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I think my dog wants to attack me!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by charmed-imsure, Aug 21, 2009.


  1. charmed-imsure

    charmed-imsure PetForums Junior

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    Hi,

    My dog has been showing some odd behaviour patterns the last couple of weeks & quite honestly, it's a tad scary! She's 8 months old but quite large now, about the size of a large collie. She always loves playtimes with me. We play all sorts of variable games like tug of war or (& pls don't laugh, I couldn't think of another name for it) quilt monsters! (I put my hand under the quilt & she follows it around & catches it or I wiggle my feet & she chases my toes, she loves that game!).

    Lately, on a few occasions, not when I'm playing with her though, she'll look at me, bark a bit, then bow down with her head to the floor, front legs apart & bottom in the air & growl very nastily & she'll launch herself at me. My partner has had to grab her in mid lunge to stop her twice now (twice in 5 minutes!). It's really frightening although I don't show her I'm scared. Is this a serious sign of aggression on her part & if so, what should I do to correct this?

    My instincts are telling me that I should be pinning her down & growling back at her to remind her that she's not the boss, because I'm starting to think that she believes she is the boss. I've always been the alpha male so to speak because I'm in all time & I've been her trainer, she doesn't normally have a problem taking commands from me & she's normally quite good. I don't know where this behaviour has come from & I don't know if it's serious, it certainly seems it, I know what her playful growl & playful behaviour looks like & this doesn't closely resemble it!

    Help - I'm scared!!! :eek:
     
  2. ju_and_jack

    ju_and_jack PetForums Junior

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    My 13 week old puppy does exactly that! Tho i suspect mine is a lot smaller and less 'scary' than yours lol... I've been assured that he IS just playing even tho he seems deadly serious! Sorry /i have no advice on the matter tho, I'm just trying to learn how to control it myself.
     
  3. Dingle

    Dingle PetForums VIP

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    What breed or mix is the dog?

    Your dog needs to learn who is in control & what is acceptable & what is not... try teaching the dog a very firm NO! first...:)
     
  4. rona

    rona Guest

    The bow you describe is a play bow, not a sign of aggression.
    I think you may have made a rod for your own back, with the type of games you play. Does she stop on command when you have finished the games or does he try and get you to play for longer?
    It does seem that your dog has not learnt respect for you when wanting to play, but please do not Alpha roll her, if she is not aggressive now, this would be a sure way of escalating things to another level and could end up with aggression
     
  5. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    Haven't you ever seen dogs play with each other? That's exactly how they invite other dogs to play with them. Your dog's not aggressive at all, she just wants to play.
     
  6. JANICE199

    JANICE199 PetForums VIP

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    Personaly i wouldn't be playing tug of war or any play fighting until your pup knows the boundries.I think these games send out the wrong message to puppies.Just my oppion.:D:D
     
  7. charmed-imsure

    charmed-imsure PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the responses.

    She is great to play to play with, she knows when the game is over & she'll just normally sit & eat her chew or go to sleep. She's good with any kind of game whether it's mentally or physically challenging. She really is a good dog & very clever, but this behaviour came out about 2 weeks ago for no reason.

    Thinking about what was mentioned above about watching 2 dogs playing & that's how they invite, perhaps you're right. It's just that her stance & her growl is very different to normal. When she wants to play, she normally grabs her teddy bear (or a toy of her choosing from her toy basket) & brings it to me & sits & waits, if I don't play, she just goes & plays on her own or brings a different toy & play time normally lasts anything from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. She understands 'no', she understands 'enough' and she understands 'nicely' (as in, play nice or take a treat nicely). I'm currently trying to train her to tidy up her toys, it works on a part time basis LOL!!!

    It's difficult to put the picture across if others can't see in video what you mean! I'm quite proud of how I've trained her. I watched endless pro videos & listened to all sorts of advice & it's all worked brilliantly, she was easy to train & I feel I've been very lucky with her in that she hasn't chewed anything at all in the house bar a corner of a bookcase, but she only did it once & hasn't touched anything else since, she's been so good. Which is why I don't relate this new behaviour to 'normal' I guess.

    She's collie x alsation.
     
  8. HighlandQuine

    HighlandQuine PetForums Senior

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    I absolutely agree.

    My boy is an excitable lad and we knew that if we ever started those kind of games it wouldn't be in any of our interests!

    Maybe you could try and distract her if you think she's about to start? Watch for the signs and distract her with something else?
     
  9. JANICE199

    JANICE199 PetForums VIP

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    I see you have a german shepherd cross collie, both breeds in my oppion very intelligent dogs,but they do push their luck lol i've had both.The stance you say your pup takes is exactly what my boy poodle does to my girl poodle when he wants her to play.Now kai ( my boy) is far more outgoing and playfull than my girl (mia) and when he does this to her and she doesn't want to play she will let him know,i no uncertain terms.:D:D
     
  10. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    The dog see's you as a play mate and not the pack leader.

    Alpha roles do not work when done with (a) the wrong energy i.e frustration, anger, dispair etc (2) definitely do not work when done by a lower member of the pack.

    Alpha roles have their place, but it is not something I would advice you to do.

    If you don't already, watch The Dog Whisperer on Sky 3 or Nat Geo channel for help in re-enforcing your status.
     
  11. JennieJet

    JennieJet PetForums Member

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    Hi, it sounds def like playing...my 23 week old lab did the exact same thing a few weeks after we had her and I panic'd and thought she was going to attack me and that we were going to have an aggressive dog ( Jet is my first dog ) ...my neighbour who has had dog all her life was around and saw my dog do it again and she burst out laughing and said its just normal playing even though it looked as scary as hell !!!! Now, if she does it and I dont want it I will just ignore her and walk away .......( and she has learnt now to play with me when I want it )...good luck xxx
     
  12. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Definitely sounds like playing to me. A lot of dogs play growl when they are playing.

    Before you watch the Dog Whisperer I would read the many posts about him on here and make up your own mind whether you want to try his methods. Doesnt sound to me as though you need to anyway. Just back off a bit and control the playtimes.
     
  13. Shazach

    Shazach PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like play invitation to me too. But if she's actually launching herself at you, and she's big enough to knock you (or someone else) over, then you need to nip it in the bud.
    You play on your terms, when you invote her.

    I would firmly say No, and turn your back, fold your arms and ignore her. Stand firm even if she does still launch herself.
    She sounds intelligent so she should soon get the message.

    Good luck.
     
  14. prasantha60

    prasantha60 PetForums Newbie

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  15. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

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    One of our dogs started this behaviour when he wanted me to play/give him attention,if i ignored him he would carry on with the barking and trying to jump on me,he only did it when i was sitting down,i would tell him "enough" as this is the word we use when we want unwanted behaviour to stop,sometimes he would not stop the barking/jumping so without anymore words i would remove him to the kitchen,after awhile he would try it on again,so was removed,now he does not do it anymore,and the word"enough" still means thats the end of games etc
     
  16. charmed-imsure

    charmed-imsure PetForums Junior

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    I live in Norway, we get the Dog Whisperer here, it's called something different & I still don't understand Norwegian well, so I only catch it now & then briefly when I manage to translate what the on screen tv guide says!

    Since readng the responses to my post, I'm changing the way I see my darling Poppy, most people have said she's playing. She really does not do this attack mode I mentioned often by any means which is why I posted. She does see me as Alpha because she will do pretty much anything I ask her to on command and she knows when I mean what I say. She's only about 8 months old so I guess I should have a bit of give & take, but for 8 months old, she's big! She can't knock me or my partner on our feet (unless we've had a few too many LOL) but she can jump shoulder high.

    I've looked at her over the weekend from a different point of view (from what people have posted here) and I do see her differently so thank you all for your opinions in that she's just playng.

    She's so gorgeous, she wakes me up with a gorgeous non sloppy lick all over my arms & my eyes (as a mother bitch would to her pups), she goes away when I tell her "it's 4.30am, get back to bed", she's just amazing and I am so glad that the sudden recent expression of what I thought was 'vicious attack' is just her way of playing but she's growing up.

    Thanks everyone :)
     
  17. james1

    james1 PetForums VIP

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    If shes 8 months old you should know whether she is serious or wanting to play. If she is being menacing towards you, send her to her crate, put her in the kitchen or leave the room and busy yourself with something. If she persists then add a correction. It sounds as though you dont exactly trust her so you need to set solid boundries as to whats good and whats bad, she may well be testing you, but without daily guidence they will settle in to bad patterns.
    You should discipline as much as praise, a lot of people only talk about praising your dog when discipline is very important in training. I think people are a little scared of the recations from people when mentioning it but you should never be affraid to discipline your dog is shes getting out of hand.
    Theres many ways to get this across - if you look at how they treat us - run off whenever they feel like it, jump onto your seat, ignore you when saying come, get under your feet or sniff and walk off to scratch the nearest carpet or something.:cool: You are the one who allows this to happen so there is no real reason why you cant do something to stop it - they wont be worse of for it. Too many people see their dogs as emotional bubbles when infact they are just instinctive creatures. You should be able to recognise when things arent going your way and stop it before it happens, they will only find you more appealing in giving them direction :) (in a NON ceaser way!!) :D

    conversely she may just be on heat?

    just read your above post - glad shes sorted, keep the commands up ;)
     
    #17 james1, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  18. charmed-imsure

    charmed-imsure PetForums Junior

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    I see what you say, and with all that in mind, I believe I have a brilliant dog. She knows her boundaries, she knows the "no" etc, she also knows the "come here" to play (if I instigate it) and she's never been persistant. She really is very clever. I've never had to shut her away or yell at her, she seems to know when she's wrong coz she'll go n get under the kitchen table (why there I don't know) of her own free "I've done wrong" will! I don't have to say anything, just look at her, she knows!

    I think I have misunderstood her in this "attack" mode from all the responses I've read. I've never been scared of her until the couple of times this last couple weeks she's behaved different and I felt she wanted to attack me. But as I said, all I've read in these responses, I see her behaviour differently now & I think the "play" mode is fitting to her actions. I need to add that I've noticed a difference (a sudden difference) when walking her, she's suddenly really good! Out of nowhere! She suddenly likes other people 'without prejudice' so to speak. She used to cower or sit still but this sudden behaviour is falling in line with this what I thought was her attacking mode.

    I think she's growing up! My baby is learning growing up! That's all it is. I'm inexperienced and thanks to all you peeps that've posted, I've looked at it a different way & seen that it's just the way she is, I've nothing to worry about :) It's not just puppies that need training, I guess us humans need training too :)
     
    #18 charmed-imsure, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  19. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Certainly agree with this post the stance is a play stance, but the games are not ideal, especially the toes one you cant take the toes away so you will find the pup will chase you in time nipping and biting the tug game mine do love that but as puppies you always have to win, the tugger must be in your hands when you end the game them remove it out of site for a few minutes then if you want the pup to play with it invite the pup to have it and put it on the floor not to be taken out of your hand this to the pup is that he/she is taking it from "you" not you giving it.

    Your pup is not being aggressive to you at the moment but a pup can read different signs and can become dominent
     
  20. charmed-imsure

    charmed-imsure PetForums Junior

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    I posted because I thought her behaviour was out of character & aggressive, but from everything I've read relating to it in the replies, it seems perfectly normal in that she's just inviting me to play. I see it now. Aside from that, she's very well trained, understands many different commands (still trying to get her to understand tidy up!) and play time is never a problem although many people are commenting on play time, this isn't what I was posting about. I appreciate your views on this but she is well trained & is never aggressive, she knows her place in the household.

    The tug of war is her favourite game & she NEVER wins! She's been playing it since she was 9 weeks old, she just likes to play it. She's never aggressive with it & it's always me that ends playtime with her, never the other way round (unless she's really tired, then she ends up falling asleep with a toy in her mouth bless her!).

    She is very good, she is so well behaved for a puppy, she's 8 months old but as large as a border collie but still does baby-like things such as trying to eat her back paw (like a human baby puts their feet in their mouth!) etc. I managed to catch the back end of The Dog Whisperer (I always miss it because the title is not titled that here, it's something like Hundevisperen so I don't recognise it). I watched some Pit Bulls that Cesar trained & a couple were inviting some other dogs to play & it was exactly the same stance as my pup has been doing so I really see her behaviour different now after what was posted on here + seeing that on tele.

    The 'quilt monster' game is her second fave, but she never sees a foot or a hand under the quilt so she doesn't realise what it is she's chasing. It's like putting your hand under a quilt & waving it about for a cat to play with. When I take my hand or foot away so it's no longer under the quilt, she still tries to look for it under there, she doesn't know it's a foot or a hand! She's never attacked feet, (I lie, she likes my partners really thick woolly socks & she helps him take them off sometimes!) but as for anything bitey, she has her chew bones for that & always goes & gets them when she wants a good jaw exercise. If I thought any game would instigate or encourage bad behaviour, I wouldn't do it because I don't want to live with an aggressive dog! She really is a joy to play with even though she never wins!!!

    Thanks for all comments, I appreciate it, but I'm no longer concerned about her behaviour, it seems completely normal & I just misread it because it was new & I'd not seen it before. Thanks all :)

    :wink5:
     
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