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Am I expecting to much.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 18th, 2006, 12:06 PM
Since we've had Joey he has always seem to have some aggression issues with other dogs. At first both male and female and now specifically larger male dogs.

I would like Joey to get along with all dogs but I am beginning to think maybe that is to much to expect from him. He is six and somewhat set in his ways.

When I first got Joey he would immediatley growl and bark at the other dog. Now the growling doesnt happen until he is actually sniffing the dog. Then its very sudden. It is always with larger male dogs, and always Joey is the first one to growl. My fear is that one day the other dog may retalitate back at Joey. Also this seems to happen on or off the leash.

I would like to continue to provide Joey opportunitys to get used to other dogs. Yesterday we went into the petstore, except I did wait until a large male dog had left the store to go in. The dog was a big old friendly Mastiff. I thought it would be a good opportunity for Joey, but then I didnt want to put Joey in a situation where I knew he would be set up for failure. The dog was off leash in the store too, and Joey was on a leash which I know wouldn't be in Joeys favour.

I am starting to think that maybe the dog park as well is not a good place for Joey. Because of his agression with big male dogs.

I am also thinking about enrolling Joey in obedience again and continiung to go on a regular basis just so Joey can continue to be used to other dogs.

He did great at the first set of classes, and got used to all the dogs being around him. :)

BMDLuver
January 18th, 2006, 01:17 PM
Do you have doggie daycare in your area? If so, I would suggest taking him there once a week and explaining to them that you wish to work on large dog aggression. I've known many who have done this and it works wonders. Also, it's not any more costly than weekly obedience. Just a suggestion.

Writing4Fun
January 18th, 2006, 01:30 PM
Our obedience school has classes geared specifically towards working on dog agression (the dogs must enter and leave muzzled so there are no skirmishes in the doorway). Ask around at a few obedience schools in your area to see if they offer something similar.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 18th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Thanks those are both great suggestions, I am going to look into both of these. I really don't want to avoid situations involving other dogs with Joey as I know that is just avoiding the problem and not dealing with it.

Anyways I am going to check in to both daycare and more training. I am going to call the kennel in our area and contact Joeys old trainer to see if she has any suggestions or does classes that deal with dog aggression.

Daisy_Mae
January 18th, 2006, 01:53 PM
This is a great topic, something very similiar to my situation and I would love to hear more!

I have come to the conclusion with our dog that she was undersocialized at a pup and isolated from people and dogs most of her life. She cannot read dog signals so she is always on the defense not sure if they are friendly or not. She wants to see the dog, then gets to them and as soon as they try and sniff her or come too close she lunges and growls. Then she turns around wondering why they are leaving and wants to follow. The odd dog she is fine with right from the get-go.

I am glad you know what type of dogs set your dog off, I have yet to figure that out only that possibly well socialized dogs that do not get overly hyper seem to make her comfortable.

I don't think you are asking too much that your boy can be social, but liking every dog he meets is a high expectation for any dog.

Personally I don't like dog parks, if you know everyone there and their dogs then it's great but otherwise they make me nervous because the other dogs could be aggressive or the owner has no control of them.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 18th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Daisy Mae = I have come to the conclusion with our dog that she was undersocialized at a pup and isolated from people and dogs most of her life. She cannot read dog signals so she is always on the defense not sure if they are friendly or not. She wants to see the dog, then gets to them and as soon as they try and sniff her or come too close she lunges and growls. Then she turns around wondering why they are leaving and wants to follow. The odd dog she is fine with right from the get-go.

Joey is exactly the same way, to be truthful I am not really confident in saying he does get along with all small dogs, often he is growly and stand offish at first then seems okay once he has met the dog. The first week we had him he instigated fights with two small female dogs. This seems better now and I have seen him get along with both small male and female dogs. But to be honest I am not confident that he would get along with all of them without being introduced to them first.

