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Old 01-07-2009, 05:23 PM
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Default "Agressive" behaviour advice

I didn't know where to put this, as I don't know if it's actually a training concern or not, but anyhow...

My Uncle has a 1 year old male Doberman, Kuma. Dance despises this dog. Always has, ever since the first day he came to our house at 10 weeks old. If he so much as looked at her when he was young, she'd growl and posture at him. When he hit about 6 months old, he greeted her in a way she felt was incredibly rude (and it was), and ever since then it's as if she'd held a grudge against him or something. I have to keep her on a leash now whenever he comes over as she lunges at him. Snarling, growling, hair standing up on end everywhere, tail curled as high over her back as possible, etc. I'm sure the leash creates tension, but I don't know if I should just let them sort it out on their own either. I'm usually all for letting dogs sort themselves out in a lot of cases, but her behaviour is a little too aggressive for my liking. I sometimes put her in her crate when he comes, but I don't like to. She should be able to co-exist with him for the short times he comes to visit and play with Keira. What should I do in this situation? Oh, and she never acts this way toward any other dogs... just Kuma.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:30 PM
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My friends who have tollers and some breeders I know have tollers who are NOT great with all dogs. They are great with some dogs..but not all.

I wouldn't classify tollers as being super dog friendly like most of the retriever class. Its not that they are nasty.. its just that they seem to have a low tolerance for rudeness. I would not let them sort it out. It could seriously backfire.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:34 PM
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You might want to try the "good things happen when this dog enters" routine. Go into a large room and have Dance as far from the door as possible. have your dad bring Kuma in and start shoving treats into dance's mouth wait a few seconds and have Kuma leave, once he is gone cease treat giving and wait about the same amount, then repeat over and over slowly moving closer to the door with Dance. This basically teaches Dance to associate Kuma's entering and presence with good things.
If Kuma is fairly controllable you could work up to having Dance use Kuma as a prop, have her start targeting his hip (only if he will not feel threatened/see it as rude) or teach her to do anything involving him as a prop (targeting, walking around, jumping over etc.). Do not ever have them together unless in a session until things are much, much better. Even then you may never get them to be buddies but you should be able to have Dance be in his vicinity without lunging.

You might want to get "Click to Calm", many of those exercises should help you.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:38 PM
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I agree. When I worked in a dog daycare, there was a toller who simply hated one of the labs but no one else. The solution was that they needed to come in on separate days..

Perhaps you should stick to crating her when Kuma visits if it's only once in a while, or maybe you could use that time to take her on a walk where she won't be bothered.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:28 PM
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I'd want to protect that Doberman from these kinds of experiences. Dobermans have a tendency to be dog aggressive when they hit about 18 - 24 months as it is. But having this kind of thing happening this early is not a good thing. You can try conditioning Dance to tolerating the other dog, but not all dogs are going to work things out ever. And definitely I wouldn't leave anything up to them to sort out. If your uncle is willing, sometimes it's helpful to go for a walk together...parallel with the humans on the inside. Sometimes this going on a "mission" together (sort of together) helps smooth things over a little bit while providing an outlet for that pent up frustration.
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
I'd want to protect that Doberman from these kinds of experiences. Dobermans have a tendency to be dog aggressive when they hit about 18 - 24 months as it is.
What doberluv says is very true - you you know this, since you have dobes.

I'd say be very careful - I'd make Kuma's visits very positive, every time she sees Kuma... she gets a special treat, or a special toy. If she doesn't respond to that... then I'd say keep them separated.

As you know, doberboys big dumb galumps who act before they think, and do a lot of their thinking with their nether regions... I can only hope Kuma's rudeness wasn't allowed to sneak by unpunished!
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
She should be able to co-exist with him for the short times he comes to visit and play with Keira.
Maybe she 'should' - but does she have to? I can certainly understand if you are looking for ways to make her behave better, but I have learned in three years with Meg to just accept that some dogs she isn't going to like. Luckily so far, the dogs she hasn't liked have been ones that I really don't NEED her to be okay with. Best example was a huge lab whose owner boarded at our barn. The dog was everything Meg hates in dogs, and from day one, they didn't like each other. Yes, it would have been nice if they both could have been loose at the barn together, but I just told the owners that when they pulled in, to get out themselves first so I could put Meg in the car while they let their dog out for a while. It was safer for everyone, and I felt good that I wasn't putting my dog into a situation that she was uncomforable with.

How often does your uncle come over? Is there a reason Dance can't just hang out in your room while the dog is there?

Like I said, I understand if your purpose is to find ways to make the behavior better; I'm just putting my thoughts on it out there.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:34 PM
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I agree with BB. Do you and your uncle have to bring your dogs to each other's houses? When I had Lyric, people couldn't bring their dogs to my house. He wouldn't have gone for it. Just one or two exceptions...dogs he grew up with from puppy hood that he liked.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:09 PM
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Thanks everyone!

Boston, he comes over regularly for playdates with Keira. And you're right, she doesn't have to like him, but it would be nice if she could. If she never does, it certainly won't be the end of the world, but I was hoping that there was something I could do to improve her behaviour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doberluv View Post
I'd want to protect that Doberman from these kinds of experiences. Dobermans have a tendency to be dog aggressive when they hit about 18 - 24 months as it is. But having this kind of thing happening this early is not a good thing.
That's why I leash Dance and/or crate her when he's here, because I don't want him to have a bad experience with another dog. As much as she wants to, she's never actually had the chance to do anything to him. And no, he doesn't have to come over, but it's a good way for both he and Keira to tire eachother out and they enjoy themselves.

I'll try doing positive, fun things with her when he's here and see if that works (leashed, of course). If not, there's not much else I can do. It certainly doesn't harm her to be in her crate while he's here at all. I just don't like to see such behaviour out of my dog. For fear I guess that one day it's not going to be just Kuma that she doesn't like. Is that possible, do you guys think? She's excellent with every other dog at the moment that she meets and I hope she stays that way.

And sizzle, don't worry, he was corrected for it!
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
I just don't like to see such behaviour out of my dog. For fear I guess that one day it's not going to be just Kuma that she doesn't like. Is that possible, do you guys think? She's excellent with every other dog at the moment that she meets and I hope she stays that way.
Personally I don't think it's reasonable for a dog to get along with every other dog. Dogs each have different personalities, and some personalities are just annoying to some dogs. I know firsthand that it's really scary to see your dog nasty to another dog, and it's hard to understand how your sweet dog could act that way. But try not to think of your dog as a ticking timebomb just waiting to turn into a DA dog.... She just doesn't like that dog, period.
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