March 12th, 2009, 12:38 PM
Our 150 lb., 2 1/2 year old, Malamute/Shepherd cross, has recently started to become aggressive towards other dogs.(Not all) If the dog comes up to us for a pat or if we approach a dog to give at a pat and occasionally he turns on a dog he is playing with he snarls and becomes very dominant. A couple times the dog owners have stopped me from correcting him and the dogs work it out and no harm is done. But this behavior is NOT acceptable. How do we stop it?
March 12th, 2009, 02:15 PM
Your dog is dominant. Is your dog sterilized - if not, this is part of the problem however may not 100% rectify this behaviour. If another dog is also dominant - this is what egnites the fire. Let other dogs sniff the tail of your dog first. You should not go head to head or eye to eye with another dog - that is a given.
Also, your breed is powerful - those that say they will work it out will also slap you with a vet bill if their dog loses.... not to mention the damage an altercation is on the dogs in question. This will only add to more negative or bad behaviour.
Continue to correct him - screw the people that say not to - they obviously have not a clue.
March 12th, 2009, 05:16 PM
BenMax gave some great suggestions for you. It's SO true - the bottom line is that this is your dog, and if you are concerned that his behavior is turning aggressive, absolutley take control of your dog in the situation. Don't be afraid to ask someone to keep their dog away from yours either. Even if you say to the other owner, "Sorry, my dog is in training right now," and continue moving forward with your dog; people get the hint.
On the other hand, there's a real difference between displaying dominance and a dog that is displaying aggression. Dogs often make lots of growly sounds while they play, which is totally okay. (But again, there is a different vocal sound the dog will make for aggression, and unless you know how to listen for it, it's difficult for the un-trained ear to defer the two.)
With that said, dominance is not a bad trait. Has there ever been an actual altercation that leads you to believe your dog is actually aggressive towards others?
Don't forget - constantly getting in between your dog while he is playing will also heighten his anxiety which could turn perfectly normal play behavior into a certain form of aggression. If you can consult a proffesional that can see your dog in action and help you gain some confidence in what to look for and how to solve the problem, would probably be the best help.