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Beagle starting to show aggression towards other dogs whilst on walks.

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by honeytone, Jul 13, 2009.


  1. honeytone

    honeytone PetForums Newbie

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    We have adopted a two and a half year old Beagle, Murphy, who has been THE most good natured, gentle and submissive dog so far. Not a hint of aggression or overly dominant behaviour. We've had him for four weeks now. He is very obedient (unusual for a Beagle, I know) around the house and in the garden. His only real problem seemed to be his constant pulling on the leash whilst out for walks, which we've really worked on and he's come on leaps and bounds. We're now working on his recall whilst we're out, currently on a long leash, although I feel this is going to be an almost impossible challange, as being a typical Beagle, when the nose engages the ears shut down.

    I don't think he's had much socialisation with other dogs in the past, but we introduced him to my Mother-in-Law's GSD cross and a friend's Border Terrier with no problems. They're great friends now. Whilst out walking he started off just being excited when passing other dogs. He would pull, whine and bark. I would let him meet the other dog if the owner seemed willing. More recently (and more disturbingly), however, sometimes when he spots a dog coming towards us he starts to 'stalk' with hackles risen and then growl and lunge as the dog passes. I've tried to correct the behaviour, but he completely blanks me out. This only happens with say 50% of the dogs we meet on the walk, the others, he's curious and excited about, but shows no signs of aggression. I'm puzzeld by this and don't know how to progress. I was wondering whether it's my tension that's starting to manifest in his behaviour when approaching strange dogs. I know he desperately needs more socialisation, but I'm now afraid to take him to classes.

    Any advice on the situation would be gratefully received.

    Sara.
     
  2. rona

    rona Guest

    Bump Bump
    Can anyone help this new member
     
  3. jilly40

    jilly40 PetForums VIP

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    bumpty bump
     
  4. brackensmom

    brackensmom PetForums VIP

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    hi sorry must of missed this post earlier, welcome to the forum, and sorry cant give advice on this, are you able to just pop along to a training class and watch from a safe distance, i know my local club recommended this for me, although my dog is not aggresive but could come across that way to some people, he barks at other dogs while on lead, but off lead he is fine.
    I hope someone will be along soon to help you.
     
  5. honeytone

    honeytone PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, thanks for the welcome and the bumps! :D

    I have e-mailed the lady who runs the local classes and I am waiting for a reply.

    I had a good browse of the forum yesterday and came across some similar situations so have taken some of the advice offered there. I'm going to cook up some tasty sausages for this afternoon's walk and try getting him to sit and focus on me (or the sausage even) as the dogs go past.

    I know he's the friendliest dog ever and he gets along great with the dogs we've intro'd him to already. This new behaviour is completely out of character.
     
  6. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    The thing is, it is very difficult, not to say irresponsible, to try to diagnose aggression problems over the internet. Your dog could be acting the way he is for lots of different reasons.

    For instance, it is common for dogs to act strangely when they are introduced to each other onlead; being on the lead prevents them from exhibiting their natural body language and in fact, being on a lead (with their head pulled up) often FORCES them to appear, to another dog, a lot more confrontational and less submissive than they would naturally.Therefore, it is often better to introduce them OFF lead. But of course I can't advise you to do that, just in case!

    Also, onlead dogs can often exhibit "barrier frustration" - being onlead, dying to meet other dogs and not being allowed to can make them behave in what can appear to be an aggressive manner - when in fact, the annoyance is due to frustration, not necessarily the other dog.

    Have you noticed anything that the dogs he seems to take a dislike to have in common? Being as he's a rescue, it may be that he has bad associations to one particular breed... or shape... or even colour of dog. It has been said that dogs sometimes find the body language/facial expression of black dogs hard to read. Also dogs with a lot of coat can seem, to another dog, to appear more confrontational.

    My advice would be to get to some classes or even call in a behaviourist, just so that they can see the problem first hand rather than relying on the written word which as you can probably understand, is not reliable or detailed enough to be able to give a definitive answer - not with something like aggression. Good luck :)
     
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  7. honeytone

    honeytone PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your reply. All your points make perfect sense. I have contacted a professional and am waiting on a reply.

    He's not a rescue as such, but came directly to us from a friend of a friend, who due to personal circumstances could no longer give hime the time and attention he needed. He was a much loved, well trained and disciplined dog, but just hasn't had much social interaction with other dogs.

    There doesn't seem to be any connection with the dogs he takes a dislike to. It can be anything. Although, thinking about it, it's always been another dog on a leash. The times when off leash dogs have approached him, all has been fine. He was slightly nervous, but friendly and curious.
     
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