I did contact a kennel in our area that we have used in the past for boarding, they provide doggie daycare. I really love this kennel and hope Joey can go visit with the other doggies once or twice a week.

http://www.hycountrykennels.com/control.htm
Daycare Service


Our Doggie Daycare service is now in the second year of operation. We have an excellent group of “regulars” which visit between 3 and 5 days per week. Our daycare service consists of plenty of socializing, exercise and free time. Quiet times are encouraged and usually welcomed. Breed, personality, physical conditioning, activity level, likes and dislikes all play a role in designing the activities for each pets' daily schedule.



Good luck with Daisy-Mae

tenderfoot
January 18th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Do you like everyone you meet?
Joey is older and more set in his ways but that doesn't mean he can't learn to control his impulses. He just needs help doing it and learning how to behave. You have already come a long way, but he may never be like a soft tempered Golden. He has his own temperament and experiences which have molded his behavior. You can keep asking him to do better, and with that you also need to gain skills and experience to help him succeed. This is a partnership and you are the one leading the dance.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 18th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Tenderfoot=
Joey is older and more set in his ways but that doesn't mean he can't learn to control his impulses. He just needs help doing it and learning how to behave. You have already come a long way, but he may never be like a soft tempered Golden. He has his own temperament and experiences which have molded his behavior. You can keep asking him to do better, and with that you also need to gain skills and experience to help him succeed. This is a partnership and you are the one leading the dance

thanks Tenderfoot, I know you've given lots of advice on this before, but any suggestions on helping Joey not be so defensive with the other dogs, I know part of its me as I am anticipating Joey to lunge or be aggressive which he usually does. Do you think daycare will socialise Joey. I try to remain calm and keep Joey on a loose leash but I find myself tensing up and I know Joey can feel it too.

The kennel also just contacted me and said Joey was welcome anytime. (they warned Joey may get really dirty :evil: :D ) I think what I may do is spend some time up there with Joey to see how he interacts with the other dogs. According to the owners of the kennel Joey is fine with the other dogs yet they keep him with the other smaller dogs. Maybe they can introduce Joey to some mellow larger dogs and get Joey used to them.

StaceyB
January 18th, 2006, 04:59 PM
I think you have already stated what you need to do. As you have found out there are many things that take place in classes besides cues that you just can't duplicate at home. If he got used to all the dogs in his class it means that this is not hopeless. It means that he can learn to accept all other dogs.
Don't give up on him he will get through it. Unfortunately it may take longer than you expected. Whatever you do don't stop socializing with other dogs.
How many new dogs does he meet each week. He needs to go places where he can meet new ones all the time. It isn't any help if he only meets the odd dog in the neighbourhood or only dogs he already knows.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 18th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Stacey BHow many new dogs does he meet each week. He needs to go places where he can meet new ones all the time. It isn't any help if he only meets the odd dog in the neighbourhood or only dogs he already knows

Most of Joeys meeting with other dogs are while on wallks with me. I try to walk by the large dogs and keep Joey on the a loose leash. I always tell the other owner that I am working on socializing Joey with other dogs that Joey is a bit scared of big male dogs and usually will growl at them. I dont really like it when the owner insists that there dogs meet up close because thats when Joey will lunge and snap at the other dog. I would rather have Joey meet at a distance at first even if its just a foot away. He doesnt seem to do very good with the abrupt up and sniff method.

I think he has come a long way, but I think he just needs to overcome this one thing. HE will be going up to the kennel once or twice a week to get some doggie socialization in.

StaceyB
January 18th, 2006, 08:36 PM
Sounds like a good idea. If you are nervous his reaction will be greater. Rather than have him on an extended leash I would set him up into a sit at the foot away and hold it for 5-10 sec before continuing by.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 18th, 2006, 08:46 PM
WE can do that Joey is awesome at the sit, should I make him do a downstay or is sit okay.

My husband doesnt think doggie daycare will make a difference, but I disagree as I often do with my hubby. I certainly dont think it will hurt and it will be good for Joey to socialise with other dogs too.

Prin
January 18th, 2006, 10:25 PM
I just have an aversion to doggy daycare. I worked at one and the dogs were left alone a lot more than they should have been. If you can stay and watch maybe, but I don't know about long term things...

