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Dominant Aggression tips..

Daffypuck
January 11th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Just fishing for some tips and opinions on the subject. My dog is (IMO) a very dominant/strong-willed male of 9 mos. old. When he see's another dog he makes a bee-line for them. He doesnt do it with the intent to attack, But to assert his dominance and then play. Usually the other dogs will either play, run or try and question his dominance. Once he's asserted himself, he loses interest and they follow him or they part their ways. When on the leash he does the same. He has yet to just attack. I dont feel that he is wanting to hurt other dogs, Just show that he's the man. Sometimes on the leash he pays no mind to other dogs, but sometimes he does. What can I do to address this behavior? He's a Pyrenees/American Bulldog mix. Thanx

luckypenny
January 11th, 2009, 07:00 PM
Welcome to pets.ca, Daffypuck :).

From what you're describing, it sounds like you've got a social pup on your hands that just wants to meet and greet :shrug:. What exactly is he doing that makes you think he's being aggressive?

He has yet to just attack.

Why are you anticipating this?

Daffypuck
January 11th, 2009, 07:08 PM
What I meant by that was, he has greeted a dog once and that dog challenged his dominant behavior ( not submitting) and my dog began exibiting more aggresive behavior. Had he not been on the leash, a fight mightve ensued. He never just runs up and attacks, But has gotten to that point if the other dog escalates to that level. Being that I live in the country, I dont get all the opportunities a city dog might get to socialize. He has played with several dogs as a puppy and young adult. He's also been around children for extended periods of time and knows whats expected. I just wanna get a few more opinions on having such a dominant dog and help recognizing any signs of his 'not so bad' behavior worsening. I guess the best thing to do is video his behavior and post a link to Youtube.

luckypenny
January 11th, 2009, 07:22 PM
What I meant by that was, he has greeted a dog once and that dog challenged his dominant behavior ( not submitting) and my dog began exibiting more aggresive behavior. Had he not been on the leash, a fight mightve ensued. He never just runs up and attacks, But has gotten to that point if the other dog escalates to that level. Being that I live in the country, I dont get all the opportunities a city dog might get to socialize. He has played with several dogs as a puppy and young adult. He's also been around children for extended periods of time and knows whats expected. I just wanna get a few more opinions on having such a dominant dog and help recognizing any signs of his 'not so bad' behavior worsening. I guess the best thing to do is video his behavior and post a link to Youtube.

While dogs are leashed, they often don't get a chance to greet appropriately. If you notice two dogs greeting off-leash, they'll normally avoid eye contact, one may stand sideways, and they'll meet each other's bums first :D. On leash, however, owners unintentionally have dogs greet face to face. In doggie etiquette, this is rude behavior and can sometimes lead to an aggressive reaction.

Do you hold a short/tight leash when you meet up with other dogs? Do the other owners do the same? Can you describe the aggressive behavior your dog exhibits? A video would be great to see exactly what's going on.

luckypenny
January 11th, 2009, 07:24 PM
He has played with several dogs as a puppy and young adult.

Oops, also just wanted to point out that your dog, at 9 months, is still a pup, perhaps pre-puberty if you want to compare it to humans :D. He won't reach full maturity until 2-3 years.

R. Bear
January 13th, 2009, 06:23 AM
I have the same issue with my 9 year old Min Pin mix. He is very dominant, but not aggressive - there is a fine line between the two and you have to be very experienced to know the difference. Most people do not understand and think that my dog is aggressive. He approaches other dogs too quickly, but when he gets to them he slows and runs around to their rear to sniff. (An aggressive dog attacks head-on). Sometimes he leg nips or neck nips - this is a show of dominance, not aggression, but it tends to freak out some people. It is a lot of work to train a dominant dog to be calm around other dogs but the key is to be as relaxed and assertive as possible, and never give up. Keep a close eye, because it sure can develop into a fight when neither dog wants to back down - a long-line is useful here as the dog has the freedom to run around but you can still jerk him away when things get too hot. There may be some dogs that a dominant dog will just never get along with - just move on - keep going forward!

Maxine
January 13th, 2009, 07:20 AM
I find this thread very interesting, as my dog act that way too. Any advice on how to do an on-leash greeting? :lightbulb:

tenderfoot
January 13th, 2009, 09:33 AM
On leash greetings can be broken down into very small but successful steps.

Before you ever think of having them get close to each other you need to do the following - these steps place you in control of the greetings (good leadership) and give you the chance to teach your dogs how to greet calmly.

1. Have one dog sitting and the other dog can pass by at an agle to the sitting dog. If the walking dog is very assertive then there should be a person between the 2 dogs. If the walking dog moves towards the sitting dog then the person should turn abruptly into the walking dog and go in the opposite direction - walk 5-10 paces and turn around again - always turning into the dog which gets their attention and breaks the assertive thoughts of the dog. You need to be a bigger distraction than the other dog. If your dog even takes one step past your toe line then you also turn into him. and start again.

2. Walk a circle around the other dog - getting closer with each rotation.

3. Then sit your dog next to the other dog - further away at first and then closer together. They should not even lean into each other yet.

4. Then have the dogs on the inside and the person on the outside and repeat the same sequence.

5. The dogs are learning about each other as you do this as they can smell each other from this distance, they are watching the other dogs body language and they are getting desensitized to the others presence.

6. Reverse the dogs position - the walking one sits and the sitting one now walks and repeat the sequence.

7. Now have both dogs walking back and forth passing each other with the people on the inside and dogs on the outside. If a dog goes to investigate the other dog tell them "leave it" and keep moving.

