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Old 08-07-2008, 06:43 AM
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Default young dog lunging and nipping other dogs

wondering if anyone can help me with my problem. Our older dog is 2. Ive noticed in the past 3 days some weird behavior. I say just noticed b.c we do not see other dogs hardly ever. She has always been very good with other dogs, doing normal dog sniffing when another dog comes close. Lately she has lunged and nipped when the dog gets up to her. other wise if the dog is far away she could care less its only when the dog gets near her.
Like I said we really do not see other dogs, and her behavior has certainly changed since we got the puppy 4 months ago.

We took her on a hike on Monday, she did very good, with one dog that was on a leash, 2 other dogs not so much, she went to nip them in the face when they got up to her.

we took our dogs for a walk last night and we went a different route thinking maybe our routine is to much the same, and a St Bernard jumped over a fence and charged us. ran off with the owner in tow, then when we where almost home found us again(with owner) got away from her again, and our dog , with hair raised on end, when he got close lundged and tried to nip him in the face.

im not saying bite bc this nip is like the "get the hell away from me nip she does with the puppy" kinda fast and just with her front teeth. I really dont know if that is important. I just want to help her with her obvious anxiety towards dogs. The first lundge is always this nip, the second lundge I fear maybe a bite.
like I said before we really dont see other dogs when we are out other than if they are in their yard barking at us.

I read on another thread to give her treats. I did have some treats with me last night and she wanted nothing to do with them . They where just regular treats though, should I use something more like chicken? She is not food driven like the puppy.

I wish I knew someone with a dog, but I really dont. our inlaws have a dog but they dont take him out of the house, and I really dont want to have her on his territory if she tries to bite him. He is much bigger than her, probably well over 110lbs, I think he is a retriever.

other person , doesnt keep their dog on a leash. ever. There are leash laws here in Mass, I am just worried if I cant get them apart.

I really dont know how to approach this and give her good dog interactions.
Not sure if this is important also but when dogs walk by the house she freaks out, and it is hard to calm her down.

Our puppy who is 6 m, is in training class. Should I put our older dog in training class too. (not the same one, its half over)


My theory is that our puppy when we first got her constantly nipped at her feet (vet thinks shes part GS and part Border collie) , it would drive Dusty nuts. the puppy hardly does it anymore, I just think its in the back of Dustys mind. I just dont know how to help her.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:43 AM
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a.baker a.baker is offline
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I don't know too much on how to help her but many others here do. I do know that socialization is in 2 ways. One is outside the home and one (like you mentioned) is inside the home or their territory. I wish I lived close because I would offer my dogs to help with yours in socializing. I bet there are places you can check out others will mention.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
we took our dogs for a walk last night and we went a different route thinking maybe our routine is to much the same, and a St Bernard jumped over a fence and charged us. ran off with the owner in tow, then when we where almost home found us again(with owner) got away from her again, and our dog , with hair raised on end, when he got close lundged and tried to nip him in the face.
Sounds like she's defending herself and you.

Quote:
We took her on a hike on Monday, she did very good, with one dog that was on a leash, 2 other dogs not so much, she went to nip them in the face when they got up to her.
What were the 2 dogs she wasn't good with doing? What was the one that she was good with doing? I'm guessing there was body language going on that put her on the defensive.

Quote:
Should I put our older dog in training class too.
Yes. If it'll get her around more dogs in a supervised setting, it'll be helpful. In the meantime, work with her on basic obedience things - attention, stay, come, leave it. Work on it away from distraction first, then gradually working on it around distractions.

At her age, it's not uncommon for her to be starting to show defensiveness.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:32 AM
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What were the 2 dogs she wasn't good with doing? What was the one that she was good with doing? I'm guessing there was body language going on that put her on the defensive. >>>>>>>>>>

Well they where not on leashes, she was, we where in the woods, and they just came up sniffed her, probably 3-5 seconds went by and thats when she did the nip. I didnt see the dogs do anything weird, that I could see. 1 dog was a tiny little dashund and the other looked like some sort of hunting dog.




>>>>Yes. If it'll get her around more dogs in a supervised setting, it'll be helpful. In the meantime, work with her on basic obedience things - attention, stay, come, leave it. Work on it away from distraction first, then gradually working on it around distractions.>>>>>>>>>

i think I will , its going to have to wait until the puppys class is over in a few weeks.

as we go through training with the puppy, we are doing it with both dogs. as a refresher for our older dog.


after I posted this, I did take her for a morning jaunt , there was a lab about 20ft away from us, the owner did keep walking and I felt Dusty tense, I had brought along some liver treats we use just for training and when she tensed I said "dusty" and gave her a nibble, walked a bit her hair still on end. gave her another nibble, she could still see the dog, which could have cared less about her LOL. as long as she was looking at the dog, I let her have a nibble. She was calm, the tensness lasted all of 6 seconds. if that.

