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Old 09-19-2006, 09:48 PM
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Whisper Whisper is offline
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Default What should I do?

Lucy, my little chi/JRT mix, is agressive with other dogs she doesn't know. When we are walking and she sees another dog, whether along in their fenced yard, loose, or on a leash, she growls at them and raises her hackles. I try scolding her and pulling her back and praising her if she stops. She has continued this behavior, however, and I have ben having to limit her close contact with other dogs because I can't always trust that she will behave. Still, she usually listens pretty well, but in this situation she doesn't. What should I do be doing?
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:14 AM
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Oh boy...I wish I knew. Was she socialized with other dogs as a puppy? How old was she when you got her? Maybe she missed out on the "how to properly socialize with other dogs" phase of her life. I'd say hire a professional trainer (if it's an option), take her to puppy training classes...things like that.
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:03 AM
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Rubylove Rubylove is offline
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Restrained, supervised socialising is the thing to do here, and definitely consult with a behaviourist too. In fact, I wouldn't do any off-leash socialising until you have spoken to a professional.

Some dogs are, unfortunately, just not really that into other dogs, period. They can be aggressive and there's only so much you can do about it. It is still a joy to have a dog like this in your life, but sadly it does limit the things that you can do with your dog, or the types of activities you can expose your dog to - off-leash romping at the park or the beach, or anywhere there may be other dogs, for example.

Is your dog spayed? If not, that may really help. She could be being a hormonal bitch. (Sorry I couldn't resist that pun! )
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:40 AM
silverpawz silverpawz is offline
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I try scolding her and pulling her back and praising her if she stops.
But what are you telling her TO do? Your scolding her, but giving her no guidence on what behavior she should be doing. I would make sure she knows how to sit REALLY well, practice in other conditions and then use that command as a way to give her something positive to do. Once you have a solid command to fall back on and a way to enforce it you can better control her.

Dogs who 'just don't like other dogs' are perfectly capable of behaving themselves regardless of the situation. They have brain cells when they're being aggressive, you probably just don't have access to them yet.

I would work on the relationship, enforce a strict NILIF program, make sure you teach her basic commands and make good use of them, get help with this from a trainer if you can, and most importantly, don't use her dislike of other dogs as an exsucese for why she won't behave. Not saying you're doing that, but I see it all too often. Someone will complain that Muffy doesn't like other dogs so she can't go there with them or do this actitivy with them, which is nonesense. Muffy just needs training.

Avoiding other dogs is only putting a bandaid on the problem, not working through the problem and teaching the dog to behave regardless.

ETA: Another trick that seems to work well for getting their attention off another dog is the "back up and call your dog" exercise. I practice this a lot on walks just for the heck of it.

We'll be walking along and suddenly I'll stop, call the dog and run backwards a few steps. When the dogs gets to me I praise and release and we continue on our walk. This keeps the dog moving and focused on you. You can do this multiple times when there's another dog around untill he settles. It's great for teaching them to pay attention to you to else you might just leave them! Of course it's reccommened that you teach this game away from distractions first.

Last edited by silverpawz; 09-20-2006 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:01 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is online now
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ETA: Another trick that seems to work well for getting their attention off another dog is the "back up and call your dog" exercise. I practice this a lot on walks just for the heck of it.
This is a fantastic trick for all of us who have dogs with leash issues. While Meg can play with most dogs off leash without trouble, she is a bit possessive of me, and hates dogs approaching us while she is on leash or anywhere close to me (I actually thought it was generalized leash aggression until this weekend, when I handed to leash off to a friend while I did something else. Suddenly, she was playing with other dogs she had growled at earlier ).

Anyway, when we do encounter another dog on leash, I cheerfully call, "Meg, this way!", and back up. Most people get the point and don't let their dogs come any closer. If we are in a tight spot where the dog has to pass by, I now have her attention and ask for other behaviors to distract her ("Sit! High five! Here, watch me!"). I'm hoping that eventually it will teach her to just focus on me while we go by dogs.

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Old 09-20-2006, 03:02 PM
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Whisper Whisper is offline
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Thanks guys. I also KNOW it's not her fault. I've almost never seen a training issue case that wasn't the owner's fault.
I'll definitely try to give her something TO do, I know that's something that I sometimes I don't think of. LOL, yes she's spayed. I got her at 8 weeks, she was not socialized entirely properly. She was a pet store (I know, one of my hugest regrets. I've learned a lot since then, and NEVER will do that again. ) mixed breed puppy, so I'm sure she wasn't bred carefully, and on top of that not socialized with dogs. She was with people, butI simply didn't find enough dogs for her to meet.
I'll inquire about training classes, I'm definitely taking her everywhere I can.
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:29 PM
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Roo92 Roo92 is offline
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My older beagle mix is extremely dog aggressive, he's been that way since I rescued him. I have to work with him alot and we had to go through some really specialized training and he still can have issues every now and then with dogs he doesn't know. However I did learn that he was ok with my mom's dog after getting to know him. So feeling bad about his socialization issues I got a puppy and now he has a dog that he plays with all the time and can trust. I still would never trust them alone together so when were gone they are put in their individual crates. It's worked out so well for us and having two dogs means twice the love. I wish you luck with your situation I know how hard even going on a walk can be.
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