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My puppy keeps getting attacked

Dingo
April 6th, 2008, 10:53 AM
I have a 6 month old Border Terrier puppy, and recently other dogs of all sizes have started being quite aggressive with him. He loves other dogs and is very friendly. I don't bathe him or spray him with anything weird, so he doesn't smell funny. He's not possessive about toys. I'm not doing anything to make him fearful or to provoke other dogs -- I don't coddle him when it comes to larger dogs or try to keep them away from him, and he's never been afraid of them; I also don't worry about him taking the occasional tumble or bump when he's playing and I know that older dogs will sometimes put puppies in their place. And as far as I can tell he isn't doing anything to provoke these other dogs -- he still approaches most dogs in a fairly submissive, puppy-like manner.

But with increasing regularity, some dog will take an instant dislike to him. Last week I took him to the park. There was a group of dogs of mixed sizes, from Chihuahuas to Lab crosses, and 2 dogs, one around the same size and one much larger, started chasing him around and being rough with him. He came running to me a couple of times and I encouraged him to keep playing, which he did, but in very short order they started really going for his neck, to the point where I actually had to pick him up and leave the park -- both firsts for me.

(Don't get me started on those dogs' irresponsible owners, who did nothing to prevent all this from happening, didn't really reprimand their dogs, and didn't leave the park themselves).

Then yesterday, a different dog the same size as him, in a different park, started trying to bite him as soon as we arrived. This dog was becoming increasingly aggressive, going for his ears and face and growling like mad. It was definitely not play -- at one point I had to actually hit the other dog to make it release its jaws from my dog's muzzle. Again the other owners did really nothing, and I had to leave the park.

These have been the two worst incidents, possibly since my dog is mostly on his leash, but it seems like it's happening fairly frequently.

My guess is that it may be his stage of development: he's six months now, and he's not fixed, so possibly other dogs no longer see him as a puppy and the feel they need to put him in his place -- fair enough, but usually those little struggles for dominance don't immediately become so aggressive, especially when one dog is clearly being submissive.

Any thoughts?

sugarcatmom
April 6th, 2008, 11:37 AM
My guess is that it's because he's not fixed yet. The other dogs could very well be reacting to his brewing testosterone, and hopefully this will change once he's neutered.

MIA
April 6th, 2008, 02:04 PM
I agree with sugarcatmom, I know my dogs react differently to dogs that are not fixed....

TeriM
April 7th, 2008, 01:57 AM
I agree with the others that it might be the neutering issue and would recommend that you have that done. It is also not uncommon for dogs to take puppies "to task" at around this age. I would be very careful about going to dog parks as a series of negative experiences at this age might result in lasting behaviour issues. Many owners are very irresponsible at dog parks and problems can be very common.

Try to arrange "play dates" instead with dogs that get along well with your pup or at the very least make sure your pup plays in small groups at the park with dogs that you are comfortable with and be ready to leave if the level of excitement gets to high as that is often when agression between dogs begins.

Good luck :goodvibes:.