem with them. Some overly dominant dogs are terrible with extremely submissive dogs, and some are very good because they are quick to submit.

But a DOG-AGGRESSIVE dog is sometimes/usually reactive. Doesn't always matter if the other dog is dominant, submissive, middle of the road, sometimes a DA dog is aggressive towards dogs period. Some are more aggressive towards dominant dogs, or submissive dogs, just depends on the aggressive dog. A DA dog, depending on the dog, may react to a dog before even learning if the other dog is submissive/dominant/middle. With some DA dogs, doesn't matter if the other dog is paying attention to them or not--it's still a dog, so they should react. Depending on the DA dog, establishing a pecking order may never happen, because that's not the issue. They aren't always just trying to establish a pecking order, like the bully.

Of course this is all just my opinion....


Well-Known Member
:)thank you very much,we ll do lots of observing and hopefully get to the bottom of it.
I know that they defo have to learn to relax,she more so then her oh and she did say that she can feel herself get stressed, and that she is trying not to be,love the singing . . .will tell her that,she ll think I m mad :LOL: