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agressive behaviour

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by simonh, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. simonh

    simonh PetForums Newbie

    Mar 19, 2017
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    I have a miniature yorkshire terrior that I have owned for 5 days. He is 13 months old. The person we got him from had anxiety and could not cope with him. He is well behaved at home with the family members that live here (mum, dad and 2 small children). However, he barks, growls and sometimes snaps at all other humans, dogs, passing cars and literally any other thing that moves when he is out. This happens when both on and off the lead. He generally comes across a very aggressive and threatened dog with anyone that he doesnt know. He also doesnt like it when anyone else comes into the house and barks at anything he can hear from outside. Is there anything we can do to change this?
  2. Mirandashell

    Mirandashell Banned

    Jan 10, 2017
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    Yes there is. Have a look at Victoria Stilwell's youtube videos. She is very good at positive training. If you can afford it, a good behavourist could also come and see your dog and give you some advice on how to calm him.

    From what you've said, it may be fear agression but it's difficult to diagnose on a message board.

    And one more thing that you probably already know, don't let him off his lead outside.
    leashedForLife and Lurcherlad like this.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    He's scared and anxious, and given his previous owner couldn't cope with him and you have only had him 5 days, I'm not really surprised tbh.

    Reduce the amount of interactions he has that cause him any anxiety.

    Keep him home for a couple of days with no visitors to allow the stress hormone to dissipate and then slowly work on his confidence.

    Make sure you supervise him with your kids and ensure they do not pressure him or get in his face. Give him a quiet place to go to for some peace and quiet and tell them not to touch him when he is in his bed or sleeping.

    Don't overwhelm him with new people/dogs/experiences and let him get used to you and your family first an learn that you will keep him safe.

    Look at positively.com for some training tips.
  4. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2010
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    If he is only 13 months old and the previous owner had him from a Puppy and taking into account the owner had anxiety, there could well be a good possibility that they did no or very little socialisation and habituation with him, it could well likely explain his reaction to things when he is out in the environment and also strange people.

    If this could be the case its likely that the problem is anxiety and even fear, and he just cant cope, and his reaction is more defensive to make the scary things he cant cope with go away. He is probably OK at home because that's where he feels safe and less anxious and feels he can trust the immediate family.

    There are things that you can do to help him learn to cope. The best thing for strangers to do is actually totally ignore him totally at first, and don't even look at him, because often the more people try to befriend them, or show interest and attention before he is ready or able to cope generally makes them worse. Regarding environmental things he cant cope with, Often the best thing at first is to make sure what he has to cope with at any one time starts from a minimum, so that he isn't assaulted with too much at once and is kept under threshold of what he can cope with. Things like cars as an example, its best to start instead of repeatedly trying to walk down busier roads and close too traffic ,is to start at a distance from them where is can still see and hear, but is far enough away to still be comfortable and not react, praising him and rewarding him with food when he stays calm, and then slowly decrease the distance over time over time if and when he copes at the previous distance a few times..

    There is a helpful website on puppy socialisation and habituation its really for puppies from 0 to 8 weeks then from 8 to 16 weeks when they reach their new homes,
    Socialisation and habituation goes on way beyond this but its a starter plan fr the first critical weeks of stages of development which he should have had, but may give you some ideas how to go about introducing things slowly and gradually.


    Other thoughts would you perhaps consider a one to one behaviourist to assess him and work with you on a programme to modify his behaviour? Vets normally have recommended behaviourists but if you go this route make sure that you use one that uses fair kind reward based methods. Otherwise there is CAPBT which is one good organisation where you should find behaviourists in your area otherwise.

    Lurcherlad and leashedForLife like this.
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