Sam showing aggression-ideas?
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Thread: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

  1. #1
    Kimmers's Avatar
    Kimmers is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultSam showing aggression-ideas?

    Sam has always been very protective of our property.
    Whenever someone comes up the driveway that he doesn't know, he barks. A lot. He's even nipped the water guy once before. He's fine if we go outside and tell him it's OK, but if we don't-he stays upset. He'll even bark at my family if he doesn't recognize the vehicle we're in. But once he sees who it is, he's OK.
    He learned this from our last lab, Brandi. She was very territorial. She always barked, but was too timid to actually confront someone.
    Sam is not. And that has me concerned.
    This afternoon, my Mom's best friend came up the driveway. I happened to be visiting as well. Sam was outside snoozing on the lawn. He saw the car pull up, charged up to the drivers door and jumped and barked. Friend rolled down the window to talk to Sam, tell him it's OK, you know me. She then opened the door, Sam continued to bark-and then nipped at her arm. At this point I was just coming outside. Friend was never nervous around Sam, but after that-she is. He got yelled at "SAM, NO" in a very stern voice. He stopped-and went straight back to his blanket on the lawn.
    He's becoming more intolerant of people coming up that he doesn't know. I really don't know what to do about it. I'm glad he's protective of the yard, but it's going beyond that. He's starting to act. Which, if it was someone really bad-fine. But I can't have him doing this to people he KNOWS (albeit doesn't see all the time-but still), and people who don't pose any threat (like the water guy).
    If he's inside-fine-he stays where he's told when the doorbell rings. But he likes to snooze on the lawn when the weather is nice-so he's outside sometimes. He's not like this anywhere else, only HIS yard.
    Opinions? Advice?
    He's the biggest sweetheart in the world, except for this issue.
    I'm thinking of taking him back to our obediance/behavior trainer. I need to deal with this. Now.

    Kim & Crew

    Beautiful BC, Canada
    JL Member since July 1, 2002


    Fear Nothing. Live for Everything.

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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    Is it his sight making him feel more vulnerable? I think I would talk to some people who have dogs who have issues with their sight and see if this is a common reaction or not.

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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    I had the same thoughts as Susan, about his sight. ???

    My friends' italian greyhound lost sight in one eye, and then the other, and she got quite fearful initially until she learned to compensate.

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  6. #4
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    call your trainer, and in the meantime, his freedom MUST be curtailed.

  7. #5
    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    I too wonder about his vision. I'd keep him confined, fenced, chained, so he cannot run out and attack someone in your driveway. Even a "nip" on the arm can lead to a serious lawsuit.

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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    I don't know what to tell you. My first boy was the same way - but ONLY if he was in the fence! Actually, all of my babies are much more "on duty" inside the fence. If they're out free... they're fine.

    The only exception for my boy was if someone came up from behind the house (enter the WATER METER READER) and I was home alone!!! But that wasn't his fault. He was trained to protect me! THat was his job - and honestly, it only happened once (he didnt' bite the guy...just backed him in a corner) and I told the guy he didnt' need to be walking through the back of my yard unannounced! I have a posted "Trained K-9 Dog On Premises" sign - so I honestly felt like the guy was being stupid... but I didn't tell him that.

    Talk to the trainer... once you said no... and your friend said his name, it should have been okay - but he IS protecting you! That may not be something you can change... :-[

  9. #7
    sloigo's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    Kim, we have noticed Daisy, does not do as well going out (in public) any more. She is also very nervous & people who "don't belong" in her world (home) she has a very hard time with that. Even if we are with her. This has gotten progressively worse as we have noticed her "scenting" more outside for her toys. She does ok, if we correct her & we are right beside her (literally touching her) but if we are not close enough to her I think that she is just that unsure with her sight. There is a HUGE difference in her if she is with the other GIRLS & it is the same situation. She will depend on their "lead" as to what her behavior should be. For this reason we do NOT allow Daisy in these situations anymore, where she may be "misunderstood". She would never hurt a fly, but she would protect her home from a "stranger" or a nut stealing squirrel ;D . We just feel it is for her best interest & since we know her sight is slipping away...we do try to keep one of the other girls with her as often as possible but sometimes we get suprised on a potty break!
    Karen, Mom to the Lab Monkeys:
    Daisy DoBug YL 7 yr old
    Kiana YL 5/2006
    Piglet 4/2006 Lab @ Heart
    Liberty 7/2/2009
    **Bella Mia 5 yo (RIP~2/07)**
    *Molly Blu 2.5 yr old (RIP~7/06)*


