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Old October 20th, 2009, 05:28 PM
Andrew_August Andrew_August is offline
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Amazingly well behaved Dog shows aggression to only ONE specific other dog

So I have a 2 year old Black Lab - Flat Coated Retriever mix that I brought home from the SPCA about a year ago. He is the most well behaved dog, and I don't just say that because he's my dog, but everyone including the vets, friends, other dog owners and dog haters alike all tell me what a fabulous dog he is blah blah blah... He's really great with other dogs, no matter where he is, our backyard, other backyards, dog park, pathways, anywhere, anysize or breed of dog. He'll even make himself smaller when he plays with our neighbor's small toy dog. Oh and he essentially never barks.

Now recently, over the past few months there's this one dalmatian he shows aggression towards. I've never ever seen him show aggression within the year I've had him home. But for whatever reason this Dalmatian freaks him out or something. It's always running with his owner on the bike. The most frustrating thing is I wasn't with him when he had the first encounter. So I don't know what may have set off an initial bad impression.

Anyhow, it's getting annoying because it's so random coming from a dog like him. When we talk about it with friends and other dog owners they don't believe us, that he's ever act like that.

We've done training with him to ensure we've established a leadership/dominant role and that he's not trying to protect us. He walks beautifully on the short leash and responds to every command, and then he just looses it as soon as the other dog comes by.

You must get the point now, and I would expect this happens with other dogs as well. What I want to know is how to train this behavior out of him. Now we have to worry about letting him play off leash with the other community dogs just in case his arch nemesis comes by.

Any advice?
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Old October 20th, 2009, 07:01 PM
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mafiaprincess mafiaprincess is offline
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You don't necessarily like everyone you meet do you? I'd think not. So why do people seem to think that dogs should love all other dogs?

You can work on keeping a threshold for the other dog and working on attention training and ignoring the dog and in time trying to work the distance to be shorter and shorter, but I don't have an issue with all dogs not liking each other.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 08:12 PM
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Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
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There is a few factors here that could be causing this reaction.

First of all, what exactly IS this reaction you're talking about? Lunging? Growling? Biting? It's a problem that you weren't there for the first encounter. Who was? Did the two dogs meet? Or was his reaction the exact same with the first person that had him, that you're able to wittness?

Do you know much about your dogs history? If he was ever attacked or in a multiple dog household?

Dogs who are more dominant tend to be more reactive when a strange dog is approaching. If this dog is approaching quickly, this could easily cause a reaction out of your male. Not to mention if the dog is coming directly towards you both. (does this reaction occur when your male sees the dalmation across the street as well?)
And that reaction is not neccessarily 'aggression' at all.

Does your dog react to bikes as well?
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Old October 20th, 2009, 10:35 PM
Andrew_August Andrew_August is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
There is a few factors here that could be causing this reaction.

First of all, what exactly IS this reaction you're talking about? Lunging? Growling? Biting? It's a problem that you weren't there for the first encounter. Who was? Did the two dogs meet? Or was his reaction the exact same with the first person that had him, that you're able to wittness?

Do you know much about your dogs history? If he was ever attacked or in a multiple dog household?

Dogs who are more dominant tend to be more reactive when a strange dog is approaching. If this dog is approaching quickly, this could easily cause a reaction out of your male. Not to mention if the dog is coming directly towards you both. (does this reaction occur when your male sees the dalmation across the street as well?)
And that reaction is not neccessarily 'aggression' at all.

Does your dog react to bikes as well?

The reaction is lunging and very aggressive barking (that I've never seen him do before). I don't let him get close enough to bite the other dog. But that is the worry I have, if they were to meet off leash would my dog actually attack the other.

My mother was walking him when he first encountered the dalmatian. I was told the dog and his owner came from behind them on the bike and startled both my mom and Kona. I originally thought it has become a dominance thing, Kona scared by the dog at first encounter then now trys to protect my mother from the other dog. It's only been recently that I've been the one walking Kona when he's met the other dog on the trail. Same reaction as described by my mother.

This man and dog are a little strange, I've never seen them off the bike and they never say anything when they go by. The dalmatian has no reaction. As such, we've never had a chance for Kona to meet the other dog in a normal situation off the bike or at a dog park.

We are always on the pathway behind our house when it happens, we haven't seen this other dog anywhere else.

He has no problem with bikes. I take him on the bike from time to time on leash and off leash when mountain biking (around other bikes too) and we also pass kids and adults on bikes when I walk him, with no reaction.

The shelter had no history on Kona. All I know is he was in a shelter for a while in Montreal, then was moved to one in Aylmer and was there for I think 5 weeks. There was no info as to why he was given up.

Last edited by Andrew_August; October 20th, 2009 at 10:40 PM.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 11:21 PM
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From what you're describing, yes it seems to me the initial situation where your dog was caught off guard (and probably your Mother as well, Kona would've sensed that) is fueling this reaction to bark/lunge at the bike when he hears or sees it approaching.

What do you do to handle this situation now? Is there a certain time of day that you usually run into this guy?

You mentioned that you did some work to establish dominance with Kona, but what you're describing is telling me that Kona feels the need to protect himself AND his handler. Insecurity, not neccessarily dominance, can make this happen - so even if he feels frightened or unsure about a certain situation and is not positive that you are going to look after him - he will react for the both of you.

Do you have any other friends with dogs? My suggestion would be to set something up for Kona in the same area, with someone riding their bike past both of you with your dog. It is GREAT that the Dalmatian is not reacting; so to practice this with Kona you would certainly want a similiar effect from a friends 'practice dog' - a dog that will simply ignore Kona. Basically, desensitizing him to bikes with dogs running coming up behind you would be a great way to start.

Another thing you want to watch for is Kona's reaction. There is always a point as to where a dog will feel the need to lunge/bark at something else, and we need to innterupt that focus BEFORE it happens. If he's getting to the point where he can lunge on his leash and bark at a passing dog, your corrections are coming too late. You mentioned you don't let him get too close to the other dog, so I imagine what you're doing during this situation is trying to reel your dog in on the leash? If so, you need to learn how to redirect his focus before any of this occurs.

Is there a more open area that bikes cannot sneak up on you that you can take Kona while helping him get over this?
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