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Help with aggression

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jenray1981, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Jenray1981

    Jenray1981 PetForums Newbie

    Jan 19, 2020
    Likes Received:
    I'm new to this site, I have a 3 year old, masweiller, she is an Italian mastiff x rottweiler, she was being 'naughty' earlier today, I gave her a little tap to her rear and she suddenly turned on me, I confronted her, and she had done it again.
    Completely out of character, we've had her since she was 5 months old and I'm at a loss of what to do, if anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
    As you can imagine, shes a big girl with a lot of power.
    We have always had big dogs, dobermans typically and never encountered this behaviour before, I dont want to be afraid of her :(
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Sep 6, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I've asked the mods to move your thread to the appropriate section. I wonder why you are surprised your dog turned on you when you hit her. If her "naughty" behavior is out of character, you might consider if there is something wrong. If she is feeling unwell or has pain, for example.

    You will get good training advice here. :)
    #2 lorilu, Jan 20, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    Sounds to me like your dog felt it was being manhandled/threatened and responded accordingly to protect itself.

    Confronting her will only have ramped up her anxiety.

    What was she doing that was “naughty”?

    How do you (and others) usually stop her doing something you don’t want?

    Look at positively.com, kikopup and the canine consultants.co.uk for some training tips and advice on a dog’s psyche.

    Dogs generally don’t usually respond well to being hit (however softly) or confronted and certain breeds will stand their ground if feeling threatened.

    Far better to train an alternative behaviour than tell a dog off for something (they won’t understand what they’ve done wrong anyway) which can cause anxieties.

    For example, rather than pull a dog off the sofa call the dog to you (apply the word “off”) and reward that behaviour.

    This chart is useful (I prefer to call it Ladder of Anxiety):


    You will see that Snap is right near the top which usually means that many other signals that a dog is anxious or unhappy have been missed. If a dog feels these signals are being ignored they may, when stressed go straight to a snap or bite if they feel overwhelmed/threatened.

    A vet referral to a good behaviourist might be useful. Someone who uses positive, reward based methods. Anyone spouting Pack Leader theories should be avoided (such as those on tv at the moment).
    Torin., Sarah H, Boxer123 and 5 others like this.
  4. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    May 23, 2018
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    At 3 she is reaching social and mental maturity. As a molosser mix, she's bred to not back down from confrontation. You confronted her. She didn't back down. Congratulations, you have a guarding breed who has reached maturity and the full nature of her breed.

    Don't turn interactions in to confrontations. What was she doing that was 'naughty'? How do you normally tell her what to do and what not to do?
    Burrowzig, Lurcherlad, Torin. and 2 others like this.
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