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Rescue pup one year old over protective - nipping

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Betty boo, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Betty boo

    Betty boo PetForums Newbie

    Aug 5, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I'm new to the forum. We got a six month old lurcher/bearded collie/irish wolfhound rescue pup in February. She had been stray all her life and was /is incredibly nervous. We are doing ok with training and she is an extremely gentle, playful (and big!) dog, who we love very much. We have two kids who she is very gentle and lovely with - even the cat is getting used to her!

    BUT - she has on three occassions been randomly aggressive to passers by - once to a boy who came up and petted her, when she was with my daughters and neice (in a push chair), and once with a woman who held out the back of her hand for her to sniff and Pippen snapped at her - again, this time Pippen was next to us on the path, while we were sitting down. Finally when we were in a pub garden, Pippen barked aggressively in the face of the land lord when he came to clear our lunch.

    So - I think that Pippen is defending us a little too vigourously, but it means that we are now nervous of her outside, and not sure if we can train this out of her, or if we need to keep her muzzled and on a lead everytime we walk her, which we are really reluctant to do.

    Any ideas
  2. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Nov 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hi. WElcome to the forum and well done for taking on a rescue!

    If your dog is behaving like this, then the best thing to do is not allow people to come up to her and give her any attention. Is the dog on a lead when this happens? If this is the case, you have taken away her option to "flee", therefore her only option is to "fight" or defend herself. The best thing in this situation is if somebody wants to come over to you. Ask them to completely ignore the dog, this means no eye contact or ANYTHING. This allows the dog to feel safe because nobody is paying any attention to it. It also allows the dog to sniff the person and suss them out. The trouble is when most people see a dog they want to touch it. But it is imperative that they totally ignore the dog, if they cannot do that, then do not let them near her.

    As for why she has started this...... They say it takes about 6 months or so for a rescue dog to settle in and be more comfortable. But it is how you deal with it now that will prevent it from escelating.

    The biggest piece of advice I can give you, as the owner of rescue dogs. Is always ensure your dog knows you are the clear leader. If a dog does not see the owner in this light, then the dog will try to take this position away. This can result in the dog becoming protective, because it believes it is his job to protect the pack. Always remember that dogs are animals and they need to be managed. It is very easy with rescue dogs in particular, for us to feel sorry for them and want to make up for the terrible life they have. But if you give too much affection and not enough leadership, then you may get problems. If you read my profile page, you will see why I am quite passionate about this subject.

    Best of luck, keep us posted x x
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