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Poor attention and agression towards dogs (some of the time!)

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks and Games' started by sive, Sep 12, 2016.


  1. sive

    sive PetForums Newbie

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    I'm hoping for a bit of advice. We got a gorgeous dog about 5 months ago (mix of lab, collie and staffy...we think). We're not too sure how old she is but we think about 12 months. She had a rough start, we don't really have details but she was very poorly socialised and left on her own locked in the garden for much of the day. we're her third owners.

    Initially she was very aggressive towards people (especially men, children and anyone who was loitering!). We have done loads of work with her with lots and lots of positive reinforcement and she has hugely improved to the extent that we can walk down a main street with her!

    She goes to a doggy day care a couple of times a week where she runs around forests with about 20 other dogs off lead. She has never been aggressive with any of these dogs. However, over the last 2-3 months she has/can be very aggressive towards other dogs while on the lead (lunging/snarling) especially if we don't allow her to go and say hello.

    She gets incredibly fixated as soon as she sees another dog and we are finding it near impossible to get her to attend to us. If we allow her to say hello sometimes she is all sniff sniff and bum wags but it is so inconsistent that we can't really do this anymore as we don't know how she'll respond. Once she's all pent up after seeing a dog it also makes her more likely to react towards humans.

    We have seen two different dog behaviourists about this as me and my partner are really struggling. One suggested quick sharp tugs on the lead to get her to break the 'dog trance' the other also suggested this along with lots and lots of positive praise once she is looking/listening at us. we also do about 20 minutes a day of training in the house.

    We feel like we're not making any progress and are at a loss at what to do. Any advice especially as to how to get her attention back on us would really be appreciated :)
     
  2. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Are you quite sure she is happy running around with 20 others dogs loose? Have you actually been out with the dog walkers to see for yourself just what goes on as I personally wouldn't want any of my dogs exercised in that fashion with that amount of dogs.

    There could be several reasons why your bitch is displaying this behaviour one of which is fear and 'quick sharp tugs on the lead' isn't going to help if that is the reason.

    What training have you been told to do with her in the house?
     
    sive and Cleo38 like this.
  3. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like a frustrated greeter to me.

    Have a look at:
    http://careforreactivedogs.com/

    And ignore the advice of the "behaviourists", they sound useless!
     
    sive likes this.
  4. sive

    sive PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for your responses. Initially I was shocked at the number of dogs- but she adores it. We get videos each day she goes there of her out and about jumping into mud and running along and sniffing with the other dogs. To be honest I don't see concerns there. Her body language would indicate she's relaxed and happy.

    I agree her agression is definitely fear based which is why I am very aprehensive about using negative reinforcement. However I'm not an expert which is why we contacted a behaviourist ( or 2 !) :/

    In the house training is very normal e.g.lie down, crawl, heel, go outside,agility things etc

    I think she probably is also a frustrated greeter but how do we help reduce this reactive behaviour? I don't think shed ever attack/ bite a dog ( she runs from things if she's afraid) however, the owners of the poor dog she's barking at don't know this which is completely fair enough. I'll look at that website now thanks :)
     
  5. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    sive likes this.
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