Is this what I should be doing?

Im sorry if I sound crazy. sometimes I just feel like these dogs are taking over my life, like my every thought is about them. Dont get me wrong , I love them and will do what it takes to get them happy and trained.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:03 PM
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Cessena Cessena is offline
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My Vlad is extremely leash reactive, he lunges, and snaps, and gets especially overwrought over smaller dogs.

What I generally do with him is when we are on lead and I see another dog (or even a person sometimes) approach I get his attention. I try to do this before he notices them and starts freaking out, and then he has to sit by me, while they walk past, for a very high value treat. (he likes cheese, also these little yogurt drop things I got recently) This helps make other dogs and people a training event and less nerve wracking for both of us.

He's improved a lot, he can now even say hello to bigger dogs in PetSmart without having a bad reaction. (Though little dogs still get him to riled. He's fine with my cats but tries to eat small dogs, go figure.)

I live in an urban setting, so frankly I can't imagine what I would do if there were other dogs off leash coming up to my dog. That dachshund would have been toast. That would be a very threatening situation for any dog to be in, to be restrained and have another dog approaching it when it cannot flee, so I can understand your dog's predicament. I would probably do my best to scare the other dog off before it approached to avoid a confrontation.

It may be also, that when you see dogs off leash you are reacting negatively and your dog is percieving that. If you are concerned than he will be too. (And I would be more than "concerned.")

Hopefully a training class will help, or someone else here will have a better suggestion for off leash dogs.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:00 PM
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If a large St. Bernard comes galloping toward my dog, off leash, and gets right in her face - I think a lunge and a nip are perfectly acceptable behaviors. That was an extremely scary situation, for any dog, and she was just reacting by telling the dog to go away. Same with the other two dogs who were off leash. That said, I think it's up to us as owners to make sure that our dogs are protected and comfortable as much as possible - i.e. when you see a dog running toward you off leash, stand in front of your dog and block her so the other dogs can't get to her. Hopefully she'll learn to trust you to keep her safe, so that she won't feel the need to protect herself anymore.

Of course class is a great idea - she'll be around dogs who are on leash, so she's safe, and she'll start to learn that dogs are not automatically scary. If she becomes more reactive, especially to dogs that are on leash, I'd suggest reading the book "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons, it explains how to help your dog be calm and comfortable in previously scary situations.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:19 PM
Sch3Dana Sch3Dana is offline
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Lizzybeth's advice is great. I agree that it is unfair to expect a dog not to protect herself from charging strange dogs. Most people don't recognize this as aggressive behavior, but most dogs do. It just isn't polite to charge like that but it happens all the time and we have to deal with it.

I teach my dogs to down and stay and when another dog is coming I put my dog down and step in between. If the dog seems low key and friendly I might catch them by the collar. Otherwise I scare them off and tell the owner to call their dog. I've rarely had dogs that tried too hard to get past me. When I have, those are the genuinely aggressive dogs. I've had a few scary dogs that I had to kick to keep them off my dog. Another person on here once recommended an umbrella which sounded pretty smart- open at the charging dog to scare them off.

I know this is scary, but if you can get your dog to hold a down while you do the protection, she will calm down and so will the other dogs. Most dogs aren't really trying to start a fight, they are just excited and as soon as your dog lays down, a lot of the excitement goes away.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:24 PM
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Thank you everyone for the help. I do know last night was the exception. This dog was running at her. I did whole heartedly expect her to do something. I am going to keep trying to make her outside the home time more positive. Having 2 dogs is just another whole world than having one. Having just Dusty was so easy. That is why we decided to get Daisy. Not that I want to change anything, its definatly a learning experience every day does get a bit better.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:51 PM
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So, funny story, after reading this post. Last Friday I was walking my dog, I walk past a big bush and see some kid with his two pitt bull puppies out in the yard off leash. As soon as I saw them we started to cross the street and I indicated to the kid that he should keep his dogs away. Of course, he couldn't and one of the puppies came charging into the street towards Vlad, who promptly grabbed him by the throat and held him. It was possibly the most aweful moment of my life hoping my dog wasn't about to kill this puppy.

He let him go I crossed the street to wait and make sure th e pup was okay. He was, full of waggy tails. I guarantee that kid will NEVER have his dogs off leash in an unfenced area again though.

I really blame myself for this, I think I reacted probably more than I needed too, and Vlad sensed that and probably reacted more extremely than he would have otherwise. I totally failed to remain calm, and I didn't use his training at all to keep his focus on me. Seems like I need a few training sessions for me.

(We did meet another Husky yesterday at Petsmart and he was fine, I however, was not.)
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