Flag

Q: Aggression toward other dogs?

November 4, 2008 | By Ann T. | 6 answers | Expired: 2131 days ago

Ann T.

How do I get control of this? I adopted this dog 2 weeks ago from the shelter and she is ferocious when she sees another dog. Barking, hackles raised, lunging and pulling on the leash. My neighbor is afraid of her and told me this morning that I had a vicious dog. We went to an intro to Obedience class last night and there were other dogs there. She was tense, but did ok. No barking or anything remotely vicious. We've even had a few - FEW - other encounters with dogs that were ok. So, is there hope? This is my first dog - 6-mo old Jack Russell Pug mix - am I in over my head? Can this be cured? I know - socialize, socialize, socialize. But HOW if she's a snarling mess whenever she's near another dog???

Readers' Answers (6)
  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
Skeeber
Flag

Nov 06, 2008

Julie, Janice and Tonya all gave very good advice. I too have had to deal with aggression. My dog had very low thyroid levels and has since gone on treatment which helped greatly. His aggression started when he was attacked (in an obedience class) by another dog. As a result he no longer knows how to trust other dogs so he defends himself by being aggressive. I found a private trainer and have had very good luck. My dog may never be "friendly" with strange dogs but he no longer attacks our other dog.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Julie Kay S.
Flag

Nov 05, 2008

The article currently posted at ZooToo News Articles about hypo-thyroidism could be a partial consideration. After reading that article, I learned that there could be more than one reason for aggression (just as there can be several factors for timidity, lethargy, insatiable thirst, etc.). Please consider having the thyroid function test done, as it may be part of the issue.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Jai H.
Flag

Nov 05, 2008

I have an aggression issue with my dog too. It started after he got attacked by another dog. He started growling and lunging at other dogs during our walks. (before the attack he would actually play with other dogs). I went to a trainer that specializes in behavior issues. She has taught me a lot and we continue to work on him not going after dogs. He has gotten much better and at times we totally enjoy our walks. But it is up to me to be disiplined to work on it everyday. I definately would recommend to get with a personal trainer.

Thumbs Up: 3 | Thumbs up!

Kathy M.
Flag

Nov 04, 2008

Both these folks make good points. You do need to have interaction with other dogs, but it needs to be in a controlled situation. I got a puppy that was 13 weeks old and he has the same exact reaction to other dogs. He actually started the behavior the minute we got him home because I have another dog at home. It was about half an hour before we got him to calm down enough to even sniff our other dog.

I did take him to obedience training, but the trainer was well aware of his issues before we went to class. Our first hour long class had him barking for 45 minutes and I thought he was a lost cause - there was only one other puppy in the class! But he did get better each week, and we had one more new dog join the class each week until there were a total of 5 puppies in the class. By the end of the six weeks, he was doing so much better.

He will still bark at other dogs, but I go back to the lessons he and I both learned in class and I can usually get him under control. You definitely need to be the pack leader and the best way to do that is to reinforce it every day when you walk her. Use a leash and make her stay at your side or slightly behind you. You can practice this inside before you venture outside. I also suggest you read Cesar Milan's book "Cesar's Way." It has helped me tremendously.

My dog is a work in progress, but I love him and so I give him the time he needs to work through his fear and trust me as his pack leader. Have patience.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Anonymous
Flag
Anonymous

Nov 04, 2008

You need to contact a dog trainer who has worked with aggression before. It sounds like fear aggression. Aggression is progressive and will get worse if the problem isn't fixed. Taking him out and having him around other dogs is making the behavior worse. Every time he explodes in a barking lunging mess he reinforces this behavior. I am not saying that you should keep him away from other dogs. You need to teach him to remain calm with other dogs around. For that training you need a private trainer. A group class isn't good either. This will cause stress in the dog and he could really hurt another dog(I wouldnt allow him in one of my classes). He needs one on one training to help him change this behavior. This behavior will take some time to get over as you need to teach him to trust other dogs. Improper socialization at this point will make the behavior worse. Contact a dog trainer (who doesn;t use shock collars-he's scared enough as it is) who has worked with fear aggression. Best of luck.

Thumbs Up: 3 | Thumbs up!

Jenna P.
Flag

Nov 04, 2008

One thing to ask? Think of when your new pet gets worked up. Are you tense too? Dogs can sense your emotions. Posssibly when you first encountered another dog you were unsure and got nervous. If you blood pressure elevates so will your dog. One thing that is critical is keep them socalized. If you think that avoiding other dogs will cure it. It will only make it worse! Try simply being the pack leader andd showing/ telling him that that behavior is unacceptable. When he gets mad give him a leash correction and sternly tell him no. Then walk away from the cituation. Teach him that when his behavior is bad he is removed from the cituation. Remember that you must remain calm and dominant. Be the alpha!

Thumbs Up: 3 | Thumbs up!

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement

See more ›
Know the Answer?

There are always new questions that need answers. Contribute your knowledge about pets.