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Reaction to other dogs.... what to do? (sorry its a bit long)

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Tigerneko, Jun 2, 2010.


  1. Tigerneko

    Tigerneko PetForums VIP

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    Hi, just wondering if anyone could offer me any tips about Tigers behaviour towards other dogs -

    When another dog is approaching, he will stand still and go 'rigid' - although he doesn't always raise his hackles (unless the dog is showing similar behaviours to him, but thats to be expected) and when the dog approaches he's very much 'all noise' - he'll stand up on his back legs and will bark and snarl with his teeth out, but doesn't actually bite or 'attack' in any way.

    I've struggled to be able to see his exact reactions from a different point of view other than being on the other end of the lead but the OH joined me on a walk today he was holding the lead as an offlead GSD approached (who was very well mannered and calm, he just wanted to say hello and got an earfull from my hooligan!). I decided to walk calmly away a few paces as the GSD approached as I am typically a panicky type in those situations so didn't want to make the situation worse for Tiger, as I wanted to see his real reaction, and he did just as I described - the GSD walked right up to him (from the front) and showed no negative body language or anything, but Tiger was all noise and teeth out and barking.... it didn't strike me as particularly 'aggressive' in the way that he wanted to attack as the GSD was right in front of him and he had plenty of opportunity to bite or lunge if he wanted to.... so I was just wondering what your opinions were?

    We'd travelled a little further and gone to a park we've never been to before, so it wasn't anything to do with territory... I had a toy in my bag which he could smell but I can't see it being over that, i'm just at a loss as to why he's reacting as he is and if anyone can offer any advice as to how I can make him any better?

    He's been to training classes around a year ago and was okay with other dogs in the class unless they got too close to him, then he'd flash his teeth at them but didn't make too much of a scene.

    I just don't understand him and I feel really stupid for it, and it just makes walks really stressful as I have to be constantly on the lookout for other dogs and tbh it's making me feel like I don't want to take him out any more as I just can't enjoy it :( and it's such a shame because he's such a clever dog and I think he's missing out on so much fun with other dogs, it's making me feel really miserable and I feel like i'm at my wits end at the moment :(
     
  2. leashedForLife

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    hey, verby! :--)
    2 Qs - is he 18-MO to 24-MO?
    is he intact?

    ages R stages in dogs, just like humans; toddlers, preschoolers, teens all get into different kinds of predictable trouble.
    if he is over a year + heading for 2-YO, thats the transition to social adulthood - its not uncommon for dogs
    at that age to get snarky or reactive with other dogs, or get pushy + bossy -
    hip-slamming or body-slamming in play that gets too rough, mounting or standing-over, splitting or herding to control play
    or movement, stealing toys, hoarding them...
    a lot of it is control issues.

    * was this another M-dog? was the GSD intact?
    if Tigers big trigger is other Ms, at least it is not ALL dogs - it could be worse. :eek:

    the BEST resource i know of for reactivity is the book click to calm -
    it has step by step B-Mod protocols, and many of my clients or non-clients have used it as a DIY; theres no A-Rolls,
    no jerking or pulling or shoving or pain - its clear, safe + humane.

    he has had some training, but learning is lifelong in dogs; and this is either a new stage developmentally, or a new worry
    (as this is defensive behavior) on his part, for some unknown reason.
    another group-class might not be a bad idea, just to be happily around other CONTROLLED (not offlead strangers) dogs. ;)

    happy B-Mod,
    --- terry
     
    #2 leashedForLife, Jun 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  3. Tigerneko

    Tigerneko PetForums VIP

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    Hi, thanks for your reply :)

    He has just passed his 4th birthday and has been neutered since we got him from the rescue almost exactly 2 years ago. He's a Patterdale Terrier (possibly cross SBT somewhere) so is likely to be naturally a fiesty boy because of his breeding. He's also partially sighted in one eye (through a botched wart removal operation before we had him so isnt a birth defect) which doesnt affect his ability in any way at all but maybe he sees it as a weakness and feels he needs to be that little more defensive now his eyesight isnt totally what it used to be?

    I'm fairly sure the GSD was male, the owner shouted 'Sam' at it so i'm guessing it was a boy! Not sure if he was neutered or not as he was long haired so I couldn't tell :p only looked young though... pretty much full sized but still quite gangly and puppy faced so i'm guessing he probably wasn't but who knows!

    He is pretty much fine with our other dog (spayed female between 7-12 YO, we dont know her age at all) however he is very pushy and bossy - he stands over her sometimes - always has to be the 'bigger' one and does sometimes herd her if there's something around that he wants.... but again, he's never shown a hint of real aggression with her, just being bossy when he wants something, other than that they're fine together.

    I will have a look into that book, i've got a clicker and it did seem to work a little with him (although my female was frightened of it as she's blind and its a very sudden noise) but my parents (specially my dad) aren't particuarly into the whole 'training' thing :rolleyes: so it is absoloutely impossible to be consistent enough with the clicker...in fact, they're fantastic at un-doing any training I do :rolleyes: so i'm trying my best but really do think i'm up against a brick wall on this one.
     
  4. Tigerneko

    Tigerneko PetForums VIP

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    Oh just thought i'd add as well - I groom my neighbours dog for them and I had to bring her in the house last time I groomed her because their electricity had gone off (problem with the utilities company, ours ended up going off too) so I had to bring their dog into our house, which I was quite apprehensive about but I let him have a sniff at her while I had her stood on the table and again, he was fine - obviously very interested as there was a different dog in his house but he didn't bark or growl.... just began pacing around the other room in front of the glass doors so again, perhaps a bossy/control thing.
     
  5. CarolineH

    CarolineH PetForums VIP

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  6. leashedForLife

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    ah-HA! :D thats a whole nother kettle of fish, that is... he does not see well, is easily startled, and goes off before he is SURE
    theres a threat, on the off-chance there might be a threat. hes a better safe than sorry guy... and reactive, too.
    how much does Tiger weigh? i am hoping the SBT-mix remark does not mean 20-kg /40#, but that he is still 20# or less?
    if so, this is NOT what i would usually recommend, but due to his vision problems + reactivity, if he were mine i would simply
    pick him up, wait for the other dog to go by, + set him down. it does not sound as tho he wants to play, he is very defensive,
    and PRACTICING the screaming-meemies is bad for him. :eek: so skip it.
    if he WANTS to meet other dogs, make sure they are social, and do so off-leash, not on, inside a fence.

    i have ten-bucks that says his vision has deteriorated considerably from 2-yrs back - maybe his other eye has new problems, maybe the damaged eye is worse. but i think sumthin is going on there.
    muffle the clicker - U can run masking-tape across the opening to make the sound duller, stand 10-ft away + TOSS her the goody after the click, (name, CLICK, treat...), stuff a cotton-ball in the opening toward the stem of the metal tab, or all of the above. ;)

    as U will be outside with him for the training, she does not have to be along - but if mum + pop will wreck it, he can AT * LEAST learn to be more relaxed with U - even if that is only b/c he knows that U will pick him up, and he does not have to defend himself.
    if they are willing to pick him up for a few moments, that may help - but it does need to be more than one time in 5,
    and will probably be for the forseeable future Unless they are Willing to actually do the work of B-Mod.

    good luck - humans are terrible hard! :nonod:
    --- terry
     
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