8. Same drill with dogs on inside.

9. With people on the inside have the dogs walk side by side. Start further apart - getting closer as the dogs show they can be good.

10. With people on the outside do the same drill.

11. Walk with one dog in front and one dog just behind his tail - giving the appropriate distance for the attitude of the dog in the rear.

12. Reverse the dogs so they are in the opposite configuration.

13. Then with one dog standing still bring the other dog up to its rear and let him sniff for 1 second - do not permit any posturing - and walk away with your dog saying 'Lets go' as you bring the dog away.

14. Do the same thing and double the time each time until you see the dogs relax. Now they can greet more freely but be sure you are there to correct any poor choices. You are also there to praise all good choices.

tenderfoot
January 13th, 2009, 09:44 AM
Daffypuck -

Your pup is an adolescent NOW! You shouldn't be thinking puppy anymore, but teenager.

His particular mix could have a pushier temperament. He is being socially inappropriate when he runs straight at the other dog - he has not learned fine social skills yet. It would do him good to spend time with some older dogs who will teach him these skills - until then it is up to you.

He is also very confident and is willing to stand his ground if another dog doesn't like his manners. This is a 'heads up' and you would do well to be mindful.

At 9 mos. It would be very good for you to be sure his obedience skills are top notch and that he looks to you for the answers. Right now he gets so excited he flys off and you don't exist anymore. His brain is so full of adrenaline that you don't have a prayer of stopping him. So we would suggested that you do more leash work before you take him out - even in the house - so he is in a better frame of mind when you take him out.

This is the kind of dog that needs a confident leader and you need to think about how well he listens to you in all situations. His manners need to be awesome - a big, pushy dog tends to get away with too much and as he grows it can get tougher to change his mind. I am not trying to scare you but just let you know that you have taken on a big responsibility and that means lots of great training.

R. Bear
January 13th, 2009, 11:41 AM
That is very good advice - nip the problem in the bud while he's still young. Unfortunately for me, I adopted a 9 yr old and it is very difficult to change old habits in a dog who was not properly socialized in the first place. He had never even been on a leash before! Patience, practice, patience, patience....

R. Bear
January 13th, 2009, 11:54 AM
While we are on the topic of dominance/aggression, please someone give me their opinion on the following behaviour: As I said previously, my Min Pin mix is dominant, but overall gets along with most dogs. With a couple of particular dogs, (one is a male, one female, both sterilized) he will not let them move. He barks constantly at them, in an semi-play bow position. I'm thinking he wants to play but the other dog is not interested. We try to continue the walk but as soon as the other dog moves he blocks their path, barking non-stop - the other dog will just stand there with its head down, being held "at bay". So I'm figuring this goes beyond wanting play, and is perhaps "bullying"? If I remove him with a leash correction to continue our walk, he goes ballistic - his barks become more frantic and high-pitched - sheer frustration. We have to physically leave the area and walk up well ahead where he will eventually calm down. If we stay behind and the others walk up ahead my dog becomes even more agitated (of course being dominant, does not like to be in the back of the pack). Would walking the 2 dogs together on leash, one on each side of me to block help at all?

tenderfoot
January 13th, 2009, 12:46 PM
I would go with the same steps as mentioned below. It means that you are going to have to get cooperation from the other dogs parents. This could take some time so I would start with just one of the other dogs and then add the new dog when your dog starts to behave.

I know you got this dog at an older age - but this is very doable. Min Pin's can be pushy by nature - his behavior may not be dominant as much as it is pushy and he seems to get away with it. He's having a great time telling these dogs what to do.

He needs to start listening to you more - he should have a big vocabulary of at least 30-40 word that he can perform at 4 levels - 1. in the house 2. outside your door 3. at longer distances and 4. with distractions. They go in order because you have to build up to the tougher challenges like distractions. For him these other dogs are college level distractions -so if he doesn't listen to you in the house how can he succeed with high level distractions?

R. Bear
January 13th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Yes - pushy. Good way to describe him. And you are absolutely right about the college level behaviour. I have established rules, limitations etc in the house with enormous success. In the house he is clean (meaning, no accidents), no barking (unless something really excites him), he sits (i had to teach him what "sit" meant) and waits politely for his dinner, he does not crash to the front door and jump wildly on people, he waits at the threshold until I pass first then give him permission, and he is generally calm and affectionate with both us and visitors. He has some issues with light beams (when I use a flashlight) and beeping (smoke detector) - but in all he is an angel indoors - couldn't have asked for a better dog. Outside he is a different animal - very reactive. This is where the training is crucial and I have been having problems. I do not exist to him when we are outside. Only dogs exist, and it is very difficult (if not impossible) for me to get his attention. I will incorporate your advice on our walks - and you are right about having the parents be cooperative. As a matter of fact they are not very interested in hanging around too long listening to the constant barking, yapping, screaming (from the dog) etc. For all you people out there with calm, submissive type dogs - please help out people like us who are trying to help our own dogs. Our dogs' best teacher will be your dog!

Maxine
January 13th, 2009, 03:52 PM
Thank you for the advices Tenderfoot, I will try these as soon as I find aperson/dog to do it with :D

tenderfoot
January 13th, 2009, 07:48 PM
R. Bear - Sounds like you have done some great work in the house. But he is ready for outside work.

First work on his behavior just outside your door (level 2) when there are no distractions. Then work outside on a long leash to see how good he will be for you at greater distances (level 3) - always go back to shorter distances if he can't handle longer ones and then keep working until you can get further away.

Start with dogs he doesn't mind as much as the two who really set him off. Always think, success, success. If he is good with other dogs and listens well then you can work towards the tougher dogs (not tough as in mean but tough as in more challenging - level 4).