I just have to say- about the thread title- it makes me laugh.
Am I expecting to much
I'm still expecting my dogs to form complete sentences...:o :D

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 19th, 2006, 07:20 AM
Prin= I just have an aversion to doggy daycare. I worked at one and the dogs were left alone a lot more than they should have been. If you can stay and watch maybe, but I don't know about long term things...

I know where you are coming from. But I really like this kennel they do an awesome job and actually spend time with the animals. I also probably wont send Joey there for a whole day, maybe just a half a day and I want to spend some time up there to see how Joey reacts to the other dogs. The owners said he did fine during the time he stayed there. Which leads me to believe that it is partly me.
They also have small dog groups and big dog groups, but I am hoping maybe Joey can be introduced to some big gentle dogs too.
At the very least it will give Joey an opportunity to play with other dogs.

StaceyB
January 19th, 2006, 07:24 AM
Prin, unfortunately you had just come across a bad one but most are really good. The dogs who come here have a blast and are supervised at all times. I won't risk someone getting hurt.

StaceyB
January 19th, 2006, 07:33 AM
Joey.E, A sit is just fine. The reasons why you should do this is because I think you may be adding to the problem by being nervous of his reaction. When you avoid or keep him from getting too close it may appear to him that he has reason to react. If you are nervous, same thing. When getting him to sit and I would add a watch me while you are holding it. A couple things will happen by doing this. First it will help to break your focus on what could happen because you are now going to focus on getting him to do something for you. It also tells him that his behaviour is not going to send the other dog away.
If you are nervous every time he approaches another dog he may think that the dog may do you or him harm. You being nervous gives him reason to believe his behaviour is correct for the situation. You are nervous because you are scared of what he may do but he doesn't know this, as far as his is concerned this other dog wants to rip his head off.

tenderfoot
January 19th, 2006, 09:27 AM
I think the daycare wold be good but what you really need to do is improve the behavior when you are walking which means that thats what you need to be practicing. Is your trainer available to meet you in the park? I think that you need to get some confidence in your skills so that when you see another dog you can stand tall and take charge - no worries. To do this it would be good to experience it with someone by your side talking you through the choices you make and the reactions you have. Once you see it work a few times you will take an important emotional deep breath and relax. From then on you will have more faith in yourself and Joey.
He still is not convinced of your ability to keep him safe with big dogs. Giving him jobs is important, so is the 'leave it' command. You also need to be willing to correct him with enough energy to get his attention. I don't mean be super harsh but you can be intense (just not so much that you intimidate him). Walk away from the object of desire if he can't handle it and then try again. You will make more progress going backwards than forwards until he figures it out. Work towards success don't give up on failure. This might mean that you have to ask the person with the big dog to stand still for a minute or two while you train Joey. Most people are happy to help.

Daisy_Mae
January 19th, 2006, 10:04 AM
Oh boy Joey.E does you situation every sound identical to mine! I question if I am the problem all the time and if my reactions are making it worse. Daisy has actually gotten worse since I got her so I imagine my reactions to her greeting dogs and my nervousness have made things escalate. I am not so nervous now that she wears a head collar but her reactions seem to be programmed now. I know how you feel about people wanting their dogs to rush up to yours when you want to take is slow from a bit of a distance. Love those off leash dogs!!:mad:

I bring in foster dogs from time to time and of course Daisy is never nice for the first greeting no matter where it is. The last dog I had a volunteer bring over to my house when my husband was home. They walked right in the door with the dog and there was no bad reaction from Daisy...hmm....wonder if there is a good daycare so I can see if she behaves when I am not around.

tenderfoot
January 19th, 2006, 11:17 AM
Hi Daisy Mae - you are correct in thinking that you share in the responsibility of your dogs reactions to other dogs. Time and time again we work with peoples dogs and the second we have the leash in our hands the dog is great but when we literally hand the leash to the person the dog is bad again.
Once we even tested it by having the person hand the leash to us from behind the dogs back (so he wouldn't see us doing it) and he transformed the second Doug had the leash in his hand. Talk about feeling the energy through the leash.;)

Daisy_Mae
January 19th, 2006, 11:28 AM
So what would people in my position do about trying to get your dog to relax when walking with you? It's not like my husband will get up and walk her, so it's my problem at this point. My understanding is she isn't feeling confident that I going to protect her or us so she lashes out?

