Tugg has been in this class for 7 weeks now - still not super happy with the way the class is taught but we are both learning and that's what counts in the end. Tonight though we had a strange experience. The class was small, due to the holiday, and we were practicing heeling, turns, and such in a circle when Tugg and a Dalmation got into it. Tugg has never shown an aggressive behavior in the past but they went at it. We both were able to get them apart before any teeth made contact; but it happen two more times in the hour class. The only aggressive dog in the class (at least until today) was a pit bull puppy - who was an angel today. I was so embarrased but still puzzled about why the altercation. Both are males and about the same age so maybe it was a territorial thing or hormones. The only thing that made me feel any better about it was after the class the Dalmation's owner was talking with someone else and those two dogs started into it too......maybe I was too quick to blame Tugg. We have alot of work to do for the last class next week and am hoping that the Dalmation is there again. I want to see how they react this time. Any ideas or suggestions?
There isn't enough information here to get a good idea of what happened. Where was Tugg in relationship to the Dalmation? Why was Tugg not paying attention to you during the exercise? I wouldn't call this aggressive at all. Please provide more information and perhaps we could help you out more.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
I agree...we need more info.
I often find that people are not aware of what their dogs are doing at all times. Direct eye contact is an immediate threat to a dog. If Tugg was staring at the Dal or vice versa, that would lead to an altercation of some type. The handlers would both think it was unprovoked but anyone who was watching the dogs would know exactly what led up to the fight.
I have this issue with a Mastiff in agility. The handler is completely clueless that her dog is staring down Murray. I spend the time waiting for our turn by constantly manuevering myself into the dogs line of sight to break off the eye contact.
Tugg still suffers from doggy ADHD and will be watching what is going on around him instead of me a good portion of the time. Our class is at a park and there was a party going on nearby with kids, balls and a remote control airplane - the Dalmation was going past us and the party was just past the Dal. I think that Tugg was trying to watch the plane and kids - not sure if he was staring at the dog or not. The second time I know there was eye contact between the dogs but not sure who started what. I thought my dog was to blame (and he may have been) my second thoughts started after class when the Dalmation got into it with another dog. Also, it was only the Dalmation that Tugg had an issue with - any other dog he just ignored.......I'm going to really work this week on him focusing on me. Maybe we will go on a couple outings and get more exposure to being around distractions more.
How old is Tugg and is he neutered?? Both could have an effect.
Lydia - I hate when people ignore the signs that their dog is giving. I've been known to say to beginners in a really LOUD voice, "Your dogs are not wagging anymore and are raising hackles - Can you PLEASE watch what's going on between them before we have a problem?!? LET'S SEPARATE THOSE TWO PLEASE!"
It's amazing how people become totally blind to what's going on at the other end of their leash!
Tugg is 13 months old and neutered. I'm not sure about the other dog. The whole thing was and is a learning experience for me - know that I will be much more aware of his attention to me (just hope the Dalmation's owner does the same).