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!