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Thread: Another dog on dog aggression thread

  1. #1
    Junior Member catfish_joe's Avatar
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    Default Another dog on dog aggression thread

    So Iíve been dealing with my dog having aggression towards other dogs (not towards people) for a while and have made very little progress in the past 4 or so months. A little background, my dog is a ĺ Chessie and ľ Chocolate male (neutered) that is 8.5 months old. He was born an only child from a mother who had some dog on dog aggression issues too. I got him at 7 weeks old and immediately introduced him to my friends 2 dogs (golden and german shepherd). To this day, they are the only dogs heís friends with. I did my best to get him socialized around other dogs at a young age, knowing his mothers history and being an only child.

    At about 4 months old, he was around some other dogs and approached one chewing a bone. He got nipped pretty good on the nose and ever since then, my dog has been aggressive towards every other dog from 7 week old pups to old dogs just wanting to mind their own business.

    A little about the aggression, he doesnít seek out dogs to attack. Heís happily excited about meeting other dogs just like you would expect. When the dogs meet and start sniffing each other, within about 2 seconds my dog gets stiff, hackles raise, snarles and snaps all in a matter of 3 more seconds. This happens with every dog (except his 2 friends I mentioned above) regardless of location, whoís holding the leash, type of dog, size of dog, type of introduction (we approach or other dog approaches). Sometimes if a stranger dog runs up to mine while weíre on a walk, the aggression is immediate.

    I sought out a professional dog trainer while doing a lot of searches online, including this site. Iíve concentrated on formalizing obedience and heís now collar conditioned. Iíve minimized exposure to other dogs, unless I know its owner is willing to help. Iíll have them keep their dog at sit, bring my dog up for an intro, then before my dog freaks, Iíll call him away and praise. If he does freak, I jerk him back, and put him in a down ďsubmissiveĒ position till he calms. I have also been attending puppy class to get him more socialized in a controlled environment. I keep a squeaky ball handy and I can walk right through a pile of annoying puppies as long as Iím squeaking that ball for him. I praise any time heís had a good experience with a dog, even if just for 1 or 2 seconds, and do the ďNOĒ ďDOWNĒ when he flips out.

    Iím assuming the aggressive behavior might be genetic (based on his mother), and behavior got awakened when he got nipped as a young pup. But maybe itís a dominance thing? Or heís just socially awkward? Iím really running out of ideas and have tried every resource I could think of. With a list of possible reasons, (Iíve read itís a chessie trait too), what else can I do? Or are my efforts helpless? Anyone have a dog become not aggressive towards other dogs with appropriate effort? Thank you for reading and Iím sorry this was long, but I wanted to give enough background for folks to give suggestions. I appreciate any help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    I haven't ever tried this but bird dog trainers have told me that if you stick them with a hotshot (cattle prod) it will cure this. If you burn them with an ecollar they may think it is coming from the other dog. But not with the hotshot for some reason.
    Again I have never personally tried this
    Wayne Nutt
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  3. #3
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    You could try walking the dogs together before introducing them. Make sure you start with females first and work your way into males if and when you have success. Walk the dogs on the outside first and then on the inside and then you walk both of them one each side and both on the same side. Do not go into the next stage until your dog is successful at the stage your working on. By successful I mean he is ignoring the dog and just walking. Then if your comfortable let them greet on a loose leash, never tight. Repeat this as many times. He may never be an overly social dog but you should be able to get him to where he ignores the other dogs.
    deb

  4. #4
    Senior Member windycanyon's Avatar
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    Have you been to any training classes? It'd be nice to find a small CGC-like class, or better, a situation where you could work in the background of more "grounded" dogs that really don't care about meeting your dog (unlike most puppy classes). That way you could work your way closer to the group as he gets more comfortable. I don't think you want to push a dog like that into what may be a very uncomfortable situation and I really don't think punishment for aggression in this case (it could be a fear thing on his part) is the answer either. It'd be nice if you could start w/ training w/ your friends' dogs, have them approach w/ their dog on leash, stop, maybe pet or treat your dog for sitting politely, then move on. Next step is to find a strange but gentle/kind dog to work the same with-- maybe sit stays at first w/ the dogs several feet apart, etc. Try to find a local training group to do this with though so you know the "strange" dogs are trustworthy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Erin Lynes's Avatar
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    Please please do not try to use the ecollar or cattle prod for this issue. Search youtube for "Look at that" game (also comes from the book 'control unleashed') - a helpful way to gradually counter-condition your dog so that instead of his initial reaction to other dogs being negative, he can start to view them as a predictor to good things. I agree with Deb & Anne that having your dog meet other dogs less directly by having him walk with them or train around them, learning to first ignore them before meeting them, is preferable to direct close encounters which he obviously finds stressful.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Willie Alderson's Avatar
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    Seek out PETE on this forum. He has a good background with aggressive dogs and might be able to help.
    ~Willie Alderson

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  7. #7
    Junior Member catfish_joe's Avatar
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    I’ve heard using the e-collar could just make things worse, so I never used that or ever plan on doing so in such situations. I like the idea of walking the dogs next together so the encounter is less direct. Maybe once he’s successful with that, graduating to a fun activity with that dog, such as fetch, would help. I'll youtube the "look at that" game tonight too.



    I haven’t been to any training classes yet. I just joined the local retriever club and plan on attending their retriever training which starts next March. I’m not aware of any CGC classes in my area (haven’t even heard of them until you mentioned it) but it sounds like a great program. I’ll certainly look into it.



    I’m guessing this process is going to take a while and hopefully can progress with lots of baby steps. Thanks for the great advice so far, sounds like there might be hope! I’ll shoot pete a pm once I have enough posts to do so (can't remember, 10 or 15?).

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=catfish_joe;1168012]I’ve heard using the e-collar could just make things worse, so I never used that or ever plan on doing so in such situations. I like the idea of walking the dogs next together so the encounter is less direct. Maybe once he’s successful with that, graduating to a fun activity with that dog, such as fetch, would help. I'll youtube the "look at that" game tonight too.



    I haven’t been to any training classes yet. I just joined the local retriever club and plan on attending their retriever training which starts next March. I’m not aware of any CGC classes in my area (haven’t even heard of them until you mentioned it) but it sounds like a great program. I’ll certainly look into it.



    I’m guessing this process is going to take a while and hopefully can progress with lots of baby steps. Thanks for the great advice so far, sounds like there might be hope! I’ll shoot pete a pm once I have enough posts to do so (can't remember, 10 or 15?).[/QUOTE]

    I think it's ten, so only one more post for you. I lived in Fairbanks off and on from 1974-80. I was invited up to judge in 2008, I love that place, but it sure has changed in thirty years.

  9. #9
    Junior Member catfish_joe's Avatar
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    Back in the pipeline days huh? I bet it has changed a lot since then.

    Ok post #10!

  10. #10
    Senior Member wheelhorse's Avatar
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    there is a good resource to start working with your reactive dog on Facebook: D.I.N.O.s (dogs in need of space) There are some totally woo woo trainers on there, but there is also alot of good info on how to deal with dogs that are reactive.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/DINOS-...7160?ref=br_tf
    Kathleen

    "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you're not, in fact, just surrounded by a**holes" -William Gibson

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