The big question mark at this point is do I continue to keep letting her meet and greet dogs, will I make it worse? Do I correct her for growling and lunging? Or am I instilling the fear that when she sees a dog mom will give her a correction so she therefore associates greeting dogs with geting in trouble.

SOrry, not trying to hijack the thread but this is my BIGGEST issue and the trainer I have just tells me not to greet other dogs and I think that is avoiding the situation. Just like she told me not to give her Pigs Ears and rawhides since she will growl at me when I get close, what is that solving?

tenderfoot
January 19th, 2006, 11:44 AM
Don't give her pigs ears or rawhides because they are dangerous - but absolutely give her lots of bones & toys and TEACH her to have good manners. If she is growling at you then that is a HUGE sign of lack of respect for you.
Your instincts are correct - avoiding does not teach.
Teach her good manners and then apply them to other dogs. Make sure your skills are good before you walk out the door. Have her hold a sit/stay while other dogs walk by - teach patience and respect for your word. Then have her walk by other dogs and us the command 'leave it' which means pull your energy away from the other dog. Then (with a friendly dog) have them greet for 1 second and then walk away. Increase the greeting time by seconds each time they are successful. But you always control the greeting and the leaving. As they show signs of acceptance then you can let them greet with good manners.
Absolutely you have the right to correct bad manners. Would you not correct an ill tempered child for cursing at the other kids? They know who you are mad at and don't think it's the other kids fault. Same with your dog. If you are praising the good choices and correcting the bad ones the dog know what you mean. "Every time I growl mom gets mad - better not growl because my leader doesn't like it, but every time I greet another dog nicely she praises me, I must be doing the right thing!"
It is not your dogs right to greet every dog - especially if they have bad manners. They can earn the right to greet other dogs when they have good manners. It is a privilege not a right.

Daisy_Mae
January 19th, 2006, 11:54 AM
Don't give her pigs ears or rawhides because they are dangerous - but absolutely give her lots of bones & toys

Well that's another story..she has no interest in good safe chewies and toys. We have had her since Aug05 and I really starting to realize she was an outdoor farm dog that had little company, socialization and playtime with dog toys. Her idea of playing is chasing and grabbing arms and clothing. Reminds me so much of my childhood farm dogs I used to know.

If she is growling at you then that is a HUGE sign of lack of respect for you.

I figured that much but what can I do besides tell her sternly "NO". Do I take the treat away and risk getting bit? Oh boy you have touched on all my frustrations..

Thank you for the advice on training, I will work on what you have shared. There is so much conflicting information out there on dog etiquette and training it can be downright baffling.

tenderfoot
January 19th, 2006, 02:03 PM
Its too bad that it is so baffling - we try to make it very common sense so people can think it through more easily.
The trick with the bones & toys goes as follows...
Teaching 'drop it' and 'take it' is one of the very first things we teach. It is a matter of respect when it comes to dropping things to you on command. He needs to learn that all things belong to you - even if he found them first.
First, put your dog on the leash (for control) then get a stick or stiff toy at least 6 inches long - not a soft toy he can get a grip on or food he can break off and swallow. Start with an object that doesn't have high value to him and work towards an object that does have high value. Food will probably be the toughest challenge as it is easy for him to just swallow it and win.
Offer it to your dog and say 'take it' in a happy tone. let him chew on it for 15 seconds - do not let go of the item. Say 'drop it' short, sharp and firm in tone. Almost startle him with the command as you point quickly at the item and his nose. The startle alone should impress him. If he lets go then praise him and gently stroke his face and head. If he does not let go - ask again and vibrate the item in his mouth moving towards the back of his mouth. This should be strong enough to make him want to let go, but not so strong to hurt him. When he releases be very pleased and praise & pet.
Repeat this - holding the item and sharing it with your dog for longer times each round. As he gives willingly then allow the item to be his for just a few seconds, keeping your hand close by and then move your hand in and ask him to 'drop it'. Again increasing times until it can be his for five minutes and he still drops it nicely to you. Working him in his normal obedience commands just before you do this can help. It places him a submissive role and makes him more agreeable over all and ready to be more cooperative.
Practice a lot when you are just hanging around the house - get him to drop dozens of things throughout the day, don't wait to teach it when you need it.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 19th, 2006, 07:59 PM
Tenderfoot and Stacey B you are so right about me being part of the problem. I will try to contact Joeys former obedience instructor to see if she can do a private sessions or reccommend someone that can. In addition to that I will make Joey sit and look at me before another dog appoaches. Should I make Joey stay in a sit the whole time the greeting is taking place, how long should I allow the greeting to take place. What sign do I look for when it looks like Joey will become aggressive towards to other dogs. I seem to notice that he becomes erect and sort of perks his ears up before snapping at the other dog. I think I will still try to send Joey to the daycare as I think the socialization would be good for him.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 19th, 2006, 08:18 PM
I just emailed Joeys former trainer to see if she can do some one on one work with us. I will keep you posted. :D

