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Aggression when walking

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by tash2689, Aug 5, 2009.


  1. tash2689

    tash2689 PetForums Newbie

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    So our newest dog is turning into a right handful on walks. He is so calm indoors at home so it's come as a bit of a shock really. When we got him we were told he wasn't so good with other dogs, and as a result we were prepared to avoid them while walking. He also pulls quite a bit, so we've currently got him on a halti which helps. However, since our first sight of another dog it's clear he has some serious issues with dogs. He hasn't been socialised and he's 3 and a half. When he sees another dog he starts pulling and scratching his face to get the halti off which wouldnt be an issue except when he realises this is futile he starts jumping and rearing up trying to get to the dog, no matter how far away they are. Once he's spotted a dog it is impossible to get his attention back and it's really ruining walks for us as i'm on edge constantly incase another dog comes around the corner. Any idea what we can do here? I'd take him to a dog class but I am pretty sure he'd be aggressive to the other dogs. He is however fine with my 9 month old pup within the house, though he will snap if she gets in his way while he's fixated with another dog while out walking. Thanks.
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    I think you really need to seek some professional advice from a behaviourist.

    Your dog obviously has some issues when it comes to others, and it would be potentially dangerous for anyone to advise you on a course of action.
     
  3. Dundee

    Dundee Banned

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    I agree with Nonnie - you really need professional advice on this. Did you get him from a rescue? If so, they may be able to help or put you in touch with a qualified behaviourist, if not, then your vet should be able to refer you.

    In the meantime, I would walk him in a muzzle if you think you cannot control him.
     
  4. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    How do you know it is aggression as opposed to just curiosity or excitement?
     
  5. tash2689

    tash2689 PetForums Newbie

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    It is partly excitement, he does cry when he sees the other dog and if that was the only thing he did it probably wouldn't worry me as much. Except the one time when he did manage to get himself free from the lead he ran straight towards the dog and started chasing it and snapping at it. Luckily this other dog was on the lead too so the owner was able to control the situation until I managed to get to him. I just need some way of calming him down when he sees another dog, currently the only thing we can do is try and walk the opposite way but this is no easy task with a dog who won't take it's eyes off the dog and won't walk properly once has has seen it.
     
  6. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    I would not begin to tell you what it is, as without seeing it happen it would not be fair.

    I have one rescue, who when he see'a another dog, whines and whines and pull me to go over. If I allow him to approach on his own, then this can generate too much excitment and when he gets there it can occasionally get a bit scrapy. This is not aggression, in his case he is way too excited, however I have managed to calm this right down.

    I have another dog (who has been dog aggressive), who when he used to see another dog, he may whine, although more often that not he would bark and lunge and behave aggressively. This was aggression caused by fear.

    Fortunately I have managed to work with both of them, and on the whole I have little problems.

    With the aggressive dog, what I used to do was muzzle him (trained him to wear this) and I used to walk him off the lead with other dogs. This allowed me to relax (one of the biggest problems is the owners unsureness and anxiety!) and he could be around other dogs without me worrying about him bithing them. I only used it for a couple of weeks and then I would have him off lead and muzzle and avoid other dogs. Until eventually it fell into place.

    Two things to note though. 1) The aggressive dog had excellent recall, so I could always avoid other dogs. The exciteable dog becomes deaf when he see's another dog, so I recall him before he see's the other dog and I control the introduction. 2) Muzzling your dog can make it a target as it is unable to defend itself.

    Do you have any doggy friends with calm dogs that you can try this out on? Alterntively a behaviourist can help.

    Without stating the obvious, the longer this goes untreated for the worse it will become. I had huge problems with my first two rescue's because they were my first dogs and I did it all wrong.

    Best of luck x
     
  7. charmed-imsure

    charmed-imsure PetForums Junior

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    Has your dog been neutered? Could be that.
    OR
    Why not try treat walking?
    Take treats with you in your pocket so they're right near his nose (his attention will be so focussed in that), then every time he's bad, say bad, but every time he's good say 'good' and give him a treat!

    Tried to teach my pup to walk good & it's hard, can't take her out much where I live, so she misbehaves most times, but the treat system seemed to work. Give it a go :) you need to be alpha male in this though & tell the dog who's boss...
     
    #7 charmed-imsure, Aug 7, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  8. tash2689

    tash2689 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all the replies, i've taken some of the advice and we've made a small bit of progress, hopefully this'll continue. I've gotten a kumfi for him instead of the halti and that seems to make him more controllable. We encountered a dog yesterday night at quite close quarters and although he did pull away from me I managed to regain control quickly and he soon walked on. I tried working with treats but he's so on edge when he's walking even treats don't hold his attention. I was a bit shocked at this because he's also very food obsessive and yet even food doesnt hold his attention when walking. He is neutered but it was around a month and a half ago so maybe it hasnt fully kicked in yet?
     
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