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agression or protective?

April 17th, 2005, 12:11 AM
well it seemed for a while Candi was making progress with her fear of people, particularly children. She has started allowing anyone to come up to her and pet her, of course I make sure I'm right there with her, but now as long as they aren't making any agressive moves she is fine, will even try to jump up in their lap for pets (including children, but of course I don't let small children hold her, they can only pet with VERY close supervision). What concerns me is a couple of things.
1) when someone new comes in her territory she gives these sort of growls that lead up to little barks, but as soon as they come close she stops and sniffs them then lets them pet her. Is this something I should worry about, or is it just her telling me that someone new is coming into our territory?
2) When someone moves agressively toward me Candi gets very upset and starts to growl. Once my SO and I were fake wrestling and he started to tickel me so I started to scream and Candi came flying out of nowhere and started to growl and even lunged at him. Do you think this behavior needs to be stopped? I didn't like it and would like to teach her that if I scream it's ok she doesn't have to get so upset. Should I do this, or just let her do what she feels is her duty and just not scream anymore no matter what?

sorry it's so long but I'm worried. The last thing in the world I want is an agressive dog. I had a bad experience with a dachound I got from a HS. I had to have it put to sleep because from the moment we brought it home at 8 weeks it was agressive and it got to the point where she bite a friend of mine in the face and had to be put down. I was 7 at the time so it was really my mother that took care of it but it was the first dog that was "mine". It really devistated me. we think something was wrong with it mentally. thats how strange it acted.

April 17th, 2005, 01:21 AM
1) I don't think this is a bad behavior. As long as she doesn't continue the aggression to the outreached hand.

2) Jemma does this to. I actually talk to her and say "It's ok, mummy and daddy are playing". It works both ways though because when he is winning, I ask her to intervene :p . She's really protective of him-- If I hit him, she barks at me, if he hits me, she barks at me too... But, she did kick a** when a guy was sneaking up behind me at a park once and it came in really handy. I like to think that she would kick a** in an emergency but I don't stop the protective behavior just in case it would deter her when we really need her.

(notice how Boo is never mentioned... I think his past owner was a bad biker guy because he goes up to the worst characters full of joy and wags... A really bad character judge. Jemma's all "Watch out mommy, he's BAD" and Boo is all "Mommy who? I'm goin' home with this guy!" He only gets into it when Jemma tells him to...)

April 17th, 2005, 09:33 AM
1) Needs to be stopped. It's as if your child stuck his tongue out at strangers and made faces, but then acted fine when you were watching. It's bad manners and with a dog is a sign that she is still insecure. So confidence building with people and good manners because you said so are whats in order.
2) This is normal behavior - she thinks you are in trouble and is rescuing you. When the pack is acting out of balance - too much energy or fighting - then others might step in to stop it and that's what she's doing. Try to play more quietly (less energy) and/or correct her aggressive behaviors. It's okay in my mind for her to bark acouple of times - but lunging at your SO is not okay. Our sub-pack leader gets all upset when we have tickle fights too, but we stop him if he gets too excited or tries to intervene. He's not getting aggressive with us though - he just thinks its rough and tumble time.

April 17th, 2005, 10:44 AM
For both behaviours it depends on what you want. Basically draw a line in the sand of acceptable bahaviour, and if she crosses it, than let her know that is unacceptable.

It really just depends on what you're okay with.

My dog barks/growls when folks approach the yard (if he's outside) and when they enter the house (when he's inside). I don't have a problem with this because his purpose around here is partially as a warning/deterent system. He is never aggressive when they actually enter the yard, of course I'm always there since I prefer to 'okay' people to him when they go through the gate.

My line in the sand is that he can't mindlessly bark at people just walking by the house. I let him know they have a right to be there (literally. I talk in full sentances lots)

While on leash, he also can't mindlessly bark at people on the street that I've already greeted or 'okay'ed.

I've never been in the situation where I scream and he tries to rescue me. Frankly, I hope he will. Though I suspect he would (at this stage in his life) just run off a few feet and bark at them :crazy: