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-   -   aggressive to other dogs (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=75851)

pgpb March 15th, 2011 02:59 PM

aggressive to other dogs
 
Hello

A few months ago we adopted a second dog.
Our first dog (Ares) is a 3 year old male Lakeland Terrier, our new dog (Bruno) is about 10 months old, he is part miniature poodle and part who knows. (a whoknowoodle)

When we take them on walks both dogs start barking like mad whenever they see any other dog.
When we take them to the leash free dog park (a fenced area that lots of dogs go to and are allowed to run together), Bruno gets very vicious with other dogs (smaller than him) and Ares joins in and the two of them attack smaller dogs, causing us to leave in embarrassment.

When they do the barking like mad at other dogs we have been pulling their leash and sharply saying no, but this does not do anything.
We read recently that the dog is feeling very threatened so we should actually reach down and comfort him and give him a treat.

I think we are just not ready for the leash free park until we cure this aggressive behaviour.

Any suggestions are most welcome.

Keith

cell March 15th, 2011 08:10 PM

Trying to correct a fear reaction is unlikely to work (as you stated) also petting and comforting them is also not going to work because you are telling them their aggressive fearful reaction is allowed.
You will need to work to having them remain calm, and then praising them for being calm when the other dogs pass, you can also simply start by distracting them with food at first. When you first pot a dog try getting off to the side, or going into a yard and get the dogs to focus on you.

Did your first dog have these reactions or only after the new dog arrived? Who seems to be the instigator? You may need to work 1 on 1 with Bruno to improve his behavior. Usually one dog is the problem and the other just follows suit, manage the dog triggering the reactions and the second dog will likely follow quite quickly.

pgpb March 16th, 2011 08:26 AM

thanks Cell
 
[QUOTE=cell;993705]Trying to correct a fear reaction is unlikely to work (as you stated) also petting and comforting them is also not going to work because you are telling them their aggressive fearful reaction is allowed.
You will need to work to having them remain calm, and then praising them for being calm when the other dogs pass, you can also simply start by distracting them with food at first. When you first pot a dog try getting off to the side, or going into a yard and get the dogs to focus on you.

Did your first dog have these reactions or only after the new dog arrived? Who seems to be the instigator? You may need to work 1 on 1 with Bruno to improve his behavior. Usually one dog is the problem and the other just follows suit, manage the dog triggering the reactions and the second dog will likely follow quite quickly.[/QUOTE]

We really appreciate your advice.
Actually last night we did exactly that, we decided to "divide and conquer", so we took them on separate training walks. We realize we will need to do some training work. Going for walks when we only had one dog was fun for us, but we realize now that we are going to have to do some work with the dogs separately.

One more question.
There are two situations that were difficult....the walks....and the visit to the leash free park.

We are pretty clear on what we need to do to get the dogs to behave on walks.

Let me ask a question about the leash free park.
As Bruno is the one who gets aggressive with biting at the leash free park (and then Ares joins in the attack), we were thinking we could possibly buy a muzzle for him, we were thinking if he was unable to bit, he might not get aggressive.
However I have some real reservations about this.
We could just NOT go to the leash free park until Bruno is older and better behaved.
He (Bruno) has so much fun at the leash free park with dogs that are bigger than him, it is the very small ones that he picks on.
(Our dog is a little bully....how embarassing!!)

Keith

reanne March 16th, 2011 10:20 PM

I would not take them to the off leash park until they are ready. The rules for off leash parks are that you have voice control over your dog(s) and so at this point they are probably not ready (or, Bruno is not ready but Ares might be allowed to have the privelege?)

Not being able to bite isn't going to stop the aggressive behaviour, it will, however, at least stop him from being able to injure someone by biting them. You could try a long line (long leash that is 20-30' long) to give him some ability to run and play, but still allow you to control him.

Also, pulling on the leashes and making them taut when the dogs are are being aggressive to others can actually cause more aggression. Instead of pulling on the leash, put yourself in front of the dog and demand his attention, if you were not able to distract him before he gets to that point.

Good luck working with both of them! :) It'll be worth it when you can take them to the offleash park and watch them play nicely with dogs of all sizes!

reanne March 16th, 2011 10:22 PM

Oh yes and as mentioned, don't give them pats and treats while they're acting aggressive to other dogs as that is rewarding the behaviour and reinforcing it. But yes, try to distract them beforehand with food and pets!

angeldogs March 16th, 2011 11:58 PM

I would not pull on the leash as you can cause throat damage.i would give a quick pop of the leash to the side.not hard or forceful.just enough to get his attention and a firm verbal correction.

Get to know their body language as they can see,hear and smell something before you see it.which will allow for you to get a verbal correction in like mind it,manners what ever words you use.

As the others have said no patts or treats.
My boy is dominate aggressive and if he starts i will stomp my foot on the ground to get his attention if something gets past me.or i will snap my fingers when giving a command just before he can start and he knows i mean buisness when the snapping of the fingers happen.

millitntanimist March 17th, 2011 08:39 AM

Actually last night we did exactly that, we decided to "divide and conquer", so we took them on separate training walks. We realize we will need to do some training work. Going for walks when we only had one dog was fun for us, but we realize now that we are going to have to do some work with the dogs separately.

This is exactly what you need to do! :thumbs up

Here are some good videos about building focus around distractions and leash reactivity.
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muJDkV_KPEU&feature=relmfu[/url]
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mIw425kYk4[/url]

You've gotten some excellent advice so far.

I would add my vote to the 'long line instead of muzzle' camp (although I think a bit more attention work and good greeting behavior should happen first). Muzzles are a good tool when they are necessary, but I always think of them as an absolute last resort (and the dog must always be conditioned to them first) because they have a tendency to make reactive dogs more reactive because they feel vulnerable.

good luck!


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