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  • Fear aggression

    My boy Diesel is 2 1/2 yrs old. This past summer we were at the beach and a golden retriever came to check him out a little to quick for his liking and he pinned her to the ground. He did not hurt her but would not let her go. It was like 'ok, now what?'. I was really leary after that incident and stuck to walks that were controlled. In October we brought home a new Shih-tzu puppy and Diesel has been a wonderful big brother to her, very gentle and tolerant. I would really like to get him out socializing and would like to know what steps would be appropriate to take with him. Would having this new pup make a difference as to how he may react to other dogs? Also, what are thoughts on muzzles? Would it be something to consider having him wear initially around other dogs at the park or should I avoid the park altogether? Any feed back is greatly appreciated! Thanks.

    Tami & Diesel

  • #2
    RE: Fear aggression

    It doesnt sound like your dog has fear aggression, more like a dominant issue if any. Pinning another dog on the ground but not biting is a sign of dominance. Your dog was telling the golden that he is boss. I think you are over-reacting to a situation that is natural instinct in your dog. Should you be a little leary of other dogs approaching your dog, yes, but let them approach, slowly and see what he does. Maybe you could get a friend with their dog and test him. Let your friend approach with her dog, gently. You might find out that he doesnt do anything. A muzzle is WAY overboard for this situation. IMO, if you need to muzzle your dog to go outside, the dog should be put down if he is that aggressive. In your case, I dont think a muzzle is warranted.

    ETA: I would keep your dog on a leash at all times until you know how he is going to react to strange dogs. The incident with the golden might have been a one-time deal and it may never happen again.
    Angie, proud mama to 1 Great Dane, Mira and 3 mixes, 1 cat, 3 snakes and fish...also mama to 3 y/o identical twin girls

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    • #3
      RE: Fear aggression

      I would avoid the park until you go on walks with him and see how he does when another dog is in the area. Winters are soooo looong here that Frankie is a real smart aleck on the first few walks in the spring. I walk him and make him sit if he thinks he's going to act up or posture or bark or whatever. I walk in the middle of the street (back streets in the neighborhood) and encourage him to not even look at dogs that are in their yards barking at him. It takes several days but he calms down is presentable once again.
      ~Patty~ I have the right to remain silent; I don't have the ability.

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      • #4
        RE: Fear aggression

        In greeting other dogs what should I have him do? Should he be sitting or allowed to stand? What type of reactions are ok or normal? I am really not sure all that entails appropriate behavior in the dog world and because of his size am very cautious. I would like to know how to avoid these situations or at best how to recognise a problem.

        Tami

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        • #5
          RE: Fear aggression


          Get a trainer to help you. The ritual of meeting strangers is very fixed and formal and interruption of the process can and often does cause problems. It is very difficult for untrained owners to handle such mettings as there is a lot of circling and sniffing involved and it all must be done properly. The owners have to be able to anticipate what is going to happen in what order so that they can allow it to happen without getting leashes all tangled up.

          Do not have him sit as this is unnatural. He won't stand either because he will be circling the other dogs. Both dogs will be circling. You should never let the leash get tight nor intefere with the goings on during this ritual.

          I have a theory that many leash aggressive dogs are that way because of the owners constant interruption of the meeting ritual.

          Bill Carnes
          www.skylarzack.com/rawfeeding.htm

          "Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes"
          Dr. Tom Lonsdale

          "If you won't eat what you are feeding your dog, its not good enough to feed him either."
          Bill Carnes

          "Causing pain, either physical, mental, or emotional to an animal to force him to act as you think he should is wrong. Doing so only reflects the ignorance of the trainer. There IS a better way."
          Bill Carnes

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          • #6
            RE: Fear aggression

            How would you suggest proper introduction be done? There is a park right by my house that has on-leash dog walking etc. Should I bring him there regularily and let the other on-leash dogs aproach him? At what point do you interject, ie. growling - raised hair - pulling hard and over excitedly? How do you avoid the situation getting ugly?

            Tami

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            • #7
              RE: Fear aggression

              This is why you need an experienced trainer to help you. There are subtle body language clues that you need to be watching such as tail carriage, ear position, stance, etc. It is just very difficult for dogs to meet when both are on leash. The leash restrains their movement. Many dogs can meet well off leash but are terrors on leash.

              Dogs will often pull hard to get to the other dog just go greet him and nothing negative should be made of just pulling. Also dogs will often be excited to meet another dogs. Neither of these by themselves should be taken as a warning but other little clues along with them could signal possible trouble.

              It's just too difficult for me to explain in typed words how to do this when you have a borderline aggressive dog. Your proper reactions are critical in the meeting and you making a mistake can cause a good meeting to go bad.

              There are many dogs that no matter what the owner does, the meeting will go great. There are many dogs that need proper reactions from the owner for them to go great. Just be aware that in a normal meeting between two strange dogs there is a lot of circling and you need to be ready to maneuver around and keep leashes untangled without restricting the dog's movement.

              Bill Carnes
              www.skylarzack.com/rawfeeding.htm

              "Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes"
              Dr. Tom Lonsdale

              "If you won't eat what you are feeding your dog, its not good enough to feed him either."
              Bill Carnes

              "Causing pain, either physical, mental, or emotional to an animal to force him to act as you think he should is wrong. Doing so only reflects the ignorance of the trainer. There IS a better way."
              Bill Carnes

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: Fear aggression

                Thanks, I am not aware of any trainers here but will dig into it. I am sure part of the problem is me. I think because of his size I get really nervous and am very quick to react to his every move so that I stay in controll and avoid trouble. I really want to be able to relax and enjoy outings with him and maybe seeing a professional trainer will be exactly what 'I' need. Again thank you for your insight.

                Tami and Diesel

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                • #9
                  RE: Fear aggression

                  Hi Tammy,I know a fabulous trainer.He is in Salmon Arm.A bit of a drive from Kelowna but a few classes maybe worth the drive,contact me if you want his info.Rhonda

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                  • #10
                    RE: Fear aggression - Q for Bill.

                    Bill,

                    In October we brought home a new puppy and Diesel has been great with her from the begining. I have also had a friend bring her pup over and he was very curious but good with her too. I walk him but avoid areas that are heavily populated with dogs and thier people. Do you think having experiences with the pups at the house would help his behavior with other dogs or is he good with them because pups are non-threatening?

                    Tami

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                    • #11
                      RE: Fear aggression - Q for Bill.

                      Puppies get a special pass in the dog world and dogs know a puppy from an adult regardless of the size. I suspect they can't smell hormones from a puppy and don't feel threatened. I bet he is meeting the pups while off leash also. He may be good off leash. Often a dog that is dog-aggressive while on leash is fine off leash.

                      Bill Carnes
                      www.skylarzack.com/rawfeeding.htm

                      "Unnatural diets predispose animals to unnatural outcomes"
                      Dr. Tom Lonsdale

                      "If you won't eat what you are feeding your dog, its not good enough to feed him either."
                      Bill Carnes

                      "Causing pain, either physical, mental, or emotional to an animal to force him to act as you think he should is wrong. Doing so only reflects the ignorance of the trainer. There IS a better way."
                      Bill Carnes

                      Comment

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