Daisy_Mae
January 20th, 2006, 07:28 AM
Good Luck with Joey! I have decided I am going to call around to some fellow rescue friends and see I can do some one on one with their dogs! Let us know how daycare goes.:)

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 23rd, 2006, 07:49 PM
http://www.hycountrykennels.com/updates.htm

Joey is going to doggie daycare tommorow to play with the other dogs. Will let everyone knows how it goes.

StaceyB
January 23rd, 2006, 08:11 PM
Start with 2-3 second greetings, a quick sniff and then turn and walk away. Whatever you do don't jerk the leash or pull him away this is why I suggest you turn in the opposite direction to leave. A dog coming up off their front feet is an aggressive signal to another dog. If you think he may try to lunge or jump you can step down on a portion of the leash while you greet or place the leash under the chest, between the front legs.
The reason why you want to make the greetings so quick is because the longer the greeting the higher the chance that it will be a bad one. You can greet the same dog several times but only a few seconds at a time.
Set him up into a sit, go in for the quick greet if the other dog looks to be stable and social. Turn and walk back a few steps and place back into the sit to try again.
Read the 2 dogs signals, if it doesn't appear that it will be a positive greeting just have him sit off to the side while the dog passes.

It is not common that I suggest books because really good ones are not as easy to find as the bad ones but a really good book for learning to understand your dog is a book called "How dogs learn".

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 24th, 2006, 11:45 AM
Well here is how it went. Joey waited in the car with me until the owner came out. Rule is we need to wait in the car until some comes out. There were other cars as well with other dogs in them. Once we got out of the car I made Joey sit before taking him in. Joey walked into the kennel on a short lose leash but didnt seem to interested in the other dogs. He was first put in with a female golden X I watched him for a few minutes and he seemed fine with the dog, he basically just watched me. The owner said once he has been in with the one dog for a bit, he will move him to another kennel with more dogs.

The hardest part was leaving him there, because now I am feeling guilty and I miss the little guy. I hope I am doing the right thing. I wish they had a webcam so I can check up on him.

Also I think this will help with socialization but I am not convinced that it will help with his aggression with big male dogs, as apparently the keep the big and little dogs seperate. So its probably not fair for me to expect them to put Joey with the big dogs when they have other dogs to deal with as well.

If Joey seem to have a good time there and it helps him get used to the other dogs I think I will continue to help him. I think its also a safe alternative to a dog park as the ones in our area arent always fenced and Joey is about 80% on his recall. If he sees a bird or something he'll take off after it. At least this is completely fenced and I know Joey will be safe.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 25th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Well I don't have an answer to how it went. Except that Joey apparently got along with all the dogs. My husband picked him up (you see he feels I am making a big deal out of this issue and figures Joey is Joey and he has never gotten along with male dogs his whole life) so when I pry he says "hes fine."

