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Old 10-23-2012, 07:46 PM
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Default Something pretty disturbing with Baloo.

So, I have been working with Baloo heavily on recall. He is doing a good bit better and is starting to come to me when called, even when otherwise engaged. Except for today...

Baloo has been becoming increasingly reactive with small dogs. Or at least, that's what I think it is. He will get over-amped up and start totally freaking out and trying to pounce on them to play. This has happened only a couple times, and I usually just leash him and take him to time out. Sometimes he will absolutely SCREAM at the end of the leash wanting to pounce on them. It's not aggression, he just wants to play, but he plays too rough. Well today, he was getting a little amped up, so I went to grab him and put him in time out. I put my hand on his butt and he turned around and bit me. Hard. And then snarled at me and scooted away. I didn't know how to react so I just clipped his leash and took him to time out like I'd planned.

Now Baloo has always been a "mouther" so to speak, using his mouth a lot to communicate. When I clip his nails, he will keep his open mouth on me and squeeze a little when he gets stressed. When playing, he will nip at my hands and feet. When training, he will sometimes get a little excited and bite at me or grab me with his mouth. It's never enough to hurt and it's never serious. This is the only time he has ever bitten seriously and it hurt.

I've never really had this issue before. So I don't even know where to begin.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:48 PM
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My first thought is to have him looked at by a vet to make sure there's no pain going on.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
My first thought is to have him looked at by a vet to make sure there's no pain going on.
I took a look at him afterwards to make sure that wasn't it either and I poked and prodded the same area and he didn't react again. So, idk. ):
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:59 PM
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Sounds like prey drive/overstimulation to me. I have a massive headache so I just don't have it in me to type out a detailed post. I'm sure others will chime in.

The prey drive and the redirection are separate issues; however, if you can help him raise his threshold and become less reactive towards small dogs, you won't need to worry about him redirecting. I always recommend Control Unleashed for dogs that are reactive and/or easily overstimulated. It's awesome.

Re the redirection... there's not much you can do except for help him stay out of the state that makes him redirect. Dogs that redirect aren't clear headed and really can't help what they're doing, they just have low thresholds. So your reaction was a good one - no point in punishing him for something he's almost unaware of doing.

Also (and please don't take this wrong way!) please be ever vigilant. What is play now could easily become aggression later. Keeva has been on the wrong end of predatory drift before and as a small dog owner, it is unbelievably terrifying. So just remember that while it is play now, it may not always be.

Basic post, I know, sorry. My brain is pounding. lol. Others should stop by with some help shortly.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:20 PM
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How old is Baloo? It does sound like that could be turning into aggression/prey drive, or at least such a high frustration at being unable to play with a small dog that it's turning into aggression. Is he the dog in your picture, and is he part pit bull?

Control unleashed is good, so is Click To Calm. I would not allow him off leash around small dogs (or quite possibly other strange dogs at all) when not in a controlled setting.

If you're still bringing him to the dog park, I would definitely stop doing that.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:30 PM
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He is 8 or 9 months old. This has only happened a few times and he's met dozens of small dogs. (He's never had an issue with larger dogs... Only anything smaller than say, a Pomeranian.) It usually only happens when the owners show up holding the dog in their arms. I'm pretty sure it's not aggression, because all he wants to do mostly is paw at them or lay on them, but they won't let him and that's when he starts to bark and scream and make noises at them. So I leash him and put him in time out and when I let him back out he is fine with them. Most of his issues are when the owners come in with the dog in their arms and then set them down or they don't put them down. His breed is unknown, but I suspect he's mostly lab with a mix of some type of bully breed (maybe pit bull). Yeah, he's the one in my profile picture. I should post updated photos of my crew...lol.

Click to Calm is on my list of books to buy and now I have added Control Unleashed.

And the prey drive part does make sense if that is what his interest is in the first place. He is EXTREMELY prey driven. He's murdered all sorts of poor little critters in our yard.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:37 PM
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I would quit taking him to the dog park until you get the behavior under control. Maybe quit taking him altogether.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:56 PM
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It's not the reactivity towards other dogs that I'm worried about. I don't find him having issues with 3-4 dogs out of the 6 months we've gone there as an extreme enough issue to stop going altogether. Although I do plan to go less until I work on his threshold. It's the redirection that has me worried.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:33 PM
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I second getting Control Unleashed and Click to Calm - both are wonderful. I cannot stress management enough - do not put him in situations that you don't have control of. This means no dog park - you can't control what people and dogs are there, or what their behavior will be like. When you are working on appropriate behavior with other dogs, go slow, and use family and friends and their dogs, so everyone involved is informed of what's going on.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
It's not the reactivity towards other dogs that I'm worried about. I don't find him having issues with 3-4 dogs out of the 6 months we've gone there as an extreme enough issue to stop going altogether. Although I do plan to go less until I work on his threshold. It's the redirection that has me worried.
But the reactivity is what leads to the redirection.
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