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  10. #8
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    Is there anyway you can get Sam out and about and better socialized? I have a hard time w/ the fact that you want protection, yet you don't when he tries on the "wrong" person. I really don't feel like we need to encourage most Labs to be protective, as if we do, they will overreact. Yes, if there is an eyesight issue, for sure, get it checked out. So what will you do if (as I assume) Sam goes blind? I hope you'll consider confinement so innocent folks are safe.

    I was bit for the first time in my life Sunday pm by a neighbors' (long term) visitor... an unstable Golden(x) who had gotten out of their yard, and I was merely going to push the button to put him back in when he lunged from 6-8 feet away and hit my thigh (fortunately he did not break the skin, just a big bruise and teeth lines like a scrape-- but I still reported it as his behavior seems to be getting worse). Dog bites are serious business... I know of 2 people who have ended up in ICU locally for animal bites that sent them septic, one was in a coma and lost several toes and fingers. The normal homeowners liability policy will be evaporated in NO time by a normal dog bite claim, let alone something like that. Do NOT chance repeat performances. Around here, after your first report, the dog is pts. -Anne

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

  11. #9
    Kimmers's Avatar
    Kimmers is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    Is there anyway you can get Sam out and about and better socialized? I have a hard time w/ the fact that you want protection, yet you don't when he tries on the "wrong" person.
    I never said I wanted protection. He was never trained to be a guard/protection type dog. He's very well trained in all aspects. I would NEVER encourage aggression in my dogs. Or train them to protect me.
    Sam is a very well socialized dog. The only time he will show any "defensive" tendancies, is if a strange person enters our property. In neutral areas...he's a big loveable goof. He walks downtown with me, rides in the car every chance he gets, goes to the dog park daily, is one of the most loved dogs at the vet's office and my soccer games...so please don't get the impression that he is not well socialized or that I want him to be a guard dog.

    There is an eyesight issue. He only has one eye, as he suffers from glaucoma-and has had a pretty rough year. We have monthly check-ups, and also see a specialist.
    He is never left outside when no one is home. Neither is our other Lab. They are both mostly indoor dogs. If he is outside and we happen to be herding cattle etc, both dogs are put in their exercise pen because it gets them riled up and excited. Until we get this sorted out, if we can't be outside with him, he will go in the Ex.Pen.
    I'm sorry that was so long, but a couple things struck a nerve with me.

    Thanks you guys, for the opinions. I very much appreciate it. Karen, that was really helpful-thank you! Kona has been great at "looking out" for Sam in certain situations. She walks on his blind side now, and that's really helped with his heeling issues.
    We've made an appointment with his trainer for next week, right after his vet appointment actually. So it will be good timing. I'm pretty sure we can work on this, he's a smart cookie.

    Kim & Crew

    Beautiful BC, Canada
    JL Member since July 1, 2002


    Fear Nothing. Live for Everything.

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: Sam showing aggression-ideas?

    From what you describe I don't think it is protective behavior (you won't see that from a Lab) but perhaps a little fear and territory related, maybe stemming from his lack of vision. Many dogs will bark at strangers who enter their property until they get to greet that person upfront but obviously nipping is not acceptable. If the problem is related to his sight then really there is not a lot you can do but remove him from the situation. As he appears to be a fantastic dog in all other ways, as you describe, I would not be overly concerned about "correcting" this. Instead I would manage the behavior. Of course if you want to consult a trainer or behaviorist to help you, do it, but IMO I don't think you are dealing with black and blue aggression here.

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