Although I think I mentioned before that as far as I know Joey has only been around his own breed and has had an issue with male dogs in his house. (part of the reason why he is with us now) I think meeting these new big male dogs might be a bit scary for him.

So I am not convinced that this daycare will help with the issue at hand, but I do think it will help with his socialization, if Joey is enjoying it I think I will continue to sent him. Next week I can pick him up and drop him off myself and maybe pry a bit more. Only thing is I am home all day and feel guilty sending him to daycare so I hope I am doing the right thing for him. Its not for me to have a break, because he is no trouble at all to have around, I just want him to have sometime being around other dogs and getting a good days of excercise too.

We are going on are walk now if we see a male dog approach us I will make Joey sit if they are going to meet.

Daisy_Mae
January 25th, 2006, 11:00 AM
I think what you are doing is a great idea and I am thinking about doing it myself. I know someone who used daycare for her undersocialized dog and this what she told me about where she went:

For day care, they did a quick evaluation on Bear who had some issues, and what they do is they put them in a smaller area, where they can see the other dogs and what is going on. After a while they will try putting another dog in with them, one they know will be a good fit. After a while, when they think it's ok, they start to let them into the main group. All the while this is going on, they only charge you the rate for boarding, not for day care, which I think is $16. She also suggested certain days were better for Bear at that time because of the dogs that would be there, and how busy it would be. She was very careful and slow to move him into the larger group and it worked. My only complaint is that he is now much more confident and less reliant on me, so before he watched me and stayed close, and came whenever called. Now, he's more independent, comes most of the time, unless there's something more interesting than me, in which case he comes a little later.
I am also meeting her and Bear and her other dogs at the dog park this weekend when it isn't busy and try and socialize with her dogs.

Keep posting your progress, I am really interested in hearing about it!

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 25th, 2006, 12:10 PM
Daisy Mae=
For day care, they did a quick evaluation on Bear who had some issues, and what they do is they put them in a smaller area, where they can see the other dogs and what is going on.

this is what exactly they did with Joey, he was in with one other female dog to start, then they move him to bigger area with the other dogs.

Today we met a few dogs two Jack Russels that Joey saw at the end of the block they were both growling and tugging to get at Joey the whole way. They were also taking up the whole sidewalk but I wanted it to be a good 2 second meeting. Once the owners of the JRs got close I made Joey sit, they said they were good with other dogs, even though they were growling, barking and pulling like crazy. :confused:, Joey did growl intitially but did not snap at the dog. They had a quick sniff while Joey was still sitting but no actual contact, So when Joey was sitting nicely and sniffed the other dog I told him good dog, and when he growled at first I told him "no" in my stern doggie voice. (Hope I should have done that)

He also saw two big dogs barking at him from an upper level balcony of a house. All I did then was to make Joey walk by on a heel and a lose leash.

Daisy_Mae
January 25th, 2006, 12:19 PM
they said they were good with other dogs, even though they were growling, barking and pulling like crazy

GEEZ! Don't you hate that? And then your dog reacts to the growling and pulling and they think you have the aggressive dog. I am no expert on dogs but I least I understand dog posturing and I don't make excuses for my dogs behaviour!

We have a husky in our neighbourhood and when she is at the end of her walk and calm her and Daisy get along great but when she is hyper and jumping and her owner is pulling her leash tight and consquently making the dog stand on her front paws by pulling her up, he wonders why Daisy reacts to that and why MY dog is nice sometimes but not other times.

doggy lover
January 25th, 2006, 12:33 PM
I guess I've been lucky with Tucker, I have always let him socialize with other dogs of every size since he was a puppy, so he loves every dog. I have problems when Tucker wants to play with a dog and the other dog is aggressive, I have to tell Tucker to leave the dog and he looks at me with sad eyes saying I just want to play, he don't understand. My last dog was not bothered with other dogs he would just walk by them like they didn't exist, if a dog was in my home he didn't really care he just put up with them, I think he thought that he was human, or that at 120lbs no one really bothered him.

tenderfoot
January 25th, 2006, 01:26 PM
You were right to correc thim for growling. Just be sure that you try to end on a good note so that he learns what is acceptable.