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mastifflover October 26th, 2004 12:23 PM

An aggression issue
I am posting in hopes of helping a friend. She has a rescue dog that is part shepard, part husky and part border collie. In the last couple of weeks she has started to lunge and snap at men (only), not when they are with a dog. This does not hapen all the time but every once in a while or when they are outside if a guy approaches she will sit there wagging her tail but at the same time she will show her teeth. She has not bitten anybody but this has to be stopped before it gets worse. She has had the dog for 5 months. She is fine off lead in the park. Any suggesstions on how to handle this situation and what would be your answers as far as correction for it. I figured if anybody will have answers they will be on this board. I luckily have never had a dog with aggression issues every other kind of issue but never aggression. My first thought was that a male was teasing her but she is never out in the yard for more than 5 minutes by herself. She is spayed and friendly with most dogs not as friendly on lead but off she is fine. Thanks everyone

Mysts38 October 26th, 2004 01:39 PM

Hmm first off,I dont think its a good idea to let a dog go off leash,if shes having aggression problems with men

It sounds like protective aggression.The dog thinks that owner is weak and in need of protection and so tries to protect her from any approaching person.In this case its men,but it could be everyone later on

I would suggest that she go back to basic trainin with the dog in order to let the dog know,the handler is always the boss,in every situation.As well,perhaps she can invest in a gentle leader,so that when the dog lunges,the handler has more control.just a few suggestions

Lucky Rescue October 26th, 2004 02:18 PM

If this behavior just started a vet check might be the first thing she wants to do.

You say that when she growls, she shows her teeth yet wags her tail. Snarling is usually defensive and not aggressive, yet she is conflicted. Are her hackles up as well?
IF they are, this may be a fear thing. It sounds like she wants to be friendly, but is very unsure.

[QUOTE]when they are outside if a guy approaches [/QUOTE]

Secondly, the owner needs to NOT to let any men approach this dog. I agree with Myst that she may feel she needs to defend himself and/or his owner and may not feel her owner is going to protect her. She is a rescue dog of unknown history and there is no way to know what happened to her.

What does she do when the dog growls? Soothe her? Tighten the leash? This will make it worse.

Also this dog should not be corrected for growling. That may stop the growling and the dog may go directly to biting.

I suggest a good trainer who is experienced with this type of thing. Also, if she has some male friends or relatives she can use them to desensitize this dog. Have the men stop before the dog growls, do not look at her or approach her, but casually toss her a treat and then walk away. The dog should be praised for not growling. Men can gradually get closer to toss the treat and the dog can eventually be led to them to get the treat. This should help her understand that men are good.

I agree this dog should not be off leash for now and if she has not been to obedience school I also recommend that.

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